Life Advice



Ask Amy: Harassment interferes with friendship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

And then – ask her if she is OK. It must be hard to be married to someone like this.

Dear Amy: I am a supervisor of a small section at the company I work for.

My main assistant is a very intelligent and valued employee.

The problem? She takes joy in pointing out other people’s errors; even the most minor things, including mine.

None of us can claim to be perfect, and this results in coworkers feeling put down and embarrassed.

What can I tactfully say to her to get her to stop doing this? I don't want to lose her as an employee.


– Frustrated Supervisor

Dear Frustrated: During a private performance review, you will have to point out this unfortunate practice.

Tell her that she is a valued employee. Say, “I’m going to be frank about an area where you need to improve. You have a tendency to point out your coworker’s errors directly to them. That’s not how we operate here. I encourage people to check their own work, recognize and correct their errors, and if they don’t, I work with them to improve.”

This might be an opportunity to encourage your assistant to take on more responsibilities and challenges. Her behavior might be an indication that she is working well below her own capacities.


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