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Communication

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


I work in Accounts Payable, and I had a great idea for an advertisement for our company. I wrote it up and gave it to my manager about six weeks ago, and that's the last I heard of it. I've asked my manager about it, and he said that he routed it to the General Manager, and if there's any interest, I'll be contacted, which has not happened. Should I contact the General Manager myself?
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When I returned to my office from a meeting yesterday, my desk chair was missing. I was told that a particular employee needed it for a meeting down the hall. This was a big aggravation and waste of time for me. I told her I was upset, but she did not seem to think it was a big deal. What should I do next?
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I've noticed that several of the employees who work with me are spending a lot of time bragging to our manager. Whenever they finish an assignment or even a minor project, they rush to tell him about it. It's not my nature to brag, but should I be doing some too?
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I work in inside sales with 20 other salespeople. At a recent Internet convention, all of us worked very hard to bring in leads. But, the only people who were given the leads were the sales reps who management thought would have a higher probability of closing them. This means that I went to work just to generate leads for other salespeople. How do I approach management and ask why they did this to us?
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I need to talk to my manager about my work and about some other issues that have come up, but every time I make an appointment, he cancels. We reschedule and reschedule, but it takes too long to get to him. What can I do?
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At our quarterly meeting, one of my colleagues gave a presentation that included overhead projections. On one of his diagrams, I noticed a computational error that changed the accuracy of his conclusion. When I mentioned this in the meeting, I could see him bristle. Afterwards he accused me of destroying his presentation. I don't think I did. Was I out of line?
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I am an independent contractor and I was in the process lining up a project with a rapidly-growing company. My contact person was smart, organized, and supportive. Unfortunately, she had to turn my project over to an individual who is impossible to deal with. He won't return calls, he cancels meetings at the last minute, and he has all but shelved the project. What do you suggest?
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I am in a sales/marketing position with a manufacturing company, and I am considering changing jobs. I informally met with a marketing manager from a dot.com company. I am not a techie, but I am not ignorant in technology either. I could hardly understand what this person was saying. The vocabulary was almost completely foreign, and I am wondering if this is his problem or mine?
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Our company just put in a new policy on absenteeism and I think it is all wrong. As a manager, how do I handle this? What should I say to the employees when they complain about it, as they surely will.
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Several people I work with now think it is hilarious to tell ethnic jokes. They are also using e-mail to send them around. I find them to be offensive, and I'm sure there are other employees here who feel the same way. What do you suggest?
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I wrote a draft report and gave it to my manager for review. He marked the whole thing up with nasty and insulting comments and then handed it back to me and told me to make the corrections. I don't even know what corrections to make. How do you suggest I deal with him?
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I have worked at this company for 26 years, and I don't want to work here any more. I went on vacation for two weeks, and when I got back my boss said if one of the secretaries makes any mistakes, just correct them and do not let her know. He wants her to think she is perfect. This is just one example of many, and I feel I no longer fit. Should I stay and ignore it or move on?
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I met with my manager to explain the reasons why one of my projects was not going well, and he cut me off and said he was tired of my excuses. I said these are facts, not excuses. He said I was playing semantics and then blamed everything on me. The meeting soon ended with nothing resolved. What should I do now?
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Our manager called a meeting to get our suggestions on plans for our department. As the meeting progressed, it became clear that our input meant nothing and the plans were already finalized. I was annoyed with the waste of time, and I don't want to sit through more meetings like this. What can I do?
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The credit analyst in the cubicle next to mine uses his speakerphone for most of his calls, and this is a major problem for several of us. We have asked him to use the handheld phone, and he'll do it for a day or two, and then it's back to this. I told our manager, but he didn't do anything about it. What do you suggest?
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I report to the controller, and he gives me extremely detailed projects. If I do exactly what he says, he likes my work. In a recent project, I did some additional research and added an important section. He deleted all of it, and he has done this before. How do you work with someone like this?
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My manager ignores most of my email. I send him messages three or four times, and sometimes there still is no response. He is causing my work to suffer, and I want to know how to get him to respond.
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Most managers here keep their doors open unless they need privacy for meetings or phone calls. I recently hired a manager who has her door closed almost all the time. The employees who report to her are concerned, and so am I. I have discussed this with her, and she says she does not work well with outside noises and is more productive with the door closed. How can I deal with this?
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When my sales manager comes to town for his quarterly visit, we drive to many of my customers. The problem is that he insists that we listen to political talk-radio programs that I do not like. My manager is not open to discussions about turning off the radio. What can I do?
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I work in inside sales for a large retail outlet, and I like my job. The people in my area are great, and the work is pleasant. A few days ago, my manager said that one of the other departments could use me, and he asked me if I would be willing to transfer. I don't want to transfer, but I don't want to create problems if I refuse. What should I do?
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I have an employee in my department who doesn't follow company procedures. She ends up creating problems for the rest of the staff. I've discussed the situation with her, but nothing changes. What's her problem and what should I do about it?
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My boss is always giving me little projects in addition to my regular work. I want to take care of what he needs, but these projects take time and cause me to get behind on other important work. How can I tell him without looking like I'm lazy?
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The manager of our department does not like to hire experienced people. He says they have to be retrained and still end up doing things their old way. Although I wouldn't tell him, I think he's wrong. Does his approach make sense to you?
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I was just given a notice that our whole department is supposed to go to some team-building sessions starting in a couple of weeks. I've heard that these sessions are filled with little games that have nothing to do with work. I have no interest in attending, and I am wondering if it's a problem for me to try to get out of it.
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My boss is a very stoic woman who never shows her emotions. Because of this, we don't really know how she feels about our work, and it is very hard for us to tell if she is pleased or upset. How can we get a better read on what she is thinking?
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My manager praises my co-workers whenever they do something well, but he hardly ever shows any appreciation toward me. My work is just as good as theirs. It's not that I need lots of stroking, but I would appreciate more from him. How do I get it?
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I have this friend who I socialize with on the weekends and we talk frequently on the phone. We work for the same organization, but in different departments. When we see each other at work, she ignores me. I am confused about this. Is there something about working for the organization that adds an element of competition between us?
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I have been at this company for a year, and there is one woman who still will not speak to me, does not respond when I ask her questions, and will not acknowledge my presence in a room. I am friendly to all, and I have tried asking her if everything is okay, but she just grunts and shrugs. What can I do?
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I wrote a report for management, and I asked my direct manager to have a look at it before submitting it. I am shocked and angry that he removed my name and put his on it. I did not say anything at the time, since I still have to work for him, but what can I do?
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I am 28 and the youngest employee in my office of 35. All the others have more experience, yet I make the same money. Many of them have poor attitudes and don't put forth much effort. They treat me as a threat and make bad remarks about me. I do not know if I should ignore the comments of these slackers, confront them, or go to my boss. What's a rookie to do?
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One of my co-workers e-mails me far too many jokes and stories every day, to the point that some days I receive ten or more from her. I know she means well, but I would like her to stop. How do I tell her without hurting her feelings?
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The assistant to the chairman of a company complained to our company president that I had not returned any of her calls. Our president played her message and told me that he is about to fire me for not returning her calls. But I did return her calls through another individual, just as I was instructed to do. Anyway, I resigned. I am just curious on your thoughts on his action to terminate an employee over a phone call.
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I arrived late for a meeting because I was on an important phone call with a vendor. When I quietly sat down, the manager running the meeting gave me a look of disgust and made a degrading comment. Afterwards I told him that I did not appreciate what he did, and his response was for me to get to the meeting on time. I told him about the call and he did not care. What do you think?
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Through the grapevine, we have learned that one supervisor stands outside of MIS, Customer Service, and Accounting and listens in on employee conversations. He never says anything that indicates what he may have overheard, but some of us are still left feeling spooky. How would you suggest approaching him?
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My job calls for considerable air travel, and I have some fairly extensive trips that I should make over the next few weeks. The problem is that I really don't want to fly for a while. I have done some teleconferencing, but I should get back on the road. How do I deal with this?
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We work in an open office area and generally conduct our work within earshot of each other. After a recent meeting with a customer, the representative who works at the desk next to mine told me that my customer relations skills need work. Then she mentioned at least ten things that I did incorrectly. I told her I didn't agree with anything she said, and now she doesn't talk to me. How do I straighten this out?
