being the boss

I have to fire a highly inept summer intern

A reader writes: Every year the company I work for hires some college students for a three-month internship over the summer. It’s been one month and one of the interns is just not working out. He is not a jerky or malicious person, but he is an annoyance and is a complete hindrance to anyone […]

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what to say to a chronically late employee

A reader writes: I have a new salaried staff member who is a manager-in-training for a new location we are opening up. She has worked for us for a week now, and is having child-care issues causing her to be tardy or have to leave earlier than expected. I would like your advice on the […]

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my employee insinuated I was having an affair … with my husband

A reader writes: My husband and I work for the same mid-size government agency as senior level managers. We are in different departments, our job duties and direct colleagues/reports do not intersect, and our offices are not near each other. We have worked in the same building, and in fact on the same teams, several […]

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I’m constantly anxious that one of my employees will quit

A reader writes: I manage a small team of six employees. While we’re a part of a larger company, we operate relatively independently and have the small business feel, which is to say that everyone wears many hats and works very hard. We pay generous salaries, overtime, on-call pay, and very nice year-end bonuses. I’d […]

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I feel awful about firing someone

A reader writes: This past month, I fired someone for the first time (background, I have been in a management position for less than a year after being suddenly promoted). It was certainly warranted — poor performance, lying, and never-ceasing argumentative behavior. Despite the fact that I documented the behavior and performance (HR even called […]

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are new managers supposed to be this stressed out?

A reader writes: I recently got promoted to a managerial job, and I love what I do. I’m finding, though, that the amount of responsibility that falls on me has been making me unhealthily anxious. I missed a call from work today, for example, outside of work hours, and have been agonizing over what could […]

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how upset should I be about a re-hired employee’s quick resignation?

A reader writes: An employee’s resignation has changed my opinion of her dramatically; I’m not sure if I’m being unfair, and opinions from immediate coworkers are probably affecting my judgment. Can you help me recalibrate my managerial instincts? An employee on my team, “Ariel,” was originally hired for a different team, working under “Ursula.” Due […]

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