transcript of “The Lazy Coworker” (Ask a Manager podcast episode 15) This is a transcription of the Ask a Manager podcast episode “The Lazy Coworker.” Alison: This week we have two special guests and I’m so excited to introduce them. Han Malyn and Matt Albrecht run a podcast called Han and Matt Know it All, which is all about advice columns. Each week they re-answer recent questions from advice columns and podcasts, and they also tackle new questions sent in by their listeners – and they’re really good at it. If you like advice columns and you like podcasts, their show is your holy grail. I’m a huge fan of their work and I’m so excited to have them on the show today to answer some letters with me. Han and Matt, welcome to the show. Matt: Hi, thank you. Han: Hi, thank you so much. Alison: We have letters we’re going to talk about, but first I want to talk about Han and Matt Know it All. What is the origin story behind the show? How did you end up creating it? Han: I’ve been an advice column addict my entire life and how this came about was, Matt and I were on vacation and we’d kind of gotten through – we listen to a lot of podcasts together, so we’d gotten through all of the podcasts that we listen to together, and where we were there was nothing good on TV and so we were like, “How shall we kill time in our hotel?” And I started reading him advice columns and we discussed how we would answer the questions before we got into the actual answer, and it all kind of stemmed from there. Matt: The first podcast that I ever listened to was My Brother, My Brother and Me. And, a bit of an inspiration, because they had this sort of meta style as well in which they jokingly answer Yahoo Answers, and that certainly played some part in making me want to do a podcast. And this was just such a perfect fit because Han being a fanatic at this and me being, I don’t know, a good producer? (Laughs) what do I bring to the table? Han: You’re project oriented. Matt: Yes, that’s right. Comedy? Comedy. Sure. Alison: And you two are married. What is it like to do a show with your spouses? Is it ever weird? Han: Actually, it’s really fun. I think it makes it easier for us. I was a little bit gun-shy about this at first, because I’ve never done much in the way of public speaking. I’ve always been a little bit freaked out by the idea of people paying attention to me. But recording with Matt, it’s like I’m having a conversation with him and so it came a lot more naturally. We kind of bounce off each other and it made it a lot easier for us. And I’ve actually had, probably one of the greatest compliments I ever got was my sister listens to the podcast and she said she sometimes forgets if she hasn’t talked to me recently because she feels like she’s talking to me when she listens to the podcast. So I know we’re really coming across as ourselves, which makes me feel really good about it. Matt: Oh yeah, and you don’t take any notes either, so it’s just all off the cuff. That certainly helps. Han: (Laughs) I’m unprepared, apparently. Matt: No, no. You just have it all up there. Alison: Well, your show has really been taking off and now you have a thriving Facebook group for listeners, which has sort of become its own community. Tell me more about that. Matt: Oh, I love it. It was long in my goals to create that kind of community, a place where people could come together and realize they’re not alone in their addiction on this, but we also wanted to create this safe space where people were on the same page, in that they could trust each other to bring very sensitive topics to light. So it’s been fascinating seeing people that otherwise had anonymous names join the Facebook group and say, “This is me, I’m that person,” and there’s not much anonymity as you would expect from the more traditional format. And I really love that. People there really trust and respect one another and it just feels like this big awesome family. Han: One of the things about our podcast is that we tend to address things from a fairly social justice-oriented viewpoint. So we talk a lot about queer issues and gender identity and that sort of thing. And I think that that creates a very specific audience where people feel safe talking about things that they haven’t quite figured out for themselves yet. And so the Facebook group has been a really beautiful place for that, where people have sort of come to this group of strangers that share this interest in other people’s problems and in coming at things from a very specific perspective of accepting people at face value, and they sort of have helped each other through a lot of things, and I think it’s really cool. Matt: Exactly. There’ve been a lot of instances where folks have admitted like, “Oh, when you read that, I was ready to judge this person,” and we sort of bring this very empathetic take to a lot of the questions. Alison: Oh, that is amazing. Congratulations on all of your success with it. Matt: Thank you so much. Han: Thank you so much. Alison: Well, let’s do what we do on the show, which is answering letters. Han: Absolutely. Alison: Our first letter today is from someone who is friends with a very lazy coworker and is wondering if she has an obligation to do anything. Han, do you want to read this one? Han: Absolutely. I started a new job about a year ago and I sit in very close proximity to several other coworkers. These coworkers were all very welcoming to me upon my arrival and one