I am a feminist, and many (not all) of my colleagues routinely make sexist comments. They know I am not okay with this, and instead of holding back, they now often do it even more blatantly, partly to get a rise out of me. I'm something of a beginner feminist so I don't know what to do. Tips please? [more inside]
IT-manager friend turns 40 later this year. How can we show our appreciation? [more inside]
It is likely that soon I will be in a possession of a job offer from one of my company's competitors. As sometimes happens, my job search started out of frustration with certain issues in my current workplace rather than a true incompatibility. Ideally, I would love to stay where I am, but in an improved situation; the problem is that that things I want are not concrete things like a promotion or a raise, but rather vague like a greater influence on design and planning, and greater opportunities for leadership roles. How to translate these "wants" into specific, measurable goals? [more inside]
What can I do for my boss that would be nice? I am trying to get back into her good graces and a suggestion was made that I do some one nice thing for her each week. I don't know what she is into. She's not into any of the things that I am. I do know that. Although, I don't necessarily think that matters. [more inside]
I screwed up at work - which was compounded by a string of just plain bad luck. It got really ugly. Maybe could even lose my job. I'm thinking of having a heart-to-heart call with my leadership to apologize for the bits that were my responsibility...Not to grovel and save my ass, but to communicate that I know I impacted them and the team. Bad idea? Does an apology ever help in a workplace, or does it just help affix blame and make everyone uncomfortable?
I work in a small office environment: there's me, two other people who do the same job that I do, my boss, and his administrative person. I genuinely like everyone that I work with, which is wonderful. However, I'm encountering a problem with my boss's administrative person, who I'll call Cathy. Cathy has an irritating habit of cornering me and my co-workers into long "conversations" that eat up a lot of my workday, and I don't know what to do about it. [more inside]
I have been working a steady job at a fairly close-knit company for about 3 years, and was recently promoted. My mother applied behind my back and got a job in the same company. We do not get along. Should I quit? [more inside]
How can I avoid totally unraveling when working with a dismissive/cold person? [more inside]
I want a new job. Why? Because my second-level manager is a jerkoff and because I don't get paid enough. How do I spin this in a future interview? [more inside]
My office is looking for ideas on housewarming presents to welcome new employees. (Semi urgent as we have someone new starting Monday.) [more inside]
I suddenly feel like I understand Steve Wozniak. I started a major project / event with a partner. My partner behaves as if he is the sole leader, even though the project was created at my prompting, and I'm an expert in the field. [more inside]
How do CenturyLink Field and the Seattle Seahawks NFL team not get crushed by a workplace safety lawsuit? [more inside]
I have crippling, perhaps justified fear of being fired. My fear is making my performance suffer, causing me misery and probably making firing more likely. How do I stop thinking like this? [more inside]
I just allocated some work to a colleague who is a member of a team I manage. He responded by saying that I was just like a tea lady. Then he asked if there were any bribes available to get the work done. Stupidly, I laughed it off and told him he was dreaming if he thought our workplace would run to bribes. Of course, five minutes later I realised that HE CALLED ME - HIS MANAGER - A TEA LADY and now I'm seething at my desk. Do I take him aside and tell him it isn't kosher; OR do I just figure that this is an indication that its time to play hard ball (this isn't the first time he's made comments like this).
Am I an asshole for saying, acting, and making plans as if I will be there forever while working on my strategy to leave in the next month? [more inside]
I have to give a presentation to about 15 new hires tomorrow sometime around 10am. The start time is always variable by about 15 mins. I do this all the time and it is quite a fun presentation. The orientation at my company is super goofy and fun and the person coordinating it is totally down for some fun. So much so that my coworker Kim has pulled HR into a ongoing prank war that Kim and I are in. I have no idea what Kim is going to pull but something is going to go down. She already roped in every single one of them to come find me and make me do ridiculous things as part of the scavenger hunt. I need a way to get all these people involved and turn it into complete laughter, embarrassment, and glee for everyone. [more inside]
What are some techniques and strategies for not only coping with, but thriving and getting the upper hand in dealings with the conscience-free? [more inside]
I'm married, with a kid. I work in the service industry. I have a powerful, consuming crush on my boss, who is also in a serious relationship. I used to be his boss, and we have a very friendly and candid relationship. I really, really need to not feel this way anymore. If I try to back off and go professional, he always asks what is wrong and it sucks me right back in. How do I make it stop?