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I recently received my salary increase and it was much lower than I expected. In doing some research, it seems my manager lied to me about the average increase in the district as well as on other items. How do I confront my manager that she is a liar or at least dispensing misleading information to me?
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My manager was piling work on me over the last few months, to the point that I could not get everything done. Finally, I told him that enough is enough, and I refused to take on any more. He said that he understood, but now I sense that he views me as a marginal employee and that's not true. How do I win him back?
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Q. We have noticed that our boss seems preoccupied lately. She has been making mistakes and has missed a few appointments, and she is more impatient than she used to be. We don't know if we should just let her work out whatever is going on, or if we should talk to her about this. What do you think?
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We had a round of layoffs a few weeks ago, and I survived. I obviously felt relieved and thankful, but I'm also feeling sort of guilty. I know I didn't cause any of my former associates to get laid off, but I'm not feeling very good. Can you offer any advice?
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My boss is extremely picky. When I turn my reports over to her, she goes over them inch by inch and comes back to me with complaints about tiny details, while saying practically nothing about the overall work. No matter how carefully I work, she will find some dinky point and give me grief about it. What's the best way to deal with her?
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How should I deal with an employee who always tattles? Whenever his co-workers even come close to doing something questionable, he rushes to my office to tell me. I appreciate his concern, but I don't appreciate his interruptions. How do I get him to focus more on his own work?
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My manager says I ask too many questions, but I feel I would rather do this than go off on a project and make a bunch of mistakes. I sense that he is becoming less and less available to me, but I am only trying to do a good job. What can I do?
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I am the newest employee in my department, and I believe I have been doing excellent work. When a supervisory position opened up, I was very fortunate and the position was given to me. Now there is serious resentment toward me from several employees who have been here longer. How do I deal with it?
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I meant to tell my boss about a problem that developed here, but I got busy and forgot. She then got in huge trouble, and now she's saying that I did this to make her look bad. That's not true, but I don't know how to convince her.
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My manager recently finished reading a business book and told me that it made him a better manager and better person. He told me to read it and we'll discuss why it's so important. Well, I read it and I think it's contrived and simplistic. What do I say to him?
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My manager kept rushing me on my project, and when it was done, it was not very good. Now he is upset with me, but I don't think it's my fault. He pushed me too hard to meet his deadline, and I think it's his fault that the project fell short. What do you think?
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As general manager, I want to make sure that I stay on top of the employees' attitudes and interests, so I hold an open meeting in the afternoons on the last Friday of each month. I am always surprised at the low attendance in these meetings. What are some ways to get more people to come?
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I use e-mail to keep the employees in my department current and to advise them of changes. My writing is clear, but there are always three or four people who come to me and ask for an explanation. They can obviously read, but they just don't do it. How do I get this to stop?
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Whenever I make a suggestion to management, I am told that my idea will not work. I think that some of my ideas are very good, but no one around here seems to care. Are there some ways to encourage management to accept some of my suggestions?
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The president and senior officers of our company occasionally visit our center, but when they enter the building, they walk by all of us as if we are furniture. They go right into the conference room, have a closed-door meeting, and then rush out. I guess there's not much that can be done about this, but I thought I'd ask.
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For the first time in my career, I am nervous about losing my job. The company has not replaced people who left during the past few months, and there are rumors all over the place. Do you have any suggestions for people in my situation?
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When we have departmental meetings, there is one person who interrupts me whenever I am speaking, and his comments usually have noting to do with what I was saying. I get upset and distracted by this, and I don't know how to deal with it.
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I am a new executive secretary to a chief officer of a major company. When he was brought on, he brought many former associates with him. His style at his old company was "open door," but now he requires time with the door closed. His associates are having a hard time with this policy, and part of my job is as gatekeeper. My boss says "they will get used to it," but they go in when I am away from my desk. Without being a nag, how do I best handle this situation?
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The company president asked several of us for our opinion on a technical business matter, and he requested a written analysis from each of us. I took his request seriously and wrote a detailed summary, but I never heard one word back. Should I ask him what happened or just wait?
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I know it's popular to use sports language when managing, but our boss has gone to an extreme. We're always going to the hoop, trying to hit more home runs, or looking for the slam-dunk. Yesterday he gave me one of his sports talks and then patted me on the rear. I told him to never do that again. Any suggestions on how to deal with him?
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I use e-mail to keep the employees in my department current and to advise them of changes. My writing is clear, but there are always three or four people who come to me and ask for an explanation. They can obviously read, but they just don't do it. How do I get this to stop?
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I am supposed to coordinate my work with a person in the publicity department of our company. She works in another city, and I have left her several telephone and e-mail messages, but she hasn't returned any. On my last call, I got her voice mail and it indicated she is out of town and to call her assistant. When I called her assistant, her voice mail said that she herself is out of town too. What should I do now?
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My boss told me that I am trying too hard to get his job, and I should pay more attention to my own work. My work is going well and I don't think it needs any more attention from me. Besides, I thought most bosses want an employee who is motivated to move up. What's my boss's problem?
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Our new manager told us several times that she believes in shared decision making and we are an important part of the process. Now that she's been here for a month, it's apparent she has to control everything. Is there a way to get her to change?
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Earlier this year, we participated in an employee satisfaction survey. We completed questionnaires and turned them in, and that was the last we heard about it. We would like to know about the findings and what management is going to do about them. Shouldn't that be part of the process?
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I work in the corporate office of a family business, and the president's teenage son was just hired to help us out during the summer. He is a spoiled and inconsiderate person who keeps his own hours, makes endless personal calls, and boasts that he does not have to work at all. We don't want to insult the president, but we are already at our wit's end. What should we do?
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I am not sure how to handle an employee who challenges my leadership. He makes negative comments about me to the other employees, and yesterday he flat out refused to carry out an assignment that I gave him. He has a lot of abilities and I don't want to terminate him, but I am unsure what to do.
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I took on an additional project that I was certain I could handle, even though I am busy with all of my regular work. The problem is that the project is far more difficult than I thought, and I am not getting it done. And, it's getting in the way of my other responsibilities. I have probably waited too long to let management know, and now I am in a mess. Is there a graceful way out?
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I have been with this company for a few weeks, and I have figured out the main problems and how to fix them. There are about 20 in all, and I would like to go over each with my manager, but I am not sure of the best way to do this. What can you suggest?
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Our company is under a stringent cost reduction program that includes layoffs, but in spite of this, some office areas are being redecorated. If the company is in such a financial pinch, why would they be doing this?
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My manager told me to coordinate a project with a co-worker who is in another branch. I emailed this person several times and never heard from him. When I called, he said he routinely throws out email from strangers, and mine must have been one. How common is this, and how can it be prevented?
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How do you deal with a co-worker who always uses vocabulary words that most of us don't understand? He quizzes us about their meaning, usually in front of other people, and he then gives the definition.
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Our company recently hired a new office manager, but she does not know how to manage at all. She runs around here doing menial tasks and getting in the way, and we have to train her in so many areas while she is supervising us. This seems unfair, and there are several of us who should have been promoted instead of hiring her from the outside. What should we do?
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Several of us were sitting at lunch talking about salaries around here when our manager walked by, heard what we were talking about, and got all upset and said we will be disciplined if we continue. Can she do this?
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When I joined this company, I was told that there would be many opportunities for training. So far, the three programs that I was supposed to attend were cancelled at the last minute without any explanation, and none have been rescheduled. My manager told me that more will be on the way, but that was two months ago and there have been none. Any suggestions?
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At a recent management meeting, it was suggested that we put in a hotline for the employees to call with anonymous complaints, accusations, and tips. Are companies doing this type of thing, and what is your view?
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The owner of the company where I work recently hired his daughter as office manager. Granted she has the training and experience to do the job, she is picky, insulting, and never says thanks, but the owner feels she can do no wrong. Are we stuck?
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Our company has a computer specialist on staff, but we have difficulties dealing with him. When we have computer problems, he comes into our department at his convenience, makes some fast adjustments, gives an incomprehensible explanation, and treats us like we are fools. His repairs are not that great, so we have to call him again and the cycle repeats itself. Any suggestions?
