Question: After my boss made a presentation to staff that fell flat, she came into my office, closed the door and asked me to be honest with her. “What did I do wrong?” she asked. I was floored. We weren’t exactly friends. Still, I was the only other female in the department and she was asking for help. “Come on, tell the truth,” she said. “I can take it.” So I told… Read More

Question:  Our company has reorganized and I now supervise the IT guy, along with the administrative staff. I don’t have a handle on what makes him tick. He sits in staff meetings and doesn’t say a word. When I talk with him, I have to pull information from him, and when I ask him questions he’s incredibly slow to respond. I went to Moose’s Tooth to buy the staff pizza last Friday… Read More

Question: My co-worker, “Erin,” and I had a horrible blowup last week. She invited me over to dinner, and after dinner asked me to go with her this week to human resources to complain about our supervisor. Erin asked another employee to do this as well and says that the three of us will be what’s needed to show HR our supervisor needs to be fired. I don’t have a problem with our… Read More

Question: According to rumors, one of my co-workers conducts unauthorized criminal background investigations on prospective employees without their knowledge or permission. This cyber-snoop doesn’t work in human resources, but collects this information and passes it along to the hiring manager and even interrogates the employees when they get hired. We’ve also been told that, despite being married, this employee masquerades as a single woman on dating sites and essentially cyber-stalks her targets. My… Read More

Question: I’ve worked in my company for 19 years and am 58 years old. Five months ago, my supervisor retired just before I was to receive my job review. Two months later, I received a job review from my new supervisor. He gave me “acceptable” ratings when previously I’ve only received “outstanding” reviews. I was shocked and protested. In response he said, “Your last supervisor apparently let a lot of things slide,… Read More

Question: I work in sales. The economy is sluggish and I know layoffs are coming. I can’t afford to lose my job, and to keep it, I need to be upbeat every day. The problem — I’m married to an emotionally abusive husband and stay with him for the sake of my kids. He stomps around the house every morning cussing out everything and everyone, including me. I feel like I’ve been… Read More

Question: I’m the newly hired human resources director for an Alaska Native corporation and faced with a situation that has no easy answer and no good solution. I supposedly enforce our corporation’s code of conduct and oversee the human resource issues in all our subsidiaries. Our most successful subsidiary is managed by a bully who runs roughshod over his employees. I won’t be popular if I argue for him to be fired but if… Read More

Question: I’m a teacher and get to work 30 to 45 minutes before the students arrive so I can accomplish tasks that I can’t easily complete with students in the room. Other teachers consider me a grouch. I’m not. I’m just not willing to squander my first 30 to 40 minutes in chit-chat, when if I start cranking on my work pile before things get busy, I can leave school at a… Read More

Question: I’m stuck in a dead-end job but don’t have time to spend searching the want ads. I thought I’d accelerate my chances of new job by letting an employment agency search for me. When I filled out the agency’s intake form, however, the worker pulled me aside and let me know they have a contract with my employer that requires the agency to notify them if one of their employees signs up… Read More

Question:  One of my top employees, “Mary,” was rear-ended at a stop light three months ago and suffered from whiplash and excruciating headaches afterwards. Mary took off work, got help from a physician and chiropractor and returned to work. After her return, Mary worked short days and frequently complained of neck pain. I asked her several times if she wanted to continue on half days, but she said she was running out… Read More