Dear Ann Cannon • I feel like my manager hates me. No, really. She hardly ever talks to me while she’ll readily chat and laugh with other people in my department. She never gives me feedback (negative or positive) about my work and never thanks me for going the extra mile. I have no idea what I did to deserve this treatment, and it’s making it difficult to feel motivated to do my best. What should I do?
Dear Discouraged • No doubt about it, you’re in a really tough spot. I’m sorry. Hopefully some of these suggestions, culled from a variety of websites that deal with this issue, can help.
1. Do take an honest look at your job performance and ask yourself if you’re doing everything you should be doing. Do you arrive on time? Fulfill your responsibilities in an efficient and timely fashion? Work well with others?
2. Don’t turn yourself invisible. Wanting to avoid the person who doesn’t like you is understandable, but doing so isn’t in your best interest if that person happens to be your manager. Be friendly. Stay on your manager’s radar. Let her or him see you — literally — in action.
3. Do ask for feedback. Tell your manager you want to know how you’re doing. Let your manager you’re eager to improve and add value to the organization you work for.
4. Don’t badmouth your boss to coworkers NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO. Negative comments can come back to haunt you.
5. Finally, don’t be afraid to look for another situation if things don’t improve. It’s possible you could land in a happier place.
Dear Ann Cannon • Every Sunday our nieces and nephews come over for Sunday dinner. I have two nieces who are sisters. While on the outside they appear loving and sweet, they argue with each other. Often the older sister will make biting and uncomfortable remarks to the younger sister while we are all enjoying our Sunday dinner.
This leads to a tense and awkward situation — so much so that my children have commented and asked me about it. While our family is in no way immune to infighting, it’s unpleasant to see the hurt and tension the older sister causes the younger sister. Once we had neighbors over for dinner. My visiting girlfriend even commented and was alarmed at the tone the older sister used with the younger sister.
I don’t feel like it’s my place to parent these girls. But it’s incredibly sad to watch it all play out. So, what is to be done? Do we say something to them? Do I talk to their parents? Or do nothing?
— Distressed Aunt
Dear Distressed • It’s always a buzzkill when people misbehave at a social event, right?
I agree with you — it’s not really your place to parent your nieces. But because they are your nieces you might be able to say something to them about their tone of voice in the moment — especially if you choose to do so in a good-natured, affectionate way. You could give it a try, anyway. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Thanks for your question!
Finally, I received this email from a reader. If anybody has a suggestion, shoot it this way. Thanks!
Dear Ann Cannon • Is there a way to gather and donate Scout shirts? There must be thousands. I would hate to see them tossed out.
— A 63-Year-Old Former Varsity Leader and Boy Scout with Fond Memories of Scouting