How one boss broke up the ‘mean kids’ clique

DEAR AMY: “George Wants Pastrami on Rye!” wrote about one colleague, “Donald,” who dominated the office by doing all the sandwich ordering, always excluding George.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune) 

This situation is not unusual. It is “high school mean girls and boys” all over again.

It was starting to happen at my own business when I hired a replacement for someone on maternity leave.

I approached the dominating “Donald” character very openly in full view of the staff, and let him know that sandwich ordering was a waste of his time. I informed the entire staff that my assistant would now be responsible for sandwich ordering, and orders need to be in by 11:30.

Problem solved — almost.

To break up the clique, I offered to pay for lunch one day a week, as long as they went somewhere, added a walk, and didn’t all go at once. This worked.

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