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Working Conditions

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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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Does it mean anything when a new manager does absolutely nothing to personalize his office? There's nothing on the walls, and the shelves only have company materials. His desk has a company computer and phone, and that's it. His office looks like it belongs to a visitor.
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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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I just brought a fairly large cactus into my office, and the office manager caught sight of it and said that it is not an appropriate plant for an office. She said that it gives off a threatening atmosphere and the thorns pose a safety risk, so, it has to go. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
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My manager just told me that my office is needed for a new manager who will be starting at the first of the year. I am moving to a workstation, which is just a fancy word for a cubicle. Although my work and title will not change, I see this as a demotion. What should I do?
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I have been with this company for over two years, and my manager has been in my office only once. I rarely see him in the halls, and all meetings are held in his office. When we meet, he listens to me and gives me feedback and advice. I just don't like this power thing of having to meet in his office. Is there anything I can say to change this?
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I recently moved an employee from a workstation to an office, and to my great surprise, he put pictures of his dog all over the walls. He had a couple of these photos on his desk in the workstation, but this is way beyond that. I don't want to make a big issue out of this, but some of these need to come down. How should I approach him?
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Someone left a mean anonymous note on my desk saying that I talk too loud on the phone. We work in cubicles, and I admit that my voice carries, but that's how I talk. Being on the phone is central to my job, and I am successful at it. I'd like to know who wrote the note, but in the meantime, what do you suggest I do?
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My manager picks on me and makes annoying comments. For example, yesterday he walked by my area and said it's time to clean up the mess. Everyone else's area is just as messy, but he doesn't say this to them. Besides, I clean it up at the end of the day. What should I do?
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My boss just told me that I have too much of my children's artwork in my office, and I should take some of it down. I don't want to remove it. Having their work around me makes me feel good, and my children love it when they visit. How would you suggest I handle this?
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Our manager just purchased and put up several pictures with trite little expressions about perseverance, loyalty, happiness, honesty, and so forth. He thought we would like them, but we are not kids, and these signs seem like such a waste. Should we say something to him?
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One of the ladies I work with is a sweet, cheerful person, and I really like her. However, she is always singing or humming in a high-pitched voice and it drives me nuts! I don't know how to tactfully ask her to stop. I have told both my supervisor and the office manager that it is annoying, but they seem to feel it is a small matter.
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During my performance review today, my manager told me that I don't have much "cubicle etiquette." I told her I had never heard that expression before. She said something about my being too noisy and distracting employees in the cubicles around me. I don't think I'm that noisy. I don't know what to do with what she said. Any ideas?
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Our company just put up some new artwork in our branch, and most of us think it's ugly and creates a sour mood. Do you think we should voice our concerns to management?
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We just had a business lunch meeting at a very noisy restaurant. I think I heard about half of what was being said, and now I've got to track people down to find out what I am supposed to be doing. This is not the first time we have met at this restaurant, and it's a waste. I should say the food is great. What's the point of these meetings?
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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 just told me that I have been spending too much time on golf sites on the Internet. I admit that I occasionally check out a couple of these sites, but I am more concerned that the company found out about this. Don't employees have some privacy?
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I am fairly new in this company, and they page people on a loudspeaker system that is wired into every office. These interruptions are loud, and they make it hard for me to concentrate, talk on the phone, and contribute in meetings. The people who have been here for a while seem to ignore it, but it goes right through me. Do you have any suggestions?
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Several months ago, one of my associate's desk drawers was jammed. No one could open it, but I have a small set of tools in my office. I went over, unscrewed part of the drawer, and got it open. The problem is that since then, I have become the informal office handyman. This is a major interruption, but it is hard to say no. What can I do?
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The woman in the cubicle next to mine is eavesdropping on my conversations and phone calls, and I do not like this. I told her that she should pay more attention to her own business, but she is still listening in. How can I deal with her?
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I just went for my third interview at this company, and I met with the president for a few minutes. I was surprised to find that his office is tiny and a dump. There were papers scattered all over the floor, and his desk was very small and messy. My conversation with him was pleasant enough, but I'm wondering about a president who works in such an unprofessional office. Is this a reasonable concern?
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My office is configured with my computer facing the wall, and the door is directly behind me. If I am on the computer when people enter my office, they generally say something and I turn around. However, when my manager comes in, he says nothing. I don't know when he's here, but if I happen to turn around, there he is. This gives me the creeps. Any suggestions?
