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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Matter of preference

While I have seen a slow but sure upward trajectory with my career, promotions and raises, I feel based on the behaviour of my boss that he does not trust me completely. He has been my boss for about 10 years now ever since I joined the company. As he progressed in the company, members of his team too progressed under him and grew both vertically and horizontally. However, between me and my co-partner at work, he seems to trust my co-partner more than me. This is seen from data that is given to him, opportunities to be part of close door meetings, individual discussions. My boss also prefers my co-partner to make presentations, travel on assignments and be part of training programs far more than me. This has been bothering me and I am developing angst against my co-partner and my boss, both of who are wonderful people otherwise. I do not know what to do.

Ans: The angst is probably stemming from feeling neglected despite being there for the company in the similar capacity as your co-partner. Addressing this issue directly with your boss and discussing with him about how his behaviour which may not be favouritism according to him affects you could lead to a start. You also mentioned that they are wonderful individuals if you take away this one aspect of their behaviour, in order to not feel so conflicted speaking what makes you think and feel this way is essential. The more you keep things to yourself and draw meanings out of the behaviour that your boss and co-partner are demonstrating, the messier your equation might get. Initiating the process of clearing things between you and your boss at the earliest is essential before there is any angst that follows.


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Unethical activities

My business partner, who is also my childhood friend, seems to use company funds for personal entertainment and is charging them to company expense. We had both decided to keep personal and company dealings separate. In addition, he uses company facilities and resources to oblige his friends and family members at no cost. Bringing it up will definitely rub him the wrong way and will not only affect our business relationship but also our friendship. If I do not bring it up, it is gnawing away at me as I feel he is compromising basic ethics and morals of what we decided at the start of the partnership. Feeling let down.

Ans: Friendship and business relations usually share a thin line and once it blurs, problems crop up like the one you have mentioned. since business is owned by both of you, you both share an equal say as to how the company resources have to be used. Conduct a formal meeting as business partners where friendship is kept out of equation and purely on the basis of basic ethics and morals you both discuss this problem at length. He might have his own reasons to do so and knowing complete story is always essential than drawing conclusions based on only what is superficially seen. I understand the apprehension that you might have regarding confronting your friend, but if you let it slide once raising it again at a later point might not be well received. Approach needs to be less aggressive and more to address you feeling let down.

Breaking code of conduct

I had sex with my boss one evening where we were working late at the office and we decided to order take out and some alcohol. One thing led to another. She is a young married wife and mother. While it did not seem to bother her that we had sex, as she said that she and her husband are in an open relationship and marriage, post the incident, it has become increasingly awkward for me. She is suggestive at times in work meetings and flirts openly with me and has also been asking me to have sex with her post. For me, the first incident was an impulsive on the spur of the moment act under the influence of alcohol. However, I am not able to continue this as the fact that she is my boss, is married and is a mother bothers me. My friends keep saying “have fun” while it lasts…but I am conflicted and cannot do so. Going to work has begun to become increasingly pressure some and I do not know what to do. My relationship with my girlfriend too is getting affected because of this.

Ans: There are a couple of things that seem to be a bother regarding the incident with your boss: not being able to avert her suggestive approach, possible guilt of cheating with respect to you girlfriend and any negative impact onto your career. Since, you are conflicted as to whether to “give in” because your boss seems to be okay with it but the fact that she is married and if things don’t work out between the two of you, it could turn sour. It is essential that you consider certain facts before deciding whether to give in and have fun while it lasts or be assertive and clearly state to your boss that you do not wish to continue being in any relationship apart from the professional one.

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Job and the jumbles

I have to choose between taking up a job that I do not want to do but that offers me good money to meet my expenses and a job that I would like to do, that is in continuation with my studies, meets my interest levels, an amazing organisation, but the money does not make me even cover my expenses. My parents have offered to support me financially with whatever the short fall, but I feel very awkward to ask for financial support at 25. 

Ans: I understand that at the age of 25 when you are done with your formal education you are looking forward to start working and earning a living and attain financial independence at the earliest. At time, due to high aspirations and ego we restrict any sort of help and end up with choices that we are unhappy with. In case you choose a well-paying job that you are not interested in, you are taking away your chance to be happy as well while working. though, the job that pays less might lead you to take help from your parents, but it definitely guarantees job satisfaction. This can help in you putting in efforts to figure out how to make the job of your choice economically more secure and sound. Taking into consideration the fact that you are going to seek help of your parents only till you become financially more stable should help in making a decision.