workplace practices

when office potlucks go wrong

As we’re getting closer to the season of office potlucks and other meals with coworkers, let’s discuss the many ways in which they can go wrong — from alarming cuisine to the person who takes way more than their share and never contributes. To kick us off, some stories from years past: ♦ “I used […]

Read the full article →

a toxic duo, a bitter chat group, a firing, and a lot of drama

A reader writes: I work in a small tech company. For a long time (starting around six years ago), there were two employees who had ongoing conflicts with dozens of people and were frequently reported for disrespectful, aggressive, or verbally abusive behavior. Toxic Employee #1 was a mid-level manager. Toxic Employee #2 was a vice […]

Read the full article →

my husband has to discuss his eating habits with the CEO

A reader writes: My husband started a new job about a month ago and things are going well. Yesterday, there was an online “wellness and energy” meeting conducted by an outside vendor that everyone in the (small, less than 100 employees) company had to attend. The context was about “reading energy” or so my husband […]

Read the full article →

our head of security took upskirt photos of an intern

A reader writes: Curious to hear your take on a situation that came up a long time ago at a previous workplace. Shortly out of college, I got a job working for a nonprofit cultural institution that had a fair share of unpaid interns working across the organization. Our head of security had a reputation […]

Read the full article →

how do I talk to an employee about her distracting dog?

A reader writes: I know you’ve answered many letters over the years about poorly behaved dogs in the workplace. I’m wondering if you can provide some guidance on how to have a conversation with an employee about their dog’s bad behavior. Our organization hired a new executive director (Mary) in February. During this time, we […]

Read the full article →

boss organizes a poker game to determine end-of-year bonuses

A reader writes: Is it legal for my husband’s boss to have his employees play poker to determine their bonuses? The backstory begins last winter, when a declaration was made by the owner of the company, “Michael,” that Christmas poker would be played in the office! So Michael walks in like Santa Claus with thousands […]

Read the full article →