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Assertiveness

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 inside sales with 20 other salespeople. At a recent Internet convention, all of us worked very hard to bring in leads. But, the only people who were given the leads were the sales reps who management thought would have a higher probability of closing them. This means that I went to work just to generate leads for other salespeople. How do I approach management and ask why they did this to us?
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I am a department manager with 30 employees reporting to me. I have 3 colleagues who manage their departments, and one of them berates and belittles her employees. I have confronted this lady about her ethics on behalf of her staff, and she told me to mind my own business. She already fired one of her employees for speaking out of the "line of command." Should I take this up with upper management?
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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?
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I am an independent contractor and I was in the process lining up a project with a rapidly-growing company. My contact person was smart, organized, and supportive. Unfortunately, she had to turn my project over to an individual who is impossible to deal with. He won't return calls, he cancels meetings at the last minute, and he has all but shelved the project. What do you suggest?
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I am in a sales/marketing position with a manufacturing company, and I am considering changing jobs. I informally met with a marketing manager from a dot.com company. I am not a techie, but I am not ignorant in technology either. I could hardly understand what this person was saying. The vocabulary was almost completely foreign, and I am wondering if this is his problem or mine?
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My boss is always giving me little projects in addition to my regular work. I want to take care of what he needs, but these projects take time and cause me to get behind on other important work. How can I tell him without looking like I'm lazy?
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The manager of our department does not like to hire experienced people. He says they have to be retrained and still end up doing things their old way. Although I wouldn't tell him, I think he's wrong. Does his approach make sense to you?
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There is talk that our company is going to conduct a major team-building program, culminating in having the employees do what is called a "fire walk." I understand this means that we will be walking on hot embers. Could this be true? If it is, several of us don't want any part of it.
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I wrote a report for management, and I asked my direct manager to have a look at it before submitting it. I am shocked and angry that he removed my name and put his on it. I did not say anything at the time, since I still have to work for him, but what can I do?
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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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I have been laid off for the past five months. I went on two interviews that appeared to go very well, and the interviewers said they would call me either way. I actually turned down another position because I felt assured an offer was coming. I left voice messages and e-mails, but heard nothing. Is this a new trend? Should I continue to press for a response or just let it go?
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How does a company decide who to lay off? My friend was a buyer and received a good performance review, but another buyer who had previously worked for the Purchasing Director received an excellent review, although she had only been in the position for six months and her performance was inferior to my friend's. When my friend finds a new job, how she can track her performance so she has backup at review time? Could it be that the Director evaluated the other buyer based on past performance rather than present?
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I am a teller at a bank, and one of my responsibilities is to generate customers for checking, savings, loans, etc. I have a monthly quota, but there are a few tellers who meet their quotas without doing any work. Some of the officers who close the sales are giving these chosen few all the sales they need to stay afloat. Meanwhile, the rest of us are picked on by the managers and officers if we don't make it, often threatened with our jobs. How can we stop this from happening without looking like sour grapes?
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We report to a manager who always knows just the right thing to say. When problems develop, he calms us down and makes statements that sound like everything is going to turn out fine. The only problem is that he is merely placating us, because he never takes care of whatever it was that got us upset in the first place. What's the best way to deal with him?
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My manager was piling work on me over the last few months, to the point that I could not get everything done. Finally, I told him that enough is enough, and I refused to take on any more. He said that he understood, but now I sense that he views me as a marginal employee and that's not true. How do I win him back?
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One of my friends was having a hard time in his job, and I encouraged him to go into sales. He found a sales position with a company in our industry, and now he wants me to buy their products. We are satisfied with our current supplier, and we don't need his. In light of the circumstances, I feel strange saying "no" to him, and I wonder what you suggest.
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When providing a reference, my former employer makes it clear to prospective employers that he had a problem with me. It's not so much what he says, since the company has a policy of only verifying employment, but how he says it. I know this is true because one of the prospective employers told me so after calling him for a reference. What can be done about this?
