advice about your coworkers

my coworker won’t stop telling me that I smell

A reader writes: I enjoy wearing perfume, but tend to stick to indie oil scents, since the smell tends to stick closer to my skin (so, in theory, I don’t bother my coworkers) and also because I seem to be sensitive to the alcohol that a lot of spray perfumes use. I also tend to […]

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I don’t like to share my personal life with my coworkers

A reader writes: Early on in my career, I had a couple of very bad experiences with forming friendships with coworkers. After those experiences, I decided that I wouldn’t befriend my coworkers anymore. I consider myself friendly and outgoing, and I have a lot of friends outside of work, but am starting to feel that […]

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my colleague is allergic to me because of my cats

A reader writes: I’m a brand new manager in a public services environment. I have two cats, who are not particularly hairy, and I wash my clothes – and myself – in the usual customary manner for our Western culture. I also use a lint roller and vacuum my home thoroughly, but pet hair is […]

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my coworker won’t stop talking

A reader writes: Let me start with a bit of background: I work in an open office environment, which is less than desirable for a host of additional reasons, but today I am writing to you about something very specific. Three of us sit together in a “pod” comprised of three work stations. The half-walls […]

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my coworkers seem to wish I were my predecessor

A reader writes: I’ve been in an academic department for almost nine years now: four years as undergrad, three years as grad student and instructor, and the last two I have been the administrative support person. I took the job two years ago when the previous admin, “Delilah,” was still working here and I trained […]

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I work with a mansplainer

A reader writes: I’ve been at my company for five years, in various roles with increasing responsibility. A few months ago, I was promoted to train the rest of a team that I was formerly a member of, with responsibility for both onboarding and continuing education (we’re in a medical field where there is a […]

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my coworker is angry that I photoshopped her staff photo

A reader writes: I am the marketing/communications assistant at a small nonprofit (around 30 people). We recently had new staff photos taken for our website, and the lighting was terrible. The lighting, combined with the location we shot the photos, made everyone’s teeth look horrifically yellow and sort of washed everyone out. Since I am […]

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