Help me handle a situation with my boss?
May 22, 2014 10:01 AM   Subscribe

I want to communicate to my boss that not responding to an important email about my career for five weeks, nor even acknowledging that it was received is NOT. OK. What I hope to gain from this is to make it clear that I will not accept being brushed off. And to retain some modicum of self respect so that I can keep working here.

I've been with my company for 16 months. This is the time of year promotions happen. I'm expecting to move up from a level I to a level II fairly soon. I emailed by boss asking about a promotion - when can I expect this and what can I do to help move this along? He did not respond until now, 5 weeks later. 5 weeks. And only after I sent another email yesterday. I had convinced myself he had missed the email, but in his response this morning he says he didn't miss the email, but he got sidetracked a few times, will have something to me this week, and thanks for being so patient. I am now very, very angry. Knowing him, he was hoping that he could get away with not responding at all.

I would like help drafting an email response. I am putting aside the issue of whether or not I deserve a promotion for now. I just want to make it fairly clear that I do not appreciate being ignored. I frequently get late or inadequate responses from him and I've pretty much had it.

Other notes:

If it seems that I am overreacting, it might help to know that I have a backstory of problems with this boss, which is amplifying my anger. I'm sure you would like the extra information, but please, I don't see much use in detailing it all here. Just give me the benefit of the doubt if you can.

This is a large-ish corporation. I am a female system analyst (programmer). Our bosses are 'managers', not tech leads.

Under this boss, I don't think my standing within the company can get any worse, so I have very little to lose. I can find another job, but I'd rather not since I am probably going to be pregnant very soon. I just want to stick this gig out and quit the minute I go on maternity leave.

I could go to HR, but I don't think HR works for the employees.

I've gone over his head with my issues with him before and I don't wish to do that again. Sure, this might play into his untimely response to me, but that's beside the point. It might explain, but does not justify his behaviour.

Thanks in advance.
posted by kitcat to Work & Money (36 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Don't go to HR. Don't get angry at your boss.

Ask in person, not in email, what you both could do together to expedite the issue, phrasing it in a "let's team up on this" way rather than "you screwed up and I hate you" way. But don't talk to him until you can be sure you're not going to express your anger at him. Let yourself cool off a bit.

At some point, bookmark the blog Ask A Manager, who gives really good advice on dealing with difficult bosses.

It's almost never a good idea to alienate your boss, no matter how awful they are.
posted by suelac at 10:06 AM on May 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

I think you're going to have to iron out your relationship with your manager. To me, the real issue isn't this email and whether it was responded to promptly, but whatever else is going on. Re the email, shit happens and your potential promotion isn't your boss' first priority. But you need to make peace with your boss if you're going to do well at work. Period.

Since you imply that you don't particularly want to strengthen that relationship, I don't know what to say. To me, the un-replied-to email doesn't sound like that big a deal. And I don't know what you would really do about it? I mean, if you'd rather just put your head down and get through this until you get pregnant and quit, then why does this whole promotion email thing even matter? Continue keeping your head down until you get pregnant and quit. Or work on it. Your choice.
posted by Sara C. at 10:08 AM on May 22, 2014 [9 favorites]

I think your reaction is pretty strong. If the relationship is so troubled that you are justifying unreasonable reactions by saying that it's because the relationship is bad, I totally understand- but you're checking out asap like it sounds like you should, so I would just try to ignore all of this. Getting into any passive aggressive or just uncomfortable conversations which started with you asking for a promotion doesn't sound like you'd be getting that promotion. Relax. It's ok for e-mails to go unanswered for 5 weeks until you follow up, especially ones that would require a lot of thought and time to process. You should be happy he responded when followed up with, that seems appropriate.

I understand your anger but try to find another healthier way to vent it for now. Or start taking notes, if you really want to do something. He might be taking notes on you, so your anger would become one of them.
posted by cacao at 10:08 AM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I think a short and simple email should suffice, unless you think going in person could better state your case. I know my boss is seldom in the office this time of year, so email it is for me! Something like:

[Appropriate Greeting] Boss,

Thank you for your response regarding the promotion. I appreciate that you have been incredibly busy with [list of task or two] in the past few weeks. However, I wanted to briefly say that as this affects my career at [company], it'd have been appreciated to receive some more information a bit earlier than now. If in the future regarding questions about promotion options, I could receive a slightly faster response, it'd be incredibly helpful.