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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 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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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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A friend of mine is good friends with an individual who works in a senior position at a company where I want to do some business. I asked her if she can open a door for me, and she said she would be glad to. She called her friend and told him to expect a call from me. I have called him four times and he has not returned my call. I'm a little embarrassed to go back to my friend, and I'm wondering if I should just forget the whole thing.
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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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How do you deal with an employee who says that he can do whatever he wants because he's related to the owner of the company? As his supervisor, I have found his attitude and work to be questionable, but I do not want any problems with the owner who is a fairly volatile guy.
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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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Although our company seems to be doing fairly well in these times, it would still not surprise me to see some layoffs. Can you suggest some steps for an employee to take to lower his chances of being laid off?
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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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The president and senior officers of our company occasionally visit our center, but when they enter the building, they walk by all of us as if we are furniture. They go right into the conference room, have a closed-door meeting, and then rush out. I guess there's not much that can be done about this, but I thought I'd ask.
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I'm a line supervisor for a trucking company. One of our dockmen is a bully who harasses some of his co-workers about their performance, looks, and sexuality. A number of them have complained to management, and I've brought several complaints to my immediate supervisor who has jurisdiction over this dockman, but nothing has been done. Should I go over my boss's head?
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I am on a committee with two other employees, and we are supposed to review and report on certain company processes that deal with new customers. The problem is that my two co-workers are buddies, and they exclude me from practically all of the discussions. I know I can make a valuable contribution, and I'm very annoyed about this. What can I do?
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I have been doing market research here for about a year, and one of my co-workers is assigned to be my mentor. He reviews my work and advises me. I disagreed with what he wanted me to do on a recent project, but I went along with it. It turns out that I was right and he was wrong. Should I tell this to our boss?
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There is one person I work with who is constantly complaining to me about one thing or another. She doesn't do this to anyone else or even to our boss, but I have to hear it constantly. I have told her that I'm not the person to complain to, but that does not stop her. How do I turn it off?
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I went to lunch with friend who used to work here. I thought he had contacted me just for the sake of being friendly, but the entire lunch conversation was centered on his home based business and how he wants me to be part of his network. I told him I'm not cut out for it, and he said I'm a natural. He just called and gave me five different dates to come to a meeting. How do I turn this off?
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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 report to one of several managers-on-duty, and she yells at me and insists I do everything her way. Her boss, the general manager, gives me totally different directions. If I do what the general manager says, the manager-on-duty yells. My supervisor decided to quit because of the manager-on-duty. How do I deal with her?
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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?
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I am salaried and work long hours, and many times when I am about to leave, my manager stops me and says that he needs to talk about some issue or another. This can take an hour or more, and it's late in the day and I'm ready to go. How can I tell him?
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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 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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I work with a nasty and condescending co-worker. No matter what I say or do, he always gets upset, criticizes me, and tries to make me feel stupid. He wants everything done his way, and if it's not, he gets furious and then he sulks and hardly says a word. How do you work with someone like this?
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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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I work with 3 other administrative assistants who support 8 professionals. I get along well with them, and I am very good at what I do. The problem is that one of the other administrative assistants frequently gets behind and asks me to help her out. I have done so on many occasions, but this makes a huge amount of work for me, and it's been happening more and more lately. She is becoming a real problem for me.
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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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Our supervisor is a nasty and critical person, the manager over her is just as bad, and they both are especially mean to me. I am friendly with my fellow employees, and they have all noticed that I am picked on and blamed more than anyone else. I don't know what to do.
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My manager considers herself to be an artist, and she hung two of her paintings in her office. She asked me what I thought of them, and I sort of overstated my feelings, and now she wants me to buy one. I don't want one, but I don't want to upset her. How do I get out of this?
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I have had several different jobs in my career, and I recently completed a rather expensive technical training program. I have been sending out resumes, but all I get back are rejections or nothing at all. I keep trying different resumes, but none work. What do you suggest?
