Dear Miss Emily:

My immediate supervisor is a nice lady.   The "Big Boss"  is constantly complaining to me about my boss.  She says things like "she could never get a job anywhere else. She has no organizational skills. Just take over if you see what needs to be done."  My immediate supervisor is a nice, friendly kind person, and I haven't noticed any problems, as of yet. I don't want to tell her what the "Big Boss" is saying behind her back, but, should I?  I know it would hurt her feelings, and I don't want to start a war.
Stuck in the middle                             


--------- Miss Emily’s Advice -------------

Dear Stuck:

First of all, do not tell your boss what is being said behind her back.  This would really put  you in the middle and your job may be in jeopardy.  It appears to me that your boss has a bitch for a boss.  She may just be the kind of person who loves to complain, find fault in others, or needs to knock someone to make herself  feel good.  You cannot know what is her motivation, but you can stop her from using you as a venting tool.  Next time it happens, tell her that you’ve thought about this a great deal, and you have come to the conclusion that you place both of them in high regard, and it is hard to find fault in either of them. A compliment will take the embarrassment factor out of what will follow.  Say that you haven’t noticed any real incompetence, or you’d be the first one to be mad about it.  Hopefully, she’ll get the idea, and back off.  If she doesn’t, continue to say, “You know, I hadn’t noticed.”  Then, change the subject.