Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last? Q: I don't like competing with others; I like doing my best, taking credit for my single-handed accomplishments and giving credit to others when they do better than I do. But living this way has now left me behind. Two co-workers and I previously …Read more. Insecurity Causes Personality Clash With Boss Q: I took a new job in my area, but with an unacceptably low salary. I saw it as an opportunity to learn a little more in my field, even though I thought the company didn't pay people what they were worth. I justified it, thinking I would quickly …Read more. Accepting One's Mistakes is Essential to Learning Q: I write press releases at a publishing company, and I thought I was good at it. They are sent as part of a mass mailing system to promote each book. I received a reply from one of the people who received it criticizing me for what she thought was …Read more. 24-Hour Shift Creates Dangerous Standard Q: I'm a paramedic employed by the city, and we ride in pairs in our ambulances. Not only are we on call for 24-hour shifts, but also have to make at least 20 calls per shift. Many people really don't understand how stressful and tiring the job is, …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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