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I work in a dental office and recently our employer brought in someone to refresh the CPR skills of the hourly office staff. This class took 2 1/2 hours, and afterwards our employer said that he wouldn't pay our hourly salaries while we were in the class. Does this seem right?
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I am in sales, and our company just implemented a new system that requires us to complete a huge amount of paperwork. We don't see the value of most of it, but our manager tells us that it will improve our efficiency. When we complained, he made it very clear that the paperwork has to be completed. How does this sound to you?
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We are employed at a mid-size retail chain. We have a manager on site, and we are subjected to biweekly reviews by an area manager. We are a high-performing team and we always meet our goals. When the area manager visits, he sails in, rarely says hello, reviews invoices and such, and focuses on finding something wrong. The atmosphere is depressed and defensive when he's around. What do you call this form of management and how can we react in a more positive tone to his visits?
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Our manager has developed this thing about using euphemisms, and he expects us to use the words that he prefers. His favorite is to refer to "problems" as "challenges." If we ever say we have a problem, he immediately corrects us, but he doesn't do much to help us. What's the point of this, and how do we deal with this manager?
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One of my employees has gotten very lazy lately, to the point that his work is not completed on time and the quality is slipping. This is a far cry from how he used to be. Is there a good way to handle this?
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I have a great way to do part of my job, and I am convinced that it will be faster, better, and save the company money. My manager is not the least bit interested in my idea and told me to do the job the way it is specified. How can I convince him to give me a chance?
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I recently began a new job as an estimator. The owners of the company are young and both lack formal education. One owner yells and screams at his subordinates, and his words carry throughout the building. Isn't there an appropriate method to inform employees of errors or potential errors?
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I started a new job 9 months ago, and the company just announced that it is review time. Their method of reviewing employees seems perplexing as they have the employee do a self-evaluation, and then compare it with your manager's evaluation of you. I find this difficult, as I would not want to rate myself too high or too low, yet my pay increase is based on the review. Can you please suggest a way that I can evaluate myself?
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I work in a very disorganized office. Everything is a last minute emergency. On one project, the boss asked several people to do the same job, and I spent two days on a project that had been assigned to someone else. My manager said we just need to get used to it. The turnover rate is extremely high, with many people leaving in disgust. Their complaints never make it past middle management. Is there any hope, or should I just jump ship?
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I work for a large, bureaucratic organization. It is a great company, and the only problem is that the raises are not based on merit. I know of several people who received "needs improvement" on their review and were given 5% increases, while others received "meets job requirements" (two rankings better) and received only 3%. Why would a company do this?
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I am a manager in a company that has around 200 employees. A new human resources director was hired two months ago, and I have yet to meet him. He has sent out some memos, but he has never held a meeting with the employees, nor has he set foot in our department which has 10 employees. Should I contact him?
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I am employed at a very reputable company as an administrative coordinator. Up until recently, I enjoyed my job immensely. However, my new boss is extremely demanding, every voice mail message is urgent, and she often produces last-minute assignments. I was astonished when she called me into the office and said that if I can't keep up with the pace, maybe I should look for another position in the company. I'm not sure how to handle this situation.
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I have an employee who keeps telling me how to manage, and he likes to use management vocabulary, such as by saying that I need to have more employee empowerment. Then he offers "suggestions" about priorities, assignments, and how to do my job. How do I get him to back off?
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I was at a party and met someone who would be a great customer. We hit it off very well, and he told me to call him at work, which I did 3 days ago. I left him a voicemail message, and he has not called me back. I don't want to seem over-eager, but I don't want to lose this lead. Any thoughts on what to do next?
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I run a small department, and my manager scheduled an 11:00 a.m. meeting with me and two other department heads. At a few minutes before 11:00, I arrived at the meeting, but it was already going and the topic was focused on how to improve my department (which is running extremely well). I didn't know this was the topic, and I was incensed that they started without me, but I didn't say anything about it. Do I have a right to be annoyed?
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My manager sent me a written critique of a report that I wrote, and the tone of his comments was arrogant and somewhat mean. My report was not all that bad, and his review threw me off. Should I let this go or should I say something?
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An employee who reports to me does not lie, but he tends to withhold information that I need. When problems later develop and I ask him if he knew about what was happening, he tells me that he did, but felt that it was not important to mention it to me at the time. How do I get him to give me complete information?
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I have been on this job for just over a month, and my relationship with my boss was very pleasant at first. Over the weeks, he has become much more critical, and this morning he snapped at me. I don't think my work has changed, and I don't know him well enough to figure out what is happening here. Do you have any ideas?
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I joined this company a few weeks ago, and the two people who interviewed me just announced they are leaving. One is my direct supervisor, and the other is one of the key people in the department. I interpret this as a bad sign, and I am wondering what you suggest.
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I work in an office with approximately 80 employees. I enjoy what I do and I am a hard worker. Another quality I have is minding my own business, no gossiping, no chit-chatting, and no spreading of rumors. I believe some employees perceive this as being stuck-up or anti-social. Is it wrong to mind my own business, or should I be more sociable and outgoing? Outside of the workplace, I am very outgoing.
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Another manager called me to discuss one of his employees, and I started to make some unfavorable comments about this employee when his voice suddenly came onto the call. It turned out that I was on the other manager's speakerphone and the employee in question was in his office. I was embarrassed and annoyed over this, and I'm not sure what to do next.
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Our former supervisor gave us a lot of freedom because he knew that when things got busy, the job always got done. We have a new supervisor who is always walking around assigning frivolous tasks to people who don't appear to be engrossed in some project. Is there something we could say to him without jeopardizing our jobs?
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I just hired a new employee in my department. He is starting in two weeks, he just told me he doesn't like his name, and he prefers to be called by his nickname. The problem is that his nickname sounds ridiculous, and I'll feel like a fool when I introduce him to everyone else. Do you think it's okay if I tell him I prefer to use his real name?
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We have retained a company to provide managerial training for our newer managers. All of them are pleased with this training opportunity, except for one. He looked over the program and said that it is a waste of time and he is not interested. Should we force him to attend, or is this a sign that he is not motivated to be in management?
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My manager made a commitment to phone me at a specific time on a specific day, and then called 2 hours later and started the conversation as if there were no delay at all. I told him that I had to move a bunch of work around as a result of the delay, and he didn't even respond. Your thoughts?
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My boss stopped by my apartment and I was going to drive him to a meeting. While he was waiting for me, he noticed that a stapler on my desk came from the office. I told him immediately that it belongs to the company and I had brought it home for a couple of days and planned to return it. He shook his head and now seems upset with me. What do I do?
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What should we do about managers who go to meetings and do not bring complete information for the employees? The only way we get information is through other people in the company. This seems unethical and unprofessional to us.
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I am trying to run my department, but I keep getting questionnaires, surveys, and other interruptions from our human resources department. I know they have a job to do, but they do not seem to realize how busy we are. I have spoken to the H.R. people and to my own manager, but the interruptions continue. Any suggestions?
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My manager gave me an assignment and said it was an easy one that I should be able to handle without any problem. I am finding that it is not so easy, and I have some questions, but I am afraid to ask them for fear of looking foolish. What do you suggest?
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Whenever I talk with my manager, he inevitably brings up my co-workers and tells me things about them that are not my business. He likes to talk about who is struggling and who he just counseled. This puts me in a bad position, but I don't want to tell my manager how to manage. What do you suggest?
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I have a new subordinate in training who interrupts me and asks questions about the very thing that, had she waited, would have been explained to her. When I am speaking with other employees, she will interrupt. I have tried talking over her, but she speaks louder and louder and will not stop. When I am quietly working, she will blurt out statements to me from across the room. Help!
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As part of my job as a supervisor, I am supposed to discipline employees for breaking the rules and committing other infractions at work. I do not like confrontations, and this aspect of the job has me worried. What are the ways to discipline employees without having a confrontation?
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I sent an e-mail to a colleague across the country, and the next thing I knew, my boss was lecturing me about sending such an unfriendly note. I don't think it was unfriendly, but it was direct and businesslike. When I reread it to my boss, he seemed to understand. Is there a way to prevent this kind of problem from recurring?