in particular, let’s call him Jack, made overtures toward friendship. We hung out a couple of times outside of work. As I stayed longer in these close quarters, I started to feel a little less inclined towards friendship, in part because it seemed like he wanted to be best friends and I wanted to be work buds. There were also a couple of things about Jack that started bugging me, but they were fairly mundane, like constant conversation with our cubicle mate and occasional oversharing. Jack is a smart, passionate, talented guy who has a job that many in my field would kill for, but over time I’ve come to recognize that his work is sorely lacking. We’re not on the same team, but my team does depend on his work and what I’ve seen is that he comes in late, leaves early, takes a long lunch, and the few hours he’s at his desk are almost entirely web browsing. He does the bare minimum and only when explicitly asked. Any work he does produce seems to be done with shuffled feet and lackluster results. What role do I need to play here? For one thing, I wonder if I need to gently, slowly eliminate the friendship component of our work relationship entirely. Our office is one where people sort of claw for things they want to work on. I’m worried that people will see our rapport as my implicit endorsement, or at least tolerance, of his work style. In other words, are people going to think I’m lazy if I’m buddies with the lazy dude? Second, one of our coworkers asked me to talk to my boss about it. She and Jack report to the same boss and she can’t convince their manager to do anything, but she hopes that my boss’s feedback might make an impact. I think that track would be effective, but I can’t help but feel like I’d be stabbing Jack in the back. And finally, I wonder if I’m morally obligated to have a heart to heart with Jack about what I’m seeing. I’m reluctant to do this because it would involve doing it as a friend since I’m not technically on his team – and if I do that, I’m basically playing into the fact that he seems to want to be best friends with me. He may or may not handle this conversation well, but I suspect either way it will be ineffectual. Is there a way out of this dilemma? What is the ethical thing for me to do? Or do I just have to sit this one out? Alison: Who wants to tackle this first? Matt, what’s your take on this? Matt: So I was curious what the Internet felt about this one and there are certainly a lot of responses to the general idea here without all of the wonderful details that we have. But generally speaking, there was this idea of mind your own business, and Karma will do its work. And I think it’s bullshit, especially in this case. What a wonderful way to think about the universe, right? Just like, oh, you know, all problems work themselves out and lightning will strike this dude or whatever. But that’s not to say this person’s egregious in the grand scheme of things. He’s not blowing up planets or anything. But I think that if there is a moral issue to address this problem, it’s not that on principle he isn’t working hard enough. It’s that we have this detail that he has this job that many people in the field would kill for. I think there’s strength in numbers when it comes to reporting these sorts of things. If it’s just one person saying something, especially if you are a man in the office and a female colleague is asking for your help, that you wield all the more clout, I think. I think there is a moral obligation to call out the people who are not pulling their weight. If nothing else, this sort of behavior makes you hate your job more, it affects your productivity, it gives you less pride in the company. It will affect everyone, and his work does have an impact on not only the letter writer’s work but on the works of other people. So, there is that principled feeling I have of anger, I guess, that this person is just sort of coasting by and doing the bare minimum while other people could perhaps have this job who appreciate it more and do better for the company. I think that there is some obligation to delve into this. I don’t know, what do you think? Han: I feel like the friendship issue and the work issue are sort of separate here. I feel like this letter writer has two different quandaries. In terms of the work issue, if Jack’s work is affecting her team’s work and it’s causing problems, I do absolutely think that she should bring it to her manager and say, “Hey, the fact that Jack is behind on his work or not producing quality work or whatever the problem is, is really affecting us. His coworkers have talked to his manager about it, but so far, they haven’t intervened. Is there anything that you can do to sort of move this along and help out so that he’s producing better work?” But I think that the friendship thing is an entirely separate issue and I think that that maybe merits a more straightforward conversation with Jack: “Hey, I really think you’re a good dude, but I kind of prefer to keep my work friendships work friendships, not strong social relationships.” And hopefully he’ll be understanding of that. Alison: I always think that part is tricky because what if he sees her having close work friendships with other people? Han: Oh hmm. Does it say that she had or…? Alison: No, it doesn’t, but I always worry about that. Like when people turn down colleagues for dates by saying, “Oh, I don’t date anyone I work with,” and then they date someone they