Q: After my recent promotion was announced to the staff, one of my co-workers became very upset. She complained to our manager, who immediately sent out a second announcement canceling the promotion.

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Q: After my recent promotion was announced to the staff, one of my co-workers became very upset. She complained to our manager, who immediately sent out a second announcement canceling the promotion. When I confronted him about this, he apologized for “giving me something, then taking it back.”

My boss justified his reversal by saying that the co-worker made some good points about my unsuitability for the position. He also said that she was feeling undervalued. Previously, this woman has convinced him to change decisions about vacation, work assignments, and various other matters.

I believe staffing decisions should be based on merit, not people’s emotional reactions, so I would like to discuss this issue with human resources. However, I’m afraid the conversation might get back to my boss, because our company is very small. How do I ensure that I will be treated fairly in the future?

A: Your boss is obviously an idiot. His arbitrary retraction of your promotion clearly indicates that he lacks the ability to manage a lemonade stand, much less a business unit. And since someone above him undoubtedly had to approve this decision, that person is an idiot as well.

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If your entire business operates like this, the only way to assure that you will be “treated fairly in the future” is to find a more professional place to work. Unfortunately, managers in small companies often receive little or no leadership training, so they never learn to do their jobs properly.

This particular move was so preposterous, however, that anyone with an ounce of common sense would not have done it. So while I have no idea whether you were ready to be promoted, I can say with a high degree of certainty that your boss was not.

Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at yourofficecoach.com.