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We recently hired an individual who graduated from a big name school, and he just completed his first project. I cannot believe that he does not know how to write. His work is filled with errors in grammar and structure, and the content is thin at best. I can give a new employee some guidance, but he requires more than I can provide. What do you suggest?
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I feel foolish writing this to you, but our boss has bad breath, to the point that it is very hard to even have a short conversation with him. We want to say something, but we are reluctant because he may react all wrong. Is there a way to tell him without causing a problem?
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The last time I made a formal presentation before our group, a few people came in after I started, so I summarized what they had missed. My manager told me afterwards that if they did not get there on time, that's too bad for them, and there's no need to waste everyone else's time recapping what they missed. Does that seem like good advice to you?
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I was given a very demanding assignment by my manager, and it did not go well. I take responsibility for the failure, but I must say that my manager was unresponsive to my numerous attempts to communicate with him. All he said at the end was he assumed that if I took on a project, I would get it done. What do you think of this and what should I do now?
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My boss and I were discussing a difficult long-term employee who supposedly reports to me, but has made a career out of being belligerent and independent. I feel several major errors were made with this person, with the approval of my boss. This employee was converted from hourly to salary, and he now chooses to work minimum hours and leave early. My boss says I can terminate him, but I said, "I don't believe you." How do you set a salaried employee's hours, and, since all of this has damaged my relationship with my boss, how do I repair that?
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I have one manager who reports to me, and I work with her on a regular basis to make improvements in her department. We work well together, but when the two of us meet with my manager, there is a problem. The manager who reports to me makes it sound like she is the only one responsible for improvements in the department. I am reluctant to say anything to her or to my manager because I think I would look weak. How should I handle this?
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Whenever I ask my manager a question, he answers it with a question. This can be frustrating, since I would like his help or I would not have asked him the question in the first place. What can I do?
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I am applying for a new job, and I have a strong resume. Since it speaks for itself, I have not been attaching a cover letter because it's extra work and does not seem worth the trouble. How important is it?
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When my manager asks me questions, I start to answer them and then he cuts me off and demands that I get to the point. I don't wander all over the place when I respond to him, and all the information I provide is necessary. What do you suggest I do?
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I send my customers articles that I think might interest them, and I hear back from all but one. I am sure this one customer's assistant is intercepting what I send and throwing it out. I have an excellent relationship with this customer, but his assistant is a control freak. How can I make sure he gets the articles I send, and what can I do about her?
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I manage two people, and when I walk into their offices, they ignore me. If they are on a phone call or talking with someone, they don't even acknowledge I have entered. I don't expect them to jump up, but a little acknowledgement would be nice. What do you suggest?
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I have been here four years, and I report to the owner. He knows nothing about my personal life, and I know nothing about his. Everything is business with him, and he won't talk about anything unrelated to work. I think some mutual understanding would help us work together, and I am wondering how to get him to open up.
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About a year ago, a good friend of mine was promoted and became my boss. He asked me to change my schedule and take on extra duties. I agreed, and everything went well, but he was suddenly promoted. For the past two weeks, I have had a new director who expects me to do all these tasks, and she has given me new assignments and constricted my hours. All of our conversations have focused on what she needs. How and when should I have a conversation to talk about my needs, such as extra benefits for my extra work?
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My manager rarely has any time to meet with me. The problem is that there is another manager who works closely with him who keeps giving me assignments. These assignments have nothing to do with my job and skills, and I don't like the work. My manager has told me to do what this manager says. What should I do?
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I am a receptionist and I have this job through a temp agency. The position is currently being advertised, and I applied for it and was interviewed. I keep asking the Human Resources recruiter and the temp agency for feedback, and I am told I did a great job, but they are still actively interviewing candidates. Should I speak up or keep looking for another job?
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My raise appeared in this paycheck, and at first I was happy with it. After I talked with several co-workers, I found that my percentage increase was lower than theirs. This isn't fair. I think my performance was as good as theirs, but if I say something to my boss, it could be a problem because we are not supposed to talk about pay. What should I do?
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My boss is overly dramatic when he talks with us, and one of his tendencies is to whisper when he wants to emphasize a point. I cannot stand it when he does this. Should I say something to him?
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Our boss emails us about everything and never communicates in person. Her office is across the hall from me. She will walk into my office, see that I am working on a project for her, and then return to her office and send me an email to start working on it. Her emails are often accusing in nature. I have talked to her about this, and she laughs and says, "Whatever." What should I do?
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Our company backs its managers 100%, whether they are right or wrong. There are no checks and balances to see if a department needs attention by someone in senior management. What can an employee do about this?
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Until recently, I was a sales manager for a technology start-up. I had no idea where to go or how to sell the product. I was not even trained in the basics. I taught myself and made presentations, but I was paid very little. Just before the end of five months with the company, the vice president of sales terminated me for failing to bring in sales. The company has many employees who are dissatisfied and trapped in a heap of unfilled promises. What could be the reason for my boss's irresponsible behavior? Is this typical of how start-ups treat their employees?
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I work for an aerospace company, and my manager is supposed to set goals in January, give a progress review in July, and a final review in the next January. My 2004 appraisal was not completed until January 2005, and the goals and ratings were all made up. My boss wanted me to sign it and backdate it, and he is doing the same thing for this year's appraisal. I explained this to the HR manager, and he told me to find another job. What should I do next?
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I had three interviews with a company I liked, but I just got a rejection letter. A friend said I should send them a letter to thank them for interviewing me and let them know how impressed I am with them and their company. My feeling is they hired someone else and that's it. What do you suggest?
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I am detail minded, and the reports I write are very thorough. I have a problem with my manager who wants everything brief and in short lists, and he won't read longer analyses. I don't see how I can thin out my reports, since all of my points are important. What do you suggest I do?
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I write the company newsletter, and my boss just blasted me for failing to put in pictures and write-ups about new hires. She never said she wanted this, and my predecessor never did it. I'm annoyed that all of a sudden this is a big deal and I'm in trouble for something I didn't know about. What do you suggest I do?
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Management in this company is always saying they want to hear the employees' ideas. I was at a meeting with several top managers and made a suggestion. My manager instantly said it was a ridiculous idea and not to waste the group's time with these types of comments. None of the other managers seemed bothered by my comments. I felt humiliated and am unsure about what to do next.
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We provide support services to all of the other departments, and there is one department that is filled with complainers, starting with the manager. Whenever we introduce new programs or processes, everyone in the company is just fine except for this group. First the department manager calls and complains, and then at least three or four of his employees start with their complaints. How do you deal with this problem?
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I manage a department of twelve people, and three of them wrote a letter to my manager saying I insist on having everything done my way. That is not true, but my manager believed everything they wrote and came down hard on me. What should I do?
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I deal with several different departments, and there is one department head who contacts my manager after I meet with him and completely misquotes me. This leads to major problems with my boss, and he has told me that the promises I make are creating problems for him, but I never promised anything. How do I get this department head to stop creating these problems for me?
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I sent an email to a co-worker, and I made an offhand remark about the work habits of one person in our group. Ever since I sent it, this person has been cold to me. My co-worker said he did not forward it to anyone, but I'm not sure. What do I do now?
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My manager told me that as part of my managerial responsibilities, I need to spend more time with my employees. I admit that I tend to stay in my office most of the day, and the reason is that I have so much work to do. My door is open if my employees need to see me, and that's about all I can do now. Do you have any suggestions?
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My sales manager usually takes one day every month to ride around with me when I call on my customers. I want to talk with him about my presentations, but he is on his cell phone almost the entire time in the car. He tells me he is too busy to talk to me during these rides. What do you suggest?
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My manager gives me very vague instructions on projects, and he is never around for the clarification. He ignores my phone calls, and if I send him an email, he responds by implying that his instructions are clear and obvious to anyone with a brain. What can I do with a manager like this?
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My manager is a documentation freak. Any time we discuss anything, he sends me an email to summarize it. I'm not a child and I don't need all this follow-up. I think he has too much time on his hands. What can I say to him?
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I work with ten other people in this department, and my boss has taken all of them to lunch but me. Some have even gone to lunch with him several times. He is not my favorite person in the world, but I'm still feeling left out and concerned. What do you suggest?
