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Showing posts from May, 2014

Hoarding Office Supplies Causes Co-worker to Become Unglued

Q :    Dear Workplace Wonda,   When ordering supplies for the office/department, why is it that the order isn’t for everyone? When supplies are ordered, you assume it’s for everyone’s use, correct? Wrong! How do I handle a fellow co-worker who hoards an office item like it was paid for with his/her own pocket money? Signed, Glue-less     A: Dear Glue-less,   I hope your name isn’t secret code for what item your co-worker is hoarding. When you sign off as Glue-less, I can’t help but imagine your co-worker barricaded in his/her office drowning in a sea of Elmer’s glue. Hoarding is a serious mental health condition and there is even a TV series titled, "Hoarding: Buried Alive" that addresses extreme hoarding. So, unless your co-worker is literally buried beneath heaps of office supplies, I’ll assume your use of the word "hoard" refers to your co-worker’s refusal to bestow this item upon you. Since you don’t name thi

Desperate for a Hello

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda,  I’m no Emily Post, but isn’t it appropriate etiquette to acknowledge an individual with a friendly greeting when you come into contact with them.  I’ve noticed that sometimes employees will walk right past you in the hall way without even a glance up.  As a  matter of fact, the other day I waved at a co-worker who was leaving the parking lot and she just blankly looked at me.  Has our society become so emotionally protective that to initiate a friendly acknowledgment to our own co-workers is too much to ask?  Why should I  go out of my way to be friendly when others would just as soon be invisible.                    Signed, Desperate for a Hello. A:   Dear  Desperate for A Hello, Let me start off by saying, Aloha, Bonjour Salaam, Hola, Howdy Doo, Salutations, and What Up? I would not take the seemingly cool reception too personally.  In reality, people vary in how they interact, how often they interact, and how engaged they become.  This is also

Kindly Get Lost- How to Handle Employees Who Waste Your Time

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda,  I must have a “Waste My Time” sticker on my forehead because every day at work, “Chatty Cathy” plops down in my office chair and proceeds to tell me everything from her dog Fluffy’s latest hair-raising trick to how much money she saved recently by switching to Geico.  I don’t know if she’s completely clueless or if she realizes how much of my time she is wasting with her idle chit chat.   What can I say or do to limit “Chatty Cathy” time in my office on non-work related issues without breaking her spirit and affecting morale?  Signed, “Kindly Get Lost” A:   Dear  Kindly Get Lost,  I like to call the “Chatty Cathys” of the world “perpetual seat warmers.”  They burrow into your office space and proceed to hibernate for the winter.   In lieu of waiting until springtime to nudge them out, you might want to consider one of the following tips:  WALK AND TALK I’m not a fan of continuing to work by  typing on my keyboard while an office crasher chat

:-0 Shocked- Cell Phone Usage in the Workplace

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda, I’ve noticed more and more that people are texting at work.  I’ve walked into several offices and noticed staff texting right at their desks.  This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed this.  I even noticed employees texting during staff meetings and presentations.  Is this proper for the workplace?  Signed:  :-O (Shocked) A:   Dear :-O (Shocked), OMG!  It's Textageddan!  Blame it on Generation “Text” for this textatrocity!  Generation "Text" are the many teens and young adults coming into the workplace who came out of the womb operating technological devices.  Ringing or vibrating cell phones at work and during meetings is being replaced with text-messages or PDA e-mails.  While employees gasp at the sound of a cell phone ringing to the tone of ‘Baby’s Got Back’ during a meeting or presentation, many believe their quiet finger tapping at their phone keyboard goes unnoticed.  But... we see you.  Some try to hide what they are do

Ready to Explode- Working With Topic People

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda, I need your help!  I feel like I’m slowly being poisoned by my co-worker’s toxic behavior.  From the minute Debby walks in until the minute she leaves, she is spewing negativity that radiates throughout the entire office.  Instead of giving positive suggestions, she nit picks everything and complains constantly.  How do I work with a person who has nothing better to do than contaminate office morale with her noxious attitude Signed Ready to Explode A:   Dear Ready to Explode, Your situation sounds just like a scene from Mission Impossible.   Perhaps I can defuse some of your frustrations by offering you a few tips on dealing with toxic people like Debby. The most important thing to remember is you can’t change her actions, but you can change your reaction.  How?  Let’s break it down: Do some behavior analysis.  Toxic people like Debby often suffer from insecurities such as low self-esteem, poor communication skills, or social awkwardness.   T

It's Getting Hot Out Here, But Do NOT Take Off All Your Clothes!

