“Ask The Workplace Doctors” Is Still A Great Workplace Communications Resource

Ask The Workplace Doctors has almost 3,000 questions and answers
for you to search. Or, ask your own question!

For over two decades, Ask the Workplace Doctors, the site developed by William I. Gorden, Ph.D., of Kent State University, School of Communication Studies, has been a workplace communications resource for thousands of people, from around the world. You can still count on us to provide practical, reasonable, useful and compassionate advice. However, we are dealing with problems related to the appearance of some of the questions and answers and hope you will patient about those.

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I Am In Love With My Boss But He Doesn’t Feel the Same Way. Should I Quit or Stay?

A Question for the Workplace Doctors: Should I quit my job
or should I stay and hope for a closer relationship with my boss?

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Question:
I have been working in my business for more than 3 years now. I started as a part time worker and now my boss is willing to give me a certain percentage of the company shares, due to my hard work. We both have a good relationship at work, despite having a few arguments and disagreements about work. In fact, his mother and I get along well and she is my main support whenever we have issues at work, since she is also a part of the company.

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Accountant Given HR Responsibilities

Question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being hired as an accountant but given HR responsibilities.

I started with this company 9 months ago as a Accounts Payable and then got promoted to staff accountant right after my probation period of three months ended. I was put in the situation where I had to help with HR related work since we do not have a dedicated HR person. Few months later my boss got fired and our entire team changed. My new boss keeps taking away my accounting work and keep giving it to the senior accountant (who doesn’t like me since I am much younger than her and know the business a little more than she does). Her and other new people in our department keep making personal comments on my appearance to the point where I go home and cry myself to bed every night. Should I just quit my job because the company dynamics are changed?

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How Should I Treat A Co-Worker Who Is Given Preferential Treatment?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about relationships with a co-worker
who seems to be getting preferential treatment.

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Question:
Should I stop talking to a coworker who is clearly given partiality on the work line by the line leader? I have been a good sport about this for a long time and it has not changed. I am now very resentful that I am given jobs that are difficult and she is exempt because of their friendship.

Answer:
Without knowing any details of the situation it is difficult to give specific advice, but I can certainly give you something to consider: If your coworker is a friend of the line leader and you stop talking to the coworker, it is probable that the line leader will hear about it and will not view you favorably. Do you think that will help you get better jobs or even more difficult ones? Refusing to talk pleasantly to a coworker is never the solution to a work problem related to a supervisor.

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Spreading Rumor I Am Gay

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gay gossip: My manager is spreading rumors about my sexuality.
I work for a fast food restaurant. I’m 17. Two of my co-workers, a drive-through girl and a cook, who don’t socialize with each other, both told me the exact same story that my much older female manager is spreading rumors saying I’m gay. This could cause many co-workers to have a different attitude toward me. When the cook took up for me saying he’s not gay, she replied, “Well I don’t know that he is, but I think he is.”

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How Can I Get Over Caring About My Boss, If He Wants to End Our Affair?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about
dealing with the emotions of an affair:
How can I stop caring so much? 

Question: 
I have been working at my job for about two years and some way, somehow I ended up having sex with my boss. He and I are married. We have been like this for over a year and I have tried to stop, but my feelings always have me going back to what we had. Neither of us have intentions of leaving our significant other for one another.

Lately my boss has been very distant and I give him his space. I think he knows it’s time to stop. Unfortunately I got attached to him. I don’t know what to do so I can just stop having feelings for him. 

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Racism in the Workplace – An Accusation Made Against Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a reference to someone’s skin color resulting in a suspension.

On Wednesday I was suspended from work for a couple of comments I made about someone’s skin colour. It was a cheap attempt at a joke and the person. I consider the person I said it to to be a friend. There was another person involved in the conversation, who I believe has made the accusation against me.

On reflection I completely agree that my comments could be interpreted as racist, but without question there was no malicious intent. I do not consider myself to be in anyway a racist.

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What Should I Do About Having My Pregnancy Secret Announced?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about
having a pregnancy secret disclosed by a manager.

Question:
I found out I was pregnant, and decided to disclose it to my general manager when I was about 9 weeks along. I told her in a pure honest effort to give her notice of the event.  Since I’ve been employed there I have miscarried three times. I told her the news in complete confidentiality and she was extremely aware that I did not want anyone to know until I felt it was necessary, or safe enough to do so.

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How Should A Doctor Handle A Threat To His Staff?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a person
making threats in a medical office.

Question:
What should a doctor do if someone comes in a threatens him and his staff?

Answer:
Hello and thank you for sharing your workplace concerns with us.  We are not attorneys and we don’t know the laws for your city or the details of the threats, but there are some general options available.

1. If the threat was severe—a threat to kill someone or harm them seriously or cause serious harm to property—the doctor should call the police and say he or she wants to make a report of a crime involving serious threats.

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What Can I Do About a Rumor That Could Ruin My Life?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an untrue accusation of an affair at work.

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Question:
I work in a retail environment with eight other coworkers of different genders. A male coworker works night shift and when we close the store our jobs require us to walk the store for a hand-off. Someone recently accused us of having an affair. The store manager approached the night manager to ask him. At this time I was not aware of the rumour because HR asked the store manager to investigate (HR never asked me). A couple weeks later the night manager was approached by the store manager again and asked about it. He informed the manager that it was not true and he wanted to squash the rumour like the first time. 

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What Should I Do About This Threat?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an employee who
yelled a threatening remark.
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Question:
I’m a manager and a staff member got upset about some work I gave him and yelled at me, inches from my face, saying, “Don’t make me lose my shit or one of these days there’ll be nothing left here except charcoal!” What should I do about it?

Answer:

It sounds as though you have an employee who 1.) Is rude and disrespectful to his manager. 2.) Doesn’t control his temper. 3.) Makes threats that implies if he gets angry enough he will set the building on fire—and presumably anyone in it.

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