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Responsiveness

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 head receptionist at a fairly large organization. There are security guards stationed near the reception desk, and some of these guards have been reported by part-time receptionists for talking excessively on the phone and for being away for long periods of time. After the guards are reprimanded by their department head, they do not speak to me (I did not report them) and the atmosphere is very unpleasant. Do you have any suggestions?
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I applied for a job in a company and heard nothing for three months. I called once and got tossed around on their voice mail system, but never talked to anyone. I just received a rejection letter, an ice-cold form letter that has several typos. Even my name is spelled wrong. I'm annoyed and I'd like to write them back, but I'm wondering if it is worth it.
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When I joined this company about a month ago, I was assigned a mentor, but I can never find her. If I do track her down, she is always too busy to help me or even set an appointment. I told my manager about this, and he offered no help. What do you suggest?
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My manager told me to coordinate a project with a co-worker who is in another branch. I emailed this person several times and never heard from him. When I called, he said he routinely throws out email from strangers, and mine must have been one. How common is this, and how can it be prevented?
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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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On several occasions, I suggested a better way to do a certain project here. My manager nodded and seemed to hear me, but that was it. Now I hear that the project is going to be done the way I suggested, and not one word has been said to me. I want to say something, but maybe I shouldn't. What do you think?
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I work in a very disorganized office. Everything is a last minute emergency. On one project, the boss asked several people to do the same job, and I spent two days on a project that had been assigned to someone else. My manager said we just need to get used to it. The turnover rate is extremely high, with many people leaving in disgust. Their complaints never make it past middle management. Is there any hope, or should I just jump ship?
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Over a recent holiday weekend, according to my manager, I missed several pages. I assured him that my pager is always on and I would never ignore a page. He cursed at me and called me a liar. Meanwhile, he is notorious for ignoring pages, voicemail, and company e-mail. He has lied and threatened us with termination, and I've been told that his behavior is typical for this company. What should I do?
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There are several of us in the office, and when those who wear perfume are present, you can smell it as soon as you enter. There are three of us who suffer from allergies, and the perfume gives us headaches and makes us sneeze and cough. We have talked to the ones who wear perfume, but they just don't get it. The problem is that our boss is one of those who wear perfume, and because of this, we're stuck. Do you have any suggestions?
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I am a manager in a company that has around 200 employees. A new human resources director was hired two months ago, and I have yet to meet him. He has sent out some memos, but he has never held a meeting with the employees, nor has he set foot in our department which has 10 employees. Should I contact him?
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There is one person we work with who does practically no work at all. She's often absent, and when she's here, she's either on the phone or wandering around doing nothing. We have talked to her, but she ignores us. We discussed this with our manager, but he hasn't done a thing about it. What else can you suggest?
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We have two co-workers who have a bad attitude. They are loud, sarcastic, and sound like they are always mad at you. They look for something wrong, and they usually target people who are new on the job. I have to deal with them every morning. I have talked to my supervisor and manager about them, and they speak to these individuals, but after a few days they are back to their threatening ways. What can you suggest?
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I am a new employee with this company, and I have been given no training. When I have questions about how to do my job, my supervisor ignores me and my co-workers are too busy. I'm making mistakes already, and I don't know where to turn. Can you help?
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A fellow manager has made a "hobby" out of trashing my reputation. She makes treacherous and untrue remarks to anyone who will listen, and this is having a negative impact on my ability to manage. I have gone to our boss and his reply is simply, "Everyone knows her...just ignore her." What can you suggest?
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I am trying to run my department, but I keep getting questionnaires, surveys, and other interruptions from our human resources department. I know they have a job to do, but they do not seem to realize how busy we are. I have spoken to the H.R. people and to my own manager, but the interruptions continue. Any suggestions?
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My manager gave me an assignment and said it was an easy one that I should be able to handle without any problem. I am finding that it is not so easy, and I have some questions, but I am afraid to ask them for fear of looking foolish. What do you suggest?
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Whenever I need my manager's advice or approval, he keeps giving me the brush-off. His most common reply is that he will deal with the matter later, and then it's usually too late. How do I get him to take some action when I need it?
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I was on a committee with people from many departments, and we spent long hours working on ways to improve operations. We wrote a thorough plan that was submitted to management, but that was the last we heard of it. What do you suggest we do?
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I need regular information from the business office, but it is always a battle to get anything from them. I call them, e-mail them, and visit them, and I am able to gradually get what I need, but this is a big waste of time. How do I get them to do their job?
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I was given a very demanding assignment by my manager, and it did not go well. I take responsibility for the failure, but I must say that my manager was unresponsive to my numerous attempts to communicate with him. All he said at the end was he assumed that if I took on a project, I would get it done. What do you think of this and what should I do now?
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Several months ago, our company hired a consulting firm to survey how we feel about working here. It was a very expensive project, and it was a big interruption in our work. As of today, we have not heard one thing about the findings, and our manager says that he has heard nothing too. Do you have any suggestions?
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There is one person in our company who rarely responds to email sent to him. We all use email all the time here, and it is very frustrating when he does this. What is the best way to deal with him?
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My working relationship with my manager is positive, but I have a problem with one of the other managers. He keeps criticizing me, and his comments are wrong and without any facts. He will not listen to me, and when I told my own manager about this, he said I should work it out on my own. How can I do this?
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There is a suggestion box at the front desk, and no one ever uses it. The same few scraps of papers have been sitting inside it for weeks. I think it should be tossed. Do companies even use these boxes anymore, especially with the intranet?
