Q: I’m a recovering addict who moved to Alaska three years ago for a dream job, but didn’t leave my problem drinking behind. I blew deadlines, behaved inappropriately at work events and was a terrible employee. My boss kindly let me resign instead of firing me. I got married, had a child and spent six months in rehab. I’ve been sober for six months. I now work in temporary sales jobs but… Read More

Q: I’m a mid-level manager in a large company and supervise an overbearing woman whose special circumstances give her immunity from discipline. When she doesn’t get her way, she goes on a rant and says horrible, accusing things. Generally, she explodes at me in my office, and while other employees can hear her angry voice through the walls, I remain calm. For the first time this morning, I lost it as well…. Read More

Q: I work in a large corporation. Because senior management takes a top-down approach to all personnel decisions, I lack hiring or firing control over the individual assigned as my assistant. Instead, the senior management team picks someone they feel will be upwardly mobile within the company. They view the position assisting me as a starter position within the company. They picked my latest assistant well in their minds. “Sybil” is highly… Read More

Q: When we hired “Laura” as the new supervisor for our customer service department, we thought we’d picked the perfect person. Laura had nine years of supervisory experience, but had worked for only two employers. Both employers said Laura’s peers and employees loved her. Laura’s longevity impressed us because our two prior supervisors each lasted less than a year. Turnover, in fact, has plagued this department, other than two long-term employees, who’ve… Read More

Q: When I promoted “Alex” to sales manager, I knew there would be tension. Our best sales agents are ambitious and competitive and Alex has bruised a couple of the other sales professionals’ egos. Still, he was the logical choice, given he won the lion’s share of our company’s 2017 sales contests. My other option was bringing someone in from outside who would need to learn our industry, and that would take… Read More

Q: Two days after I started a new job, my husband left me and I fell apart. I arrived late at work, cried during the work day and took personal phone calls from both my kids. I took my emotional upset out on others. In other words, I was a hot mess. I’ve since pulled myself together, but not in time. This morning I was given a written reprimand and told that… Read More

Q: We’ve gotten a complaint from one of our warehouse workers. “Steve” is older and works with a group of 20-somethings. They play loud rap music 10 hours a day. Steve says it’s blowing his eardrums. Here’s the problem. The younger workers run circles around Steve and they insist the music helps them keep high energy all day long. If we tell Steve he’s out of luck and that the music comes… Read More

It comes as a surprise to most managers when a plaintiff names them personally as a co-defendant in a lawsuit against the manager’s company. The ugly truth? Personal tort actions against individual managers and employees often accompany discrimination and harassment claims. Disgruntled employees may target a manager not for what he did, but for what he did not do—for not preventing the harassment or discrimination and thus being part of the problem… Read More

Q. When we promoted “Jack” as department lead, we thought we’d made the right choice. He knew every job in the department, was hard-working and completely committed to our company. Soon after we made him the lead, two other employees quit. We figured they were jealous. Since then, seven other employees have left. The last three employees who quit told the same story. They call Jack a jerk, say he’s “on them”… Read More

Q. Three years ago, a group of mean girls in the workplace made up false stories about me and ostracized me. I hadn’t done anything to deserve how they treated me. They hated me because the departing CEO gave me a promotion that one of them felt was rightfully hers. After the CEO resigned, these coworkers made my work life a living hell. I wisely quit. However, I’ve never been able to… Read More