Your Office Coach

Each Wednesday, nationally syndicated workplace columnist Marie G. McIntyre, Ph. D., answers your “in the trenches” workplace questions on everything from team-building to getting a raise to dealing with difficult people.

Page 1 of 49123102030...Last »

Q: “My manager says she wants to help me get promoted, but she doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. For the past two years, she has said that my position should be reclassified as an assistant director. However, our company requires assistant directors to have people reporting to them, and I don’t have any employees. When I first came to work here, I supervised five people, but now I’m in a program manager position which has no staff. If my boss truly cared about my advancement, I believe she would either get an exception made to the policy or reorganize to give me some employees. What can I do about this?” Held Back

Q: "Our new regional manager was transferred here after being demoted from a higher-level position. This guy has no idea what our jobs involve and apparently doesn't care. He seems to feel that cutting costs will help him return to the corporate 'ivory tower,' so he has started randomly reducing our work hours. Previously, schedules were posted two weeks in advance, but now they can change at a moment’s notice. Employees are frequently called at home and told not to come in the next day or instructed to leave as soon as they arrive at the office. Meanwhile, the work is piling up. How can we end this nightmare?" Frazzled

Q: “On a recent employee opinion survey, my staff gave me a terrible rating on favoritism. I have no idea why they feel that I’m biased, since I try to be very consistent in applying policies and enforcing rules. I do have a closer connection with certain employees, because we share common interests, but no one receives any special treatment. What can I do about this?” Misunderstood Manager

Q: "Every Friday, a few of us meet in the office kitchen for drinks after work. Last week, two of my co-workers got up and left while I was in the restroom. Since I consider them to be friends, I was quite offended that they didn’t wait to say goodbye. I know this is not a big deal, but now my feelings about it are interfering with our previously productive relationship. How do you think I should handle this?" Abandoned

Q: “I was recently promoted to manage a group of people who used to be my peers. Even though I was the team lead for a year, I’m finding it hard to supervise my former co-workers. As their manager, I feel that I am not being authoritative enough. How should I handle this?” Novice Boss

Q: “In my job as an executive administrator, I have two support employees who technically report to me, though they have never really accepted me as their supervisor. One of them, ‘Carol,’ spends hours chatting with her friends and family on the phone. I discussed this problem with my manager, but he told me not to do anything about it. Because Carol’s cubicle is located next to mine, I can hear her talking all day long, which makes it hard to concentrate on my work. As a supervisor, I feel that I should be allowed to move into an office, where I could have some peace and quiet. However, management still seems to see me as support staff, so how can I convince them to give me an office?” Powerless

Q: “I am an administrative assistant to my manager, who is constantly coming to me with questions and little tasks. These interruptions make it hard to concentrate on my work. When she asks me to phone someone or find something for her, I lose my focus. How can I get her to stop bothering me?” Annoyed

Q: “I feel that I have been betrayed by one of my peers. ‘Chuck’ and I are both senior vice-presidents, reporting to the president of our company. In a recent executive team meeting, Chuck stated that an employee in my department has been intercepting and reading the president’s email for several months. Chuck has apparently known this for some time, but instead of telling me privately, he chose to throw me under the bus by revealing it in front of our boss. After this humiliating betrayal, I’m not sure how to act around Chuck. Should I just speak to him when we have to work together and ignore him the rest of the time?” Infuriated

Q: "After ten years in my job, I was called into my boss’s office and informed that I was being fired. He said they were “no longer confident in my ability to complete the project.” This came as a total surprise, because I had always received positive performance reviews. I can’t understand how my employer could be so heartless. Shouldn’t they have told me what I was doing wrong and given me a chance to improve? Do I have any legal recourse?"  Blindsided

Q: “Our boss frequently requests contributions for a charitable group that she supports. Is this acceptable management behavior?” Feeling Harassed

Page 1 of 49123102030...Last »