“I was intrigued by the Moose on the Table (my most recent Globe Mail article “When Silence Isn’t Golden”) and how much it applies to where I have been working for fifteen years this June.
We are now dealing with the fall-out of a disgruntled employee who left because I would no longer listen to her long sessions of the problems she has with her husband and daughters. My boss was of the mind that if he tells her to join his church group that all will be solved. This impacted our work environment like you would not believe. First she felt much more privileged because she had an in with the boss and his wife and played them like a violin. She started to snipe at me and others.
We are just a staff of five which includes the boss and this makes it a very uncomfortable place to work. When I brought some very important issues to his attention he told me I was making it up and she was a ‘very good person’ Everything went downhill from there. She not only quit (she worked only two years and four months with us) but told me I was to blame because I wouldn’t listen to her personal problems any more and she had found a group at the church who would. My boss not only paid her (which was fair) but rewarded her with a bonus!
Thanks for writing.
Many of the characters and scenarios in my book Moose on the Table come from people and situations I’ve encountered in my work. Truth often is stranger than fiction.
Since you’ve decided to stay, you really need to work at “navigating above the line” and not riding the Bitter Bus to Pity City. You can get ideas for doing that from “Choosing to be a Navigator, Survivor, or Victim” in the April 2008 issue). Martin Seligman’s research and practical tips around “authentic happiness” could be quite useful to you as well – especially his suggestions for increasing your focus on gratitude and your strengths. Go to www.authentichappiness.com to check it out.
Keep navigating and leading!