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My manager has a hard time pronouncing my name, which is a popular name in my country of birth, but not here. My manager decided to give me a nickname rather than struggle with it anymore. I cannot stand being nicknamed, and I cringe when he addresses me, but I am concerned about discussing this with him. What can I do?
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We have monthly meetings that have turned into monthly beatings. Last month two people thrashed me publicly in the meeting. I informed the department head that if this happens again, I will leave the meeting. One of the people complaining at the meeting has a ten-year friendship with the department head. What do you advise?
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There is a new position being created in the insurance agency where I work, and I am the most qualified person to get it. The problem is that the owner's daughter wants it. If I don't get it, I will quit. Is this worth mentioning, or should I just let management make their decision and go from there?
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I am a 58-year-old maintenance worker with 33 years of experience in my field. I have had many interviews for better jobs, and every time they say that I would fit the job well, and they often use the word "great," but then I get a letter saying they picked someone else. I am in very good health, happy, and a great worker, but I am feeling left behind because of my age. What can I do?
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There are about 20 people in our department, but the manager is mean to me. She yells and screams at me if I make the slightest mistake, but rarely raises her voice to the others. I hate to say it, but she makes me cry. What can I do?
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I worked on a project with one of my co-workers, and I just heard that he has been telling people that he did all the work and I did practically nothing. The truth is that we both worked hard, and I am very disappointed that he is saying this. Should I confront him or is that just lowering myself to his level?
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Another manager called me to discuss one of his employees, and I started to make some unfavorable comments about this employee when his voice suddenly came onto the call. It turned out that I was on the other manager's speakerphone and the employee in question was in his office. I was embarrassed and annoyed over this, and I'm not sure what to do next.
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A fellow manager has made a "hobby" out of trashing my reputation. She makes treacherous and untrue remarks to anyone who will listen, and this is having a negative impact on my ability to manage. I have gone to our boss and his reply is simply, "Everyone knows her...just ignore 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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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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We have some customers who bother the waitresses. I don't know if it is harassment or not, but their comments are often off-color and offensive. We told our manager about this, and he said that the customers are just being friendly and we should be nice to them. Does this sound right?
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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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I need regular information from the business office, but it is always a battle to get anything from them. I call them, e-mail them, and visit them, and I am able to gradually get what I need, but this is a big waste of time. How do I get them to do their job?
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My girlfriend has been working at a family-owned company for over fifteen years, and one of the younger family members cusses and yells, and his verbal abuse has brought my girlfriend to tears countless times. She is scared of him, but management does little but talk. Her retirement is around the corner, but I think she should report this to a labor relations official. What can you tell us?
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When I joined this company, I was sent to several seminars and training programs, and that was very important to me. Recently the company tightened the budget, and now all of this training is out the window. This is going to hurt my career, and I want to know what you suggest.
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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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When my manager asks me questions, I start to answer them and then he cuts me off and demands that I get to the point. I don't wander all over the place when I respond to him, and all the information I provide is necessary. What do you suggest I do?
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I usually have lunch with the same two co-workers, and we get along well. We have a new boss, and now the two of them badmouth him for the whole lunch. This boss is awful, but I don't say anything because it's not my nature. I want to keep eating with these co-workers. What should I say in these discussions?
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Many people come to me for answers to questions and help on projects, and I always try to help. Most of the things I do for them are not part of my job, but the people they are supposed to go to are not very responsive. I enjoy helping people and I don't want to say "no," but these requests are making it difficult for me to get my own job done. What should I do?
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My working relationship with my manager is positive, but I have a problem with one of the other managers. He keeps criticizing me, and his comments are wrong and without any facts. He will not listen to me, and when I told my own manager about this, he said I should work it out on my own. How can I do this?
