Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the JerksAtWork.com homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.
 

Inconsiderate Actions

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


I work in Accounts Payable, and I had a great idea for an advertisement for our company. I wrote it up and gave it to my manager about six weeks ago, and that's the last I heard of it. I've asked my manager about it, and he said that he routed it to the General Manager, and if there's any interest, I'll be contacted, which has not happened. Should I contact the General Manager myself?
Read Ken's Answer

When I returned to my office from a meeting yesterday, my desk chair was missing. I was told that a particular employee needed it for a meeting down the hall. This was a big aggravation and waste of time for me. I told her I was upset, but she did not seem to think it was a big deal. What should I do next?
Read Ken's Answer

A couple of years ago, I helped a friend get a job. He has done well and was just promoted again. I was recently laid off, and I contacted him to see if he could help me. When he didn't return my call after a week, I called him back, and he still did not call me. Should I try again?
Read Ken's Answer

The credit analyst in the cubicle next to mine uses his speakerphone for most of his calls, and this is a major problem for several of us. We have asked him to use the handheld phone, and he'll do it for a day or two, and then it's back to this. I told our manager, but he didn't do anything about it. What do you suggest?
Read Ken's Answer

I have been at this company for a year, and there is one woman who still will not speak to me, does not respond when I ask her questions, and will not acknowledge my presence in a room. I am friendly to all, and I have tried asking her if everything is okay, but she just grunts and shrugs. What can I do?
Read Ken's Answer

During a job interview earlier this week, the interviewer took two cell phone calls. He didn't mention that he might have to take some calls, and he didn't say anything afterwards. I was annoyed, but didn't say anything because this was a job interview. If this happens again, is it worth saying something?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

The president and senior officers of our company occasionally visit our center, but when they enter the building, they walk by all of us as if we are furniture. They go right into the conference room, have a closed-door meeting, and then rush out. I guess there's not much that can be done about this, but I thought I'd ask.
Read Ken's Answer

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.
Read Ken's Answer

One of the ladies I work with is a sweet, cheerful person, and I really like her. However, she is always singing or humming in a high-pitched voice and it drives me nuts! I don't know how to tactfully ask her to stop. I have told both my supervisor and the office manager that it is annoying, but they seem to feel it is a small matter.
Read Ken's Answer

I just had a job interview that lasted about ten minutes. When it was set up, I was told to plan on spending an entire afternoon, but the interviewer said he was behind and if there's interest, he'll contact me. I don't think I said or did anything wrong. Should I send him a note to stay in the process or just move on?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

I recently transferred into another department, and the manager and some of her pals keep telling the same old stories and referring to the same old in-jokes. You would think they'd tire of this, but they don't. Is there anything I can do to fit in?
Read Ken's Answer

My boss is always asking me to do one favor or another for him, and none of them have anything to do with my job. It's picking up his dry cleaning, dropping off a watch to be repaired, and many more, and it's usually after work. How do I say "no" to my boss?
Read Ken's Answer

I work in the corporate office of a family business, and the president's teenage son was just hired to help us out during the summer. He is a spoiled and inconsiderate person who keeps his own hours, makes endless personal calls, and boasts that he does not have to work at all. We don't want to insult the president, but we are already at our wit's end. What should we do?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

There are several of us in the office, and when those who wear perfume are present, you can smell it as soon as you enter. There are three of us who suffer from allergies, and the perfume gives us headaches and makes us sneeze and cough. We have talked to the ones who wear perfume, but they just don't get it. The problem is that our boss is one of those who wear perfume, and because of this, we're stuck. Do you have any suggestions?
Read Ken's Answer

There is a company that I would like to join, and they seemed to respond favorably to my resume. They set up an interview, but canceled it at the last minute, and then canceled two later interviews. Is there anything I should be doing to get an interview with them?
Read Ken's Answer

My manager made a commitment to phone me at a specific time on a specific day, and then called 2 hours later and started the conversation as if there were no delay at all. I told him that I had to move a bunch of work around as a result of the delay, and he didn't even respond. Your thoughts?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

