I am an executive assistant in a corporate office. My boss has a high title. My desk neighbor (I'll call her Brianne) has worked here for over 7 years, she's an assistant to a lower ranking person. The moment I started my job, she has made it clear that she dislikes my boss, but has not given any reason.

He sometimes has a loud laugh, sometimes speaks a bit loud, and might cough here and there...In other words, he operates like any other normal person, but he's very polite and friendly.

Brianne will constantly make remarks such as "ugh give me a break" when he laughs. She will say "yuck, so disgusting" when he coughs. She's even had the audacity to go to his office and close his door when I'm not here, when he's on a call as to block out the noise coming from his office!

She and her (lower ranking) boss have zero respect for him and they have verbally voiced their opinion of him to me, telling me they aren't his "fans".

I don't know the history of this egregious tension but it seems to be one sided, as my boss doesn't ever seem to treat them poorly.

To top it off, Brianne is on the phone constantly, all day, gossips on the phone, has personal conversations, whispers to colleagues when they're at her desk, complains nearly everyday, and laughs just as loud.

I know two other assistants before me who have had conflicts with her.

How would you approach the situation if you were me?

  • This question you ask is a bit broad, could you narrow it down to something we can address, a goal or more specific question? – DarkCygnus Aug 18 '17 at 16:50
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    I personally would approach it by ignoring her. If they complain directly to you, then point out he is your boss and you have no problems with him. – HLGEM Aug 18 '17 at 16:57
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    "...my boss doesn't ever seem to treat them poorly. " Demonstrate loyalty to your boss by adopting his attitude. - Keep a small mirror in your desk drawer. At least twice a day, take it out, gaze into it, and say "Don't try to be a Brianne. You could never be be a Brianne." – A. I. Breveleri Aug 18 '17 at 17:02

Your question is somewhat broad and opinion-based. Nevertheless, if someone else has problems/dislikes your boss it is their problem not yours. You should judge your boss based on how he treats you and others, not what some people say you should think of him.

Also, be really careful with this situation. I would refrain from telling your boss about what Brianne says (ratting out) as this may get Brianne in trouble and affect your relationship with her, plus making you look like someone that incriminates their coworkers.

Also, be careful if Brianne starts to try to influence you to think you should dislike your boss, as she may have some hidden intentions (sounds paranoid but being careful never hurt anyone). If this happens just don't follow her lead.


How would you approach the situation if you were me?

I would just mind my own business. Life is too short to worry about what X thinks of Y. Let X and Y deal with it, it has nothing to do with you.

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