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I get most of my assignments from my manager, but there is another manager at his senior level who also gives me projects and tasks. Although my manager is satisfied with my work, the other manager is never happy with it, and his communications are insulting and degrading. Most of the time, he is flat-out wrong. When I show him I am right, he ignores me. I've told my manager and he does nothing about it. How should I handle this?
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My manager told me that as part of my managerial responsibilities, I need to spend more time with my employees. I admit that I tend to stay in my office most of the day, and the reason is that I have so much work to do. My door is open if my employees need to see me, and that's about all I can do now. Do you have any suggestions?
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My manager gives me very vague instructions on projects, and he is never around for the clarification. He ignores my phone calls, and if I send him an email, he responds by implying that his instructions are clear and obvious to anyone with a brain. What can I do with a manager like this?
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I am in sales and most of our internal communications are through email. I sent my manager a brief note regarding plans for my territory, and I included a fairly creative suggestion. He responded with a short one-liner that was his attempt at humor, but it essentially dismissed me and my suggestion. How should I deal with him?
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I am an administrative assistant, and one of my boss's colleagues called about getting reimbursed for his hotel bill. I suggested he speak directly with my boss. He replied, "Allow me to vent," and he gave me an angry tirade about his trip and hung up on me. I told my boss about the incident. My boss agreed to reimburse him, but said nothing about his rudeness. How do I prevent this from happening again?
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My manager stops by my office regularly, and I give him updates on my projects and on anything else he needs to know. He says he'll get back to me, but he does not take action on what I say, and sometimes it seems he doesn't even remember what we talk about. I don't want to tell him how to manage. What do you suggest?
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On at least three occasions, I received emails from two senior managers who seriously questioned my approach on certain projects. I immediately emailed back documentation that showed I took the correct approach. I never heard back from them. I think I'm entitled to an apology. Should I say anything to them or let it go?
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I recently changed jobs and things were going well except for the fact that the guys in the office pick on and harass the new guy, me. I have repeatedly asked them to stop. I talked to my boss and he told them to stop, but now they are ignoring and excluding me. My boss says this is their way of backing off. I didn't do anything to deserve this treatment. What should I do?
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I conducted a one-hour training session for my employees, and I thought it went very well. Everybody participated, and their comments seemed to show that they were learning and building their skills. After the session, I was speaking with one of the supervisors who attended, and she said the session was a "big bore." I was surprised and a little insulted, but I took the comment in stride and did not challenge her. I am puzzled over what to do with a comment like hers.
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Our manager reads a great deal about management and knows a lot about it, but he applies none of it. He is inaccessible, over-controlling, and a poor listener, and he often ignores company procedures. How can we get him to use more of what he knows?
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How do I deal with someone who ignores my email? Whenever I send him a message, I hardly ever hear back. If I contact him later, he usually asks me to send my email again. I think this is a big power play.
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Our company has a training consultant who comes here two days a month, and we all think it is worthless. We have to interrupt our work to listen to him pontificate, and it is a waste of time and money. When we express our dissatisfaction to our manager, he says that he likes him. We don't know what to do. What can you suggest?
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Every quarter, we are required to attend a training seminar. For the third year in a row, one of the topics is time management, and it is the same class I attended twice already. When I told my manager we need something new, he said that time management is always worthwhile. Does this sound worthwhile to you?
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Our manager is planning on implementing some changes in the operations and structure of our department, and he asked for our thoughts on his ideas. I wrote a careful analysis, and so did several others in the department. They all received thanks and comments back from the manager, but I heard nothing. Should I ask him what he thought or just forget about it?
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Every time I need to see my manager, she says she is busy and will get back to me later. The problem is that she never does. Once in a great while, I can catch her and meet with her on the spot. If I don't get her then, I won't hear a thing. How do you deal with a manager like this?
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I am being given the worst assignments. They are the most tedious and boring, and they offer the least opportunity for growth. When I discuss this with my manager, he brushes off my comments and says that all of the work in his department is important, and he tries to match skills with assignments. How should I deal with this?
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We have an unpredictable employee in our department. One moment she is friendly, and the next she is very nasty. We never know how to deal with her, so we are constantly walking on eggs. We have talked to her about this, but nothing has changed. When we told our manager, he said we should work it out ourselves. How can we?
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I was given a very demanding assignment by my manager, and it did not go well. I take responsibility for the failure, but I must say that my manager was unresponsive to my numerous attempts to communicate with him. All he said at the end was he assumed that if I took on a project, I would get it done. What do you think of this and what should I do now?
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I am a Sales Rep for a large company, and I work with a Senior Salesperson. He divided the territory and kept the good accounts for himself while leaving the problems and leftovers for me. We both report to a Vice President who cancels every appointment I make with him. I don't want to be branded a trouble-maker, but what do I do?
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I have been a loyal employee at this company for several years, and I am now a vice president. I have a great deal of expertise that has led to many honors for the company. However, in a recent restructuring, my job responsibilities were grossly reduced. I have tried to talk to the CEO, but he will not return my calls. What do I do now?
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My manager is in the halls a lot, and he usually just shows up in my office. I don't appreciate having him check up on me, and I would appreciate a call from him before he drops in. How can I ask him to do this?
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My manager gave me a project a month ago and told me that he needs a final report in three months. I sent him an outline of how I would proceed and asked for some specific information that he said he would provide. I requested this information three more times, but each time I heard nothing back. What should I do?
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