Tag Archives: job

UPDATED Bottomless Office Pit: Cake, Gifts & Money Collection

Money collection for office gifts, cakes. Funding co-worker celebrations. Fun, yummy, good or bad idea?  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — If I never have another slice of office birthday cake, I’d live! These constant money drives for other people’s gifts has gotten on my last nerve. Yesterday (she) asked me for money for someone’s baby shower gift in our Utah office who I never even met! This is nuts, crazy, just wrong!!! Give me some good lines.  — Cham-pain Hater

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Dear Cham-pain Hater,

I love cake, I love presents — for me! — so I hear ya, but figure out and clearly state your policy for all to understand about you, and stick with it.

Back in college while working at a major department store, my manager came around at Christmas time to ask for donations to an equally major charity. Coincidentally, this charity had been in the news for administrative financial abuse to fund schmancy lunches and lavish personal travel, and such. I was already consistently giving to an organization of my choice, so when she first asked then attempted to strong-arm me for my hard-earned money (mockingly, “What?! You can’t even give up a dollar?”) — her attitude alone underscored to me that she was only pimping to win a department managers’ contest. That manipulative sort of crap only served to make me stand even firmer in my convictions and state, “Nope. Especially not “even” a dollar.” I freely give to what truly stirs me, and not to earn kiss ass points with a manager competing in a peer contest for a personal gain prize, via my dollars while supposedly campaigning for a charity I didn’t even believe in.

Knowing what you stand for lets you know what you want to fund in life, and keep the change from the rest in your own wallet. In the game of office politics, only give when you expect nothing in return (never give a present to get a present, whether retail or brown-nose points), or all you’ll get is disappointment. Nothing more bitter than a low-carb flourless cake of guilt and shame.

Do-goodahs, pleeeze,

BadWitch

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[No, your RSS and e-Mail subscriptions are not broken. Here’s GW’s added Reply.]

Dear Cake-Champain Hater,

Truth works better than any excuse you can come up with! I would start by asking for a general pool with once yearly contribution (say $20) that is split for all employee presents, like a Christmas Club. I have heard of employees being asked to give $20 a month for other employee gifts. Maybe a $10 a month fund for cake and office morale isn’t asking too much.

My question is, as an employee, don’t you appreciate when your birthday is noticed?  Isn’t that an unrecognized benefit of your work environment? It sounds like you’ve got an office that has taken the time to create a more family like environment. This makes for a comfortable place to work. Believe me, not all offices give a damn whether it’s your birthday, wedding or baby—just do the work.

It is really nice to be appreciated. Your office culture has found a way to give each other recognition of the lives lived outside the cubicle walls. Say thank you and throw in $10. If money is really tight right now, tell your co-workers that truth. They’ll appreciate it. Then throw in $2 or $3.

Family may be a pain in the ass sometimes with their little rituals, but that is the good stuff you remember and appreciate years later. Quit bitching and have some cake.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Dressed for Success? Or GNO?

When your smart friend makes inappropriate work clothes choices, how do you tell her it’s not Girl’s Night Out? Telling the empress she might be better off naked than hoochie.  — BadWitch

P.S. Happy Martin Luther King Day. Spread the Dream.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I met my best friend at our work. Sometimes she dresses like a hoochie mama. Or like she’s ready for the club more than a meeting. How do I tell her? I don’t want to hurt her feelings.  — What Not to Wear

 

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Dear What Not to Wear,

It’s tough when your girlfriend thinks she’s amazing crazy, sexy, cool in the VIP lounge and the queen of the boardroom, too. Props for her confidence, but should someone’s self-esteem be tied to their sexuality, it can be an extra confusing line to tow. We know that no woman enjoys having anyone tell her she doesn’t look her best or most professional (and in certain environs, the line for appropriate women’s work apparel can be even thinner). Challenge! Be a BFF by telling your girl the truth but with the intention of helping her excel in the workplace by reinforcing the best of what makes her confident.

You know her personality best (and the healthy dosage of reality you can administer before she ODs and crashes), so keep that in mind while telling her something like this: “As your office BFF, you know how much I admire your skills and how smart you are here at work. But having gone clubbing with you, too, sometimes it seems to me that you confuse your two lives through your choice of work clothes. In the office I want your image to reflect your successful work, so I’m suggesting that you might consider clothes that people who aren’t your BFFs can recognize your smarts right away in. Maybe longer skirts and higher tops (fill-in-her-offenses), are more appropriate work clothes? The only reason I wanted to tell you this is so you can do something productive about it. I only ever have your best interest in mind.” Then drop it. If she is ready, she will take in what you suggest and enact her own spin on it, if not, she will probably still hear it subconsciously and file it away for later.

