Question: When my friends and I go out, they talk with me about their exciting new jobs. They’re all jazzed by their new duties and what they’re learning. When they ask me, “What’s new with you?” I don’t have anything to say. I have a good job, one I fell into after college. I stay because my boss and coworkers are nice. I’m good at it, but it’s neither exciting nor challenging…. Read More

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: My employer just threatened to fire me for having decent values and wanting to maintain them at work. Here’s the problem. I work for a large sports facility that serves thousands of customers, young and old. Because we receive a small amount of federal funding, we can’t discriminate against employees or customers due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This means a man named “Lena” who dresses as a woman… Read More

Question: I just got fired for no reason. I admit I wanted a new job and thought a good strategy would be to better showcase myself on LinkedIn by removing my employer’s name from my profile. My boss saw this, called me in and asked, “Are you looking for a new job?” I felt cornered and said, “No.” My boss then pushed and said he’d seen my LinkedIn profile. When he said… Read More

We live in a digital world of sound bites.  You can watch any news program today and be presented or even overwhelmed with sound bites from a media event conducted just yesterday, last month or even 10 years ago.  This similarly presents risk management concerns for your business. What is a “sound bite?”  In the legal world this is called “direct evidence.”  Direct evidence is evidence, which if believed, proves the existence… Read More

Did you cross paths today with someone who, like a vampire, sucked the good mood out of your workday? A supervisor, co-worker or employee who let you know she’s judged you and finds you lacking? We all know judgmental critics who twist the knife into our self-esteem. If you’d like to avoid the unhappy riptide these energy vampires create, try these seven strategies. 1. Accept what’s true and leave the rest Have… Read More

Question: My office mate constantly complains that she’s swamped and has so much work to do she can’t do a good job on any of it. She has, however, time to surf the Internet, text her friends and work on school work so she can “get out of this crap job.” Our supervisor occasionally stops by her desk and when he sees her on her cell asks, “What are you working on.”… Read More

Question:  For the last 15 years, I’ve dedicated myself to working hard to help a small business succeed. I’ve worn many hats, including those of safety cop, accounts payable/receivable bookkeeper, human resources manager and site manager, and in each of those areas functioned at a senior level. Although I’ve pushed myself to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion for this employer, I’ve rarely made enough money to live year round because… Read More

Question: I work for an Alaska Native corporation. My job involves interactions with employees from subsidiary companies. When their employees come to visit, I frequently hug them, and I’ve been called on the HR carpet for this. Since hugging is culturally appropriate, is HR out of line? Answer: Are you sure everyone you hug likes it? If not, and although I occasionally hug clients, I’d hate to defend you in court. Last… Read More

Question: Our deli/cafe is open 12 hours a day — we catch both the “going to work” crowd and the “heading home” customers. We offer a wide variety of coffees, sandwiches, comfort foods and pastries. Four months ago, we began offering take-away “self-catering” foods. If customers give us 72 hours notice, we can provide them everything they need for a casual “made-it-myself” dinner party, at less than the cost of a caterer,… Read More