work habits

I messed up at work and I’m so ashamed

A reader writes: I work in HR and I’m used to receiving mostly praise for my work, but today I was gently reprimanded for having been indiscreet. I immediately understood why, because I was aware that I had shared something I shouldn’t have. I was only trying to bond with someone who doesn’t seeem to […]

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what kind of loyalty do you owe your employer?

An unsettling number of people are confused about what kind of loyalty they owe their employers. I regularly receive letters from people asking whether it would be disloyal for them to look for a new job (as if their company is a romantic partner they’d be cheating on) … from people who feel guilty about leaving […]

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should I avoid wearing pricey status items at work?

A reader writes: I inherited a watch recently from my late grandfather, and it happens to be a Swiss model which is frightfully expensive — as in over $2,500 new. He purchased it upon his retirement 20 years ago, and its been in the family ever since. Due to its high cost and recognizable brand, […]

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my coworker told me I smell

A reader writes: A week ago, a coworker in a manager position (not my department) who is also a friend sat me down in her office and talked to me because, apparently, I am the smelly coworker. She was very kind and I could tell that it was incredibly hard for her. I think I […]

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is it okay to drink before a presentation?

A reader writes: Presentations are a small but regular part of my role, but I often get nervous and end up hurting my message by criticizing my slides, adding excess caveats to my points, and just general blunders from lacking confidence. Last time I presented, I discreetly took a few swigs of vodka a few […]

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