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Ask the Workplace Doctors is a FREE resource to help you find solutions to workplace communication problems.  

1. You may find the answer to your question in our archive of over 3,000 questions and responses in the categories on the right.

2. You will receive an email response. When your question is posted, it will be shown as anonymous.

3. Our expertise is workplace communication, not legal or medical concerns. Under the “Useful Links” tab at the top, we list sites to which you might submit legal and medical questions.

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She Mocked Me

A question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a workplace family matter:

I have been an Assistant Manager at a local car wash for about 6 months. Before, I was a regular line employee. It is a very high volume car wash with a lot of top dollar luxury vehicles. We wash anywhere from 25-90 cars an hour, so it is very important to trust your employees and give them the proper instruction. We must keep the same quality from car to car. I have never really had a problem with employees after being promoted except for 1 particular employee, my sister.

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A Hobby Is Good Job Prep

Because I am a high school student and do not have a job yet, I chose a hobby of mine. Something that I picked up this past year has been filmography. Creating short videos of things both big and small, and then posting it on YouTube. The way this connects to other people, is obviously when they choose to watch a video I’ve made. Another is when they like, comment, share, or subscribe to my channel. When they respond positively,

I know that I am doing something right, be it, I’m inspiring them, or bringing them a smile. If they respond negatively, I know that the negative reactions come from one of two things: 1) I did something wrong, whether it is moral, political, etc. or 2) the reactor has a different opinion than my own. Another, I suppose, could just be the reaction of a spam/ troll account on YouTube…I enjoy this hobby and it allows me to express my creativity while also connecting with others. 

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On Target

There have definitely been multiple times when I was at work and felt good afterwards based on actions that were taken. But one that stood out to me was when I was working at Target, and it had just started to pick up, meaning more people were coming in to shop at the store. Typically, we only have one cashier scheduled, but everyone on the floor is cashier trained, so if they need help they ask for additional cashiers to come to the front lanes. So it started to get busy and I responded to back up, but once my line is clear I would go back to what I was doing. I responded a few times to back up because no one else was, and I knew I wasn’t the only one on the floor. After my third time responding to backup, someone went over to the walkie and said someone else needed to respond so I could get done what I needed to. This felt good to me because they noticed that I was the only one responding to backup.

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Is it Sexual Harassment for a Co-Worker To Be in Relationship With a Family Member of Mine?

Question:
A coworker of mine had a sexual relationship with a family member of mine.  Is that considered sexual harassment?

Response: I can understand that such a situation as you describe could be uncomfortable at work, especially if the coworker and your family member have broken up or if there were bad feelings between them at some point. It would also be uncomfortable if some aspect of the situation was problematic—for example, if one or both of the people were already married to someone else.

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Co-Worker Plays Music and Managers Haven’t Helped!

Question:
I have a co-worker who has been in our office six months. I have been there ten years. She plays her music right next to my cubicle and I’ve told her many times I can’t concentrate with her music on. But she doesn’t care. I’ve gone to my managers and all they say is well we can hear you when you talk or laugh way back here. Nothing is done about the radio or the disrespect this girl shows towards me. I’m at a loss. Is there a law about this anywhere? I am a federal employee so I’m not sure if the laws are different.

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Feels Good To Help Those Who Can Do Nothing In Return

 What makes me feel good?  Helping people. But especially helping people who can do nothing for me in return….  I work in a summer camp that my twin brother helped start years ago. It started with four children who had autism and is now for ages 3-22, includes all disabilities, and has by now a couple hundred campers.  Every child deserved the incredible experience of a fun summer and being special should not make any difference.  

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Feel Good Balanced Against Frustrations

I feel good when I work hard and can see myself improving in my work. I am a hair stylist and I am newly on the floor at my salon. The other stylist that I work with are quite older and have been doing hair for much longer than me. When I say quite older I mean that they are all between 22-31. A specific instance that I would like to talk about just happened over the weekend.

I had a girl in my chair that had very coarse, very thick curly hair. I am not used to working with hair like this as those clients are usually given to the upper level stylist. I did not know what products to use or how to do her hair. Luckily, I asked one of the stylist that is used to doing curly hair and she gave me exactly what products to use and how much to use of them. She told me how to blow-dry and straighten it to get the best results. It came out amazing! The other stylist (Ashley) gave me a compliment on it which is a pretty big deal as Ashley can be hard to warm up to. My client left feeling very happy and she even told me that most people cannot get her hair as straight as I did. It made me feel very good inside to help someone feel as beautiful as she did when she left the salon that day!

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Co-Worker Is Obsessed With Her Dislike of Me!

Question:
I’ve worked for my company for about 1 year now. I was promoted 2 months after I started. My old boss is now my colleague as we share the same boss. I was promoted to a trainer position on her shift. Any new employees that comes in, I am responsible for their training and development.

The first day of my new position she came up with the idea that I was trying to take her job. She is known for being extremely rude and unbearable. Plenty of people quit because they couldn’t deal with her behavior. She has loud outbursts on the production floor, she yells at people and cries at the drop of a dime. I’ve always been cordial to her and tried to help her as much as possible.

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