Smart friends speak up with love,

BadWitch

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Dear What Not to Wear,

Much like telling a friend their mate is cheating on them, tread very carefully. If your friend is dressing like a “hootchie mama” obviously she draws a lot of her sense of self-worth from her sexiness. Asking her to tamp that down or letting her know you find it inappropriate, it may be taken as more of a personal slap than intended.

I find television to be very instructive. Style Network’s “How Do I look?” may be a great addition to your DVR cue. Then maybe a night with some wine, TV and well-placed comments. This show has friends tell friends when their “look” is inappropriate—either too trashy or, well, too trashy. The show even offers coaching for contestants, as well as makeovers, so you hear first-hand how to talk someone down off the Hootchie Mama Wagon.

Watch the show before-hand and decide whether you want to take your friend to dinner (definitely with wine) and discuss the issue of whether you want to do a covert, “Let’s watch some TV at my house. I saw the funniest new makeover show!” Perhaps check into some resources for personal shoppers and fashion consultants. Give your friend the opportunity to discover other sides about herself.

And lastly, somewhere in all this, let your friend know that she is a sexy, beautiful woman to the degree that flaunting her sexuality can create unnecessary competition, jealousies and unwanted attention. Let her know that you love and respect her. Let her know she’s sexy even wearing a garbage bag. Help her see her sexuality in more ways than a super short hemline and low cut blouse.

Be a friend. Tell the truth—one way or another.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Boss Throws Employee Under the Bus

What to do when the Boss Formerly Known as “Cool” goes gonzo berserk-o on you? Managing your manager in times of stress.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have enjoyed my job with a company until recently. I truly believe in their mission but now I find my immediate boss is totally stressed out and throwing me under the bus for things he’s missed and that his boss is getting on him for. He’s been listing off a bunch of crap and cc’ing everyone in the management chain on it. I don’t agree with his comments, but not because I’m defensive. He’s just throwing me under the bus. How do I deal with this without losing my job I need so much? Run Over

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Dear Run Over,

Ah!, petty tyrants! It’s true what they say, that they are usually our biggest teachers in life. So congrats for the promotion to working with one now. …Having said that…

When the going is good, it’s easy to be a cool and fun boss, so I will cut his current bad “skills” some slack in this stressed time. This only means I’m suggesting you schedule a one-on-one with him to discuss the concerns you’ve outlined here. This isn’t about proving a thesis or giving a lecture, but rather to address then seek cues and clues as to length and duration of his said offensive behaviors, and mutually identify some possible solutions. This first meeting should primarily be an assessment to determine a direction for your next steps in the workplace. Even if he is completely and totally open to agreeing with you and admitting his ineffective management conduct (and he won’t), changing behaviors is a process. But should he respond other than with that miracle, you will want to very carefully understand where he is coming from, for your own good actions moving forward.

Email cc’g everyone with accusations (founded or unfounded) about you both meets usual protocol in many offices, as well as is unprofessional if the tone or outright accusation is wrong. I would highlight this in your conversation, because likely he received a good chew out from above, and he is very possibly covering his tracks behind him (a.k.a. CYA or self-preservation).

Let him know you are open to making improvements (tasks and relationships). Be objective, speak plainly but respectfully. Don’t interrupt each other. By the end of the meeting, you will know exactly what you must do next. Oh and document, document, document.

Dialogue means “two” and reciprocal,

BadWitch

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Dear Run Over,

There’s a lot of this “throwing under the bus” going around. My guess is your boss, who I will describe as a wimp with power, is either too scared for the safety of their own job or trapped in a perfectionist mindset that keeps him unable to fess up when it’s his fault. It takes a mature person to admit when they are wrong. Apparently, your boss still has some growing up to do.

It is horrible when you are feeling less motivated for he overall mission of the company because your immediate boss is unable o act in a mature manner. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Surely, if you still want this job, you get that one person’s actions do not add up to the entire value of a company. Keep going.

My answer, be sure that you give your own answer to some of these email. It is not being defensive to either give your version of events or let the higher ups know critical pieces of information were missing when you were doing your piece of the work. Chances are your higher ups already know the problems with this manager. Give them the info they need to make the right decisions. Let them know that you are the scapegoat without actually pointing fingers. Just tell the truth with as little emotion as possible. Ask questions. Let your higher ups know you are trying to do the right thing.

