Know when to move on
From the day she joined our volunteer organization, “Karen” has talked non-stop about her “sacrifices” and constantly seeks attention and pats on the back.
Vera N. Held, Special to QMI Agency
Q: From the day she joined our volunteer organization, “Karen” has talked non-stop about her “sacrifices” and constantly seeks attention and pats on the back. She’s repeatedly told me she’s “special,” that she’s known this since public school, and that I should trust her opinion on everything. She’s a brownnoser extraordinaire to “Ted” our team captain who is 18 years her junior. Ted’s strategy is to consistently indulge her. This has allowed her to drive her personal agenda, which has been detrimental to balanced organizational growth. Karen has fibromyalgia and is rail thin.
A: Martyr Karen is both needy and arrogant. In time, as with all manipulators, she will reap what she sows. Fibromyalgia can be a serious, debilitating medical disorder. More here. The far more critical problem here is Ted, your young captain. He wants to butter his bread on both sides. He’ll never have your back with regards to Karen, and we can intelligently assume that this same behaviour will carry over to other team members and other organizational matters. As it’s impossible to respect or trust Ted, I recommend you rid yourself of these two energy vampires and make an equally fine volunteer contribution — elsewhere.
Q: Since high school days, “Marty” has been a major part of my life. After high school, we got jobs together at our local brokerage firm. But Marty just got promoted out of shipping (I’m still there), and he hardly bothers to say hello anymore. What kind of a friend is that?
A: Marty is a status seeker. Don’t take Marty’s attitude as a personal slight. You’ve done nothing wrong. Rather, Marty has chosen to let you go as he erroneously believes that there is no longer a fit because of his “enhanced” position on the company totem pole. In Marty’s eyes, hanging out with a guy from shipping makes him look bad. Focus on work friends who appreciate you and treat you with respect and kindness. The old adage “with friends like this who needs enemies” comes to mind.
Q: I’m the only female on a team of eight at our upholstery shop. As I do the best detailed work, my boss asks me to prepare all of our customer samples. And as samples pay the best, the men aren’t too happy with me.
A: Girlfriend, your male co-workers are keenly jealous of you. But the boss is thrilled to have a quality tradeswoman like you to promote the company’s products to best advantage. If your co-workers want to hone their skills and become the best, absolutely nothing is holding them back — especially you. If they were smart, they’d choose to learn from you and ask you for your help and feedback.
Vera Held (www.veraheld.com) is a coach, facilitator, speaker, writer, PR consultant and the author of business best-seller How Not to Take it Personally. Send workplace questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.