Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Betrayal Conflict Communication

I meant to tell my boss about a problem that developed here, but I got busy and forgot. She then got in huge trouble, and now she's saying that I did this to make her look bad. That's not true, but I don't know how to convince her.

When an employee makes his or her manager look bad, things often look a lot worse for the employee. Unfortunately, there is no magic verbal wand that can be waved to make all of this go away.

The fact that your manager feels that you did this intentionally indicates that there were some problems in your working relationship before this critical incident. If she had full faith and trust in you, she would still be upset about looking bad in front of her boss, but she would not have accused you of masterminding the event.

At this point, all you can do is apologize profusely and do everything in your power to show her that you are a loyal, supportive, and productive employee. This can be demonstrated far more with deeds than with words. And, none of this is going to happen overnight. You are going to have to work extra hard, perform at your highest possible levels, and be particularly diligent about keeping your manager informed.

There is no doubt that your manager is going to put you under the spotlight as a result of this incident. You should use it as an opportunity to shine.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!