Ask the Coach

Nationally syndicated workplace columnist Marie McIntyre answers your "in the trenches" workplace questions on everything from team-building to dealing with difficult people. Marie has more than 20 years experience as a manager, business owner and the HR director at a Fortune 500 company. She writes a nationwide newspaper column and her web site, www.YourOfficeCoach.com, offers a variety of career success strategies. Send your question to Marie at Marie@businessmanagementdaily.com.
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When the bottom drops out of your career

June 7, 2018
Q: “Two years ago, my immediate boss, with whom I had a great relationship, was forced to resign. Shortly thereafter, I had a serious conflict with a colleague who was extremely close to our department vice president. After that incident, my career went downhill, although I had previously received high performance ratings and a promotion. I began to look for another job, but the economy took a nosedive and my wife was diagnosed with cancer, so leaving was completely out of the question. Now my wife is well again, and the economy has improved. But after having my self-esteem pounded on a daily basis, I no longer feel confident that anyone will hire me. Can you offer any advice?” Hopeless

The bad breath dilemma: Confront, evade or suffer in silence?

April 18, 2018
Q: “My co-worker, ‘Carly,’ has very bad breath. If she comes into my office for even a few minutes, the odor is still there after she leaves. This is really bothering me, but I don’t know how to tell her about it.” Gagging

When the boss wants a say in absolutely everything

March 2, 2018

Q: “My boss, ‘Karen,’ feels the need to control absolutely everything. Ever since Karen promoted me last year, I have been so frustrated that I can hardly stand it. How can I work with this obsessive woman?”

Beware the sullen co-worker’s sinister quicksand

February 9, 2018

Q: “Ever since I came to work here a year ago, I have gotten nothing but attitude from the woman in the next cubicle. I keep trying to be nice to ‘Mandy,’ but she refuses to develop any kind of relationship with me. Sometimes she doesn’t speak to me at all. Our supervisor told us that we needed to work on our communication problem, but that didn’t help at all. This situation has me ready to explode, but I know that getting angry will only make me look bad. What should I do?”

When do you tell the boss about a diagnosis of depression?

January 2, 2018

Q: “For the past five years, I have suffered from depression. During that time, I have been on and off medication. However, I have never told my employer about this problem. During my recent performance review, I received a ‘needs improvement’ rating for the first time, which was very upsetting. Do you think I should tell my manager about my depression?”

How to perform the ‘truth dance’ after you’ve been fired

December 8, 2017

Q: “Are applicants required to tell a potential future employer that they were terminated from their previous job? If so, how should this be done?”

Stepping into a manager’s role … and into chaos

November 10, 2017

Q:  “My boyfriend, ‘Doug,’ was recently promoted, but he’s having a lot of problems. He is now supervising his former boss, who is unhappy about being demoted. On top of that, the assistant manager applied for the job and resents the fact that Doug was selected. Their negative attitudes have spread to other employees, who are becoming insubordinate. Doug is expected to clean up this department, which is a complete mess. However, he has no management experience, and these toxic people seem to feel they can run all over him. He is feeling really stressed out. Do you have any advice?”

When you have to tell an employer that you were axed

October 24, 2017
Q: “Are applicants required to tell a potential future employer that they were terminated from their previous job? If so, how should this be done?”

I discovered an ad for my own job!

September 20, 2017
Q: “I recently learned that my manager may be planning to replace me. A fellow member called to inquire about an opening here after he saw an ad on the association website. I told him that I wasn’t aware of any vacancies, but when I looked up the ad, I essentially found my own job description under a different title. I can’t believe my boss thought I wouldn’t find out about this. Should I talk to him? Or should I just apply for my own job?”  —Betrayed

When grownups bring the playground into the office

September 7, 2017

Q: “I am 28 years old and currently serving in the US Army. In the shop where I work, we have a lot of younger guys. They act so childish that it’s embarrassing to call them soldiers. They think everything is a joke and have no clue when to back off. Being deployed away from my wife and family is tough enough without having to deal with these immature, smart-mouthed kids. I mentioned this to our sergeant, but he just brushed me off. What can I do?” Grown-up Soldier

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