work with. I always feel like maybe there’s a broader way to say it from the start. Han: Yeah. Matt: “I don’t date people I work with who I’m not attracted to.” Alison: Right (laughs). That would be the way to say it. Han: Ouch. Yeah, I don’t know. How do you usually tell people to handle unwanted work besties? Alison: It sounds like she’s done a pretty decent job of setting boundaries with him. It doesn’t sound like he’s really actively pushing for more of a friendship in ways that annoy her. My sense is that her worry is that if she chooses to have a heart to heart with him about the work issues, that she’d be sort of taking advantage of this extra influence that she has with him because he wants to be close friends with her. And that because she doesn’t, that she’s feeling like maybe that’s kind of ethically icky to take advantage of that. I will say, I don’t think she’s obligated to have a heart to heart with him. Part of me wants to argue that if she does have influence on him, it would be a kindness to him for her to have that conversation because this is the kind of thing that could get him fired at some point – or at least it could if he ever gets a different boss who isn’t negligent about this – but if nothing else, he’s building this crappy reputation for himself. And so, if he respects her and she has influence with him, it would, it would actually be a kindness to have that conversation with him. But I also think it’s totally optional, that she doesn’t have an obligation to do that. Especially since she doesn’t want a close friendship. And it also sounds like she doesn’t really believe it would have an impact, so I think there’s even less obligation. But I do agree with both of you though, that if it is affecting her work or the work of her team, that it makes sense to talk to her manager about it. I wouldn’t take it on just because someone wants you to be the messenger, but it does sound like it’s impacting them. In which case I think, yeah, talk to your boss. Han: Yeah. Matt: Yeah, I can’t even imagine how the conversation between the two of them would go, letter writer and Jack. Like, “Hey, how are things? Weather’s nice. I noticed you’re lazy and let’s talk about that.” Han: I could see bringing it up in a case where it affected her work, being like, “Hey, this project is, we’re having an issue with it because of the thing that you gave us. Is there any way you could do this differently going forward?” Just like you would with any other colleague who is messing up your workflow. Matt: Like “Yeah, it took us so long to review this and you waited till the last minute, what’s going on?” And if you are at that level of rapport, I think you can be that straightforward about it. Not as straightforward as “You’re lazy,” but to say, “Come on man, what’s going on here?” Alison: And I think if you do that a couple of times and you don’t really see any change, then I think there’s room to have more of a big picture, “Dude, what’s going on with you at work? Because I’m worried about the kind of reputation you’re cultivating.” She also asked, does she need to stop being friends with him because of guilt by association, and I don’t think so. I mean, it’s true that who you hang out with at work can influence how people see you, which isn’t necessarily fair, but it can be the reality of it. But I think that’s more of a thing if you’re best friends and you’re always off on your own together, then I think you do get grouped together by association. But if she’s just friendly with this guy, like she’s friendly with a bunch of other people, I don’t think she needs to be terribly worried about that. Her work is going to stand on its own and people aren’t going to start thinking she’s lazy just because one of the many people she’s friendly with happens to be. Matt:Oh, I agree with that. Alison: Okay, let’s move on to our next letter. This one is about the really aggravating topic of diet talk at work. Matt, want to read this one? Matt: Sure. My boss and two coworkers are all involved in a major diet that involves food group restrictions, periodic cleansing, and no sugar. That’s fine, but they discuss it constantly in the break room where everyone is there to eat their lunch. I’m super tired of hearing about it. They also discuss how much weight they have lost in the past few days in great detail – think detailed discussions of thighs and buttocks. There are frequently snacks in our break room because there was a company-wide rotation for bringing snacks twice a year. The boss and the two coworkers will discuss/critique the snacks, saying things like, “those are a no-no,” and “I’m off sugar.” The snacks in the break room are typically foods in their no-no carb category. This makes other people uncomfortable for eating the snacks. I’m very put off by this behavior for several reasons. One is that I am in the break room to eat my lunch and not have my lunch critique by their diet plan. The second is the implicit body shaming going on. Third is the detailed discussion of how the diet works and the assumption that everyone else in the room, usually about eight to ten, people want to hear about this pretty personal topic every time they eat lunch. I have taken the step of eating in my work area instead and have avoided eating lunch with them for the past few weeks due to fatigue over this behavior. Any suggestions? It is expected in our company that people tend to eat lunch together, so my avoidance