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.

read more

Why Am I Being Moved Around at Work?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about possible reasons for several instances of being relocated within the workplace.

A month ago, I started a new job as a cashier and still haven’t created many contacts with my colleagues. However, they were all friendly until something unusual happened. I was sitting back to back with a male colleague and we had spoken to each other a little bit, when the manager saw us and said something to our supervisor. A minute later the supervisor came and asked my male colleague to move.

read more

Communication Between Floor and Office

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about disrespect.

Hello, I am an extruder operator for a rubber factory. I have worked for my current company about six years, but I worked at the now closed Johnson Rubber for thirty-five years. I have moved up to middle management within these six years. From my experience as a floor worker who has moved up the ladder, I have noticed that the communication between the floor workers and the office users. The lower staff/ floor workers feel disrespected at times. What can I bring up in our daily/monthly meetings to improve the communication and relations between the levels of the company ladder?

read more

Given My Coworker-Friend’s Job

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stress caused by being assigned to a coworker-friend’s job:

I am covering for my coworker who is out for 6 weeks. We have became really great friends over the last year. I was approached by our boss and was told/offered my friends job. I do like the job. My friend has complained about the job for 2 years. But they are making me take it. I know my friend is going to feel like I stabbed her in the back and not have anything to do with me. I don’t know what to do.

read more

My Husband’s Assistant Is Trying To Stake Her Claim to Him

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an
administrative assistant who treats her boss’s wife discourteously. 


My husband has had a new female assistant for a couple of months. For the way our life was structured I had to give up to my life and become a supportive wife and mother, a job I have carried out with dedication and passion. Our life situation has now forced me to live away from my husband to follow-up on the children’s education.

I went back home during the holiday and met his assistant for the first time. I was unhappy about the choice and would rather have had a man, however, I very kindly welcomed her. After a few days she seemed to be pushing me out of what she considers her territory. She said things I consider completely inappropriate. For example: I wished her a happy new year and she replied, “First thing, we are going to fix Peter’s health this year.” (As if she was part of his personal life and thought I wasn’t taking care of him as I should, as his wife.)

read more

Coworker Once Friendly Now Distant

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker’s distant behavior.

I’m working in a small company with around 8 employees including me. I have an issue with a co-worker who seems to be distancing herself from me for no apparent reason. We used to talk but we hardly converse nowadays.

When I addressed my concerns, she came up with a “talk less, listen more” excuse, which I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Ironically, she’s still in her cheerful personality when she talks to others, but gave me the cold shoulder when I tried to converse with her.

read more

Accountant Given HR Responsibilities

Question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being hired as an accountant but given HR responsibilities.

I started with this company 9 months ago as a Accounts Payable and then got promoted to staff accountant right after my probation period of three months ended. I was put in the situation where I had to help with HR related work since we do not have a dedicated HR person. Few months later my boss got fired and our entire team changed. My new boss keeps taking away my accounting work and keep giving it to the senior accountant (who doesn’t like me since I am much younger than her and know the business a little more than she does). Her and other new people in our department keep making personal comments on my appearance to the point where I go home and cry myself to bed every night. Should I just quit my job because the company dynamics are changed?

read more

How Should I Treat A Co-Worker Who Is Given Preferential Treatment?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about relationships with a co-worker
who seems to be getting preferential treatment.


Should I stop talking to a coworker who is clearly given partiality on the work line by the line leader? I have been a good sport about this for a long time and it has not changed. I am now very resentful that I am given jobs that are difficult and she is exempt because of their friendship.

Without knowing any details of the situation it is difficult to give specific advice, but I can certainly give you something to consider: If your coworker is a friend of the line leader and you stop talking to the coworker, it is probable that the line leader will hear about it and will not view you favorably. Do you think that will help you get better jobs or even more difficult ones? Refusing to talk pleasantly to a coworker is never the solution to a work problem related to a supervisor.

read more

What Should I Do About Having My Pregnancy Secret Announced?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about
having a pregnancy secret disclosed by a manager.

I found out I was pregnant, and decided to disclose it to my general manager when I was about 9 weeks along. I told her in a pure honest effort to give her notice of the event.  Since I’ve been employed there I have miscarried three times. I told her the news in complete confidentiality and she was extremely aware that I did not want anyone to know until I felt it was necessary, or safe enough to do so.

read more

Did I Over-Step The Mark?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accessing coworker’s account:

I have access to everyone’s emails as the only IT person, but I got into trouble for going into a colleague’s account to get information I need, even though I repeatedly asked for the information. How do I avoid this in the future?

I have always been employed in workplaces where it’s just presumed that you are monitored and that your emails can be accessed if someone requires information.

At my new position (as a manager), I have access to everyone’s email accounts including other department managers. I had requested information, several times, from another manager so I could meet some important deadlines, imposed by the CEO. After asking for the information from the manager and being given the complete run around, I spoke to the CEO who said “work it out with them” (even tho I had tried). So I took it upon myself to pop in to the managers work emails and grab the information I needed (after all I need this to meet a deadline and keep my job).

read more