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December 16, 2015

Nobody Likes My Boss But Me

Hey, Bonita…

A lot of people at work hate our boss. She started out in an entry-level position, but in the last several years, she's managed to get several promotions and is now at the top level of management and practically runs this company. A lot of people say that it's only because she’s been sleeping with one of the owners of this company since she started working here, but their relationship has actually gotten very serious, and they keep things private.

I'm so uncomfortable with this shit-talking! Is it crazy to think that maybe she's just good at running a business and has business ideas that actually work? This is a person with a degree who goes to conferences and workshops, but the dialog is always that she “slept her way to the top,” and it just doesn't seem that way to me. It's not unreasonable to assume that her first few promotions had to do with her relationship with the owner, but at this point, I think it'd be clear if she were good at her job or not. I don't think anyone would make the same claims about a male employee who had a meteoric rise within a company, even if he was screwing everything that moved.

This is why they always tell people—especially women—to avoid romancing your co-workers. Often that's easier said than done, as few things are harder to control than our hearts and loins. I'm sure knowing the person at the top was helpful for your lady boss, but you've also advocated hard for her intelligence and professional prowess. We all need a helping hand, and it's possible she got some assistance from her boyfriend, but that's very different from sleeping one's way to the top. Talking shit is also a huge sign of jealousy, and I think some of the people at work are just trying to get a little bit of her shine. You're right: If she couldn't do her job, that would be evident by now.

I also wanna encourage you to keep your distance from water-cooler gossip. This particular kind of talk can be construed as harassment if it gets back to the right people, and even if it's not interpreted in that way, it might still get someone's employment terminated just for being disrespectful.


I'm feeling intensely frustrated right now with everything in my life. It's not awful or anything, but I just want more out of it. I have a job that is great and pays me well, but it isn't really going anywhere. I like everyone I work with, but I don't see any promotions coming in the foreseeable future. I'm a single man who dates regularly, but I can never seem to get a relationship going. I'll hang out with a girl for a few weeks, and then it peters out when either I lose interest or she does.

I just get bored. Everyone around me seems to really have it going on in some way, but I feel like I'm just sitting alone in my home and floundering around. Even when I'm out on the town and having fun, deep down, I just remember how bored and alone I'm gonna be when I get home. I don't really have a question for you, Bonita, unless you can tell me why I'm not having fun anymore.

Waiting for Something (I Don't Know What)

Waiting,

You sound depressed. Thinking of future boredom during the fun of the present is no good. Don't defeat yourself, now; you have to be really proactive about having a positive response to the negative voice in your head. But the nature of depression is that those thoughts are pervasive, unavoidable and caused by brain chemistry, so while I'm encouraging you to look on the bright side, I fully understand how little control you have over your moods.

I think there are things you can do in the here and now to help you perk up. First off, I definitely recommend you see a doctor. I'm on prescribed mood stabilizers, and I love them. Think back on creative endeavors you pursued in the past, and return to them. Start painting or making music again. Maybe try dating a different “type” of person (but be careful to avoid tokenizing). Go outside of your norms. You sound like you've settled into a routine that is boring you to death. Mix it up!

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