Thank you so much,

I'd also say that quitting the moment you go on maternity leave is only advisable if you're planning on quitting outright not using the insurance/time off benefits. Many women do this, so that's fine, but if you are planning on using FMLA and this company's insurance and quitting at some point in your time off, that would not be so good because the company could come after you to recoup those funds. I don't know of any that thus far have, but it's not a risk that I'd be willing to take.
posted by zizzle at 10:08 AM on May 22, 2014

No, no, no, no, no. Don't put anything in email. It will torpedo your career instantly. Make an appointment to speak with your boss, uninterrupted, about your career path. Don't let your anger show, don't be angry or start bad-mouthing him. Don't mention the whole, "I will not be ignored," thing, because why play into that whole cliche?

Have a script ready:

I've been here for 16 months and I anticipate a promotion to level II. I have some documentation to show how I've contributed in that time:

1. Completed project X in time, under budget and had no QA problems.

2. Deployed the Q frammistanie, with no downtime.

I'd like to know your thoughts and what I can expect.

Then listen. If your boss has feedback, write it down and quantify it.

"So I hear you saying that you want me to take more of a lead on projects, I'm willing to do that, I'm working on A, B and C. How about I become team lead on project C. "

Some bosses are just really disorganized, or set aside all that review stuff for the absolute last minute. It's nothing to do with you. Or maybe it is, but calling your boss out on it doesn't get you anywhere.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:09 AM on May 22, 2014 [28 favorites]

You are overreacting.

If you wanted an immediate response, you should have set up an in-person meeting with him. You certainly should not continue this discussion via email. In the future: request a meeting, discuss your issues at said meeting, follow up said meeting with an email summarizing the outcome of the meeting including a date by which you agreed you'd expect to hear further information, follow up after said date if it is not yet resolved.

I've been with my company for 16 months....I have a backstory of problems with this boss
How much backstory could you have in 16 months??
posted by melissasaurus at 10:09 AM on May 22, 2014 [34 favorites]

Ask for a meeting. Discuss in person, get commitment on timelines, be firm and detailed about the roads to these pipelines. Take notes. Follow up with an email documenting your notes. Do not burn bridges.

Possibly your problem is that you keep trying to do things by email when that's obviously not how to get anything done with this guy. You're looking for fairness and revenge - neither of which you are going to get - when you need to be looking for the best methodology for getting what you want.

Many women do this, so that's fine

I disagree that it is fine, but the disservice you do is to other women of childbearing age, so if your only concern is yourself that's your call to make.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:12 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you're taking something personally that's not personal.
posted by facetious at 10:14 AM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Your e-mail response should be something to the effect of, great! Can we meet in-person on (date, time) to discuss? Do not e-mail anger. You have nothing to gain.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:16 AM on May 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

This is the time of year promotions happen. I'm expecting to move up from a level I to a level II fairly soon.

So what makes you confident that a promotion is going to happen for you? Is this an automatic thing in your company based on seniority/time served, or was there something else that makes you confident this is a 100% lock?

Because if it's NOT a lock then you are going to have some real problems here if the promotion doesn't happen.

In fact, perhaps your boss already knows this and is deferring the conversation to a point in time where's it's easier for him to do so.

Bunny has it right: get face-to-face, list your accomplishments, listen as neutrally as you can with an open posture and open mind. But remember that high expectations always set up the stage for high disappointments.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:20 AM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Folks, I'm in Canada and mat leave works differently here. My mat leave is paid by the government and by quitting the minute it starts, I avoid taking any advantage of the company. Not sure why we're talking about this....
posted by kitcat at 10:21 AM on May 22, 2014

Do not scold him via email or otherwise.


Understand this person's shabby treatment of you does NOT define you or reflect badly on you.

Stop engaging. Stop taking the bait.

Sure, answer in the affirmative and schedule a meeting where you stick to the topic and discuss your promotion.


