Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Being Passed Over for Promotion May Be a Sign

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been in a job for two years, and I have been the assistant sales floor manager. A young lady who has been at the store not even a year has been promoted twice, while I haven't been promoted at all. I noticed about two weeks ago when I was in the back room that an assistant manager position paper was sitting out. I thought maybe they were going to ask me to accept the position, but instead they offered it to her.

My manager told me as she was going out the door with her coat on, and she said we would talk about it next week. I'm really upset. What should I do? -- Insulted, New York

DEAR INSULTED: Take a few days to calm down. When you meet with your boss, ask why you were not offered the position. Tell her that you have been working for the last two years with the intention of advancing.

Describe your perception of the quality of your work. Ask if she agrees, then ask for her general opinion of your work. You do not want to put her on the spot, but it is valid for you to want to know why you were not invited to fill this position, since you think you are more seasoned than the other employee. Be sure to ask how you can align yourself for a future promotion.

If you get a bad feeling after talking to your manager, do not wait around. It may be a signal that it is time to look for a new job.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been in a relationship for a while, and I really love my boyfriend. I am 24. He is 29. We aren't ready to settle down yet, but the potential is there. I see our future with marriage, kids, all that stuff.

However, he is ready to move to Los Angeles soon, and I just got to New York. He wants me to move with him, but I would like to move home to Chicago. He doesn't see the job potential there.

How do we stay together if we don't live in the same place? How do I stay with someone who isn't giving two thoughts to moving to Chicago, even though he hasn't been there before? -- Long-Distance Dilemma, Brooklyn, N.Y.

DEAR LONG-DISTANCE DILEMMA: It's time for a serious talk about the future. If you are not clear about your intentions for your relationship and if you cannot even consider living in the same place -- wherever that might be -- chances are, your relationship is about to end. Talk it out until you both feel satisfied that you know where you stand.