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Thread: Am I being too sensitive?

  1. #1

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    Am I being too sensitive?

    So I work for a doctor who owns her own practice. There are four other doctors here as well, along with me (the office manager/biller), and the medical assistant. There's been a high turnover here with both doctors and medical assistants. The previous office manager quit and refused to come back. She dropped her key in the mail. The medical assistant that was here when I arrived quit after about 2 months. We hired a new one and fired her 4 months later. The last one has been here about 6 months and seems to be doing well.

    My problem is that it feels to me like the owner Diane shows a great deal of favoritism to the previous medical assistant and the current one. My personality is more reserved and professional, but I have gotten along really well with past co-workers and people I've worked for. Both medical assistants have been really outgoing and have done a lot to ingratiate themselves with her--not that I blame them at all. But Diane does things like, with the previous MA she took her to breakfast her second week here. She's never asked me to breakfast. She started dressing like the new MA. After she was absent one day she told her that she missed her. They were always laughing and joking. It just felt that she was crossing a professional boundary. It got to a point where the MA would say things that I thought were inappropriate, like calling her a "goof" in front of patients. One of the other doctors (who has since left) even mentioned that the new MA was being inappropriate. But in my opinion, it was because Diane gave her the impression that that behavior was okay.

    With the new MA it's even worse. We're a small practice so the MA and I are the only office staff. When we have our weekly meetings there's a lot of laughing and giggling between the two of them. There are a lot of private jokes between the two of them, which seems rude to me.

    There was this one incident that really bothered me. The new MA had been absent A LOT, like once a week, and Diane and I met with her to discuss it. The MA got upset and walked out of the meeting! I was shocked. Diane didn't want to talk about it after she left. The next morning we met again and when the MA walked in she commented that she was late because she was in the bathroom looking at herself in the mirror. Diane responded, "You look beautiful Darling!" And then went so far as to poke her in the stomach while they were joking around.

    Now they're like best friends. It's not a jealousy thing (I don't think). Initially I was just upset because I felt she was being so unprofessional. Now I actually feel excluded.

    I just had my one year performance review last week and Diane told me I was a pleasure to work with and she was extremely impressed with me and gave me a considerable raise. I honestly like everything about my job except the way she buddies up to her medical assistants. This week she's barely acknowledged me, but has been very nice, complimentary, laughing and joking with the MA.

    By the way, I get along really well with all the other doctors. I even get along with the MA. I don't blame her. IMO, the problem is Diane.

    What do you think? Am I being overly sensitive? I know work is not a place to make friendships, but it's not about that. I feel like it undermines my ability to even manage someone if she's become her bff and treats her with such favoritism. Am I wrong? Should I suck it up and deal with it, or look for a new job?

  2. #2
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    It's only undermining your ability because you're allowing it to. Your thank you is your paycheck. If you choose to let this high school popular crowd social nonsense get in the way of you doing your job that is on you and this is the wrong workplace for you . You can be as sensitive as you want -your feelings are your feelings - but you can react to them in a professional way. That's why it's called "work" -we choose to fake it till we make it for the benefits of - she loves your work and she compensates you fairly . For all you know she is having an affair with the MA which is unprofessional if they do PDA in the workplace but unless this is really some kind of sexual issue -like it's creating a sexually charged atmosphere or something like harassment - then feel what you feel and find a way to deal with it so it does not affect your work performance, which is what you are being paid for.

    No it's not fair that the MA is allowed to preen and primp and be all lovey dovey with the boss. Oh well. Many workplaces have unfair elements but on balance it sounds like you have a good boss ,good work and good pay. Count your blessings. Diane might be so so tired of training new MAs so she's settling for sub par and kissing her behind. Who knows, who cares, not your problem -you manage the office, not the MA. Let Diane manage the MA.

