My Employee Is Mad Because I Said Her Idea Was Dumb

Dear Evil Skippy:

One of the employees who I supervise wanted to have a “Labor Day” potluck but to use it to honor all the women who have had babies. I thought it was a dumb idea and said no. (I also told her it was a dumb idea). Now she is mad and making everyone miserable with her bad mood. Was I too blunt by calling her idea dumb?

— Supervisor

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I Want To Simplify Our Dress Code

Interpretive-danceDear Evil Skippy:

I am creating a new policy manual for my office and am thinking about a total revamp of the dress code. The one we have was written decades ago and goes into a lot of unnecessary and/or outdated detail. My idea is to go for super simple. Here it is:

“Employees are expected to exercise common sense and dress appropriately for a professional office environment at all times.”

What do you think?

— H.R. Assistant

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How Do I Stop A Co-Worker From Excessive Chatting?

taserDear Evil Skippy:

I have a co-worker who insists upon walking all over the office to say good morning and have a little chat session with everyone. When bored, which seems to be every time management leaves the office or isn’t around, she has to do another round in the office talking to people. If people do not immediately greet her back or engage in her conversation attempt, she gets mad. On a few occasions, I have even heard her tell a fellow co-worker that she has a problem when he doesn’t say good morning or engage her back in conversation.

This co-worker does not care that this other person is (at times) deeply entrenched in work or analyzing data and may not want to break away and possibly lose their train of thought just because this employee is bored with work and insists they engage in conversation. This employee even admitted that it bothers them when people do not chat back and she feels that it is an attempt at a power trip by the non-responding employee.

Management does NOTHING about it. When others complain about the chatty coworker doing everything BUT HER JOB, everyone is told to “turn the other cheek” or “just ignore it” etc. There are some days I just want to yell WTF to this coworker and be done.

This is why I have a problem with Good Morning People; because it many times does not stop there. What would you do?

— B.B.

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The Top Ten Ways To Tell Employees They Look Trashy

Dear Evil Skippy:

I manage a large retail operation and have a delicate problem. One of my customer service employees who has worked here for just over two years dresses like a hooker. I think she is trying to look younger than her real age, but her efforts come off as trashy and sleazy. How can I advise her to dress more professionally without insulting her?

— Supervisor

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My Employee Lied And Spent The Day At Disneyland

Dear Evil Skippy:

When one of my employees was supposed to be having dental surgery, he posted pictures of himself on Facebook while he was actually at Disneyland. (Another employee showed me the pictures from her Facebook account). I decided to fire the guy (and did, after confirming that he did not have surgery), but now I am wondering if lying one time to get a day off was a good enough reason to fire him. What do you say?

— Supervisor

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My Boss Rejected My Number One Applicant

btc-controlfreak-mug-2Dear Evil Skippy:

I supervise a group of bookkeepers and recently had an opening. I narrowed the applicants to three finalists (because that is what my manager always wants us to do. He makes the final choice based on the hiring supervisor’s recommendation). I told my boss that I wanted to hire Applicant A, but he said we would hire Applicant B. Why? Because my favorite applicant said during her interview that she would have a hard time working overtime. My boss preferred to hire the applicant who said she could work any hours that were requested. I have supervised this department for four years and we have only asked for overtime from my employees twice in that time. The only thing I expect is that an applicant be able to dependably work the regular schedule. I tried to explain to my boss that we should hire Applicant A, but he refused to budge because, and I quote, “Applicant A does not seem dedicated enough if she is reluctant to work overtime.” We hired my less-favored applicant. What would you have done?

— Supervisor

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The Top Ten Things To Say To Workplace Drama Queens

drama queenDear Evil Skippy:

Two of my employees were friends for a long time but are now not speaking to each other because one of them said she no longer wanted to drive the other one home on Fridays after everyone goes out for drinks.  Apparently, this means the ride-less employee can’t socialize with everyone unless she waits several hours for the bus or pays too much for a taxi.  Some employees are taking sides and the place has become very tense.  I hate it.  Since this is a personal dispute and not a work matter, are my hands tied?

–  Frustrated

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