Question: Ever since the holidays, my manager has seemed angry with me. This is extremely disturbing, because "Sandra" and I have worked well together for four years. In fact, she's the best boss I've ever had.
Before Christmas, I asked Sandra if I could have three days off to spend time with visiting relatives. Company policy prohibits employees from taking vacation in December because this is our busiest time, but Sandra agreed to make an exception. I was very grateful and expressed my appreciation.
When I returned, Sandra went on a tirade about tasks that I supposedly left unfinished. I was too stunned to defend myself, even though I had actually done the work. The next day, she pitched a fit about something completely trivial.
I kept waiting for Sandra to apologize, but she never did, so I made the mistake of complaining to another manager. Sandra found out, and we got into a heated argument. Now I don't know what to do. Is there any way to fix this?
Answer: Don't let one regrettable incident ruin a four-year relationship.
Despite giving her approval, Sandra apparently resented your making a request that violated company policy and increased her holiday stress. Instead of acknowledging her own mistake, she's punishing you with unwarranted reprimands. Involving another manager just added fuel to the fire.
To encourage a return to normal, demonstrate your maturity by extending an olive branch. Perhaps this gesture will inspire Sandra to finally offer an apology. But even if she doesn't, reconciliation will be better than continuing this silly spat.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach; visit www.yourofficecoach.com.