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Managing Up

Your Office Coach: Poor safety record can hurt job search

Q: I was recently fired for a safety violation because I failed to turn off a circuit breaker when making some repairs. I knew better than to make such a stupid mistake, but I just wasn’t paying attention. I received a similar warning several years ago, plus a few small talks about safety pr…

May 14, 2014 1:39 pmLoading…

Office Coach: Don't play colleague's silly 'superiority game'

Q: I have an older co-worker who constantly tries to prove that he's smarter than I am. "Tom" never went to college, while I have an advanced degree. Although I never mention my education, he brings it up all the time.

July 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't waste time seeking tattletale

Q: I recently made the mistake of including an inappropriate person on a group email. Someone tattled about this to my boss, who sternly warned me to never do it again. I'm not sure who the tattletale was, but I suspect three people. Two of the suspects are my co-workers, and the third is a …

June 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Complaining about jerk potentially may backfire

Q: Half the employees in our department are young people in their 20s, while the rest of us are over 40. The younger folks are definitely a different breed. Their ringleader, "Mike," is rude, arrogant and disrespectful. He likes to order people around and create unnecessary drama. In staff m…

June 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Boss must keep whistleblowers' identity secret

Q: Whenever my employees have a complaint about a co-worker, they ask me to handle the problem without mentioning their name. If the issue is trivial, I tell them to talk with the other party directly, but sometimes there are policy matters that I need to address.

May 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Muster the courage, leave abusive boss

Q: The verbal abuse that I receive from my boss has been escalating for several years. About once a week, he begins shouting, cursing and banging on my desk. He starts criticizing my work, then brings up issues from my personal life.

April 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: To end power struggle, ask boss for help

Q: My manager, "Melanie," is undermining my relationship with my staff. Shortly after I was promoted to supervisor, my employees began going to Melanie with work-related concerns. Instead of involving me in these discussions, she tells me afterward how I should handle their issues.

April 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: As co-owner steps in, office secretary acts out

Q: My husband and I own a business that has seen some difficult economic times. For the past two years, we have had to reduce staff and cut salaries just to stay afloat. Now that our children are older, we have decided that I should start working in the office, especially since I have previo…

April 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Set boundaries to avoid unpaid work

Q: I believe my employer is taking advantage of me. This company hired me to do telephone sales as an independent contractor, which means that I am paid strictly on commission with no benefits. There are no other contractors in the office where I am located.

March 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Ask boss for help in gaining visibility

Q: Even though I'm a senior manager, no one outside my department seems to know I exist. Whenever people need information related to my group, they always contact my boss. Instead of referring them to me, she will either answer the question herself or go to my employees for assistance. I am …

October 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Office Coach: Don't jump to conclusions about peer who is now boss

Q: After our new CEO reorganized the company, one of my peers became my boss. "Barry" was promoted primarily because he had worked with the CEO at another business. Before this change, Barry and I collaborated on several successful projects and worked well together as colleagues.

September 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

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