Shall I whack the office mole?

Dear Aunty B,

I hired a marketing manager a year ago on a good salary.

I have not been able to give her an increase this month due to the economy hitting our revenues and told her so last month. However, she has gone around telling our office that I promised her a raise after a year (I said I would review her salary) and I have gone back on my word.

She says she never would have accepted the job if she had known she was not going to get an increase and that I also promised her an office and a PA (which I never did). I can’t afford even to partition up the office so that she can have her own office.

I did say that down the track we would need a general manager who would have an office and a PA and that this would be a career path she could purse with us. But there is no way we could afford a GM at the moment and I am not sure she is right for the job.

She is also rude and dismissive towards me. She rolls her eyes and questions things I say in front of other staff. It has now got to the stage where I can’t stand the sight of her and feel like slapping her when she does the eye rolling thing.

Fortunately, I have a loyal staff member who reports to me the bitchy things she is saying about me behind my back so I know what’s going on.

I also think that maybe I am just stressed about the business and maybe taking it out on her.

My problem is, if I confront her I have to let her know how I know which would blow my loyal staff member’s cover.

And she has asked me to keep her confidence.




Dear Dianne,

Are you nuts?

Actually I don’t think you are nuts. I think you are so stressed, your brain has left the building.

Forget this school yard talk. You have to start acting like a leader.

Your first issue is your stress. You need a holiday, a few days off or to visit mentors. You need to be reenergize so you can think straight and have the strength to deal with this situation.

The second issue is that your marketing manager is bullying you in the nasty passive aggressive way that some women specialise in.

Once you return from your holiday, you will need to take on the bully because until you face a bully head on, their behavior gets worse.

Basically you are required to give three warnings and then if they don’t change, you sack them.

You have not talked about performance reviews which are very good tools that stop this kind of situation in its tracks.

Set up a performance review. Map out her strengths and weaknesses. Talk about your culture, her attitude and tell her it is not acceptable. Specifically, mention the eye rolling and questioning in front of others.

Set for a meeting with her in a few weeks to review how she is going.

Last of all, make sure when you interview that you are very careful what you say and you don’t mention things that you may have trouble delivering.

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

Aunty B is kicking back on holiday, but her advice is timeless, as evidenced by this Aunty B classic from June 2009. To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

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