What's your problem?

I work with someone who smokes. She has about five cigarettes a day outside the office and is often there with our senior manager. I know this sounds juvenile, but because of their shared interest in smoking, they are becoming good friends.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

She recently won a promotion that I didn't think she was up to, whereas I'm not being recognised for what I'm worth. I'm worried that there's a touch of favouritism at work, and I don't know what to do about it.

A: I suspect you're putting two and two together and making more than four. It's your personal judgment that your colleague hasn't earned her promotion and it's your personal judgment that you're not getting the recognition you deserve. For whatever reason, your senior manager clearly doesn't share that view, and such are the decisions that your boss is paid to make.

In the normal course of events, you could probably have learned to live with all this, but seeing the two of them smoking together is turning a niggling discontent into something that could easily become obsessive.

So try to put their huddles out of your mind and concentrate on your work.

If you continue to feel undervalued, you should raise it as you normally would; but I'd strongly advise against making any suggestions of favouritism.

- Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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