Workplace Coach

Daily Archives: April 18, 2017

Question: I’m an outside salesperson. Customers regularly email me in the evenings and I respond to these emails immediately. I also text and email the other sales people with leads and questions. This morning I got fired. Apparently there’s a policy that’s never been enforced and that I didn’t know about that employees may not use company-provided email during non-work hours. I asked my manager exactly what “non-work” hours are for me… Read More

Question: I’m the human resources manager you wrote about in a recent article. I didn’t take action when an employee came to me complaining about a bully manager. It’s easy for you and others to say HR should handle bully managers. In reality it’s not so simple. First, bullying isn’t illegal. Unless there’s a documentable offense, HR’s hands are tied, particularly if the alleged bully is talented and productive. We need evidence… Read More

Question: I like my job, which involves inputting outgoing invoices and recording incoming payments. I keep to myself and don’t make friends easily. I’m part of our company’s administrative group. Because my supervisor and co-worker, her friend, spend their time texting, chatting and Internet surfing, I’m forced to answer the phone. This breaks my concentration and I make mistakes. None of the calls are for me; they’re instead for my supervisor and… Read More

Question: We legalized pot in this state in February, so can you tell me how I got fired for THC on my drug test last week? I smoke in my house and on my own time and it’s none of my employer’s business. My buddies tell me I should sue my employer for violating my rights. Can I? Answer: Although we legalized recreational marijuana use in Alaska, you probably don’t have a… Read More

Question: When I arrived at my office this morning, I found a sealed envelope with my name printed on it in block letters. Inside was an anonymous note informing me that our sales manager has had an illicit affair with the accounts receivable clerk who quit last week. I don’t believe it. My sales manager is married and my wife and I regularly socialize with him and his wife. The head of… Read More

Question: Ten months ago, I visited the emergency room with heart palpitations. I was told they were probably harmless but likely triggered by stress. At my wife’s request, I found a new job. When I resigned, my boss told me he couldn’t afford to lose me and begged me to stay with the company. He promised me more time off and a different, less stressful position as soon as he was able… Read More