Lynne Curry

Q: Every May, we hire and train 25 entry-level workers. This year’s crop of new employees is the worst we’ve ever had.

Thus far, we've dismissed three new hires from our training program and two others look like they're going to wash out. We've talked about putting in a new ad on Craigslist but the ad we placed landed 10 lousy applicants and a bucketful of spam for every good resume.

We need a minimum of six to 10 new applicants. Is it that entry-level jobs and the pay rates appeal only to younger workers and they’re all entitled? How do we find better applicants, or do we just need to continue hiring the best of the worst, train them and hope for the best?...

Lynne Curry

Q: I work 90 hours a week. Supposedly our company’s administrative staff supports those of us who run the field jobs as well as the higher-ups. But they don’t. One of the administrative assistants has a snarky way of saying, “You can look that up on the server yourself,” when I ask her a question. She doesn’t get that I’m out in the field working full out, and if I stop work to look up something that “only takes a minute,” I’m not keeping my eyes on what I need to be doing to finish the projects that pay her and everyone else’s salary.

It’s not like the administrative staff are so busy they can’t help. When I’m in the office I see them texting, chatting or strolling to the break room to grab a cup of coffee...

Lynne Curry

Q: When I got a call last December asking me if I’d accept a state appointment, I turned it down even though I wanted to say yes. I was worried about the scrutiny I’d suffer in the vetting process. For this same reason, I’ve never run for office even though I’ve wanted to.

The problem started four decades ago when I returned from Vietnam and started a career in state government. When I was interviewing for my first job, I made myself out to be a Vietnam War hero. That wasn’t true; I was a clerk in the war and miles from any real action. No one ever checked my stories, and over the years, I added to them. I never put them on paper but they’re something many people know about and would come up in any discussion of my history or qualifications...

Lynne Curry

Q: We have two employees who post their grievances about their supervisor on Facebook to each other and the world at large. We understand that laws give them the freedom to complain about their supervisor to each other, but they post photos of his face next to mocking statements and photos in which they’re wearing our company’s logo, thus bringing our company’s name into their private venting. Does this give us an avenue for terminating these employees?...

Lynne Curry

Q: I work with my best friend. We’re both 22. She hates our supervisor and working here. She says he picks on her and life’s too short to take his s*** every day. It’s my first job and her third.

I’ve tried to stay out of their issues, but I’m afraid my coworker will quit and then I’ll be the only one my age here. I feel like I’m caught in the middle, because our supervisor treats me all right and so I’m not unhappy all the time. My older sister told me to call you.

A: You’re not caught in the middle. You can be friends with your co-worker and still like your supervisor. Since your supervisor treats you “all right,” you’ve got two options...

Lynne Curry

When an apparently suicidal pilot flew his plane into the side of a mountain, he killed 150 people, and devastated the lives of those who loved them.

The pilot, Andreas Lubitz, did online research into suicide methods in the days leading up to the fatal flight. Lubitz battled depression for years, relapsed with severe depression and stress in late 2014, and concealed recent medical leave notes declaring him unfit for work...

Lynne Curry

Q: One of our employees, “Kelly,” is gay and recently came out to everyone in our workplace. Many of the guys in the workplace feel awkward around him now, and uneasy with the fact that he goes into the same bathroom they do. Several have made loud, nasty, supposedly joking remarks anytime Kelly enters the bathroom when there’s a guy in there already...

Lynne Curry

Q: My husband and I recently moved to Alaska and then he deployed. Two months ago, I confided in a coworker that I was having marital troubles. She suggested I tell my manager so he’d be aware I had things weighing on my mind.

I did and he asked me a lot of questions, some of which I felt embarrassed answering. After that, he asked me for “updates” every couple of days. Then, he asked me out to dinner. I thought he was just being kind because he knew I was new to the state and going through a hard time. But when he told me he’d made reservations at the Crow’s Nest and insisted that he’d pick me up at my apartment, I got nervous. I thanked him for the offer, but told him I’d need to decline...

Lynne Curry

Q: Nine months ago, I hired “Gabe” to handle a critical position in our company. From his first week, he took charge of a number of situations that were troublesome. I’m a fairly easygoing, accommodating supervisor, and I appreciated the way Gabe laid down the law.

After Gabe had been here only a few months, employees started coming to me telling me he was a bully. What they told me didn’t sound like the Gabe I knew, a man I’d learned I could count on. I didn’t listen and after he’d been here six months, I named Gabe my deputy...

Lynne Curry

Q: I'm in my fifties and have worked for the same organization ever since I turned 18. I never thought I’d want to quit my job, but I do.

I work for a bully. He's new to our organization and from day one he’s treated me with contempt. He ridicules my work and makes me redo every report I turn in. When I dare open my mouth in staff meetings, he looks at me as if I've grown horns. He insists that there’s one way, his way...

Lynne Curry

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