Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm disgusted with my boss for being such a weakling. If I had her job, I'd kick butt all over the office. People run roughshod all over her and this business is totally inefficient because of it, but nobody seems to care. I spoke to human resources and the woman said I was the only one to register a complaint.
That's because everybody likes slacking off, including the HR employee (her golf season is coming up), and collecting their undeserved paycheques every two weeks. They also enjoy telling the boss in my department, "I'm too busy. You'll have to do it." Can you believe it? I've heard people say it! I'm totally frustrated today and every day. Should I quit? -- Had It Up To Here, Winnipeg
Dear Had It: Don't quit without another job lined up, so you can at least bargain for a good salary. And if you deep-down love this particular business, look for a transfer to a section of the company you know works hard. Maybe the top boss would give you an administration job if you upgrade your skills.
Other than that, look for a new job. Daily stress is dangerous to your health and the eight hours or more you spend in the workplace affect how you are when you leave. Life is too short to waste boiling your blood over something you can't change. Next time you go for a job interview, research that workplace first; ask as many questions of them as they ask you.
Here's another possibility for a motivated worker like yourself: start your own business. Self-motivated people, like you, often chafe under the reins of a boss, whether powerless or powerful. You might want to look for financial backers and set yourself up in partnership with people you can trust to look after other departments of your business. It's worth considering at this juncture.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is for Country Mom, the girlfriend who wants to meet her boyfriend's kids (and the father has been denied access to them because of this). I'd encourage her to attend the free two-session program For the Sake of the Children, offered by the provincial government. This workshop is open to other family members and others (like her) who might be interested. I'd encourage her to speak to a family services mediator, also free through the province. They will allow her boyfriend to discuss the situation with his ex with a mediator in the room. They may even bring the new girlfriend into the conversation to make the transition easier on everyone. The girlfriend should not contact the ex directly. That will only complicate the matter and she may perceive her as meddling in her business (her kids).
I wouldn't automatically assume the ex wants her boyfriend back or that she is jealous. She may be motivated by a feeling of need to protect her children. How does she know Country Mom's relationship with her ex will last? I suggest that Country Mom also take a close look at her boyfriend's actions. Is he paying his child support on time? Has he been reasonable in offering to visit the children without his girlfriend present? Was he seeing his children regularly, or is he making excuses, and blaming his lack of access on his ex? -- Been on Both Sides, Winnipeg
Dear Both Sides: Thanks for writing in with your experience. To register to take For the Sake of the Children seminars in Winnipeg, people can call 204-945-4257. This program is also offered in six other larger centres in Manitoba. And Family Conciliation Services are located in Winnipeg at 379 Broadway, 204-945-7236.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6