Dear Coach: When I returned from vacation recently, I was told by my boss that she had placed an ad for an opening in our department. What she didn't tell...

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Dear Coach:

When I returned from vacation recently, I was told by my boss that she had placed an ad for an opening in our department.

What she didn’t tell me was that she also placed an ad for my position, which I learned by accident.

I was taken aback and submitted my resignation with two days’ notice. My boss was furious that I had found out, and that I gave such short notice. She asked me to do some consulting work.

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Should I help out or move on?

Carol Kleiman:

Move on. Forget that place. It’s toxic for you.

Dear Coach:

My company has merged, and one of the men from the other firm announced he is my supervisor.

But my present supervisor never was told about any changes, so I continue to report to her.

Because I stood up to him, he now has vilified me to the entire company, calling me the “b” word and accusing me of being “whiny.”

What did I do wrong?

CK:

You didn’t do anything wrong. He would never accuse a man who stood up for his rights of being whiny.

And, of course, that “b” word is unacceptable. If your company doesn’t investigate him thoroughly, you might want to talk to an employment lawyer about this matter.

Dear Coach:

Would you please offer some advice to a self-employed, traditional illustrator who is not a graphic designer but is looking for a job? Although I have some graphic-design skills, companies are not interested in me. And at 58, I’m not ready to become a college freshman again. What do you advise?

CK:

You said it yourself: The jobs are not there. It might be time to become a graphic designer. You’re never too old to learn or to prepare for a profession with a future, rather than to continue to cling to a disappearing one.

Dear Coach:

I’m a manager but don’t have my own office. I have one direct report — and she has her own office. So do all the other managers. There is an empty office but the CEO won’t give it to me and won’t let me ask my direct report to move out.

I feel I’m not being treated equitably. My co-workers ask me about this often and I’m embarrassed.

What do you think?

CK:

Unless you’re being illegally discriminated against, there isn’t much you can to right now to get an office.

It’s OK to keep on asking but don’t make it a major point of contention: You only diminish your own image.

I think it’s ridiculous that someone who reports to you has an office and you don’t — but don’t keep making an issue of it.

Don’t let your colleagues’ remarks get to you, and do your job efficiently as always.

Even without a door. Eventually, you’ll get an office.

E-mail questions to Carol Kleiman at ckleiman@tribune.com. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.