“Ask The Workplace Doctors” Is A Free Workplace Communications Resource!

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.

Ask the Workplace Doctors invites you to:
•Ask a question about your workplace communication problem.
(We cannot respond to medical questions–please talk directly to a medical professional.)
•Search for answers in our archive of over 3,000 questions and responses.
A NEW FEATURE!
Share your “Good Feeling Workplace Moments”!

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I’m Afraid I’ll Cross a Line With My Boss!

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about
how to get over an attraction for the man who is her boss.

Question: 
I caught myself staring at my boss and I was smiling about it. Instantly I told myself to stop. He’s married, but not only that, he’s my boss. He’s such a nice man. I’m not exactly sure on the age difference. However he’s one of the youngest bosses I’ve had. I would say he’s in his 20’s possibly he’s 30’s. I myself am in my 20’s. I had one previous relationship with a man I used to work with. But the moment he became a manager, and my supervisor, we put things off. He was offered a transfer to a different location and after that we did date. It was different that time, because he was single.

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How Do I Get Over Loving My Boss?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to get over obsessive thinking
about a higher level person at work. 

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Question:
I have a strong love for a boss at work. It started off early this year, when I first got to know him.  He’s higher than me in work level, but I do not report directly to him. We do play a sport at work on our free time.

At the start he was soo much attracted to me, he used to come up to my desk and talk to me and also used to tap me on my shoulder and give me a hug when I played well. I shared with him my personal stuff and also did mention to him once that I wish I had met him earlier, but I did not receive an answer.

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What Can I Do About a Coworker Who Incessantly Grinds His Teeth and Taps His Foot?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker who has distracting habits. 

Question:
I’ve been working with this individual for a few years now and I’m beyond my breaking point. He grinds his teeth and taps his feet all day, every day. This is particularly worse on Mondays, or following any time he takes off (vacation, sick..). When I presented these issues to the Manager, I was told there was no other spot for me, and to just wear earbuds with music to drown out his grinding, tapping and all other of his disgusting bodily noises. Two years later, this is still the only solution we have. Which makes me wonder two things: what is the long-term damage to my hearing, if I’m constantly having to raise the volume of my music to drown out his teeth grinding (which also impacts my concentration when we reach those music volume levels), and why should I have to modify my behavior?

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Ignored by Boss

A question to the Workplace Doctors about a boss’s attitude:

When I started working in the office I got on great with my boss but a colleague of mine was forever fighting with me so when I told my boss he told me to completely ignore her and just send messages to her by e mail which I did. This girl in the meantime slandered me to everyone and anyone who would listen but I just got on with my work.

However, we decided to change offices, and my boss was going to let this girl work from home. She went mad and said she was leaving. She is best friends with my boss’s lawyer who spoke to my boss and turned the finger at me. My boss needed her back because she does his accounts and her conditions were that she do all the accounting and everything was taken off me. For the past 3 years, I have continued working but most of my work has been taken off me and my boss never speaks to me. It is really humiliating, he gives work to everyone but nothing to me. I suppose I should leave but the pay is good and I need the money. Any advice?

Signed–Don’t Like Being Ignored

Dear Don’t Like Being Ignored:

It is disheartening to be ignored, and you are right to want to earn what you are paid. I commend you for not wanting to loaf.

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Given My Coworker-Friend’s Job

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stress caused by being assigned to a coworker-friend’s job:

I am covering for my coworker who is out for 6 weeks. We have became really great friends over the last year. I was approached by our boss and was told/offered my friends job. I do like the job. My friend has complained about the job for 2 years. But they are making me take it. I know my friend is going to feel like I stabbed her in the back and not have anything to do with me. I don’t know what to do. (more…)

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Kissing in the Breakroom

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about employees kissing: 

Two female employees were seen kissing in the break room by a number of other employees. The other employees were offended by this. The department manager talked to the two employees, who initially denied it, but after several employees who witnessed the kissing spoke out about it, the two female employees came clean.

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Managers and Supervisors Won’t Promote Me

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about having
a non-supportive supervisor and manager

Question:

In the place where I work, a few managers hate me because they are racist. I want to get a promotion, but I’m afraid they will turn me down. Even if I get the position they will annoy me a lot, because they don’t respect me.

The only thing I do that they might not like is that I turn my head and do not say “Hi” to them. They are not my managers now, but if I get a promotion they will be my managers. My supervisor says bad things about me because I am smart and he feels jealous of me. So, I need a miracle to prove how much I work. That’s why I am so serious at my workplace and don’t smile.

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Micromanager Makes Me Hate My Job

After 10 years of being the top performer in my division I am suddenly being micromanaged in ways that are seriously harming my productivity and destroying my morale.

In the past 10 years I have produced over $63 million in documented personal productivity for my employer, which is almost 8x the average for my division and more than 2x that of my next closest co-worker. I’ve gotten consistently outstanding performance reviews ever since I started this job, and continuously sought out challenging professional development opportunities. I have developed cutting edge technical tools, processes and skillsets that are respected regionally and even somewhat nationally (I am invited to speak at conferences and seminars fairly often). (more…)

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