You Just Don’t Want To Hear!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about insults about hearing disability:

I live in northwest Indiana. I’m really having a problem with my boss and I’m out of solutions. I have only been employed here for about 2 months. The first day I was there I was told (by my boss) that he is a real a## hole and not take anything he says personal. I’m hearing impaired, I have good hearing aids but still they don’t let me hear as normal people do.Well the problem I’m having is he’s making very discriminating comments about my hearing saying things like “I think your hearing is bull sh#t, you can hear just fine you don’t want to hear”. “Why can you hear me now and not earlier”? Constant insulting remarks about my intelligent. He often calls me goofy. He has told me he could get more work done without me, and that I had no idea how to do electrical work prior to coming here.

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Wife’s Boss Is Business Idiot!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about high strung boss :

My wife works for a dentist as a dental assistant. The dentist is extremely bright, does excellent dental work, keeps up on continuing education, but is a complete idiot when it comes to business management and communication. He generally denies that he has any problems at all and when he does recognize that he might have faults he will become emotional to the point of crying. My wife likes the guy, but even though he has many great talents she often refers to him as an Irish Setter, meaning high strung.

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Boss Threatens Firing!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss’ threats to fire:

My boss always uses threats of firing as “motivational” talks. He is always calling me, (I am the executive editor here) into his office and threatens to fire either me or members of my staff for reasons that are totally beyond our realm of control. He does this to manipulate and control, and I am so tired of it… What can I do (besides workplace violence)?

Signed, Tired of Threatening

DearĀ Tired of Threatening:

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Wants-to-Please Director Over Promises!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss who overloads:

Our unit, in a higher education institution, has a Director who is causing no end of misery in our lives. She is head of an organization made up of about a dozen people charged with providing certain types of support for faculty. She takes on tasks or assignments that are beyond our scope and that are really the purview of other campus units. Often these seems to happen when she is asked to do these things by the heads of the other campus units or by administrators that have conflicting views about what we should be doing.She seems to be in a state of denial about all of this.

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My Boss Frequently Threatens Me!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about abusive boss:

I have a verbally abusive boss and have had very little help with upper management on bringing about changes in her behavior. Recently, she had asked me to work out a protocol for an experiment, and when I had her read it, she said it was “horrible.” It seems that the only things she can say to me are abusive rather than helpful. If she would have been patient enough to sit with me and explain her expectations, it would have given me additional information on what she intended for me to do.

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Boss Seems Out To Lunch And I Feel Abandoned!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss who has lost interest:

I see this as more of a problem of my boss’ but it has now affected me so I am writing to see how I might better deal with this. I work in a school business office environment and have for the past 8 years. There are currently three administrators and six other women with whom I work. My administrator is second in command and enjoyed a very good working and personal relationship with our previous superintendent.

When the only other female administrator retired 2 years ago, she was replaced with one of our male principals who, we all knew, would eventually become the new superintendent when the old superintendent was to retire. I began to notice a change in my boss’s attitude at this time. I was aware she was not a fan of this man, but seemed to adjust somewhat to the change.

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Boss Overlooks Personal Misconduct!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about subordinate and failure of boss:

Co-worker brings personal problems to work and talks on the phone about personal stuff disrupting department. Her boss does nothing about it.

Signed, Flustered

DearĀ Flustered:

I wish the question had more details about the disruptive behavior. It sounds like the co-worker works for another manager than you do, yet you work together. If so, do you know if her boss is aware of her behavior and how it is distracting others? Has anyone brought the issue to him/her in specific terms and details? Maybe that’s a place to start if it hasn’t happened. Have a conversation about your concerns and how the behavior is affecting productivity and focus because that will cost the company money.

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Custodian Badmouthed By Second Shift Co-worker!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about distribution of work load:

I and one other employee work on the 3rd shift as a school custodians. We work 10p-6am. We have a day custodian (facilitator) who gives us direction. She cannot reprimand us but sometimes she is one of those troublemakers who starts trouble between employees and then stands back and watches the fireworks fly. There are three shifts in this school. Our problem is we all have areas to do. We have a relatively new coworker who is a known troublemaker in the district. She is on the 2nd shift in our building. My problem is that this coworker bad mouths people behind our back. She has befriended the head custodian. The 2nd shift custodian decided she didn’t like her area and wanted ours. So our head custodian (even though the building needs do not meet their shift and area) decided she was going to make us do their area and they can have ours. I have been in this building for 6 years with pretty much the same area and this employee has been on workman’s comp mostly in the years she has been in the district. She hasn’t always been in our building. She told (because we found a note in the trash) our head custodian that my coworker and I think her area is so easy, so why doesn’t our head custodian give it to us and see how we like it. Well that was two weeks ago.

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Publicly Berated Teacher!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about client public criticism:

At the school district in which I am a teacher, a meeting was held to make parents aware of the remedial services (basic skills) that are being provided to their children. This meeting included a large number of parents, teachers and an administrator. At this meeting I was berated by one of my student’s parents as being a horrible teacher. This parent not only pointed and said my name, but she was allowed to tell everyone that she wants her child pulled from my room. She just went on and on and on about how bad I was as a teacher and how a colleague was such a wonderful teacher. I was so embarrassed and humiliated. I just kept waiting and hoping that the supervisor, who called this meeting, would stop her…but she did nothing.My question is: Do I have the right to file a grievance against this supervisor for not stopping this parent as soon as the verbal assault started? My district has a harassment code…but I’m not sure if it applies. It states: The board shall maintain an instructional and working environment that is free from harassment of any kind. Administrators and supervisors will make it clear to all staff, students and vendors that harassment is prohibited.I feel that it was the supervisor’s responsibility to protect my rights as an employee. She called the meeting and allowed the parent to continue for an extended period of time without intervening. I do understand that there are bullies out there and no one needs a license to be a parent, but if this type of verbal attack is allowed it opens the door to anything goes. There must be some code of ethics that applies to this situation. I would greatly appreciate any input you could give me on this matter.

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Terminated By Overseas Company!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being fired impersonally:

This is not the first time I am writing to you. I find your advice very positive and helpful. I have been 2 years in my current job and a total of 6 years working for the European Finance Center of an American company in Spain. The company strategy is to move jobs to low cost locations in order to achieve a better % of cost per revenue. I have been told 10 days ago that I have to leave the company by end of 2005 because it is planned that my current responsibilities move to India.I feel very upset with the situation as a whole. Many people will have to leave the company and the process of selecting impacted individuals is in my opinion terribly unfair. While in US and other locations, managers are leaving, which make sense as there will be less employees to manage, and they are the ones also making the most money, here in Europe, this is different. Employees are dismissed so that their managers can take over the part of their jobs not moved to India and stay as individual contributors.My counterparts in US also do not understand what is happening. I think this is not coincident with the company strategy and also it is not fair to do this to good and committed employees. This is happening not just in my team, but also throughout all organizations.

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