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Fairness Recognition Communication

I work with ten other people in this department, and my boss has taken all of them to lunch but me. Some have even gone to lunch with him several times. He is not my favorite person in the world, but I'm still feeling left out and concerned. What do you suggest?

Since your boss has taken everyone out to lunch but you, it is easy for you to feel that he is literally and figuratively out to lunch when it comes to treating his employees fairly. If he is leaving you out intentionally, he may be sending a message about his attitude toward you. And if he is leaving you out unintentionally, he may be sending a message about himself. At the same time, this entire matter could be a major non-event.

Besides, you have indicated that he is not your favorite person. This is simply another way of saying that you do not like him. He too may be sensing difficulties in the working relationship, so he does not want a dining relationship.

The problem is that by missing an opportunity to communicate more informally together, both of you are also losing an opportunity to forge more of an alliance and work more productively together. Since it sounds like you might be waiting a long time for his lunch invitation, you should consider taking him to lunch. This could be an excellent way to open up a new menu of options to help the working relationship work.

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