I have a problem with my boss.
You might remember that about twelve months ago, I escaped from working for a man who was a charming mixture of incompetence and ignorance. Over the course of eighteen months or so, it became clear that he detested me. I think it was because he felt threatened by me because I was well-liked by our stakeholders (where he struggled) and because I was good at my job and made him feel every bit as ignorant and incompetent as he was. He doesn't work for the business any more, having been eased out in March after two years and several million pounds of money frittered away on appallingly run projects.
By the time he left, I'd been in my new job long enough for any resentment I felt for the man to have dissipated, leaving me with an odd feeling of pity for him as he was shown the exit. I imagine he's wasting money and alienating people somewhere else now.
I'm in a much better place, and for the last year I've been working on a project that I passionately believe in. Imagine that. I also think that I'm making a difference and have a real influence on the project. It's been really good for me.
My boss is great too. She's not perfect, sure.... but I'm fairly confident that I'm also not the easiest person to manage either, so it probably balances out. I've known her and worked with her for more than ten years, and as soon as she took up her current role, she started applying gentle pressure on me to come and work for her because she thought I would be perfect.
It's not been easy, but it's been really good for me and I've recovered a lot of zest and enthusiasm for my job that had long since disappeared in my old role.
So what's my problem then?
Well, it's a bit delicate and I'm hoping you can help me out with a bit of advice. The long and the short of it is that she has smelly feet. I sit right next to her, and when we're both at our desks, she's in the habit of idly kicking her shoes off her heels. Every time she does so, there's a waft of feet. It happens in meetings too, and I'm certain I can't be the only person to have noticed this, but what can you say? I'm not wishing to impugn this lady's personal hygiene, and I imagine that the culprit here is shoes that smell rather than anything else.... but how do you bring something like this up?
Up until now, I've kept my thoughts to myself and breathed through my mouth. I'm pretty certain that there's no way of mentioning this without really hurting her feelings and making her feel bad, and who would want that? To be honest, I'd rather put up with the smell than risk that. If someone at work said that to me, I'd be mortified... although, on the other hand, I'd also probably rather that someone told me about it than didn't.
What would YOU do?
14 hours ago