Fired by Boss Having an Affair

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being fired by a friend’s boss having an affair:

I was fired from Microsoft in 2004. (writing anonymously for now)

I knew it was going to happen the minute my best friend’s husband became my new supervisor. 20k employees, and he ends up being my boss. My friend and I met at our daughters’ daycare not at work! What were the odds.

He was having an affair with a woman down the hall from us. I figured it out at the Holiday Party, 2003, that was hosted at the Seahawk Stadium. I confirmed it with my friend, who had not told me yet. She had herself only just learned of it.

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My New Hire Is Frequently In My Way

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about interpersonal distance:

I own a small biz, recently hired someone. This person always needs to be walking in the same path as me, which means she walks into me or has a near miss, at least 5-6 times per day. We work in an open space (2200 sq ft) yet if I am in one area, she needs to be in same area at the same time, and wants me to get out of her way. For example I was making something and she wanted to pass a rolling ladder that would run over my work. All she needed to do was go around another way. But I had to stop what I was doing and explain that if she did this she would destroy my work. Which she did the day before. So she stood there waiting until I told her to do something else. 

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Delayed Reviews Make Me Anxious and Annoyed

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a second review being delayed and delayed:

Hello, I have been at my current job for a year and 4 months. I graduated college in May 2016 and this is my first “adult” job. We are a relatively new (3 years), very small private company and there are only 9 of us in the office. My co-workers and I report to our Director of Operations, and she reports to our COO. I love it here- my co-workers are amazing, my superiors are very relaxed, and the work environment is super casual. The only thing that bothers me is that my supervisor does not follow through on things that are said.

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Difficult Employee When Corrected Charges Racism

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how do I handle a difficult employee who is creating a hostile work environment?
I have an employee that is constantly saying the company is racist. This particular employee is not a good performer and is making a hostile work environment! Every time this particular person is written up for various infractions, they scream racism. Everyone is disciplined fairly. It is not fair to everyone else who follows the rules. HR will do nothing! How can I handle this employee and make this a positive experience for everyone else in the department?

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Performance Evaluations As A Team–Boyfriend and Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about performance evaluations as a team: 

“My boyfriend and I were evaluated as a team and we both got raises.  
How I can ensure that the new boss continues doing that?”


I have been at my current job for 6 1/2 years now. I work as a cash accountant assistant. While this is my title I still do any job that needs to be done, i.e. cashiering, supervising, covering breaks in different areas of the store, pricing, stocking, customer service.

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Anonymous Survey

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about attitude survey: How do I know if my boss saw my answers?

My director asked everyone to fill out an anonymous survey. I did. Then my manager calls me in the conference room to have a talk to me about the anonymous survey and has been acting negative towards me ever since. What can I do? I feel she is targeting me now because of this survey. Any advice would be great. Thanks,

Signed, Anonymous???


Dear Anonymous???:

Advice? Here’s my advice in a nutshell: Meet with your manager again and say what you have in this question. Be upfront with him that you feel now after the survey that was to be anonymous, you sense he treats you negatively. Say you want to learn how you might change if he has reasonable negative assessment of your performance. Couple this with a request that you want his advice on your career path.

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Unfair Workload & Snide Manager

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about workload: I work longer and harder but am criticized for inefficiency; how should I react?

My Manager is forcing a workload on me that is unfair in comparison to another worker, who he coincidentally has a stronger friendship with  a brown noser. When I attempt to hover around the subject of workload, the only response I get is that I’m not being “efficient” enough. I am confident this is not the case and can prove otherwise. I rarely have time for a lunch break over 15 mins and often need to work unpaid overtime. My counterpart coworker, in the 2 years I’ve known him, has never worked 10 minutes overtime and almost never had less than a 1 hour lunch break. Something tells me also that a constructive dismissal could be in the Manager’s cards, as I believe the workload situation will either lead to a mistake by me or provoke me to crack under the pressure.

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Treated Unfairly

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a resume: Recently they asked me to bring my CV; they lost it

I have been with the company for 18 years. Recently they asked me to bring my CV; they lost it. I need to know if I should bring an upgraded one or the one that they interviewed me when I start working at this company.

Signed, Been Here Done That

Dear Been Here Done That:

The fact that you have been asked for a CV may simply be that HR is updating its files. However, the fact that you wonder what is requested (who keeps one that is 18 years old) indicates that communication within your workplace could be better. You can ask which is wanted, but I recommend that you don’t ask; rather bring an updated one. Include in it tasks, projects you have done, ways you have cut wasted supplies, time, energy, and money.

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Confidentiality During Performance Reviews

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about context of a performance appraisal  review: when I went to close the door, he said to leave it open, so it stayed half-opened, half closed.

I just completed my Performance Appraisal review with my boss this morning. In the past (with previous Managers as well as the current one), our performance meetings were held behind closed doors, for confidentiality purposes. Today was different – when I went to close the door, he said to leave it open, so it stayed half-opened, half closed. He then proceeded to open the door all the way. My reviews aren’t very negative; I barely get feedback at all. I describe my job (note: I am the only one who holds my position, in an office of 10 employees) and what I do on a daily basis, reminding him of the tasks I accomplish and even those beyond my job description as “added value” (such as assisting with computers, and software).

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Working Jerk Updated

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a negative perception.

I’m seen as a jerk in the workplace, some of it deserved and some not. I’m seen as not a team player, sometimes because I used my initiative and it wasn’t welcome. I think I’m seen as abrasive. I want to change. I want to fit in better with my coworkers. What do you recommend I do to improve my situation? Thank you.

Signed, I’m Seen As A Jerk

Dear I’m Seen As A Jerk:

Years ago, after an article titled Working With A Jerk described our Ask the Workplace Doctors site appeared in the Washington Post, questions on that topic that we received increased ten-fold. Evidently, you are not the only one seen as a jerk. The feeling you are disliked probably prompts your question and that is a worthy motivation to change your behavior. However, hopefully your desire to not be seen as a jerk comes from a genuine understanding of what it means to add value to your team and workplace because that is the right way to behave.

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