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My boss has employed her nephew’s girlfriend…

Dear Office-Politics,

My boss has employed her nephew’s girlfriend.

I told my boss that i was unhappy about her telling me to come off my lunch and answer phones and things have gone downhill since. When i told my boss she did agree that nobody should be telling each other what to while she is away but i have three colleagues with whom there is no communication out of an office of 11 staff.

I was recently told off for telling a colleague that i was going to lunch because he left for lunch shortly after and nobody knew where i was. I felt pushed into a corner and had to explain that it’s been a long time since anybody has told me that they are going to lunch so i would rather tell a colleague who i feel comfortable to talk to.

One colleague has attempted to be physical but i managed to move, i have been told that they will be calling the boss to tell her what trouble i have caused (i was accused of pushing my ideas forward w/out consulting the team although the boss’ boss did apologise for causing the confusion). My ideas have previously been taken on with no problems.

My biggest fear that i will not be able to progress (get a promotion), i do not want to leave just yet. I was transferred from my last office by a bullying boss who is well known and not very popular. I do not want to run from this situation and concerntrating on my work does not seem to be working either.

Advice please


Pushed Around

peter garber

Dear Pushed Around,

It sounds like you have a lot to deal with at your present place of work. It also sounds like you are not very happy where you are right now.

There appear to many interpersonal issues going on amongst your coworkers which are probably made worse by hiring friends of the boss’s relatives. I think you have more pressing and immediate issues other than being promoted that you need to address right now.

I am concerned about your mention of a colleague attempting to get physical with you. This should never happen in the workplace. Is there someone in the organization you can seek help such as a Human Resources person or even the boss’s boss who seems to be a reasonable person? It is not a matter of running from the situation but rather making sure you are someplace in which you feel comfortable and secure. You shouldn’t stay in a work environment in which can’t provide these basic needs for you. You deserve to work in such a place. I understand that you don’t want to leave just yet. But stay only if you can get help from someone in the organization and you can feel comfortable at work.

Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.


Peter Garber, Author

Peter R. Garber has worked as an HR professional for over 25 years and is the author of many business books including: Winning the Rat Race at Work and 100 Ways to Get on the Wrong Side of your Boss.

  1. 3 Answers to “My boss has employed her nephew’s girlfriend…”

  2. Thank you for the advice!

    I agree that i should be working in an office where i feel comfortable. I have thought about consulting our union rep to see what i can do to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand.

    By Letter-writer on Mar 8, 2007

  3. Hello, I work at a Hospital as a Mental Health Technician (pool time-perdiem) I normally work 32 hours weekly but last weeek I worked just 8 hours and this week my boss didn’t assign any hours for me. She has employed some family members (5 persons) and every time I have less hours for work since she gives all the hours to her family (all are working as full time and usually have overtime too). Is there any law I could apply to her. I want to make a demand against her

    By GUSTAVO on Feb 4, 2009

  4. My boss hired a friend he’s known for 7 years from Canada to work at our petroleum company. She’s a Six Sigma, so now everyone else I used to work with is gone, permanently. They were all either fired or resigned because the company is too cheap to pay unemployment insurance and doesn’t want to lay anyone off.

    By Tony on Jul 31, 2009

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