Monica Cellio
  • Member for 9 years, 9 months
  • Last seen more than 1 year ago
How to politely ask a coworker to “Google it”
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371 votes

When this happens to me I usually ask "what search terms did you try?". This way if they did try to search I might be able to help them search more effectively, and if they didn't they sometimes say "...

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

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) ...

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Dealing with the unexpected death of an employee
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187 votes

At my previous company, the well-liked co-founder and CEO died suddenly on a Sunday. On Monday morning there was a company-wide meeting to share the news (it wasn't already in the news like yours was)...

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How to respond to a ridiculous request from a senior colleague?
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180 votes

To distill the story down to its core elements: the employee is a new, junior member of the team; a senior team member asked for help preparing a presentation; the specific request is objectionable. ...

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Can I refuse a customer service because they make me uncomfortable?
155 votes

Whether you can decline service to a customer is a question for your manager, because quite aside from any location-specific legal concerns, businesses differ in their handling of problem customers. ...

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Should I ask a potential employer about their negative Glassdoor reviews?
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136 votes

Asking them directly to respond to the Glassdoor ratings is likely to put them on the defensive, which will probably lead to either non-answers or misinformation. Imagine the reverse: "I've heard ...

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How to tell a superior I won't be able to complete a task because I am going to quit in a month
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120 votes

This was your first major project, you've identified some flaws in it (you said the code's not that good), and they're asking for more features. You know what happens when you keep adding new ...

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How do I explain being unemployed for nearly two years due to untreated depression
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118 votes

Other answers have pointed out that in the US it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on medical issues like depression, but they do. The flip side of that is that, while it is certainly ...

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How to politely tell someone to stop explaining?
115 votes

You are telling Bob that you understand and he doesn't seem to be processing that. Try showing him that you understand. I use this technique a lot -- not so much to shut down a rambling explanation ...

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How to avoid sounding like a pedant when answering interview questions which seem simple, but are actually complicated
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115 votes

It's not uncommon, in my experience, for problem statements in interviews to deliberately leave some details unspecified. One of the things we're looking for when we do that is how a candidate reacts....

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My colleagues frown on me for using my vacation days. Should I stop using them so much?
114 votes

Your main problem is a cultural one: you have vacation days (and your manager approves your requests to use them), but there is pressure from the people you work with not to take them. I am assuming ...

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How to motivate people to participate in a company hackathon?
112 votes

My ~300-person company is currently in the midst of a hackathon, as it turns out, so here's what I've learned from that. First, as others have said, that 24-hour commitment is going to be a deal-...

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Male colleague using female bathroom and not cleaning up
107 votes

The problem isn't that somebody is using the wrong bathroom; the problem is leaving it dirty. If you had unisex bathrooms (meaning there's no "wrong"), or if one of your female colleagues were doing ...

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Is it okay to ask why the previous employee left or was let go?
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103 votes

I have both asked and been asked that type of question without apparent harm. (I've gotten offers after asking.) However, your phrasing is problematic; the better way to ask the question is "why is ...

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How to let clients know that they are being spied on
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78 votes

Wow, that's some story. While I've never encountered anything remotely that extreme, I've been on both sides of conversations that go like this: Consultant: Are you aware of $dangerous_thing? ...

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How can I overcome "years of experience" requirements when applying to positions?
66 votes

Other answers have addressed why they care about years of experience, but to answer the question in your title, how to overcome this, the answer is: start with the cover letter. You might not be ...

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As a Brit working in America, how can I get my American colleagues to stop mocking my accent/spelling?
63 votes

They could think they're "just having a little fun", or they could be completely oblivious. Either way, when dealing with a difference about personal interactions in the workplace, it's generally ...

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When should I tell my new employer about an already-planned vacation?
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59 votes

If the planned holiday is soon, then you can do it when negotiating your start date. You can cast it as "I have this trip planned; should I start after I get back or can we talk about my taking the ...

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Could Wearing My Star of David Be Bad for Career?
58 votes

Whether and how you wear it should depend on the situation. High-stakes business trip to Saudi Arabia? I'd say no. Working with your peers (who know you anyway) in the home office? Probably doesn'...

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Adjusting to a team with conflicting socialisation preferences for a group dinner
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58 votes

It sounds like the primary purpose is social (and you're interested in that) and the food is secondary -- but it's an important secondary to them. So it's best to find some way to fit into the outing,...

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First big business travel with my company's VPs
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52 votes

Well in advance of the trip, you should talk with two people/groups: First, talk with your manager. Ask what he anticipates they'll be discussing so that you can prepare. (Your preparations might ...

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Employee wants to bring in his dog for a kids event
51 votes

One of my past employers also did a modified version of this event. They called it Bring a Child to Work Day. By default people brought their own kids, but if you didn't have kids but had a favorite ...

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Should I be giving unsolicited help?
47 votes

This happens to me a lot -- open (noisy) seating, and I've been at the company a long time and worked on several projects. If it's convenient to me to do so (which it might not be, depending on what ...

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Giving out unwanted items to colleagues at work
45 votes

In my experience (tech companies of various sizes, US): Things that are work-related and still useful (books, laptop bags, keyboards, etc) are offered fairly routinely. People either leave it in the ...

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What do I say if my manager asks me if there is someone in the company I would rather not work with?
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45 votes

You can make it about you, plural or the interaction more than about the other person. You can also soften it by saying something positive about the other person. Some (approximate) examples of ...

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Is it normal to ask for reading material before starting a new job
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43 votes

I've both asked and been asked this. It's unusual in my experience (US, tech), but certainly not unheard-of. But what and who you ask matter. The HR person is probably not going to be able to field ...

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Citing pay as a reason to move on from a company
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43 votes

You are right to be concerned with how this will look. Don't say that they don't pay you enough, and especially don't say that your pay doesn't cover your expenses, which sounds like your problem (...

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As a remote employee, how do I get coworkers to give me information I need to do my job?
41 votes

I'm a technical writer who works with remote developers -- by which I mean 500 miles away, not "in the office only some days". There are two keys to solving this problem, and you've only asked about ...

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Job interview with nystagmus
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40 votes

I have a lesser, similar problem: my eyes don't track together, so one of them tends to "wander off" on its own and it looks like I'm not looking at the person I'm speaking with. Over time I've ...

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How can I avoid divisive political issues at work?
40 votes

"I prefer not to discuss politics with coworkers." "No really, I'd rather not. How was your weekend?" (Or "how's your son's rugby team doing this season?" or "what did you think about the CEO's ...

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