of the break room is not really a great plan long term. Alison: (Sighs) I can’t tell you how many letters I get that are some variation of this. People can be really annoying about diet talk at work. Han, let’s start with you. What do you think? Han: So my instinct is that since one of these people is the letter writer’s boss, that the letter writer could potentially bring it up to them from a less than personal standpoint, but from a more general standpoint saying something like, “Hey, I’ve noticed this is an ongoing thing and I’m worried that it could affect people in our office who are maybe struggling with eating disorders or have other restrictions around their food. I wanted to bring it to your attention so that you could maybe try to curb that, so that we’re not making anyone uncomfortable by accident.” Alison: I love that. I think that’s a really good idea. Han: I think that people have such a tendency to comment on other people’s eating habits and to do things like assign moral values to food that are really problematic just for our society as a whole, and it becomes really stressful when that’s going on in the office. I’ve definitely had coworkers comment on what I was eating and it really stressed me out because I’ve got some issues around food, and I’m like, “Wow, this is the last thing I need, someone to walk by and comment on what I’m eating for lunch like, ‘Oh, I wish I could eat that.'” And I’m like, “Ooh, I need you to not say that,” but it’s an uncomfortable thing to tell people: “Hey, I need you to not talk about my food.” And so I think if there’s any way to approach it as a broader topic instead of as “this makes me personally really uncomfortable,” there’s probably a better likelihood of getting the results that the letter writer wants. Alison: Yeah, I love that. And I also wonder, because she mentions that other people are uncomfortable too, it might be possible to get a group of people together, if that first strike doesn’t work, to say, “Hey, it’s making it uncomfortable to eat lunch in here, can we pull back on this?” Or even, “Some of us are going to start eating at a different time because we can’t take all the diet talk,” and then do a second lunch shift for people who aren’t into it. Han: That’s also a really good idea because it sounds like there’s quite a few people working in this office, and so it maybe isn’t that hard to just take your lunch an hour later. Alison: Yeah. I don’t love this thing – I know this isn’t the point of the letter, but I don’t love this thing that they’re all expected to eat together every day anyway. I think that’s problematic for so many reasons. People need a break from each other. People who don’t really want to eat lunch with their coworkers every day are going to feel some implicit pressure to do it anyway. So it may not be a bad idea for a number of reasons to get a group together to purposely work to change that ritual. Han: I can’t even imagine if my work required me to eat with coworkers every day – and I love my coworkers, they’re great people, but… Matt: I know, I use that time to listen to podcasts or watch a dumb YouTube video or something. I need that. Alison: I’m betting some of those other people are not super excited about this tradition to begin with. Matt: I’d imagine. Is there a way we can get this message out to everybody, not to talk about food or diet at work? Because I don’t think anyone’s terribly thrilled about being at the receiving end of this, or being the collateral judged by virtue of just being in that room. I don’t know, what can we do? Is it more SEO? (Laughs) Alison: People are so weird about food, and they’re weird about other people’s food, which is where it really crosses a line I think. And it’s hard at work because you’re a captive audience – you know, if you have a friend who makes really unhealthy comments about food all the time, you can start doing non-eating activities with them, but when it’s your coworkers, there’s not always an out like that. But maybe this group of people can create that out by breaking up the lunch tradition. Han: Yeah. Matt: That would be great. Oh, I love that. It’s like changing the environment because it’s harder to change people – change the expectations of where people eat. I’ve had coworkers in the past do this kind of dietary restriction journey and literally post up lists on walls that people can see – just for their own purposes, but everyone sees it – of there no-no carbs. And oh, Lord. I mean, that’s crossing a line in so many ways, but they’re talking about it very publicly and then when people around them are eating anything on their no-no list, they may comment, “Oh, I wish I could eat that,” or “You’re so lucky to have such a fast metabolism.” And this is why this topic should just never come up in general, the food or commenting on your coworkers’ eating habits, because there is no good way to respond to that. One, it sort of erases all of the maybe moderation and hard work that you put in to be able to eat a donut or whatever. But there’s no way to respond without further contributing to that collateral judgment that everyone is experiencing that’s within earshot. I know this doesn’t help the letter writer, but for all the aggressors out there, just don’t talk about food, don’t talk about your diet, don’t comment on what foods your coworkers are eating. Don’t say things like, “You’re so lucky to be skinny,” things like that that could