Truth is the higher ups as probably less than impressed that these issues keep crossing their desk. Your boss needs to realize the sign of a good manager is the ability to help their team get things right. Training up underlings leads to a crack team where everyone is invested in the outcome. Pointing fingers and waiting to throw people under the bus every time something goes wrong leads to decreased productivity. Your team should not be working on pins and needles. If you are constantly waiting for the axe to drop, you’ll be questioning your work rather than really working to do your best. No one likes to be waiting to see whether there job will be threatened every time they make a mistake.

Face it, your boss is a wimp who doesn’t understand that the truly powerful empower the people who work for them for the best of all. He’s too focused on taking credit for everything done well and throwing you under the bus for anything wrong. Do your best work and let the higher ups know what’s going on—for your sanity and your job!

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Quitting Low Principles. Job Rock is a Hard Place

Is there any right market to quit your job for your principles?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Our office is a bit Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I can’t stand it. I don’t mean this officially but there is a culture that gays and some people with differing political opinions from the bosses keep quiet. This bothers me. Do you think I should consider quitting for my principles in this markets? Gag Ordered

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Dear Gag Ordered,

Interesting way to pose your question, Gag Ordered. If your bosses’ opinions are so strong as to be openly culturized, I would think that this isn’t a new phenomenon and either you just raised your head out of the sand to notice it (or were called out on the mat personally), or that your own sense of priorities has been awakened possibly for the first time in your life. Therefore, I don’t think it matters what we think regarding your employer’s practices or the state of the economy, but rather how you feel about whatever real issue concerns you so much. If it truly is about a political or sexual orientation matter, that’s one thing. If it is about your new awakening and sensitization to your own intolerance for repression, dishonesty or emotional lying, that is an entirely different (and larger) thing that has little to nothing to do with this or any job market. Weigh your priorities (by definition, your bills are already on that scale), be discerning not overwhelmed.

Tibi ipsi esto fidelis (To thine own self be true),

BadWitch

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Dear Gag Ordered,

I can understand wanting a work environment with like minded people, but let’s not be crazy.

I mean, I get your ire and the feeling you just can’t take it anymore. However, practicality should win out. If you are unhappy, start to look for a new job in a more tolerant, liberal company, but until you have a new job, sit down, shut up and keep rolling. If nothing else, appreciate that Right-wing oppressors are paying for the rent and lifestyles of their undercover left wing liberals, gay and atheist employees. That’s karma.

Also, remember, you work at this company to support the mission, to gain wisdom and experience and to further your career. Use it. Do so. At the same time, explore companies known for liberal leaning. Check out Top Companies to work for and find companies that align mission beyond the web page to day to day interactions and decent treatment of employees.

I know it can be difficult to seemingly put your morals and your heart on the shelf from 9-5 everyday, but again, remember the karma. Takes most of the sting out of it.

Happy job hunting. The right place is out there for you somewhere. Just be sure you have a safe place to land before you jump. For your own peace of mind.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: istockphoto/Kutay Tanir

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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First Time Job, Earner’s New Costs

We all had one: a first time job. What we all don’t have is the exact same views on money, responsibilities and how those things go together. Figuring out the “new allowance.” — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My mother reads your blog so I’m hoping she’s reading this. I’m 16 and just got my first job, and she’s already making me pay for gas and my cell phone now! Does that seem right to you? I’m ok paying for my car insurance so I drive more responsibly, but she makes me pay to get to work and come home. That seems seems backwards to me. Shouldn’t she want me to want to go to work and make money to begin with? — First Time Worker

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Dear First Time Worker,

That you share your mother’s interests enough to know to come here and try to “sway” her is…ehem, your work skills showing. I do, however, appreciate your understanding about the cause-affect relationship of your paying for your car insurance. This shows you do understand how things work.

Now take those mad skillz to the next level, and have a meeting with your parents to figure out what items you should be paying for by discussing to understand each other’s priorities. They will include: cost-to-use, time and money, prioritizing values, and your safety. Maybe it is valuable to them to pay for all things school related. Maybe only you can afford that $350 bat to keep playing, etc… I’m going to keep this one very short because I believe just having this little pow wow will open your parents and your own eyes as to how the other actually sees the world…and mmoney and responsibilities.

Time spent together is time well spent,

BadWitch

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Dear First Time Worker,

Congratulations on your first job!

So now that we’re done with niceties, let me give you the down and dirty truth of life as an adult. Life costs money. Gas, car insurance, car payment, tolls—all cost money. The roof over your head costs whether in mortgage, rent or upkeep. Clothes, toiletries and toilet paper all cost and we’ve not even discussed lights, heat, water and garbage.

