Ask Abbie: What do I do when my boss doesn’t like me?

Published 11:04 am Saturday, November 17, 2012

Question: I work at a local fast-food restaurant.

Every week my schedule comes out, my manager has been giving me fewer hours.

I asked her about it. She said it was because of my bad attitude. I don’t have a bad attitude at all; she just doesn’t like me.

I really need to work, but don’t know if I should just quit. I’m really mad and frustrated.

Answer: When we take care of the things most valuable to us, they will take care of us when needed most.

Consider our vehicles. We take them in for routine inspections to uncover hidden problems that if not corrected could leave us walking.

A person’s job serves as the inspection station for his attitude, appearance and performance. Every day he works, he is subject to a multi-point examination performed by his manager.

Before your next inspection, perform an honest and thorough self-check. Don’t be a dipstick. If levels are low or contaminated, acknowledge the facts and decide what to do.

Repair, fine tune and or adjust problems to fire the engine of your life on all cylinders and at optimal performance, or ignore the warning signs if willing to risk stranding yourself jobless. The following are a few questions to help guide your self-assessment.

Regarding your attitude, do you constantly whine and complain from incorrect rotation of gears and bearings in your automatic transmission? Do you smile only when there’s pressure build-up in your gas tank? Are your sluggish vital fluids causing you to come in late?

As to your appearance, do your pants barely cover your exhaust pipe? Is your uniform somewhat dirty because “it’s just getting good?”

Do you walk around with your head down and emitting exhaust that smells like the cheap fuel you took in last night?

Consider your performance, do you often have to ask the customer to repeat their order because you are too distracted by the smoke from your overheated and aggravated engine to listen in the first place?

Do you get your shift duties done only if “they are lucky?” Does the valve on your mouth stay open all the time and cause toxic leaks?

Choosing to ignore your faulty internal mechanics is the easier and less expensive option in the short run, but a sure fire way to collide head-on with costly repairs in the future. If however you decide to fix your problem, it will cost more time, effort and energy today, but provide you with a dependable ride for many years to come.

Your repair strategy should also consider your family and friends because the vehicle that carries you to work is the same vehicle that brings you home. None of your faithful passengers deserve an unpleasant ride of noisy fan belts, of incessant complaining about your engine that will only start with a screwdriver holding its choke open, or of sickness inducing chills from leaking duck taped window.

Your loved ones deserve a ride of peace, comfort, safety and warmth.

If you have performed routine maintenance and don’t pass your manager’s inspection, it is not your fault. She is favoring another employee either because he is a friend, or because, as you said, she doesn’t like you.

No matter how hard you try, there are some people who will never like you. You must deflect any of that opponent’s negativity rather than allow it a place of honor within you. With that approach you defeat the rival.

Should you be willing to take the extra effort required to keep fighting your unjustified inspection ticket, there is a higher authority — your manager’s supervisor ready to mediate.

State your case and stand firm on your position. If the ruling comes down in your favor, justice has been served. If not in your favor, you must realize the system is bigger than you.

Stop wasting your time. Retract your case. Refocus your efforts on finding a new buyer — I mean employer — who will give you the trade-in value you deserve for having taken such fine care of your mechanics.

Abbie Long is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to