The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

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Dear Career Doctor:

I really like my job, most of my colleagues and my immediate boss. But there's one person whom I simply loathe. Sadly he's the general manager so he's difficult to ignore. I never know where I am with him; one minute he's telling me that he's my friend and being hugely supportive, the next he's passing me off to a colleague. Once he ignored me for three months but denied there was a problem when I asked to try and sort things out with him. I've talked to my boss about it, but nothing's changed. My colleagues have complained about him too. I'm thinking of leaving but I feel like such a failure.

Please help.


Dear Emma:

You feel like a failure?? I think the problem is more with your self-esteem than with your erratic general manager. You describe a situation where you have friends, an enjoyable job and a boss who listens to you. Doesn't sound like a failure to me.

Do not assume that you or your boss can change the general manager's mercurial behavior. You have spoken to him and spoken to your boss and nothing happened. Any more complaining about this and you could be in danger of losing your job.

It's not fair, but underlings are supposed to put up with their general manager's management style. Upper management will not do anything about this as long as the general manager is meeting company profit goals and not doing anything illegal with the employees. In other words, he is free to not speak to you for three months or bad mouth you, but he is not free to sexually harrass you.

If you want to stay on the job, act friendly to the general manager. If he is friendly, reciprocate. If he is ignoring you, still be friendly and say hello when you pass him in the halls. Don't let your upset with his bad behavior force you to leave a job you like -- until you decide to go on to something better.

The Career Doctor

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.