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Dear Boss: It pays to treat your employees with respect

June 18, 2021
How would you react if your boss laughed in your face when you requested a raise? Read all about it in this month's installment of Dear Boss.

The Dental Office Manager Digest column “Dear Boss” is designed for office managers to be able to speak their minds by anonymously writing a “letter” to their boss. Send your letters to [email protected]. Depending on how many are received, your letter may take a while to appear in DOMD.

Dear Boss,

I have been working in your practice for over six years, and I believe I have proven myself to be a loyal, hardworking addition to the team. I have not received one raise since I started in 2015, despite learning more, taking on additional roles, and covering when needed, all the while maintaining a calm, professional, positive attitude and dealing with your constant chauvinistic mood swings.

I am the first one in to the office and the last to leave. My workdays are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays per my contract, but in reality I am on call constantly; days, nights, weekends, holidays, 24/7. I am willing to put in the extra hours which ultimately take time away from what’s really important—my home and family life—but when I approached you about a pay increase you legitimately laughed in my face and reminded me that the pandemic caused the practice to lose money. Of course I understand that we are behind on our yearly goals, but to laugh as though I was not the backbone of the entire office was completely inconsiderate. Most of your staff refused to return after the pandemic; I was one of the few that stayed.

There were several ways you could have handled this respectfully. You could have given me an extra vacation day, you could have asked me to cross-train someone to share the workload, or you could have simply just said thank you. You could have said that now isn't the best time to discuss a raise, but that we would revisit the conversation in the future.

Honestly, any of these would have been better than laughing and undermining my role in the office. My feelings are hurt, and I could not be more disgusted by it all.