be tied to somebody’s poor mental health and bad eating habits they’re in. There’s no good way to talk about this – not in a way that is inherently shaming, especially fat-shaming. Alison: Yeah, absolutely. And you never know who is struggling with disordered eating. Or the person who you think looks great and they’ve lost a lot of weight and you want to congratulate them, you don’t know if they’re happy about that. It could be the result of something medical that they’re struggling with, or as Matt said, a mental health situation that’s going on. You just don’t know. So yeah, the less we can talk about each other’s eating habits and bodies at work, I think the better. Matt: Yeah. Han: I absolutely agree. That’s a huge pet peeve for me – people’s inclination to immediately congratulate anyone who has succeeded in taking up less space physically, because a lot of times that could be an illness and a lot of times it’ll just make them feel really uncomfortable, even if it is something that they’re working hard on. Just don’t do that. (Laughs) Alison: Yeah. Even if you’re happy about your weight loss, you don’t necessarily want to feel that your coworkers have been scrutinizing and assessing your body. Han: Exactly. It’s because the “Wow, you look great. Have you lost weight?” comes with the unspoken, “I noticed before that you were too big.” Alison: Yes. Matt: Yeah. Awkward. Alison: Yeah. There’s lots of things to talk about other than food at work. We can talk about Game of Thrones for very long time. Matt: (Laughs) Alison: Let’s see. Should we move onto one more letter? Han: Absolutely. Alison: This is actually a letter that was on the Ask a Manager website a little while back that I thought would just be an interesting one to talk about a little more in depth, so I’ll go ahead and read it. It’s pretty short. Last summer, one of my coworkers told me that she likes me. Unfortunately, I was in the process of starting a failed romance with another woman, so I turned her down. Well, that was half of the reason. Flash forward to now: I am unattached and the coworker is still here. We get along extremely well and I honestly don’t know if I know anyone who I have more in common with. She’s remarkably intelligent, enjoys the same academic subjects that I do, the same hobbies, etc. The major hangup is that she’s my boss’s daughter. She knows that I was interested last year, but I haven’t told her that she’s been on my mind recently. I just don’t know what my plan is concerning our boss if she says yes. Se and I get along very well, so that’s good news. But there’s this terrifying wall of social rules that I can’t imagine trying to broach much less breach. (I love that sentence.) Should I drop it? I’ve been working here for about half a decade and I love it more than most anything. On the other hand, I’m a recluse who hasn’t had a real girlfriend in five years. It’s not as though I feel confident just moving onto the next opportunity because I honestly don’t know where that could possibly be. So what is your advice for this guy? Han: I would say, having partaken in ill-advised workplace romances before, that before getting into this you have to weigh for yourself which is more important to you, the potential relationship or the job. Because if you get into the relationship and it goes poorly, there is a good chance you will have to leave the job. And that’s the case whether the boss is your girlfriend’s dad or not – or mom or whoever, I don’t think they actually gendered it – I think that that’s just always a potential risk. If you get into a relationship and it ends badly, you may have to change jobs. And so, you kind of have to decide where your priorities lie. Matt: But their risk factor is heightened on this one because there are multiple people who you might have terrible relationships with if it goes awry. Han: Right. And I hate that this is a thing, but you know, humans can sometimes be petty – and so I would worry that if this relationship happened and it ended badly and the letter writer had to move on to a different job, they might have a hard time getting a good reference from their ex’s parent if it was their fault that it ended badly. Matt: Especially if they know you on a personal level and like, “Well, this person’s not good with relationship management,” for instance. Alison: (Laughs) Yeah, I think it’s dangerous. This is one where I wish I could have some back and forth with the letter writer and find out more, because I want to know more about the boss. Is the boss a generally reasonable person? What’s the letter writer’s sense of how that might go? But also, I feel like there’s a middle ground here. I t doesn’t have to be that he approaches this woman and declares himself and says like, “Yeah, let’s be in a relationship.” They can just start hanging out and kind of see where it goes, and if it seems like it’s going in a serious relationship direction, then at that point I think you’ve got to decide, “Am I willing to leave the job over this?” Which doesn’t mean you have to leave right then and there, but “Would I be prepared to leave if this goes poorly” – or frankly, if it goes really well, if you end up getting married, you probably should not be working for your mother-in-law or father-in-law. Matt: Right. Han: And that’s the other thing that stuck out to me in this letter, is that it had been a year since this person had expressed interest – and so the letter writer may