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


My computer crashed again, and now I have to call down to the IT specialist to come to my office and bring it back to life. I don't like dealing with him because he is surly and condescending. It's like he takes pride in making all of us feel like fools. What should we do?
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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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I am employed by a major financial services corporation that has six local branches. I was recently overlooked for the manager position at my office. A form letter I received indicated that a candidate with "more credentials" had been hired. I was told to work hard toward this position and learn from the new manager. However, her experience and knowledge are a fraction of mine. Is it time to move on?
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Our large communication company has implemented a monthly evaluation of each work group to increase productivity. The result is the low performer is harassed by management even if the group is satisfactory in every way. We are being appraised strictly on data the employees themselves supply to management. What to 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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Our company is putting in a new performance appraisal system and we are supposed to tell our manager what we think of him. He is not the best manager in the world, and we are concerned about what he might do after he hears this from us. Maybe we should just sugarcoat it.
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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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We have three tiers of sales, and one of the sales reps on the top tier has a bad attitude and is not a team player. When she receives any feedback she feels is negative, she becomes angry and refuses to accept it. We would like your suggestions on how to work on changing her attitude.
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I manage a medium-sized department and I overheard one employee telling several others some very negative things about me, none of which were true. If I confront him, it means that I was eavesdropping, but if I let this go, then the rest of the group is left with some incorrect information about me. What do you suggest?
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My performance has generally been good, but I've been making some mistakes lately. My manager told me that he is keeping an eye on me, and unless I improve, he is going to take serious action, meaning that I will be fired. It makes me nervous to have him watching over me. Do you think that's a good way to manage?
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I love my job in this fast-paced environment. My job is very detailed, and if something is not done exactly right, the boss yells and curses at me in front of everyone. We are all women, but if others make mistakes, she does not treat them like this. I admire and respect this woman, but after our conflicts, I leave upset and hurt. After each episode, she leaves an apology on my desk. I cry after reading it and wonder how things can be different.
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One of the people I work with found a ten-minute IQ test on the Internet. Just for fun, several of us took it. Almost everyone scored fairly well, but I was shocked to see how low I scored. I know my IQ is higher than that. Whether people are kidding me or not, I think they are treating me differently. Now what do I do?
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My boss came into work this morning with some kind of a personality test based on picking colors. He said he used it with his family and it is very accurate. He asked me to pick a few colors, and then he looked up the choices in his book and said that my selections mean that my energy level could be higher and I should listen more carefully to other people. Is there anything to this test?
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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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How do I deal with an employee who keeps bossing her co-workers? She has been given no responsibility to direct them, but she keeps telling them what to do. They complain about her often, and I have told her in so many words to stop being bossy, but that has not stopped her. What will?
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Our branch manager is out of the office a good part of the time. Our one support person spends a large part of her day on personal phone calls (1-4 hours), instant messaging, and long lunches (up to 2 hours). I am the one who has to cover for her, and the hard part is that we are somewhat friendly. Without being the company snitch, how can I bring these kinds of infractions to the manager's attention?
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My manager's driving has been getting worse over the years. We occasionally drive to meetings together, and when we get there, I am literally shaking. I don't want to insult him, but I don't want to drive with him anymore. How can I tell him?
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About a year ago, the company president's assistant was fired because she would yell back when being screamed at and cussed at by him. I schedule his meetings, and I too get yelled at and cussed at. If he makes mistakes, he yells at me. We are a small office and there is no human resources professional. What do I do?
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I have a boss who can hardly teach me anything, but he takes all the credit for what I do. He threatens to get rid of me if I cannot figure something out and then ask him questions. Is it justifiable for him to take credit and provide no guidance?
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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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One of the employees who report to me asks question after question, to the point of disrupting meetings and general conversations. I have been patient with him and tried to help him become a better listener, but nothing works. Can you offer any help?
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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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My boss is five months behind on my annual performance evaluation. I have sent him several reminders, but none has worked. He told me he's waiting for his boss's approval. Just last week, I reminded him again via e-mail and copied his boss. Neither one replied. I want my salary increase and I want to know how I'm doing on the job. Can you give me a suggestion?
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During our department meeting this morning, my manager looked at me and said, "You are the weakest link." Everyone had a big laugh but me. I was practically waiting for him to say, "Good bye." I'm very upset by this "joke." Am I overreacting?
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It is like pulling teeth to get the supervisors in my department to work together. Last week, one of my employees told me that several supervisors who are married are having affairs with each other. I investigated and found the rumors are true. The affairs are happening after hours and on weekends. All of my employees are aware of this, and it is no wonder I cannot get any teamwork going. Can I approach these supervisors and let them know of the problems that are following them to work?
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One of my employees told me that I am giving the employees too much thanks and recognition. Is that really possible? I had always heard that a manager cannot provide too much appreciation.
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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 have an open work area, and whenever I walk by one particular employee's workstation, he quickly exits whatever web site he is visiting. I don't want to treat him like a baby, but I am concerned about what appears to be going on. What do you suggest?
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One of the employees I supervise has repeatedly told me and everyone else in the department that he wants my job. I am very tired of hearing this. His work is generally satisfactory, but these comments are not. What should I say to him?
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What do you do when an employee comes in and gives you a bunch of information about his co-worker that is just plain false? Some of his information could have been damaging to this co-worker, and I'm just glad I went out and learned the truth before taking any action. What should I say to this employee?
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One of the owner's teenage sons is going to be working here this summer, so his father had him spend a day on the job with us during his spring break. All I can say is that he was the most condescending, arrogant, know-it-all that I have ever met. Is it worth mentioning this to the owner or just forget about it?
