A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Coworker is Boss's Friend
Dear Sue: The problem I am having is with a co-worker in my
department. I am in a lead position, so I have to discuss issues with her
as well as the others. This woman has been rude to me for quite a while.
The problem is that she is my bossís friend, and their families are
Iíve told my boss about specific incidents, both good and bad so he
wonít think I am picking on her. But he doesnít seem to care about her
unwillingness to comply, rude comments, or failure to complete
assignments. He defends her and makes excuses for her, and will not
believe that she can do anything wrong.
I am not trying to get the friend fired. I am simply asking that the
boss view and treat her the same way he does others in the department. I
believe she is taking full advantage of the fact her boss is her friend. I
am documenting the work issues to protect myself if Iím ever asked why
something wasnít done. My boss may cover for her, but I will not. What do
Sue Says: I think you are doing what you can under the
circumstances. You are smart enough to recognize that your bossís
commitment to this coworker (and the family friendship) is stronger than
his commitment to you, or his desire to remain impartial.
Continue to document the things you deem important. Minimize the number
of complaints you make to her or about her. Be the example; donít
overreact to the things she says or does. Focus on preserving your status,
and less on exposing hers.
Dear Sue: Lately Iíve noticed several people in my office
wearing fishnet stockings. Is this a new fashion? Is it appropriate office
Sue Says: Fishnet stockings have come and gone in popularity
over the years. They are considered stylish in some environments, but are
neither stylish nor appropriate in most office environments.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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