Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Communication Inconsiderate Actions

I took a temporary leave from work to have open heart surgery. My boss and her secretary knew about this, and one of the secretaries and four of my friends from work brought me a card and some gifts when I was in the hospital. However, it has been over six weeks and my boss has not sent a card, an email, or anything else. What do I make of this?

While there is no question that you have a heart, the same cannot be said about your boss. No matter how busy, important, or overworked she may be, there is no excuse for totally ignoring you. Even if she has been working nonstop, she has a secretary who could at least buy a card for her to sign.

While your boss's inaction is cold, inconsiderate, and uncaring, it is difficult to draw any conclusion about the message she may be sending. Perhaps she is an indifferent manager, and this inattentiveness is just another example of her managerial style.

However, if she tends to be a communicative boss, perhaps she is trying to say something by saying nothing. Either way, instead of letting the unknown create stress for you, ask your doctor if it would be okay for you to contact your boss and let her know you are recuperating and gratified by visits and notes from some of your fellow employees.

If you make this contact, whatever your boss then says or does not say will give you the message you seek. When you feel better, you should act on it.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!