Marie McIntyre, Ph.D.

Question: “The vice president of our department recently sent an email forbidding all conversation that is not directly related to work. If she finds someone in another person’s office, she says "What’s going on here? I hope you’re talking about work!"  No other group has a rule like this. This woman has a longstanding reputation for being unreasonable. No one likes her except the CEO, but his opinion counts for a lot. We’ve thought about talking to the human resources manager. Is that a good idea?” — Afraid to Speak

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Question: “The vice president of our department recently sent an email forbidding all conversation that is not directly related to work. If she finds someone in another person’s office, she says "What’s going on here? I hope you’re talking about work!"  No other group has a rule like this. This woman has a longstanding reputation for being unreasonable. No one likes her except the CEO, but his opinion counts for a lot. We’ve thought about talking to the human resources manager. Is that a good idea?” — Afraid to Speak

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Question:  “I am the public relations director for a group of radio stations. Out of the clear blue, we were bought by a wealthy television entrepreneur who has no experience in radio. I immediately e-mailed him a brief overview of my background, to which he replied in a positive and professional way.  However, I’m concerned about my future. Can you offer any suggestions for enhancing my visibility and promoting my importance with the new owner?” — Newly Acquired

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Question:  “I am the public relations director for a group of radio stations. Out of the clear blue, we were bought by a wealthy television entrepreneur who has no experience in radio. I immediately e-mailed him a brief overview of my background, to which he replied in a positive and professional way.  However, I’m concerned about my future. Can you offer any suggestions for enhancing my visibility and promoting my importance with the new owner?” — Newly Acquired

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Question: “I am a single mother raising two toddlers by myself. This is held against me at work, because no one else has this problem. My co-workers are all happily married or have grown children.  With no family available to help, I often have to take time off for medical appointments, illnesses and other child care issues. My boss says if this continues, he may have to find someone else for my position. I feel desperate because I love my job. How can I make these people understand?” —  Worried Mother

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Question: “I am a single mother raising two toddlers by myself. This is held against me at work, because no one else has this problem. My co-workers are all happily married or have grown children.  With no family available to help, I often have to take time off for medical appointments, illnesses and other child care issues. My boss says if this continues, he may have to find someone else for my position. I feel desperate because I love my job. How can I make these people understand?” —  Worried Mother

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Question: “I’m not sure whether to trust one of my co-workers. ‘Amy’ is helpful and considerate to me. She provides useful information and makes friendly, encouraging comments. However, some co-workers say Amy stabs people in the back because she wants to climb the corporate ladder. If Amy really is a skillful manipulator, how do I avoid being hurt by her tactics, especially when management thinks so highly of her?”

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Question:  “After making a career change, I am six weeks into a new job at a large health care company. I hope to be promoted to a specific position in the next three years. In trying to get ahead, I understand the importance of all the basic stuff, like good attendance, proper dress, meeting deadlines and so forth. But can you suggest any other smart moves for career-minded new employees?” — Climbing the Ladder

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Question:  “After making a career change, I am six weeks into a new job at a large health care company. I hope to be promoted to a specific position in the next three years. In trying to get ahead, I understand the importance of all the basic stuff, like good attendance, proper dress, meeting deadlines and so forth. But can you suggest any other smart moves for career-minded new employees?” — Climbing the Ladder

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Question: “I was recently hired as a manager in a small family-owned business. I’m having problems with another manager who happens to be the son of our CEO. Last week, I gave the CEO some constructive criticism about her son’s performance, but she made it clear that critiquing him was a big mistake. I quickly got the message that her son can do no wrong and any discussion of his performance is off-limits. Now I feel that I can’t say anything about him, even though he’s my co-worker.  How can I deal with these frustrating family dynamics? — Not a Relative

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