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my coworker uses all-caps for everything, can I ask my office to stop swearing, and more

Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My coworker uses all-caps for everything. My team recently hired a new employee to help pick up some of the slack when it comes to the admin tasks we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Our new employee (Sansa) is enthusiastic about the job, a quick learner, and well liked by everyone in our organization. Her work is also very consistent and accurate.

Video 98

my team got matching tattoos … and other lack of boundaries at my start-up

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A reader writes: I work at a tech startup in a place where that isn’t very common, and there’s always been a blurring of work camaraderie/ being actual friends because we’re all younger adults, but this is a new level: a majority of my team (eight out of 12 team members, including our department head) went away on vacation together and got matching, work-related tattoos. The tattoos are small and subtle (think: the letters C T and we’re the chocolate teapots department).

our new manager is pressuring the women on our team to use menstrual cups

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A reader writes: This question is on behalf of a friend who works at a small 30-person property management company (we both live in the UK if that makes a difference). My friend has recently got a new manager to head the 10-person team she is a part of, and in which she is in the middle seniority-wise.

don’t drunkenly email your boss this St. Patrick’s Day

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In preparation for St. Patrick’s day … a reader writes: Back in 2010, I sent the most horrifying email to my boss (by accident!) and I thought you might get a kick out of it. For context, there was a St. Patrick’s Day parade that a group of friends and I attended for several years. It was the kind of thing where you’d start the day with coffee and Bailey’s at 9 am, be dancing at a club by 3 pm, and somehow still be at a pub at midnight.

Simplify Your Background Check and Compliance Process

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can I use dark humor at work?

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A reader writes: I have a dark sense of humor. I now realize that my boss does not. During a standard “how was your day off” conversation between my supervisor, manager, and a few peers, my manager mentioned that he was a chaperone for one of his kid’s field trips to Gatorland. Naturally, I asked if any of the kids on the trip got eaten by an alligator.

ATS 90

my boss has strict kitchen rules, how to escape an exit interview, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My boss has strict rules about the office kitchen. I am curious about proper break room etiquette. We an office of about 11 people and a break room with no seating.

my coworker is setting toilet paper on fire in the bathroom

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A reader writes: I work in a small office (about 20 people at this branch of our company) and we have two individual restrooms (as opposed to stalls) in our central hallway. There is certainly a smell situation because the hallway leads to all major sections of the office, but in general, people try to control this with air fresheners, PooPourri products, etc. Sometimes a book of matches is left there, which seems to help the most.

ask the readers: when you’re the chronically sick coworker

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Last fall, we had a letter from someone frustrated with a coworker, Jane, who was constantly out of the office and had taken far more personal and sick leave than anyone else in the office received. The letter said, “I find it incredibly unfair that Jane is given so much lenience … I’m having a hard time enjoying the work I do when I’m stuck on the same team as such an unreliable coworker.”

I manage a horrible micromanager

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A reader writes: I recently accepted a management job at a design firm. My main duty is to oversee the implementation of a large-scope, three-year plan with multiple projects under its umbrella. The plan began before I came onboard, but I was hired specifically to see in through. Each project has a project manager who reports directly to me. I’m generally easy-going about other people’s leadership styles but am having great difficulty with one project manager: “Fergusia.”.

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my boss constantly complains about how much he pays me

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A reader writes: I work for a very small company with three full-time employees and my boss, who is the owner. My coworkers and I (who are all in our first professional jobs out of college) make reasonable salaries for the area, but receive no other benefits. One of my coworkers and I started around the same time and recently received raises at our two year anniversaries. These raises are standard and were outlined to us when we first started.

some men in my office refuse to be alone with women

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A reader writes: I work for a mid-sized private company that, while not a religious organization, does have “Christian values” as one of its organizational tenets, and has many Christian employees (of which I consider myself one, but more on the liberal progressive side). Generally, they treat employees well, have flexible workplace policies, and overall strive to create a healthy work environment. For the most part, they succeed.

should I stop wearing makeup to fit in at work, unprepared interviewers, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Should I stop wearing makeup to fit into my office culture? I know you have talked about overdressing being a sign you don’t understand the work culture when starting a new position, such as wearing a suit at a tech start-up.

my boss told my office I’m lying about my health condition

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A reader writes: So I’ve been at my job at an educational institution for about six months now, and live about an hour away (unfortunately, moving is not an option). Over the winter, ice and snow that I experience living in a valley has kept me from getting to work more than once, though my workplace is open because they don’t experience it there. I also have a medical condition which essentially means I get sick more than most people do.

The New Recruiting Mindset: Stay Competitive in a Changing Talent Landscape

What were once strong pillars in your recruiting strategy are now likely falling short in effectiveness. Strong pillars in your recruiting strategy are likely now outdated and ineffective. This report gives actionable tactics to implement now from boosting your employer brand to the exact perks to offer that winning candidate.before your competitor does.

a client hit my parked car, is it gross to floss in the office bathroom, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. A client hit my parked car. I am an intern in a law office. The office has a parking lot, but interns are not allowed to park there because it is very small and the higher-ups want to leave the space for clients. I was picking up supplies for the office, so I parked in the lot so that I could unload my car. I parked against the wall of the garage, which is not an official spot, but many people park there anyways.