If you have a shitty history with this guy, how are you getting a promotion from him?
posted by jbenben at 10:22 AM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

You have nothing to gain by getting angry about this. NOTHING. If it's important that someone get back to you in a timely fashion, you need to keep trying to contact them - send a followup email, make a phone call, talk to him in person. Why did you sit around? Did you *want* him to confirm that he was not going to get back to you? Maybe he was being shitty to you, maybe he was just being lazy. Either way, if you needed a response from him (about an issue related to YOU) you needed to pin him down one way or another.

Looking at your previous work-related asks it seems like you get very upset about work-related stuff. I know it's what you do all day. I know it's hard to be a female developer. But this question reads like a big ball of drama that is not obviously related to the actual events on the ground. It sounds like you're in an organization that is not a good cultural fit for you and that you're interpreting the times you bump up against the organizational culture as personal slights, which is probably not useful for you.
posted by mskyle at 10:25 AM on May 22, 2014 [15 favorites]

What I hope to gain from this is to make it clear that I will not accept being brushed off. And to retain some modicum of self respect so that I can keep working here.

Emailing your boss to complain about his tardiness will not accomplish either of those things.

1. You've actually made it clear that you will accept being brushed off, as you emailed him and then did nothing active to follow up in five weeks. Stewing in private does not count as "active."

2. More importantly, I suspect you'll retain your self-respect if you stop seeing yourself as such a victim here. I'm sure he's an asshole, I'm sure you have valid reasons to be angry at him, but you don't have to stay stuck in the story (as you seem to be here) that you have no power here. Especially since you're already planning on leaving, switch the narrative from "I'm so shit on! I have no control!" to "I'm choosing to keep my head down and stick it out until I can leave, which should be very soon, with my professional references intact."

Venting your anger in the manner you are contemplating is almost guaranteed to leave you feeling more helpless, not less, which is not going to help your self-respect.
posted by jaguar at 10:26 AM on May 22, 2014 [15 favorites]

Your boss did not brush you off, you're just not his top priority because he thinks you are a difficult employee. Sorry snowflake, your boss has other work and other employees, and your boss cannot drop everything for an employee with a history of going over his head and making trouble for him. Go look for work elsewhere and try and cultivate a positive working relationship with your future boss.
posted by Rob Rockets at 10:27 AM on May 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

What's your goal? Communicating anger to your boss has no benefit to your boss' likelihood of completing work, or recommending you for anything, ever. The world can be a very small place, and a poor relationship is something to be avoided, if possible. Google manage your boss to learn how to work with even a crappy boss more effectively. To deal with your anger, go for a long walk.
posted by theora55 at 10:29 AM on May 22, 2014

It sounds like you prefer email and written communication. I sympathize with this, because I'm the same way. Unfortunately, I think in the corporate workplace we are in the minority, especially when it comes to potentially contentious or adversarial conversations. Email is simply too easy to ignore, or to respond to in a non-responsive way. You need to meet with him in person, or at least speak on the phone if you and he are not local to one another.
posted by enn at 10:36 AM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

your boss has other work and other employees,

How do you know that? I'm the only employee my boss has at an employer with over 10,000 employees... and I'm lucky if I see him twice/week. My primary form of communication with him is email because he travels frequently and is not in often.

If kitcat's boss is more similar to mine, then email is not necessarily inappropriate.

She's also not a snowflake, nor is she a difficult employee if she had real reasons for going over his head previously. There could be any number of reasons this would be necessary --- and given that she is female in a male dominated industry, gender discrimination could be far more likely than anything having to do with her and the job she does. And if that is the case and his delay in response is either discriminatory in nature or a retaliation tactic against her previous actions of going over his head, then email is absolutely the way to go because documenting this in written form is all the more important.
posted by zizzle at 10:39 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

The best approach for discussing management issues, career track, and promotions/raises is to schedule an in-person meeting and discuss it face-to-face. Doing stuff like this by email is not a great idea, and your experience bears out one of the reasons why: email is easy to ignore or put on a back burner. With these types of communications, you have an advantage if you get to choose the forum. You squander every bit of your advantage by picking email over a formal, in-person meeting.