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We recently moved from dreary and cramped offices to new offices that are much nicer in every respect, including furniture, parking, lighting, and layout. People were not very productive in our old offices, and we expected an improvement once we moved. However, there has been no change. What do you suggest?
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What do you think about a new employee who is constantly redecorating her office? She keeps moving the desk and chairs around, bringing in different pictures for the wall, and even adding and removing throw rugs from one week to the next. We are not in the decorating business, but she seems to think she is.
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I am in management, and the managers' offices have plants, all of which are thriving but mine. After a recent meeting in my office, my manager suggested that my attitude might be causing the plants to do poorly. I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. What should I say to him?
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We just hired a new person for telephone sales, and she brought in a huge number of stuffed animals and put them all over her work area. I don't like how it looks, and I am concerned that they will prevent her from finding important paperwork and files on her desk. What is the best way to get her to take some of these things home?
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I brought in a small fishbowl with a goldfish and put it on my desk. My manager told me that it has to go because company policy prohibits pets. I am in complete shock. It's just a tiny bowl with a fish. Should I take it home or stand up for what I think is right?
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I am in middle management and my office is small and cramped. Much of my work involves dealing with the public, and when people come to my office, I am embarrassed. Is it worth talking to my manager about this?
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I am a manager, and our company is cutting back on office space. I just learned I am going to be working in an office with no windows. I think this is a step backward. I am upset and wonder if I should make an issue out of this.
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The owner's wife just brought in a huge sculpture that she made for the waiting room. We all think it is obnoxious, but we are afraid to say so. Many clients have already made wisecracks about it, but we just smile politely. Should we say something to the owner or just forget about it?
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My office is a mess. I have piles of work scattered all over the place, but I know where everything is. I can find what I need quickly, even if I have to step over a pile or two. My boss said this is unacceptable and I have to clean it up. Does this make sense to you?
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My boss just told me that I have too much of my children's artwork in my office, and I should take some of it down. I don't want to remove it. Having their work around me makes me feel good, and my children love it when they visit. How would you suggest I handle this?
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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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For the past year, I have been working in a small office with one other person. We worked well together until two months ago when a new employee was brought on to join us. She befriended my co-worker, and now it's the two of them against me. I am upset with both of them, and I'm not sure what to do now.
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I just joined this company and learned that I have to wear a badge with my photo on it. This is not a hospital or a top-secret organization, and I resent having to walk around with this thing hanging from my pocket. I'm in management, and I think this badge makes me look like a gopher. I tried not wearing it, and my manager was not pleased. Is there a way around this?
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Whenever I meet with one particular employee in my office, he keeps looking down at papers on my desk that he should not be reading. I don't want to confront or embarrass him, but I would like this to stop. What do you suggest?
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I work in a professional office where the work groups are separated by five-foot high partitions. Recently a co-worker was transferred to the group next to mine, and she is extremely loud and boisterous, to the point of disrupting the work of everyone around her. I asked my supervisor, who is also her supervisor, to speak to her, but he said I should do it myself. I think this is his responsibility, and I am afraid of causing tension if I talk to her. What should I do?
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One of my fellow employees comes to work when she is sick. Although she claims that she just has allergies, it is not long before I catch her so-called allergies and end up missing work. I don't want to catch her colds any more. What's the best way to deal with her?
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We have a break room, and every time I take a break, there is a group of five employees from another department who always sit at the same table and they are so loud that I can hardly hear my friends who sit with me. One of the employees in the other group is a supervisor, and I politely asked him to talk a little quieter. He said he is on a break and can be as loud as he likes. What should I do?
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How do you deal with an employee who does very good work but whose office is a complete mess? There are papers piled all over the floor, chairs, table, and desk. I think she sets a bad example for her employees, and it's embarrassing when visitors see her office. Is there a way to improve this without interfering with her work?
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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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I like stuffed toy rabbits, and I have several in my cubicle. My manager recently told me that some of them have to go, but I donít think this is fair. Our company policy says it is okay to personalize our work areas as long as we use good business sense. How can I convince my manager that my rabbits are not a problem?
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My job entails a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. Our company just purchased new chairs for our department, I donít like mine. I cannot get it to adjust the way I want, and what I really want is my old chair back. I told our manager, and she said to give the new chair some time and it will be fine. Can you help?
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I have an employee who is always eating or nibbling on something. He is not overweight, but if I meet with him in his office or if we have departmental meetings, he always has some food. Granted that it is not necessarily junk food, I have to wonder why he does this. My concern is that it is going to interfere with his work and even cause a problem with ants. What should I say to him?
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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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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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