Agony Aunt provides tips to survive a toxic workplace

Woes of a working mom
I am a 34 -year-old woman. I just had a baby four months back. For the same, I took maternity leave. I am supposed to start working from this month, but I feel like I am not ready for it yet. I am not open to the idea of a nanny or a babysitter. My husband also works and there is no one to take care of the baby. If I take a longer leave, it will get difficult for me to join again. I don’t want my baby to experience lack of care, but I also want to start working soon. I am very confused about what to do.

Ans: It is pretty normal for you to experience this ambiguity with respect to leaving your child in care of a nanny/babysitter. Your maternal instincts would play against every logical explanation. Work also seems to be important and thus, can’t be ignored. In this given scenario, you might require systematic desensitisation in order to be okay with the idea of leaving your child for few hours in care of someone else while you go work. You can begin it at the earliest by going to market for errands and leaving your child with a nanny for an hour or two to begin with. This method could help you gain confidence and relieve you of guilt as well. Involving your husband in the process could also be a great help in terms of support.

Bad office environment
My internship place is very toxic and I can’t stand it. I enjoy the work I have been given, and have learned a lot, but this isn’t a work environment I want to be a part of. I don’t have any other internship opportunities laid out, and so I have to stick it out for a couple more months, but I am not sure how to avoid everything going on around me.

A toxic environment could be very detrimental and overwhelming if you do not partake in the gossips or backbiting. Since you are learning a lot in the internship and that experience is worth staying back then making few adjustments for yourself is essential. Tuning out the negative aspects and involving yourself in only enriching experiences from environment might be helpful. The more you look at this as a sufferance for the next few months, the more it is going to be difficult to sustain, rather focusing on what more you can gain in terms of learning might also help in the long run.

The selfish boss
I have been working in a ride-sharing network company for the last three years; however, recently have heard rumours around the office that the company is going to be bought over. My immediate boss is very good friend of mine, but refuses to talk to me about the possible buy-out, I just wanted to be prepared in advance and I feel like he is being selfish by not sharing the information he has, as I know he is preparing for his future, and this is putting a strain on our relationship. I have become increasingly anxious, because of the entire situation and I don’t know how to work around it.

The internal communication in an organisation is often difficult to access as people do get cagey if it’s sensitive in nature. Your boss might be acting on his impulses as well. In order to safeguard your interests, in case the possible buy out will put you at a disadvantage, try looking out for other hiring places. However, if the anxiety is only due to lack of concrete information and that is leading to over thinking then taking an approach of ‘crossing the bridge when you reach there’ could help.

Promotion problems
I am a 27-year-old male working in a company for the past two years. Though my responsibilities have increased in the last two years, my job title or salary has not. I love the company I work for, and don’t want to leave, but it seems as if I have no other choice. I work extremely hard and even go out of my way to do work that isn’t part of my job profile yet I don’t get rewarded for it. Every time I ask for a salary increase or promotion, my boss brushes me off by telling me that she will get back to me soon, or she needs more time to think about it. I am getting increasingly frustrated and agitated about the situation, and it is affecting me. What can I do?

Ans: The frustration is understood as there is no gain received so far for your efforts that could keep you motivated to work efficiently. The downside of your work ethics is that your boss would have no complaints towards your work quality as you will never compromise work at any cost. You realise your potential and your worth thus, taking both to a place of work where it can be well appreciated and satisfactory for you as well. Take the plunge for your own betterment which you feel you deserve. This would help you work confidently at any other place of work as well.

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