Two Of My Employees Keep Arguing About Politics

Dear Evil Skippy:

Two of my employees keep getting into arguments over whether or not President Obama is doing “what needs to be done” in the Middle East. It is a Free Speech issue, so I am not sure what to do. Their heated discussions are starting to disrupt the workplace.

– The Boss

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My Co-Worker Took An Embarrassing Photo Of Me

images-181Dear Evil Skippy:

A co-worker and I went on a business trip together that required us to fly across the country. After a long day of meetings, I fell asleep on the flight home. My co-worker took a picture of me that makes me look like a complete dork. My mouth is hanging open and it seems as if I might be about to drool. He showed it to everyone at work and also posted it on his Facebook page (but took it down when I asked him to). My supervisor did not say a word the whole time. Since he took no action when I was being ridiculed, do I have a harassment claim against the company?

– Nick

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Do Supervisors Have To Save Employees During An Emergency?

images-179Dear Evil Skippy:

A group of other managers and I were talking at a conference and wanted your thoughts on our question because we did not all agree. If there is a fire or other emergency at the office, do you think supervisors have a responsibility to wait until all employees have evacuated before they leave the building?

– Ethan

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My Employer Gave Me A Dead Person’s Old Phone Number

images-160Dear Evil Skippy:

I started a new job several weeks ago and was given a personal work telephone number. It belonged to another employee until about a year ago when that employee left the company. By “left the company”, I mean he died. I still get a few calls a week from customers, vendors and sales people who are trying to reach the dead guy. It is a downer to have to keep telling people he died. Some get a little upset and some want details. The company won’t issue a new number for me. Until the calls finally stop, what can I do to keep from getting depressed all the time giving having to give out a death notice?

– Linda

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Job Interviews And The “Greatest Weakness” Question (An ES@W Classic)

Dear Evil Skippy:

I am new to human resources.  One of my main duties in addition to endless paperwork (LOL!) is to interview job candidates.  My boss gave me some casual training about how to conduct the interviews, including a list of suggested questions to ask.  One of them seems cliché and lame to me.  My boss and I talked about it and decided to ask you if you think it is a useful question.  It is:  “What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?”  I say no one in their right mind will say anything that makes them look bad.  My boss says it can be interesting to see what people say.  Do you like the question?

–  New Interviewer

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My Birthday Should Be A Paid Holiday

In honor of my birthday (yes, the candles would be a little bonfire), I am giving myself the day off.  For your reading enjoyment (I hope) — here is an ES@W Classic.  It’s a birthday theme, of course.

Dear Evil Skippy:

Where I work, we get our birthday off as a paid holiday, but only the actual day unless it falls on a weekend in which case we take Friday off.  This has bugged me for years.  How come employers and the government can move Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday around to make 3-day weekends, but my employer won’t let me move my own birthday to do the same thing?

–  Annoyed

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My Co-Workers Gave Me An “Over The Hill” Birthday Party

images-178Dear Evil Skippy:

I recently hit a milestone birthday. My co-workers decided to do more than the usual birthday cake in the conference room routine. They decorated the room with black streamers and a bunch of “over the hill” and “you’re practically dead” signs (fake gravestones, medical supplies and the like). There were a few “gifts” as well such as adult diapers and fake Viagra. What makes people think this kind of s*** is funny?

– Not Amused

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My Co-Worker Shoplifts

images-177Dear Evil Skippy:

I stopped at a drug store with one of my co-workers during our lunch break a few days ago. While we were there, I saw her put some make-up in her bag and then leave without paying for it. I was so stunned that I did not do anything or say anything, but it has been bothering me. Should I tell her what I saw? Report her to the store? What would you do?

– Jane Doe

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Everyone Thinks I Am The Office Thief

Dear Evil Skippy:

We have had an office thief for the past month. Many of us have discovered money is missing from purses or backpacks that were left in our desks. We haven’t been able to figure out who the culprit is, but for some reason a few people suspect me. I am guessing it is because the thief has not taken anything from me. I am not the thief, I swear. I would not be writing to you if I were. How can I convince them that I did not do it?

– Innocent

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One Employee Feeds Squirrels; The Other Fears Them

images-176Dear Evil Skippy:

I work at an office located near a forested green space. For years, we have had a few squirrels hanging around our common outdoor areas. One of our newer employees started feeding them and the squirrel population exploded. They don’t really hurt anything but they have lost some of their fear of people and often get real close as they scurry by or as they beg for treats. (The feeder is trying to get them to eat out of her hand). Now another employee has raised the ADA and says she has a “disabling phobia” of rodents, including squirrels. She says we have to eradicate the squirrels and make the other employee stop feeding them. Of course the other employee refused to stop feeding squirrels when we approached her to see if she would voluntarily quit. She said it is her right as an American to feed wildlife. (Really). We don’t want to be seen as anti-animal and we also want our employees to feel safe, but I think our phobic employee does not really care about rodents. She dislikes the feeder and I suspect she wants to make her suffer.

How would you untangle this mess?

– Supervisor

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