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I do not know how to deal with an employee who comes to my office several times a day to tell me how well he did on one project or another. He constantly needs to be stroked, and he won't stop talking about what he has accomplished until I tell him what a good job he did.
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I work with several other employees in the warehouse. By the end of the day, some of us have achy muscles. My question is what to do about a coworker who says he knows all about acupressure and can soothe our muscles. He comes up behind us and squeezes our shoulders and back. Some of the employees like it, but I do not and I have told him not to do this to me any more. He still tries once in a while.
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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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How am I supposed to deal with an employee who keeps getting other people to do his work? He is friendly and likable, and the other employees want to help him, but this is interfering with their work and with coordination in the department. I have gone over the problems with him, but he keeps doing this.
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I am very available to the employees who report to me. I look over their projects, but I keep finding that the quality of their work is questionable. I give them feedback, but they are still making errors that they should be catching. How do I get them to improve?
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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 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 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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I do not mind it when my employees disagree with me, and I am more than willing to discuss issues with them and change my thinking. The problem is that I have one employee who always argues when he disagrees with me. It is never a calm discussion. What's the best way to handle him?
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I manage a department of professionals and provide them with a good deal of flexibility. If they need time off for personal business, they can take it. There is a problem with one employee who is excellent when she is here, but she misses too much work because she always has personal matters to tend to. How should I deal with her?
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At a recent weekly management meeting, one of the managers who is usually upbeat and positive was extremely critical of everything I said, and his tone was condescending and insulting. I don't know what his problem was, but all of us noticed it. Should I say something, or figure it was one of those things and let it go?
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Whenever I compliment a certain employee in my unit, he either ignores it or makes a snide comment. I have told him that a simple "thanks" will do, but he hasn't changed at all. Should I just forget about giving him compliments?
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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 work at an oil refinery and was in a meeting the other day when the plant manager told me to sit down and shut up in front of everyone else. This is typical of how he talks to me. How should I deal with him?
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Whenever I talk with our manager, he makes me feel stupid, even though my work is just fine. He uses belittling language, and his whole demeanor is condescending. We all know that he is smart, but he seems to take pride in putting the rest of us down. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with him?
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We have a new supervisor, and three of us work under her. She manages by threat and intimidation. She gives us a performance appraisal and shows us our errors, but does not credit us for anything we do right. What is the best way to deal with her?
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There is one person in our department who has been making sugar-coated mean little comments to me and taking shots at my work whenever she can. When she did it again last week, I completely lost it and blew up at her. The problem is that I did this just as our manager appeared, and I ended up getting a verbal warning. Now what should I do?
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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 was staring into the distance and thinking about how to handle a certain part of an assignment when my manager walked by and told me to stop daydreaming and get to work. I told him that I wasn't daydreaming, but he laughed and walked away. Is it worth saying anything further to him?
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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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Our manager gave an impromptu speech at our holiday party, and he mentioned all of my peers by name, but left me out. I am hurt and embarrassed, and I certainly thought that I performed as well as the others. Should I say anything to him or just forget about it?
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What are your thoughts about a wife, girlfriend, or significant other taking over and running the office? This is the situation here, and all of us are afraid to say anything to our boss because he is "in love" and lets his significant other do things her way. The atmosphere is very tense, and the working environment is not efficient. This woman has the power to get any of us fired.
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When my current boss interviewed me for this job, he was friendly, funny, and easy-going. Now that I work here, he is mean and completely different from the way he was in the interview. I wonder why he would do this and if there is anything I can do about it.
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One of my associates needed an introduction to a certain sales prospect, and I got it for him. The two of them hit it off well and will most likely be doing some business together. I did not hear a word of thanks, and I'm annoyed. Do you think I should say something?
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When I joined this company, I was introduced to an individual who was assigned to be my mentor. He seemed friendly and knowledgeable, but he is never available to give me any help. He puts me off every time I approach him, and I'm thinking about going to management. What do you say?
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We were discussing operations in a departmental meeting when our manager misinterpreted some information and made a questionable recommendation. I gingerly corrected him, but he has been upset with me since then, and I'm not sure what to do about it.
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Whenever I compliment a certain employee in my unit, he either ignores it or makes a snide comment. I have told him that a simple "thanks" will do, but he hasn't changed at all. Should I just forget about giving him compliments?
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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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I work in sales and my manager reprimanded me in front of a customer. I was humiliated and angered. Afterwards, when I told him how upset I was, he said this is an excellent way for me to learn. I disagree. Do you?
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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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My manager said that he fashions himself as a person who can tell if someone is lying. He says when people lie, they lose eye contact and fidget. I never thought much about his comments until he accused me of lying about starting a rumor. I had nothing to do with it. What should I do?
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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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One of my employees gives me suggestions on how to do my job, but the problem is that he only does this during meetings with my manager. I don't like this, but I don't know how to get it to stop without creating more problems. What do you suggest?
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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 was very surprised when one of the employees in my department told me that she believes I have been picking on her. Her work has been slipping lately, and I have had to discuss it with her more frequently. How do I deal with her claim?
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I work with a person who our manager really likes, and she has been complaining to him about me. He then comes to me and says that I need to try to get along better with my co-workers, but I get along fine with them. It's his little favorite who is the problem. What should I do?
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I just completed a counseling session with one of my employees because he has been late several times, and our policy calls for a formal discussion and documentation when this occurs. When I finished the session, he got to the door and made a nasty remark under his breath. When I asked what he said, he denied saying anything. I did not write him up for that, but maybe I should have. What do you think?
