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: “I’m not getting any decent salary offers during my search for a new job, so I need to figure out whether my expectations are reasonable. I do know that I'm being underpaid in my current position. I served in the military for several years and currently work for the federal government. Next year, I will complete my business administration degree.  Do you think I receive low offers because I have not yet obtained my degree or because I'm not marketing myself well?”  — Worth More Money

Question: “I’m not getting any decent salary offers during my search for a new job, so I need to figure out whether my expectations are reasonable. I do know that I'm being underpaid in my current position. I served in the military for several years and currently work for the federal government. Next year, I will complete my business administration degree.  Do you think I receive low offers because I have not yet obtained my degree or because I'm not marketing myself well?”  — Worth More Money

Question:  “I feel that I am being ignored because of my age. I am a young employee who recently attained a position in which I have to interact with top-level managers. When I request information from them, I find it difficult to get responses. I believe they are not taking me seriously. How should I handle this?” — Young & Frustrated
 

Question:  “I feel that I am being ignored because of my age. I am a young employee who recently attained a position in which I have to interact with top-level managers. When I request information from them, I find it difficult to get responses. I believe they are not taking me seriously. How should I handle this?” — Young & Frustrated
 

Question:  “Last year, a woman in our company wore a red satin corset, tight skirt and eight-inch platform heels to the holiday party. Although this outfit was not particularly revealing, one of the vice presidents thought it was “trashy looking.”  She believes employees should dress conservatively at business functions because they are still representing the company. Our executive team did not object to the “corset outfit” and prefers not to dictate what people should wear to office parties. However, the offended vice president, who is one of our top salespeople, refuses to attend any function where this type of dress is allowed. As the HR manager, I need some advice on how to resolve this issue.” —  Caught in the Middle




Question:  “Last year, a woman in our company wore a red satin corset, tight skirt and eight-inch platform heels to the holiday party. Although this outfit was not particularly revealing, one of the vice presidents thought it was “trashy looking.”  She believes employees should dress conservatively at business functions because they are still representing the company. Our executive team did not object to the “corset outfit” and prefers not to dictate what people should wear to office parties. However, the offended vice president, who is one of our top salespeople, refuses to attend any function where this type of dress is allowed. As the HR manager, I need some advice on how to resolve this issue.” —  Caught in the Middle




Question: “I am a fairly new manager. One of my employees thinks he knows everything and frequently talks back to me. Every morning, I have a short staff meeting, and so far this guy hasn't shown any signs of wanting to attend. I told him that I might need his input and asked if he's ever going to join the meetings. He replied that he saw no point in it.  What should I do ?” —  Baffled Boss

Question: “I am a fairly new manager. One of my employees thinks he knows everything and frequently talks back to me. Every morning, I have a short staff meeting, and so far this guy hasn't shown any signs of wanting to attend. I told him that I might need his input and asked if he's ever going to join the meetings. He replied that he saw no point in it.  What should I do ?” —  Baffled Boss

Question:  “Our office manager constantly takes aim at minorities and older employees. After we sent an anonymous letter to the human resources manager about this woman’s prejudiced behavior, he posted a notice saying only signed complaints will be investigated. If we sign our names, we know the manager will retaliate.  She has a history of firing people who protest her heavy-handed tactics, and her boss wholeheartedly supports her. If human resources won’t consider our complaint, what can we do?” — No Way Out

Question:  “Our office manager constantly takes aim at minorities and older employees. After we sent an anonymous letter to the human resources manager about this woman’s prejudiced behavior, he posted a notice saying only signed complaints will be investigated. If we sign our names, we know the manager will retaliate.  She has a history of firing people who protest her heavy-handed tactics, and her boss wholeheartedly supports her. If human resources won’t consider our complaint, what can we do?” — No Way Out

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