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To Ask My Boss Why He Doesn't Like Me?

(42 Posts)
WizardSally Sat 28-Jan-17 10:23:33

My boss is noticeably different with me compared to the rest of the team. He will be chatty and jokey to others but never me and will always give me the brush off if I try to make conversation.

I can deal with this but the main problem is how he treats me compared to my counterpart. Another member of the team and I share the same job title, however we couldn't be more different. She is hugely incompetent, which is known by all of the team, so she instead takes on an office junior role (photocopying, post, laminating, etc.). In contrast, I'm over-experienced for the role I'm in (but can't move up until someone leaves) and so I'm given all of the jobs the boss does which is obviously high level stuff but I really enjoy the work and would never complain about it.

The trouble is, the boss constantly heaps praise on to my counterpart for successfully completing tasks like putting the post in the correct trays. Whereas I've never had him comment on my work in any way and certainly never been praised for it.

She's very dim, doesn't do the job she was hired to do and has caused a lot of upset with members of the team yet I'm always left feeling like I'm on the outside and she can't do wrong. I work very long hours whereas she barely does her contracted hours yet she is given perks like afternoons off to attend social events.

Should I just ask my boss if he has a problem with me?

RedHelenB Sat 28-Jan-17 10:29:36

Probably just takes you for granted because you are competent. Some people need more praise than others and maybe he realises that about your colleague?

Pistachiois50pmore Sat 28-Jan-17 10:31:53

I'd try and separate the way he treats you from the way he treats your colleague, in your mind. It sounds a bit like he's taking you for granted more than he actively dislikes you. Meanwhile, yes he's obviously cutting your colleague slack but maybe he's patronising the other person / trying to boost them a bit so they perform better? Or he just has very low expectations of them?

People are weird. There are often hidden factors which might not even be anything to do with you. I had a boss who didn't like me once and it really knocked my confidence. I don't even think that situation was really about me (they regretted hiring my post, it wasn't really what they needed, so resentment grew) but in the end I just left and my new boss is great.

LetThereBePeace Sat 28-Jan-17 10:41:24

Can you ask him for feedback on your work and if there is anything you can do to improve/develop? I he is otherwise respectful and friendly to you, don't focus too much on being liked. You are doing higher level work (that he clearly trusts you to do) that will stand you in good stead for promotion an other opportunities so focus on that.

QuackDuckQuack Sat 28-Jan-17 11:12:53

This sounds so much like some schools/teachers - when the poorly behaved get heaps of praise for doing the bare minimum and the well behaved are taken for granted.

But obviously as an adult you have more scope to address it. If you are working long hours in part because your colleague doesn't do work at your level then it is probably worth talking to your boss about this at the very least.

WizardSally Sat 28-Jan-17 11:47:45

Thanks for the responses.

Putting a more professional slant on it is definitely a good idea rather than focussing on the personal side of things.

I've asked him to check over my work a couple of times lately and give me feedback and both times he said 'it's fine', rather begrudgingly. When I asked if I could improve the work he said 'I don't think so', but again it was said in an 'I can't be bothered to give you advice' kind of way rather than a 'you're doing great!'

It's other little things too like he makes no effort to get to know me or remember anything I tell him yet he's over familiar with my counterpart. I can only ever remember one time that she come in early (by 10 minutes) and he praised her then told half the office about it. I'm at least an hour early every day and it has never been mentioned. It's hard not to take things personally when it's obvious.

Quack it is exactly like the naughty child getting praised for not being naughty meanwhile those who have never caused a problem are ignored. It's infuriating.

hesterton Sat 28-Jan-17 11:49:42

Try not to give it another thought. He sounds like a dick and she sounds like a 10 yr old. Rise above it.

SirChenjin Sat 28-Jan-17 12:02:01

Do you think there might be a bit of a thing going on between the 2 of them? Could he be jealous of the fact that you're obviously very capable? Does he feel threatened perhaps?

In my experience, it's better to have the difficult conversation but focus on the facts - so gather some examples and use your I statements - and ask whether there is anything more that you could do in his opinion? Explain that while you're not looking for a pat on the back for everything you do, you would really appreciate positive feedback as it would help you to know when you've done a good job and when you need to improve.

