Badmouthing Teammate

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a teammate who badmouths another team member.

I have a teammate, who is usually watching what I do while performing my job, then he speaks badly about me to the rest of the team and to the Boss without providing the advice to correct mistakes. We are supposed to work as a team. The rest of team is always trying to help each other to accomplish and do the work perfectly. Is there anything I can do with him?

Signed, Badmouthed

Dear  Badmouthed:

You don’t really have a teammate. Rather you have a coworker in your work group, one who criticizes. This might not be his fault because probably he has been programmed to point up mistakes and gossip–programmed by the way he grew up as a kid and as he has progressed in his career. Is there anything you can do to change his behavior? Maybe not, at least you should realize that habits are habits and not changed easily.

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Can a Manager Curse and Say Bad Things About You?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss who insults one’s family: She also told me that if I tried to go to the store manager that there was nothing he could do. Is there really nothing I can do?

I had one of my managers go off on me, telling me rude things about my family and myself. What really pissed me off was that she said rude things about my mother. She also told me that if I tried to go to the store manager that there was nothing he could do. Is there really nothing I can do?

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In Trouble for Fulfilling Supervisory Role

A question  to Ask the Workplace Doctors about getting in trouble for taking a supervisory role: 


I was told when I was hired by my supervisor that I was to supervise a secretary. It is in my official job description. While supervising a secretary who was not performing her job duties adequately, I contacted indirectly our dept. head and the personnel dept. I wanted to extend the probationary period for the employee. The department head called me into a meeting in front of the secretary and many others and informed me that I was not the supervisor for the secretary and that I was guilty of harassment. I was called a liar and told I violated the chain of command by contacting Personnel, although I had contacted them several times in the past over other employee issues. What next?

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Employee Yelling At A Supervisor

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an employee yelling at a supervisor: 


I am a supervisor. An employee lashed out and yelled at me in a disrespectful way. She says she is upset because she wants a phone call when I am coming for my zone visit. She is nervous alone in the building, but this is not our practice. How should I deal with this angry person?




Dear Concerned:

The issue of the zone visit and the employee being alone in the building is not clear, nor is exactly what you mean by “lashing out”. But, the general situation seems to be this: You are a supervisor who was spoken to in a rude, very angry, voice-raised, disrespectful way by an employee. Assuming that you did not talk to her in a similar way, you have a situation that is very concerning. For one thing, if she is very angry (as you describe it) it could escalate to a much more volatile situation. If she is merely upset, but not out of control or near it, jt is still a serious problem to have an employee yelling at a supervisor.

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Can False Allegations Be Investigated Twice?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a false allegation: Can my agency re-investigate me for the same allegation, even if there is no additional evidence?

I was the subject of false allegations by a subordinate as retaliation for a disciplinary action. I was cleared of the allegation. However, my law enforcement agency allows accusers to remain anonymous. The accuser has been recently dismissed by the agency and I am concerned that he is going to make the same allegations. Can my agency re-investigate me for the same allegation, even if there is no additional evidence?

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Does not Accept Me As Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a male subordinate who does respect her as boss:

I have a subordinate who I feel does not treat me like his boss. I believe there are multiple factors 1. I am female,  2. Have equal educational qualification.  He sometimes talks to me as though I am his friend. For instance on his first day of his job, he was asked me what’s my background. I guess he was trying to assess how come I am in a superior position. Another instance was when, in front of many people, he motioned with his his fingers signaling me to come to him. Seriously i did not liked that and thought to discuss his behavior with my boss but later declined this thought.

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Falsely Accused of Hostile Behavior at Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about subordinate’s  performance: During the days I was out, the admin. filed a complaint with HR about me stating she is intimidated by me and views this as a hostile work environment.

I hired an admin. asst. in July and her work performance has not been good. She received a performance evaluation in December and I had HR sit in on the evaluation as the evaluation was not good. The admin was to receive a follow up evaluation at the end of March but the HR Manager left and a new one was not hired yet. When the new one was hired, I asked to meet with her regarding the employees work performance and for her to review the original evaluation and the follow up evaluation. She made a suggestion that I should write out what the admin. does that is good and what needs improvement. I did and sent it to her for review and then I was out for 3 days.

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Overbearing Associate Not Doing Her Job

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a retail company in which a leader of an educational program has a subordinate who is young teacher of children in this program who is overbearing, lacking skills and performing below standard.

I work for a retail company that also offers classes and children’s programs, of which I am in charge. I have a young 20 year old that is the teacher for my children’s classes; she is a very good with the kids and at selling products, but she comes off as having a huge ego. Her personality is very overbearing, even to management (to the point of answering questions that were directed towards us), but she does not have the leadership skills, and problem solving skills, needed to be trained as a manager or set a good example for the other associates, so it’s not like I can channel that skill for the benefit of everyone in my opinion.

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Many Complaints About One Problem Employee

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about malicious employee: It has NOT been proven that she has sabotaged other workers but everyone feels she has at one time or another. She is a passive aggressive office bully.

I am the manager of a scheduling department at a home care agency. One of my employees will notice an error that may affect patient care but will not report it to me, especially if I made it. She will instead tell one of her co-workers that she’s noticed the mistake but plans on with- holding the information so that the person who created the error will get “in trouble”. This is not the first time one of the people I supervise has come to me stating this individual made statements like this. I don’t want to approach the individual in question solely based on what others have told me but I do need to address the issue.

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Employees Socializing Too Much

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworkers socializing: there is about 1.5 hrs of time spent between the two of them that we suspect is not work related.

We have two employees that are friends outside work. Lately they have been taking breakfast break in the morning, talk to each other a lot during the working day and take lunch when nobody else is around. As a result there is about 1.5 hrs of time spent between the two of them that we suspect is not work related.This issue has been brought up with one of them before (they each have their own supervisor), and the response was “you should be happy that your employees are happy”.

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