Question: Let me just say that I hate working with the public. When I took this job, my manager said I would be doing data entry and filing. Since then, however, I have been assigned to work the front desk several times a week. I love entering data and don’t mind filing, but I despise dealing with the rude, pushy people who come into this office.
I must be a pretty good actress, because my manager always says I’m great with customers. I’ve never told him that they drive me absolutely crazy. To get away from all this interaction, I’m thinking about taking a course in medical coding or billing. Does that sound like a good plan?
Answer: Like many people, you selected a position which matched your personality, only to see it morph into something entirely different. While some folks might actually prefer difficult customers to a steady diet of data, the change has obviously made this job a bad fit for you.
You are certainly to be commended for making an effort to treat visitors well despite your strong negative feelings. That’s not an easy act to pull off. But even if no one ever notices the pent-up anger behind your surface cordiality, maintaining that charade has got to be exhausting.
The stress of feeling one way and acting another is not sustainable for long, so you’re wise to start looking for a less interactive job. But before shelling out cash for a training course, take the time to explore a variety of options. In the rush to escape a bad work situation, people often make impulsive decisions which they later come to regret.
Q: The legislature in my state recently increased the minimum wage. As a result, a newly hired employee now makes almost as much as I do. My supervisor said that if I gave her a list of my duties and responsibilities, she would try to get me a raise. I provided this summary two months ago.
Since that time, my boss has never mentioned the pay increase again. Even though her request had to be approved by the next two levels of management, I don’t think it should take this long. I’d like to know what’s happening, but I’m not sure how to find out.
A: After waiting patiently for two months, you deserve to know where things stand. Although you may be concerned about pestering your boss, asking a respectful question could hardly be considered nagging.
For example: “I wanted to follow up on the pay increase that we discussed a couple of months ago. I believe you sent the request to upper management, so I was wondering whether they had made a decision.“
If this is a large organization where many people hold similar positions, the delay could be caused by an overall revision of the compensation plan. Or perhaps the paperwork is languishing somewhere in the management chain. But regardless of the circumstances, your question is perfectly reasonable, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of “Secrets to Winning at Office Politics.“ Send in questions and get free coaching tips at http://www.yourofficecoach.com, or follow her on Twitter officecoach.