I am an independent contractor and I was in the process lining up a project with a rapidly-growing company. My contact person was smart, organized, and supportive. Unfortunately, she had to turn my project over to an individual who is impossible to deal with. He won't return calls, he cancels meetings at the last minute, and he has all but shelved the project. What do you suggest?
Read Ken's Answer

After almost 9 years at a job I really enjoyed, I made a decision to leave. The reason is my supervisor. I don't know why she didn't like me and emotionally abused me, as I was praised for my work by other departments. I spoke to the personnel director who then told my supervisor about everything we had discussed in confidence. I need closure on this. Can you help?
Read Ken's Answer

What can be done about a woman supervisor who makes crude remarks to one employee about another? This supervisor is not liked, as she is a total control freak.
Read Ken's Answer

During a job interview a few days ago, the interviewer took several phone calls and his secretary came in three or four times. I thought this was rude and inconsiderate, and I think the interruptions prevented me from doing well. What is your take on interruptions in job interviews?
Read Ken's Answer

I have been an administrative assistant at this company for many years, and until recently I shared an office with another assistant who moved away. Her replacement is a very difficult person who talks on the phone all the time and is rude to everyone here, including customers. I have spoken to her manager, but she refuses to do anything about her. What should I do now?
Read Ken's Answer

When my manager asks me questions, I start to answer them and then he cuts me off and demands that I get to the point. I don't wander all over the place when I respond to him, and all the information I provide is necessary. What do you suggest I do?
Read Ken's Answer

I manage two people, and when I walk into their offices, they ignore me. If they are on a phone call or talking with someone, they don't even acknowledge I have entered. I don't expect them to jump up, but a little acknowledgement would be nice. What do you suggest?
Read Ken's Answer

There is one person in our company who rarely responds to email sent to him. We all use email all the time here, and it is very frustrating when he does this. What is the best way to deal with him?
Read Ken's Answer

I am an administrative assistant, and one of my boss's colleagues called about getting reimbursed for his hotel bill. I suggested he speak directly with my boss. He replied, "Allow me to vent," and he gave me an angry tirade about his trip and hung up on me. I told my boss about the incident. My boss agreed to reimburse him, but said nothing about his rudeness. How do I prevent this from happening again?
Read Ken's Answer

We have many vendors stopping by throughout the week, and almost every day, there will be one who has a loud cell phone conversation. This interferes with our receptionist's work, and it is disturbing to other people in the waiting area as well. What's the best way to handle this?
Read Ken's Answer

My boss is not the most accessible person in the world, and he has canceled many appointments with me. I got the bright idea to ask him to lunch, and he accepted. When we got to the restaurant, his cell phone rang and he took the call and several others after it. We probably had about five minutes of conversation the whole time. How do you deal with a boss like this?
Read Ken's Answer

I'm fairly new here, and I was making a presentation in a meeting with some of the other managers when I noticed that two of them were passing notes back and forth, and they seemed to be giggling. It was annoying, but I did not let it interrupt me. Should I say something to them?
Read Ken's Answer

All of us work hard, but there is one person in our department who is just plain lazy. Her work is sloppy, she is late on everything, and she causes the rest of us to fall behind. Our manager says we should take care of this ourselves, but we have met with her, and she has made no effort to improve. What should we do now?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

I'm very new with this company. Around noon, I saw a couple of guys from my department heading out for lunch and I asked if I could join them. They seemed okay with that, but during the lunch they did not say one word to me. They only talked about things they had done together in the past. I was totally excluded and felt very foolish. Should I say something to them about their rudeness?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

My supervisor enjoys kidding me, and he keeps saying that his remarks are all in fun. I do not like hearing his degrading comments, his repetition of the same annoying lines, and the so-called funny stories that he makes up about me. I was thinking about making some similar comments back to him and see how he likes them. What do you think?
Read Ken's Answer

Several months ago, my manager asked me to lead a one-hour discussion for our salespeople. Nine of them attended, and so did my manager. After ten minutes, my manager took over and I was left standing in front like a fool. He just asked me to lead another discussion, and I am wondering if I can tell him how I felt about what he did in the first one.
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

