The Wife of My Boss is Harassing Me, What Can I Do?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to deal with the wife of the boss, who is sending harassing text messages and spreading lies and rumors in a small town. 



I am the office manager of a small office and am happily married–however, my husband is very ill.  I had previously worked for my boss for ten years, but moved away when I married my husband. Because of his illness we moved back to be near to family and after having another job for a while, my current boss offered me employment as his office manager, in August of 2013

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How Can I Handle Negative Comments By Former Co-Workers?

A question to the Workplace Doctors about negative comments by a former colleague:  How to keep the comments from tainting the attitudes of coworkers in a new job?


My former job was crazy, all of the employees were miserable and, as expected, the turnover rate was pretty high. I’ve moved on to a new job in the same field at a better place and love it! In fact, I’m doing quite well at the new gig and my good performance is known across the board. However, one of my former colleagues met some of my new colleagues at an annual conference event and, in a very subtle way, said things about me that could be interpreted as negative (and this did not surprise me since I did not have a good relationship with my former colleagues considering the company culture, high school antics and cliques).

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Disrespectful Remarks About Veterans With Tattoos

 Question for Ask the Workplace Doctors regarding
disrespectful remarks about veterans with tattoos:

“The V.P. of my company made disrespectful remarks about me and other veterans,
because of my tattoos. What can I do?”

The Vice President of a major entertainment company where I work told my manager that he was not happy with the way I made a bank deposit the night before.  I would not have a problem if he just left it at that. He continued to degrade me by saying, “Is this the quality of work I can expect from the military? With that kind of discipline and attention to detail I can understand why all these soldiers are getting killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s why he has tattoos on his arms and his cousin has a big tattoo on his back–no discipline. I am concerned.”

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No Fields Found.

Called A Snitch

A question for Ask the Workplace Doctors about being called a snitch. 

“There are rumors of me being a snitch, but I’m not. What can I do?”

There have been rumors of me being a snitch and that is causing my seventeen coworkers to have very negative work attitudes towards me. Twelve of those are very close to each other. They talk very condescending towards me and many do not want to work with me. Several of them have actually gone to complain to the supervisor about my work ethic.

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Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gossip.

How is it appropriate to deal with coworkers who gossip in the workplace?

Signed, Can I Stop It?

Dear Can I Stop It?:

You feel some gossip of coworkers is destructive. We could write a book about gossip based on the dozens and dozens of questions we have received. Apparently you haven’t scanned any of our Q&As in our Archives. So scan them.

What do you find in these Q&As that might apply to your situation? Tell us what you think and what you have done. I predict that since you care enough to at least submit a question that you also care enough to approach your question as problem-solver and that you will act on what you learn. Am I correct? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS,and that also entails dealing with gossip.

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Store Manager’s Badmouths Subordinates

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss’s demeaning gossip: How do you cope with a boss who gossips?

How do you deal with a store manager who disrespects you in private so nobody hears her? My boss does this to a lot of employees. How do you deal with this?


Deal With It?


Dear Deal With It?:

You get specific. By that I mean you talk to your boss about what specifically you have heard about yourself that she supposedly said or you heard her say about others. You ask her if it is true that she said. If she denies it, you say, “I hope you didn’t say that or anything like that. A boss should not gossip about any of us. If she has a complaint, she should talk to that person face to face. That’s what I want you to do with me and not to talk about me to anyone else. Can I count on that?”

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Accused of Having a Relationship With a Client

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors regarding being falsely accused of having a relationship with a client. 

Question: I am a support worker and have been accused by a tenant of having a relationship with a client, who is another tenant. What should I do? Signed, Worried

Answer: Dear Worried: I am assuming that you work as a caregiver in a residential setting. Apparently, one of the residents has told your boss that you are having a relationship with a client (another resident), which would be against the rules. The big issue is: Are you having a relationship that is against the rules? If so, you may face penalties for it. If not, you should ask for an investigation to allow you to clear your name.

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Stop Gossip By Managers

Question for Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to stop gossip by managers:

At my workplace, we are having trouble with focusing on our goals and missions as a company. Often times, rumors and gossip, flow endlessly throughout our staff in a way which is overtaking. I find that not only is it the employees and persons in their younger ages, but more and more the management is beginning to consume themselves with the “drama.” We would all do better if we could stop the gossip by managers.

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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 I Refuse To Make A Written Statement?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rumors:

I was told a rumor by an associate who is known for telling rumors. Normally I wouldn’t pay any attention to this, except for the severity of the rumor and for the fact that it involved my boss and it was implying that he was having a sexual relationship with one of my male associates. Naively, I went to my immediate supervisor with the information because I had faith in her to handle it discreetly.

Obviously this is a much bigger matter than that and should go directly through HR. My question is, now they want me to write a statement of what I was told and I am uncomfortable getting any further involved. Can I be fired or disciplined for refusing to write a statement?

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