Get Them Off the Gossip Train

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about dealing with gossip and office problems as an assistant:

My workplace is very small (12 people). I just began working there in January. Even though I am a very positive and upbeat person, sometimes the gossip that goes on is tough to maneuver around.

I really like people, and I like everyone to be happy. While I know that I cannot always make everyone happy, I do want to try to do so as often as possible. I am the assistant office manager, and sometimes, others come to me and tell me about issues they are experiencing in hopes that I may offer them some empathy, or that I will join in on their side. While I’m happy to offer empathy if it is deserved (i.e. someone is not feeling well), often, it’s talk about others and office problems. (more…)

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Want My Wife Fired

Question:
I caught my wife’s lover in my home, and after I threw him out, my wife confessed to having a 3 month affair with this guy. I investigated and found out he works with her and she told him about the job opening. I want her fired. Will calling HR be enough?

Signed-Want Her Fired

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Elbowed Out!

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an assistant trying to take her job:

I have worked with my boss, the Executive Director, for 7 years. I am an Executive Assistant supporting the E.D., President, Board of Directors and I supervise/manage reception. We recently hired an Admin Assistant for the contract department and from day 1, she has been overstepping my responsibilities. Initially, I thought she just didn’t know better or was just trying to prove herself and would casually just let her know/clarify process/procedures, etc. to her to which she would interrupt, ask questions, and talk over me while I was talking/answering. She has now overstepped about 8 times in the past 2 months including trying to “manage” our new receptionist whom then asked me to talk to her because she was getting confused on who she is to report to.

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Good Feeling Workplace Moments: Customers Appreciated My Efforts

“This past summer I worked at an international trade show in Atlanta feeling that my efforts were failing in my export sales. During the course of the four-day event I had four current Canadian customers and five new customers approach my Vice President and thank us for pursuing their business in Canada as their local suppliers have been unable to meet their requirements for various reasons. I even had my main competitor in Canada approach us asking to help them with their production issues and meeting their customer needs. The previous time and effort I had spent developing relationships and building a personal trust with customers paid off smartly not only by the actual sales but by the customers approaching my leadership and team members complimenting my work to build the market up through my personal efforts.” —

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What To Do Next?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a very unpleasant matter:

Well, recently found out that a co-worker had been storing and smearing their faeces in our toilet. We found the faeces all over the basin of the sink. When asked what had happened, everyone was angered and shocked, including the guilty party.

We looked into what we could do to prevent this from happening as we have had minor cases of this in previous months. The next day the smell wasn’t going away. So my boss removed the tiles from around the sink, and behind there was lots of faeces, some in tissue some not. Other rubbish was stored behind there as well, such as wrappers and ladies feminine napkins etc…

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Should I Apologize?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a big mistake caused by gossip.

I recently gossiped about a coworker and I feel horrible about it. The story may be long but it may help to get where I’m coming from. I’m an inexperienced, shy, young guy and I met a girl who caught my interest at a job I got a few months ago. My first mistake was telling a couple of my coworkers about my interest with this girl. It spread throughout my entire department and everyone made it their mission to get this girl to go out with me. I awkwardly talked to her a few times and I thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere. One day my coworker said I should message her, I did and got nervous. I asked him for advice and he took my phone and asked her out for me. She agreed to my surprise, I wouldn’t have gone out with me at that point, considering that we hardly spoke to each other. We went to a Starbucks she wanted to go to and it was not a proud moment for me. I knew I was boring, I was uncomfortable and I wanted to go home but stayed for an hour until she “had” to leave.

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Thrown Up Against The Wall

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being attacked by a co-worker:

I was walking down the aisle at work when a co-worker grabbed my shirt and threw me up against the wall and asked me a question about a girl that was my friend that he also was dating. He wanted information about her and me.

I did not fight back. I went to a manager and told him of the situation. Then the manager told HR who then fired the gentleman. Two days later, HR called into their office saying that they have petitioned to have the employee come back to work.

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Unplugging A Clogged Toilet

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a dirty assignment:

Yesterday, I found out that the manager at a Wendy’s burger joint had my daughter unplug a toilet only using a latex glove on her hand because they did not have a plunger. This is my daughters first job and she knows the whole routine of being at the bottom of the totem pole, but to have someone stick their hand wearing only a latex glove on it into a toilet with human feces urine and blood! I don’t think it’s right.

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Climate of Fear

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loss of those charged with a managing a department.

Our department is under the microscope for not stopping the students from protesting. Our Interim Assistant Director re-applied for the position that he had for three years. The Director resigned due to the overwhelming pressure from the Administrators. The hiring manager is the Vice President of Student Affairs. She gave us false assurance that he would get the job. She did a complete turn around and told our Assistant Director that he had until December 31 (1 week) to pack up and leave his keys behind. It’s now January 16 and he received a letter that they decided not to fill the position.

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Don’t Want To Make A Mistake

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a query signed by a subordinate:

Good morning. My boss gave me a query for lateness to work, but asked the administrative officer, who is a very junior staff to me, to sign the query letter on his behalf. I need clarifications before I respond so that I don’t make mistake. I expected him to have asked my immediate boss to sign on his behalf rather than a very junior staff. Please, I need your urgent response. Thanks.

Signed—Don’t Want To Make A Mistake

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