Question: My partner and I run a medium-sized oil patch company. Our crew gets things done, and while some of the guys are a bit rough-and-tumble, everyone gets along. When we hired “Cheri,” we didn’t care that she was black; her race didn’t matter. Cheri’s sex did, as most of the crew is male, and so we gave her preference over more qualified male applicants. Cheri now holds us hostage, using her… Read More

Question: I hadn’t expected to like the human services job I took four months ago when I moved to Alaska. My world in Florida, where I’d worked my way up to assistant general manager, had crashed around me. I’d been working 10-hour days and coming home sapped of energy. My wife of two years said a “never-at-home” husband hadn’t been “what she’d signed up for” and divorced me. The whole situation had… Read More

Question: I’ve been employed for two years in a stressful customer service position in a large company. Most of my co-workers are pleasant and hardworking despite all of our extreme workloads and the stringent performance measures our supervisor places on us. Up until three months ago, I’ve had a supportive supervisor. Corporate management suddenly and inexplicably fired him and replaced him with a new supervisor. This new supervisor has been allowed free… Read More

The first time you saw “Bill” appear to nod off during a staff meeting, you pulled him aside after the meeting. When you asked if he was OK, he said he was. You gave him the benefit of the doubt because he’d worked for you for three years and been a good employee. You knew he’d recently gone through a divorce and thought maybe he’d had a hard time sleeping due to… Read More

Question: I’m generally cautious about who I friend on Facebook, because I want them to be a genuine friend. I said “yes,” however, when a co-worker I like and considered a work friend asked me to friend her. I didn’t realize at the time that she was a Facebook “power user” who shares others’ stories to her own network of more than a thousand individuals. This morning when I opened my feed,… Read More

Question: I’ve been extremely successful in my career. As a result, five co-workers who once worked alongside me now work under me. Two of them have trouble with the idea that I’m their supervisor. Even worse, my former supervisor now works for me, too. She critiques me regularly, both to my face and behind my back. She also cozies up to anyone who’s at all upset with me because I won’t give… Read More

Question: Our head of business development is a hard-charging manager who brings our company the new contracts we need to grow. Because none of our other managers have his skill set, he gets away with murder. It’s an open secret that he’s hard to work for. He goes through an assistant every year, and always hires the same type of assistant: young, pretty and naive. I’ve watched this and can’t stand what… Read More

Question: For the last month, my employer has been locked into a huge battle with another company. Over the weekend, I spent all day Saturday and most of Sunday researching public records and uncovered a critical document that will dramatically change the scope of the negotiation in my employer’s favor. I brought what I’d found to my supervisor’s attention, and she sent me out to scan the document and send it to… Read More

As soon as “Martin” passed his probationary period, he began missing deadlines. When you asked him “what happened?” he gave you a logical explanation, but one that threw two long-term employees under the bus. Next, he began sending you and his peers suggestions for systems that needed to change. Although two of Martin’s ideas had merit, each would have required substantial time to implement and you let him know that you wanted… Read More

Question: On my first day at my company, the co-worker I was hired to replace said, “Whatever you do, don’t make Bart mad.” “So, what will he do?” I asked, thinking she was teasing me. “You don’t want to find out,” she said. I soon learned. Bart and I crossed paths because I needed IT support and foolishly thought I’d get it. So when I didn’t get a response to my first… Read More