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: “Our new CEO is very vindictive. He has ‘spies’ who feed him stories about employees that he doesn’t like. He fires people based on fabricated information, then displays his power by having security accompany them off the premises. I recently met with him to explain how this is hurting the business. I had data to prove that customer satisfaction and employee turnover have gotten worse since he arrived. But the CEO placed me on final warning for insubordination. For the next year, I can be immediately terminated for any additional offense. How do I establish a safe relationship with this man? — A Dedicated Manager

You dread going to work. The problem isn’t your job, which you love. And you’re blessed with a great staff. But your boss makes you miserable. Here’s how to fight off intimidation and get support when you need it most ...

You dread going to work. The problem isn’t your job, which you love. And you’re blessed with a great staff. But your boss makes you miserable. Here’s how to fight off intimidation and get support when you need it most ...

Question: “I manage the gift shop at a beautiful, historic winery. Although this is a wonderful place to work, we do encounter customers with a variety of challenging personalities. I have several employees who complain about how stupid customers are and what dumb questions they ask. Since we don't work in a bubble, I'm sure customers sometimes overhear these comments. I’ve tried asking everyone to be more positive, but negativity spreads like a disease. How do I stop this catty chatter?” — Frustrated in Wisconsin

Question: “I manage the gift shop at a beautiful, historic winery. Although this is a wonderful place to work, we do encounter customers with a variety of challenging personalities. I have several employees who complain about how stupid customers are and what dumb questions they ask. Since we don't work in a bubble, I'm sure customers sometimes overhear these comments. I’ve tried asking everyone to be more positive, but negativity spreads like a disease. How do I stop this catty chatter?” — Frustrated in Wisconsin

Question: I can’t seem to get promoted, even though I am well-qualified. My performance evaluations are excellent, and I have received numerous awards. The company posts promotional opportunities so that anyone can apply, but the “winning” applicant always seems to have been selected in advance. Obviously, politics plays a great part in these selections, and I am not a political person. I do interact with people, but I just don’t do it with an agenda in mind. How can I get ahead? —  No Way Out

Question: I can’t seem to get promoted, even though I am well-qualified. My performance evaluations are excellent, and I have received numerous awards. The company posts promotional opportunities so that anyone can apply, but the “winning” applicant always seems to have been selected in advance. Obviously, politics plays a great part in these selections, and I am not a political person. I do interact with people, but I just don’t do it with an agenda in mind. How can I get ahead? —  No Way Out

Question: “One of our co-workers, “Bob,” regularly comes in quite late. Until he gets here, the rest of us have to answer his phone and deal with callers’ problems. Bob is taking advantage of a nice boss who is not a micromanager. Our boss knows that Bob is usually late, but he hasn’t said anything to him. What should we do?” — Tired of Bob

Question: “One of our co-workers, “Bob,” regularly comes in quite late. Until he gets here, the rest of us have to answer his phone and deal with callers’ problems. Bob is taking advantage of a nice boss who is not a micromanager. Our boss knows that Bob is usually late, but he hasn’t said anything to him. What should we do?” — Tired of Bob

 

Question: “My boss recently confessed that he has “feelings” for me. I am happily married and definitely do not share these feelings. The situation is uncomfortable, because he is the owner of this very small business. Although I have handwritten notes documenting his "emotional attachment,” I have been told this is not sexual harassment. I began looking for a new job, but so far have had no luck. My boss says his feelings haven’t changed, and he wants to know whether I am still planning to leave. What should I do?” — Pursued

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