Employee's Hearing or Listening Problem Must Be Resolved Q: I often have face-to-face work-related conversations with a woman in another department. She is the lead, but not my boss. She tells me what I need to know to do each project and wants me to report to her throughout the process. But she mishears …Read more. Job Search With Felony Record Not Impossible Q: I was told that because I now have a felony on my record, I will not be able to get a job. Is that true? A: That had often been the case until a grass-roots movement led to a class action suit against the U.S. Census Bureau, which began a …Read more. Age May Not Be Baby Boomers' Problem in Job Search Q: I am a certified career coach for a large company and work online with clients. For the past two years, I have had many baby boomers seek job coaching and ask me to redo their resumes. I have gotten all kinds of responses when they hear me …Read more. Falling in Love at Work Offers Its Own Lesson Q: I have fallen in love with one of my co-workers. When I started working at the company, Tom (not his real name) and I got along well. We took breaks together and texted each other periodically throughout the day. He made me laugh, and we related …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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