My supervisor critiques me if I don’t answer the phone quickly


I like my job, which involves inputting outgoing invoices and recording incoming payments. I keep to myself and don’t make friends easily. I’m part of our company’s administrative group.

Because my supervisor and co-worker, her friend, spend their time texting, chatting and Internet surfing, I’m forced to answer the phone. This breaks my concentration and I make mistakes. None of the calls are for me; they’re instead for my supervisor and the other employee, who handles customer requests and complaints.

My supervisor critiques me if I don’t answer the phone quickly and I find this hypocritical. I’d go to the owner but I’m scared I’ll get fired if I tattle on these two, as the owner likes them.


Before you go to the owner, have another conversation with your supervisor. You may learn she considers you the de facto receptionist.

If this discussion fails, go to the owner. Don’t, however, make the discussion about your co-workers. Make it about your need to concentrate to avoid mistakes and the logic of the phone being answered by the employee most able to answer the customers’ requests. If you present the situation effectively, you may be able to change who the owner and your supervisor assign to phone duty. If not, you’ve given the problem your best shot and can decide from there — stay and put up with it, or look for a better job.

© Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at

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