workplace practices

can I go barefoot at work?

A reader writes: I work in a legal office. I am the assistant but I sit in an open area outside my boss’s office. I wear business casual clothing and shoes. However, my feet get uncomfortable in the shoes. I often take my shoes off and go barefoot. They’re under the desk for the most part, […]

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how bad jobs warp your sense of what’s normal

Working at a dysfunctional job is terrible for all the obvious reasons: unclear expectations, unrealistic workload, tyrannical boss, toxic coworkers, or whatever might warrant the category of “dysfunctional job” in the first place. But on top of the obvious, bad jobs exact an additional price that many people don’t realize: If you stay in one long […]

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my coworker’s kid disrupts our office every day

A reader writes: I started a new job a few months ago. Everything is great and I like my coworkers, except for one thing: one of my coworkers brings her daughter to work every day and it’s driving me crazy. Shortly after I started, we moved to a new office, going from individual office spaces […]

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my boss’s dog keeps attacking my coworkers

A reader writes: I work for a small nonprofit in a city where many offices allow dogs. The organization I work for is still run by its founders, and they have maintained nearly full control of all operations since the organization’s inception. In other words, the place is pretty dysfunctional. The co-founders adopted an abused […]

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the 18-month coffee debate, and other stories of office coffee wars

A few weeks ago, I asked for your stories about office coffee wars (or tea/milk/etc. wars). Here are 10 of my favorites. 1. “We share our space with other organizations and there used to be one of those touch-screen made-to-order coffee/espresso things on each floor. Then one of the lease holders signed a non-compete contract […]

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is it rude to write “ASAP” in an email?

A reader writes: I’ve been a fan and daily reader of your site for months and months. I am excited to finally have a question for you. It’s nothing too earth-shaking compared to your usual fare, but more of an etiquette question. A person in a different department wrote me an email last week, telling […]

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