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In my most recent performance review session, my manager said that he views me as the "weak link in the chain." I was shocked and hurt by the statement since I had no idea that he viewed me this way. He told me that he expects me to "shape up," but I am not sure what he wants. How should I handle this?
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I have a friend at work who corrects my speech in front of others. I have told her that I don't appreciate it, but she keeps doing it. Yesterday, when I said, "Between you and I," she said it's, "Between you and me." I don't even think she's right about that, but it was embarrassing. What should I say to her?
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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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I assumed my manager liked me. She has always been friendly to me, and my reviews have been positive. The other day, for no reason, she said I'm not promotable and that I'm just a follower. I was speechless. Now she's nice to me again. Should I say something?
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We are in sales and our company has a very grumpy receptionist who answers the phones. She is short with the callers, always in a huff, and by the time the call gets to us, the caller is upset. We have mentioned this to the receptionist's supervisor and even to management, but their attitude is that she is doing just fine. What can we do about this?
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I was walking down the hall ahead of a few of my employees, and when I turned around, I saw one problem employee mimicking me in a very derogatory way. I made an instant decision to avoid a confrontation with her, so I ignored it. I'm fuming over what happened and unsure if I did the right thing.
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I quit my job without giving notice because of some grievances and unfair treatment from my boss. How can this affect my last pay and also my work history?
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We have a visitor to our office once a week. The man is a physician, about the same level as our director. The problem is that he has horrible body odor, dirty clothing, and filthy hands. When he visits, all of us leave our work areas and get nothing done while he is here. How can we tell him that he stinks?
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Our manager is very vocal when it comes to giving recognition to my fellow employees whenever they do something well, but even if I do the greatest job in the world, I hear nothing. It's not that my manager is unaware of my performance, it's just that she ignores it. What should I do?
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There is a support staff member who is supposed to provide me with assistance as needed. She is very wealthy and is working to alleviate her boredom. She is disliked by most of the staff. She is uncooperative, discourteous, ignores me, shows anger toward me, refuses assignments, and performs personal items at work. She has been "sat down" with management, but to little avail. The general manager values her because she collects rent from tenants with some success. What can I do to better the situation?
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My manager gave me my performance review in an airport lounge, in front of everybody, and I felt like a complete fool. When I told him later that I did not like being evaluated in front of an audience, his reaction was that they are all strangers, so what difference does it make. I am still very upset. What do you think?
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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 work in a restaurant in a management position, and I typically work 10 hours or more a day, 6 days a week. In addition to my management responsibilities, I cover other positions, and I am helping the new sales manager. My biggest problem is that my boss is always on my case when something goes wrong, and he never seems to see that I do so much for the company. Should I quit?
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All of us worked very hard on a project, and we put in tons of extra hours. Our manager went around and personally thanked everyone when it was done, but I did not get any thanks until a week had gone by. I feel slighted and I am wondering if I should say something.
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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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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 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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How do you deal with an employee who is late almost all the time, but does very good work when she is here? I've tried coaching and discipline, but she just does not improve.
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Many advertisements are searching for applicants who have a sharp eye for detail. Do the placement professionals intend for these ads to be poorly written so that the applicant will proofread and correct the grammar, spelling and punctuation errors as a type of screening? By doing these corrections and sending back the revised version, along with my resume, will I insult or offend the writer?
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How do you deal with an employee who does a good job, but whenever there are changes, errors, or anything even slightly different from her way of doing things, she starts arguing? We have talked to her about this, but she doesn't change.
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Our company has many social gatherings and parties during work hours, and people from just about every job level attend. I am a friendly and sociable person, but I have a lot to do and I usually skip these events. The other day, my manager told me that I should stop being so aloof and come to more of them. I'll go because she wants me to, but I think it's ridiculous. What do you think?
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I've been working at a small company for about 5 years, and I haven't had any real complaints. We just hired our first Human Resources director. Through the rumor mill, I heard that she suggested to the owner that the employees meet in small groups to criticize each other and bring all our faults into the open. The boss thought this was a terrific idea. How do I convince the boss that this would be the beginning of the end?
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I was unable to attend a management meeting that was run by our regional vice president. I learned afterwards that one of the other managers criticized my work, my attitude, and the way my department is performing. His comments were inaccurate and hurtful. I cannot let this go, but I am not sure if I should go directly to the vice president or to this manager first.
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I have been over a research unit for 3 years, and I have memos from previous managers supporting my good work. My unit was transferred to a new division, and the home office sent a manager to temporarily run it until one can be hired, and he and I have not seen eye to eye on anything. He takes no heed to the fact that I have always run the unit. He gave me a very low evaluation, and he writes me up for every little thing. I feel my job is in danger. What can I do?
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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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My husband's company surveyed the employees to see how they feel about their supervisors. He made a few comments, such as, "Uses coarse language," regarding his immediate supervisor. There are only 4 people in his department, and the human resources manager printed out the verbatim comments and handed them to the supervisor. The supervisor figured out who had written it and came to my husband and asked, "Did you write this?" My husband was extremely embarrassed. Care to comment?
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My manager told me that he was very disappointed in the way I handled a particular assignment, and then he said that he would get back to me with more details "at a later date." That was two weeks ago. Should I ask him for the details, or just let it go?
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When one of the people in my department made a huge mistake on a project, I screamed at him. He went to my boss and I was formally reprimanded. The problem is that when I make a mistake, my boss yells his head off at me, and he's not the only one around here who yells. Does this sound fair and what should I do?
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We have a skilled employee who keeps complaining that she is not being treated fairly. We have asked for examples, and she presents nothing but contrived instances that do not point to unfair treatment at all. We have looked into the matter seriously and believe that she is wrong, but she won't let up. We don't know how to deal with her. What can you suggest?
