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play-fighting at work, love letters on a shared drive, and extra — Ask a Supervisor


It’s 5 solutions to 5 questions. Right here we go…

1. Staff’ banter became play-fighting

I’ve a reasonably established crew who all get alongside very properly. Two members of my crew, Pam and Angela, are significantly shut. They chat exterior of labor, get pleasure from sharing initiatives, and at all times converse properly of one another. With their good relationship comes a good quantity of teasing. Nothing over the road, and at all times taken in good humor.

Now we have an in-office assembly as soon as a month, and in the course of the newest one an incident occurred that I don’t know what to do about.

It was an ideal assembly, very casual, we had pizza and shared a lot of nice concepts. Pam and Angela have been having a little bit of banter, throughout which Angela slapped Pam on the shoulder. It sounded onerous — it echoed by way of the room! Pam laughed and appeared to search out it amusing, and Angela appeared a bit embarrassed at how carried away she’d bought. It very a lot felt just like the form of play-fight which may escape between siblings.

We moved on, and nothing else has been mentioned. I don’t know find out how to deal with this now. Ought to I decide it up with Angela? It’s sounds very patronizing to inform a grown girl to not hit her buddies, and she or he already appeared embarrassed about it. Alternatively, it was a ridiculous factor to do in work and whereas I wish to preserve our conferences causal, it’s nonetheless work. What do I do, if something?!

I believe you might do nothing at this level for those who select to — they’ve a jokey relationship, Pam didn’t appear bothered, and Angela appeared embarrassed. It’s unlikely that you’ve an “Angela suppose it’s okay to slap her coworkers” drawback in your fingers.

That mentioned, you definitely have standing to deal with it if you wish to. You might say to Angela, “I do know you will have a jokey relationship with Pam, however you’ll be able to’t slap anybody at work, even in jest.” And you might say to Pam, “I do know you will have a jokey relationship with Angela, nevertheless it wasn’t okay that she slapped you yesterday. I needed to examine in with you and ensure you’re okay and there’s no more happening.”

2. I discovered love letters on a shared drive

I’m an admin in a big company. We’re planning an enormous migration of our shared drive to a brand new software program supplier, and forward of the migration, I used to be tasked with organizing the digital information of considered one of my superiors. One of many many challenges in organizing his part of the shared drive was that he had many private information blended in together with his skilled information, similar to a letter to his landscaper and an bill for a brand new mattress.

Then I discovered a pair of affection letters. That they had been given names that disguised them as paperwork pertaining to an actual skilled matter. At first I assumed they have been wildly inappropriate correspondence with a enterprise affiliate, however I’ve by no means heard of the girl to whom the letters are addressed. The letters simply appear to be declarations of affection to his sweetheart.

I’m at a complete loss to what I ought to do right here. The letters are very intimate, however not sexually express exterior of a reference to “nights spent collectively.” I can inform my superior wouldn’t have needed me to see them, however they’re in a bit of the shared drive that I didn’t not require any particular permission to entry. Anybody might have discovered them at any time. I clearly can’t put these letters with the opposite paperwork pertaining to the true skilled matter. Ought to I simply delete them? Ought to I inform my supervisor what I’ve discovered? I’m mortified and so misplaced!

Make a folder referred to as “private” and put all the non-public stuff in there, mattress bill and love letters alike. Then put it out of your thoughts and by no means give it some thought once more. No want to say it to him particularly, past maybe “I put all the non-public stuff in its personal folder so you’ll be able to transfer it off the shared drive.”

To be clear, if he have been the one writing in, I’d inform him to not preserve love letters on a shared drive — or on a piece laptop, interval. And I’d undoubtedly inform him to not give them names that sound like they’re work-related, holy crap. However he’s not the one writing in.

3. Ought to I assist out a brand new particular person at my outdated job?

I just lately left a place I had been in for 5 years for the same one at a brand new employer. It was not a simple selection and although I’m in a greater spot now than I used to be a yr in the past, my first selection would have been to stick with my outdated job nearer to residence in a metropolis the place my husband and I’ve buddies. The upper-ups there made it inconceivable when my instant supervisor resigned they usually requested me to take an interim place with none form of timeline and with out providing me extra pay for the additional tasks. I’ve moved on, however nonetheless really feel a whole lot of leftover resentment about how I used to be handled and the ensuing burn-out.

My outdated employer is now having a whole lot of bother filling their open place. I’ve heard from my former supervisor that they’ve requested her if she has any curiosity in returning to her former function and she or he turned them down. I’ve been contacted by a brand new particular person in a brand new administration place who desires to speak about their “challenges.” I’m torn as a result of this new particular person didn’t mistreat me and I would love issues to be higher for the subsequent particular person in that function. I’ve an extended historical past with this employer, having labored for them earlier than I went to grad college along with working for them just lately. Careers are lengthy and whereas I wouldn’t transfer again to work for them once more proper now, they’re the only option closest to residence. Alternatively, the opposite folks in administration had an opportunity to do an exit interview or have this convo earlier than I left that they let slip by. Or they may have simply promoted me and paid me extra and all of us might have averted the difficulty.

I might quote them a marketing consultant charge, however I work in academia and I’m undecided that’s widespread apply. I’m in librarianship, the place the expectation is to supply help to librarians at different establishments with out being paid, however this isn’t precisely the identical because it’s coming from administration. If it have been coming from my outdated bosses, I’d say no. If it have been coming from a newly employed librarian, I’d say sure. Because it’s coming from neither, I’m conflicted. What would you advise?

