Your Office Coach — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 13
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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.

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Q: “For the past five years, I have worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper. My manager corrects my work in front of others and will sometimes intercept my stories to keep them from being published. He never includes my writing in submissions for national contests. He often talks to me about ‘doing things right’ and has recently taken away some of my responsibilities. This man has been with the company for 25 years and no matter what he does, the publisher backs him all the way. Do I have to take this kind of treatment?” Discouraged

Q: “Our new Executive Director wants to change my job title from ‘communications director’ to ‘communications manager.’ I don’t believe the title of ‘manager’ accurately reflects the complexity of my work. When I meet with my boss to discuss this issue, I plan to show him my current job description and explain how my work is instrumental to achieving his vision for the company. Do you have any other suggestions?” More than a Manager

Q: “I have been asked to travel with ‘Myra,’ one of my co-workers, to attend a three-day conference. The trip is about five hours each way. We will be taking a company van, which I will be driving. Last week, Myra said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I’m planning to bring my one-year-old son along on the trip. Myra said that her mother will also be coming to help care for the baby. So now I am expected to take a business trip with two members of her family. Our boss has said we should just ‘work it out,’ but I’m not sure how to do that.”  Frustrated Traveler

Q: “I want to know whether I can omit my last job from my résumé. For three years, I worked in a toxic organization with a controlling, verbally abusive boss. Her manager was just as bad. Any reference from these two would not be accurate, so I would prefer not to mention this job at all. Instead, I would like to tell potential employers that I was staying home with my young children during those three years. If the truth was discovered later, would that be a problem?” Worried Applicant

Q: “Whenever one of my employees, ‘Gina,’ has personal problems, she describes them to everyone in excruciating detail. Then she calls her friends on the phone to talk about them some more. Gina does a good job, but these conversations take up a lot of time. How can I put a stop to this without seeming hard-hearted?” Caring & Concerned

Q: “A few months ago, I became the first human resources director at a private club, the only woman on the management team. I have run into difficulties with several of my male colleagues. They are accustomed to doing whatever they please, so when I try to give them sound legal advice, they take it personally and challenge my reasoning. Even though I am legally correct, they obviously resent my authority and have begun making snide remarks about me and my department. We now have a new general manager. I would like to alert him to what’s going on, but I don’t want to seem like a tattletale.” Fed Up

Q:  "My manager, 'Chad,' is very approachable. Earlier this week, a co-worker and I decided to clean up our rather cluttered office area. We left three boxes of trash neatly stacked next to the wastebasket. The department looked much more professional, so we expected Chad to be pleased. Instead, he sent a nasty email saying that the maintenance staff is not paid to clean up after us. I replied that we would remove the boxes and 'would have done it even without your crappy email.' Later that day, Chad came into my office and angrily exclaimed that this was not an appropriate comment to make to one’s manager. I apologized, but would like to discuss the matter further. However, I’m not sure what to say." Concerned

Q: “I have frequently been told that one of my employees extends her lunch hour whenever I am out of the office. If I question her, she acts insulted and says that the timecard is correct. Her co-workers are starting to become resentful, but since I’m not here to witness these absences, I don’t know how to solve the problem.” Stumped Supervisor

Q: “Some members of my staff have told me that people think I’m mean. One of them accused me of never even having a direct conversation with her. Another one said that employees gossip about me every day. I believe that instead of listening to rumors and hearsay, these people should develop their own opinions about me. What do you think?” Puzzled Manager

Q: "Training is the big thing in our organization this year, and I want to be a part of it. The director of training has encouraged me to transfer, but my boss, who is the head of operations, does not like the idea. I am the operations manager for our largest office, so he doesn’t want to lose me. My boss can’t block this move, but I don’t want to leave with hard feelings. What should I do?" Ready for a Change

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