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The supervisors who report to me write up evaluations on their employees. I meet individually with the evaluated employees and go over their reviews. There is one employee whose review is fairly negative, and I am concerned about how to deal with her. What can you suggest?
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Our manager has this habit of saying, "I know I shouldn't say this," before coming out with a disgusting or degrading comment. He gets a big laugh out of this, as do some of the followers around here, but many of us are offended. What do you do with a manager like this?
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Two years ago, I was making frequent mistakes on my job. I was put on probation and made a great deal of progress. I have been off probation for about a year, but on the rare occasion when I make a mistake, my supervisor writes me up and tells me that my performance is still unacceptable and I haven't learned anything. What can I do to stop being written up?
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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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The owner of the small company where I work is wonderful, but we have all noticed that he is more forgetful, short-fused, and argumentative in the afternoons. We know that he has a drink or two at lunch, and we think this is part of it, but none of us want to tell him. How should we handle this?
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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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My manager just told me I'm too friendly with the employees I supervise. I am a friendly manager, but I don't think I've crossed the line, and that's exactly what I told him. He insisted that I be more cautious about this, but I don't know what to do.
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Last week my manager told me that I am too focused on family matters and I need to pay more attention to work. I have no idea where this comment came from. I asked for some examples, but he couldn't think of any specifics. That's how the discussion ended, but I'm concerned about what's happening. Should I do anything else?
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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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Our manager gives us no recognition when we meet or surpass our goals, whether as individuals or as a team. She is more likely to focus negatively on some minor point or ignore our success altogether. Should we say something to her?
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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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Our manager has this annoying habit of complimenting us, and then throwing in a piece of criticism. Whenever she says something nice, it is always followed with the word, "but...." Is there a way to get a compliment from her that is just a compliment?
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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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I have applied for a supervisor's position four times, and each time I was denied based on a "predictive tool." This tool gave a report that stated I was unmotivated, have no competitive drive or initiative, and need close supervision at all times. These findings are in direct contrast to my performance reviews during the one-and-one-half years I have worked here. I asked the H.R. manager for more information on the "tool," but he never came through. What is my next step?
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There is one employee who reports to me who keeps asking me when he is going to be promoted. He has been with the company for a few years, but, frankly, he is a long way from being promotable. I keep telling him that we do not have any supervisory positions open now, but I am tired of having him ask me so often. How should I handle this?
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A few months ago, the owner's son was placed in my department. His performance in the beginning was satisfactory, but it has taken a nosedive lately. I want to discipline him, although I am somewhat hesitant because of his family connection. Do you have any suggestions?
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The president of our company has a new administrative assistant who is power hungry, blocks our access to the president, and tells the managers what to do. Several of us told the president she is out of line, but he will not hear of it. What should we do?
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My manager gives us praise and thanks us practically all the time. At first, I appreciated his kind words, but since he says them to everyone constantly, I'm tired of it. Is it worth telling him that he is going overboard or should I just ignore it?
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I just evaluated one of my employees, and she became rather upset. I had notes on her performance from throughout the year, but she did not like what she heard and denied just about everything. What is the best thing to do when this happens?
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My evaluation is coming up next month, and my manager asked me to evaluate myself on the same form that he will be using to evaluate me. I'm concerned that if I rate myself lower than he rates me, he might question my performance. I think I should give myself superior ratings across the board. What do you think?
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Whenever my boss comes around to my department, I have one particular employee who typically makes a comment that puts herself in a positive light and makes me look bad, and sometimes she's not quite truthful or does not give the full story. Do I lower myself to say something to her, or should I just let it go?
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My manager likes to show off his vocabulary, but he tends to use words that are slightly wrong. For example, he will talk about an abysmal failure, but he will say "abusmal" failure. He does this with many words, and all of us are reluctant to say anything since he is our boss. What can we say to him?
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My manager is forever telling me what I should not have done. When I explain why I acted a certain way, he says he is tired of my excuses. This happens over and over. How do I get out of this cycle?
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How can I get thanked by my boss? I do good work, and I have gone the extra mile on many assignments, but he shows no appreciation at all. His attitude is that my paycheck and my job are thanks enough.
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I returned early from lunch and found one of my employees in my office, and the door was closed. He was sitting at my desk and was doing something on my computer. He said his computer was giving him trouble and he needed to access a document he had forwarded to me earlier in the day. That document was on the screen, but I don't know if he was actually working on it or had it ready to access just in case. He's been a good employee to date. What do you suggest?
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I just had my evaluation, and I don't know what to do with my manager's comments. He gave me average ratings and said I need to work harder and improve my attitude. I don't think his assessment is correct, and I don't know how to improve in those areas. What do you suggest?
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I delegated a basic project to one of my employees, and I told her to proof it before returning it to me. When she finished, I assumed the project was ready for distribution, so I sent it to my manager and several other managers. It turns out there were some glaring errors. I was upset with her and told her so, but how do I prevent this type of problem in the future? Do I have to review everything she does?
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I have an employee who is late at least three days a week, usually by ten or twenty minutes. I have spoken to him about this on numerous occasions, and he says he will try to improve, and for a week or two he does, but then he's late again. Now when I meet with him, he says the problem is that the company should have a flextime plan. What do you think?
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My manager knows very little about what I do each day. He is not very accessible, and my few meetings with him are brief. I am coming up on my one-year evaluation, and I am concerned that he is going to rely on minimal information and some comments from one of the other managers who is not exactly my best friend. What can I do without sounding like I'm groveling?
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I just received my annual review from my manager, and I don't know what to do with the feedback he gave me. He said I need more confidence and initiative. I don't know where to begin. Do you?