  3. #3
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    you're not being too sensitive - what's happening is true and you're not conjuring up any of that falsely.

    what i would say is - remember.. this is a job. not a country club. so keep it to business. MEANING.. are you being treated well? compensated well? was your raise and bonuses fair in your eyes? If you're being taken care of business wise and your career is in good hands (and financial compensation and benefits) - then let the rest go. This is not a popularity party and you are there FOR WORK in exchange for CAREER AND PAY. So keep it to that.

    item 2 is - this goes on everywhere. people are people and are social by default - it's in our genetic code. So managers and bosses will always get along with certain people, not get along with certain people, and as well be gullible to the people making it appears as if they get along more than they truly do. YOu can't change that. So you should let that one go and not compare your relationsip with her with anybody else. YOUR THERE FOR BUSINESS!

    The only time this is an issue is if compensation, raises, promotions, bonuses, and work is being affected by it. if that's so then you need to find another job and REMEMBER that the way it works now is - those that are liked, get the better deal in most cases. its just human nature unfortunately.

    Good luck and I hope it works out and you are happy regardless what happens.

  4. #4

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    Thank you both tremendously. That's exactly what I needed to hear!

    Batya33, I DO manage the MA. That's why it feels like undermining sometimes. But for the most part I don't have a problem with that. I do feel respected and that I do my job well.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    2 coworkers clicked, have chemistry and have formed a friendship.
    This isn't about you and is not a reflection of you.

    You've been rewarded for your work performance.
    Outside of it being a reasonable and safe work environment all they owe you is a paycheck.

    Make friends during your personal time.

    That's why it feels like undermining sometimes.
    You may find their friendship annoying but how exactly does it undermine you?

  7. #6
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    I'm a bit confused. On the one hand you are saying you don't have a problem with the MA, on the other you are saying she is getting preferential treatment from Diane ( being late yet not being held accountable, throwing a tantrum and yet getting a pass).

    Do you have any authority with the MA ? Is your boss undermining your choices as a manager?

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    I'm a bit confused. On the one hand you are saying you don't have a problem with the MA, on the other you are saying she is getting preferential treatment from Diane ( being late yet not being held accountable, throwing a tantrum and yet getting a pass).

    Do you have any authority with the MA ? Is your boss undermining your choices as a manager?
    Yes. I was confused too. Are you in charge of giving consequences to the MA (and others) for things like lateness? Or does Diane get the last word.

  9. #8
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    if that is true (your boss is undermining your managerial authority over MA) then yes you will want to speak with your boss and reconfirm that you are the manager ....
    if so, you need to be supported and backed to allow you to effectively manage your team.
    while outside the office is everybody's personal business - at the office you need the support and backing of her to effectively manage your area as she has asked you to.

    it doesn't have to be combative. any GOOD boss will understand and back you. and it sounds like this boss is a good one.

    good luck.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I would consider this an instance of the owner regarding her MA as a teammate in patient care. She sets the tone for those relationships, and she likely finds it more pleasant to have that 'partner in crime' feeling about her MA. Whether that's appropriate or not is irrelevant--it's her practice.

    You get to decide how much it 'must' bother you to be considered competent office support rather than part of Diane's duos. If it bothers you that much, there must be other practices you can make the jump to?

    Head high, it's your call.

  11. #10
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    Some serious question:

    1. Has the MA been recommended by someone she knows? It's been my experience that those recommended by someone important (for the manager) have a high chance of receiving preferential treatment. Eg. You hire the son of your husband's boss. Even if he's mediocre, you're more lenient with him and treat him nicely as it's in your best interest to do so. (It's not my cup of tea but it's does happen.)

    2. Does the MA have a legitimate personal reason (e.g. illness) as to why she is late? Sometimes people struggle with serious health issues and the only person who knows is the manager.



    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Whether that's appropriate or not is irrelevant--it's her practice.

    You get to decide how much it 'must' bother you to be considered competent office support rather than part of Diane's duos. If it bothers you that much, there must be other practices you can make the jump to?
    I agree with what catfeeder stated here. It's her practice. Thus, you either accept the culture as is or find a different place that suits you better.

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