workplace practices

my employer pressures us to volunteer for its charitable events

A reader writes: I work at a for-profit company that sponsors a few charitable events each year. These events always bring us at least some clients later on, which is why my company does them (although it’s under the guise of helping the community). Our executives strongly encourage staff to volunteer. The tasks are separate […]

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office pranks shouldn’t end with the ER, vomit, or tears

I’m convinced that there are two types of people in most workplaces: those who find office pranks hilarious and those who think pranks have no place at work, ever. I say this because I receive a surprising number of letters about pranks at work, and they inevitably provoke a flood of outraged responses from anti-prank […]

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my coworker is always dieting — do we have to accommodate her?

A reader writes: I have seen you suggest responses for accommodating coworkers with dietary restrictions due to health or religious needs, but what about coworkers who CHOOSE to go on diets? I have a coworker that has been willingly doing the Keto diet for the last year, and she still is insufferable about it. Anytime […]

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kids at work doesn’t always end well

I’m not sure there’s any work topic I write about that’s more divisive than people bringing their kids to work with them. (Well, maybe dogs at work, but it’s close.) It’s a rare parent who wants to bring their kid to work, but some try to make it work when daycare falls through, a child […]

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why do people get stuck in “reply all” hell on email lists?

A reader writes: Can we get a definitive ruling on the etiquette when someone accidentally emails an incorrect distribution list in a large office? Today I went to lunch for 40 minutes and came back to 239 emails — someone emailed the wrong distribution list for a request (I heard there were over 1,000 people […]

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my boss won’t let me use any of my vacation time

A reader writes: While my job lets me accrue paid time off for vacation, I seem to be in a position where any time I request time off I am denied by my manager. On the other hand, my manager takes vacation time off all the time. Am I missing something here? I have a […]

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