DEAR ABBY: Assistant works their way up only to be sidelined by boss

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, February 3, 2021

DEAR ABBY: When my boss hired me as an assistant four years ago, she specifically told me my job was to do whatever the person above me wants. I wasn’t allowed to communicate with anyone on the job other than the lady above me. Even though it was tough to watch my supervisor make so many bad decisions and get away with it, I did what was required of me.
Now I have worked my way up and have an assistant of my own. However, my boss has given my assistant much more than she ever gave me when I was in that position. Sometimes I feel like she acts like I’m not valued. I want to point it out, but I don’t want to be that kind of person. I love what I do, but I don’t know how much longer I can handle being treated this way.
Should I tell her how I feel? She constantly leaves me out of important decisions and then tries to play mind games to make up for it. She is also giving my assistant important information before telling me. I don’t know what I should do. — FRUSTRATED IN OREGON
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Many companies have annual reviews for employees in which subjects like the ones you have raised are discussed. If this isn’t the case in your firm, ask for one.
During that conversation, tell your boss that sometimes you feel your efforts aren’t valued and why. Remind her that you were instructed not to talk with anyone on the job other than the person immediately above you, and you feel undercut because your assistant is being given important information before it is shared with you. It may clear the air. However, if it doesn’t, by all means start searching for another job, since you seem to be considering it anyway.

DEAR ABBY: I am worried about my kids and their social well-being. I understand we are in a pandemic. Our family has been responsible and socially distancing, but it seems like their friends have all been spending time together. Understandably, my kids are jealous and angry at their father and me for putting restrictions on them. But I am worried about their lack of social interaction and how it may affect their future. One of them has a harder time making friends and doesn’t have many things in common with their peers, which led to spending more time at home when there was no pandemic. — WORRIED MOM IN NEW YORK
DEAR WORRIED: Until the threat of COVID has been resolved, it’s up to you as parents to decide how you restrict your children in relation to the pandemic. Of course you want to protect them, even if your choices aren’t popular. Kids can be careless. They can forget to pull their masks up and stay socially distanced, and the results can be tragic. But there are relatively safe outdoor activities parents can plan to keep their children from being completely isolated.
As to your child who is less socially adept, this is a subject to discuss with his/her teachers or a child psychologist. Perhaps you can help by researching online interest groups this child can join that will connect them with other children — under your supervision, of course.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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