Ask Amy: I hate my new boss. Should I notify HR?



dear Amy: I need advice about my boss. In over 30 years of employment, the majority have been unpleasant or toxic workplaces, primarily due to difficult supervisors.

A few years ago, I started working in building maintenance for a local municipality. It was great; my work requirements, hours, co-workers and most importantly my supervisor were wonderful.

I thought I had found my “forever” job.

Unfortunately, my supervisor has recently retired and his replacement is difficult to accept.

Since their first week on the job, a lot of picky, picky microaggressions have been directed at me, especially if there are construction issues.

They try to scold me and blame me, even though there is no possible way that it is my fault or my responsibility.

Some days are tolerable, but now I hate any interaction with the supervisor, and have been looking for other jobs to transfer out of this department.

I know I am not alone. Other colleagues are unhappy and are looking for other jobs. I would like to stay in my post, but not in these circumstances.

I lost my tolerance for a hostile workplace, because I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

Should I report my issues to my supervisor first, or should I go directly to my Human Resources department?

— Tired of Bad Bosses

fed up: My first thought is that “construction issues” are legitimate things to be wary of. After all, building maintenance seems to be part of your job. I also think it may not be appropriate to refer to work-related fussiness as “micro-aggression”. (From your description, it’s hard to tell.) “Microaggressions” are, strictly speaking, comments or actions directed at someone from a marginalized group, such as a racial or ethnic minority. Maybe that applies to you – but nitpicking about work issues doesn’t necessarily apply.

You had a dream supervisor who communicated well with you and obviously trusted you to perform well. This new person doesn’t have those valuable skills and didn’t start off on the right foot with you.

While you are looking for a different position, you should at least try to communicate with your supervisor to review your job description, tasks and expectations, which seem different from those of your previous supervisor. Of course, your boss should initiate this conversation, instead of trying to inspire you with negative comments, but he didn’t.

I suggest you make a concerted attempt to communicate with your supervisor before going to HR, as HR will likely suggest this before taking action.

Take notes and document your concerns in writing (with dates), and outline specific incidents and issues for your later meeting with HR.

dear Amy: My husband has a good friend he has had since college.

I have known him and his wife for over 20 years.

Over the years, their drinking and fighting increased. It’s nothing for her to drink two bottles of wine a night – and it’s not far behind.

A few years ago, we went on vacation for three weeks with them, and the drinking and fighting were incessant.

They ask us to go on vacation with them, and we just don’t want to. We tried the nice excuse: “Oh, we tend to like different activities than yours.”

I am willing to see them occasionally socially as I may choose to go home if the night gets rough.

In my experience, they’re good at not driving while drinking, so I don’t think it’s my business how much alcohol they drink.

But I just don’t want to vacation with them.

wondering: First off, a three-week vacation with any hard-drinking, hard-fighting couple feels less like a vacation than a summer stock of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Your sweet excuse is a good place to start.

If they push harder, you might refine your argument: “The drama between you two really escalates when you’re drinking.” It makes us uncomfortable. »

Dear readers: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255, recently changed its name and made it easier to get in touch.

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is now a simple three-digit contact: 988. (The previous number can still be used indefinitely.)

The very useful website is now

I urge parents and teachers to do their best to spread the word.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency


Comments are closed.