Q. I really admire my boss, and ever since she hired me about six months ago I've tried to spend as much time as possible with her so I can learn to behave the way she does, and learn the inside workings of this corporation. In the beginning, she was very cooperative and kind and seemed to want to become a kind of "mentor" to me. Lately, I notice she'll pick up the phone when I'm in her office, or she'll keep typing on her computer when I come in. Do you think I'm doing something to irritate her?
Ans. You're probably bothering her too much. Bosses will show special interest in new employees, but they have work to do and after a while most expect you to get busy on your own and not be so needy of their personal time and attention. Maggie Craddock, author of "Power Genes" notes that good top executives don't have enough of it to give it away. Instead, do your work well and quickly, and keep your boss apprised of your activities and occasional questions, through email. It's more professional than hanging around her office.