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:
Feedback Jokes and Jokers

My boss wears a bad hairpiece. He is almost 50 and has worn it for 15 years, and it looks very obvious. Everyone who comes in our office makes jokes about it behind his back. I cannot say anything about this to him since a former employee was fired because she was not subtle about this. He is always trying to appear younger than he is. How do I deal with this when people are laughing about it?

It is an ironic that your boss is not using his head in this matter. There are some amazing hairpieces available today, and there are greatly improved medical procedures that can be positive hair-raising experiences. And if your boss wants to look young, he should know there are several young male movie stars and athletes with nary a hair atop their heads.

Your reluctance to speak openly with him about his hair is understandable, especially in light of the fact that he terminated someone for indelicately mentioning this matter to him. This type of incident raises altogether different questions about his management skills.

Be that as it may, the best step is to refrain from getting involved in the jokes or insults that are aired by others who enter your office. Try to keep the discussions professional, businesslike, and free of personal, degrading, or so-called humorous attacks. Your comments and reactions will help set the tone and tenor for the remarks that outsiders might make.

When in doubt, it's best to focus on what's in your boss's head, rather than what's 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!