Question: Last week, our office manager, who handles human resources for our company, accused me of sleeping with my boss. I’m not. From her, I learned that several of the guys I work with have suggested that’s how I earn my salary. If I was sleeping with him, it would be none of the office manager’s or my peers’ business and I told her so. I then confronted the guys and their… Read More

Question: One of our employees recently came back from a vacation with an arm covered in tattoos. Our dress code doesn’t deal with this, but it makes several of our senior managers uncomfortable. Are we able to ban tattoos? Answer: Yes, but do you want to? Employers may ban tattoos or other visible body art as long as they have a policy that applies to all employees in similar jobs and contains… Read More

Question: After working 18 months for an abusive supervisor, I’m giving my notice tomorrow. The last straw was yesterday, when he confronted me by grabbing my arm and shouting at me in the hallway over a project he said I hadn’t completed. I don’t know how I’ll be able to work through the two weeks’ notice I’m required to give. Don’t tell me to go to human resources or any senior manager… Read More

Has a bully played a trick on you? Did you know how to respond? Bullies play tricks and wield weapons so they can dominate and win. If you’ve been on the wrong end of their blame/shame, insult barrage, or public humiliation games, you know how conniving a bully can be. The good news? – When you know the bully’s three favorite tricks, you can defeat them and claim victory. Trick #1: The… Read More

Question: For the last eight months, I’ve tried everything I can think of to make myself like my job. Nothing works. My duties bore me to tears and I dread Monday mornings. I did this to myself. Eight months ago, I decided to leave the nonprofit world and work for a “real” business. It’s Alaska, so I chose the oil industry. Even though the company that hired me had laid off workers,… Read More

Question: I supervise a small six-person department that includes one employee who has chronic life drama. I feel sorry for her, and so do the rest of my employees. She travels the office daily, sharing her tale of woe with first one employee and then the next. We’ve all had enough; however, I worry that if I ax her, her coworkers will consider me mean. Answer: You don’t need to ax her;… Read More

Question: My coworker barges into my office when I’m on the phone with customers and asks me questions, derailing my train of thought. I’ve tried turning my head away and ignoring her but she waves her hand in front of my face and raises her voice until she has my attention. This afternoon I’d had it. She waved her hand in front of my face and I swatted her hand away. She… Read More

Question: For the last year, I’ve busted my backside for my company. I’ve never gotten a thank you. Instead, this morning I was hauled in to my supervisor’s office today and given a “performance improvement plan.” Apparently a few “powers that be” in my company think I have a “smart mouth” and need “coaching.” Yeah, right. They want me to have a personality lobotomy. Some reward for all my hard work. I… Read More

Question: Once a month, we provide everyone in our office lunch. Even though it’s only sandwiches, pizza or Chinese, it’s expensive to feed 18 people. In return for the lunches, we expect our employees to hang out in the conference room eating and socializing. Every month, it’s the same 10 or 11 employees who hang around talking; the others stop by, collect their food and return to their desks or take their… Read More

Question: I work in a retail store undergoing a remodel. I once worked in the same workplace as one of the construction contractor’s crew. At that workplace, a young co-worker who looked 15 came to me for help because this guy gave her the creeps. She told me she felt he was stalking her. I told our supervisor about this and he said my co-worker was making this up because the man… Read More