My co-worker can’t quit complaining about our boss. We’ve had him for close to a year, but she goes on and on about how she prefers the way our old boss did things and pushes it so far as to do some tasks the way our old boss would want it versus how our current one expects or requires. Normally, I could care less what she thinks, but she’s drawn me in by bending my ear with her complaints and bragging about doing things the way our old boss used to require it. This just gets our current boss ticked off, which does nothing good for his mood and, subsequently, our department’s morale. Any suggestions?
Tired of malcontent
Dear Tired of malcontent:
I see no problem with you having a non-confrontational discussion with your co-worker. First let her know that you understand where she is coming from, and then express your displeasure with the way she is handling her dissatisfaction with the current boss. Explain how her behavior has a negative effect on your and everyone else’s work environment. Suggest that she have a respectful talk with him where she provides substantive reasons for not doing the tasks the way he has requested. If she does not take your recommendation or waits too long to act, I would think, hopefully, that the boss would take control of the situation.
I’m a high-level executive. In my 20+ years with the same organization, I’ve dealt with a variety of issues with my staff, so I would say more often than not that nothing surprises me. Then my executive assistant informs me she’s retiring at the end of 2012, yes, over two years from now; and she wants to start training her replacement for me as soon as possible. She says there’s no one in our office that’s competent enough to do her job, so I should advertise for a new administrative person now, but it needs to be outside our organization. This woman does a very good job for me and if it’s possible, it would be nice for her to work with the person who will be replacing her, but I still find what she has said to be a bit offensive. These are my decisions to make, if I’m still here when a new assistant needs to be selected. I’m pretty sure how I will handle this, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Upset with employee overstepping authority
Dear Upset with employee overstepping authority:
Recognizing that the relationship between you and your assistant is one of mutual dependence, I suggest you handle this situation with kid gloves. Have a one-on-one with her. Preface your remarks with the fact that you are very pleased with her performance and that you truly appreciate her advice, which you will consider, and her interest in training her replacement. Then respectfully tell her that you will be the one to ultimately determine how and when a person is selected to fill her position, if you are still there, and what role she will have in the process.
I will be eligible to retire from the federal government in February 2011; and have to get another job at that time, which I would prefer to be in the private sector. I’ve been in management for the past 11 of my 23 years with the federal government and would like a management position with my new career. When should I start my hunt?
Leaving federal service
Dear Leaving federal service:
Months ago! Seriously, I tell my federal government clients who want or need full-time employment when they retire to treat their job search like it’s a job and, if possible, to start as early as 12 months before their planned retirement date. Finding a job during challenging economic times and in a field different from the one you have been in for over 20 years is no small task. Hopefully, you have accrued a substantial amount of annual leave you can use to tackle all the different aspects of your search. Consider all opportunities that present themselves. Best of luck!
© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell