Bossy Co-worker!

Question:

I’ve been working for my current employer for seventeen months. For the first ten months I’ve been working part-time. Seven months ago, I received a promotion for a full-time job.

When my boss promoted me, she said she needed me to do a variety of tasks, a jack-of-all-trades if you will. I was thrilled to be moving up in the ranks and thought diversity was a good thing. As the months progressed I found myself getting more and more frustrated. My coworkers have specific duties but I do not. It is very annoying to work with no real sense of purpose. Having no specific job description leaves you open to being everyone’s assistant. There is one specific task I do (which from what I understand no one else wants to be involved with) but it does not take up all of my time.

About six weeks ago, I expressed to my boss my need to have my job reexamined. She expressed her appreciation for my hard work. I expressed my appreciation for working at the company and said I would prefer to continue working on my one specific task and that I want other specific responsibilities assigned to me going forward. My boss agreed and that was it.

This week, my coworker pretty much demanded I work with her on a project. As my boss and I were in agreement on what I was doing, I told my coworker to run it by the boss. My coworker asked my boss (while I was nearby) if I could help her with the project. Of course when my boss said I should help my coworker, I agreed.

My coworker has a bossy nature and that became apparent when we were working together. I confronted her and said I did not appreciate her treating me like a subordinate. She got very defense and basically said I had to help her and that I’ve been isolating myself from her. When I’ve worked with her in the past, I’ve sat in on meetings with her and my boss. This time around, I told my coworker that we should have a meeting with the boss, so I know what’s going on and what I need to do, but my coworker said that was not necessary. So I felt like I was being dumped on and being kept out of the loop. I told her I was working on other projects and she did not seem to care. All she wanted to hear was I would help her. To diffuse the situation, I called a truce and agreed to help her. That evening, I came home from work and felt miserable. My husband advised me to talk to my boss. Today, I went to work and helped out my coworker some more. When we finished one of the projects, I told my coworker I needed about two hours alone to catch up on my own work. She gave me a dirty look and did not seem understanding. At first, I thought I would wait before talking to my boss but based on my coworker’s attitude, I thought the talk could not wait.

Today, I spoke to my boss in confidence and explained the situation. As usual, my boss was supportive and said she thought our last talk reinforced things. Now that my coworker is in the mix, I told my boss it was making things frustrating for me. Fortunately, my boss said she did not want me to be my coworker’s assistant and said if we work together, we should by all means be on level playing fields. When my boss and I finished talking, she asked me to take care of something for her, which I agreed to. So I started working on the project my boss asked me to do. My coworker walked over to me and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was doing something for the boss. Then, my coworker questioned me, as to why I was doing something for the boss and wanted to know what it was. It really was none of my coworker’s business so I just told her the boss assigned me the task. The bossy coworker of mine turned into the nosey coworker and began asking me to justify my actions, saying she needed to know what was going on. Things got very awkward between us. My coworker started acting like a jerk and the entire office (albeit a very small one) heard her.

In the end, I was glad I had the talk with my boss. She definitely heard what my coworker said to me and probably understood why I came to her in the first place. The management style at my workplace is laxed and needs a major overhaul, but that won’t change, as it’s a family run business. Am I to blame for this dilemma or is this just the wrong job for me?

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Co-workers Are Trying To Get Rid Of Me!

Question:

I am doing accounting job. There are three other girls in the accounting office except me. I work so hard. And I do anything I can. I always say” no problem” and always finish anything earlier than others. So my manager gave me “excellence award” in last December. Other girls are jealous of me. And they thought I have been treated better. So many times they tried to get rid of me. Half year ago, one of them told my manager that I complained about my salary. But I never did. Last month two girls told my boss that I read her personal Email when she went to lunch. I didn’t even know what Email she was talking about. Today that girl told my boss that others have deleted one of her spreadsheet and only accounting staff can access that file. I tried to get away from trouble. But they can’t leave me alone. They told everyone in the company I was so rude to them. But only thing I did is doing my work and talk nothing to them. I really want to sue them to ruin my reputation. Can I do that? Who can help me? Thanks!

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Do They Have To Tell Me When They Warn Me?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rules of discipline:

I work in a chemical plant. I was recently leaving my workstation to go home for the day. I violated a plant policy by not having my safety glasses on in a warehouse area I was passing through as I was leaving. My immediate supervisor and her boss saw me, stopped me, and said, “You must wear your safety glasses”. I disputed their claim, since I was leaving for the day, but later found out that they were correct; I am required to wear them whether I am leaving for the day, coming in, or in the middle of my shift.

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My Work Area Is Too Cold!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about temperature:

I’ve been at a new office job for approximately 9 months. I work in a government office next to the room that houses our company’s computer server. The air conditioner feeds both my office and the server room so they want to keep it at 62-68 degrees everyday. That’s just too cold for me! I have a space heater at my feet, but my upper body and hands are freezing, and my feet & legs are burning up.There is room across the hall, in another office, to move the three people in our office but the head boss doesn’t think the cold is that big a deal. This environment is becoming unbearable – what can I do? The extreme cold is also affecting my osteoarthritis. I hurt!

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Owner/Manager Made A Terrible Hire–His Girlfrined

Question:

I work at a small company with ten employees. The owner/manager of the company hired his girlfriend about two years ago. She is very nice, but a terrible employee. She is paid a salary while the rest of us are paid on commission. The owner has a few rules that are very important to him, but they do not seem to apply to her. The morale of the company is at an all time low because of the situation. I have spoken with him in the past about the problem, but he seems to be afraid to do anything about it. As a result, he is on the verge of losing several good employees. Please help!

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How Do You Stop Gossip?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about the problem of gossip:

I have had a bad weekend thinking about the gossip problem in the place I am working for as a HR Manager. The Director and several high executive level “enjoy” the gossip chain. All of them have an “employee” who is the person who brings the rumors to them. Some of these rumors are bringing more Labor Relations cases to my desk. I have to include my HR assistant in this group who is one of those employees who has the privilege to sit down with one of the Director with all the rumors from different departments. I would like to use an example, or a good article and handout it to all of them. I create a HR Weekly Newsletter only for Directors, Managers and Supervisors in order to update them with the new HR laws and issues. I do not have the information about the Gossip, but I believe in this place exists a Gossip Chain. What I can do to stop it? Thank you very much for your advise in this matter.

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What Is The Law For Breaks?

Question:

What are the laws on part-time work breaks and full-time breaks and lunch in restaurants?

Signed,

Part-timer

Answer:

Dear Part-timer:

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. Some states may have requirements for breaks or meal periods. If you work in a state that does not require breaks or meal periods, these benefits are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). If you are not receiving the breaks you feel you need to be an effective employee, ask for a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the issue. Most companies understand that this is an important employee benefit. Restaurant workers’ breaks must be very flexible due to the very nature of the business. It is important to communicate and make suggestions that would be beneficial to you and the employer. Good luck. Gerald Allen, Guest Respondent with HR and Administration Experience, The Workplace Doctors Working together effectively is a collaborative process. That means speaking up in one’s own behalf and what’s good for those employed and one’s employer. Think and work for a WEGO-minded workplace

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Rules For Breaks???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about breaks:

What are the laws on part-time work breaks and full-time breaks and lunch in retardants?

Signed, Part-timer

Dear Part-timer:

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. Some states may have requirements for breaks or meal periods. If you work in a state that does not require breaks or meal periods, these benefits are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). If you are not receiving the breaks you feel you need to be an effective employee, ask for a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the issue.

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Elder Co-worker Favored

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about favored status of older employee.

I have been working in a small law firm that consists of three attorneys and five assistants. I am an assistant who has been working at this firm for over two years now, and another lady, who is also an assistant, started one year before me. She is the longest employee that works there at the office and then me. This lady is 45+ year old. She’s very close to all the attorneys, especially the one who hires all of the assistants and who also owns the practice. I have had conflicts with her before because I believe in fairness and work ethics. One day, she threw away all plates and eating utensils that everyone shares in the office in the trash. I was not in the office, but another co-worker of mine has told me that the 45+-year-old lady said the kitchen was filthy. Those uncleaned plates and eating utensils were mostly from the attorney who hates to wash and no one washes after her. The lady loves that attorney so much; the attorney was like an angel to her. She has massaged the attorney’s feet in front of everyone. She is a big a?? kisser. Anyways, so after I found out all plates and utensils were in the trash, I thought that was a very unethical thing to do. It would not be so disturbing to me if she asked and tell us to clean even though those dirty plates aren’t mine.

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Acquisition Detours My Upward Career Path!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a career move due to a merger: Should I wait in my current job till I find a similar or higher position either in the offering bank or any other with an attractive package?

Let me at first thank you very much for your very useful site and effective efforts, I have been enjoying it for about 10 years and it helped me through my career. I’m 40 years old man, have been working for the last 19 years with the same employer who is a French International commercial bank’s subsidiary in Egypt, and for the last 6 years I’m occupying the position of “Head of Trade” at the middle management level.

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