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Expectations

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 just received word that a problem employee is going to be transferred into my department. I have a very nice group of people here, and I am concerned about the impact this individual is going to have. What steps can you suggest to help make this transition smooth?
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I am looking for a job, and I get very nervous and stressed before every interview, and then I don't present myself as well as I could. Are there some ways to eliminate this nervousness?
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I am new to management and I am supposed to do a budget for my department. I do not know how to do one, and I have never been trained in this area. No one, including my manager, has time to show me. I'll do what I can, but I'm sure a lot of it will be wrong. Is this my fault or the company's?
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I have been working for this company for 12 years, and it was recently sold. The new owner was introduced at our year-end meeting, and I did not like what he said or the way he said it. His tone was condescending and even threatening. Some of my co-workers are already talking about leaving. How do you know when it is time to leave?
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One of our best salespeople just returned from vacation with a small diamond pierced through her nose. It's the first thing you notice when you see her, and I cannot imagine why she did this. I am concerned about the reaction of her customers. What should I say to her?
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My one-year review and a raise will be coming soon. Another person was hired a couple of months before me for the same position. His review and raise will be due before mine, but I do my job better than he does his. He has had problems with several projects and was briefly on probation. I will be upset if we both receive the same raise. How can I discuss this with my supervisor without sounding arrogant?
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We just hired a middle level manager and he showed up in a very expensive car, more expensive than any other car in the company. He did not come across as this kind of person in the interview or on his reference checks, but we are concerned about what the other employees are going to think. How should we deal with this?
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I just interviewed an applicant for a sales position and I noticed that his shoes were very scuffed. If this is how he takes care of his appearance when trying to get a job, I figure he'll do the same thing when he tries to sell our products. Should I pass on him?
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I am being considered for a promotion, and I feel flattered about this. The problem, and I don't like to admit it, is that I am nervous about my ability to handle the position. Do you have any suggestions for a person in my situation?
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I am a new employee with this company, and I have been given no training. When I have questions about how to do my job, my supervisor ignores me and my co-workers are too busy. I'm making mistakes already, and I don't know where to turn. Can you help?
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Our company did a reorganization of a few areas, and I have kept all of my past responsibilities, plus I am now over an area that I know very little about. The manager of the area seems competent, and I am taking the place of her former boss who left the company. I'm very busy as it is, and I don't think this department should have been placed under me. Is there a way to say this to my manager without looking weak?
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Our new manager gives me the creeps. I don't know what it is about him, but as soon as I met him, I felt my skin crawl. I can't identify anything in particular that he did, but I just don't like being around him. I like my job, but the whole place has really changed for me because of him. What can you suggest?
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We have casual dress days every Friday, but I am reluctant to wear casual attire because I feel that, as a female, we tend to diminish our stature when we dress casually, while the same does not seem to apply to males. My associates tell me that I am wrong about this. What do you think?
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Several months ago, one of my associate's desk drawers was jammed. No one could open it, but I have a small set of tools in my office. I went over, unscrewed part of the drawer, and got it open. The problem is that since then, I have become the informal office handyman. This is a major interruption, but it is hard to say no. What can I do?
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I will be giving two weeks' notice to leave after the first of the year. The problem is that our manager insists on exit interviews, and I have heard from others that the session is stressful and filled with harsh questions and insulting comments. I don't know if I should just sit there, fight back, or try to avoid the interview altogether.
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As part of my job as a supervisor, I am supposed to discipline employees for breaking the rules and committing other infractions at work. I do not like confrontations, and this aspect of the job has me worried. What are the ways to discipline employees without having a confrontation?
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I have been with this company for three years, and there are sleazy rumors concerning one of the top leaders. I have no first-hand experience regarding the content, but it comes as no surprise to me. None of us have any respect for this individual, but the owners of the company give him their full support. I was just given an assignment that will put me in more regular contact with him, and I'm wondering if I should try to get out of it.
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Our company is going through a reorganization and I am going to be working for a woman who is known to be on a major power trip. The word is that everything has to be done her way. Can you help me deal with her?
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I have been in sales with this company for a few years, and I am one of the better salespeople. My goal is to move into management, but my manager told me yesterday that he does not think I have what it takes to be a manager. I don't know what to make of this or what to do about it. What do you suggest?
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I have a government contract job, and my boss is planning on retiring sometime between now and early next year. I do not get along with the person who will be put in his place. Should I wait to see what happens after he leaves, or should I start putting out my resume now? We have not had a raise for three years.
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In my year-end evaluation, my manager said that he does not think I am promotable at this time. When I asked him when he thought I would be ready, he said he does not know. I asked him what I should do to prepare for promotion, and he said that is up to me. What do you suggest?
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Our company goes through a reorganization every couple of years. There is one manager who never sees eye to eye with me, and he recently said in a half-joking way that if I ever end up working under him, I will not be working here for long. I just heard through the grapevine that I may be reporting to him very soon. What should I do?
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I am a customer service rep in a call center, and I have been told by my manager that I spend too much time talking on the phone with customers. I believe it is important to build a relationship with a little friendly chit-chat with any customer who calls, and if this means a little extra time on each call, I don't see the problem. What can I say to convince my manager that this extra time is very important?
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When I meet with my boss, he asks questions and makes comments that make me look and feel incompetent. I do my job well, but when I try to answer him, he doesn't listen, but just makes meaner comments, especially in front of others. I get flustered every time I meet with him, and I know I am going to look like an incompetent. What should I do?
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We have been looking for a manager in our credit department, and we put together a list of requirements for this position. We interviewed some strong candidates, but the senior vice president over our group brought in his own candidate and insisted we hire her. She is not qualified at all. I am very busy, but I am supposed to train her. I think it is a waste of time because she is going to fail anyhow. What should I do?
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I do not like a particular employee who reports to me. He's doing a decent job, but his personality grates on me. How do I deal with this?
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I just joined our family business in a senior position, and I know there are rumors that I got the job because of nepotism. The truth is that when I was younger, I had summer jobs here and I admit I was less than a perfect employee. However, since then I graduated from college, got some experience away from the company, and recently completed my MBA. Nonetheless, I still sense that some employees resent me and I'm wondering how to deal with this.
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I am over 50 and I despise my job. It makes me tense and upset every day, and the problem is that I am stuck. The pay and benefits are good, and I know it will be very tough to find anything like this at my age. What do you suggest?
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We have a new employee in our department, and there is something about him that I disliked from the moment I met him. He has an arrogant and condescending manner, and several of us feel this way about him. How can we deal with him?
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We have a new manager in our department, and I get a bad feeling about him. I cannot put my finger on it, but something about him seems off. I have talked to others in my department, and a few feel the same way. How do you deal with a manager who triggers these feelings?
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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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After receiving approval to hire an assistant manager, I narrowed the search down to two candidates, and one was definitely stronger than the other. My manager interviewed both, and when I told her who I wanted, she insisted that I hire the other. I did it, but I want to know your opinion of her action.
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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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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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