Saturday 24 February 2018

Dear mary: Horrid boss from hell makes me cry and want to quit job

Illustration: Tom Halliday
Illustration: Tom Halliday

I have been a housekeeping assistant in a nursing home for the past two years, but in the last year I've just lost interest. I don't want to get out of bed to go into work.

I've had a couple of bad incidents - bullying from a staff member and a manager. Now the staff member doesn't bother me anymore but the tone and approach of my boss is bad.

I get it that you can be strict as a boss but you should be fair as well. I have often come home in tears. She isn't nice to everybody which I consider is not professional.

Now this job isn't a life-long ambition but the way things have gone for me it's hard to get something new. I would like to move on and go back to college. I am only in my early 20s. I would be grateful for an outside opinion on this.

Mary replies: We all spend so much time at work - approximately one-third of the day - that it is essential for our well-being that we are at least fairly happy while there. You sound anything but happy, and are starting to be depressed because of it.

I realise that it is difficult to get a new job, so you should formulate some sort of plan. It is great that you have ambitions to go back to college, so why not make that your goal?

If you feel that you are working towards that goal, and the housekeeping assistant post is not for ever, you will immediately begin to feel better.

I don't know what type of college you have in mind but you should research what would be required in terms of fees - referred to as Student Contributions - and what the criteria would be for entry.

Then calculate how long it will take to get the funds together and there should be some light at the end of the tunnel.

One wonders how somebody in a managerial post can feel they are doing a good job when they are not observing the basic requirement of being respectful to people.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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