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I get most of my assignments from my manager, but there is another manager at his senior level who also gives me projects and tasks. Although my manager is satisfied with my work, the other manager is never happy with it, and his communications are insulting and degrading. Most of the time, he is flat-out wrong. When I show him I am right, he ignores me. I've told my manager and he does nothing about it. How should I handle this?
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I work with a smooth co-worker who is in very tight with our manager. When work gets assigned, this co-worker does whatever he wants and pushes most of his junk work on me. If I try to push it back, he informs our manager and I end up looking like I am not a team player. This co-worker has convinced our manager that he is always right. What can I do?
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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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There is one person I work with whom I regard as a friend, but he is always borrowing one thing or another from me, and he rarely returns them. I have a lot of regular contact with him, and I don't want to create a problem by saying "no." What should I do?
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I came up with a good idea to improve the way that our department works, and I mentioned it to one of my friends here. The next thing I knew, she presented it to our manager. He thinks the idea is terrific, and now my friend is some sort of hero. What should I do?
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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 worked here for about a year in a senior management position, but my manager keeps giving me trivial projects that are better suited for a lower level position. I am reluctant to tell him for fear of looking lazy. What do you suggest I do?
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Is it possible for a manager to be too nice? Ours is very friendly and would do just about anything for us. If we make a mistake, he is patient and never gets upset. The problem is that some of the people in the department are taking advantage of him and bending the rules, and he does not realize it. He is too trusting. I'm wondering if there is a way to toughen him up.
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I am an administrative assistant for a boss whom I cannot please. No matter what I do, he criticizes me. I listen carefully to what he wants, and then I do it, and he still says I did it wrong. When I tell him I followed his instructions, he tells me I did not understand what he was saying, but I did. I am at my wit's end. Can you suggest anything?
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I have an employee who deserves to be fired. His work is not very good, his attitude is often negative, and even his honesty is questionable. I have talked to him about the problems and documented his performance, but the problem is that I have never fired anyone and I don't feel good about putting someone out of a job. What can you suggest?
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I am a 27-year-old female, and I work with a senior researcher who is very well respected. The problem is that he pats me on the behind at least once a day and I can't stand it. I told a couple of other people who work here, and they said it is a cultural thing with him and it doesn't mean anything. Does that mean I can't do anything about it?
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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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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.
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When I arrive at work, I start working immediately and get a lot done. How can I politely deal with a co-worker who comes into my workstation every morning, plops in a chair across from me, and starts talking and talking about herself and her family? I have given her some clear hints, but she does not leave.
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I 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?
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One of my friends is convinced that he has great suggestions that are always rejected because our manager does not like him. My friend wanted to test this out by having me present one of his suggestions. Only because he is a friend, I did it. Our manager shot it down, but my friend said he has other better suggestions and wants me to try again. I don't want to. What should I do?
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My manager is fairly new to the company, and a month ago he gave me a lengthy assignment and told me he needed it completed within six weeks. After a month of work, I told him I have a draft. He said that things had changed and he no longer needed it. How should I deal with this?
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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?
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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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After one of my fellow employees quit, my manager dumped practically his entire job on me. He said I should be glad to get these extra responsibilities, and he used the term ďjob enrichment.Ē Now I have more routine work than ever, and my pay was not changed. Iím already falling behind. What do you suggest?
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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 have been responding to employment ads for several months, and I have not had one interview. I know there are many applicants in my field, but my background seems to be more than satisfactory. Do you have any special steps that might help? Some of my friends suggested I show up at some companies and ask if they are hiring. I think this idea is worthless, and I wonder if you agree.
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I try to finish my work around 6:00 p.m., but one of my fellow employees drops by my cubicle almost every day at 5:45 p.m. just to talk. He plops down in a chair and usually stays for 20 or 30 minutes. How can I put an end to this? I have dropped some hints, but he keeps talking.
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Our manager has nicknames for many of us, and all of these names are different animals. We all find this to be childish and degrading, but we are reluctant to say something because he can get very upset. Should we just live with this, or can you suggest something different?