I was invited to a 300-person cattle-call interview, and now the company wants to know why I’m not interested

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A reader writes: I’m having an odd time with a company and was wondering what you thought of this process. I applied to a position on LinkedIn for a communications assistant on Friday. On Saturday at 6 am(!) I got an email asking me to schedule an interview for Monday. On Sunday I figured why not, and went ahead and scheduled myself a time for Monday on their website. The emails they sent asking me to schedule the interview and then confirming the interview were odd.

ask the readers: how to succeed at work when you’re not neurotypical

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It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: Longtime reader here and you’ve answered a question of mine in the past. I’ve noticed a lot of people who, like me, have ADHD in comment threads, which is SUCH a helpful community for me to crowdsource coping strategies.

everything you need to know about being a new employee, and more about the menstrual cup manager

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I helped Medium put together a guide on being the new person at work. And that manager earlier this week who’s pressuring people to use menstrual cups? I talked to Bustle about the situation.

Humans and Bots: How to blend human skills and AI to build customer intimacy and drive growth

Join Genesys for this webinar to learn how leading companies are using blended AI to drive customer intimacy and revenue growth.

how to be successful without hurting men’s feelings

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How To 143

we have twice-daily mandatory group therapy at work

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A reader writes: I am really uncomfortable with a new development at my office and I feel like quitting is the only option now. I’m an administrator for a private recovery and mental health center, not a clinical or medical staff member, so I’m not at risk for emotional burn-out. We were notified last year that we now have a mandatory group therapy session as a staff first thing in the morning (8 am) and before we leave (5:30 pm) and that all staff must participate.

Groups 108

my junior employee won’t stop sharing his “expertise”

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A reader writes: I run a seven-person government office. One of my direct reports is both not very experienced and not very good at his job, which requires extremely specific legal knowledge and a strong attention to detail. Despite this, he’s got an irritating habit of positioning himself as a subject matter expert around the office in small, unofficial, but rage-producing ways.

how do I not lose hope in a highly competitive field?

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A reader writes: I’m in a very competitive, very niche academic field. I’m writing because I wonder if you and your readers can tell me how to keep going when I’m losing hope as this roller coaster of a search keeps on rolling. I have been applying for jobs since last year, and I have had one — ONE — interview. A recent rejection informed me that I was one of 322 applicants for a position. This is the norm.

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5 Culture Trends for 2019

As we approach 2019, major shifts in the work environment will continue to affect the ways companies do business. Companies that are looking to attract, engage, and retain top talent should leverage these trends to create workplaces where employees thrive.

can I ask a rejected job candidate on a date?

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A reader writes: My team has been hiring for a position over the past couple of months. During this time, I have served on the interviewing team. I ask questions to candidates and then give my thoughts regarding whether to move them to the next round. My manager and I interviewed a guy during first round interviews and really liked him based on his credentials and answers, so we moved him forward. My manager then moved him from the second round to the final round of interviews.

update: we have twice-daily mandatory group therapy at work

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Remember last week’s letter-writer whose office was requiring people to attend twice-daily group therapy ? Here’s the update. OP here! OMG it’s been a week. So when I wrote this, I called out the whole week because I couldn’t wrap my head around all of this, and I had luckily enough gotten a job interview somewhere else. I appreciate your comments and the support and advice and I’m going to give some back.

Groups 102

my boss is my new next-door neighbor

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A reader writes: I am six months into my first job since graduating college. It has been a tough transition, but I am finally feeling more competent in my job and assimilating to its culture. Last week I moved to a new house in a relatively affluent part of town. I was only able to afford this new place because we crammed it full of other young twenty-somethings.

employee constantly uses astrology to analyze coworkers, former employee published hit piece on our company, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Employee constantly uses astrology to analyze coworkers. This will seem like a small issue, but it’s like sand in our collective bathing suits and may actually be a problem. I supervise a small team in a very large nonprofit, and we collaborate a lot internally and externally, and frequently bring on shorter-term interns and other placements. One of our full-time team members is mid-twenties.

Dice 2018 Recruitment Automation Report

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are rapidly changing the way many recruit and hire talent. Read Dice's first-ever Recruitment Automation Report to discover how you can employ new, cutting-edge technologies to source and hire tech talent faster.

our laid-off coworker still shows up every day, employer wants a short story that will make them cry, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Our laid-off coworker is still showing up every day. My boss laid off one of our team members one afternoon. There was an organization-wide mandate to make a budget correction, and he chose this measure for our unit.

this is how to assemble a professional wardrobe without spending a ton

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And now a word from a sponsor… If you want to assemble a professional wardrobe but you’re on a budget – or you just love clothes and don’t want to blow your bank account when you shop – you need to know about thredUP.

my boorish coworker dominates all our Slack channels

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A reader writes: I work for a small-ish fully remote tech company. We spend all day in Slack, in various channels that are both work-centric and social-centric. There is a man, “Derek,” who annoys the hell out of me in social channels. Derek does everything from innocuous poor chat room social etiquette (e.g.,

should employers pay if employees need an extra airplane seat, I got sent to a conference where I didn’t belong, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Should employers pay if employees need an extra seat on the plane? I manage a few people who have large bodies. I am nearly positive that they don’t fit in a standard coach plane seat and would require two seats in order to travel — for context, I have overheard one person saying this on the phone with an airline once and another one told me in passing.

Hard to Hire: Third-Party Recruiting & the State of Talent Acquisition Report

The talent acquisition challenges of today are unparalleled: 90% of survey respondents feel that the current hiring market is more challenging now than in the past! Recruiting as we’ve known it is evolving - how are you keeping ahead of the competition?

coworkers at my new job want to oust the CEO, a company I rejected keeps rejecting me back, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Coworkers at my new job want to oust the CEO. I recently started a new job in a very small office, only six people. Staff has had many problems in the past with the president/CEO. I have noticed that his leadership style is not conducive to a successful or positive work environment.