Find a way to vent your anger in a way that doesn't involve venting to your boss. Nothing good can come of you having an angry meeting with him or sending him an angry email and either of those actions will likely harm your standing and future at this company. You say things can't get worse, but they can. Once you've got a cool head, have a fact-based meeting with him that outlines your achievements and contributions to the team he manages. Then, ask for a concrete promotion and/or raise. Be dispassionate and methodical and don't bring in personal issues or emotions.

You may have a bad history with him and he may be a very bad manager, but I assure you that going over his head (again) or having angry interactions with him will only make things worse in the long term. Not worse for him. Worse for you.
posted by quince at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Next time, send a check-in email every week or two weeks, depending on the urgency of the issue. I'm really surprised that you let it go for so long without saying anything.

People get busy and lose track of things. It's almost never personal. It may be shitty and it may be unprofessional, and it may indicate your relative lack of priority among the other things your poss has to deal with, but it's not a direct insult that needs to be addressed.

Just continue to follow up with him about this periodically until it's resolved.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2014

I agree, this guy has treated you badly and you deserve better. Unfortunately, in the corporate world, "deserve" has very little to do with anything. You need to get clear on two things:

1) What is my goal?
2) What will be most effective in accomplishing my goal?

With all due respect -- and deep, trenchant empathy -- "making it clear that you do not appreciate being ignored" is absolutely not going to work out for you in a positive way. There is no boss in history who took a message like that and thought "Wow! I guess I had better start showing this employee more respect and responsiveness!" All this will do is make it much more likely that they will find a way to fire you for cause and give you a terrible reference. This is not fair, but it is true. I'm sorry.

So, leaving aside emotional considerations -- what do you want to accomplish? what do you want to change? If what you want is "more responsiveness," you are going to have to change your approach, not get him to change his; see above about "not fair but true." If there are other things that are more important to you, you may need different strategies. But I beg you, do not send the email you are thinking of sending. It just won't end well.
posted by KathrynT at 10:44 AM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

kitkat, I'm a female developer too and I do similar work that you do. I saw your older questions about work and it seems to me that your work environment is a little evasive and weak on communication, which has caused you a lot of grief and frustration. (I know that from experience... weak chains of communication in software development has frustrated me too.)

Having said that, the most surefire way to lose any modicum of self-respect is to show anger when you respond to your boss ... you need to make sure that you have your emotions in check before you talk to him.

As for deciding what to do job-wise... how important is it for you to get pregnant in the grand scheme of things right now? It seems like juggling pregnancy and staying/leaving the job situation might become a bit complicated...

Also, if you don't mind, I'll memail you soon--I don't know how similar of a boat that both of us are in.

Hope this info is helpful for you, and good luck!
posted by Tsukushi at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is not the way to get someone to respect you. Tread carefully -- you risk damaging your reputation if you go in with guns blazing, no matter how valid your frustrations are. Do not handle this the way you think you should.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Slow your roll. You let it sit for five weeks before following up. Next time follow up after a week, and do it via phone or dropping by their office. In my experience whether its because they're overloaded, lazy, imcompetant or dumb, you always need to follow up with managers at least once. It's the way of the world in large corporations. Live and learn, let this go, and move on from this point with weekly follow ups.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree with some commenters that it really seems like you're overreacting. Sending an email saying how you "will not be ignored" will get you nowhere, and frankly will probably set you back. A lot. I honestly cannot imagine a way in which that email could be written that wouldn't come off as a petulant teenager. You say you have nothing to lose, but I suspect you are wrong. Respect, positive references, reputation, your job.... all could be jeopardized by this.

You should have followed up on your original email much sooner. Should your boss have acknowledged it sooner? Sure, but YOU let five weeks go by. If it was so hugely and time-dependently important as you say it is then YOU should have taken more agency in this. If you were so eager for a promotion then you should have addressed it more directly. You could have sent a follow up email sooner, you could have sent a meeting request, you could have popped by their office and IN PERSON asked if they had receieved that email and asked when you could expect a response, etc. The fact that you have such a poisoned opinion of your boss (warranted or not, I don't know) is having a huge effect on this. You are taking a fairly minor mistake of his and blowing it WAY out of proportion. I sincerely wonder if let this slide for five weeks without following up so that you'd have a reason to confront your boss. It is the only reason I can come up with for why you didn't act more proactively.

