Employee


As hard-working Americans, we tend to spend more time in the workplace than with our own families.  For some, this is a good thing.  For others, it can be a total nightmare! From nagging bosses to annoying co-workers, we are thrown into a pot of people that must work together toward a common company goal.   It’s human nature to be “your best” when starting a job – but where the fun comes in… is when the true colors come out! 

How do you maintain your composure, stay professional, and even get ahead when there are deadlines to meet and distractions along the way?  Let Anita Clew be your guide. From asking for a raise to filing a complaint – Anita is your go-to gal!

We invite you to post the questions you’ve been dying to ask (but in some cases, have been too embarrassed to do so) as they relate to employee situations. And don’t forget to read about others’ trials and tribulations. Maybe you have a tip or two for them too?

125 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tony
    Jun 28, 2014 @ 09:09:03

    What does it take to start from the very bottom of a company and move all the way up to a corporate job position? I work at a large chain of retail stores, and I was just wondering some things based on what I have seen all the years I have been there. I work at one of their stores. There are people who have been on their job for decades and they are still working at the bottom of this business. The first thing that comes to my mind is why have neither of these people moved up to an upper management position at the store. How can people be comfortable working all their years as just an employee and not moved up to the highest position in the company? They have been there long enough to know how to run the store just like the store managers this chain promotes from outside of that particular store location. That is something else I do not get. People who have worked so many years at a store seems like a good candidate to become a store manager. This retail giant runs their business in a way where instead of promoting lower level management at the store to run that store they instead promote people from other locations out of state to take charge. I feel like this. Check what you have in your own back yard first before you go searching in a far away land for something you had all along in your own back yard. In other words, they should not pass over all those qualified people who spent many years in the business just to find someone from the outside of the store location to take charge. That’s not fair in my opinion. I don’t see how people can just accept that like it is ok.

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    • anitaclew
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 08:51:20

      Tony, different companies have different strategies for promotion; moving people from store to store is a common one. You should speak to your current store manager or HR to determine the path you can take (the skills you can learn, etc.) to start being considered for a management track.

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  2. Kat Alberts
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 12:22:25

    Currently assigned to a local company through a temporary agency. This company hires temps first and then decides whether or not to hire permanent. I work 3rd shift, so there is less opportunity to be noticed by management. Is it a good idea to email or call my manager at the agency and ask if he has received any feedback about me? I am very tempted to Toot My Own Horn, as I believe I deserve permanent hire over many of my co-temps. I have never been late or absent, especially through the probation period where 1 absence = automatic termination. (I even worked the night we experienced a family tragedy). I have never been disciplined, have done every job happily, I don’t participate in griping, gossip, or drama, and volunteer for OT when available. My group leader has even told me that she assigns me jobs she knows I will enjoy because I am one of her favorites. The agency also has an incentive program for safety, etc., of which I am deserving of. I tend to get overshadowed by more aggressive people, and I don’t want to be overlooked here. How do I bring all this positive info. to his attention without sounding like an insufferable braggart? Thanks.

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    • anitaclew
      Apr 21, 2014 @ 12:00:07

      Kat, The confident boxer Muhammad Ali once said, to paraphrase, it’s not bragging if it’s true. I would definitely email your manager to let him know you would like to be considered for one of the permanent positions. Back it up with all the reasons you are a good candidate, just like a cover letter for your résumé. Be sure to let me know the outcome.

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  3. LaDawn
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 15:39:18

    I just started a new temporary position at the same company where my husband works. I’ve been there for about a month and until the last couple of days I’ve been doing really well and getting compliments on my work. However the past couple of days has been very overwhelming with the amount of work that I’ve been doing and some of the new tasks and training that’s been given to me. My supervisor has been in training herself so it’s been difficult to get some assistance for the tasks she’s given me. My problem is that I have a hard time telling people that I am overwhelmed and can’t take on another task at the moment. I know where this behavior comes from. I was in a controlling and emotionally abusive marriage for 12 years (the last 10 were the worst) and it has become ingrained that I want to accomplish everything that’s asked of me and do it well, I am terrified that if I tell someone I have too much on my plate……there goes my chance at being a permanent employee. Knowing where the behavior comes from is half the battle, I know that, what I don’t know is, how to correct it. Any thoughts?

