Relationship Advice

Rembrandt

woman making notes

I had a close, healthy working relationship with the head of my company until another administrative assistant came in. I was told to train her so I would be free to travel for the company, which I did. I successfully went to bat for her with the boss to get her a significant raise, because she was underpaid.

She didn't want to ask for a raise herself. She told me she would appreciate my help in speaking up for her, and she got a huge raise out of it. When she had a death in her immediate family, I, again, spoke to our boss on her behalf. The company paid for her to fly across country to the funeral. I took up a collection in our office to give her traveling money.

Now this admin speaks disrespectfully to me and makes every effort to prevent me from interacting with our boss. She uses filthy language in the office and on the phone with our colleagues. I briefly met with this admin in private and told her she is not to speak to me so disrespectfully. She was hostile.

The boss thinks she is terrific, but is rarely exposed to what the rest of us see. Her behavior is daily unprofessional, yet she seems to get away with it! In a couple of months her responsibilities will shift to another area, and I will be back in the position of close assistant to our boss.

I look forward to this transition as I feel my boss's perception is that I am not "engaged," when in fact I try to be but am constantly blocked by this rude girl. I want to have the close communication with the boss I had originally. What should I do?

Audrey


Audrey, to paint a realistic picture an artist must solve the problem of perspective. This can be done by imagining the canvas is an open window. The artist then paints on the canvas as if painting the scene on window glass. That's how the problem of perspective can be solved.

You think your boss has a perspective problem. You are in a hurry for him to recognize how bad an employee this admin is, which means you are also in a hurry for him to recognize what a bad situation you put him in. Of course he doesn't want to see her flaws. She was hired at adequate wages, and he increased her salary on your recommendation.

If you point out her flaws, he will feel the fool for having listened to you. You are like the tailor who told the emperor how beautiful his new clothes were, and now you want him to admit he's been walking down the street naked. In fact, he has to admit to two misjudgments: one about her and one about you.

Your best bet is to keep quiet and wait this out. You vouched for her so you could assume your new responsibilities. And look what it's done. Now you have a person who can't or won't do the job properly. We can't fault your boss for his perspective on this matter because you are the one who painted the picture for him.

Wayne & Tamara