Feel Good AT SWAT

“One specific thing that I feel great about is being a hostage negotiator with our regional SWAT team.   The men and women I work with on the negotiators team are incredible and I am truly honored to work with them.  The work we do and serving with the SWAT team definitely makes me feel good.”

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Should I Call My Partner’s Office?

Question: Me and my partner are not married. I am 6 months pregnant. In the first quarter of my pregnancy I found out that he was cheating on me and abandoned me during my pregnancy. Can I call his office and complain about him regarding what he did?

Answer: You must surely be going through some very difficult emotional and physical times right now. I hope you have family to support you, and I sincerely urge you to talk to your physician about other resources that can help you through your pregnancy and into a happy life with your baby. You should also seek legal assistance related to child support. Do it now, rather than waiting until the baby is born, because you will have expenses and need extra help before birth, if the baby’s father has left you on your own. If you are unsure about how to proceed, talk to the Social Services program of your county or state and see if they offer assistance.

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Good Feeling After A Broken Window

A brief story I can recall and offer for Ask the Workplace Doctors comes from more of a neighborhood context rather than the workplace, but it comes from our work providing community mediation. It took place when a senior citizen who lived alone with her two dogs felt very vulnerable when a group of teens were hanging out around her property and she imagined the worst and thought they were a gang.
She felt especially threatened one day when her garage window was broken with a baseball. She called the police but eventually our non-profit agency and mediation program was made aware of the situation and we were able to bring together (this is years ago pre-covid) the senior citizen and the teen and his father for a mediation.

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Guilty for Lying

A very long time ago when the comptroller (at the office where I worked) was fired, the VP of the company asked me if I thought he was having an affair, because of what was found in the comptroller’s desk drawer, and if he was, with whom.

Because I didn’t think he would believe the person I suspected, I named another person. Due to being confined to my home during this pandemic, it has weighed on my mind and I would like to send a letter to the VP, who is now the president, not revealing the person, but to relieve me of being tormented and the anxiety I am experiencing.

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Warehouse Safety Undefined Problems

Currently working in a warehouse, with 20 workforce working for 2 years. This question is related to safety of the people, management and communication. All I need is an idea or sample of the threats and opportunity of being the supervisor of the warehouse for 2 years in relation to safety, communication and management. Despite being there with the team, still some problems were encountered. Thank you in advance.
Signed–Threats and Opportunities 

Dear Threats and Opportunities: Apparently, you are a supervisor of a few words. You allude in a general way to problems pertaining to safety, management and communication, but have not taken time to describe specific instances in which safety has put at risk anyone or harmed products. Because your response is general to my request to say what prompts your question, our response might not be as helpful as it could be. 

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Fired for Sleeping

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a supervisor and an abrupt firing:

I was accused of sleeping at my desk. I had laid my head on the desk for 5 minutes before my manager came behind me and kicked my chair, startling me. I had worked through my 1 hr lunch and had developed a horrible headache and nausea. I was also having sharp pains in my left ear. When I tried to explain to her that I was not asleep but that I was having a medical situation, she simply fired me.

I had set a reminder on my phone for 15 min just prior to laying my head down. The reminder was to take my medicine for my bladder condition. I only mention the reminder because from the time I set the 15 minute reminder to the time I was cleaning out my desk after being terminated, the alarm went off. Meaning that I was accused of sleeping, terminated and cleaning out my desk in less than 15 min. She humiliated me in front of coworkers, accused me of sleeping when I was in fact sick (my eardrum has ruptured) because of a coworker who later bragged about telling my boss I was asleep, causing her to come to my desk. I don’t believe it can be legal for her to do any of that. Signed–Fired For Sleeping

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Love My Job

I’ve been in Biology for three years now, and I’m really loving it.  The department is so large that they have multiple support staff, and I get to do my absolute favorite thing, which is personnel.  Everything from placing ads for new hires (they have a LOT of grants, huge amounts, and are always hiring research techs and postdocs), through RTP and eventually retirement.  It’s a very kind, grateful, fun, appreciative department with lots of laughter.  I love it.

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Unhappy about Time

Question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about reporting time:

Is it legal for my office coordinator to ask me to fill out a timesheet every two weeks on a spreadsheet, when I’m already doing my time sheet online through Human Resource. And she doesn’t want it as a pdf which cannot be changed. I’ve been working at my company for over twenty years and have never had to fill out two time cards. I work for a very large mutual insurance company and I looked up this new office coordinator’s background and she is supposed to be some sort of stress relief or motivator of sorts. Every Friday, we have to come up with a game to play at 4:30 which is a pain in the you know what when a bunch of people are trying to complete their work. So why is she asking us to give her a two week timesheet? I don’t know of any company that fills out two time sheets. To top that, she’s an email spammer! Could it be that she is just looking for something to do? I don’t get it. Signed Time for a Change

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Working in the Horse Barn With Lazy Jan

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker:

I work at a horse barn and I have a coworker that has been working much longer than I have and at times is my “boss” if my original boss is not around. She is quite lazy when it comes to doing her job. Everyone there does the same type of work no matter if you’re new or not. Frequently through each shift she will disappear for like 20 minutes and sit down somewhere on her phone. No one really says anything because she is bestfriends with the boss. But then she still will yell at people for being lazy even though she disappears every time we’re about to do something hard. So my question is, how do I mention to either her or my boss about trying to get her to be more involved and not disappear when we have to do things that are hard?  Signed– Where’s Lazy Jan

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Not Enough Time For Work and School

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about work vs. school:

I’ve come into a recent problem with my job as of late, causing me to not be able to take care of my classwork properly like I should. Now I know that normally the answer to this question would be quite simple, just request more hours off to help alleviate more time for me to do things school related and to be able to catch up on homework. However, just recently we got very short handed at the last minute and was desperately needed for my skills at my job. The fact being that I’ve worked there for just about a year now and all of my managers are very impressed with my improvements I feel that it’s a good thing, but I have run into a problem. I’m working way too much(pretty much 40 hours a week) alongside being in school full time, and I don’t know what to do. 

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