Question: I’m generally cautious about who I friend on Facebook, because I want them to be a genuine friend. I said “yes,” however, when a co-worker I like and considered a work friend asked me to friend her. I didn’t realize at the time that she was a Facebook “power user” who shares others’ stories to her own network of more than a thousand individuals. This morning when I opened my feed,… Read More

Question: I’ve been extremely successful in my career. As a result, five co-workers who once worked alongside me now work under me. Two of them have trouble with the idea that I’m their supervisor. Even worse, my former supervisor now works for me, too. She critiques me regularly, both to my face and behind my back. She also cozies up to anyone who’s at all upset with me because I won’t give… Read More

Question: Our head of business development is a hard-charging manager who brings our company the new contracts we need to grow. Because none of our other managers have his skill set, he gets away with murder. It’s an open secret that he’s hard to work for. He goes through an assistant every year, and always hires the same type of assistant: young, pretty and naive. I’ve watched this and can’t stand what… Read More

Question: For the last month, my employer has been locked into a huge battle with another company. Over the weekend, I spent all day Saturday and most of Sunday researching public records and uncovered a critical document that will dramatically change the scope of the negotiation in my employer’s favor. I brought what I’d found to my supervisor’s attention, and she sent me out to scan the document and send it to… Read More

As soon as “Martin” passed his probationary period, he began missing deadlines. When you asked him “what happened?” he gave you a logical explanation, but one that threw two long-term employees under the bus. Next, he began sending you and his peers suggestions for systems that needed to change. Although two of Martin’s ideas had merit, each would have required substantial time to implement and you let him know that you wanted… Read More

Question: On my first day at my company, the co-worker I was hired to replace said, “Whatever you do, don’t make Bart mad.” “So, what will he do?” I asked, thinking she was teasing me. “You don’t want to find out,” she said. I soon learned. Bart and I crossed paths because I needed IT support and foolishly thought I’d get it. So when I didn’t get a response to my first… Read More

Question: We’d like to terminate “Betsy.” She’s a mediocre supervisor, a gossip and a pot-stirrer. She frequently closes her office doors to “chat” with employees, including those who work under other supervisors. We’ve counseled Betsy about this, as it’s a productivity drain for both her and the employees, but she claims that employees see her as someone to vent to and that she defuses a lot of problems. Worse, when Betsy doesn’t… Read More

Question: I thought going into business with “Oscar” would prove to be the best business move of my life. We met in a professional organization, had served together on several boards and he’d held senior roles in two major companies. Our talents were complementary. When we left our lawyer’s office, having inked our partnership agreement, we celebrated with Champagne and scotch and Oscar told me our partnership would ensure my and my… Read More

Question: Our board of directors recently decided to terminate our agency’s executive director and temporarily elevate our CFO into the ED position. Soon after we made this decision, three of our board members received anonymous emails accusing the CFO of cheating on her expense account and also undermining the former executive director. While we take these types of allegations seriously, several of us suspect our former ED wrote these emails. Our board… Read More

Question: Shortly after we placed “Stella” on a work performance plan she started placing a smartphone on the table in front of her at every team meeting and obviously pressing the record button. The second time she did this, her manager asked her to put her phone away and she said, “I’ve been taping meetings for a long time; I just thought I’d be open about it.” The manager said, “I think… Read More