Before You Submit Your Question…….

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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Happy Birthday, You are Older

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about posting Birthdays.

Is there a form that I can have each employee sign giving permission for our Company to post their Birthday? Just a simple form that the employee can sign for the Company to post their Birthday on a  Company-Wide Calendar. I know some companies refuse to post Birthdays and some have a permission form.  We would like to request a form if at all possible. –Signed Permission for a Happy Birthday

Dear Permission for a Happy Birthday:

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What Should I Do About the Crush I Have On My Boss?

Question:
I don’t feel this way about anybody else. I tried to be with someone else and no sparks. When I hear my boss’s voice at work I’m in awe! He’s the boss of everyone else. My normal manager is just my manager, but my boss is a leader to everyone. He’s not married, but he does have children and it sounds like he’s a great Dad.

He treats me with respect as I’m sure he has to treat everyone with respect. When I hear his voice it’s like nothing else matters. He probably isn’t even interested in me! I just don’t know how to get over the infatuation!

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Doesn’t It Seem Unfair That My Wife Was Fired?

Question:
My wife loves her (former) job and has great rapport with all the nurses and doctors at her location. The employer deals with outpatient procedures and has multiple locations. She trains all new staff and has made several referrals that have all worked out for the company.

But today, she just got fired for spreading rumors. It started more than a year ago when she noticed two doctors she works with being overly friendly and suspected a relationship. Both doctors have spouses. She is very good friends with one of the doctors (Doctor Y) so she asked him directly if there was something ‘there’. The doctor confirmed but then backed walked when he realized how direct he had been, but also followed up that he’d never let it get too far. They discussed this relationship for a while.

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Texted Criticism of Bosses

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about disclosure of texted criticism of bosses:

I recently vented to my longtime friend and coworker via our personal phones, about my unhappiness with my work situation and made comments about my bosses out of frustration. She then told HR that I was unhappy, they asked what I said and asked to see the text messages (without my consent or knowledge prior). Now I’m being told that my texts were considered harassment and go against company guidelines since they were sent during company hours (we are working remotely, so they were not sent while on the property, and again on non-work devices).

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Warned!

What should be written in response to a verbal warning, acknowledging I received it?  Signed –Warned  

Dear Warned,

If the warning was written, sign your name that you received it. And if you think the warning was correct, apologize and promise to do your best to not allow it to happen again. If you feel it was not your fault, explain briefly why. Describe what happened prior to the incident for which you were blamed. Perhaps ask for specific instructions, more training or advice on how to avoid being blamed.   Whatever the warning, it’s wise to commit yourself to doing good work and to working cooperatively with your workgroup.

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Black Listed by Former Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace about what a former boss said.

I do truly believe that I am being blackballed by an old boss from about ten years ago. I left for several reasons but mostly tired of working 12 hour days(salary position) and $$ issues. My salary was a direct line item expense for my boss. I had been promised after one year I would receive a raise. Company mergers and I was given a two year contract of course at my starting salary. (If I was a terrible employee she could have used the merger as an excuse to get rid of me but didn’t) The new company HR messed up and mailed me both my and my bosses contract. Well turns out the boss is in the 98th salary percentile while I’m in less than 25 percentile.

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What If I Can’t Do A Task I’ve Been Given?

Question:
I feel scared about a new task delegated to me. I don’t know how to do it and I am not sure if I want to do it. But it’s my job and I can’t lose my job. What should I do?

Answer:
An effective supervisor or manager will not delegate a task that an employee has not been trained to do, has not done correctly in the past, or cannot easily learn to do. It may be that your supervisor did not follow that important rule. Or, it may be that even if you do not know exactly how to do the new task, your supervisor thinks you should or could be able to learn to do it easily. Your boss may have more confidence in you than you do!

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Was A Long-Ago Event An Assault?

Question:
I have been in my present job thirty-two years. I started my job when I was 18 or 19. There was a coworker who bullied me for over ten years! One time he grabbed me by neck and by my trousers and threw me nearly head first into a van ,where we were loading food. I felt very upset at the time but didn’t show it. The co-worker retired many years ago. Is that classed as an assault?

Answer:
Whatever the reason for your coworker’s actions, it sounds as though he was older than you, which would have made his actions seem even more threatening, since you probably had been on the job less time. 

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I’ve Been Blackballed And Can’t Get A Job

Question:
I cannot find a job in nursing being an RN. There are many jobs but I cannot get hired in my own city and I can’t get an explanation why. How do I get off the blackball list? What should I do?

Answer:
It sounds as though your situation involves much more than we can help you with in a casual response, so I suggest the following: 

1.  Talk to someone closer to you who knows you and your situation. You need to be able to talk about the background of your work problems and what has brought you to your current state of feeling black-balled. 

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Warehouse Warning Because Of My National Origin?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a warning: I am working in a Warehouse. And one day I finished my work early and I tried to book half a day off. The team leader said okay. After 1 hour the team leader comes to tell me that I can’t go home cause I need to go to another building and work there when I had booked my half day already. Now they will give a warning but I don’t see it as fair.

I have colleagues that are taking sick days every week for 4-5 months and nothing happens to them. I am thinking it is because I am of a different nationality and it is easier to make me do something that others don’t want to do. Could you please advise if I should say something In my meeting or just agree with what they say.

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