DEAR ABBY: My boss, "Ms. M.," knows her stuff. She's supportive, flexible and communicates well about what's happening within the organization. However, she spends most of her time in my cubicle. She'll start out in her office and, 15 minutes later, slide into my cubicle to show me her kids' latest photos or insist my colleagues and I watch YouTube videos of her favorite entertainers.
This happens continually throughout the day. I have to work from home in the evenings to get anything done. I have actually used vacation time so I could finish a project without Ms. M.'s constant interruptions. I thought it was just me until I got sick last year and was out for several days. I got "hate" email from my colleagues because the boss was spending all her time in their cubicles!
Meanwhile, contracts don't get finalized, deadlines are missed, phone calls go unanswered and complaints pile up. When she gets heat from higher-ups, she'll work on the weekend to make things right. Then on Monday morning she'll call a staff meeting that lasts over an hour, and we must listen to her sour complaints and more YouTube videos from the weekend. It's maddening.
Ms. M. is like a female Nero fiddling while the department burns. I want to do my job during working hours. Any suggestions? -- TREADING WATER IN OHIO
DEAR TREADING WATER: I do have one. Because there is safety in numbers, everyone in the department who is affected by this problem should discuss it as a group with Ms. M's supervisor or boss. It appears Ms. M. is confusing her working relationships with those that are personal.