Worker says job security isn't due to relationship with owner

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on January 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Dear Roze:

I just survived another company layoff where I've been employed for the past year. Of course, I'm very relieved and thankful. I'm a solid worker, but people I work with think the only reason I got hired and haven't been laid off is because my uncle owns the company. I know this to be true because they make negative comments about me when they know I'm in earshot, or they just ignore me unless they need something from me. I've thought about talking to my uncle, but I think that could backfire on me. This is wearing me down. Any suggestions?

-Deserving in Hampton Roads

Dear Deserving in Hampton Roads:

Your gut feeling about not approaching your uncle is a good one. Such a move could easily reinforce your coworkers’ opinions about you. Your best defense against such negativity is to let your work performance speak for itself. Whether warranted or not, oftentimes, family members in an organization have to work twice as hard. Continue to do solid work and do not ask for any favors or expect preferential treatment from the owner – your uncle. Hopefully, in due time, you will earn your co-workers’ respect.

Dear Roze:

My issue with a colleague may sound trivial to you, but I hope you will take it seriously. This colleague has more time in with our agency but we hold the same management position. Bottom line, he treats me like garbage. The hardest thing to deal with is his penchant for staring me down in interoffice and client meetings. After about three months of this, I approached our boss for some support. He laughingly responded, "He’s doing it to you now? I guess you’re his newest victim." He also said that this guy will eventually move on to someone else. My boss expects me to suck it up, which I’ve been trying to do. I don’t want to get the guy in trouble; I just want him to stop. Your thoughts?

 

-Stop the intimidation in N. VA

Dear Stop the intimidation in N. VA:

First off, I do not take your situation lightly. And secondly, it was very disheartening to read how your boss reacted to it. Bullying is not acceptable behavior. If ignoring your colleague’s antics does not stop him, have a one-on-one with him. Firmly tell him that you will not tolerate his behavior. If the behavior continues, take the issue to your human resources personnel and let them know of all the steps you have taken to remedy the situation on your own.

Dear Roze:

A local bakery I frequent needs to work on its customer service. When we cut into my son’s birthday cake, we realized it wasn’t the flavor I ordered, but I couldn’t tell 12 little boys they couldn’t have any cake. When I spoke to the bakery’s owner, she said she was sorry but it was obvious she could care less. She didn’t try to make things right. I realize that a problem with the inside of a cake can’t be known until you cut it, but I didn’t get what I paid for. Shouldn’t I have been given a partial refund, a credit, or something baked the right way?

-Baked off in Norfolk

Dear Baked off in Norfolk:

I understand your disappointment with your cake purchase. Your email indicated that you frequent this bakery, so I am hopeful this was the bakery’s first mistake with one of your orders. It is a shame that the bakery owner did not give you a more sincere apology and/or offer to make things right in some substantive way. That said, you have several options: shake it off, ask for some kind of compensation if it ever happens again; or take your business elsewhere.

© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell

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