Workplace Coach

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Question: When I started work here, I had high hopes and felt my employer would do things in the right way, given that they interviewed me thoroughly, spent a day orienting me and provided me the most complete set of personnel policies I’ve ever seen. I was wrong. Trouble started when I took my first trip. I was on-site at one of our branch offices in California and the senior manager accompanying… Read More

Question: When we fired “Earl” this morning after he screamed at his supervisor on two separate occasions, we were ready for him to blow up. Instead, in an eerily calm voice Earl told us that our firing him would give him everything he wanted, because he could then sue us. Earl said he had bipolar disease and we were violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because he was being unfairly terminated. We… Read More

Question: When I got hired at my company, the human resources department interviewed me and sent me into my now boss’ office for a “final interview.” He asked only one question, if I knew how to “run interference” for my supervisor. I answered, “Absolutely, I’m the mom of a football player, and know what blocking and tackling mean.” I thought he meant holding calls when he didn’t want to be interrupted and… Read More

Question: I’m scared I’m going to lose my job. My coworkers and I work for a bully boss. He insults us constantly. When he’s upset, he yells things like “who’s going to pay for this!” and we all put our heads down and hope we’re not the one he picks on. After weeks in which I went home in tears nightly, I went to Human Resources to get help. The HR officer… Read More

Question: When I told my manager I had cancer, she was initially supportive and asked a lot of personal questions, which I foolishly answered. Since then, she’s become increasingly critical of my work performance in areas that she used to call “not a problem.” Our worst fights occur when she asks me to stay late. In the past I’ve been willing to work into the evening and to come in on weekends… Read More

Question:  One of my 30-something co-workers persists in telling me “you look just like my mother.” I’m in my 40’s and there’s no way I could be this woman’s mother. The first two times, I bristled but didn’t say anything. The third time, I asked her how old her mother is. When she answered, “She’s in her 60s. She had me late in life,” I lost it. I told her I wasn’t that… Read More

Question: After I gave birth to twins, I tried to go back to work, but since my husband worked on the North Slope and considered his weeks off as OFF, this left me working full days and then handling housework and the twins for my “off” time. Between that, the difficulty of lining up care for when the twins got sick and couldn’t go to day care, and the cost of child… Read More

Question: After six months of work misery, I finally quit a job where I liked my coworkers but worked under a supervisor I couldn’t stand. In the past, I’ve never had problems getting a job and always had a new job within a week of leaving an old job. Not this time. I’ve been job hunting for three months and not had one offer. I’d thought the job I left was dead… Read More

Question: On my first day of work, my new employer gave me a packet of new-hire paperwork that included a detailed health questionnaire asking “have you ever had or have you ever been treated for” any of more than 40 health conditions. In addition to potentially serious illnesses, the list included relatively benign conditions such as high blood pressure, hernias, joint pain and varicose veins. The questionnaire asks for details of any previous hospitalizations… Read More