Or you could just accept he's being an arse and look for a new job asap.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sat 28-Jan-17 12:02:15

I'd stop bending over backwards for him, so that he was motivated to discuss the situation.

No more coming in an hour early, you are doing your colleague's harder work and work your boss should be doing and he speaks to you like that? No.

Come in on time, leave on time, do the work assigned to you only, and if you are asked to do any extra, only agree if you have time in your normal working hours to do so.

Your boss has absolutely no grounds to object to this, if he isn't disciplining a colleague at the same level as you he cannot possibly demand you not having time to do others' work is an issue. If he does ask, you can explain you have been taking on additional work but as it isn't appreciated and hasn't helped your career in any way, you have chosen not to do this anymore.

I imagine he will either change his tune or you will have less work, either way a better situation than the one you are in now.

Some people are bullies, and don't respect you if you don't stand up to them, no matter how good you are at everything else. I think if you bring the situation to a head and show that you are a good team player but won't be taken advantage of any more, he will be more respectful.

donteverlookback Sat 28-Jan-17 12:12:44

I think the reason is your colleague puts out and you don't. He also sounds like lazy manager.

Olympiathequeen Sat 28-Jan-17 13:22:41

Is she younger, prettier and more flirty?

However hard this is to cope with and however unfair, life can be like this.

My ex male boss would treat me the same. I'm quite shy and quiet and probably a bit mousy but I was good at my job according to everyone else and my own opinion, but he would go out of his way to find fault where there was none. E.g. He and my junior made a mistake with calculations and he blamed me because I should have been the one checking her. This despite it being common practice and my having something very urgent to deal with. It really was a case of can't win. He would always take the side of the younger, prettier staff.

I think if you like your job and do it well I would just try to ignore the injustice. Confronting your boss on his unfair behaviour will probably not make him like or respect you more. There is nothing men like him hate more than having their faults pointed out to them. I loved my job but am so glad I never have to see my old boss again.

JennyHolzersGhost Sat 28-Jan-17 13:27:35

No don't ask him if he doesn't like you - that would be very unprofessional. Do you have a formal performance review system ? If so you should get feedback during that. Don't ask him for comment on a day to day basis, presumably if he's not happy with your work he'll let you know. And stop trying to win his approval by working so hard - do your hours, do the job, maintain a professional attitude, look to move elsewhere if you don't like your boss or your colleagues.

WizardSally Sat 28-Jan-17 15:00:49

Well, not to sound too rude, but she's obese, slothful and has very poor hygiene. That obviously doesn't mean he can't find her attractive, each to their own, but they are both married so it would be surprising if something were going on.

We do have a one to one type thing where it is possible to talk about performance so I will wait for that to come around and put forward some of your suggestions like asking how I can improve and so on. I will keep it professional and not ask why he doesn't like me but it will bug me for the foreseeable not understanding why he's taken a dislike to me considering I actually make his life a lot easier with the work I do sad

It will ultimately be his decision in the end as to whether I can move up the ladder and I couldn't deal with it if he picked my counterpart for promotion over me.

BillSykesDog Sat 28-Jan-17 15:13:51

Do you think you could be treading on his toes re work? You say you do a lot of stuff on his level. And also you seem to have made a judgement on the performance of a coworker and what job she should be doing which is really not your judgment call to make.

The other thing, you sound really contemptuous towards your fellow employee. Quite nasty TBH. You've criticised pretty much every aspect of her existence and it's clear from your post that you've been bitching about her with your colleagues. Has it occurred to you that your boss has picked up on this and it hasn't raised his opinion of you? And he's offering your coworker a bit of support in what's clearly an unpleasant situation for her?

You don't sound like much of a team player and TBH it sounds like your general attitude could make your office feel like a pretty tense unpleasant place.

BillSykesDog Sat 28-Jan-17 15:15:57

For example: if you have this attitude towards your coworker do you really think he will want to promote you to a position where you have more authority over fellow employees when you display this sort of attitude towards your coworker?

daisychain01 Sat 28-Jan-17 15:25:34

She's very dim, doesn't do the job she was hired to do and has caused a lot of upset with members of the team yet I'm always left feeling like I'm on the outside and she can't do wrong

I expect your outspoken description on here isn't how you behave in RL, but even so, there's a risk your resentment will spill out into your attitude.

