Dear Miss Emily:

I have worked for my boss for 7 years and have always been loyal
and devoted to her. I am also currently her senior employee. Over
the past 2 years, she has changed her attitude towards me. She
has become almost bitter. At first, I thought she was going
through menopause and, then, I thought she might be having financial
problems. I confronted her not too long ago about our issues
and we got into a huge argument; basically blaming each other for
the "attitude" that each of us was being given. I had requested
a day off of work to deal with some personal isuues with my son
a few months ago, and was given a very hard time about taking the
day off. I felt that since she had let my other co-workers off
to see a concert, bring their dog to get x-rays, and go to Great
Adventure, I wouldn't have a problem taking off for my son. I had
also given her 2 weeks notice prior to the day I needed off.
She gave me an attitude about it for weeks afterward. Now, I
am asking to take off Halloween (a month in advance), in place of
my birthday (having your birthday off is one of the perks and she had
told us we could substitute another day if we wanted). Halloween is
my biggest holiday of the year, and I have finally moved into a house
that I can decorate for the children that will be visiting
us. It is also a big holiday for my son who is only 3. I usually work
until 7 pm on the particular day I need off, and it takes me an hour
to get home; which is too late to do anything with my family.
My boss is giving me the hardest time about taking the day off.
My question to you is, how do I go about this? I'm taking the day
off whether she allows me to or not, but do I just call in sick, or do I
confront her about it again, and mention all the times she has let my
co-workers off? I had filled in a request form and had placed it on her
desk, last week. As soon as she looked at it, the attitude came out.
She questioned me as to why I wanted the day off -- telling me it wasn't
a good day, because I work the late shift, etc. She even mumbled some things
under her breath. After not giving me a yes or no answer, she proceeded to
approach my one co-worker, and very good friend, telling her how unhappy she
was with my request to take off. My friend, who also works the late shift
with me, told my boss that she was ok with it. And just to let you know,
it would only be a 1 1/2 she would be working alone. My boss proceeded to
tell my friend "Well, it's not ok with me!" and walked away.
I'm just not sure how to approach this situation. I know there are
larger underlying issues going on, but I just want to deal with Halloween
for right now, for my sons sake.
Caught between a rock and a hard place

--------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------

Dear Caught:

Bosses are like family. You don't pick them but, somehow,
you're expected to get along with them. Sometimes it's an
impossible task. You had it out with your boss, and she
claims it's an attitude problem that you have. You see it
differently. If I am to believe you, you have pretty much
been the ideal employee, and she's become an insufferable bitch.
She can't be pleased, she has an ax to grind with you, and
nothing you do can change that. Sure, she may have problems at
home. She might be jealous of your life -- a new home, probably
a good marriage, and a cute 3 year-old to boot. You could be right
about menopause. My mother could have started World War III when
she went through it. Who knows the source of it, but that doesn't
excuse her behavior, she just gets away with it because she can.
I wouldn't play into another fight with her. It will reinforce her
negativity toward you. You say you are going to take the day off no
matter what? Okay. But kindly remind her that you are set on taking it,
and don't be pious about it. If she still objects, you've given her
ample warning as to your intentions. Say no more about it. Document
the times you have requested this day off for your records. I'm thinking
the worst case scenario -- could you get fired over this? Is it possible?
I don't know how important this job is to you, but you have to be willing
to take the consequences for holding fast to your decision. Would it
be the worst thing that could happen to you? Only you can answer that.
Again, the little you play into her rants, the better off you'll be.
Consider the source, and maintain your dignity. A good boss approaches
people with respect, not contempt. Kill her with kindness and revel in
fact you have chosen to take the high road. By the way, have a wonderful
Halloween with your family. I wish I could be there!