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Marie McIntyre, Ph. D, Your Office Coach

Question: “For eight years, I received ‘outstanding’ performance reviews. Two months ago, I got a new boss who doesn’t seem to like me. When she did my annual evaluation, I got low ratings with no suggestions for improvement. Now I have no idea what to do. Before I had this boss, I really enjoyed this job.” — Not Appreciated

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Question: “I work in a very small office with my boss, his wife and two administrative assistants.  As the office manager, I supervise the assistants, but they always take their questions or concerns to the boss’s wife. Recently, when one of them complained about a task that I gave her, the boss’s wife told me to do the task instead. So how can I be considered their supervisor?” — Ignored

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Question: “My boss is sarcastic and likes to yell.  When I confronted him about his behavior, he blew up, threw his arms around and got red in the face. I said that I had to get back to work and walked out of his office. Now, he barely speaks to me. I’m tired of all this drama. What should I do?” — Sick of Fighting

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Question: “I recently started a new job and can see many ways to improve things. However, ‘Beth,’ my main co-worker, refuses to consider any of my ideas. She has been working here for 15 years, and she gets very defensive if I suggest ways that she could do her work more efficiently. How can I get her to listen to me?” — Frustrated

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Question: “I am the CEO of a small community bank. We have a dress code that has not been updated for several years. Many of our female employees have asked if we could relax the dress code requirement that hose must be worn with pants or long skirts. I don’t want to be needlessly old-fashioned or out-of-step with the rest of the world, but I’m not sure if this is appropriate. How should we go about reviewing our dress code policy?”  —Not a Fashionista

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Question: “I’m a new manager, and one of my employees has a lot more experience than I do. I feel that I should be working for him. He says that he didn’t want the management job, but he seems to resent my having it. This is becoming very uncomfortable for me. How should I handle it?” — New Supervisor

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Question: “I quit my last job because the company owner had a complete personality change. He became downright mean and began engaging in unethical financial practices. My new job is interesting but has very low pay and no benefits. I’m afraid I may have made the wrong choice. Now I’m not sure what to do.” — Confused about Career

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Question: “Recently, my team moved from a quiet part of the building to a very noisy location. This has made it hard to concentrate and lowered my productivity. Managers’ offices and employee cubes are only about 10 feet apart. When managers and employees want to talk, they just yell back and forth.  One manager is constantly on the speakerphone with his door open. To top it off, I sit next to a drama queen who deals with one personal crisis after another on the phone.  It’s like working in the middle of “The Jerry Springer Show.” I’ve talked with my manager, but so far he’s been no help. How do I get these loud people to shut up?!” — Ready to Scream

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Question: “One of my co-workers is a bitter, miserable, snide person. “Judy” hates her life, her job and everyone around her. She does no substantive work and treats everyone with disdain and disrespect. So why is Judy still working here? Because no matter what she does, the owner of our company protects her. When other employees complain, he accuses them of failing to get along with her.  He has even threatened to fire people. I’m certain there is no “hanky-panky” going on between them, so his tolerance of Judy’s attitude is completely baffling. What can I do about this?” — Fed Up

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Question: “My job offers many learning experiences and a wide variety of interesting projects.  However, my pay does not reflect many of the tasks I have taken on. After my manager said she couldn’t give me a raise, I decided to approach her boss. I gave him a list of all my duties and explained why the additional work should justify more pay. He said that no one else has received extra compensation for these responsibilities and that more pay was not an option. I replied that no one else does as much work as I do.  However, that seemed to be the end of the conversation. Can you suggest other ways to ask for higher pay?  My job is great, but I feel that I deserve more.” — Underpaid

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