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My manager over-explains things to me. When he gives me an assignment, he asks me to repeat what he said, and then he keeps calling me and visiting me to make sure I'm doing it right. It's hard for me to work this way. How can I get him to stop?
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When my manager gives me assignments, he tells me about his expectations, and he gives me a hard copy. Then he usually says the same thing in a voicemail and email. I don't appreciate being treated like a child. However, I like the company and I like my manager, except for this. What should I do?
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I work in accounting and I report to the controller who reports to the owner. The controller gives me my assignments, but then the owner gives me other projects. My manager insists that I am only to do what he says and ignore the owner's requests. He says he'll deal with the owner. Whose orders should I follow?
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My manager is always exercising when we meet with him. He has tennis balls that he squeezes during our meetings, and sometimes he lifts weights with one hand and then the other. All of us are annoyed by this, but we are reluctant to say anything. What do you suggest?
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My boss just took three of my main responsibilities and gave them to another manager. He did this without conferring with me, and I was handling all of these functions very well, or at least I thought so. My boss has never been particularly communicative, and he has not said a word to me about this. Is the handwriting on the wall?
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I sent a brief email message to one of my employees, and he immediately wrote back and asked why my message was so nasty and negative. I don't think it was, and I'm wondering what's going on in his head. I don't have time to write gushing email, and I want to know how to get around this problem.
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My manager stops by my office regularly, and I give him updates on my projects and on anything else he needs to know. He says he'll get back to me, but he does not take action on what I say, and sometimes it seems he doesn't even remember what we talk about. I don't want to tell him how to manage. What do you suggest?
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On at least three occasions, I received emails from two senior managers who seriously questioned my approach on certain projects. I immediately emailed back documentation that showed I took the correct approach. I never heard back from them. I think I'm entitled to an apology. Should I say anything to them or let it go?
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My manager emailed some questions about one of our company's programs, and I immediately stopped what I was doing and spent a few hours handling his request. I emailed my write-up to him, and he emailed me back and said I did everything wrong. I told him that my interpretation of his request could easily have been the right way to go. He told me to do it again, and do it his way. I think this was his failure, and he thinks it was mine. What do you think?
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How do I deal with someone who ignores my email? Whenever I send him a message, I hardly ever hear back. If I contact him later, he usually asks me to send my email again. I think this is a big power play.
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When I returned from a short vacation, I found that my office had been moved from one part of the building to another. I never had been told about this, and no one else's office was moved. I am furious. I told my manager and he said that it just needed to be done. Does this sound right to you?
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My boss is not the most accessible person in the world, and he has canceled many appointments with me. I got the bright idea to ask him to lunch, and he accepted. When we got to the restaurant, his cell phone rang and he took the call and several others after it. We probably had about five minutes of conversation the whole time. How do you deal with a boss like this?
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One of my co-workers does most of his communicating by email, and he can be very antagonistic online. In today's email, he basically accused me of being incompetent, and he copied my boss on the note. I sent him a fairly harsh note in return, and the battle went on until I just stopped. How do you deal with someone like this?
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When one particular senior manager in this company gets upset, he uses a lot of profanity in his email. Several of us are offended and upset by this, but we are not sure what to do about it. After all, he is in senior management. He does not use this language in person. How do we get the profanity to stop?
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I oversee a department with 11 people, and they all have computers at their desks. One employee wants a cover for his screen so that it can only be viewed by someone who sits directly in front of it, while people who sit at an angle to the screen cannot see anything on it. There is no business need for him to have this filter, and I have had some recent doubts about what he may be doing online. What do you think of his request?
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I have an employee whose job includes writing brief reports. He knows how to write, but his work typically has grammatical errors and words used incorrectly. When I ask him about this, he says he thought the computer would correct it, but it doesn't. How do I get him to make more of an effort to write better?
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Several of the employees who report to me communicate horribly in writing. There are errors of punctuation, capitalization, and grammar throughout their written communications. The problem is not just in email, but it appears in the formal letters that they send to customers and management. They say I am "old school" because I am concerned about this, and they add that they get their messages across to others, and that is what's important. I disagree on all counts. What about you?
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I work in a family business owned by my cousin. He is so concerned about avoiding favoritism that he basically avoids me. Whenever I try to discuss work situations or make a suggestion, he says he cannot get involved because I am family. How can I get him to listen?
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Our company has a policy that says we are not supposed to talk about our pay, but everyone does anyhow. I don't see the point of this policy, and I'm wondering how common it is.
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Throughout last year, our company was in a cost-cutting mode, and we all worked extremely hard to make our numbers. That's why we were shocked by the extravagance of the year-end party. As a manager, how do I keep my employees focused on cost reduction after the company does something like this?
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I took a few days off around the holidays, and I asked my assistant to give me a call if any problems arose. However, when one arose, she contacted my manager and turned a minor issue into a crisis. Now my manager is upset with me. If my assistant had simply called me, none of this would have occurred. What's the best way to deal with her?
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I asked my manager a question during a meeting, and she said I should know the answer to something as simple as that. I didn't think it was a simple question, and I did not like being put down in front of everyone. I still feel embarrassed and angry. If I go to her, I think she'll give me an even harder time, so how do I deal with this?
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One of my fellow managers charged into my office and started ranting and raving about how one of my employees made some mistakes and caused his employees to be late on our joint project. I barked back at him, and I knew immediately that was a mistake. What is the best way to handle this type of situation?
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Practically every time I come into the office, my manager tells me that I look upset. I am not, and I don't hear this from anyone else at work. Is there any significance to it?
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My manager gave me a time-consuming project that requires numerous telephone interviews. After working on it for a couple of days, I discussed it with one of my co-workers, and she said she is working on the exact same project. Our manager is eccentric and very sensitive to criticism. We want to talk to him, but we are unsure about what to say.
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I left my previous employer two years ago because my work was within my area of expertise, but not in my area of interest. My current job started out with work that I enjoy, but now most of my assignments are just like the awful assignments on my previous job. This company emphasizes being a team player, and if I say anything, I could create problems for myself. What should I do?
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Our manager is planning on implementing some changes in the operations and structure of our department, and he asked for our thoughts on his ideas. I wrote a careful analysis, and so did several others in the department. They all received thanks and comments back from the manager, but I heard nothing. Should I ask him what he thought or just forget about it?
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One of the more vocal employees who work for me complained about me to my manager. He said I am a dictator, and morale is terrible. My manager read the riot act to me. When I tried to defend myself, he would not listen. Some of the other employees got wind of this and told my manager I am doing a good job and not to listen to the complainer. Since then, I have heard nothing from my manager. Should I let it go or say something?
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I am a regional manager, and I am troubled by the performance of one of the branch managers who report to me. When I mentioned this to my manager, he told me to "step back" and let her run the branch. I don't think she's capable of doing so. What do you suggest?
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Top management in our company frequently tells us how available they are, and they place major importance on their open door policy. I went to senior management for a particular problem, and my boss blew up at me for doing this. Did I do something wrong?
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I was given a very demanding assignment by my manager, and it did not go well. I take responsibility for the failure, but I must say that my manager was unresponsive to my numerous attempts to communicate with him. All he said at the end was he assumed that if I took on a project, I would get it done. What do you think of this and what should I do now?
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I am a Sales Rep for a large company, and I work with a Senior Salesperson. He divided the territory and kept the good accounts for himself while leaving the problems and leftovers for me. We both report to a Vice President who cancels every appointment I make with him. I don't want to be branded a trouble-maker, but what do I do?
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I have been a loyal employee at this company for several years, and I am now a vice president. I have a great deal of expertise that has led to many honors for the company. However, in a recent restructuring, my job responsibilities were grossly reduced. I have tried to talk to the CEO, but he will not return my calls. What do I do now?
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I helped one of my co-workers on a project and he thanked me a couple of times and that was fine. But, he has not stopped thanking me. Just about every time he sees me, he offers a "thanks again." I told him that he doesn't have to thank me anymore, but he keeps doing it. How do I turn it off?
