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DEAR ABBY: Employee feels passed over and stuck in a rut at work

A reader feels unmotivated to work.
A reader feels unmotivated to work. Photo by file photo /Getty Images

DEAR ABBY: I applied to be a supervisor at the company where I work. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job. One of my co-workers, who held the same position I did (though with significantly fewer years of experience at the company), was given the job instead. Initially, I tried to shrug it off and continued working as usual. Unfortunately, I find I am no longer able to do that.

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Since this co-worker is now my boss, I sometimes receive dictation/instruction from them, which makes me uncomfortable. I have begun to feel jealous — I’ll acknowledge that. I have worked here for 10 years now, and the fact that I haven’t been able to move into a higher position has weighed me down. For financial reasons, I can’t resign. Somehow, I have to make this new reality work. How do I rid myself of these feelings of jealousy and learn to proceed with my new boss? — STUCK AT WORK IN THE WEST

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DEAR STUCK: One way to do that would be to remind yourself regularly why you are there. Bottom line: You need the money. Life isn’t always fair, so try harder to accept it. While you are doing that, it couldn’t hurt to look around to see if any other companies are posting job openings. If you find any, make time for an interview, and — if you are hired — give your notice.

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DEAR ABBY: My grandson’s friend’s father, “Jake,” and I have been friends for many years. There was an incident in which his son came over to hang out with my grandson. They are both 11. I had previously made plans to go somewhere, so I left the boys with my son and his wife, my grandson’s uncle and aunt.

Jake became very upset and told me it was unacceptable that I left his son with my family. I had talked to Jake’s ex-wife, with whom I’m close, and told her I was going to leave her son with my son. She said it was OK.

The other day, Jake and I were at an event together. I left before having to speak with him. He sent me a text the next day saying, “Let’s get past this so we can be cordial.” I was hurt that he made such a big deal out of it. His son is now going into middle school. Was I wrong? — HURT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

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DEAR HURT: I fail to understand why Jake felt your presence was required when he dropped off his son. Clearly, he knows he overreacted and is now trying to make peace. Because the boys are close, I think you should accept the olive branch and move on. There is nothing to be gained by extending this unfortunate incident further.

DEAR ABBY: My two married sons don’t get along at all. They both have children. One is moving from overseas to the city where I live. The son who is local is furious. He says he won’t see me anymore because he knows his brother will be staying with me for a short while. Therapy hasn’t seemed to work. This tears me apart, especially because my grandchildren are involved. Any ideas? — TORN UP IN FLORIDA

DEAR TORN UP: As a matter of fact, I do have one: Do NOT permit your “local” son to emotionally blackmail you. Tell him that you, not he, will decide who you have under your roof, and if he follows through on his threat, the people who suffer will be HIS CHILDREN, not you, and not his brother. Then put your foot down and stick to it.

— Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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