Who Gets The Window?

Question to the Workplace Doctors about a room with a view: I am one of two supervisors that want the larger cubical by the window.

My company is currently moving people to other areas. This is opening up vacant cubical space. I am one of two supervisors that want the larger cubical by the window. I am a female, been with the company 26 years, have a degree, have a larger workload and files to maintain, and have been in my cubical for 10 years. The other supervisor is a male, been with the company 2 years, does not have a degree, less files to maintain, and has been in his current cubical for 1 year. Our Manager mentioned that we would have to “duke it out” as to who would get the window cubical. I prematurely said I am fine where I am at, but now I really want this cubical. How do I approach my boss that I now have a desire for this cubical?

read more

Forced To Listen To Loud Music

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music:

I have seen several questions dealing with people who want to listen to music in the workplace. I am stuck on the other end of that question. Two of the ladies in my office want to listen to the radio while they work. One of them says it makes her talk less–that definitely isn’t true! As a working Supervisor, I have to do some management functions and also some very difficult dicta typing. I can’t even hear myself think because of the music and talk programs on the radio. Due to space constraints, the best location I can get is on the opposite side of the office from the radio, with a small divider but no walls; the divider does nothing to block the noise. A couple of other (less-powerful) ladies in the office also dislike the radio, but their supervisor likes it, so she and the two (more-powerful) radio-players want it left as is.

read more

Boss Comes Down On Us?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about race: My boss has been receiving complaints from a nasty co-worker regarding everyone in our office.

My boss has been receiving complaints from a nasty co-worker regarding everyone in our office. Rather than come down on the woman (who has already played the race card) she chose to come down on us. Most recently, she has told me that I MUST take a lunch break. I work 30 hours a week, 6 hours a day. She has told me that by law I have to take a break. I always thought that in PA you only get an unpaid lunch break if you work more than 6 hours a day.

read more

When Music Is Noise!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about noise:

I work at a large manufacturing facility. Many of the workers have radios at their stations. It seems that everyone prefers her/his own station. This results in a hodge-podge of noise. Our supervisor has threatened to ban radios all together. Our workers must be alert to voices so headphones are out. Please advise. Thanks so much



Dear EarsAPoppin:

I’m very biased on this subject. I do not believe that radios should be placed at the individual workstations. The company may wish to install a music system that plays soft, light music throughout the work place. If the hodge-podge of “noise” created by all the different radios is bothering you, it’s probably bothering others as well. I suggest you speak to the supervisor about eliminating the radios and go to company-wide music system (which could be used as an intercom system for announcements, etc.) Best of luck. Gerald Allen, Guest Respondent with HR experience. The Workplace Doctors Consideration of others is the base rock of organization ethics. It is thinking WEGO.

read more

Changed Jobs And Should Not Have!


I have recently changed positions. I was a bank teller and now work for a finance company in the call centre. I am finding the call centre work to be extremely demanding and think I am losing my mind. I was part time and now full time, I have been so stressed with the call centre that I asked to do part time. > I am so embarrassed to leave, but am not sure what to do, the bosses are so nice but saying the same thing over and over really gets to me. I don’t know what to do. I love the full time pay but am not coping. Any suggestions?

read more

Hope With A Boss/Owner Like Mine?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about bully boss:

I’ve worked for my printing company for 12 yrs. From almost the beginning of its existence, I have learned the business basically by just being thrown into it. I started at a very low entry level and have worked my way up to a pretty good salary. My company started with just a couple of people and now we have branches all over the US.Now that we are bigger then ever, my boss, the owner, is your classic textbook bully. He embarrasses you in public for no reason puts you down every chance he gets. If you get up to get a fresh pen from the supply closet, he screams why are you not at your desk. What happens when you go to the restroom? You return to a screaming nut. If you are asked to do something that my take a couple of hours, he will ask you every 10 minute till it’s done. At times when this is done to other employees and I am in the office after the employee leaves, he sits there laughing and comments how he loves his power.This was not done early on because he needed his people and that’s why we where taken care of back in those days. When the company first started, he asked a lot of his fellow prior employees to come on board with a great salary and car. And they turned him down. So we proved we are what made the company successful. But in the last couple of years, his prior employees’ companies went under, and they came running to us. They were hired at higher salaries than the six of us who have helped build this place from the start. He has made fun of the way we look, made comments if we gain a little weight, and pries into our personal lives. He makes fun of us every chance he gets. When we need to leave early for the doctor or a far ride to a Wake, we are told no. But if the new people need time to take his motorbike to repair it’s a yes. We are not union and have no HR department. If I leave, I will have to take a cut in salary. Do I have any hope here?

read more

We Work With A Rat!


I work at a nursing home in Recreational Therapy. I am considered an aid, and the department head is my supervisor. Above her is the Administrator. In our department there are several aids including one who is very manipulative and underhanded. She from the very beginning decided that she liked to do things independently from the group. Unfortunately, in our field teamwork is required. Over the past year or so this particular co-worker has cozied up to the administrator to the point of dating his brother at one time. When this co-worker doesn’t get her way from our supervisor she immediately that day goes to the administrator to plead her case. She gets her way, and in the process, undermines our department head, whom the rest of us greatly respect. She has so skillfully manipulated her way into the administrator’s good graces that she has made the entire department nervous to the point that we consider her the office rat.

We all feel very uncomfortable around her and feel she is a compulsive liar as she has obviously fabricated many stories including an injury which put much stress on our department while she was out on workers comp. This co-worker was witnessed in a mall pushing a baby stroller a Sunday afternoon prior to the Monday she filed a work related injury that occurred the previous week. This was mentioned to the administrator, but he brushed it off. He could not believe this person would lie. It is so complicated and stressful. I hope that you can give some sort of advice on how to manage this. Also, just a FYI, the head of HR is the administrator’s mother. Thank you.

read more

Tampered With My Time Card!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time card error:

About three months ago I took a new job as a supervisor. The problem was that the guy that was in the position got demoted to being under me. He could not handle the job. Well today I got called in to the owner’s office and got accused of messing with my time card. I went around and around with them telling them it was not me. After almost losing my job we come to find out that it was my co- worker that set me up. He has it out for me and now I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping he gets himself caught. Is there anything I can do legally to get him off my back.

read more

Is A Warning By Phone Enough?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about verbal warnings:

Can a verbal warning be done via phone or does it have to be done face to face? What’s the rule for giving a verbal warning?

Signed, Rules

Dear Rules:

A verbal warning can be 1) Verbal; 2) Via telephone; 3) Via fax; 4) Via written document or any other form of communication so that you receive the warning. If they want to send it by certified mail then you received a verbal warning if such a warning has been either designated as verbal or deemed to be verbal by a reasonable person. You sir, are obfuscating the issue. You have been warned not to obfuscate in the future otherwise you will receive a written warning in the opinion of Dan Kearney, Guest Respondent & HR Manager

read more

Signing A Verbal Warning?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about signing a verbal warning report:

A verbal warning is given, HR documents the verbal warning. Would you recommend the employee signing something acknowledging they received a verbal warning?

Signed, Warned

Dear Warned:

Yes, that would be ok if it states that it is a verbal warning. Also, if the warning was unjustified and assuming you were the one warned, you might explain why it was from your perspective. I hope this is the last of warnings and that you can work on a cooperative and harmonious working relationship–and still speak up for your self. Ego finds its sufficient space in WEGO.

read more