How Do I Regain My Employer’s Trust?

images-215Dear Evil Skippy:

I would like to know how I can get trust back from my previous employer. I left on good terms to work for a competitor company and now I am trying to go back to my previous employer. I meet all of the qualifications for the job I applied for. My ex-employer has this trust issue thinking I will leave again if they hire me. How do I regain their trust?

– G.C.

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Do I Have To Respond To A Complaint About ‘Deflated Balls’

images-216Dear Evil Skippy:

Several of my employees have been joking the last few days about deflated balls. One of my employees complained to me that the joking makes her uncomfortable because she “knows” the others are not talking about footballs. It’s obvious that this is all just some joking around about the recent news and is not about sex. I can’t imagine how anyone would feel harassed. Do I need to do anything about this employee’s complaint?

– Boss

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My Supervisor Does Not Like Me

images-214Dear Evil Skippy:

I just had my annual review. At the end, my supervisor asked if there was anything I wanted to say or ask. There was. I’d been trying to get up my nerve for a while. I told my supervisor that I often felt that she did not like me and I wondered if I was doing anything wrong. I said it in a nice manner. My supervisor gave me a funny look and told me that she was my supervisor and not my friend, so whether or not she likes me is not important. I did not know what to say. She hurt my feelings and now I have trouble respecting her. Should I talk to H.R. or do something else?

– Insulted

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Ten Handbook Provisions That Made Us Want To Slap Someone

Dear Evil Skippy:

I am lobbying the executives at my company to let me trim down the employee handbook. Our version is too long and contains a bunch or “policies” that either do not apply at our workplace or are outdated. Is there a list of examples of common handbook mistakes or other problems that should be corrected?

– H.R. Manager

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My Co-Worker Badgers Me Into Taking Long Breaks

images-211Dear Evil Skippy:

I have a coworker who is maddeningly clingy with me. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me because I really do like spending time with her (we have known each other since college). However one behavior of hers drives me crazy: she smokes far more cigarettes than I do, and she constantly IM’s me asking me to come outside with her. If I say no, she badgers me until she finally wears me down and I agree to accompany her. Once outside, she insists on smoking two cigarettes even if I tell her before we leave the office that we’re only going to have one.

I know I have a problem with setting boundaries, and we get along so well in every other aspect of our relationship that I feel bad saying no to her. I also am afraid I’m going to one day explode at her out of annoyance, and I don’t want to do that because she is a good person. I was hoping you could give me tips or advice on how to talk to her about it now, before I blurt out something I will regret.

– S.

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Remember Why You (Might) Have Today Off

images-212I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

—  Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Can I Fire My Employee For Organizing A Protest March To Save Squirrels?

images-210Dear Evil Skippy:

I run a small company with 20 employees. Our facility was over-run with aggressive squirrels. After trying a few “catch and release” options failed, we hired an animal control expert who trapped the critters and euthanized them. A few days later, a group of animal rights activists picketed our building with signs that said we were inhumane to animals. The local press called but did not run a story after hearing we were talking about squirrels. I found out that one of my own employees organized the protest although she did not march. This feels like a betrayal at most and bad judgment at least. Would it be legal to fire her?

– Owner

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My Employee Jokes About Strangling Difficult Customers

images-4Dear Evil Skippy:

I supervise a group of customer service representatives. We provide our service by telephone. One of my reps (let’s call him Dave but that is not his name) has a habit of saying, “There’s another customer who should be strangled” after difficult calls. This probably happens once a week on average. Another of my reps complained to me that these comments make her nervous because it indicates Dave might be violent. It’s obvious from his tone and demeanor that Dave is kidding around, but my other rep wants me to pursue this as a violation of the company’s policy against workplace violence. How would you handle this?

– Supervisor

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