Q: “Every day I have to go to my boss and tell her about the things that my so-called co-workers are not doing. They don’t do their jobs the right way, they spend lots of time just talking, and any time I want help they seem to disappear. The same thing happened at my last two jobs. There is no teamwork here at all. If my boss doesn’t do something soon, I’m going to quit.”

A: There are two possible reasons for this problem.  One is that your co-workers actually don’t care. Perhaps they lack motivation, are poorly suited to their jobs or need better oversight.

Now for the other possible reason. It is interesting that you are complaining about other people spending time “just talking,” yet you say that you talk to your boss every day about your co-workers. This is something of a red flag that you are a chronic complainer.      

Perhaps you need to do some soul-searching. Think about how your criticism of co-workers is affecting the social atmosphere at work. It’s likely eating away at your attitude as well.

If you were my co-worker and were going to the boss every day complaining about me and my comrades, I would likely avoid you, too. I certainly wouldn’t be anxious to help you with a task.

Another red flag is that you mentioned this problem occurred at your last two jobs as well. It does look like there is a pattern here. But to address it, you need to look inward. Also, don’t be afraid to approach your boss or other management specialist to help you evaluate what’s going on and how you can make adjustments.

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler
P.O. Box 67
Stockwell, IN 47983
or e-mail to don@dontyler.com

Your letter will remain confidential, and may or may not get an individual reply.