I work at a very small company, no HR or process of accountability. It's basically myself, the coworker, and the boss. The coworker is someone who's been with the company for over 40 years, and we absolutely need his abilities for the company to function, so there's no chance of his being fired or seriously punished. I've voiced complaints to the boss, threatened to quit, but nothing really changes. However, I have a feeling that my boss either doesn't totally believe me, or thinks that I'm being oversensitive. If I had video evidence of my coworker in the act, I think something effective would be done (for instance, he may decide that I could work from home on most days, which is something we have loosely discussed in the past). [more inside]
I've had a platonic crush (aka squish) on a male co-worker for the past six months or so. Even though I'm a woman and we're both heterosexual, it is not in the least sexual. If we were men, it would be called a "man crush" or "bromance". (FWIW, I'm happily married, and he's happily engaged, both to people of the opposite sex.) It's not mutual. He sees me as a friend and colleague, while I idolize him, even though I'm aware of some of his flaws, including that his social skills aren't very good, and he occasionally does or says something that inadvertently hurts me (he wouldn't deliberately harm a fly), especially because he underestimates my professional competence. Anyway, I wish I didn't care what he thought of me. Any advice for getting over this crush, besides time and distance?
Very soon, I will be in a position where I will need to help lead a major change in the workplace, and one where many of the people I work with will be unhappy. How do I do this? [more inside]
I work at a small non-profit academic organization (30 staff). We're currently in a period of "organizational restructuring," spurred by the (coincidentally timed) resignation of several of our key leaders, and I've been asked to be part of the team that helps decide what this new structure should look like. Help. [more inside]
I work in a building with two elevator banks, six cars per bank. One covers floors 2 - 20. The other covers floors 20 - 38. Both, obviously go to the lobby. My office is on floor 20, so my co-workers and have our choice of which elevator bank to choose from for our trips up and down. [more inside]
Can you help me find an online newspaper article, potentially from the early 2000s, about a workplace in a rural area that had instituted many of the design concepts of a panopticon? [more inside]
My mom found out that she has cancer. Things are looking okay, but she'll need to travel a few hours away for surgery, followed by a week off work. Over the next couple of months, she'll need daily radiation. The twist is, she started a new job within the past month and a half. How should she share this with her boss (or should she share it at all)? [more inside]
My role at work is changing such that I'll need to interact with people face-to-face and over the phone much more than I currently do. The problem: I'm kind of awkward. I don't want to make things go poorly for my employer, so what is my next step? [more inside]
I worry that I make an abnormally large amount of mistakes at work. How often is "normal" to make mistakes? [more inside]
What are the best purchases to improve your office space? [more inside]
I left a toxic workplace six months ago for a new job. I'm happy with my new gig, but running into former coworkers still puts me in a funk -- and I see them constantly. How do I handle interactions with them if I work in the same field and/or travel in the same social circles? Snowflakery inside. [more inside]
I'm from an immigrant family and I have never really learned American social customs. Reading the comments on recent etiquette questions has made me realize that I lack an understanding of unwritten social rules that most people take for granted. [more inside]
Employers AND Employees--have Team-Building Retreats/Experiences been beneficial in your workplace? [more inside]
I work in a managerial/supervisory role in a public agency. My colleagues who are union members will quite likely be going on strike Tuesday. I have never been in this situation before and am not sure what I can/should do. [more inside]
Is there a classification of (HR-speak) discrimination when a male employee defers to female coworkers chivalrously (e.g. holding doors open)? Because the activity is solely based on gender, it seems like this would be the case, but it is not addressed as an example in our policies. (Title is Dad-quote from the 70's.)
