I come to you with a problem that has been causing me much stress and misery in the past year. I accepted a position with a firm's German subsidiary in June of 2007. Mind you, I had just graduated with an MBA at age 43 and felt I could take on the world. The move was exciting but also a bit frightening. I was born in Germany but had not lived there since my early 20's. My position as financial controller (so I was told) would be a complement to the existing person in place there. A little background to my current place of employment: this firm was originally a German company which was bought out by a US firm. Subsequently a number of the older employees were let go as a cost saving measure. Obviously not all people at this subsidiary bore good will toward Americans. The person already in place there had been with the original German firm for almost 30 years. Prior to the Americans taking over she was the head of the finance department with 4 direct reports. Now, she was "just" a financial controller with no reports. Upon my arrival she immediately took it upon herself to asert her "boss-status" and continues to this day to make my work days miserable. She will interrupt my phone and in-person conversations, tell me what I can and cannot do, how to do my job, takes it upon herself to make decisions in areas of my responsibility and oft even overturning mine when I am not there. I have discussed this with her, my immediate supersivor and HR. My supervisor seems sympathic and promises to make changes and intervene. Sure enough, things seem to get better for a day or two and then back to the status quo. Any discussion of this problem, directly or indirectly, most often results in my co-worker not speaking to me for days. I am simply relegated to being just her "assistant". Were I in the US I would've have found another job already, as I just cannot get anywhere with the channels available at work. Anything I say to HR is immediately told to the plant manager who then proceeds to make masked ridiculing remarks about my problem right in front of me! To make matters worse, my immediate supervisor has unexpectedly left the company just a few days ago and now I am faced with a new supervisor whom is underqualified and unapproachable. The problem is, when I signed my contract I agreed that I would repay my relocation expenses if I left within 3 years. I don't have that sort of cash and feel trapped. To make matters worse I don't really know a lot of people here and although I talk with my friends back in the US, my support system here consists of myself and my 16-year-old son. This has led me to drinking more than I should to cope with these feelings of being trapped and helpless. I don't know what to do! Any advice is much appreciated.