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New Year's Reconciliation?

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Written by Samartha Gamble

Dear Sammy,

I am a single mom in my late twenties. I’ve been working in the telecommunications industry as an administrative assistant for a little over a year now. My manager called me at home on Boxing Day morning pleading with me to come in to the office to help her with an emergency report, scheduled to go out before the New Year. Sadly I parted ways with my 6-year-old daughter and went into the office, where I spent the first hour doing research and finishing off the report in the second. I was barely home when I received a phone call on my cell from my boss, this time yelling at the top of her lungs, “Where the hell did you learn to write? My 12 year old daughter could put your pathetic ass to shame”, then the phone went dead.

I was stunned. I know I did my best considering all the pressure being thrust on me with this last minute assignment, and I felt that this outburst was undeserved. I am now having fears that she wants to get rid of me. Although my boss can be quite temperamental including, on occasion, berating me in front of other office staff, I have never been so affected and deeply wounded by her words than I am now, especially since I left my home and daughter to support her on my holiday time. Sammy, I have not been eating, sleeping or parenting. I am worried sick that I may not have a job as of Jan 4th, when I am schedule to return to work. I am so anxious and want to go to my boss’s home to resolve this unsettling feeling inside me. My father keeps cautioning me about doing this; he believes that I should not bother her at home and should wait for the New Year, for an apology. I hear dad but I just can’t bear the uncertainty and want to go to her house so badly. Sammy, what is your take on fathers’ advice?

  • Anxious

Dear Anxious,

It's amazing how much control an employer can have over our lives, leaving us in emotional suspension even when were not on the job. But Dad is bang on with his advice. Don’t relinquish any more of your self-pride to a boss who has shown you such utter disrespect and disregard for your emotions and time. You said that you did your best under the circumstances; let that belief give you the courage to have faith in a good outcome. Calm yourself and wait with confidence rather than fear and worry about what’s to come. You mentioned that your boss is temperamental but has never behaved in this manner before. This statement leads me to believe she may have other work and possibly home stressors going on at the moment, making you a mere victim of circumstance in her day.

Don’t waste time jumping to conclusions or start making unnecessary predictions regarding the quality of your work, until you are told of your errors. For the moment, strive to stay focused, enjoy appending time with your daughter, and do not permit negative thoughts to impact your time together. Should you decide to engage in any thoughts, consider this: Is this job is the right fit for your emotional wellbeing and does it seems unlikely that your boss’s toxic behavior is going to transform any time soon? Instead be introspective, forget about the boss and the job for the time being. After all… you’re on holidays! Anxious, on January 3rd you go into work, business as usual, remain a little aloof if you are able, and let your boss make the first move. If there is a shred of decency in the character of your boss, then she will apologize to you and inform you of your mistakes; as she’s had enough time to think through her unkindly behavior towards you. For the moment be patience and keep that faith in your goodness.

  • Sammy
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