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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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How Do You Stop Ms. Rude?

A question to Ask theWorkplace Doctors about a rude coworker:

I have a coworker who is very controlling and rude. Whenever we have meetings, she cuts everyone off. She does not listen to anyone’s ideas and she never wants to accept constructive criticism. There was one time where we were doing a group project trying to reorganize things in the office. I had an idea and voiced it out loud. Before I finished my idea, she cut me off and ignored the fact that I was saying anything. How do I confront my coworker without offending her or being rude? But a time I felt good in the workplace is when my manager was cutting all the employees that were minors in half and I went to her respectfully and advocated for myself and got my hours back. This happened in the beginning of the virus pandemic. Signed–Stop Ms. Rude

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Hard and Risky Work But Unappreciated

A question to Ask theWorkplace Doctors about hard work not being appreciated:

Why some are underappreciated in the workplace for putting in more effort.

I have worked at a nursing home/assisted living facility for over a year and a half. I have been there long enough to see that there are a lot of people, including me, who get taken advantage of. Not to sound full of myself or cocky, but I put in a lot more effort and care a lot more about my job than most people and I am not being treated like I do. I train all the new employees and do all kinds of extra work and I am actually thinking of quitting because the raise I was given was not a reflection of the work I do. I just do not understand how over the last few months, they have let all these amazing employees leave because of their treatment.  Signed–Unappreciated

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COVID-19 and Family Separation From Work

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about quitting work in a family restaurant.

For a little over two years I worked at a local restaurant owned by my cousin. I worked alongside other family members while working there as well, so we became pretty close through the years. Due to a recent COVID-19 incident at the restaurant, for my health and my immediate families health I decided to take two weeks off, even though that was not mandatory, but I thought that was the safest option. During those two weeks I went back and forth with my family on what I wanted to do in terms of employment there. My family and I decided my safest option would be to quit working at the restaurant. I called my boss and explained to him my concerns and what I thought the best option for me and my family would be and that I personally did not feel safe working in a restaurant during this time. He was very understanding towards the situation and told me to do what I thought was best for me and my family.
I was very relieved on how the conversation went but I was still a little concerned on the family matter of things. My question is to you, what is the best way to separate family and working matters? I am trying to avoid the awareness, if there is any, next time I see them either at a family event or possibly at my old job. Signed–Covid-19 and Family

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Just the Cashier Lady in a Dirty Shoe Store

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about work in a dirty shoe store:

I work at a shoe store where I am the youngest and the only female employee. I don’t want to stereotype but the men that head the store are just lazy, messy, and inconsiderate. The store’s manager has been the store manager since before I was born, and from what I gather nothing has changed or been simply cleaned forever. Behind the cash register is so dusty and dirty that I can’t help but sneeze every time I work. The break room seems to be infested with flies because no one cleans up after themselves. I never stay in the break room because I feel very uncomfortable there. The table and chairs are covered in old sauces and noodle juice. It smells horrible. 

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Mom and Sis Management of Problem Employees

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how should managers manage unacceptable behavior:

I don’t have a job but my mother is a supervisor at her job and my sister is the manager at her job. Mom always complains about their workers slacking off, being unprofessional, or being rude to them. They’ve been having the problems for months/ years. I wonder how someone in her position would deal with those problems in a professional way. Mom is a supervisor at the Department of Children and Family Services(DCFS). She has a worker who stays up all night watching movies and who frequently calls off for work or calling in because she will arrive late.

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They Messed Up My Schedule

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about inconsiderate scheduling:

I work at a small smoothie place. I have worked here for a little over a year now, and I have been pretty laid-back except for a couple recurring issues. A little background is that all my coworkers are either high school or college girls around my age and our boss named Alice owns the place, but she primarily lives in Florida. She likes to travel down to her home in Florida almost every month and while she is away, she leaves people that she trusts in charge of making the schedule.

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Getting Along With Someone You Dislike

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: How do you put up with working with someone you don’t get along with?

I work at a small grocery store. I have worked here for about 8 months now and I have never gotten along with my one manager, who is always mean and rude to me for no reason. She does petty things like always putting me on the busiest register, yelling at me for dumb things, and not sticking up for me when there have been rude costumers. It got to the point where I had to change my whole work schedule to not have to work with her. But I still end up working with her for a little bit or always seeing her at work.  –Signed  Don’t Get Along

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Miss My Music

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about music on personal devices:

I recently started a new job making more money and everything is great! I work in a warehouse in charge of shipping and receiving trailers. The work can be hectic at times, but the environment is very calm, and they have a great way of keeping it like that. So far I have been working the warehouse for about 6 weeks and I’m already beginning to feel singled out. I can’t combat the hectic work as employees do to drown their sorrows into various music on portable speakers since the warehouse restrictions have a no earbuds policy due to the traffic of heavy machinery.

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Sometimes I’m Homesick

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about taking off to see family:

I work for an insurance company and I struggle with requesting time off to go home and see my family. When I finished college, I did not stay in my hometown which is Cleveland. I moved to Cincinnati because I went to school out there and I liked the environment so I decided to move out there. Since my family still lives in Cleveland and I live in Cincinnati I get homesick sometimes. When it comes to taking time off to see them, my boss is not always understanding.

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You Can Get Away With Anything Working in a Family’s Business

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworkers’ jealousy:

I have been working at my family’s restaurant for over 7 years. I love being able to interact with my family in the work setting and learn new skills/recipes that have been passed down from many generations. I work with over 3 aunts and uncles and about 8 cousins. It makes work fun. The one thing I have always got for many years ever since I started working is the “oh you’re family, you can get away with anything” For some reason that has really bothered me because when you’re in a family’s restaurant it gives you more of a reason not to slack. Family will expect more out of you. But some coworkers don’t understand that because they think a family member can do no wrong in the family owner’s eyes, but that is not that case. Almost everyday I hear something like that, How do I answer that when it actually bothers me? 
Signed–I Can’t and Don’t Slack:

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