My office was submitting a grant and the wrong application was uploaded to the grant agency website. My coworker submitted the final documents - and it is clear to me already that he will find a way to throw me under the bus if he has to, to protect his interests. How do I approach this? [more inside]
My boss has hired her unqualified problem child son to work in my workplace. I have no idea how to deal with him. [more inside]
I'm looking for insight about what is reasonable or "normal" expectations for a temp worker in an office situation. [more inside]
A coworker told me that our boss is sleeping with another coworker, his subordinate, our peer. This is the latest development in a dysfunctional workplace. I would like to quit on ethical grounds without implicating the friend that told me. Help, please. [more inside]
Need advice on a situation at work. [more inside]
Lately I've been exploring books along the lines of "career advice for women," specifically to explore why I've been having trouble making myself heard effectively in my current work environment. I've found a couple of books that made me go "wow, I wish someone had given me this advice when I was 20" and now I'm wondering what else I'm missing. [more inside]
I'm visiting pathology labs for work, and want to be respectful of the workplace attire. I've seen a couple of labs in California, where jeans are practically the dress code in every industry. Traveling to Omaha this week and Tampa next week. What to wear? [more inside]
I've heard that men don't like questions. I'm a woman and would like to have better relationships with the men in my life. Give me some examples of ways to rephrase questions into statements, directives or imperatives. [more inside]
What is with my workplace? Need help dealing personally and professionally with a variety of inappropriate behavior from my coworkers and supervisor. [more inside]
When shooting and preparing an image file for print, I've always tried to set things up so that the highlights are bright, the shadows are dark, and everything else is in the middle. At work, I've occasionally been told by my immediate superior that I'm overexposing my images, and that the highlight detail is, in their words, 'blown away'. Checking my files, the highlights in the images in question cut off around 245, sometimes as low as 240! Is there a reason why they'd want the highlights even greyer? [more inside]
Glenda thinks because we met up a few times outside work, we can now be besties. Problem is, this time spent together made me realize Glenda is not someone I want to be friends with. [more inside]
I just started a new job as a researcher. They hired a few people around the same time as me and we all have start dates around now-ish. I've been there a week. There is a new guy starting in my department in a more senior position than me, but not supervising me, on Monday. I just got his name today and looked him up, and... there are some things about him that a little bit of digging uncovered that are sketchy. (It's definitely him, please give me the benefit of the doubt here.) His job is not likely to be impacted by these revelations about his recent past, but if it were to get out that his history includes these things, it could endanger my company's reputation if a competitor or journalist found out. Nothing he did is illegal. [more inside]
In my day to day life, I often have to deal with people who, instead of asking questions, make assumptions aloud at you about what you're going to be doing despite the fact that these assumptions may not be accurate. A lot of the time these techniques are used along with someone pretending to be so hopelessly helpless that they could not possibly take care of their own workplace problems. Basically, it's a technique used by weasels. For example: "I know you're going to be very helpful during this process because..." or "I don't know x from z so it's a good thing you are here to handle that part" They will also make assumptions about what you would and would not do. "I know you wouldn't want x or z to happen because..." These things are usually in no way true. In fact, the weasel in question often knows they're not true, they're just testing boundaries. So my question is generally, how does one push back against these behaviors without being rude, jarring and literal? Especially if you're dealing with a weasel -- they're better at this than you. I tend to shut down in the presence of weaselry, giving them very little the work with, but this doesn't seem like the best solution.
I got a full-time job offer and will be giving my two weeks' notice to my current freelance gig. I want to give the people I've worked with a nice little gift before leaving. It's a big company so I can't take them all out to lunch/happy hour. Any ideas on what would be appropriate and not terribly expensive?
I'd appreciate your advice on dealing with what seems to me racist joking/bantering at work -- particularly when it's directed at me. This is my first white-collar job since moving to North America, and I think this kind of "joking around" is unacceptable but this office's culture seems to tolerate it. [more inside]
Went to birthday thing at a restaurant/bowling place for a work friend. There were 6 of us here. I consider the people there work-friends, in that I generally don't hang out with them outside of work. I was surprised that 3 of the friends gave gifts to the birthday girl, while the other guy bought her drinks and food. I tried to offer to pay for part of the entertainment cost but was begged off. So I felt like I didn't contribute much to the birthday celebration and possibly commited a faux pas in not getting a gift. I was under the impression that people at work who weren't that close don't give birthday gifts to each other. Did I commit a faux pas? Should I give a belated gift?
I'm officially a supervisor. My first-ever subordinate starts tomorrow. What are some of the best things that great bosses have done or said on your first day? Specifics inside. [more inside]