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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My Husband’s Assistant Is Trying To Stake Her Claim to Him

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an
administrative assistant who treats her boss’s wife discourteously. 

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Question:
My husband has had a new female assistant for a couple of months. For the way our life was structured I had to give up to my life and become a supportive wife and mother, a job I have carried out with dedication and passion. Our life situation has now forced me to live away from my husband to follow-up on the children’s education.

I went back home during the holiday and met his assistant for the first time. I was unhappy about the choice and would rather have had a man, however, I very kindly welcomed her. After a few days she seemed to be pushing me out of what she considers her territory. She said things I consider completely inappropriate. For example: I wished her a happy new year and she replied, “First thing, we are going to fix Peter’s health this year.” (As if she was part of his personal life and thought I wasn’t taking care of him as I should, as his wife.)

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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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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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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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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 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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My Manager Told Me My Face is Ugly!

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about options for handling a rude and personal remark by a manager: 

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Question:
I work in a restaurant/bar and most of my managers are men (I’m a young woman). They’re constantly telling me to smile and last night one of them said “you’re not cute… Your resting face is especially ugly”. Can I do anything about this?

Answer:
Hello, thank you for your workplace question. You ask if you can do anything about the fact that your manager said your “resting face” is ugly. (What a rude thing to say!). There is nothing legally you can do about it. If there are higher level managers I think this rises to the level of complaining about rude behavior by someone who is supposed to be motivating you. If it is a corporation with an HR section, you would have the option to complain formally, if it is a small local establishment you may not have that option. So,  the work situation will dictate how far you can or want to take it as far as making an internal complaint.

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Chain of Communication Problems and Work Backlog

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors:
Am I being set up to get in trouble about a backlog of work and chain of communication issues?

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Question:
I work in a high stress, fast-paced environment (lots of emails and phone calls) which I am still trying to balance out even after almost 3 years. (I spent my previous years in jobs which were seasonally busy i.e., 2 months busy, 3 months light, 2 months busy, 2 months light, 2 months busy). My present job is more of 4 months slow, 8 months busy.

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