491 votes

What to do when a sick employee doesn't respond to communications, and has important data?

She is not "ghosting" you if she is on sick leave. The whole point of "sick leave" is that the person is not feeling well and cannot work. She might be resting, she might be out for doctors ...
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  • 115k
473 votes
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My manager told me I should feel comfortable about telling him if I want to leave the company. Should I tell him?

First, there do in fact exist managers who will not fire you just because they think you might want to leave the company, and who will not withhold plum assignments or otherwise mistreat you either. I ...
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462 votes

How can I inform my boss that I may have been hired by mistake?

I want my manager to know my actual background and areas of expertise and feel guilty that I “stole” a position using someone else's credentials. However, I'd also like to retain my position, if ...
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444 votes
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How do I deal with an autistic employee who criticizes teammates publicly and doesn't understand the harm in doing so?

Full disclosure: I am autistic (Asperger's syndrome) and I have fought hard not to be the guy you are describing. BE BLUNT, BE DIRECT, BE FACTUAL, STAY ON POINT We have a great deal of difficulty ...
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377 votes

Coworker is easily and often offended and doesn't want us to mention offensive topics like facial hair

Alert HR as soon as possible. This person is going to be disruptive as long as this person is allowed to be. In fact, give this person a taste of their own medicine and tell HR that a hostile work ...
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373 votes
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How to deal with a coworker who blamed me for the bug that was his fault

Just send an email to everybody involved saying that, after hours, you found (and fixed) the bug. "It is so and so in AB." Maybe with a link to something. Don't mention any person. That should be ...
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  • 4,257
370 votes
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Ways to respond when HR says your market salary range research isn't correct?

My response to them saying those numbers are wrong would be to say that that's the reason I'm bringing this to their attention - their idea of the salary range and my idea of the salary range for this ...
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  • 8,747
346 votes

How to gently enforce "nohello" to a coworker?

Respond politely by asking them what they need from you. Your co-worker likes to begin conversations with small talk, which is a style of communication that some people prefer. They find it necessary ...
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  • 4,904
344 votes

A peer "gives" me tasks in public and makes it look like I work for him

You don't need to be confrontational here to handle things appropriately - just be matter of fact. To "assigning tasks": Bob, thanks for the suggestion. I'd encourage you to talk to [...
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  • 15.4k
336 votes
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How to get rid of unwanted coworkers at lunch?

It is rude of people to attach themselves to a lunch party without being invited. Lunch is not work time, and people can spend it how they want. On the other hand you have identified an issue, that ...
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  • 73.9k
321 votes

What's the most polite way to tell a manager "shut up and let me work"?

What's a work-appropriate way to say "Please stop talking and let me work"? Once they state the request, repeat it back to them and then say: Do I understand the requirement/change correctly? ...
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  • 84.1k
315 votes
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How do I tell my manager that his code review comment is wrong?

Be humble. I'm a bit confused here. My understanding was that feature X has property Y. Is there something I'm missing here which means this doesn't work in this case? Much better to start from ...
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313 votes
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How to professionally acknowledge to a client that a former coworker made a mistake in production?

Why don't you just acknowledge that you found the problem and fixed it? Why do you need to name names? If pressed, tell the client "We left a testing filter in place. We removed the filter and ...
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  • 40.7k
297 votes
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Did I overstep my boundaries by sharing my phone number and including my firm's name in e-mail signatures?

Sounds like your boss has a problem. To my surprise, where I thought I had posted my new phone number (a place where ALL employees could share their new updated contact number) was ACTUALLY where ...
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  • 34.3k
292 votes

Is my workplace warning for texting my boss's private phone at night justified?

Suck it up. You were communicating negatively about a work colleague after 10 PM on a Saturday. You'd have gotten a lot worse from me if you had disturbed me at that time and it hadn't been because ...
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  • 202k
290 votes
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I made a post-resignation promise that I'm not comfortable keeping, but don't want to break my word. Suggestions?

Two things can happen: Your old boss emails/phones you and asks about the lunch date. Go! Tell him how much happier you are now. Don't diss him or the old company but tell him how efficient your ...
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  • 22k
287 votes

Should I raise concerns about a co-worker possibly leaving?

Stay out of it You should not have even brought this up with your manager. If it turns out Joe is not leaving, and he simply had perhaps some (possibly embarrassing to him) doctor's appointments, ...
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  • 4,214
287 votes
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How to thank an employee for working extra hours without making him feel pressured

Most importantly, make it clear that you have a plan for adjusting future workloads so that he hopefully doesn't ever have to do this again. There's a danger here that you seem to have picked up on. ...
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  • 43.1k
284 votes
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What to do about a colleague playing pranks on a manager?

You seem to be taking it upon yourself to fix a situation that is not your problem. TM You're not the boss of either of these people, and no one else seems to think these pranks are a big deal. ...
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  • 49.2k
271 votes

Shouldn't I expect my boss to change his attitude when it is detrimental to office morale?

I suggested to my boss, to prevent this kind of situation, that he could announce the start of the meeting 2 minutes before time so that we still have time to prepare and gather around his desk. ...
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261 votes

How do I tell recruiters I don't want to go forward until they answer my question, but without being rude?

Bear in mind the recruiter is being rather rude by wasting your time, certainly more rude than a simple rejection saying you're only interested in moving in order to work on a specific technology ...
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  • 4,365
260 votes

What should you do when eye contact makes your subordinate uncomfortable?

Go take a walk around the block while you two talk. That's what we do here and it works pretty well.
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  • 5,343
260 votes

Just found I was supposed to be working on a completely different project since 8 months ago. How can I handle this?

You know what? I'll do the frame challenge answer and say, Don't Tuck Tail. Oh, don't get me wrong. You're going to get blamed a bit, and possibly thrown under a bus. But trying to flee and find ...
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  • 29.5k
259 votes
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How should I behave when I deleted data that shouldn't have been on my computer?

Honesty is the only policy here. "I saw this file and realized it was something I should not have access to and deleted it". There is very little that you can do to insulate yourself from it at this ...
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  • 6,630
255 votes

How do I ask a friendly coworker to remind me what their name is?

The best way to do this without being super awkward is to ask one of your coworkers what his name is. Hey Bob, do you know the name of the guy that sits in the corner next to Alice? I talk to him ...
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  • 29.7k
246 votes

What to do when a sick employee doesn't respond to communications, and has important data?

The idea you don’t understand how an employee being out sick works speaks volumes to your core frustrations. First you say this: “Yesterday I tried to contact her through the usual channels and ...
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  • 9,729
245 votes
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How to respond to request to use a first name?

How to respond to request to use a first name? If the individual requested it, just use their first name. You are thinking correctly in most cases, but in this case you will be aggravating the ...
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  • 84.1k
240 votes
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Boss sends a birthday message. How to reply?

'Thanks, you have a great day as well!'
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  • 202k

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