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Fear

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


There is a clerk who is supposed to be my backup when I am busy, but she is either playing on the Internet or on long personal calls. Our boss has spoken to her and she stops for a day and then starts again. He does not want a confrontation with her because she's a union employee. How can I convince my boss to correct this situation?
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I can honestly admit that I am a screamer, but none of the employees in my charge seem to care about it. If I blow up, I apologize, but my manager recently came down on me about my outbursts, and he did not care that my employees are not upset by them. How can I get him to stop worrying about this?
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We did a survey here, and one of the consultants told me that my employees are afraid of me. I told him I was not bothered by that. I think that a little bit of fear helps keep employees sharp and on their toes. The consultant essentially told me that I am wrong. What do you think?
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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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We have occasional visitors to our offices, and the president takes them around. As he enters the departments, he looks at us but says nothing. It's as if we don't exist. He just continues his tour with the guests. I am somewhat afraid to say something. What do you suggest?
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What are your thoughts about a wife, girlfriend, or significant other taking over and running the office? This is the situation here, and all of us are afraid to say anything to our boss because he is "in love" and lets his significant other do things her way. The atmosphere is very tense, and the working environment is not efficient. This woman has the power to get any of us fired.
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I can honestly admit that I am a screamer, but none of the employees in my charge seem to care about it. If I blow up, I apologize, but my manager recently came down on me about my outbursts, and he did not care that my employees are not upset by them. How can I get him to stop worrying about this?
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The owner of the company brings his dog to work, and I've always been afraid of dogs. The owner half-jokingly says that his dog is the best judge of people, and since the dog snarls at me, I must have some kind of problem. How does this sound to you?
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I recently began a new job as an estimator. The owners of the company are young and both lack formal education. One owner yells and screams at his subordinates, and his words carry throughout the building. Isn't there an appropriate method to inform employees of errors or potential errors?
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Our manager tells us that fear is the great motivator. He threatens to write us up, give us poor reviews, hold back our raises, and terminate those who are not up to his standards. I don't think fear is a great motivator at all, but I am working hard. Does he have something?
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Our former supervisor gave us a lot of freedom because he knew that when things got busy, the job always got done. We have a new supervisor who is always walking around assigning frivolous tasks to people who don't appear to be engrossed in some project. Is there something we could say to him without jeopardizing our jobs?
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My manager gave me an assignment and said it was an easy one that I should be able to handle without any problem. I am finding that it is not so easy, and I have some questions, but I am afraid to ask them for fear of looking foolish. What do you suggest?
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I work in a transportation reservation department. We deal with irate customers only and were told that if a complaint letter is received and our name is mentioned, we would be terminated. Now we are terrified and come to work each day stressed and worried that we could lose our jobs. Does management have the right to address an entire department this way and threaten jobs?
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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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I delegated a basic project to one of my employees, and I told her to proof it before returning it to me. When she finished, I assumed the project was ready for distribution, so I sent it to my manager and several other managers. It turns out there were some glaring errors. I was upset with her and told her so, but how do I prevent this type of problem in the future? Do I have to review everything she does?
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Our manager is a perfectionist who is intolerant of even the slightest mistakes. He can dwell on errors for days, and most of us work in constant fear of slipping up. How can we work for someone like this?
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I have a co-worker who constantly finds fault in all of us. She brings up petty stuff to management, and she yells at other co-workers, is very confrontational, and becomes angry at the drop of a dime. This past weekend she purposely pulled a stunt that caused me to get written up. Iíve tried to resolve conflicts with her personally, and Iíve talked to management about her, but they almost seem afraid of her. What can I do now?
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