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Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the JerksAtWork.com homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.
 
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Complaints

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


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I am a supervisor and I just learned that three employees in my department wrote a letter to my boss complaining about me. My boss called me in and said that he is disappointed in me as a leader. I feel the employees were wrong in what they did and what they said about me, and I tried to explain this to my boss. What do you suggest I do?
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I was recently told by my manager that my pay increase for this year is going to be two percent. I am not at all satisfied with this, but I know I should be happy to get any raise at all. What is the best way to voice my dissatisfaction?
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Someone left a mean anonymous note on my desk saying that I talk too loud on the phone. We work in cubicles, and I admit that my voice carries, but that's how I talk. Being on the phone is central to my job, and I am successful at it. I'd like to know who wrote the note, but in the meantime, what do you suggest I do?
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Management always encourages the employees to volunteer for some committees, so I followed their advice and got onto a committee that has been a nightmare. We are meeting too frequently, often into the evening, and the discussions are a waste. I'm thinking about quitting the committee, but I fear how that will look. Any suggestions?
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One of my employees told me that I am giving the employees too much thanks and recognition. Is that really possible? I had always heard that a manager cannot provide too much appreciation.
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Our company just put in a suggestion program, and I don't see the point. If I come up with a really good idea, I get some crummy award and a certificate, and the company gets the benefit of my great idea. Since there's so little for me to gain, I figure I'm just going to forget about it. If the company isn't willing to pay, why should I waste my time?
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Our district manager invited me and the group of employees that I manage to meet with her to discuss their concerns, complaints, and suggestions. At our district manager's insistence, my employees were very open and expressed some important matters. The district manager called me on the next day and said she is very disappointed in my employees and thinks they are a bunch of complainers. Does this sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me?
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There is one person I work with who is constantly complaining to me about one thing or another. She doesn't do this to anyone else or even to our boss, but I have to hear it constantly. I have told her that I'm not the person to complain to, but that does not stop her. How do I turn it off?
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At a recent management meeting, it was suggested that we put in a hotline for the employees to call with anonymous complaints, accusations, and tips. Are companies doing this type of thing, and what is your view?
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We are employed at a mid-size retail chain. We have a manager on site, and we are subjected to biweekly reviews by an area manager. We are a high-performing team and we always meet our goals. When the area manager visits, he sails in, rarely says hello, reviews invoices and such, and focuses on finding something wrong. The atmosphere is depressed and defensive when he's around. What do you call this form of management and how can we react in a more positive tone to his visits?
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As part of my job, I handle customer complaints. Sometimes the callers are very upset, and I have not had any formal training in how to deal with them. Can you give me some pointers?
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My manager is always carrying a bottle of water. If you meet in her office, she has one, and whenever she is in other work areas, her bottle is always with her. I don't know if she is trying to say something to us coffee drinkers, or if she thinks she looks cool with it, but I think it's a bit much. Is it worth saying something to her?
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I usually have lunch with the same two co-workers, and we get along well. We have a new boss, and now the two of them badmouth him for the whole lunch. This boss is awful, but I don't say anything because it's not my nature. I want to keep eating with these co-workers. What should I say in these discussions?
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We provide support services to all of the other departments, and there is one department that is filled with complainers, starting with the manager. Whenever we introduce new programs or processes, everyone in the company is just fine except for this group. First the department manager calls and complains, and then at least three or four of his employees start with their complaints. How do you deal with this problem?
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The other day, my manager walked into my work area and said she wanted to give me some feedback. She then took out a piece of paper and read off a list of things that I have done wrong over the past three months. This was not my formal evaluation, and I am very upset by this treatment. What should I do?
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One of the more vocal employees who work for me complained about me to my manager. He said I am a dictator, and morale is terrible. My manager read the riot act to me. When I tried to defend myself, he would not listen. Some of the other employees got wind of this and told my manager I am doing a good job and not to listen to the complainer. Since then, I have heard nothing from my manager. Should I let it go or say something?
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I manage four people, and our department supports the other departments in the company. Occasionally other managers complain about the performance of one of my employees. I think she does a good job, but other managers say she can be short with them. I have not observed the problem, so I am unsure how to deal with this.
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Our manager makes all sorts of mean comments to us. Whenever we voice any complaints or suggestions, his response is that if we don't like working here, there are ten people who will gladly take our job. That is the end of the discussion. How do we deal with someone like this?
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I worked for 16 months in customer service at a company that had “quality control” techs monitoring incoming calls. They made no mention of all the times the customers praised our work, but they quantified the negative comments. The company fired many employees for ridiculous reasons, and then asked the rest of us to work overtime every day. How should I describe 16 months of torture to a potential employer without sounding overly negative?
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I have an employee who is performing well, but she complains constantly about our benefits. As a company, our pay is above average, and our benefits are average for this industry, and that’s all we can afford. This employee keeps saying that benefits were better at four of her previous jobs. How do I get her complaining to stop?
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We provide our employees with treats at the end of the week, and we use this as a form of recognition and appreciation, as well as an opportunity for the employees to mingle with each other. I was shocked the other day when a few employees said they don’t like the treats and would prefer something different, something better. I told them I’d keep their comments in mind. However, I am quite annoyed that they would complain about a gift. What do you make of this?
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We have a small customer service department that handles sales calls from around the country. One of the sales reps has been getting more than her share of customer complaints. We have counseled her, but she always has an excuse. It takes a few months to train a new sales rep, and we don’t want to terminate her, at least not yet. What other steps do you suggest?
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I have been hearing complaints about the number of meetings that I hold, but I believe they are important. Nonetheless, I am willing to listen, and I am wondering about ways to make my meetings more effective.
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Although I am pleased with all five employees who report to me, three other managers on separate occasions have said that one of my employees is rude and nasty. I have never seen this side of her personality, and I don’t think it is right to give her feedback based on hearsay. However, I don’t want to ignore the other managers. How should I approach this?
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Can my boss come up to me and tell me that she has received complaints about me, and when I ask who from, she says she can't tell me. I only want to know who from so I can change this behaviour.
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During my mid-year review, I took the opportunity to bring forward my concerns and frustrations since being hired, and my boss stood up, got belligerent and yelled: “I can’t take this any more. This is a job! There are lots of jobs out there, maybe you should take a look around and go get one where you can sit in a corner and do projects all day. I have a lot of people I need to take care of, not just you. You obviously are not happy but I cannot make you happy. You need to decide if you are happy--and I’d like to know soon--because we are hiring.” She then stormed out of the room and returned to our department, got her coat, etc. and said to the team coordinator: “I need to get out of here NOW. I need a cocktail, badly.” [or something to that effect] and left enraged. It was said loud enough that others could hear and were alarmed. I was later texted by co-workers asking, “what happened? …are you ok?” The Assistant Manager was in the room with me during the yelling. He texted me later saying, "If you want to take a sick day that is fine and if you want to you talk with HR, they will be around next week." Is this acceptable behavior from my boss and should I discuss with HR? I have heard that HR is not helpful with employees, they tend towards blaming the employee and backing management…. Thank you.
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