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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 am upset that some of my co-workers are getting mid-year raises and I am getting nothing. Raises are given annually, but certain people get extra raises along the way. I told my manager that I would like to be included in these raises, and he said they are all special cases. What should I do?
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I am getting totally stressed out by my job. I feel tense all the time because of the workload and time pressures, and my manager just keeps pouring more on me. I have jumped around in many jobs over the past few years, and I donít want to quit. What can you suggest?
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I report to the Chief Operating Officer, and I recently met with a salesperson who is his nephew. I thought the sales presentation was poor, and we do not need his products. I wrote a letter informing him of this. He then contacted his uncle who held a meeting with the three of us, and now his uncle wants me to start using his products. I believe this is a mistake. What should I do?
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When I joined this company in a fairly senior position, the chief operating officer included me in most of the high-level meetings that focused on strategies and planning. For some reason, I am now being left out. When I ask him why, he apologizes and says he meant to include me, but then he does the same thing at the next meeting. What should I do?
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When one of the managers asked me to handle a very basic chore, I emailed back that I thought his administrative assistant should do it. She has more time, and itís really more her job than mine. She saw my email and is furious with me. I ended up doing the task, and I apologized to her several times and even brought her a gift. She is still mad at me and has refused to talk to me for the past three weeks. Do you have any suggestions?
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I 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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I walked into one of my employeeís workstations, and she immediately turned over a sheet of paper on her desk. It is clear that she did not want me to see what was on it, and I said nothing about it at the time. However, I keep wondering if I did the right thing, and how to handle this type of situation in the future.
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One of my co-workers is a big gossip. She is always talking about what other people are doing or not doing. I have tried to get her to stop, and I have even told her that our manager says he wants us to focus on our work and not on gossiping. She says she is not gossiping because what she is saying is the truth. Is she right?
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My manager has a troublesome habit of dropping into my office late in the day and giving me work that needs immediate attention. Iím sure some of this work can be given to me earlier, but he rarely does this. I cannot say ďno,Ē but what can I say?
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I am in charge of a department for a large state agency, and my counterpart over a different department retired a year ago. A year ago, my boss offered me the interim position over both departments, and a few months later announced that she was promoting me over both departments. However, a year has passed, and I have approached my boss several times and reminded her about the promotion. I cannot go to the Human Resources Director since he is my bossís close friend. Is there anything I can do, or is this just a lesson learned?
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My supervisor constantly plays practical jokes on me, especially in front of others. Things are said about me in a playful way, but others donít know this person is playing around. I enjoy a good joke, but when I am trying to work it becomes hurtful and annoying. The other issue is that my supervisor is one of my closest friends. This makes it hard for me to say anything. What can I do?
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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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I have done excellent work during the year, but I am concerned that I am not going to get a raise because my manager is heavily influenced by another manager who does not like me. My manager let this happen last year, and I am afraid he will do it again. What should I do?
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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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One of our co-workers is getting married in the spring, and she has been spending huge amounts of time on the Internet and telephone planning her wedding. She is our friend, and we will probably be invited to the wedding, but it is difficult to keep covering for her. Her work is falling behind, and so is ours. What should we do?
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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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One of my co-workers has a way of prying private or personal information out of me, but he never tells me anything. After we talk, I always feel bad, and I know that I have said too much. I donít want to wreck communication with him, especially since our jobs require contact with each other, but I want him to stop trying to draw this information out of me. What can I say?
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We received our bonuses for last year, and I am not satisfied with mine. I was under the impression that if I did a good job and the company made its numbers, I would get a larger bonus. How can I go to my manager to discuss this without sounding like an ingrate?
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My job responsibilities include dealing with employees from several departments. Most employees either call ahead or set an appointment online, but certain employees just show up. I tell them I am busy, but they still sit down and take a lot of my time on minor issues. How can I deal with them without sounding mean?
