Boss Seeks To Document Failure!

Question: to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loss of respect.

Where do I start? I work in a financial institution, and I obviously understand the importance of following policies in regards to loss prevention. Recently, it seems like I cannot do anything right. I get written up for nearly everything, and live in constant fear that every day could be my last. I am an intelligent person with a strong background in customer service, and I consider myself to have common sense. Yet, I feel like I am working for an institution that is looking to document your failures. This is contributing to a negative energy in our office. There are several employees that feel the same way that I do. I am frustrated that I am having such difficulty doing a job that is not difficult, and that does not pay well, and it is crushing my self esteem. I try to remain positive, and learn from my mistakes, but I feel like I have no future with this company because of it.

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Watched For Seven Years!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about emotional break down:

I just found your site by accident, and I wish I would have found it seven years ago. I am sorry it may take a little time to tell my story and I know that you do not offer legal advise but here goes. I came to work in my present position seven years ago. I am a clerical support person for six social workers. They had a supervisor and I have a clerical supervisor. However, I did report directly to their supervisor and seldom had contact with my supervisor. He was horribly abusive to me, and on many occasions I went to HR about it. He constantly accused me of stealing and had people walk past my door and watch me constantly and even come over and check out my lunch while I was eating.

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False Allegation Of Harassment!


Two weeks ago I found myself the subject of a harassment case at work. A fellow workmate had contacted our firms personnel department and named me in his report as the cause of his harassment at work. An investigation took place within work and interviews were held. My immediate boss and his boss were interviewed, as was myself and another workmate, who my accuser had called as a witness. My personnel department contacted me last week to inform me that they had spoken to my accuser and told him their findings and asked him if he was happy with the findings and the way it had all been handled. He said that he was happy. I was never told what the findings were and no changes have been made in my workplace, i.e., no one has been made to move shifts, so I assume from this that the investigation found the allegations untrue. Could you tell me if I am entitled to know the findings of the investigation and, as I have been at my wits end with worry for the last two weeks, have I got any comeback against my accuser? I don’t know if it makes any difference but I am in Northern Ireland.

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I Don’t Like To Make Threats To Get Rules Obeyed!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about manager threats: Frequently I resort to statements like it is an expected behavior and you need to make a decision to accept it or consider looking elsewhere.

I am the manager of a diverse group of respiratory therapist at the only hospital in a community of 60,000. Sometimes it seems like pulling teeth to get them all to agree and act on the latest policies coming from administration, such as no smoking on company grounds including the parking lots. Frequently I resort to statements like it is an expected behavior and you need to make a decision to accept it or consider looking elsewhere. I would prefer employees would accept new rules and not push the envelope. How can I get the message across without implied threats?

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Martial Arts Instructor Put Down By Associate!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworker put downs:

I am a teacher in the martial arts and work with another female instructor. We have worked together for eight years. I feel that she abuses me and demoralizes me on a regular bases, although it is very sneaky and completely unexpected on my part. It will always be with a smile, but she will tell me things like I’m so gullible, she wishes I were a whole person. I’ve tried to talk with her, tried to tell her how I feel and that she hurts my feelings all the time. But it always comes down to being my fault, whatever it is. We work together every day as we have evening classes at two colleges in the same town. It seems there is just no way to get away from her and there is no one above us that I can talk to.

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A Co-worker Friend Might Be Laid Off


In a private board meeting, I learned that my best friend is about to be laid off. My friend is in the process of buying a new house. How should I handle this situation?


Worried For Her


Dear Worried For Her:

This is an ethical question we have addressed another time from another employee who was in the know of a termination of a friend. In that case the employee, who sent the question, knew her friend was about to be fired and was about to go in debt for a new car. If she disclosed that the boss was interviewing someone to replace this friend, the friend might quit early and it could get back to her boss that she was betraying a confidence. In a similar way, you are facing the same problem–your friend is in the process of buying a new house and is about to be laid off. What do you think you should do? From the little you say, I assume that what you learned what revealed in confidence.

If you hint to your friend, “maybe you should check with your boss to learn how stable is your job before you sign the papers of a new house”, surely your friend will suspect you know something she does not. And when the friend confronts the boss, undoubtedly he will suspect that what you learned at the board meeting had been disclosed–in Washington D.C. terms “had been leaked without the boss’s permission.”

Have you spoken with the boss, or whomever will be the bearer of bad news to your friend, to apprise her/him that this co-worker is in the process of buying a house, probably under the assumption that her job is secure? Once you put this ball in that individual’s hands, you have opened the door to the ethical dilemma you feel–wanting to help your friend and expecting the friend once she gets the bad news to confront you, “Did you know anything about this and if so why didn’t you warn me???” And because you know that friends do not lie to one another, you cannot say, “No, I had heard nothing.” The boss then should make her/his wishes known about what is ethically permissible for you to do or not do. Putting your self in other’s shoes, both a friend’s and your organization’s, is WEGO mindedness.

There may other ways to work through this should I or shouldn’t I say something. If so , please let us know.

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One Of Our Staff Has The Boss’s Attention!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss’s favorite who loafs:

What do you do if an employee in your office is always in the in the bosses office visiting? This employee does the least in the office, yet she seems to be his favorite, which the other employees notice. We have a hard working team, with the exception of this one employee. The other staff members notice how little she does, but they don’t voice their complaints, because it might make their own working relationship with the boss uncomfortable. This employee has gone to great lengths to get noticed by the boss. She joined his church, choir, any committees he is on, and even became friends with his daughters. The strength behind this business is the other employees who genuinely care, and work hard for this company. Their efforts should be equally appreciated. This is a non-union business with only 6 employees. Any advice from you would be greatly appreciated.

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My Boss Expects Me To Lie. I Don’t!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about lying.

I’m an Administration Assistant for a law firm. My boss doesn’t like the term “not available.” He would prefer I tell callers he is “not here” or “in a meeting” when he chooses not to take a call.I cannot do that. I do not lie. How can I get around this without offending him and still be able to handle the front desk? Are there other terms beside “not available” I can use? Thank you

Signed, Can’t Do That

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Boss’s Husband Plays Bodyguard!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rude body guard:

The boss’s (president) husband has been with the company as bookkeeper for 18 months. He’s an ok guy but more and more he appears to be checking on our whereabouts, questioning our work. He’s rude when he needs information and makes a few unsavory comments. He acts like the boss’s bodyguard and we feel she is unaccessable now. He’s not the boss.

I’m a vice president and administrative director. I am afraid his way with my employees will cause me to lose excellent people. We’ve been coworkers for 15 years. The boss and I share our hobby out of work. Do I approach him first? I hate to do what he does and go running to the boss. Thanks for your time.

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Can I Be Fired For Making Out With A Sexy Guy?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about possible romance between employees:

I am a disabled female worker in the UK. I have a supported job with the council. In my last department, I met a really sexy, single guy. He is a lot older than me. We swapped contact details and things get intense, on the phone, at times. I think we have stopped the relationship, but would his bosses have any right to fire him if they found out about us, presuming things had gone further?

Signed, What If

Dear What If:

I don’t know. Are there council policy guidelines for you and co-workers? This is something you might be able to learn by a brief talk with your Human Resources Manager or an attorney who deals with labor issues. I welcome hearing from you about what you learn. Sorry, I cannot be more helpful. Probably the best route for you both is to let a sleeping dog lie.– Bill Gorden The Workplace Doctors WEGO at the most intimate level is mutual attraction. However, that is personal business that does not foster the work of the organization.

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