Dear Amy: I am a mentee in a “future women leaders” program at my organization. I am paired with a director of a different department. She and I get along very well, but she is not on speaking terms with the director of my department, and has filed a complaint against my supervisor, a woman I respect greatly.

So far, my mentor has not reached out to me to organize our first session.

Perhaps it is because she is very busy, but I suspect it is also because she is basically at war with my department, going so far as to instruct some of her subordinates not to speak to my colleagues.

I sent an initial “Thank you, and I’m looking forward to working with you” e-mail to her. I haven’t reached out to her again and haven’t heard from her.

I am not sure how I would handle any discussions about my department should it come up. I have doubts about being mentored by a person who seems to have difficulties working with others, although I have no direct negative personal experiences with her. On the other hand, I don’t want to lose the opportunity to be mentored. What should I do?


Amy says: You should contact your human resources department and ask to be paired with another “woman leader.” The mentor’s lack of follow-through is reason enough to try to switch.

The prospective mentor you were paired with does not seem to exemplify the type of leadership you should choose to emulate. However, if you do end up paired with her, this presents opportunities for you. If you continue to demonstrate the sort of discretion and ability to get along with all colleagues (including her) that you demonstrate in your question, you may be qualified to mentor her.

Bought gifts, didn’t get them

Dear Amy: I agreed to buy small cosmetic items from an acquaintance via Facebook to give as “stocking-stuffer” gifts at Christmastime.

I sent a check for the price of the items and shipping (the total was less than $10). I exchanged messages with the individual and was told the items were on the way. It has now been more than eight weeks, and I have received nothing.

My check was cashed, and after messaging the person again about a tracking number for the package in case it had been lost, I was blocked on all forms of social media. What should I do now?

Amy says: You could post a query on Facebook (without naming the individual): “I had an experience ordering some items from a FB friend before Christmas, and never received the items, despite paying for them. Has anyone else in my circle had this experience? If so, please message me privately.”

Others might have had the same experience with the same person, in which case you could consider contacting the police.


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