Before You Submit Your Question…….

Ask the Workplace Doctors is a FREE resource to help you find solutions to workplace communication problems. If you are thinking about submitting a question, the following information may be useful to you:

1. You may find the answer to your question in our archive of over 3,000 questions and responses. Look for the general category, on the right, then scan the Q & A’s.

2. Your name and email will not appear in our posted answer. An immediate response will be sent you via your email as soon as possible–usually within two days. If you scan our recent posted Q&A and Archives, you will see that all submitted questions are anonymous.

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What If No Action is Being Taken About my Discrimination Complaint?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a discrimination and retaliation complaint

Question:
Ireported a discrimination and retaliation issue to a manager at our corporate office. He was appalled. He then reported it to HR in his office because HR in my office did nothing. Corporate HR then called me to discuss my issue. The HR manager who called me said at the end of our call “will you give me time to fix this?” I said yes. That was 5 weeks ago. How much time should I give her? I emailed her 3 days ago with more info and to follow up, but she has not responded at all.

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Unfair Write-Up: First in Eleven Years

Question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a write-up:

I have been working at a major corp. in the same position for over 11 years. I recently went on vacation. I work in accounts payable and process invoices. While away, my supervisor and manager were at my desk. They were first there to look for invoices, which at first was normal. While they were there, they noticed some documents in my trash/recycle bin: an old purchase order which I knew was either closed/cancelled zero balance invoices for prepaid inventory (no need to keep it) A few other documents which I later explained to them I did not need.

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Too Many Bosses

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about uncertainty about who is her first line manager:

I work in a new firm at a brand new position, but the trick is that I feel very confused as to who really my boss is. The offer letter says it is the Finance Director who works from office in Chicago and the Lead Project Manager who works in the same office at New York, but is constantly away from the office. I am experiencing lots of issue with accounting software etc, because I need to connect through the server that is located in Chicago. I notified my both bosses about this problem, but they both seem to switch the responsibility on each other, and nothing is changing.

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Friendly Coworker Changes

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about feeling ignored by a coworker:

I share an office with a woman who is 20 years younger (in her 40’s). She is usually very chatty & friendly, but recently we both were out of work for about a month. She went on a 3-week trip, and while she was gone, I broke my hip & was out for about a week longer than she. When I came back to work, I asked about her trip (she went on the same trip 2 years ago & chatted endlessly & showed pictures), and her response was a very chilly “Great,” and she walked out. Since then she continues to give me a very warm, smiley “good mornings” and “good nights” but ignores me the rest of the time. How should I handle this situation?

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I Have a Difficult Boss. Should I Quit–Or Stay and Hope for Improvement?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about whether or not to look for another position,
even though it appears a difficult boss is trying to do better. 

Question:
I am a dental hygienist. I have been working for a female dentist for 2 years. She had been treating me fairly for over a year, then I noticed her changing. Condescending, yelling at me. I talked with her about this change in her behavior, that I wouldn’t tolerate this. Her reaction was defensive, angry. Then when I told her “I want to work with you, what can I do to improve this situation?” She softened and said “Ok, we can get through this” Since then she has been treating me better. She is a domineering person, and has been sued by a previous hygienist for bullying, harassment. Also, has been in practice for 6 years and has lost 4 hygienists, 2 assistants, and too many to count for front desk. Do I continue to try to work things out with this dentist? Do I take another job? Where I live there are openings for full time hygiene positions. Thank you for your help.

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What Can I Do About A Factory Coworker Who Plays Loud Rock Music All Day?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music in a factory. 

Question: 
I am working in a factory together with other people in same area and one of them plays rock music on his sound system at maximum volume nearly all day. I am the one that works with him and we are the closest ones to sound system all day (1-2 meters). Neither me or anyone else have a problem with music being played, as long as it is on a decent volume.

I have to mention that we work in a factory near an oven that makes noise, but as soon as he starts playing music, I cannot hear that oven (being in the middle between the radio and oven) Is there any law that I can find on a official website so I can print it and “hit my manager over the face” with it so he takes action about this ?

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Should I Tell My Manager How Attracted I Am to Her?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors wondering
whether or not to reveal a crush on a manager. 

I am a man who works in a family-owned wholesale company, outside of the United States. The husband is our General Manager. The wife is our Administration group manager and I am the business development manager. I have worked here for 4 years. Things seem to be developing like you read about only on the Internet–on how your boss man or lady is attracted to you.

Last year I started having problems with my marriage, but I did not see a counselor. My group manager saw that my performance dropped during that time and asked about it and I openly told her my problems. Ever since then, I have noticed my feelings growing for her. She does a lot for me–extra favors and extra money, which I reimburse. She has me assist her family, such as taking her Dad to see the doctor, because her husband is so busy as the GM.

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I Have a Crush on a Coworker But Now Our Communication is Awkward

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to handle the
awkward results of having a crush on a coworker. 

Question: 
I started this job three months ago where I developed a crush on a coworker right away who turned out to be married, we’re not in the same team so we don’t technically cooperate that much. I caught him so many times gazing at me right from his office and when he walks next to me. He once approached me and said : “Hi, how are you?” and I did not respond because I thought he was talking to someone else. The thing is those stares of his are kind of flattering and yet a bit uncomfortable since he’s a married guy and I feel it’s inappropriate to play the starring game with him. So, each time I see him walking towards me I act unintentionally awkward and turn my head away. Each time we come to catch eyes I turn my gaze down.

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Don’t Want to Hurt Coworker’s Feelings

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about not wanting to work with a coworker:

A male custodian spoke with me today about his job situation. He has been working closely with a female custodian since he began working here several months ago. He wants to work independently now because she is depending on him for more than he is required to do. He feels uncomfortable telling her he doesn’t want to work so closely anymore. He doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. What should he do?

Signed—Wants Not To Hurt Feelings

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Moved When I Spoke Up About Unfair Treatment

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unfavorable treatment:

I work for cleaning company. I have noticed certain things being handled that are shady when it comes to other employees: how they are paid amount of hours, overloaded work assignments, and unfairness to employees with seniority. Coworkers won’t address out of fear, but I have addressed my issues my rights and have been moved to other area with no explanation.

Signed—Moved to Speak Up

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