Your mother has been covering these costs. Now that you have a job she is asking for your help. She’s not even asking for you to cover living expenses, just the gas you need to go where you want to go and the cell phone you need to set up those play dates. In other words, she’s having you cover the cost of your play and travel to and from work. Really, not a lot in the grand scheme of the many hundreds of dollars needed to survive.

Of course, one hopes that these costs do not take the entirety of your weekly check. Now is the time to start the lifelong habit of saving some of your income for a rainy day (or Cabo Spring Break).

You have the opportunity now to create new lifelong habits that will serve you in the years to come. Yes, life comes with bills to pay—and we also have to pay our fair share—but it also comes with compounding interest. Read (or listen to) David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire. Don’t bemoan paying for the life you live. That’s life. Be grateful for the opportunity to have money coming in that helps your mother and helps you live the life you enjoy. These days, not everyone is as lucky.

New responsibility will often chafe, but it will not choke if approached with level head and grateful heart. Realize that your mom’s burden is heavier than you have bothered to note, but now you have the opportunity to help, where it is appropriate.

Blessings on a bright future,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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More Wellness, Less Health Problems

You want to be healthy and know that wellness is prevention and prevention is, as they say, worth a pound of cure. How to maintain wellbeing in a culture that values OT and fast food?? — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — You talk about taking care of yourself first in your stress management program (which no offense I was really suspicious, it’s actually good!). After finally getting over some health problems the last couple years, I’m a firm believer.  So what do you do if you work at a company that doesn’t value employee “wellness” and only those who slave their lives in OT away to get ahead? I’ve been here since college and want to get past middle management, but the older I get, the less I’m willing to compromise my healthy and wellbeing. — Squeezed in the Middle

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Dear Squeezed in the Middle,

Wow, a classic yet throwback question, Squeezed. It’s a flavor of the perennial “I need experience to get experience.” You need to have wellness before you can have true health…and you need your job, too. I have a lot of hope for you to do the right thing — by you. Really examine what’s important to you (items from paying the bills consistently to feeding your body and soul properly) in life, what you stand for and what your values are, and you will do the right thing as far as your job, current and future ones, are concerned.

As for wellness, if you indeed completed our de-stress program (which I view far more as a self-mastery tool), aside from learning how many ways stress is a real life killer, you know that self-care is tied to self-esteem, wellness tied to your overall wellbeing, also tied to your self-esteem — a full circle. Squeezed, as your past illness showed you only too well, integrating wellness as a lifestyle is not to compartmentalize your (singular) life into “work” and “home” and not about squeezing in time to be well, but about Being well in small and large ways throughout your one and only life in  balanced and sustainable ways. And we like to keep the practice of all of that simple. Just takes practice.

Keep your eye on the prize (you),

BadWitch

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Dear Squeezed in the Middle,

It sounds like you already know what your options are. You can 1) sacrifice your health and mental stability by playing the role of stressed out, over-worked unbalanced employee and move ahead, 2) continue to do good consistent work, take care of yourself and remain in middle management trying to educate the higher ups on the importance of self-care and stress management for improved employee morale and attendance, or c) continue to work in a balanced way while researching your options for finding your next wrung of the ladder in a new work environment.

The question is: how long are you in for?

Option number 1 requires subjugating your own sense of self-worth so that someone else will value your contribution. If the higher ups cannot appreciate a solid and consistent employee who understands work life balance, than perhaps this is not the right work environment for you. After all, you should not be forced into some co-dependent agreement that will set your personal development further back to hopefully move your career forward. Of course, if the stress makes you sick with blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or any other host of issues, you probably won’t get that promotion because then you’ll be blamed for missing work for doctor appointment and sick time.

Do what is right for you. Live a balanced life that allows for a personal life, while being a responsible employee—while spending some personal time looking for a company that respects your need to have a life. Take this time to get your resume straight. Take some development classes in your field, which will allow you to meet others in your field and find out about their company policies.

You seem to be on the course to deciding on the best course of action for you. Just remember in your decision-making process that your health and wellness MUST come first, because (please excuse the cliché, but it’s so true) without your health, what have you got and how much can you enjoy it?

Peace be the journey,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Just Say “No”: Responsibility of Self-Care (inspiration)

“All human beings are also dream beings. Dream ties all humankind together.” – Jack Kerouac

“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” – Woodrow Wilson

“No” is such a simple word….only two letters. Yet saying “No” out loud is harder for most people than saying, “I’ll be glad to…” (11 letters)or “When do you need me to…” (17 letters) ~ Linda D. Tillman

“There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life – reciprocity.”  ~Confucius

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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