You need to own the part you played in this not being addressed sooner.

Anyway, no, do not send the "how dare you not reply sooner" email. What you need to do is respond to your boss' email saying "Thank you for your response" and saying you would very much appreciate an in-person meeting to discuss this issue. These kinds of important discussions are usually best done in person. And then when you DO have the in-person discussion you need to keep your emotions in check. You seem super angry and resentful of your boss - you need to make sure that does not come through in your speech or body language. Act professional, matter of fact, direct, polite, and calm.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:05 AM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Your level of outrage is neither appropriate nor productive. I don't understand how this is both so unimportant that you only sent a follow-up email yesterday but also so important that you're livid. Plus, if you send a cranky email now, he's going to get the message that when he responds to an email from you, you send a cranky reply. If you want him to reply more quickly to your emails in the future, sending him a cranky email now would be counterproductive.

If possible, talk to him in person. Dial down the anger. And honestly, it doesn't sound like you enjoy working there so I'd look for a new job. It sounds like you hate your boss, your standing within the company can get any worse (your words, not mine), why spend not try to find a place where you would actually like to work? I say this as someone who would also like to get pregnant within the next two years or so.

You also say that you would like to maintain self respect. Getting a new job will work wonders for your self respect. I speak from experience. At my last job, I asked my manager at an annual review what I needed to do to get promoted and he said he didn't know but would find out. At my mid-year review six months later, I asked him again what I would have to do to get promoted and he said that he didn't know. So I got a new job with a better title and higher salary. And I didn't burn any bridges. Win, win, win. So stop putting your energy into figuring out how you can sound pissed off and professional (spoiler alert - it's really hard to do well and incredibly easy to screw up) and focus on getting a new gig.
posted by kat518 at 11:17 AM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Whatever you do, don't send an email like the one suggested above.
posted by Perplexity at 11:26 AM on May 22, 2014

My bosses are very busy. I know they read my emails but will prioritise within the first couple of sentences and will not give everything their full attention at that time. My boss is frantically busy and has now been sitting in something for almost a week and I would like her input by tomorrow so I called her this pm and said will you have 10 mins to dedicate to this by lunch time tomorrow? I need your input before we can do next step. Now, this is not mission critical for tomorrow but it helps workflow to get her input for tomorrow and allows me to work to my master plan...if this was mission critical I'd have followed up Tuesday am, when I met her yesterday and again today...

If you wait for a response from a busy person for 5 weeks you do not signal that this is important to you. Follow up in a timely manner and talk to people, especially if you think they are sitting on something deliberately.

And calm down before you encounter your boss again and keep whatever you talk about to factual, how can we achieve this.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

HR person chiming in here. I'm not sure that email will be the most constructive approach. If you were in my office, I'd coach you to have a face to face meeting.

I strongly recommend this book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High. It's a great framework which will help talk about any issue in a safe way.
posted by mockjovial at 12:49 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

At the large corporation I work for, employee reviews are very detailed and time consuming for the managers. There are several aspects to these reviews that blow my mind; I don't know how they get anything done when they have to get all the reviews done every single year. They're important no doubt, but not a priority for already busy managers. Maybe he figured that you didn't remember that the reviews are held at a specific time of the year, which made it a low priority on his list of reply emails and figured he would talk face to face, but then of course forgot that. Trust me, managers generally avoid pissing their employees off for petty misunderstandings (though of course there are exceptions) and it would do you well to understand this, or at least accept it. if you aren't sure how the review process works, call HR and find out. If your boss is behind schedule, mention that you would like for him to do it as soon as possible so that you can also have the yearly goals written out, as those generally happen at the same time. Don't ask your boss again, go to HR and let them educate you and deal with him if needed.
posted by waving at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Honestly, this seems like a huge overreaction...I don't know many people, with amazing bosses or terrible bosses, who haven't dealt with an overlooked email. Even with fantastic people, they can be very busy and need some extra prodding to get things like this done. Remember, for you it's your priority, but for your boss it's just one of many, many things on their plate...which means that ultimately, you're going to need to be the one to follow up and make sure it happens.

