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Friday, Sept. 19, 2003 | 5:22 p.m.
Confrontation?
There is this girl who is working for me. Let's call her Ann. Ann just graduated from a good university. I was assigned to be her supervisor and mentor. After working with her for a while, I think we don't get along well. Not that we argue or disagree or anything. It is more like lacking of chemistry, if we could say that we need some chemistry among colleagues in the workplace.

I assign some work to her. In stead of talking to me when she does not understand or needs helps, she just goes to another person. This guy, let's call him Bob, is a nice guy. He is generous and helpful. I can see clearly why Ann would prefer to turn to Bob, instead of me. Bob is a lot nicer than I am and sometimes more knowledgeable in the subjects.

People prefer to talk with the persons they feel comfortable with. But in workplace, everybody has his/her own role and responsibility. Ann can't expect Bob to always help her on something he's not responsible. Plus, Bob is sometimes so busy, and Ann is in his way to get his work done. Sometimes (actually a lot of times) she has to talk to other people (like me) whether she likes it or not.

I didn't think I treated Ann differently from other persons who work for me. But I can't deny that I feel some difference. And Ann must have felt it too, as relationship usually is a mutual understanding. I must have done it inadvertently and unconsciously. And whatever I have done (or should have done) intimidated her, and made her avoiding me.

So far I have pretended I did not notice anything, because I don't know how to deal with this appropriately and subtly. But it seems to get worse. There is very little communication between Ann and me. Last time I overheard, Ann could not finish her work, as she was also working for other person. She asked another guy (who is also working for me for other things) to work for her instead. I am her supervisor, she should have told me if she has a problem. I will not kill her if she doesn't have time to do the work (may be she think I will.)

I said that Ann try to avoid me, but I am avoiding her too. I am avoiding the problem. I am her supervisor, and supposed to support and mentor her. I guess it is my responsibility to resolve the problem and not just wait and hope the problem would go away. I think it is about time to confront with Ann. But how am I going to do it????


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