840 votes
Accepted

Offensive language/behavior from co-worker in online game

What I thought was harmless fun ended up showing me his true colors. I would think very hard about whether this really showed his true colors. You tracked him down/stalked him. Singled him out to ...
  • 120k
452 votes
Accepted

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 ...
440 votes

Can I talk to my rubber duck at work?

If you want to be quiet, start describing your problem as a question on stackoverflow. There were numerous times where I started writing a question and found the solution while explaining the problem. ...
  • 37.3k
433 votes

How do I prevent colleagues from making fun of the length of my password?

You just ignore that sort of thing and eventually your colleague goes to bug someone else. Don't feed him and don't let it impact your morale; it's not important.
  • 206k
428 votes

Offensive language/behavior from co-worker in online game

Honestly in my opinion if he's not behaving that way at work, it's none of your (or HR's) business. I think it's as simple as that. Lots of people will curse and shout at home, but at work they put ...
  • 2,028
390 votes

How can I deal with troublesome Professional Engineer?

Key points: He has always been a dependable employee So, you started with a good man, now what happened. but since being overlooked for a promotion to principal engineer. Your company screwed ...
376 votes
Accepted

Is it ethical to use knowledge in main job for side gig?

There is no ethical dilemna here. The simple fact that experience allows you do something more efficiently has nothing to do with ethics.
  • 206k
363 votes

Is it inappropriate to help an employee outside of work?

I offered to let her borrow my blow up mattress until she could buy one. MY boss caught wind of our exchange and told me it was innapropriate to offer outside help because we are the bosses ...
352 votes
Accepted

Fired because I was wrongfully accused but now I can prove it

Your former employer most likely used you to settle a possible court case with the person that rented the apartment. They probably did it without telling you and they probably made you sign an NDA ...
  • 4,673
335 votes

How can I deal with troublesome Professional Engineer?

I think you made your own bed, here. You passed up the ONLY qualified candidate (so far as you have said) for a "Boss's Nephew." You (collective, as in the whole company) need to either go to him, ...
  • 61.6k
302 votes
Accepted

Prospective employer asking for my current pay slip during interview

My usual answer is, "I don't ever disclose my current compensation package, but I can tell you that I need a total compensation figure of $###,000.00 to leave my current role." That statement ends ...
  • 1,574
301 votes
Accepted

How do I prevent colleagues from making fun of the length of my password?

Professionally, I'm a sysadmin. The bane of my life is users who won't take security seriously, those who treat it as a joke, as your colleague does. Many years ago, I used to have an Oracle DBA who ...
  • 1,821
292 votes

Why would HR think it's inappropriate that I visited a coworker in the hospital?

We can not tell you what you did wrong (that sounds odd to me too), but your HR person has given you the hook you need by claiming that the employee handbook forbids it. This means you can (politely) ...
280 votes

Can I talk to my rubber duck at work?

Leave the duck at home, put on a phone headset and talk to the duck's voicemail. Fellow software engineers will understand what you're doing, sales or HR people will think you're on the phone (which ...
  • 7,014
280 votes
Accepted

How to handle interns' unprofessional behavior?

I don't think laughing it off is the proper approach. They need to learn that they are not in school anymore. That being said, I don't think you should take it too far the other way either. I would ...
  • 14.9k
272 votes

What to do after I signed a blank sheet of paper given to me by my manager?

Yes you are in danger. However, anything your manager does (like printing a new letter over the signature) is fraud, and quite the bad variety too. As she was doing what she was doing in the ...
  • 12.3k
258 votes
Accepted

When (if ever) is it considered professional to yell in the workplace?

Except in cases of immediate physical danger, it is never acceptable to yell in the workplace. End of discussion. To answer your secondary questions: Is it somehow normal? Not in any company I've ...
246 votes

Might lose job and have no income due to insulting my coworker

Let me preface this by saying that I am in several "protected groups" and have dealt with workplace discrimination based on that. Including having been told that "They shouldn't be ...
243 votes
Accepted

Dealing with a racist work environment

Start looking for a new job. As soon as you have found one, put in your notice and get out as fast as possible. It is very unlikely that these people will change anytime soon, and you certainly don't ...
  • 1,709
242 votes

How to negotiate salary with an extremely unprofessional in-house recruiter?

Most likely the hiring manager told HR to bring you on board and considered the matter closed. The HR rep then got your information and approached the situation using his standard approach, which is ...
  • 49.3k
236 votes

Future boss placed me in a business meeting under a pretense before my start date, then was disappointed I didn't meet his expectations

My opinion is you should start getting less excited about this new job. Several red flags: Lack of an on site interview A murky breakfast that is really a meeting A reprimand for your ...
  • 36.5k
235 votes

Should I interview someone who ditched an interview before?

After graduating I had about 15 interviews at different companies. I was prepared for all of them: I knew the way, I knew what message I wanted to convey. I still ended up getting lost awfully while ...
  • 22.7k
234 votes
Accepted

How to react to hostile behavior from a senior developer?

The incident you described is unethical, unprofessional, abusive and borderline harassment. Irrespective of the facts about the efficiency, technical capability, time management etc or that person's "...
  • 66.2k
223 votes

Accused of racism for refusing to name room after foreign name that sounds like an offensive phrase

I would personally use both her first and her last name, and do the same for everyone else in the raffle. While not bigoted per se, refusing to treat all entrants the same is a problem in the ...
  • 6,324

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