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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 am new to management in this company, and one of the managers who reports to me has been here for about five years and has a lot of local knowledge. In a recent meeting with several other managers present, I made a point about policy that was incorrect. She then blurted out a correction in a very condescending tone. I told her afterwards that I did not appreciate this behavior, but she did it again yesterday. What's the best way to handle this?
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I just had a performance review with my manager, and he included statements that are not accurate. To anyone who reads them, I look like a bad employee. He used words like "lazy" and "incompetent" to describe me, and that's not true and I can prove it. What should I do?
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I think employees should be given a formal performance appraisal twice a year, but most of the other managers think it should be once a year. Two appraisals give employees current information, and they are more useful in decision-making by the company. Which approach makes the most sense to you?
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Our manager gives us recognition, but on a regular cycle. He takes each of us to lunch every six weeks. And every three weeks like clockwork, I'll get praise from him, and the others in the department are on their own three week cycle. The praise and recognition are nice, but kind of meaningless. Why would a manager do this?
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There is a suggestion box at the front desk, and no one ever uses it. The same few scraps of papers have been sitting inside it for weeks. I think it should be tossed. Do companies even use these boxes anymore, especially with the intranet?
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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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My boss wears a bad hairpiece. He is almost 50 and has worn it for 15 years, and it looks very obvious. Everyone who comes in our office makes jokes about it behind his back. I cannot say anything about this to him since a former employee was fired because she was not subtle about this. He is always trying to appear younger than he is. How do I deal with this when people are laughing about it?
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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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My manager gives me compliments about my work whenever I see him, especially in meetings and in front of my co-workers. I work hard and take pride in my work, but I'm a little embarrassed by all of this attention, and some of my co-workers have made comments about it. What should I say to my manager about these compliments?
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I conducted a one-hour training session for my employees, and I thought it went very well. Everybody participated, and their comments seemed to show that they were learning and building their skills. After the session, I was speaking with one of the supervisors who attended, and she said the session was a "big bore." I was surprised and a little insulted, but I took the comment in stride and did not challenge her. I am puzzled over what to do with a comment like hers.
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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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Our manager sends us articles on management. Some are okay, but the most recent one was ridiculous. I know the other supervisors feel the same way about it, but when he asks them, they'll say the article was very helpful. Should I follow their politically-correct ways, or tell him what I really think?
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Every quarter, we are required to attend a training seminar. For the third year in a row, one of the topics is time management, and it is the same class I attended twice already. When I told my manager we need something new, he said that time management is always worthwhile. Does this sound worthwhile to you?
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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 hatcheting his presentation. I don't think I did. Was I out of line?
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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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How do you deal with an employee who is always fishing for compliments? I manage six people, and one is always telling me about something good that she did. After I compliment her, she is happy and goes back to work. It's getting a little tiring. Do you have any suggestions?
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I just terminated an employee and she became very upset and hostile. She screamed at me, insulted me, and was out of control. I told her to calm down, but that only incensed her further. I am shaken by what happened here, and I wonder what to do if this happens again.
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I work with an employee who jumps from one assignment to another, never completing any. I told him that I think he has attention deficit disorder, and he became very upset with me. I was only trying to help, but he has not gotten over this. What should I do?
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I came up with a good idea and mentioned it to my manager. She suggested I put it in writing. After a couple of weeks, she wrote a letter back to me saying the idea was useless and left her cold. I am annoyed and wonder if I should say something.
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I don't know how to deal with a manager who is always criticizing my work. Every single day she is telling me that I did this or that wrong, and now whenever I see her, I brace myself for more criticism. What should I do?
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We were having a staff meeting and I asked a basic question. After the meeting, my manager told me that he didn't want to embarrass me in front of the others, but my question was stupid. He feels he's a hero because he reprimanded me in private, but I'm annoyed over the criticism itself. What do you think?
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The other day, my manager walked into my work area and said she wanted to give me some feedback. She then took out a piece of paper and read off a list of things that I have done wrong over the past three months. This was not my formal evaluation, and I am very upset by this treatment. What should I do?
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Over the last few months, my supervisor has told me several times that I have a bad attitude. I disagree with this, and when I try to explain, she does not listen. The incidents that she uses as examples are totally out of context. How should I deal with this?
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I have an employee who gets very defensive when I give him feedback. He argues over everything I tell him. How do you deal with someone like this?
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As part of the entertainment at our year-end dinner, the company hired a handwriting analyst. She came to the table where I was sitting with my manager and several fellow employees and asked us to write our names on a sheet of paper. Then she gave some positive descriptions of everyone except me. She wondered about my energy and persistence. I don't know if my manager bought what she was saying, but he semi-jokingly said that he would like to hire her to help screen new applicants. This experience wrecked the whole evening for me, and I'm wondering if I should discuss the matter with him.
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I have been having difficulties with one of my employees, and I met with her on several occasions to talk about her productivity, cooperation, and attitude. I don't want to write her up because I would rather motivate her more positively than negatively. What can you suggest?
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My manager is upset with the goals I set for myself this year, and I don't see the problem. The goals included increasing gross margins, cross training my employees, and reducing turnover. My manager said that these are not goals, since goals need to be specific. Are these goals or not?
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In my performance review, my manager said I am the weakest link in the chain and that I need to show more energy and motivation. I do not want to be terminated, but I am not sure of what to do now. What do you think?
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My manager keeps putting off my performance review. It was due three months ago, and whenever I ask him about it, he says he'll do it soon. I don't know if he thinks I am doing a good job or not, and I'm even wondering if he is stalling because he wants to fire me. What should I do?
