work habits

how can I recover from a huge, fireable mistake?

A reader writes: Yesterday another coworker and I made a careless mistake that may have huge results. Among other things, our company may lose a contract because of our error. Our mistake was probably a fireable offense and certainly one that merits being written up. I think the only reason neither of those things has […]

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can I use dark humor at work?

A reader writes: I have a dark sense of humor. I now realize that my boss does not. During a standard “how was your day off” conversation between my supervisor, manager, and a few peers, my manager mentioned that he was a chaperone for one of his kid’s field trips to Gatorland. Naturally, I asked […]

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I’m scared to tell my boss how behind on work I am

A reader writes: I’m awake at 2 a.m. because I’m ashamed to say I’m six months or more behind on my work. I work in the accounting department of a service organization, keeping the books for multiple clients. Back in June, my department migrated to a new software that none of us had worked with. […]

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how can I fix my procrastination problem?

A reader writes: I have a bit of an issue with procrastination at work. And when I say a bit, I mean I’m extremely anxious and constantly terrified I will be fired and it’s kind of ruining my life. I should probably seek therapy for the anxiety bit, but I would still like to know […]

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how can I stop freaking out if I get a curt-sounding email?

A reader writes: I’m definitely a relationship person at work and maintain a warm tone in my emails and most interactions with people. I know there are different work styles, but I really struggle with receiving curt-sounding emails. I worry that someone is mad at me or that I’ve done something wrong even when, most […]

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how do I stop my desk from looking like a tornado hit it?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I have never been someone who is good at keeping tidy. I have what many refer to as “an organized mess.” I know exactly where everything I need is, but my desk is by no means orderly. I’ve noticed that my coworkers are all able […]

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do I wear too much black at work?

A reader writes: My current office’s dress code is business casual, and I wear black, knee-length dresses almost every day. I typically wear a neutral, light colored cardigan with the dress, and I always have a navy or black blazer on hand in case I need to step up the look unexpectedly. I don’t wear […]

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can I refuse to put up Christmas decorations at work?

A reader writes: My employer is asking all of us to decorate our offices/work areas for Christmas this year. The decorations are provided, and she thinks it will brighten up the office. I work as an administrative assistant in the front of the office. Because of some difficult personal reasons, I will not be celebrating […]

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