Posted on September 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM
Wednesday, Sep 26 at 6:38 AM
My boss has no problem letting everyone know his strong feelings for one of the presidential candidates. I have never felt comfortable talking politics at my work, besides the fact I don’t agree with him. I rarely talk to friends or family about politics because it’s such a lightening rod, so the idea of having to talk to the person I work for is even further from my comfort zone. I can’t deny I’m concerned my boss won’t like me as much and may even evaluate me unfavorably if I don’t chime in and support his candidate. Walking away from the discussions is not an option. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions as to how I should handle this?
Not comfortable talking politics
Dear Not comfortable talking politics:
I am like you. I do not believe the workplace is an appropriate place to talk politics. Regardless of an individual’s position in their organization, I do not think it is wise for someone to discuss their political views and preferences. Like religion, politics can be an extremely divisive subject. If one just turns on the TV, it is quite apparent from the campaign ads and news shows, this year’s presidential election is very polarizing.
My suggestion to you will probably not sit well with all my readers, but it is based on my strong conviction that one’s political beliefs and opinions are personal, hence, private. No one should be forced or feel compelled to air them unless they want to. Having said that, if you believe you have to respond to your boss’s remarks and that an opposing view could hurt your career, I suggest you be neutral and objective, i.e., comment without revealing your political beliefs and/or opinions. Best of luck!
I’m at a breaking point with a woman I work with. Everyone, even management, placates her because of her connections to our organization’s board members. It kills me the way they indulge her, especially my boss. Unfortunately, I have projects with her and will always have projects with her. She not only dumps work on me but questions my work and my decisions. She will often send me condescending emails where she copies our boss. Our boss supports her behavior by doing absolutely nothing about it. I feel like I’m in hell. She not only knows no one is going to call her out on her despicable behavior, but I think I get the brunt of her wrath because she’s jealous of me. I’m not only smart and well thought of in our industry, but I’m also 15 years younger than her, and youth in our industry is a plus. I’m at my tipping point with her. If I could quit my job I would. And as juvenile as it seems, I think she’s trying to get me to quit or blow up and get myself fired. I’ve even heard her say: “When someone does me wrong, I go after them.” I need a life line! Help!
No more hell for me
Dear No more hell for me:
You have not used this word to describe your colleague, but she sounds like a classic bully. The last thing you want to do with a bully is give her the reaction she is looking for. Your colleague knows she is getting under your skin, which only encourages her to continue her inappropriate behavior. It would help a great deal if your boss would address this issue, but since he/she has chosen to ignore it; I strongly suggest you be the bigger person. You can have a one-on-one with your colleague where you firmly but respectfully let her know her current behavior is unacceptable. Explain how you would like to have a decent working relationship with her and how it requires her to change her behavior. If she is unwilling to change, you cannot allow her lack of professionalism to sabotage the work you do or your job. Feel empowered by having been the bigger person with your attempt to improve the relationship. Take that strength to continue to do your job as well as you always have. Best of luck! Hang in there!
© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell