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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Coworker Once Friendly Now Distant

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker’s distant behavior.

I’m working in a small company with around 8 employees including me. I have an issue with a co-worker who seems to be distancing herself from me for no apparent reason. We used to talk but we hardly converse nowadays.

When I addressed my concerns, she came up with a “talk less, listen more” excuse, which I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Ironically, she’s still in her cheerful personality when she talks to others, but gave me the cold shoulder when I tried to converse with her.

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My Boss and Coworker Gossip

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gossip within the HR Department
by boss and Coworker.

Question:
I am in HR and I’m faced with gossip in the office; however my issue is that my boss and a co-worker are the ones doing the gossiping. I know as HR I should not let this continue and I fear that the employee that they are gossiping about will quit and has mentioned that this is a form of harassment. I want to confront the boss and coworker, but I fear for my own job. What would be the best steps to take to handle this situation?

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