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My manager gave me an assignment, and I worked long hours for several days to complete it on time. When I gave it to him, he said that he changed his mind and does not need it. With that, he set it aside on his desk and gave me another assignment. There was no apology or explanation. How do I prevent the same thing from happening again?
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My manager stops by my office regularly, and I give him updates on my projects and on anything else he needs to know. He says he'll get back to me, but he does not take action on what I say, and sometimes it seems he doesn't even remember what we talk about. I don't want to tell him how to manage. What do you suggest?
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Our manager is a perfectionist who is intolerant of even the slightest mistakes. He can dwell on errors for days, and most of us work in constant fear of slipping up. How can we work for someone like this?
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I just lost a great opportunity at work because the company changed a program that would have been assigned to me. When I mentioned my disappointment to my manager, he ignored me and started talking about a great new project that opened up for him. I got very quiet, and he said he was disappointed I wasn't excited for him. What do I say?
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I am an administrative assistant for a boss whom I cannot please. No matter what I do, he criticizes me. I listen carefully to what he wants, and then I do it, and he still says I did it wrong. When I tell him I followed his instructions, he tells me I did not understand what he was saying, but I did. I am at my wit's end. Can you suggest anything?
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One of my employees leaves extremely long voice mail messages for me on my cell phone and land-line. These messages can last up to five minutes and cover details that are simply not necessary. I have told her to keep her messages brief, and she says she will try, but this happens almost every day. How do I get it to stop?
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My manager is in the halls a lot, and he usually just shows up in my office. I don't appreciate having him check up on me, and I would appreciate a call from him before he drops in. How can I ask him to do this?
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I am a department manager, and my manager has told me that I need to get out of my office more often and meet informally with my employees. I would like to do this, but I don't have the time. If I cannot get my job done, what is the point of walking around? Besides, I see most of them when I arrive and when I leave.
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My manager asked all of us to put together some goals for this year, and I came up with four that I thought were perfect. They are specific and clear, and they focus on the most important parts of my job. When I discussed them with my manager, he did not like them. He said that my goals should be designed to help him meet his goals. I don't think that's the point of goals. How should I handle this?
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When I arrive at work, I start working immediately and get a lot done. How can I politely deal with a co-worker who comes into my workstation every morning, plops in a chair across from me, and starts talking and talking about herself and her family? I have given her some clear hints, but she does not leave.
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I use email a lot when communicating to other employees and to our customers, and my spelling and grammar are not the best. My manager has insisted that I used a spell-check, and I usually do. The problem is that even though I use spell-check, he is still complaining about my writing. What else can I do?
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My manager is overly critical of just about everything I do. In my last review, some of his remarks were very hurtful, even though my work was definitely satisfactory. He said I need to understand that he is "brutally honest." How do you deal with someone like this?
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My manager gave me a brief assignment and I completed it on time and correctly, but he tore into me and criticized the work up and down. I showed him in black and white that he was wrong, and then he said he did not care. He has not talked to me since and it's been a few days. What do I do now?
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Our manager makes all sorts of mean comments to us. Whenever we voice any complaints or suggestions, his response is that if we don't like working here, there are ten people who will gladly take our job. That is the end of the discussion. How do we deal with someone like this?
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I have an employee who does good work, but I usually have to do some rewriting on her reports. I did this on one of her recent assignments and briefly showed her the revised version. Later in the day, she said the final report was not much different from what she originally gave to me. I did not take action at the time, and I am wondering how to deal with this.
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In addition to my regular work, my boss gives me additional projects that can take a lot of time. When I finish them and give them to him, I never hear anything back. Although some time has passed, I would like to ask what he thought of my work. What do you think?
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My manager gave me a project a month ago and told me that he needs a final report in three months. I sent him an outline of how I would proceed and asked for some specific information that he said he would provide. I requested this information three more times, but each time I heard nothing back. What should I do?
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I am a good writer, and I wrote a thorough analysis for my manager, purposely covering every point in clear and well-structured paragraphs. I was surprised that my manager criticized the report because of its length. Many great writings are long, and if that is what it takes to get the point across, so be it. How can I say this to my manager?
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I took a temporary leave from work to have open heart surgery. My boss and her secretary knew about this, and one of the secretaries and four of my friends from work brought me a card and some gifts when I was in the hospital. However, it has been over six weeks and my boss has not sent a card, an email, or anything else. What do I make of this?
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My CEO is a workaholic who comes to work when she has a fever. When she coughs, she doesn't cover her mouth, and this spreads germs to everyone. I have tried to diplomatically tell her, but she does not listen. Now I have missed two days of work because I caught her cold. How should I deal with her?
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My manager is fairly new to the company, and a month ago he gave me a lengthy assignment and told me he needed it completed within six weeks. After a month of work, I told him I have a draft. He said that things had changed and he no longer needed it. How should I deal with this?
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Whenever my manager gives me an assignment, he repeats it several times. For example, we will have a meeting to discuss an assignment, and he will send me an email about it, and then a voicemail and perhaps a memo. How can I tell him that I do not need all of these instructions?
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I just changed offices, and my new one needs more light. I asked my manager if I could bring in a small lamp for my desk. He said he does not want the clutter, and all of the lighting meets the required minimums. How can I change his mind?
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After one of my fellow employees quit, my manager dumped practically his entire job on me. He said I should be glad to get these extra responsibilities, and he used the term ďjob enrichment.Ē Now I have more routine work than ever, and my pay was not changed. Iím already falling behind. What do you suggest?
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I am new here and I am in a fairly senior position. On my first day, the Human Resources Manager wrote and posted a brief biographical write-up about me on the company website. The wording made me look more junior than I really am, and a couple of important points in my bio were left out. Should I ask for a correction or just let it go?
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On previous jobs, I was always told that I am an excellent writer. On this job, my manager says he does not have time to read what I write. He told me to cut out all the extra words and get to the point. I do get to the point, but I think it is important to provide the full picture. What do you suggest?
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My manager prides himself on his ability to coach, but his coaching style is to give us a lecture when we make a mistake. He is knowledgeable, but I donít think I can handle any more lectures. Do you have any suggestions?
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I put together a summary of information that my manager requested, and I thought I did a good job. His response to me was a question mark, and nothing more. When I responded that I am not sure what he means, he emailed back and said, ďfigure it out.Ē What am I missing?
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I work in a customer service call center, and one of the customers got nasty with me. I did not like his tone or language, and I said so. He snapped back, so I hung up on him. He called back and told my supervisor, and I ended up being disciplined and having the incident placed in my file. Does this seem fair?
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We have a new employee in our department, and there is something about him that I disliked from the moment I met him. He has an arrogant and condescending manner, and several of us feel this way about him. How can we deal with him?
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I have been with this company for a couple of weeks, and most of the discussions include acronyms that are specific to the company but are a mystery to me. I donít like to interrupt a conversation ten times to understand what is being said, but if I donít, I have no idea what to do. How do I get through this?
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My boss likes to be copied on emails we send in our department. Often with mine, he will ďreply to all,Ē restate exactly what I just stated in my email, and then resend it to everyone who just received the message from me. I have politely told him that if there is email he would prefer to send out, he should please let me know so the recipients can avoid a double email, but he continues to restate and resend my email. How can I bring up the subject again?
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When I joined this company in a fairly senior position, the chief operating officer included me in most of the high-level meetings that focused on strategies and planning. For some reason, I am now being left out. When I ask him why, he apologizes and says he meant to include me, but then he does the same thing at the next meeting. What should I do?
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When one of my co-workers emphasizes a point with me, he taps me on the arm. He does this to everyone, and most people do not like it. He is a good guy and we donít want to upset him, but is there a way to get him to stop?
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When one of the managers asked me to handle a very basic chore, I emailed back that I thought his administrative assistant should do it. She has more time, and itís really more her job than mine. She saw my email and is furious with me. I ended up doing the task, and I apologized to her several times and even brought her a gift. She is still mad at me and has refused to talk to me for the past three weeks. Do you have any suggestions?
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I thought it would be fun to bring an entertainer to one of our company gatherings, and I was referred to a fellow who imitates a well known comic. I gave him information about several of our employees so he could make some fun comments about them, but everything went wrong. He was crass and crude, and several female employees walked out. Now what do I do?
