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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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Question:  Whenever our boss is upset, he calls a group meeting and administers a general scolding. Since he is never specific, we are all left wondering who screwed up. To me, this approach seems immature and unproductive. If I make a mistake, I would rather be chewed out privately, not included in a public lecture that makes everyone feel bad. Our manager’s collective reprimands have sunk morale into a black hole. Any suggestions for dealing with this?  - Blamed for Nothing
Question: My husband listed a four-year degree on his resume, even though he only has a two-year degree.  When he was truthful about his education, he was not getting any interviews, despite having 20 years’ experience. Three weeks ago, he started a new job, but today the HR manager sent him an email saying that the college could not verify his degree. He did attend this school, but left before graduating. My husband is not a liar. He was close to receiving his B.S. degree...
Question: My husband listed a four-year degree on his resume, even though he only has a two-year degree.  When he was truthful about his education, he was not getting any interviews, despite having 20 years’ experience. Three weeks ago, he started a new job, but today the HR manager sent him an email saying that the college could not verify his degree. He did attend this school, but left before graduating. My husband is not a liar. He was close to receiving his B.S. degree...
Question:  Our company was acquired by a large corporation. When jobs were realigned, mine was assigned to a lower pay grade.  However, as we merged functions, my responsibilities were effectively doubled. At my performance review, I received glowing praise.  But I was told I will only receive a 1 percent raise because my salary is almost $10,000 more than others in my group.  My boss says this decision is “not personal”.  Should I believe him?  -Demotivated
Question:  Our company was acquired by a large corporation. When jobs were realigned, mine was assigned to a lower pay grade.  However, as we merged functions, my responsibilities were effectively doubled. At my performance review, I received glowing praise.  But I was told I will only receive a 1 percent raise because my salary is almost $10,000 more than others in my group.  My boss says this decision is “not personal”.  Should I believe him?  -Demotivated
Q: "Until two weeks ago, I had a nice working relationship with “Kate,” my administrative assistant. Then she suddenly stopped talking to me. Now she will only ask necessary business questions. She is fine with everyone else in the office, but won’t even look at me."
Q: "Until two weeks ago, I had a nice working relationship with “Kate,” my administrative assistant. Then she suddenly stopped talking to me. Now she will only ask necessary business questions. She is fine with everyone else in the office, but won’t even look at me."
Question: “As a salesperson, I have tremendous talent and can run circles around almost anyone.  But about two months ago, I started a job where my abilities don’t seem to be appreciated. My manager feels the need to comment constantly on whatever I’m doing. He accuses me of thinking I know everything. He also says he can’t talk to me because I’m defensive ...
Question: “As a salesperson, I have tremendous talent and can run circles around almost anyone.  But about two months ago, I started a job where my abilities don’t seem to be appreciated. My manager feels the need to comment constantly on whatever I’m doing. He accuses me of thinking I know everything. He also says he can’t talk to me because I’m defensive ...
Question: “I am in a very strange situation. When I was recruited by this company, I was told I would be reporting to the vice president. But when I started work, the VP said that I would report to one of his Directors instead...
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