It’s 100% as much as you! One query to ask your self, although: do you will have purpose to suppose that speaking to this particular person will actually change something for the subsequent particular person? When the issues are actually entrenched, most frequently it received’t.

However it actually simply comes down as to if you are feeling like doing it or not. Should you don’t, it’s completely nice to say, “I’m booked strong proper now. I’m sorry I can’t assist!” Should you really feel extra snug softening it, be happy so as to add, “I’ll attain out if that modifications.” (That doesn’t obligate you to get again in contact later.)

4. My shopper is holding up half my charge as a result of she’s too busy to schedule a gathering

I’m a freelancer who works on area of interest initiatives for shoppers I do know properly, so whereas I’ve discovered through the years to be very express about timelines and funds, my contracts are likely to mirror the informal and versatile nature of those long-term working relationships. Not too long ago, I had a brand new shopper whose firm I work for in a unique capability ask me to finish a survey undertaking for her. I drew up a contract the place I might bill half my charge upon submitting the survey, and the second half of the charge as soon as we met to debate the outcomes (this follow-up assembly was included within the scope of labor). I set a date for when the work and all conferences could be accomplished.

Although my work was submitted on time, the assembly saved getting pushed again and by no means scheduled, as the corporate proprietor was very busy. It was a small undertaking, so half my charge isn’t an enormous sum of money, but when I had recognized the assembly wouldn’t occur for months I by no means would have structured the charge fee that manner. The reality is that the majority of the work had already occurred, and this was only a small solution to acknowledge that they might see the work earlier than ending the fee. They have been more than happy with work, and it’s annoying to have half my charge held up as a result of we will’t schedule a gathering. After months, I emailed the corporate head and defined that since we have been properly previous the date outlined within the settlement, I used to be going to finish the bill, however I do know that we nonetheless have that assembly on the books and I’ll be glad to fulfill every time they wish to schedule. I assumed this may give them some scheduling respiratory room, since I might be paid however then meet every time this survey undertaking cycled again into precedence. I nonetheless work for an additional a part of the corporate, so everybody speaks with me commonly — it’s not like I’m going to fade. The corporate head responded saying, primarily, thanks for the mild nudge and sure let’s arrange that assembly asap, and appeared somewhat bowled over that I needed to bill earlier than finishing the duties I had mentioned I might full (i.e., the assembly). I used to be anxious I had not clearly defined my logic, and so replied that I might be glad to carry off invoicing if we might meet quickly, however that the charge construction presumed a timeline roughly throughout the one we had set within the scope of labor, and that I wouldn’t have structured it that manner if I had recognized we might not meet till a lot later. She replied vaguely, insisting she is aware of that is necessary and can get to that assembly quickly, she promised. So I assumed I used to be emailing with a really particular request and now I’m again in limbo.

I do know, lesson discovered, that I mustn’t have cut up the bill this manner, because it didn’t mirror the enter of labor. However do I’ve any recourse now? I have to preserve working relationship with this firm, and I don’t wish to come off as petty. I believe I’ve pushed as onerous as I can with this final e-mail, they usually undoubtedly bristled at my suggestion to receives a commission now however decide to holding that assembly every time it is smart for them.

Given all of the elements right here — the best way the contract was written, the necessity to preserve relationship with them, the truth that it’s a small sum of money and also you’re working with them on different initiatives — I’d set it apart for one month. However then, if the assembly nonetheless hasn’t been scheduled at that time, simply ship the bill over with a be aware saying, “Hooked up is my bill for the rest due on the X undertaking.” Depart the assembly of their court docket, however make it clear you want to be paid.

Should you suppose you want to be extra delicate about it, you might as a substitute wait the month after which say, “Because it’s been X months because the work was submitted, I do want to shut out fee. I don’t wish to push you on the assembly if it’s powerful to schedule proper now, however I’ll plan to submit the bill by ___ (date about two weeks away) both manner.” After which … submit the bill by the date you identify in that message. However actually, the primary possibility must be nice until these folks require very cautious dealing with.

Additionally, is your regular contact there somebody totally different than the proprietor who bristled? In that case, you would possibly discuss to that particular person and ask about one of the simplest ways to navigate it. They could even be capable of submit the bill for you and get it dealt with with out involving the proprietor in any respect, relying on how stuff works there.

5. My firm provides free lunch to 1 location however not one other

I’m situated in Florida. My earlier firm A had a cafeteria and charged workers $3 for lunch if we determined to eat there.

A number of years in the past, firm B purchased firm A. Firm B has just a few areas our county they usually get free lunches of their cafeterias. That is talked about on their job postings. It is a very massive firm primarily based within the U.S. When firm B took over, workers spoke about us now getting free lunches like their different close by areas. Nevertheless, the $3 cost didn’t change. The cafeteria supervisor let it slip that firm B noticed the revenue the lunches have been making and determined to maintain the $3 cost. This meant that we paid $15 extra per week than the opposite areas if we determined to eat within the cafeteria (most workers did). Is that this authorized?

It’s certainly authorized. It may not be truthful or good for morale, nevertheless it’s authorized. Employers are allowed to deal with totally different workers in another way so long as it’s not primarily based on a attribute that’s particularly protected by regulation (similar to race, intercourse, faith, age if over 40, or incapacity). They will legally say “we’re going to have a unique coverage for workers at location X” so long as there’s not what the regulation calls “disparate affect” on a type of protected courses (like if workers at your location have been disproportionately a unique race from the opposite areas).

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