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Whenever I ask a certain employee how he is doing on the work I have given to him, he responds with, ďDonít worry.Ē It is not as if I am worried. Itís just that I want an update on his work, and Iím not getting one. What is the best way to handle this?
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I am currently looking for a job, and one of my friends told me that he heard that putting a ďP.S.Ē at the end of a cover letter is a good way to get some extra attention. Is this a good idea, or is it something that might put an employer off?
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One of my co-workers is a big gossip. She is always talking about what other people are doing or not doing. I have tried to get her to stop, and I have even told her that our manager says he wants us to focus on our work and not on gossiping. She says she is not gossiping because what she is saying is the truth. Is she right?
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I have an employee who is performing well, but she complains constantly about our benefits. As a company, our pay is above average, and our benefits are average for this industry, and thatís all we can afford. This employee keeps saying that benefits were better at four of her previous jobs. How do I get her complaining to stop?
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I told another manager a piece of confidential information that required his input. I said the information cannot go any further, and he agreed. Later that day, another employee approached me and asked about this very matter. She said she heard about it from someone who is friends with the manager that I originally told. Should I go back to him and express my concern, or should I never tell him anything confidential again?
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My manager has a habit of dropping into my office late in the day and giving me work that needs immediate attention. Iím sure some of this work can be given to me earlier, but he rarely does this. I cannot say ďno,Ē but what can I say?
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My manager has a troublesome habit of dropping into my office late in the day and giving me work that needs immediate attention. Iím sure some of this work can be given to me earlier, but he rarely does this. I cannot say ďno,Ē but what can I say?
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My job entails a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, and our company just purchased new chairs for our department. I donít like new chairs at all. I cannot get mine to adjust to what I want, and what I really want is my old chair back. I told this to our manager, and she said to give the new chair some time and it will be fine. Can you help?
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When I ask one of my employees even the most basic question, I always get a long-winded answer. I donít want to be rude and interrupt, but I donít have all day to listen to her. What do you suggest?
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My manager keeps asking me if I am happy working here. I tell him that I am, but then a day or two later, he asks the question again. I donít know what he is getting at or why he is doing this, and I donít know how to find out. What do you think?
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At a recent meeting, I was interested in the discussion, but I did not see a need to make any comments. After the meeting, my manager sarcastically thanked me for my important contributions. I did not know what to say or how to react. What do you make of this?
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I was surprised to find that my manager added a new classification to my annual evaluation and then gave me a low rating in it. The new classification is based on how environmentally responsible I have been. As a credit analyst, I am not sure what I can do in this area. Although I think this is an important issue, I do not like what happened here. What do you think?
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Our company is introducing several changes in assignments and responsibilities, along with a revised overall structure. As planned, I discussed the changes with another manager. He then met with my manager and totally misquoted me. My manager then tore into me. What should I do?
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The president of our company recommended one of his friends for an open position in my department. I just interviewed him, and I found him to be arrogant and obnoxious, and his qualifications are not right for the job. I donít want to cross the president, but I donít want to recommend that we hire his friend. What should I do?
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I have done excellent work during the year, but I am concerned that I am not going to get a raise because my manager is heavily influenced by another manager who does not like me. My manager let this happen last year, and I am afraid he will do it again. What should I do?
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As part of managing, I drop by my employeesí workstations and see how they are doing at least once a day. One of my new employees told me that she does not like this micromanaging and she would rather meet formally. How does this strike you?
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I just went through a performance evaluation with my manager, and I thought I would get a good review. I was totally surprised by the negative comments my manager made. I had no idea he was so dissatisfied with my work. I asked why he did not tell me about this earlier, and he said the purpose of the performance review is to provide this information. Is that right?
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My manager called and asked my opinion about a co-worker, and I spoke candidly about this person. I knew my manager had me on her speakerphone, but I did not realize this employee was there. My co-worker heard what I said and instantly became defensive. Now what should I do?
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I am in an administrative support position, and I get email from many people in the company. I am wondering why so many people have a mean tone in their messages. I can feel myself get tense before I read email from certain people here. What can you suggest?
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When my manager evaluated my performance earlier this week, she relied on comments from one of my co-workers. I have never gotten along with this co-worker, and I know that she and my manager are friends. The feedback was 90% wrong, and I ended up with a minimal raise. What should I do?
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One of my co-workers has a way of prying private or personal information out of me, but he never tells me anything. After we talk, I always feel bad, and I know that I have said too much. I donít want to wreck communication with him, especially since our jobs require contact with each other, but I want him to stop trying to draw this information out of me. What can I say?
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My job responsibilities include dealing with employees from several departments. Most employees either call ahead or set an appointment online, but certain employees just show up. I tell them I am busy, but they still sit down and take a lot of my time on minor issues. How can I deal with them without sounding mean?
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I manage a small department, and I attended a meeting with my manager and one of my employees. The three of us were discussing a particular problem, and I gave a summary. When I was done, my employee turned to my manager and said, ďWhat she is trying to say is thisÖ.Ē She then summarized my comments. My description was fine, and I am angry over what she did. What do you think, and what should I do?
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After receiving approval to hire an assistant manager, I narrowed the search down to two candidates, and one was definitely stronger than the other. My manager interviewed both, and when I told her who I wanted, she insisted that I hire the other. I did it, but I want to know your opinion of her action.
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Iím fairly new here, and I just gave my manager a suggestion that would help our department run better. He said that my suggestion has been tried before and it did not work, and I should be focusing on learning my job and performing well, rather than trying to make changes. I am annoyed with his comment, and I am wondering what to do.
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My manager sends me emails several times a day, and he is usually seeking information on the status of projects or on problems that have arisen. I write thorough answers to his questions, but his responses indicate that he doesnít read what I send. Instead, he just gets upset with me. What should I do?
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When I walk into my managerís office, he stands up. I know this is polite, but it makes me feel uncomfortable. He rarely sits down when I am there, and this cuts our conversations short. I donít think I should just take a seat, but maybe then he would get the hint. What do you think?
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There is an employee in another department who enjoys giving me his advice on my work. He does not know much about the details of what I do, but that does not stop him from making useless comments. Iíve been polite and thanked him, but Iím getting annoyed and want him to stop, but I donít know how.
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My manager is always trying to find fault with my work. She looks over everything I do, and if there is even a tiny error, she will jump all over it. She has sent me emails about insignificant mistakes, and she has verbally reprimanded me as well. She doesnít do this with others in the department. How can I get her to stop doing this to me?
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I work closely with four people who report to me, and I am having a problem with one. He makes commitments, but if things do not go as planned, he claims that he never made any commitments. He keeps changing his story, and Iím trying to figure out how to deal with him.
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I recently joined this company, and there are acronyms for everything. I am familiar with standard acronyms in my field, but this company has many that were invented here. I do not like to keep asking what something means, but if I say nothing, Iím lost. What can you suggest?
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I meet regularly with my employees to discuss our work, and I have one employee who withholds information from me. When my manager asks me about projects in her domain, I usually donít have all the information, so he calls her. When I ask her why she did not give me all the information in the first place, she says I did not ask for it. How should I deal with her?
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My work requires that I communicate with several other employees, but I have a problem with one person. Because her phone allows her to see who is calling, she knows when a call is from me, and she ignores it most of the time. How should I deal with her?
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Every day, two or three employees drop into my office to talk about topics that are rarely urgent. I tell them I am busy, but they sit down. They say they only need a few minutes, but thatís rarely the case, so I fall further behind. How can I deal with these interruptions?
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I have two employees that report to me, and they spend a lot of time socializing with each other. I donít want to be a mean manager, so I have approached them while they are talking and encouraged them to get back to work. However, they soon return to socializing. How can I correct this without being a mean manager?
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My manager called me into his office and made some critical comments about my performance and handed me a copy of a write-up he placed in my file. I defended every criticism that he made, but that did not matter. What should I do now?
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A friend at work and I discussed some problems I was having on a particular assingment. Afterwards, he tood what I said and went to our boss. Without any notification, our boss took the assignment from me and gave it to my friend, and neither one informed me. I heard about the change from another co-worker. I am very upset. What should I do?