That said, it sounds like there is plenty of backstory with this particular boss that has made working at this job difficult. In your situation (of just needing to stick it out, not wanting to look for new work), I would probably keep my head down and just focus on the end game that you will not be at this job for the rest of your life. If there are specific things your boss has done that are unacceptable and out of the ordinary for someone in his position and that significantly negatively impact you (i.e. harassment, sabotaging your work, etc. -- NOT being a pain about responding to emails, which 99% of bosses are), then work on some strategies for fixing those things. But try to let the little things go as much as possible.

I also also a little confused about why you expect this promotion when you say that you have a horrible relationship with your boss and your standing with the company cannot get any worse. If you truly think it is likely/warranted, make your case in a calm and mature manner, but I would try to be realistic about this.
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2014

Generally, managers cannot discuss promotions/transitions between filing the paperwork and the official approval. This prevents the manager from promising something that may not come to pass.

This is the time of year when promotions are ANNOUNCED. The background work to promote employees has been going on for weeks if not months. If I was in the middle of processing your promotion paperwork and you threw a hissyfit at me I'd be really annoyed. If your boss already dislikes you and thinks you're a whiner, the DON"T IGNORE ME email would reinforce it.

Don't send that email. I strongly encourage you to find an experienced employee to mentor you on how to work with this boss.
posted by 26.2 at 1:25 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You've talked me down; if this many smart people think it's an awful idea to send an email then it must be an awful idea. I reject the idea that this was in any way a acceptable timeframe for a response and I think it speak to my boss' well-demonstrated incompetence and cowardice, but of course you don't have a view onto this. It's clear now that I should have followed up sooner, if only so that I wouldn't be so disgusted right now. As for a promotion, frankly I don't expect one any longer, but I think a promotion can be fairly expected based on the quality of one's work, amount of knowledge and level of responsibility assumed, regardless of whether a boss and employee have a great relationship. Especially in a field like this. And in this day and age. But YMMV.

Thanks for saving me from myself.
posted by kitcat at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

You are telling yourself a story that there is no way for you to know whether it is true. I'm glad you've seen that this is an awful idea, but you don't seem to really see why. This is an awful idea because you have NO IDEA why he didn't respond to your email, and you are telling yourself stories that make you mad about it. I get it, because I do the same thing, but this is not a behavior that is helpful or will lead you to happiness and success, at this job or future jobs or even raising your future kids or whatever.

You have to separate what is actually, obviously happening from the story you are telling yourself. To paraphrase something I learned recently, it is real to you, but it probably isn't true. You don't know why he didn't respond. I've been a manager for a long time, and I think it's hard to underestimate how distracted and busy you get with requests in such a position, so I'm inclined to give this person the benefit of the doubt. But whether or not he deserves it, you stewing on it for 5 weeks and assuming reasons behind it is just making you unhappy in a way that is ultimately unproductive for you.

What is happening? You got no response. You don't know why. For all you know the promotion could be so obvious to your boss that he felt no need to go into detail at that second. He might have forgotten about it or known about it but only remembered it at inopportune moments (ask me how often that's happened!). You sent it to him via email, which, ok, but this isn't really a great email topic, I know I get it but really not a great email topic, more appropriate to a 1-1 meeting, which might have been good to set up if you were still wondering about the original email a week later, instead of at the hopping mad point.

Assuming the worst does nothing for you but giving you someone/something to blame. There is no one and nothing to blame, at this point. The conversation you're having right now is with yourself, in your head. Get out of your head before these things get so heated you are reading to scream about them. Force yourself out and be open to the idea that there might just be a misunderstanding, a lost communication, whatever. Because really, not much good comes of believing the worst of people. They can tell when you are thinking bad things about them usually, which makes those bad things come true more often because they get defensive and angry about being accused. It's a negative cycle, and the sooner you can work on breaking out of it, the better.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:10 PM on May 22, 2014 [16 favorites]

...but I think a promotion can be fairly expected based on the quality of one's work, amount of knowledge and level of responsibility assumed, regardless of whether a boss and employee have a great relationship.

If those were the only factors the world would be a much happier place. But, sadly, the real world is way different. Best of luck to you.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:08 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

I cannot stress enough how golden every single word of what ch1x0r wrote above is. It's seriously the very best advice in a thread full of good advice.
posted by scody at 9:16 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

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