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Whenever we have a department meeting, our manager puts me on the spot. If I make a presentation, he challenges me with impossible questions. If there is a discussion, he calls on me in the middle and asks a tough question. This is embarrassing and annoying, but I donít know how to get him to stop. What can you suggest?
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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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I manage a small department, and I attended a meeting with my manager and one of my employees. The three of us were discussing a particular problem, and I gave a summary. When I was done, my employee turned to my manager and said, ďWhat she is trying to say is thisÖ.Ē She then summarized my comments. My description was fine, and I am angry over what she did. What do you think, and what should I do?
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During the past year, two of my co-workers have been promoted. I believe I am ready for promotion, and I have expressed my interest to my manager. I discussed this with him after both of the promotions, and he keeps saying that I am in line for a promotion. What can I do to make it happen?
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There is an employee in another department who enjoys giving me his advice on my work. He does not know much about the details of what I do, but that does not stop him from making useless comments. Iíve been polite and thanked him, but Iím getting annoyed and want him to stop, but I donít know how.
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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?
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My manager keeps piling work on me, and I donít know how to get it all done. I am afraid that if I say something to him, Iíll look like a marginal employee. Our company has had some cutbacks lately, and I donít want to take the chance. What do you suggest?
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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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I recently joined this company, and there are acronyms for everything. I am familiar with standard acronyms in my field, but this company has many that were invented here. I do not like to keep asking what something means, but if I say nothing, Iím lost. What can you suggest?
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I met with a sales representative who pitched a costly software program. I reviewed his materials and did not think the program would work here. A few months later, my manager told me that he met with this same representative and has decided to purchase the program. I believe it was unprofessional for the sales representative to go around me, and I am not pleased with my manager either. What should I do?
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My work requires that I communicate with several other employees, but I have a problem with one person. Because her phone allows her to see who is calling, she knows when a call is from me, and she ignores it most of the time. How should I deal with her?
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Every day, two or three employees drop into my office to talk about topics that are rarely urgent. I tell them I am busy, but they sit down. They say they only need a few minutes, but thatís rarely the case, so I fall further behind. How can I deal with these interruptions?
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I have two employees that report to me, and they spend a lot of time socializing with each other. I donít want to be a mean manager, so I have approached them while they are talking and encouraged them to get back to work. However, they soon return to socializing. How can I correct this without being a mean manager?
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My manager called me into his office and made some critical comments about my performance and handed me a copy of a write-up he placed in my file. I defended every criticism that he made, but that did not matter. What should I do now?
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I am the only woman on a four-person educator team. I am a clinical social worker, and I get along well with all of the other team members, except one, the school principal. He tells people not to listen to what I say, he shared information inappropriately, and he provokes the children. I have called him on this behavior, ignored his arrogance, told my supervisor, and hired men because women cannot stand working with him. My boss thinks I am overreacting. What do you think?
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My daughter is having a problem with a co-worker. My daughter is overweight and was eating a lunch her boyfriend made for her. The co-worker commented that the cookie my daughter had was "certainly not low fat," and she made a similar comment today. How should my daughter approach this?
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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 am a manager, and whenever I have meetings that include other managers, most of them show up late. I have spoken to them about this, and I donít think itís fair to the others to wait for these stragglers to arrive, but thatís what I end up doing. How can I get them here on time?
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I lost my job a few months ago, and I have been temping since then. I am now a temp for a good company, and I like this job. Are there some ways to persuade the company to hire me for this position?
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I have been in the retail industry since 1968. I have only worked for four companies, all in managerial positions, but I cannot find a job. I am registered with all of the major online sites, but I get no calls or emails. How can I find out why? I have rewritten my resume several times, but nothing works.
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I cannot get my managerís attention. When I meet in his office, he is on his Bluetooth and using his computer. If itís not that, he is taking phone calls and even talking with people who drop by his office. What can I do to have an actual conversation with him?