We have a break room, and every time I take a break, there is a group of five employees from another department who always sit at the same table and they are so loud that I can hardly hear my friends who sit with me. One of the employees in the other group is a supervisor, and I politely asked him to talk a little quieter. He said he is on a break and can be as loud as he likes. What should I do?
Read Ken's Answer

I am a legal secretary, and my boss is often moody, rude, abrupt, impatient, and unfriendly, and gets very defensive if I even hint about any of this. He said he does not have to apologize to me because I am not his wife. I am doing a good job, and it is hard to find another job. Any advice?
Read Ken's Answer

There is a very senior person here who is mean, divisive, and uncaring. I can't imagine why he is still on board. He is not team-oriented, and he demands that everything be done his way. People who report to him think he is a dictator. Why would a company keep someone like this?
Read Ken's Answer

I took a temporary leave from work to have open heart surgery. My boss and her secretary knew about this, and one of the secretaries and four of my friends from work brought me a card and some gifts when I was in the hospital. However, it has been over six weeks and my boss has not sent a card, an email, or anything else. What do I make of this?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

My manager is fairly new to the company, and a month ago he gave me a lengthy assignment and told me he needed it completed within six weeks. After a month of work, I told him I have a draft. He said that things had changed and he no longer needed it. How should I deal with this?
Read Ken's Answer

I am on a committee with three other managers, and we are analyzing customer service systems. In order to update the vice president of operations on our progress, we agreed that one of us would write a summary that would include comments from all of us. I had some important points that conflicted with those of the individual writing the summary, so he eliminated them and then emailed it. I am furious. What should I do?
Read Ken's Answer

I have been trying to hire an administrative assistant, and I have received many resumes. I call the best candidates and make interview appointments, but many of these applicants donít show up, and they donít even call ahead to tell me. I am wondering how to prevent this.
Read Ken's Answer

Iím thinking of leaving my current job, and Iím wondering what I can do to assure the good work my boss has often praised is mentioned after I leave and a prospective employer calls for a reference. I have heard my boss rip into past employees. How can this be prevented, and how can I prepare my interviewer for this likelihood?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

I am cannot stand my manager who happens to be an owner of the company. He can be friendly, but he can instantly become mean and insulting especially in front of others. Whenever I see his name on an email to me, or whenever he wants to see me, I feel nauseous. I have tried to talk to him, but Iím never comfortable. How do you deal with someone like this?
Read Ken's Answer

I work at a small organization and have a manager who frequently shows up late, skips or misses appointments, and leaves early. Because he is the founder and president of the organization, it is hard for anyone to hold him accountable. It embarrasses me to cover for him. What can I do?
Read Ken's Answer

I just had a job interview that lasted ten minutes. The interviewer kept me waiting for thirty minutes and did not even apologize for that. He said he was very busy and then rushed through a few questions. I have not heard a word from the company since then. Is this common, and should I take any action?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

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?
Read Ken's Answer

When I joined this company, the general manager said I would be on some management committees to review and discuss major programs and developments. During my first few months here, I went to these types of meetings, but now I am often left out. I asked the general manager about this, and he said he forgot but will include me in future meetings. I just heard that he held one last week, but I was again left out. What should I do?
Read Ken's Answer

I cannot get my managerís attention. When I meet in his office, he is on his Bluetooth and using his computer. If itís not that, he is taking phone calls and even talking with people who drop by his office. What can I do to have an actual conversation with him?
Read Ken's Answer

I have a manager that often comes in late to our meetings and brings something to eat...just for herself. I've never seen anything like it...she crunches, munches & scrapes the bottom of the cup/bowls, etc while we sit there & watch. Then... she excuses herself to go to the restroom...sometimes multiple times. Again, while we sit there & wait for her. Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this? She is wasting so much of our time. Everyone else in our small group seems to be used to it - I am the newest member of the team and hate to just ask 'what the hell?' In my early days there, I asked another team member if that was the norm, and she said yes - but she didn't understand it. Bringing a beverage, maybe, but to assemble and spread, etc.? Do I sit & say nothing? Do I take something to eat and assemble it myself while waiting to see if it distracts her? Comments?
Read Ken's Answer