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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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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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I work with a person who our manager really likes, and she has been complaining to him about me. He then comes to me and says that I need to try to get along better with my co-workers, but I get along fine with them. It's his little favorite who is the problem. What should I do?
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I have an employee who does her job well and is competent technically. The problem is that she is arrogant and condescending when dealing with people, and her job requires people contact. Many employees feel put off by her. I have tried to give her feedback, but she does not improve. What do you suggest?
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When I assign work to one particular employee, he tends to overanalyze it and generate tons of data that we don't need. His role is primarily one of researcher, but whenever I tell him that he is going too far, it doesn't seem to have any effect. What do you suggest?
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Before my annual evaluation with my manager, I did a self-evaluation and gave myself honest ratings that were pretty high. I then met with my manager, and his evaluation of me was much lower. He knew practically nothing about what I had accomplished, and his ratings are the ones that will be used for raises and promotions. What can I do?
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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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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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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 often gives me additional projects and assignments, and I manage to fit them in and get them done. In my last review, he said I did not complete several of the main responsibilities of my job. I told him he is right, and the reason is the extra work he gave me. He said he expects more of me, so he gave me a poor review. What should I do now?
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I manage four people, and our department supports the other departments in the company. Occasionally other managers complain about the performance of one of my employees. I think she does a good job, but other managers say she can be short with them. I have not observed the problem, so I am unsure how to deal with this.
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I like to bounce ideas off of the employees who report to me, and for the most part I have a good team. I have one member who is technically skilled, but when I toss her an idea she will say things like, "That's really dumb." When she does that, I don't even want to talk to her, and that's too bad because she could be very helpful. What's the best way to deal with her?
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I have an employee who handles the technical side of her job very well, but her people skills leave something to be desired. Her job requires interaction with employees from other departments, and she is often condescending, impatient, and acts like a know-it-all. I have received complaints about her, and I am not sure how to correct the problem.
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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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My manager makes remarks that can be hurtful and degrading, and when I call him on it, he always says that he is just teasing. He says that he doesn't mean any harm and it is all done in fun. What can I do?
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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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I went on a job interview and the interviewer said I was dressed inappropriately. I thought I looked just fine. I have been on many interviews and no one ever said this to me. Do you think his comment was appropriate?
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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 met with my manager and she told me that some of my employees have complained to her and called me a bully. I think this is a ridiculous assertion that is the result of too many employees who need coddling and pampering. I am a strong and firm manager who expects hard work and results from his employees. Does that make me a bully today?
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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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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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One of my employees is very skilled in her work, but recently she been giving me orders, insulting me in front of others, and taking credit for my accomplishments. I do not want to lose her because she is very skilled, and I am unsure how to deal with her in light of 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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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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I have an employee who frequently comes to me with suggestions. She has sweeping ideas about benefits, systems, parties, and just about everything else, and all of her suggestions have been unusable. I encourage employees to make suggestions, and I feel badly about rejecting all of hers. I want her to continue to bring in suggestions, but I am tiring of hearing every half-baked idea that comes into her head. How should I handle this?
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One of my fellow managers is known for putting other managers on the spot when they run meetings. I was recently conducting a meeting, and he started asking questions that had nothing to do with the topic. When I answered, he asked more. When he finally stopped, he had sidetracked the meeting for a good fifteen minutes. How do you deal with someone like this?
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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 am in a supervisory position and my manager just reviewed me and said I am too nice to the employees I supervise. He said I should come down harder on them and be tougher. I donít think that is a very good way to manage. Is there a problem with being a nice supervisor?
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I have an employee who has a poor attitude. He does not show much enthusiasm or interest in his work or in the company, and everything about him seems to say, ďI donít care.Ē He is the only one in the department with this attitude. How do I express my dissatisfaction to him and not face a wall of defensiveness?
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We brought in a technology trainer on a trial basis to teach a group of our employees. The employeesí evaluations of the sessions were filled with positive comments. Several managers believe this warrants more of a commitment to continue this training, but I am not sure. What do you think?
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Several employees in my department and in departments that work with us have told me that one of my employees has been spending a great deal of time surfing the net. She never does this in my presence. I am concerned about disciplining her because of hearsay, but she has fallen behind on some of her projects, too. Should I just focus on that?
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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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When my manager asked me about the status of a project that I assigned to one of my employees, I found that my employee had not followed the procedures and left out a critical step. I thought this step was included when I checked up on the project last week. She suggested that I lie about the matter to my manager. I am shocked by her suggestion, and Iím uncertain about how to deal with her from this point. What do you suggest?
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I gave a project to one of my employees two weeks ago, and I wanted him to complete it within a week. As the deadline approached, he said he was too busy and needed extra time. I gave him an extension, and then another one earlier this week, and now he wants even more time. I donít want to be a tough guy, but what can I do to put an end to this?
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Our company brought in an outside trainer, and during the session I thought he made a technical mistake, and not on a minor issue. When I politely asked him about it, he turned my question into a joke and got a big laugh from everyone in the room. Afterwards, I did some checking and found out I was right and the trainer was wrong on the issue. Should I say something or just forget it?
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We provide our employees with treats at the end of the week, and we use this as a form of recognition and appreciation, as well as an opportunity for the employees to mingle with each other. I was shocked the other day when a few employees said they donít like the treats and would prefer something different, something better. I told them Iíd keep their comments in mind. However, I am quite annoyed that they would complain about a gift. What do you make of this?
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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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When I evaluated my employees last year, I had only been with the company for a couple of months. Since I did not know the employees well, I gave them all high ratings. Now with a year of data, I gave most of them lower ratings. Several have complained that their performance did not drop and it is unfair to rate them lower than last year. How should I handle this?
