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New Hire Is Caught in the Middle of Department Rivalry

DEAR ABBY: I just started my first full-time job, and my boss is amazing but a bit overprotective. Last week, our marketing director, "Amy," reached out and asked me to organize an envelope-stuffing for invitations to an event my department is hosting. This event was not organized by my department. It was being handled by the marketing and membership teams.

My boss thought it was unreasonable for me to have to do that. I didn't mind, nor did I complain, but my boss was upset and confronted Amy about it. Amy apologized and helped me send out the invites, but since then she has been cool to me. It feels like others in the office have also withdrawn somewhat (although I suppose I could just be imagining this).

I really wish my boss hadn't said anything. On one hand, I appreciate her standing up for me, but I don't want my co-workers to think I'm lazy or a complainer, especially because I’m new here and at the bottom of the totem pole in the office. Should I just let it blow over? Should I say something? Any advice would be welcome. -- NOT A COMPLAINER

DEAR NOT A COMPLAINER: Your boss may have stepped in because there were tasks she wanted you to spend your time doing that are more important to her than stuffing envelopes. Tell Amy privately that you were glad to help with the invitations, and you never complained to anyone about having been asked to do it. It may clear the air. Then have a talk with your boss about chain-of-command rules, including whether you must get an OK from her before helping out other departments.

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