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Do Supervisors Have Inherent, Unspoken Privileges?

Waiting in line for delightful frozen yogurt the other day, I witnessed an interesting interaction between what was obviously two employees and their supervisor. The two employees were directly behind me and their more powerful colleague approached them from her spot at the back of the line. Find out what happened when you


She demanded from the two women, "Shouldn't you be working?" To which one of them responded, "We're just getting a snack." The accuser answered, after noticing a bag in her subordinate's hand, "And you've been shopping?" To which the accused defended herself, "It's Erin's going away present." There was no joking around going on here — the woman had a definite hands-on-hips, give-me-answers-now attitude.

The whole thing made me uncomfortable for the two employees; if their taking a break was truly an issue of concern, the supervisor could have waited until later to discuss it with them. It got me thinking, though, because obviously the supervisor was taking a break away from the office, too.

Those in positions above other employees have more power when it comes to work related decision making, but does that mean they should be held to a different set of rules altogether? Have you had experiences with supervisors that scrutinize your every move but act oppositely themselves?


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