Ten Reasons Why The Workplace Should Be More Like ‘Survivor’

Dear Evil Skippy:

My supervisor is a T.V. addict and he constantly compares our workplace to different shows. One of his favorite “learning tools” is to compare what we do to what happened on a particular program to point out how we can do it better. He’s used “Mad Men”, “Parks and Recreation” and even “The Walking Dead”. Most of his examples don’t make sense and waste a lot of meeting time. Do you think it is possible to make him stop?

– Minion

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My Employment Agreement Requires Four Weeks Notice But I Want To Quit NOW

images-247Dear Evil Skippy:

When I took my current job, I signed an “employment agreement” where I agreed to give a month’s notice when quitting. This job is really horrible- I made a biiiiig mistake. I’ve started interviewing, but most places won’t want to wait a month, and I might tear out my own eyes if I have to stay here that long. I know that I work in an “at-will” state (Washington), but I also know that you can sue anyone for anything if you feel like it. Should I worry about it? I’m pretty sure this business has some practices they wouldn’t want exposed to the legal system, like not getting an I-9 from me until almost 4 weeks after I started and only because I asked.

– Not Oedipus

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My Boss Cons Me Out Of Transfers

images-246Dear Evil Skippy:

My manager is, shall we say, inconsistent in what he says and what he ends up doing. This goes back to when I was hired. I originally decided to work for him on a part-time basis under the premise that when a full time position was available, I would move to that shift. He knew that this was the only reason I agreed to start at a part-time level. Fast forward a few months when the full-time position came up for grabs, and I and two other part-timers were told that whoever performed the best would get the full time position. I got the position, but only after one candidate told the manager that she could not work full time, and the other one got herself fired.

When I asked my manager about it, he stated that at no time during the hiring process did they guarantee I’d get the position I wanted. While this was true, he knows that I was expecting to move to full time as soon as the position was available, and I feel that I was manipulated.

Fast forward a year. A position for a full-time graveyard shift was created and will need to be filled within a month. I expressed an interest in the position and was told that it is between me and another staff member. At the time, I was told that the shift is from Midnight-8am, which worked out just fine for me. Later, when he called me into his office to explain that he was giving the position to the other staff, he said one of the reasons was that “because you take the bus, it’d be difficult for you” since the shift was now 9pm-5am and buses do not run until 5:30am.

The other staff is a young mother and was often heard bragging about how well this schedule fits in with her boyfriend’s work schedule so that they don’t have to get a babysitter most days. I suspect the hours were tailored to that effect.

Other coworkers have expressed frustration to me about instances in the past where our boss has presented a position or shift one way, then tailored it for the person who ended up taking the position, making it something quite different from how he put it at first.

Am I dealing with a liar here? And if you think so, what (if anything) should I do to ensure he won’t con me out of a position I want in the future?

– Not A Lie Detector

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My Co-Worker Gets Lots Of Time Off But I Don’t

images-245Dear Evil Skippy:

One of my co-workers has a kid with lots of health issues and is constantly taking days off from work for medical appointments. It causes a lot of productivity and workflow challenges for me. I talked to my boss, who said her hands were tied because the FMLA and our benefits program require her to give my co-worker the days off. I recently asked for a week off because my dog is having surgery but my request was denied because of heavy workloads. Nonetheless, my co-worker ended up getting two days off during the same week without advance notice. I complained to my boss that this is not fair, but she is not doing anything about it. How can I get my boss to let me have time off?

– Bill

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Should I Consider A Job With A Company That Rejected Me Last Time?

images-244Dear Evil Skippy:

Several months ago, I interviewed for a new position but was not selected. Yesterday, the company contacted me and asked if I am still available. They said they have a new and different position they would like to offer to me subject to a background check (to make sure I did not get convicted of a felony or done something else bad since the last selection process). They gave me a few days to think about it. I am torn. On the one hand, they seem to be a great employer with good benefits. What’s holding me up is the fact they did not pick me the first time. I am thinking about not accepting because I don’t want to be someone’s back-up choice. What would you do if you were me?

– Torn

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He Said/She Said: Should I Caution The Alleged Wrongdoer Despite A Lack Of Direct Evidence?

theres_no_crying_in_human_resources_hat-r368d635caede4787ab6485eb280411b9_v9wfy_8byvr_512Dear Evil Skippy:

I wear many hats at my job, including the human resources one. We have under 100 employees and do not tend to do a lot of hiring, so the H.R. part of my job description is usually not too demanding. The last few days have been an exception. One of the receptionists complained that another employee has been making passes at her and saying lewd things. I interviewed her and the employee in question. He denies all the allegations. Of course, there are no eyewitnesses other than the receptionist and him. I am inclined to caution the employee about the alleged behavior even though there is no direct proof. It is his word against hers and I don’t see any reason why she would make it all up. What do you do in cases like this?

– Conflicted

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Should I Reprimand People For Wasting Time While Waiting For Meetings To Start?

Dear Evil Skippy:

I manage a department and am having some conflict over an etiquette issue. When I call for meetings, some people always arrive a few minutes early. These same people tend not to bring any work to do while waiting for the meeting to start. They enjoy an add-on coffee break instead. I have other employees who are very productive but who tend to be about five minutes late to meetings. When I told my less productive people to plan ahead and have some work to do while waiting for meetings to start, they replied that this would not be necessary if the others did not keep them waiting. I replied that a five-minute grace period is permitted under the rules of etiquette and no time would be wasted if they were more organized. Should I also have reprimanded them for being insubordinate by questioning a clear directive?

– Manager

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My Employee Complained That I Was Pushing Religion Because Of St. Patrick’s Day

images-243Dear Evil Skippy:

I invited my staff to join me at a nearby pub for a beer after work on St. Patrick’s Day. I am Irish and always tell everyone that they can be Irish for the day. I have organized similar St. Patrick’s Day excursions ever since I became a supervisor fifteen years ago and no one has ever complained – until now. One employee complained to Human Resources that I was pushing my religious beliefs on everyone by organizing the excursion. I answered all of H.R.’s questions and they told me that I did not do anything wrong – but why would they have interrogated me at all? Do you think my annual gatherings are a bad idea?

– Patrick (Really)

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I Think My Boss Wants To Get Rid Of Me

Dear Evil Skippy:

I think my boss wants to fire me so he can hire someone else. I have asked him many times over the last few months if my job is in jeopardy and he keeps saying that it is not, but I sense that he actually wants me gone. Do you know of any warning signs I should watch for to see if my suspicion is correct?

– Worried

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My Co-Worker Plays Practical Jokes With His Glass Eye

images-242Dear Evil Skippy:

One of my co-workers keeps playing a practical joke that grosses me out.  He has a glass eye and will leave it on my desk or other places where I will find it unexpectedly.  You’d think after several times that it would no longer shock me, but it makes me cringe every time.  He thinks it is hysterical and tells me that I need to loosen up when I ask him to stop pranking me.  I talked to my supervisor.  He said since it is not sex harassment (the prankster is a guy and so am I) or anything illegal that his hands are tied.  What should I do next?

–  Tired of Shocks

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