The Say-It-Like-It-Is Dress Code for Work Q: Most employees know that company handbooks are legal documents written by the company's law firm. Everything in them has to be politically and legally correct, which makes some of the sections on dress codes sound obscure, general and sometimes …Read more. How to Handle a Change in Environment Q: I am an inside sales rep who has to make daily calls for business. Management just changed our work environment for the worse. We used to have moveable walls around our desks, which muffled sound and gave us some privacy. The walls were removed, …Read more. Boss Yells at Employee in Front of Others Q: I am having a hard time coming to grips with something that happened at work. My day started with my sleeping through all three of my alarms and waking up late. I called my employer as soon as I woke up to inform everyone of what had happened and …Read more. Valuable Connection Gets Ignored Q: A co-worker told me he was looking for a very specific and uncommon type of job. Amazingly, I had a connection in that field to introduce him to, and I offered to do so immediately. I went out of my way to call my connection, tell her about him, …Read more.more articles
Coughing Employee Irritates Co-Workers
Q: I work in a government agency call center with 11 co-workers, one supervisor and one manager. One of our call takers has had a chronic and annoying cough since she started working here more than a year ago. She insists her cough is not contagious, yet the rest of us in the department are out sporadically for three to five days with colds, coughs or flu. We have no choice but to breathe the same air as this co-worker. How do we stay healthy with her in our office? No one has the authority to make her stay home until the cough stops.
A: It is common for office workers breathing the same recycled air in a building to come down with colds and other minor viruses. It is not likely that the woman has tuberculosis, since her cough has remained the same all year and her general health has not worsened. Chronic coughs can be caused for many reasons, among those is an allergic cough due to the various seasonal blooms or food. It is annoying to listen to, and probably annoys her as well. With the right type of coaxing, you may be able to convince her to see an allergist. Do some research for her on chronic coughs, and give her all the articles you find. She may be the type who doesn't like going to doctors, but once you show her that a chronic cough is not normal, it shouldn't take much to get her to make an appointment.
Sharing Negative Information Without Being Negative
Q: I work for a company where I know the owner very well and have a mentoring relationship with him. Recently, he hired a new vice president whose behavior is inappropriate. He has shared very negative, personal family background information with me, which I did not know how to respond to.
A: Don't say anything. Let the new vice president's e-mails speak for themselves. Surely you kept copies of everything. Since the owner is your mentor, simply forward all the VP's e-mails to him with a memo saying you thought he should know how this man communicates with his employees. Include every e-mail — insults, accusations, hostile and inappropriate — especially the e-mail about liking to mess with people's minds. Also print out every e-mail and keep copies in a safe place. You may need them at a later date. Postpone your leave of absence in the midst of this problem. An employee doesn't have to explain reasons for a LOA, but the owner does have the right to refuse approving it.
Please send your questions to: Lindsey Novak, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd. Suite 700, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045. E-mail her at LindseyNovak@yahoo.com, or visit her Web site at www.lindseynovak.com. To find out more about Lindsey Novak and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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