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:  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...
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...
Question: “Last year, our company celebrated the holiday season at a bar near our office building.  This event was basically an “alcohol fest” that began after work and continued late into the evening. I never drink alcohol because my father died of alcoholism. Also, I really don’t care for the taste. However, I’ve found that when I decline a drink, people regard me as strange. Sometimes they become insistent and insulting, saying things like “What’s wrong with you?” or “Are you in recovery?”  Apparently, I am the only person in this entire group who doesn’t drink. It hurts to be called an oddball, so I’d like to be less conspicuous.  I was a new employee at last year’s party, but this time I want to be prepared.” —Abstainer
Question: “Last year, our company celebrated the holiday season at a bar near our office building.  This event was basically an “alcohol fest” that began after work and continued late into the evening. I never drink alcohol because my father died of alcoholism. Also, I really don’t care for the taste. However, I’ve found that when I decline a drink, people regard me as strange. Sometimes they become insistent and insulting, saying things like “What’s wrong with you?” or “Are you in recovery?”  Apparently, I am the only person in this entire group who doesn’t drink. It hurts to be called an oddball, so I’d like to be less conspicuous.  I was a new employee at last year’s party, but this time I want to be prepared.” —Abstainer
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