Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’ve worked as a sales associate for 19 months and had consistently
good monthly reviews. A year ago, we got a new District Manager. She
fired almost 20 people in her first month for what she claimed were
“performance reasons.” But all the replacements turned out to be her
relatives or closest friends. The people she couldn&'t fire, she
transferred to other locations (to accommodate her buddies’
commutes). She also gave them raises from their previous jobs, while
even the best district performers with years of services aren’t getting
merit raises or promotions. The good workers have to pick up her
posse&'s slack. They don’t work hard but get good reviews, and they
know they’re not going to get fired. Who do I complain to without
getting fired?

Dear Stalled:
When Ms. Toughie replaced Ms. Nice you clearly got a raw deal. But
most organizations have both reasons for making the managerial
changes that they do and procedures for employees to voice
grievances. Any time you stick your neck out beyond the established
chain of command and communication you take the risk of retribution
from your supervisor. But if you’re prepared for what may happen, and
by that I mean everything from long commutes, low pay, and even
standing in the unemployment line, it’s worth a shot.


Many voices speak louder than one (where unions came from), so it’d
be good to enlist other, trusted, best performers in the plan you’re                                  about to execute. Meet outside of work on your personal time to
compare notes. Do not put anything you’re doing on work computers.
Make lists of everything you think of as a grievance or inappropriate
action: firings, hirings, promotions, relocations, bad reviews, etc.,
along with a chronology. Don’t be too grandiose in you charges or your
language. Assume your document will be read at best by an impartial
personnel manager and at worst Ms. Toughie’s best friend. Make it
clear and concise. Use nicely categorized lists and dates, not long
rambling paragraphs. Have each of the participating good employees
sign the document, along with their company ID number, length of
service, and any other info that shows how good and loyal you are.


Ask for a meeting with the HR person, as well as assurances that your
names and complaints will be kept confidential unless the firm
contemplates action. The chances Ms. Toughie won’t find out are low.
But you might be able to rein or in, and maybe even get her