Do I have to listen to my coworker?


Dear Experts,

It’s been heavily rumored one of my co-workers will be receiving a promotion soon. This promotion would make her my new boss. Unfortunately, this rumor has gone straight to that individual’s head and she has begun ordering me around.

If I had to guess, the rumor is true and she’ll get this promotion. But until then, do I have to listen to her? I’m worried if I ignore her instructions then she’ll fire me when she’s promoted. Help!


You are right to be careful in this situation.  If possible, I would recommend that you speak to your boss directly and let him or her know that you have heard this rumor and would like to know if it is true.  Be upfront, but politic if you are asked why you want to know.

If this is not possible for whatever reason, think about the instructions she is giving you – do you agree that they are reasonable?  This situation is likely temporary, so it might be best to wait it out until an announcement and hope she calms down some.

If you have a decent relationship with your wannabe boss  (I hope so!) ask her politely about her change in approach with you.  You might even say that you are aware of the rumors and ask if she has been promoted – should you congratulate her?

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
This entry was posted in advice, General, woman, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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