workplace practices

how should you handle wardrobe malfunctions at work?

A reader writes: I’ve had the unfortunate luck of several wardrobe mishaps during work hours. I’ve ripped clothing across seams, broken heels, spilled entire meals or drinks on myself, been rained on so hard that I could wring my shirt out like a towel, sat on something that needed to be cleaned off, etc. In […]

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I’m spending too much money on cupcakes and snacks for my team

A reader writes: I work in a very large organization with many small teams. We are not allowed to use company money to celebrate — so not for holiday parties, weddings, babies, or birthdays. For bigger stuff, each smaller team usually everyone chips in a few bucks. For birthdays, it falls to each team’s manager. This […]

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cheek-kissing as a greeting at work

A reader writes: I’m an IT manager for a small company. I have two direct reports, a man and a woman. I myself am a man. The three of us share an office, which is a separate room from the main operations area. Up to three to four times a week, we have other employees […]

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should I leave my new job after the first day?

A reader writes: I started today my job and I am feeling very disappointed. My manager didn’t show up as he is on holiday and another is working from home. Fine! Another manager introduced me to the team, which replied “nice to meet you” without really caring about me. Example: everyone has left for lunch […]

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is it time for me to ask for a promotion?

A reader writes: I’ve been in my job for 1.5 years. Most people in my department get promoted around 2-2.5 years. Because of the timing of reviews/promotions, if I was to get promoted this year, it would happen right before my 2-year mark. Speaking with other people at my level in my department (on different […]

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my assistant quit because of St. Patrick’s Day pinching

This letter was originally part of a five-short-answers column, but it’s getting enough interest that I’m making it its own post. The other four letters that were originally bundled with it are now here. A reader writes: This past Friday, the office I work at got into the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day. We were […]

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my boss’s boss keeps asking me where she is

A reader writes: I work on a temp contract in government. Recently there have been some restructures in my department as well as a machinery of government change, and there is a new executive director (new to my team, not new to the organization). She’s taken on our area as well as directing two others, […]

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I suck at role-playing exercises — can I get out of them?

A reader writes: I’m hoping you can help me with a development situation I have encountered recently. At a recent annual divisional meeting, my company had account managers give a faux-presentation to directors regarding one of our products. We were to pretend the directors were our clients and deliver the canned (leadership-approved) presentation to them. […]

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cable news plays in my office all day, and it’s killing me

A reader writes: My office runs cable news on TVs visible from all break and work areas during work hours. There is no business need for this news; we’re a software development office in an industry not directly related to politics or activism. I’ve previously spoken to my manager and cited them as a distraction. […]

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