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda, The weather is heating up around here and so is some of the clothing staff is wearing to work!  Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but I don’t believe professionalism should be thrown in the hamper like layers of unwanted  clothing just because it’s hot.  I understand most organizations have a relaxed dress code during the summer, but we are running a business, not Club Med!  Any suggestion on how to handle summer dress code?    Signed, Stressed About the Undressed A:   Dear  Stressed About the Undressed,  I can understand your frustration.  Dealing with dress code during the summer months can be a STICKY subject - for the employee - and for the employer.  Employees want to feel fresh and comfortable when coming to work and employers want employees to look crisp and professional.  Unfortunately, if you do not have a clear dress code policy,  violations can heat up faster than Visalia in August.   You are correct, more and more organizations are choos

Love Stinks- Workplace Romance

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda, there is a couple in my office who are dating and the way they are behaving is starting to make me feel uncomfortable.  For one thing, they are openly affectionate and more than once I’ve caught them canoodling in the office.  In addition, one of the employees sticks around after closing just to hang out with the other employee who is scheduled to work later.  Is this appropriate for the workplace?  What are the ramifications if the relationship sours?  Signed, Love Stinks Say NO to Canoodling in the Workplace!   A:   Dear Love Stinks, Workplace Wonda has a little experience in   this area.  I met Mr. Workplace Wonda “in the workplace;” therefore, you could say I’m the unofficial Poster Child for workplace romance.   It would be incredibly hypocritical of me to say office romance should be forbidden.  More to the point, it would be nearly impossible to prohibit office romance.  This would be like keeping Justin Beiber out of the news. It just isn

I'm too busy!

Q:    Dear Workplace Wonda, I need your help!  Last week,  I had a meeting with co-workers to gather data for a time-sensitive project that I am working on.  When Bob showed up, he immediately started asking how long the meeting was going to be (even though it was specified on the agenda that was sent to him prior to the meeting) because he had “sooo much” work to do.  Bob is always talking about how “busy” he is and how he doesn’t have time to assist other team members because he is “sooo swamped.”  What makes him think his time is more valuable than anyone else?   And what about my project?  Signed,  Not too Busy to Complain About Bob A:   Dear Not too Busy to Complain About Bob, I feel your pain. This is a personal pet peeve of mine and reminds me of one of my favorite comic strips by Randy Glasbergen that says, "No matter how busy I am, I'm never too busy to stop and complain about how busy I am."  I’ve had a similar situation myself when I requested d

Bullied to the Bone-Workplace Bullying

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda, I have been at my current  job for about four months and I am having a problem with my boss. She yells at me every day in front of the entire office, questions everything I do, and is frankly, rude. When I was first hired, there was another girl that she use to yell at and humiliate.  This girl finally had enough and walked out.  Now she's doing the same to me!   I go home in tears every night with a splitting headache and dread going to work each morning.   I want to quit, but in this economy I’m afraid I won’t be able to find another job.  What are my options?  Signed Bullied to the Bones   A:   Dear Bullied to the Bones, I am so sorry that you are having to experience such an unprofessional and demoralizing working environment.   Unfortunately, you are not alone.  According to the largest survey done in the US on workplace bullying (WBI-Zogby Survey-2007), an estimated 54 million (37% of the US workforce) report being bullied at work. Ther

Sick of Potty Mouths in the Workplace

Q :  Dear Workplace Wonda,  I’ve noticed there has been a lot of casual cursing around the office where I work.  I find it offensive and unprofessional and I think other employees do too.  How would you handle this situation? Signed, Sick of Potty Mouths What the $#!!*? A : Dear Sick of Potty Mouths, There is no doubt that the days of saying fiddlesticks, ding dangit, and whoopee daisies are over.  Today, words used to express frustration are much more blue, crude, raw, and just plain profane.  Unfortunately, cursing in casual conversation is socially acceptable by some and expletives are now standard adjectives, nouns and verbs used in movies, music, and on TV.  But there is one place where the use of four lettered words is still not acceptable, W-O-R-K! I’m not saying that everyone in the workplace needs to use a prudishly Mary Poppins-like vocabulary and skip around the workplace singing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious... But, letting an f-bomb explode from your mo

Feeling Blah at Work?

Q:   Dear Workplace Wonda, I've been with the company for more than ten years now, and I've lost some of the excitement  and motivation that I had when I started.  How do I increase my motivation and gain some of the enthusiasm I had when I first started? Signed, Feeling Blah A:     Dear  Feeling Blah, The start of anything new fills us with excitement- and sometimes fear.  The motivation in the beginning is fueled by the unknown and the anxiety and excitement of mastering a new skill.  Frankly, it sounds to me like "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'."   You look across the room.  Your eyes meet.  The chemistry is undeniable.  Your heart starts to beat faster and your palms start to sweat.  You place your elbows on the table with your chin rested on your hands as you listen intently to what may be "the most fascinating words" to EVER leave a mouth.  Fast forward ten years. You look across the room.  Unbelievable!  He left his d