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166 votes
Accepted

How should I reply appropriately if my boss tells me that they are sick in an e-mail?

Don't overthink it. "Feel better soon!" is fine. You can also clarify if there's anything special your boss needs you to handle while they are recovering. This is what I usually reply to emails like ...
dwizum's user avatar
  • 43.6k
156 votes

Muslim colleague is uncomfortable with 1:1 meeting and work culture — to what degree should I accommodate?

To what extent should I accomodate her requests? To the extent that you accommodate any request that you could extend to all your other team members as well. If it is no problem to offer a solution ...
nvoigt's user avatar
  • 141k
110 votes

How to stop nicknames from being used?

How can I use my influence to get others to call each other by their real name and not by stupid nicknames without hurting morale or pointing fingers? I think in this case the answer is you don't....
Neo's user avatar
  • 84.8k
108 votes
Accepted

Is a lowball salary then a part-time offer standard Japanese employment negotiations?

No, it is not a standard practice in Japan. I think they are just a startup that can't afford to hire you on full-time at the price you are asking, so they are looking for alternatives. As for the ...
さりげない告白's user avatar
103 votes

How will asking to be part of a more ethnically diverse team be perceived?

First, welcome to my world. As a woman in IT I have spent decades being the only woman on the team or the only technical woman on the team. I completely empathize with that sense of feeling left out ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
101 votes
Accepted

Is "barking up the wrong tree" inappropriate in professional communication?

It’s a perfectly fine British English idiom, but I don’t know about American. In the UK, I would say that anyone complaining about it, as long as they have some experience with the English language, ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 169k
100 votes

Is a book on sales technique a bad idea for our head of sales in secret santa?

I'd suggest this is one of those "If you have to ask, don't do it" moments. Even if someone might normally find things like this funny, the questions remain: What kinda of pressure are they ...
Rob Moir's user avatar
  • 5,619
88 votes
Accepted

Muslim colleague is uncomfortable with 1:1 meeting and work culture — to what degree should I accommodate?

I would reasonably accommodate her requests but also explain her some boundaries: The first thing is that her concerns are important for her, so they can't be dismissed. At the same time she decided ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 3,495
78 votes
Accepted

Is a book on sales technique a bad idea for our head of sales in secret santa?

Normally I wouldn't think twice about this sort of thing, but it's been made apparent that sales haven't been doing too well this year. Does that make a gift like this [Sales for Dummies] a little ...
jcmack's user avatar
  • 17.4k
63 votes

Should a staff canteen allow using their cutlery without buying food?

This is really very very specific and different for each and every case. I have worked at offices where the canteen not only offered free to use cutlery but also free to use sides (salads, pickles, ...
Sourav Ghosh's user avatar
59 votes

How do I greet someone when bowing is the default greeting but I'm unable to bow?

I am also a muslim. But your concepts are wrong. You can bow and greet them. You are allowed to bow, this is the culture of Japanese. According to Islam, if you are bowing in front of someone ...
Muhammad Wajahat Anwar's user avatar
57 votes

Muslim colleague is uncomfortable with 1:1 meeting and work culture — to what degree should I accommodate?

It's strange that nobody seems to have explicitly said this, but The objective of a 1:1 is to allow an open conversation between manager and the team member and, to me, a private environment such as ...
Petr's user avatar
  • 705
55 votes

Can't understand boss's accent

Is it better to speak up and let her know this is a challenge for me? If so, what is the best way to do it? That depends on your relationship with your boss. You've been there for six months, so you ...
Joe Strazzere's user avatar
50 votes

Is "barking up the wrong tree" inappropriate in professional communication?

There is nothing inappropriate about the idiom per se, but I suppose it could be taken the wrong way, depending on context and delivery. It could be viewed as putting the "blame" for the ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
49 votes

How to address team member who excessively defers to me and is unwilling to give clear feedback

How do let her know that being more proactive / assertive is expected of her? You tell her. I'm not meaning to be glib. The first step in a situation like this is often to reassure a team member ...
simonc's user avatar
  • 6,718
39 votes

How do I greet someone when bowing is the default greeting but I'm unable to bow?

How should I handle greetings when unable to bow, without seeming disrespectful? You don't, you either bow or you disrespect their practice. The reasons don't apply. In much the same way as ...
Kilisi's user avatar
  • 222k
38 votes

How do I greet someone when bowing is the default greeting but I'm unable to bow?

In my experience (worked 4 years in Japan) Japanese are pretty tolerant to foreigners in work contexts. If you tell our coworker/boss about a religious reason, they will probably consider it strange (...
Sascha's user avatar
  • 17.9k
37 votes

How should I ask my co-workers that I need a handshower in the toilet?

If this is a medical condition which means that you need this facility, then you bring it up with your manager or HR, not with your co-workers. If it's actually not a need but a personal preference, ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Hourly tracking in a salaried position - how to do peaceful protest?

I would advise you to let them know that it would be one way or the other and not declare you won't use their system. If HR requires 9-5 daily then tell them that would mean you don't do any work ...
mutt's user avatar
  • 8,614
36 votes

How will asking to be part of a more ethnically diverse team be perceived?

Well, let's get the big one out of the way first: multiculturalism does not and should not mean that you need to "hit your ethnic quota". It means that your society or company should be open to other ...
Lilienthal's user avatar
  • 59.3k
36 votes
Accepted

How do I address a coworker with a Spanish four-word name?

But - how am I supposed to address him/her? The only way to know for sure what this person prefers to be addressed as is to ask them. Asking them is the most effective sure fire way to not make a ...
Neo's user avatar
  • 84.8k
32 votes

Muslim colleague is uncomfortable with 1:1 meeting and work culture — to what degree should I accommodate?

If the concern is about a muslim woman being alone with a man in a room, it seems like a solution might be to have a video 1:1 from different rooms.
Kaz's user avatar
  • 2,642
32 votes

Is "barking up the wrong tree" inappropriate in professional communication?

It's a perfectly valid English expression and you are using it in the right context. That said, the answer does contain an element of 'Piss off and leave me alone' - which some people (especially ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 36.9k
31 votes

Should a staff canteen allow using their cutlery without buying food?

My guess fo what exactly happened: the canteen company complained that they don't get paid to do your dishes and the manager they complained at did not have enough spine to tell them that that is ...
Borgh's user avatar
  • 12.3k
30 votes
Accepted

How to politely decline a colleague's wedding invitation given to you personally in office?

From my experience with the Indian culture1, there is no reason to worry about these wedding invitations from colleagues. You just need to handle the social interactions with some finesse, which is ...
Masked Man's user avatar
  • 47.3k
29 votes

Is a lowball salary then a part-time offer standard Japanese employment negotiations?

That is all about being a startup, possibly not related to Japan at all. From the offers, it's pretty clear that they are short on cash for what they are planing to do. Probably an initial funding is ...
Volker Siegel's user avatar
29 votes

How should I reply appropriately if my boss tells me that they are sick in an e-mail?

Just don't make it weird. Ask if there is anything you can do while they are off work, and leave the "get better soon" last like an email signature.
Hristo Kolev's user avatar
28 votes

How to address team member who excessively defers to me and is unwilling to give clear feedback

First, you need to understand that some people are really shy and really try to be polite and find it hard acting otherwise. You can't change that by just telling them "be a different person"...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 169k
27 votes
Accepted

Should a staff canteen allow using their cutlery without buying food?

So my question is, is this normal? Perfectly normal, it's a business decision to cut losses or to boost sales. I had always presumed an implicit difference in the relationship between staff and a ...
user3819867's user avatar

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