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mixed messages after layoffs, called back to the office but I’m a single mom with no child care, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go… 1. We’re sending mixed messages to our laid-off employees I work for a small nonprofit that had to lay off about half the team two weeks ago because of Covid. I am still employed, and while I serve on the leadership team and was consulted on how the process should be handled, the communication about...

is my boss taking advantage of the pandemic?

A reader writes: I work for a small company (less than 25 staff). Like many companies, they slashed everyone’s salary by 30% at the beginning of this pandemic and laid off a few people. They’ve said that hopefully get things back to normal as soon as possible, and our pays would return to normal. A couple weeks into lockdown, during our company-wide...

I feel guilty about leaving the team I manage

A reader writes: I’ve been at my company eight years now and have seriously loved working here, working my way up to the manager of my location in that time. I am in my early 30s, and this is my first job with direct reports. Due to a variety of corporate-level decisions, my job has gotten harder to enjoy as my team has become more and more unhappy...

my emotionally fragile employee is sobbing at work multiple times a week

A reader writes: I am in HR and one of my employees, “Brenda,” is a sweet, kind, sensitive, empathetic soul – she wears her heart on her sleeve. To know Brenda is to love her, and she is adored by everyone in the organization. A self-described empath, she cries easily and is a feeler’s feeler. (She feels things about MY life that I don’t even feel...

coworkers’ kids are noisy at work, SAT scores in a cover letter, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go… 1. My coworkers’ kids are making it hard for me to focus I am a little over a month in at a new job that I really like. Most of the staff is working out of the office most days (we are in the health field). Two colleagues regularly bring their kids to work. I am assuming this is because schools/camps/daycares...

my coworker’s meetings run on and on … and he knows we’re all trapped in our houses

A reader writes: I have a question about etiquette re: booking meetings and going past the set end of the meeting. I have a coworker, Fergus, who is senior to me, although he and I report to the same boss, and with whom I have a good working relationship. Our mutual boss, Tabitha, is incredibly mindful of ensuring that the meetings she books end...

my employee wants to be micromanaged

A reader writes: I have an employee who wants to be micromanaged. She seems to be paralyzed unless I explicitly give direction to get something done. If I don’t respond in what she deems a timely manner, she will text me while I’m in meetings or on phone calls, looking for direction. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried being direct by saying, “I need...

my boss sent a friend to spy on me at my house

A reader writes: I work for a very large company and am working from home. When I spoke to my manager on the phone recently, she hinted about whether I was watching TV while working. I told her I can’t watch TV while I work because it’s too distracting, but I listen to podcasts for background noise, as I did when we were in the office. Now I see...

my boss says grad school will prove I’m serious, being micromanaged after a great review, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go… 1. My boss says I should go to grad school to prove I’m serious about my field I’ve been with an association for close to five years now, and have consistently evolved in my role. I started as a coordinator for a particular department, and have moved onward to assistant project managing a few key...

weekend open thread – July 4-5, 2020

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. Here are the rules for the weekend posts. Book recommendation of the week: Carrie Pilby, by Caren Lissner. A former child prodigy hits adulthood and struggles to connect with people. It’s quirky and charming. * I make a commission...

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