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Nastiness

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


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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I work on the sales floor, and I had an excellent record here until a problem occurred with a very difficult customer last week. He was nasty and insulting, and I was not very nice in response. He wrote a letter to my manager and to the owner of the company complaining about me, and my manager read the riot act to me. Does this seem fair?
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We have two co-workers who have a bad attitude. They are loud, sarcastic, and sound like they are always mad at you. They look for something wrong, and they usually target people who are new on the job. I have to deal with them every morning. I have talked to my supervisor and manager about them, and they speak to these individuals, but after a few days they are back to their threatening ways. What can you suggest?
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After a very upsetting meeting with my boss, I walked out of his office and muttered an expletive about him that no one was supposed to hear. He heard it, wrote me up, and warned me that if I don't change my ways, I'm out. I don't think it was fair to be punished for something he was not supposed to hear. What do you think?
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The owner of the small company where I work is wonderful, but we have all noticed that he is more forgetful, short-fused, and argumentative in the afternoons. We know that he has a drink or two at lunch, and we think this is part of it, but none of us want to tell him. How should we handle this?
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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.
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We have a manager whose department is profitable, but his style is far too aggressive, abrasive, and difficult. Turnover in his department is the highest in our company, and exit interviews have shown that he is the problem. How do you deal with someone like this?
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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?
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Our general manager is quick to tell the managers that we can be terminated at any time because we are at-will employees. If he is unhappy with one of our employees, he will say something like, "You should fire him. He's at-will. You can fire whoever you want." Is he right?
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I was interviewing a good candidate for our accounting department, but when I asked why he left his last job, he said it is not any of my business. I asked again, but he refused to discuss it. My instinct says to pass on him, but I wonder what you think.
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I asked my manager a question during a meeting, and she said I should know the answer to something as simple as that. I didn't think it was a simple question, and I did not like being put down in front of everyone. I still feel embarrassed and angry. If I go to her, I think she'll give me an even harder time, so how do I deal with this?
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I was put on a task force with four other people, and we are supposed to look at benefit programs. There is one person in the group who comes late to the meetings, hardly does any work, and is quick to make snide comments. We spoke with our manager, but he feels this individual is important for the group. How do we get anything done?
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I work with an individual who has a chip on his shoulder. He can go all day and not talk to the four of us who share an office with him. If he does speak to us, it is with an arrogant tone. Is there anything we should say, or just keep ignoring him?
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I manage four people, and our department supports the other departments in the company. Occasionally other managers complain about the performance of one of my employees. I think she does a good job, but other managers say she can be short with them. I have not observed the problem, so I am unsure how to deal with this.
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I like to bounce ideas off of the employees who report to me, and for the most part I have a good team. I have one member who is technically skilled, but when I toss her an idea she will say things like, "That's really dumb." When she does that, I don't even want to talk to her, and that's too bad because she could be very helpful. What's the best way to deal with her?
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I work for a national footwear chain in one of their stores. I am a top salesman, a Jewish male, and my regional manager refers to me with an anti-Semitic term. He also uses racial slurs to describe an African-American woman in our corporate office. I emailed a letter to Human Resources, and they called other witnesses and spoke to the regional manager. He admitted to the slurs, but nothing was done after that. Now I have to work with this manager, and I feel like a fool. What should I do now?
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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?
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Although I am pleased with all five employees who report to me, three other managers on separate occasions have said that one of my employees is rude and nasty. I have never seen this side of her personality, and I donít think it is right to give her feedback based on hearsay. However, I donít want to ignore the other managers. How should I approach this?
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