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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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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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My boss gave me a fairly basic project which I recently completed. I was at lunch with her and three of my fellow employees, and I happened to bring up this project, and she snidely said it was insignificant, meaningless, and not even worth looking at. I was embarrassed, but I did not lash back, even though I wanted to. How do you deal with a boss like this?
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I just received a poor performance evaluation from my manager. My performance during the year was very good, but I ran into major problems on one of my projects a few weeks before my evaluation. I think my manager put too much weight on my recent poor performance, and I donít think this is fair. What should I do?
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I went for a job interview, and it was apparent that I was not in sync with the interviewer. By the end, he stopped asking questions and started criticizing me. Among other things, he that my answers were too wordy and my clothes were wrong. Iím still upset, and I wonder what you think about this.
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I have two employees in my department who have not been performing well, and I gave both of them poor evaluations. They got together and complained to my manager. He believed everything they said, and he called me in and criticized me. What should I do now?
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My manager advised me to pick a certain day every month and use that day to give my employees some recognition for their work. I can tell that he does the same thing, because he seems to show up every other Friday in our department to thank us for something. Is this a worthwhile step to take as a manager?
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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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We have a small customer service department that handles sales calls from around the country. One of the sales reps has been getting more than her share of customer complaints. We have counseled her, but she always has an excuse. It takes a few months to train a new sales rep, and we donít want to terminate her, at least not yet. What other steps do 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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On a recent business trip, I sat next to my manager on the flight. He used the opportunity to give me my performance evaluation. Although the evaluation was generally positive, I was disturbed by having it done this way. I told him that I would prefer to have future evaluations in a more conventional setting, and he agreed but said I am overreacting, especially since the evaluation was positive.
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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 have an employee who blames others whenever she makes a mistake. Even when there is no question that a problem developed because of her decisions, she will still point the finger at someone else. If I tell her she is wrong, she becomes defensive. How do you deal with someone like this?
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We are supposed to make presentations at our department meetings, and there is one person who leaves me out of everything. When he hands out documents, he never has one for me, and he overlooks me if I have questions or want to make comments. I have not seen him do this to anyone else. What should I do?
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One of my employees is giving herself projects that are my responsibility. She has met with other managers on issues that fall under me, and she has even called vendors regarding services under my job. When I speak to her about this, she gets huffy, denies the problem, and then does it again. Is there a better way to deal with her?
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Although I am pleased with all five employees who report to me, three other managers on separate occasions have said that one of my employees is rude and nasty. I have never seen this side of her personality, and I donít think it is right to give her feedback based on hearsay. However, I donít want to ignore the other managers. How should I approach this?
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I have a professionally prepared resume, and I think it looks good. I have sent it out several times, but I have not gotten any responses. I have tried calling the companies that list their names in the ads, but that has not helped. What else can you suggest?
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I walked into the office of one of my employees, and she was on the phone. She was talking business on an issue that directly involves me, and I gestured that I wanted to know what she was talking about. She abruptly turned to me and said, ďThis doesnít concern you.Ē She then turned away and continued her conversation, and I walked out. What should I say to her?
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We have a popular long-term employee. She has received raises over the years, but her performance has not been good, and it is continuing to slip. We are seriously thinking about terminating her. How do you terminate an employee like this?
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When our manager gives us assignments, she tells us how disappointed she will be if we donít do well. If something goes wrong, she harps on how we failed her and how she expected so much more of us. We donít know what this management style is, but we are not comfortable with it. What can we do?
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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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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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My granddaughter has been on her current job for over a year and has been doing an excellent job. Before her review, her manager gave her a booklet about her duties and asked her to rate herself. She gave herself all 4ís, the highest rating, except for a 3 on one item because some of the duties were not part of her job. At the review session, her manager accepted the 3 and dropped some of her 4ís to 3ís, saying it would not be right for them to be a perfect score. What do you think of this evaluation, and what do you think about deductions for unassigned duties?
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Today, my manager ripped me to shreds in front of an employee that I supervise and had to reprimand for taking long breaks, an issue which my manager recently addressed with the whole dept. After I spoke to the employee (as gently as possible), he ran to my supervisor describing my "abrasive and accusing" remarks. My manager believes every word out of my employees mouth and then acts on these descriptions. This employee has, for several months, been "getting in the ear" of my supervisor telling him things that are going on within the department that are exaggerations and misrepresentations of the truth. He has effectively manipulated my supervisor against me. Somehow, I'm now the mean, rotten supervisor while my employee is viewed as the innocent victim. I am being sent to management training now because, as he stated in front of my employee "my management technique stinks". I would welcome the training more if it didn't seem like a punishment based on the "stories" of my employee. This employee seems to have my supervisor wrapped around his little finger and I've noticed strong favoritism. The beating and humiliation I took today is too much. My manager is far better equipped for confrontation than me. I am a mild-mannered and easy going manager and I have good, friendly work relationships with 99.9% of people in the building and, for 16 years, I've delivered and got things done well. My manager, who I recently found myself under due to a shuffle of departments, has a lot of management training and effectively backed me into an embarrassing and humiliating corner(all in front of my employee). I plan on trying to call a meeting with upper management to address what happened first thing tomorrow morning. This will undoubtedly enrage my manager and I expect things could get worse. My main complaint is that my manager ripped me to shreds in front of the employee I was trying to reprimand. All I said to my employee was "You took a half hour break today. Please keep it down to 15 minutes as company policy states." That's when he ran to my manager and all heck broke loose. I'll take any advice or words of wisdom you can offer. Thank you very much for your time!
