My manager suggested several times that I should not leave my
purse on my desk because it could easily be stolen. I told her I
wasn’t worried about it. Last week, however, my purse suddenly went
missing. I asked my manager if she took it, but she said no.
My manager suggested several times that I should not leave my purse on my desk because it could easily be stolen. I told her I wasn’t worried about it. Last week, however, my purse suddenly went missing. I asked my manager if she took it, but she said no.
I immediately canceled my credit cards and called the police to file a report. At that point, my boss admitted taking the purse and said she never wanted to see it on my desk again. She feels she had every right to do this in order to prove her point.
Human resources turned the issue over to my manager’s boss, who is the CEO.
I’m afraid he won’t do anything, because they’ve worked together for 10 years. I love my job, but I’m extremely angry and have considered filing theft charges if my manager isn’t held accountable. What do you think?
I think you have every right to be furious. By taking your purse, your boss clearly overstepped her boundaries and caused you unnecessary anguish. Then she compounded the offense by lying to you.
If your CEO has any sense at all, he will surely talk with your manager about this highly inappropriate behavior.
But since he won’t necessarily share that information with you, you may never have the satisfaction of knowing that she was reprimanded.
Although your anger is certainly justified, filing theft charges is a bad idea.
In addition to wasting valuable police time, escalating the situation could damage your own career. So instead of trying to punish your misguided manager, see if human resources can get her to offer a sincere apology.
I recently replaced a manager who held this job for seven years. Since the employees are obviously accustomed to his style, I want to make it clear that they have a new boss with a new way of doing things. Another manager told me that he changed his staff’s seating arrangement on his very first day. Do you think that would help send the message?
Reshuffling the staff will definitely send a message, but not the one you have in mind. Unless there’s a logical reason, the clear message will be that you make arbitrary decisions in order to demonstrate your power.
Since people hate being forcibly moved, they will quickly come to resent you. Not exactly the best start for a new manager.
Instead, consider holding a “transition meeting” to begin a dialogue with your employees. Start by discussing the strengths you see in this group. Talk about how your leadership style differs from your predecessor’s and warn them about your hot buttons. Outline your plans for change, then solicit their comments and questions.
Next, meet with people individually to learn about their goals, accomplishments, challenges and frustrations. Continue to have frequent discussions until everyone gets through the inevitable learning curve that comes with having a new boss.