Widely sought as a speaker at corporations, associations, and universities, he is also a best-selling author and a frequent television and talk-radio guest.
On this website you can enjoy a sampling of some recent advice he's given on workplace issues. Topics are listed along the left side of the page. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."
Do you think you work with the biggest jerk of all -- that one person who sets the gold standard when it comes to ridiculous workplace behaviors and antics?
If so, we have just the contest for you! You probably feel that you deserve a prize for working with this jerk, and now that opportunity has arrived.
In 100 words or less, tell us about your jerk. No names please -- just the gory details. We'll post all of the jerk tales and pick a new winner every month.
The prize is a Jerks at Work T-shirt!
If you have a perfect jerk in mind, just click here to enter the contest. Good luck with your jerk! And good luck in the contest, too!
The latest advice
I was recently awarded a position at my workplace, in healthcare. It expands into a different area for me after being in my old position for nine years. To make a long story short, my trainer has been there a few years longer than me, and has been doing the job that I am to be trained in for about three years now. This person was at one time a beginner as well, yet expects me to grab a totally new concept almost immediately after explaining it. If I make an error, I'm reminded by my trainer how critical it is that all information that I input be accurate. I get that!! I know how critical this job is and I'm up to the challenge. However when I'm met with critical and condescending comments and "attitude," it is very discouraging. Just when I'm feeling like I'm doing well (I am given a bit of praise for my progress), I get shot down with a negative/critical comment or behaviour.
I don't mind being worked hard when I'm learning new things. I learn better with positive encouragement and attitudes. I relax more and my mind becomes open and more able to grab the new tasks. How do I go into my second week of training and be patient with myself and not take the impatient, negative attitude personally? I'm not one of those people who are awesome right off the bat.
Thanks for reading my message! Read Ken's Answer
Hello. I apologize in advance for the long story. I work in an animal supply store and get many questions from customers about how to care of a specific animal, and this can take close to 30 minutes in certain cases, often jumping from customer to customer to make sure everyone is taken care of. My position includes but is not limited to working the cash desk,pricing merchandise, stocking shelves, sometimes answering the phone, and all cleaning. There are a total of three women sales associates, one full time, one part-time, and one summer student. Sometimes the floor manager can help. This place gets very busy because we happen to be the only good store that is actually knowledgeable about what we are doing for a great distance.
I have received complaints from the floor manager, indirectly from my boss/the business owner, about how I am taking too long helping customers with their inquires and threatened with a writeup. I am literally being written up because I was doing my job while being away from the cash desk. WTF!? I'm sorry for language, but this is the first thing that comes to mind. Please help me figure out what to do. I don't know how to deal with bosses who conflict themselves. Read Ken's Answer
I'm in the processing of a job application with my main point of contact being a recruiter that the company hired.
He was supposed to have contacted me earlier this week with a scheduled interview in which I thought would be an appropriate time to express my concerns and asked questions, but haven't. So I emailed him with concerns regarding my pay and benefits that we discussed over the phone previously, and he responded to me well, but he also wrote in his responses a line that included "think of this as an opportunity to work hard and impress," in which he underlined the word "opportunity." Am I being overly sensitive or does this seem like an arrogant attitude from his part that is telling me something like "you shouldn't be asking too much, you should be grateful we're already considering you?" Nevertheless I replied to him saying, "I apologize if I came across as expecting too much for someone of my inexperience. It is indeed an amazing opportunity and I will take your advice to heart." Do you think I handled it alright?
Read Ken's Answer
Got something to say about jerks at work? Here's what Ken's readers are saying about the jerks featured in his advice column. These are the three most recent comments. Check them out, and post your own!
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