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I work in a relatively small business that is now very, very successful. Iíve worked my way from $8.00/hr + Commission (@28,000/yr) to $20.00/hr + Commission & bonuses(@65,000/yr) in 6 years. I know that Iím the highest paid employee, and that Iím satisfied with my pay. I also know Iím an over achiever and Iíve brought the company from 130th in our industry to the top-dealer in 6 years total. I know for a fact Iíve made huge improvements to this business and I have a great relationship with the majority of the other employees. Although, I am not the ďgeneral managerĒ and have yet to receive an actual title - Iím definitely the coordinator and actually manage the dealership. Now the ownerís daughter has decided to come in more often and try to take on the role as general manager. She has no management experience (other then hiring & firing 10 or so employees within this company). She causes extreme amounts of drama with and extremely flirty attitude with employees, customers, and even local delivery men causing more issues than you could ever imagine. She does not come in at normal hours, maybe 3 to 4 days a week and if sheís there maybe 4 hours sheís paid bills and sent me off to run her personal errands. (Today I picked her up a fountain poured coke, and picked up two rings from the local jeweler) She does not have a real business plan, nor a true job description, or standard order of operations for the employees and their job duties. The rules change on a daily basis. She is extremely demanding and does not like to be shown how to do something, even if it is imperative to the business or a prospective new customer. For instance, this week I was delivering a purchased unit to a new customer out of state when she called and informed me that the salesman were all away and that she needed to know how much the two units we just finished up cost were... I told her the retail figures and she wanted to know actual cost so she could intelligently talk to a potential customer about pricing. I informed her that I knew one unit was completely entered in our dealer management system, but the other was not. I also informed her that I did not know the actual dealer cost of this unit, nor the other unit off the top of my head. I informed her that she could easily look at the cost in our system for the one unit that was entered. She said ď Iím not going through that, that takes entirely too long, this is absolutely ridiculous that we do not have the actual dealer cost written down in the units files!Ē ((Yelling)) I had the phone away from my ear and even the owner could hear every word she was yelling. (He looked confused during this) She kept yelling at me, and I expressed that if she wanted to know the actual dealer cost that there was a very easy 30second procedure she would need to do... she just kept yelling... I told her that we could go over everything tomorrow morning, and she kept yelling, I said we can discuss this tomorrow... she paused for a moment and I heard nothing so I hung up the phone. She immediately called the owner (right next to me) and started yelling at him about the situation and he said ďwe can deal with this tomorrow, no big dealĒ. Just from his looks I only assumed that he understood that she only wanted it her way and that she was not going to it the way everyone else does it. That wasnít the case the next morning... The next morning I was called into her office with her and the owner. I was written up for insubordination because I hung up on her. I spoke my peace that I was not to be yelled at like a dog, and that I was not a child and should not be spoken to in any other fashion. She said that she never raised her voice and that I refused to do what she said. I kept my mouth shut... I never refused anything... I looked at the owner hoping he would be a more logical person because he witnessed the confrontation, but he agreed with her and even to the point saying that I was in the wrong and that was uncalled for. I did sign the paper with a very shaky hand.... I have addressed a multitude of other issues that she has caused to the owner, but it's been no help... it is only getting worse now that she is coming around more often. I also keep a very close eye on the bookkeeping and the profits and loss reports. She has started two new credit cards under the businessí name and she and her husband uses them for personal usage. (Vacations, fuel, hotels, food, clothing, home furnishings) Iím taking thousands and thousands of dollars! This has now put a financial burden on the company and it makes it very hard to buy product to resale if the money is gone. I rely on this for a huge part of my income. Iíve put in for other jobs, and Iíve received a few offers, but nothing close to what Iím making now. I would accept a pay cut for happiness, but I canít accept a 50% cut. Recently, weíve had quite a bit of employee turnover at the dealership and weíve lost a bunch of good people. A retired industrial plant operations director decided to try selling for us, and he said it best on his personal goodbye letter left for myself... ďGet out of here, youíll do great, open your own shop! I canít take the drama and abuse, I donít have to work, but I thought I would enjoy this... boy I was wrong - You canít work under someone who operates their business by the ďseagull management methodsĒ ďComes in every now-and-then, squaks a lot, shits on everything, and then just leaves!Ē I need some advice... I have the knowledge, I have the customer base that I know would follow, my other half is very supporting and is always after me to open my own business.... but I donít have the finances... HELP KEN! P.S. please excuse any and all dramatically errors, run-ons, and incomplete sentences... itís nearly 11pm after a 13hr day that has dragged me down...
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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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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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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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I was recently awarded a position at my workplace, in healthcare. It expands into a different area for me after being in my old position for nine years. To make a long story short, my trainer has been there a few years longer than me, and has been doing the job that I am to be trained in for about three years now. This person was at one time a beginner as well, yet expects me to grab a totally new concept almost immediately after explaining it. If I make an error, I'm reminded by my trainer how critical it is that all information that I input be accurate. I get that!! I know how critical this job is and I'm up to the challenge. However when I'm met with critical and condescending comments and "attitude," it is very discouraging. Just when I'm feeling like I'm doing well (I am given a bit of praise for my progress), I get shot down with a negative/critical comment or behaviour. I don't mind being worked hard when I'm learning new things. I learn better with positive encouragement and attitudes. I relax more and my mind becomes open and more able to grab the new tasks. How do I go into my second week of training and be patient with myself and not take the impatient, negative attitude personally? I'm not one of those people who are awesome right off the bat. Thanks for reading my message!
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Can my boss come up to me and tell me that she has received complaints about me, and when I ask who from, she says she can't tell me. I only want to know who from so I can change this behaviour.
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