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My manager seems to have no respect for my work. When I wrap up a project, he makes a disparaging remark about it and says how unimportant it is. I know that my work is significant around here, and I am wondering if there is a better way to get this across to him.
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I was at a management meeting when one of the other managers said that several major problems have been caused by my employees. When I tried to defend myself and them, he interrupted me several times, and our manager (who was running this meeting) cut me off several times, too. After a few minutes, our manager stopped the argument and said itís time to move on. The meeting continued, but Iím still burning and wonder what to do.
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One of my employees goes to my boss whenever she wants to voice her complaints or concerns. After these meetings, my boss calls me to go over what she said. This is a big waste of time, and I have told this employee to come to me first, but she still goes directly to him. How can I change this?
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How do you deal with an employee who lies? He has worked for me for almost five years, and although I am not sure how long the lying has been going on, thereís no doubt that he is not being upfront with me now. Sometimes he withholds important information, and other times he just comes up with a story. When I go back to him and discuss the facts, he always has an excuse or explanation, and he cannot admit that he is wrong or lied. How should I deal with him?
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At a meeting to address improving one department within the company, attended by three of our managers, another staff member and I, the staff member right from the beginning of the meeting launched a personal verbal attack upon me. One manager tried to stop it saying this was a personal matter that should be addressed by just the two of us outside of work hours. Yet the meeting continued with her slandering me and making damaging comments concerning my character and work ethics. One manager said it sounded like she was jealous of my special treatment and he went on to say special treatment occurs everywhere and with anyone and coworkers should not compare. What this staff member was jealous of concerning me is out of my control--it is mandated by my immediate manager due to the circumstances of my duty hours being different each day to accommodate our clients. Many of her insults directed at me were defended by two of my managers. Twice the third manager seems to endorse the other staff member's complaints so I professional gave my reasoning for my actions. For example, the staff member said I take to much time with clients and the third manager agreed, so I explained I felt I was providing thorough and needed information and letting them ask all their questions. Was this okay to explain/defend myself? This coworker was speaking with venom and even throw out mean things (like pointing out a medical condition I have). Should the managers have let this meeting continue when they could never keep her on the focus of the meeting because she kept attacking me?
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A very rude and scheming co-worker was recently promoted over me by our senseless boss. She is switching to a more subtle rudeness after the boss kind of told her to "cut it out" (but without any firmness). What she now does is make statements to me that just cross the line between normal instructions and condescending, harsh reprimands. Her speech and emails carry a tone that implies that I do not pull my weight which is far from the truth. She enlists the help of other employees in mobbing me in this way. Management does not understand the subtleties of communication and I fear that if I cannot assert myself properly against this continuous onslaught, my anger will build to explosiveness (the bullies' goal). I am afraid that she will get huffy and take a complaint to management that I am unable to take instructions or criticism and that they will review the facts and side with her. They might say that I am "taking it the wrong way" or "reading into things incorrectly" and blame me. This is something that is happening after the bully has made a pattern of treating me with great rudeness and disrespect. She is a jealous, insecure baby but has been with the company for 7 years where I have only been there 2-1/2 years. They love the little ass-kissing fool. Any advise on how to handle this?
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I work in a small office environment. My current boss is related to the part time worker who is her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law is a part time worker who doesn't have to work holidays or weekends as I and the other full timer have to do. She is supposed to be a "Fill in" when one of us full timers can't make it to work, but the manager will work the hours for her instead, when this is not the company plan. For some reason, the manager is very loyal to this relation she works with, and that is why in the past the former company before the merger kept them apart. It may seem petty, but I am tired of this woman getting away with murder and feeling she can take off at the drop of a hat, while I have to account for every minute. I would think that full timers would get more consideration. Confronting her about the problem has done no good. She gets upset and says we're stressing her out. She hates the idea of being firm and fair with her in-law. Should I go to HR?
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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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