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Caught between a rock and a hard place: My supervisor favors her best friend

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Question: “I am the administrative assistant to the chief and two directors. The director who runs the day-to-day operations is on extended medical leave and the clinical coordinator is overseeing everything in his absence. The clinical coordinator has been favoring her best friend who also works with us by giving her special parking privileges, allowing extended lunches, etc. How can I approach the clinical coordinator about this favoritism without causing any major problems?” — SR


I understand favoritism. I see it everyday at my office. If you say anything you will definitely feel the "wrath".

I got over being angry by asking myself "is this person taking a longer lunch, having a better parking space, etc. affecting my paycheck...NO.......affecting my life....NO.

Believe me, there is no way to approach this without you suffering the consequences.

There is no safe may to approach this situation. I would suggest you learn to live with it or go to his/her supervisor. This is a no win situation if you make an accusation of favoritism to your supervisor.

This is a no win situation. Keep documentation so if anything is ever brought up later when the other director comes back from medical leave you will have it, in case it is needed. Otherwise, take the advice from Toni. FYI it has been shown that when calls are made to personnel including directors when they are ill for an extended time they will actually have a shorten stay and come back sooner.

It doesn't pay to be jealous. It gets you in trouble and keeps you in trouble. Do what you were hired to do and then give more. It never goes unnoticed. EG

Is the favoritism truly hurting someone (physical harm, not hurt feelings)? If not ask yourself, "Is this my problem?" If not, don't let it steal your time and mental energy by brooding over something you have no responsibility to change. Office politics are not comfortable, nor are they fair. By asking myself if a certain behavior is "my problem," I am more likely to keep a good perspective and, more importantly, a good attitude. Release yourself from the hurt feelings of favoritism and live free!

I would agree with many of the previous commenters. If it is not directly affecting your job or your compensation, why does it matter? I know where I work there have been many people who worry too much about other people at work instead of just dealing with their own job and there own duties. I think the world would be a happier place if people stopped worrying so much about that others do or don't do, and just concentrate on what they themselves do or don't do.

It's best to worry about yourself and not about the favoritism, these things have a way of working themselves out over time. You bringing it up doesn't do anything to help you.

Very good advice from all. This is NOT your problem. In every office there are the "favored" and the "unfavored." Document everything in case it becomes necessary and focus on doing your job. If you bring this matter up, you will be perceived to be a whiny complainer, and it could have a negative effect on your next performance appraisal and your chances for advancement in the future.

I actually USED to work somewhere where unfortunately there was SO much favoritism.
It was actually so bad that it was affecting my health and many of my fellow co-workers health. I finally decided to leave and get "healthy" again. To my understanding, nothing has changed and four former co-workers have left the company as well. This may NOT be your problem and you can try to ignore it, however, if you are suffering--you may need to leave.

I have been given additional responsibilities that will include taking minutes for a monthly subcommittee meeting. I would like to purchase a recording device that will be used in these meeting, and my plan is to use my laptop as well. My preference would be a handheld recording device. Any suggestions on recording devices will be appreciated. Of course, clarity is of importance.

I agree with everyone. There is no way bringing this situation up will do anything else but make your situation worse, that is a fairytale! I do also suggest keeping emails and documenting what is happening just to be sure that in the future, even if unforseen, they try to cover the butts but hanging yours out in the wind. You may want to bring it up with your other supervisor when they return, but I only suggest that depending on your relationship with them. Even if that is a solid relationship you have to ask yourslef, can they even help the situation? This issue is in all companies and although unfortunate you must overcome how this is making you feel. Concentrate on you at this company, do you like what you do, do they treat you fairly, do they compensate well. If you are happy there you have to train yourself to not care, you are caring more about this situation then them and that is a waste of energy. I promise you will feel less stressed if you can somehow get over it. They are NOT worth the energy, I bet you take this home with you also. It doesn't belong there, enjoy yourself and loved ones when you are not a work. Good Luck

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