Is this job worth keeping? It sounds like you are frustrated that your qualifications are wasted, so can you try to find something else, as it will only get worse the longer you continue to work with the current setup.

daisychain01 Sat 28-Jan-17 15:27:05

You could risk being accused of bullying if you're not careful....

WizardSally Sat 28-Jan-17 15:55:31

I don't think he'd feel that I'm treading on his toes as he gives me the work to do, he could do it himself but chooses to pass it to me.

As for my contempt toward my colleague - it isn't my judgement what job she should be doing, she was hired as worker type A but does the job of worker type B. We are paid the same and have the same job title, type A, but she doesn't do any type A jobs at all and instead does the same job as the other type Bs who are paid considerably less than her.

I do not bitch about her to my colleagues, I wouldn't be on here asking if I did, I would just go to them. I'm disconnected from the rest of the team by location so there is no bitching but I know that several complaints have been raised about her performance and attitude (from her telling me).

I am very much a team player - not sure how you made the deduction by my resentment of being treated like an outsider.

My resentment likely does creep into my work attitude do to the fact I have a large workload meanwhile the person who is supposed to share that workload does another job entirely and is praised for doing so. It'd be odd for me to sit there smiling about the situation.

Not sure what that bullying comment is about to be honest.

WizardSally Sat 28-Jan-17 15:56:53

Due to the fact*

Maryhadalittlelambstew Sat 28-Jan-17 18:01:43

I'm sorry but I think your attitude could be letting you down. Arrogant employees who deem themselves above everyone else and actively look for praise are pretty unpleasant to be around.

The way you speak about your colleague isn't very nice, if I were your employer (and I say this as "the boss" of seven people) I would rather spend my time encouraging an employee who needed it than blowing hot air up the arse of one who spoke nastily of their colleagues,

Oakmaiden Sat 28-Jan-17 18:06:53

I wonder if there are things you don't know. I wonder if your colleague has some sort of hidden disability, and in an effort to be non-discriminating your boss is going just a bit too far. It would explain the low expectations and the "talking her up".

ImperialBlether Sat 28-Jan-17 18:11:14

But how the OP speaks about the other woman isn't how she speaks about her at work, or to her face either. Of course she's pissed off - she's having to do this woman's job and the woman is praised for doing very little.

OP, I'd stop coming in early. What time does your boss get in? I wouldn't work longer hours than him.

How come HR are happy with the fact this woman is doing one job and getting paid for another?

Pistachiois50pmore Sat 28-Jan-17 18:14:45

I'm not saying this is you, OP, but sometimes employees who are very eager to work 100% hard can be a bit irritating. One of my colleagues who is a bit like this emailed the whole management team on Christmas Eve to say she was concerned we might have been doing a bit of data compliance wrong for years. It wasn't even her area of responsibility. You know what, our boss knew about it and it had been dealt with, but boss wasn't impressed by the email. My colleague was trying to be top of the class but it was poor judgement, and won't have done her any favours.

minionsrule Sat 28-Jan-17 18:18:25

Based on your second post you may come across as a bit needy and constantly wanting your boss's approval, that can get tiresome.
I have a colleague who wants a pat on the head when she so much as gets the brews in, it drives my boss insane.
I am good at my job, rarely have to bother my boss but have to keep him updated on progress etc. If I were to ask him to review my work, what could I do better I think he would think less of me (if it was apparent I was doing it to get praise rather than actually needing to improve)
Sorry no advice really, if you don't like it find somewhere else

Maryhadalittlelambstew Sat 28-Jan-17 18:18:39

It might not be the exact language she uses about her colleague at work but anyone can get a feeling of how someone feels about another person face to face via fake smiles, tone of voice, body language etc. No matter how hard you try, if you don't like someone or feel that they're getting undeserved praise or that they aren't pulling their weight or that they're obese and have poor hygiene...it'll be obvious to everyone that you feel that way. It's easily picked up on. And it's kind of even worse.

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