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

Ask The Workplace Doctors has almost 3,000 questions and answers
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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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Did I Over-Step The Mark?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accessing coworker’s account:

I have access to everyone’s emails as the only IT person, but I got into trouble for going into a colleague’s account to get information I need, even though I repeatedly asked for the information. How do I avoid this in the future?

I have always been employed in workplaces where it’s just presumed that you are monitored and that your emails can be accessed if someone requires information.

At my new position (as a manager), I have access to everyone’s email accounts including other department managers. I had requested information, several times, from another manager so I could meet some important deadlines, imposed by the CEO. After asking for the information from the manager and being given the complete run around, I spoke to the CEO who said “work it out with them” (even tho I had tried). So I took it upon myself to pop in to the managers work emails and grab the information I needed (after all I need this to meet a deadline and keep my job).

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What Should I Do About A Coworker Who Interferes With My Work?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What can I do about a co-worker whose job is a step lower than mine, when she tries to take over my work? 

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Question:
I worked with a person at another facility and thought she was intelligent and hard-working. As a result, when I was promoted to the Department Coordinator position I asked my manager to consider her for my old position. Ever since this person came to our department I have mentored her and spent considerable time training her. She now seems to think she can insert herself in my new position and interfere in my job responsibilities. Unfortunately, our manager does not correct this behavior.

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My Employer’s Forcing Me To Quit

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about recently hired employees being given preference:
My employer is wrongful forcing me to quit. I work for a unionized construction company. I’ve been with my job for ten years now. The job consists of pouring concrete slabs and all aspects of concrete for commercial warehouses and stores. For the last 9 years, I have made saw cuts into the concrete slab to prevent it from uncontrolled cracking.

In the past year, they fired my co-worker by forcing him to quit, the same way they are treating me. I’m worried I’m next on their list. Employer hired two new employees for my position as a second crew, but slowly as work slowed down , I’ve been getting less shifts as the new employees would get the call for work before they would call me.

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How Can I Find Out If I Have Bad Body Odor, So I Can Do Something About It?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What can I do about my body odor?
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Question:

Some coworkers think I smell bad although they only say it indirectly, like speed walking when passing my desk, or not looking in my direction, or covering their noses when walking by.  I have asked my dentist and primary physician if I smell bad. They both say no. I also visited an ENT specialist for the same problem and he also said no. I’m little bit concerned because coworkers’ reactions are the same at different companies. This is quite embarrassing and I feel helpless.

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My Boss Looks and Smells Dirty. What Can I Do About It?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: How can I get my boss to improve her hygiene?
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Question:

My boss is the director of a mid-sized company and is second only to the managing director. She has recently taken over in our busy shop where we sell food and interact a lot with customers. Her hair smells like it hasn’t been washed for at least 2 weeks and it looks absolutely awful too, all straggly and greasy like it’s never brushed. Her clothes are always tatty and creased and covered in animal hair. It’s just not appropriate and it’s awful to work around as the area behind the counter is quite narrow. As a part-time employee, I have no idea how to tackle this problem and no other employee wants to help me. What can I do?

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I’m Afraid of a Coworker Who Wrote Angry Remarks On Facebook

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What should I do about
an obsessive coworker who vented his anger about me on Facebook? 

Question:

I have been working at a grocery store for about 3 months now. All was going well till this guy I work with posted a “song” on Facebook that he wrote talking about me and how I was smart and I was beautiful, I have only ever said “Hi. How are you?” to him. The next day he messaged me telling me these things and more like he’s been “thinking of me for weeks.” I replied to this “That’s cool. Thanks”.

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Coworker Over Indulges at Industry Events

I have a dilemma and am hoping to get some advice on how to handle the situation. Many of the folks within the company travel quite a bit, and host or attend many industry events throughout the year. One of the folks who attends these events, seems to always over indulge. Seems now the indulgence is being noticed by outside constituents, who are letting me know what they observed. The person is in a position that would not receive any conversation willingly. How does this person recognize the issue? How do I let this person know there is an issue without consequences?

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Fired For A Thoughtful Gesture

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about correcting an associate:
I was terminated for tapping “very lightly” on the side of an associate’s head, while correcting her. I was reprimanding an associated for damaging company property, and she told me it was faster to dump the product on the work table. I told her she just thought it was faster and while saying the word “thought”, I tapped her on the side of the head ever so lightly.

This is an employee that I had hired and thought our relationship was evidently better than it was. I did not know she was going to get upset, she did not show she was upset while I was talking with her.
Signed Lost Job

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What Should I Do About My Feelings For My Boss?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about having a crush on a boss:
How can I know if he feels the same way about me? 

Question:

I’ve not worked in a place where my male boss has been so nice to me. He’s a sales person and talks the right way all the time. I know, as I was a gamer before. But then I felt his sincerity when he compliments me. He often compliments me and notices a lot about me. From my eyelashes that he said was nice, he even mentioned that my black eye liner looks better on me than the silver. He says my curled hair looks good. And I caught him gazing at me. When I smile while we talk or when I look him in the eye, he would look away. When we are alone for work, we always have good times. I feel so comfortable around him and in fact I enjoy very much being around him.

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Difficult Employee When Corrected Charges Racism

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how do I handle a difficult employee who is creating a hostile work environment?
I have an employee that is constantly saying the company is racist. This particular employee is not a good performer and is making a hostile work environment! Every time this particular person is written up for various infractions, they scream racism. Everyone is disciplined fairly. It is not fair to everyone else who follows the rules. HR will do nothing! How can I handle this employee and make this a positive experience for everyone else in the department?

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