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Our general manager recently sent out notes of appreciation to almost everyone, but I never received one. I feel annoyed and humiliated, and I donít know if he is trying to tell me something or if he just forgot. I am reluctant to ask him because I think I would look too needy. Is there anything else I could do?
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I recently terminated an employee who became belligerent and hostile during a termination session. She screamed at me, yelled in the halls, grabbed her things, and then stormed out. What are some ways to prevent this type of outburst in the future?
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When I joined this company, the general manager said I would be on some management committees to review and discuss major programs and developments. During my first few months here, I went to these types of meetings, but now I am often left out. I asked the general manager about this, and he said he forgot but will include me in future meetings. I just heard that he held one last week, but I was again left out. What should I do?
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Our company retained a consultant to look at how we are organized, and one of his recommendations is to reduce job titles for several of us. Some directors will become managers, and some managers will become supervisors. All of us are upset, and we are wondering how to combat this.
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How do you deal with a boss who always has to have the last word in email? If I think I am right on a particular matter, and I can prove it, even that does not stop him. He always has to come back at me with something. Is there a way to change him, or do I just have to live with this?
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I asked the employees in my department to put together their goals, and all but one did a good job. One employee said he could not develop his goals without knowing mine first. I told him to look at his most important responsibilities and he would have no problem developing his goals. What do you think?
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I cannot get my managerís attention. When I meet in his office, he is on his Bluetooth and using his computer. If itís not that, he is taking phone calls and even talking with people who drop by his office. What can I do to have an actual conversation with him?
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My manager seems to have no respect for my work. When I wrap up a project, he makes a disparaging remark about it and says how unimportant it is. I know that my work is significant around here, and I am wondering if there is a better way to get this across to him.
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One of my employees goes to my boss whenever she wants to voice her complaints or concerns. After these meetings, my boss calls me to go over what she said. This is a big waste of time, and I have told this employee to come to me first, but she still goes directly to him. How can I change this?
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I am a supervisor, and sometimes I am a total jerk to my team. Many of my team members do not understand the immense pressure Iím under. It makes me a jerk when they do not do what I ask, or donít do it my way. I take their ideas into consideration, give credit when due, and incorporate their ideas, but I still come off as the jerk when I do this. The result is that people quit, or they just do what they need to do because they are afraid of me. Do I play the nice guy and under-perform, or be the jerk and keep up the success achieved so far? How do I fix this and avoid becoming the person everybody hates?
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At a recent meeting, management used some words that I thought were questionable as they might have a negative impact on staff members. Words and phrases such as "gives a reason for people to snitch on others", "I hope future meetings won't result in violent arguments", and "one person complained and HE doesn't think it's fair" lead me to think that such language will make staff members feel intimidated from raising issues in fear of being called a "snitch" or that dissension amongst staff may rise now that the idea that there is a "snitch" has been implied. Also, it may create a sense of fear that violence is a potential issue at work between employees and that people that have raised concerns in private are now being identified openly by pointing out key characteristics. Is there an issue to be had with the type of vocabulary management is using?
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A very rude and scheming co-worker was recently promoted over me by our senseless boss. She is switching to a more subtle rudeness after the boss kind of told her to "cut it out" (but without any firmness). What she now does is make statements to me that just cross the line between normal instructions and condescending, harsh reprimands. Her speech and emails carry a tone that implies that I do not pull my weight which is far from the truth. She enlists the help of other employees in mobbing me in this way. Management does not understand the subtleties of communication and I fear that if I cannot assert myself properly against this continuous onslaught, my anger will build to explosiveness (the bullies' goal). I am afraid that she will get huffy and take a complaint to management that I am unable to take instructions or criticism and that they will review the facts and side with her. They might say that I am "taking it the wrong way" or "reading into things incorrectly" and blame me. This is something that is happening after the bully has made a pattern of treating me with great rudeness and disrespect. She is a jealous, insecure baby but has been with the company for 7 years where I have only been there 2-1/2 years. They love the little ass-kissing fool. Any advise on how to handle this?
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I work in a small office environment. My current boss is related to the part time worker who is her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law is a part time worker who doesn't have to work holidays or weekends as I and the other full timer have to do. She is supposed to be a "Fill in" when one of us full timers can't make it to work, but the manager will work the hours for her instead, when this is not the company plan. For some reason, the manager is very loyal to this relation she works with, and that is why in the past the former company before the merger kept them apart. It may seem petty, but I am tired of this woman getting away with murder and feeling she can take off at the drop of a hat, while I have to account for every minute. I would think that full timers would get more consideration. Confronting her about the problem has done no good. She gets upset and says we're stressing her out. She hates the idea of being firm and fair with her in-law. Should I go to HR?
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Hi, I have been on medical leave for a second round of rotator cuff surgery which required me to be away from my kitchen manager job in a school district for three months. I have two rotating subs that are filling in and my assistant cook is managing the kitchen while I am out. I am back three hours a day to do the paper work. One of the subs approached me today at the end of her shift and said she is done! My assistant and other co worker have been very bossy. I had a chat with them and of course they were ďsurprisedĒ to hear this complaint. At a loss for words and lost a good sub! How do I handle this...ASAP!
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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?
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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.
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For the past 3/4 months I have been having issues with a new lady at the office, we used to be friends and without any falling out or fight just drifted apart. I noticed this and to avoid any negativity I addressed this with her, I thought everything was fine. About a month after this discussion I started noticing that she 'forgot' discussions we had had, to the point where I lost my temper (I apologized to everyone the next day). Her excuse was that nothing was 'formalized' in email. While we have always been a very informal workplace I have attempted to 'formalize' all my arrangements from then on. She has now bonded with another lady at the office, to the point that even the upper management is commenting on the fact that they can't pee without each other. It seems that the 2 of them are purposefully excluding me from conversations about projects that I am in charge of, and last week she submitted formal documentation about a project that I participated in without listing me on it at all. I found these documents in the printer room of the office. I know if I confront her about it she will have 'forgotten'. She leaves me to pick up projects that she 'just doesn't have time for' but barely puts in 6 hours a day at the office. I have spoke to my direct manager about this, and she is sympathetic, but seems to be unable to do anything. Our line manager is aware of the situation and offered to step in, but I am hesitant to involve him in something so petty - I am afraid that it will damage my reputation. I don't know what to do any more, the situation is so tense that my health is starting to suffer. I am 10 years her junior and more valuable to the company, if it is jealousy what can I do? Should I escalate this further? I love my job but am seriously considering packing my bags if this continues. Please help!
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I have a manager that often comes in late to our meetings and brings something to eat...just for herself. I've never seen anything like it...she crunches, munches & scrapes the bottom of the cup/bowls, etc while we sit there & watch. Then... she excuses herself to go to the restroom...sometimes multiple times. Again, while we sit there & wait for her. Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this? She is wasting so much of our time. Everyone else in our small group seems to be used to it - I am the newest member of the team and hate to just ask 'what the hell?' In my early days there, I asked another team member if that was the norm, and she said yes - but she didn't understand it. Bringing a beverage, maybe, but to assemble and spread, etc.? Do I sit & say nothing? Do I take something to eat and assemble it myself while waiting to see if it distracts her? Comments?
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During my mid-year review, I took the opportunity to bring forward my concerns and frustrations since being hired, and my boss stood up, got belligerent and yelled: ďI canít take this any more. This is a job! There are lots of jobs out there, maybe you should take a look around and go get one where you can sit in a corner and do projects all day. I have a lot of people I need to take care of, not just you. You obviously are not happy but I cannot make you happy. You need to decide if you are happy--and Iíd like to know soon--because we are hiring.Ē She then stormed out of the room and returned to our department, got her coat, etc. and said to the team coordinator: ďI need to get out of here NOW. I need a cocktail, badly.Ē [or something to that effect] and left enraged. It was said loud enough that others could hear and were alarmed. I was later texted by co-workers asking, ďwhat happened? Öare you ok?Ē The Assistant Manager was in the room with me during the yelling. He texted me later saying, "If you want to take a sick day that is fine and if you want to you talk with HR, they will be around next week." Is this acceptable behavior from my boss and should I discuss with HR? I have heard that HR is not helpful with employees, they tend towards blaming the employee and backing managementÖ. Thank you.
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