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? read more

Performance Evaluations As A Team–Boyfriend and Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about performance evaluations as a team: 

“My boyfriend and I were evaluated as a team and we both got raises.  
How I can ensure that the new boss continues doing that?”


I have been at my current job for 6 1/2 years now. I work as a cash accountant assistant. While this is my title I still do any job that needs to be done, i.e. cashiering, supervising, covering breaks in different areas of the store, pricing, stocking, customer service. read more

Anonymous Survey

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about attitude survey: How do I know if my boss saw my answers?

My director asked everyone to fill out an anonymous survey. I did. Then my manager calls me in the conference room to have a talk to me about the anonymous survey and has been acting negative towards me ever since. What can I do? I feel she is targeting me now because of this survey. Any advice would be great. Thanks,

Signed, Anonymous???


Dear Anonymous???:

Advice? Here’s my advice in a nutshell: Meet with your manager again and say what you have in this question. Be upfront with him that you feel now after the survey that was to be anonymous, you sense he treats you negatively. Say you want to learn how you might change if he has reasonable negative assessment of your performance. Couple this with a request that you want his advice on your career path. read more

Unfair Workload & Snide Manager

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about workload: I work longer and harder but am criticized for inefficiency; how should I react?

My Manager is forcing a workload on me that is unfair in comparison to another worker, who he coincidentally has a stronger friendship with  a brown noser. When I attempt to hover around the subject of workload, the only response I get is that I’m not being “efficient” enough. I am confident this is not the case and can prove otherwise. I rarely have time for a lunch break over 15 mins and often need to work unpaid overtime. My counterpart coworker, in the 2 years I’ve known him, has never worked 10 minutes overtime and almost never had less than a 1 hour lunch break. Something tells me also that a constructive dismissal could be in the Manager’s cards, as I believe the workload situation will either lead to a mistake by me or provoke me to crack under the pressure. read more

Treated Unfairly

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a resume: Recently they asked me to bring my CV; they lost it

I have been with the company for 18 years. Recently they asked me to bring my CV; they lost it. I need to know if I should bring an upgraded one or the one that they interviewed me when I start working at this company.

Signed, Been Here Done That

Dear Been Here Done That:

The fact that you have been asked for a CV may simply be that HR is updating its files. However, the fact that you wonder what is requested (who keeps one that is 18 years old) indicates that communication within your workplace could be better. You can ask which is wanted, but I recommend that you don’t ask; rather bring an updated one. Include in it tasks, projects you have done, ways you have cut wasted supplies, time, energy, and money. read more

Confidentiality During Performance Reviews

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about context of a performance appraisal  review: when I went to close the door, he said to leave it open, so it stayed half-opened, half closed.

I just completed my Performance Appraisal review with my boss this morning. In the past (with previous Managers as well as the current one), our performance meetings were held behind closed doors, for confidentiality purposes. Today was different – when I went to close the door, he said to leave it open, so it stayed half-opened, half closed. He then proceeded to open the door all the way. My reviews aren’t very negative; I barely get feedback at all. I describe my job (note: I am the only one who holds my position, in an office of 10 employees) and what I do on a daily basis, reminding him of the tasks I accomplish and even those beyond my job description as “added value” (such as assisting with computers, and software). read more

Working Jerk Updated

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a negative perception.

I’m seen as a jerk in the workplace, some of it deserved and some not. I’m seen as not a team player, sometimes because I used my initiative and it wasn’t welcome. I think I’m seen as abrasive. I want to change. I want to fit in better with my coworkers. What do you recommend I do to improve my situation? Thank you.

Signed, I’m Seen As A Jerk

Dear I’m Seen As A Jerk:

Years ago, after an article titled Working With A Jerk described our Ask the Workplace Doctors site appeared in the Washington Post, questions on that topic that we received increased ten-fold. Evidently, you are not the only one seen as a jerk. The feeling you are disliked probably prompts your question and that is a worthy motivation to change your behavior. However, hopefully your desire to not be seen as a jerk comes from a genuine understanding of what it means to add value to your team and workplace because that is the right way to behave. read more

Confronted about Not Pulling My Weight

Question to Ask   the Workplace Doctors about doing one’s share.

I have been working at a hospital for about five years, and have just recently been approached by one of our charge people about not pulling my own weight. When I asked what I could do to change, I was just looked at funny. I am unsure whether to ask one of the other charge people the same thing, or to go to our supervisor about it. According to the individual, our supervisor has not had this bought to his attention. Any thoughts? read more

Being Downgraded

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being  downgraded after leave for pregnancy.

I am sales person. My company was bought  new company. I’m the only sales admin person but new company decided to change and hire another Sales admin assistant to do the extra work in our shop what not in my job. He less hours than me and pay less too.

I got pregnant, manager tell me to train my assistant as my cover, I did and left for 9 months. When I come back new manager told me I no longer was his boss and the man and I will be sharing my job so no hand over. read more

I Thought I Dealt With An Error?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about one’s evaluation based on two  errors.

I work as a medical professional. I like to believe that I am a very diligent employee (and previous performance reviews confirm this). But over several weeks I made several mistakes- two of them were very, very common errors related to medications/prescriptions, although in this professional, any error can have potential life/limb-damaging consequences.

One of them was a miscommunication- whilst I concede responsibility; I feel that I shouldn’t be the only person wearing all the blame. When the first mistake was pointed out to me, I thought I dealt with it. I called up the persons involved, fixed it, and apologized profusely. In the 2nd instance one of my colleagues sorted out the problem for me- and afterwards I thanked her and apologized also. However, at the very time that these mistakes were being pointed out, I was otherwise engaged in what I thought another important and concentration-demanding task- so I delayed in handling it, and my tone of voice was also dismissive. read more