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by Abigail Van Buren

Abusive Supervisor Leaves Worker With No Place to Turn

DEAR ABBY: I have a serious problem with my supervisor at work. I'll call her Lydia. I began working for Lydia last year after being laid off for four months from another company. Since then, I've been picked on and harassed unmercifully. I find myself "walking on eggshells" and feeling anxious every day. Lydia is constantly looking for something about me to criticize. She does not treat anyone else this way, and I cannot figure out the best way to deal with her.

Please don't tell me to complain to the human resources department because I have already tried that. I was told to fill out a grievance report and submit it to Lydia's boss -- who I have heard say: "Lydia makes all the decisions. I trust her judgment and I support her to the end."

I have been documenting Lydia's treatment of me since last spring. I cannot afford to lose my job; however, I don't know if I have the emotional strength to tolerate the abuse much longer. -- TIRED OF GETTING YELLED AT IN DAYTON, OHIO

DEAR TIRED: Make sure you're doing a good job and are punctual about attendance. Continue documenting Lydia's treatment. Since "complaining" has not helped, present copies of your documentation to the human resources director. That should get the director's attention. If the situation doesn't improve, start looking for another job -- and send a copy of your documentation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), along with a letter of complaint.