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490 votes
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Co-worker works way more than he should

Maybe he simply doesn't know what else to do with his time because of a lack of social contacts. Why don't you invite him over for BBQ on one of those weekends? (If you feel like investing your ...
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  • 1,272
255 votes
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Should I always give way to my colleague just because of their age?

Not when it puts you at a disadvantage that could easily be avoided. The space in your office should be used in the best way to give everyone the best desk space possible. If the current layout doesn'...
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  • 153k
252 votes

How to handle incompetent/aggressive customers incapable of describing a problem?

One of the most useful phrases I ever learned in my hellish time in a helpdesk role was "show me". People suck at describing their problems, but they're generally pretty good at showing what's wrong. ...
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  • 10.8k
251 votes
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Can a German employer force mandatory overtime and forbid salary discussion?

Both statements have been in courts and both have been ruled illegal and unenforceable. Overtime can be included in the "basic salary", but only if you are in management or similar positions where ...
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  • 113k
249 votes
Accepted

How do I avoid giving up my password to coworkers?

Do not give anybody your password. If they lack the resources to do their work then they have to take this up with their superiors. The problem is not primarily your privacy (although this surely is ...
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248 votes

Salary discussion with manager and his counter argument that I am well paid

You counter that with: Well, I have no information about that. What counts for me is the opportunity costs, i.e. what I could make on other engagements. I love my work and I love this company, but ...
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  • 22.1k
237 votes
Accepted

Family emergency and I can't attend work tomorrow morning

How to maximize my chance to not lose my job and to lose the least possible respect by my bosses? Call as soon as you can get through. Tell your boss that a family emergency came up and you won't ...
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213 votes

Been in the same company for 5 years but in that time it changed its name 3 times - how to display this on my CV?

While HR might not do extensive research regarding the founding year of a company, a potential employer might be wary of three separate entries in your CV. I think the best approach for this would be ...
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  • 876
198 votes
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Badly designed reimbursement form. What does that say about the company?

Assuming the company does not work in the business of providing forms or HR outsourcing services, this should not be a big deal. I would not bring it up in the interview, other than maybe asking if ...
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  • 113k
190 votes
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Approach sick days in feedback meeting

He follows all the company policies for sick days, so from the HR perspective there is no problem. Then there's no problem that needs resolving. Should I approach his sick days in the feedback ...
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  • 39.7k
184 votes
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How to deal with unwillingness or indifference when asking for help with implementing an API in a foreign language I don't understand?

Refer this back to your supervisor. Explain that you need this document in English to complete the task. Your supervisor can then decide whether to a) pull the Italian-speaking colleague into the ...
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  • 14.5k
181 votes

Why would a company not allow applicants to ask questions during a job interview?

How common is this type of job interview? Are there any good reasons why a company would prefer this one-way form of communication? That's pretty unusual and would be a red flag for me. Interviewing ...
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  • 90.7k
179 votes

How to handle incompetent/aggressive customers incapable of describing a problem?

Most people with IT problems are experiencing the problem more emotionally, rather than technically or logically. Working on an IT help desk is surprisingly and challengingly closer to therapy than ...
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  • 1,678
178 votes
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How do I know I'm not unknowingly messing up my software apprenticeship?

The first sign that you're not is the fact that you're concerned that you might be. Give me someone who's a little insecure over a know-it-all any day. It means you're going to ask questions, ...
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173 votes
Accepted

Employee died unexpectedly - how should I act towards the deceased's colleague?

I don’t think you can go wrong by expressing sympathy for a loss like that: “I was surprised to hear the news, and I am very sorry for the loss. How is his family doing?” Then listen for a ...
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  • 22k
165 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 ...
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  • 43.1k
164 votes

"Startup" working hours - is it normal to be asked to work 11 hours/ day?

It feels unethical and even immoral In Germany, it's illegal. As in against the law. The relevant sections are "Arbeitszeitgesetz (ArbZG)" §3: Die werktägliche Arbeitszeit der Arbeitnehmer darf ...
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  • 113k
151 votes

What should be my reaction to my supervisors' small child showing up during a video conference?

I am a fellow parent and manager. I had to un-stick Lego, wipe little bottoms (off-cam) and stop fights during professional presentations. Or tell my 5 years old to put on some trousers before he ...
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  • 1,474
148 votes

Employee effectively not working during notice period

So you fire someone for not being productive and then expect him to be productive? Joke's on you. He was already poorly motivated, now he's even less motivated. You should have expected this and just ...
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  • 4,266
147 votes
Accepted

How can I convince my teamleader that another data structure would be better?

It's worth looking at this from the other perspective, namely, that of the team lead: You have two different structures, one is tested a proven, presumably with an existing number of people ...
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  • 1,256
147 votes

Employee effectively not working during notice period

The best course of action is to let him stay home at this point. It is no use to expect him to be productive while on a working notice, given that his performance was already lacking. Give him pay in ...
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  • 1,587
145 votes

I am endangering people's lives doing tasks I am not qualified to do

I need this job because I have to take care of my daughter No. You need a job to take care of your daughter. That could be flipping Burgers at McDonald's. In Germany as a Software Developer there ...
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  • 113k
143 votes

Friend got overpaid but doesn’t report it - is it my obligation to report it?

No Unless as bharal pointed out, there is evidence that you discussed this over company email etc. How do you know your friend is right? He could be incorrect, it could be holiday pay owed to him ...
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  • 1,634
141 votes

Company pushing me to sign records about working hours while I was on vacation

You amend the printed document in your own handwriting. You initial the parts you amended. You sign the amended copy. You keep a copy for your own records. Taking too long to discuss this issue was a ...
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138 votes
Accepted

Is it an alarming sign, if a company's hiring process for senior/lead developer doesn't include a coding task?

Whether you're asked for programming questions shouldn't be a critical factor in your decision. They might not ask you simply because they don't know how. That's why they want to hire a senior/lead ...
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  • 1,354
133 votes

How to handle unwanted attention from "fans" in the workplace?

Tell him one last time to stop doing that. Be firm and straight, don't beat around the bush. Don't get involved in any discussions. If he continues doing it go straight to HR and let them handle it. ...
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  • 3,159
120 votes

Want to negotiate pay raise even though I'm leaving in six months

Is this unethical? Tacky? Ill-advised? Am I selling myself based on future value that I know they will not receive and am therefore committing a type of fraud? No, it's not unethical, tacky, or ...
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