very well be jumping the gun in assuming that this person is still interested in him or her. Matt: I was thinking the same thing, yeah. It’s really too early to assume that things could go awry when you don’t even know if there’s relationship potential anymore necessarily. Han: Right. I mean, having all this in common sounds like it’s a good reason to be friends with the person and I don’t see that being a problem. Like yeah, hang out outside of work, see how it goes, but there’s every chance that the coworker no longer wants to date the letter writer anyway. Matt: Or they could just hide it from the boss, have an illicit relationship. Han: That is a terrible idea. Matt: (Laughs) Fine. Alison: I think he – and he is a he, by the way – I think he… I don’t know. On one hand, if we want to play it completely safe, we should never date anyone at work. It always has the potential to go awry. It will probably go awry more often than not. It has the potential to make work either very uncomfortable for you if you break up, or potentially for your coworkers if you don’t handle it well. It just has the potential to create messiness for a lot of people at work. So if we wanted to play it safe, we would say never date anyone at work. But the reality is lots of people date at work, I’ve dated at work, it goes fine. The fact that she’s the boss’s daughter… I think you can only take that relationship so far before your professional situation would have to change. Because I would never tell someone – if he were already dating her and he were considering taking a job with her parent, I would say under no circumstances should you do that. Han: (Laughs) Alison: Right? So I think my advice would actually be – and I should say I didn’t give advice to this letter writer when I printed the letter, I threw it out for readers to answer because I was having a crazy busy month and needed to have fewer blog posts to write – but if I were giving advice to this letter writer, I would say keep it low key, start hanging out, see where it goes. And if it does start turning serious and you want to pursue it, start job searching. You’ve been there what, half a decade? It’s not a terrible idea to look around at what else might be out there anyway. Han: Absolutely. This letter, in terms of worst case scenarios, kind of reminds me of the one that you had recently where the letter writer got a job with her dad’s girlfriend and then it was awful. In terms of the way things can go when you mix interpersonal and romantic relationships with work relationships, sometimes it can be a horrifying trash fire. Matt: Did they ask the letter writer to go to couple’s therapy with them? Alison: Yeah, to fill in listeners who didn’t see this letter – it was horrifying. The letter writer had taken a job working for her father’s live-in, I think live-in, girlfriend, who had turned out to be a terrible boss in numerous ways. But then on top of it all, the father and the boss were pressuring her to attend couple’s counseling with them and the boss was actually threatening her job; was saying that if she didn’t attend couple’s counseling she would fire her. So, a total shitshow. Matt: Well, I love that you turned this over to listeners and they seemed by and large to be very much in the “Yeah, go for it, but be prepared for the risk” kind of response. And that’s a fine way to approach life. Han: I think that’s kind of always the case with relationships. I’ve told people before – and I’ve been told this is a morbid outlook on the world – but every relationship ends in a breakup or death. So just know going in that either you will break up or one of you will die. Alison: (Laughs) That’s very optimistic. Matt: (Laughs) Yeah, we’ve got this one life here and you want to make the most of it. And I don’t know, it could make for a good follow up blog posts if things go terribly awry. Alison: That’s right. Matt: Or it could go great, who knows? Alison: Either way I’d like another letter out of it. Matt: (Laughs) Exactly. Alison: Well, that is it for today. Thank you so much for coming on. And do you want to let people know where they can find you online? Han: Sure, absolutely. You can find Han and Matt Know it All on any podcast app you use and we have a website which is hanandmattknowitall.com and I’m on twitter at @HaMKnowItAll. Matt: And I’m on twitter as @bookishmatt, although I don’t really use it (laughs) But I’m on the Facebook group quite a bit. Alison: And we should add, Han has also started writing an advice column too, which has a great name: Ask a Helping Han. Han: That’s me. Matt: So good. Alison: It’s all great stuff, definitely check it out. Well thank you for coming on. This was fun. Han: Thank you so much for having us, it was great. Matt: Thank you so much. Alison: Thanks for listening to the Ask a Manager podcast. If you’d like to ask a question on the show, email it to email@example.com. You can get more Ask a Manager at askamanager.org, or in my book Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Coworkers, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work. The Ask a Manager show is a partnership with How Stuff Works and is produced by Paul Dechant. If you liked what you heard, please take a minute to subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play. I’m Alison Green and I’ll be back next week with another one of your questions. Transcript provided by MJ Brodie. You can see past podcast transcripts here.