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    • anitaclew
      Mar 27, 2014 @ 11:00:13

      LaDawn, I understand how you can feel overwhelmed with all of the tasks and assignments thrown your way at a new job. Set up a short meeting with your supervisor to review your performance so far. Enumerate some of the recently assigned tasks, and express your desire to perform quality work. As you are still in training, you may need more time than you will when you are fully up to speed. Ask your supervisor to help you prioritize your tasks, so you will know which to work on first. Remember the “how do you eat an elephant” riddle? One bite at a time!

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  4. Worried about my taxes
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 08:29:48

    Anita,
    I work for a small company. My employer pays me with a personal check and I never see the break out of my taxes. Is the employer required to give me a break out of my taxes.

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    • anitaclew
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 15:38:52

      Dear, Worried, If you are an hourly or salaried employee, and not a subcontractor, your employer is required by law to withhold payroll taxes (Federal income, state, and any local taxes, along with Social Security and Medicare). Whether your company must provide an itemized pay stub varies by state. According the “American Payroll Association Basic Guide to Payroll, 2013 Edition,” the following states must provide deduction info on employees’ pay stubs: AK, AZ (if direct deposit), CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO (monthly), MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA (on request), WA, WV, WI, WY. Ask your boss to clarify the issue. If you are not satisfied with the answer, check with an employment attorney.

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  5. Walter Washington
    Mar 17, 2014 @ 17:28:22

    You have a great website…any chance there will a “LinkedIn” selection in the “Share this” option?

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  6. Margareta Romualdo
    Mar 04, 2014 @ 09:28:50

    Good Morning Anita,
    I was looking at web page for select and saw that they offer benefits for temporary employees. I am interested, but was not aware that they had that avaiable or that it was offered to us, but am interested to apply. How can I get benefits now, do they also have an open window for enrollment?

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  7. Sandra
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 21:24:19

    Dear Anita,

    I am a new employee under training and probation. My coworker who is training me happens to report everything I do to my supervisor but the good work I do. She makes sure to let her know every mistake i do, who I talk to, who I help and makes it seem in a negative way. Several times she has reported errors done that she assumed where done by me when it fact they were not. I feel that she tries to make me look bad and because of it I am concern I might get fired. How can I deal with this coworker or handle this situation?

    Sandra

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    • anitaclew
      Feb 26, 2014 @ 08:20:42

      Sandra, It sounds like there may be a bit of insecurity on the part of your coworker. She may be emphasizing your beginner’s mistakes to make herself feel better, and to look better to your supervisor. Hopefully, you will have opportunities for one-on-one conversations with your manager. Be sure to ask her how she thinks you are doing so far and invite feedback; this will show that you are eager to excel in your new position. Take the high road and do not bring up the coworker’s “tattling” unless the supervisor brings up an issue. Then address the issue only. In the meantime, be courteous and professional with your coworker. She may eventually realize that you are all on the same team, and put aside her petty jealousy. Let me know how it goes!

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      • Sandra
        Mar 06, 2014 @ 19:26:49

        Hello Anita,

        I had recently blogged about my situation with my tattling coworker. I had my evaluation and it was not so good. My supervisor noted that I need a lot of improvement and that I have not learn as fast as she thought I would learn. Of course she has an idea of all thus because of what my coworker reports to her because my supervisor does not train me and she’s not in the office. She also asked me if I felt comfortable working there, I answered yes. I don’t know where she was coming from with that question. Another thing she pointed out was that when we have a deadline she expects me to do overtime. I said I will but the truth is I can’t stay all the time because of my babysitters hours don’t allow me too. I feel that she has a misconception about me. How can I address this issues to her in a professional matter?

        Sandra feeling very discouraged..

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        • anitaclew
          Mar 07, 2014 @ 08:27:09

          Sandra, I’m sorry your evaluation did not go as well as you would have liked. If you are not learning as fast as expected, ask your supervisor if there are additional training resources you can utilize (software manuals, webinars, etc.). That will show her that you are committed to learning the necessary skills. It may also be that your learning style is not meshing with your co-worker’s teaching style. Are there others in your department who you can ask for tips or explanations besides your tutor? As for the overtime, hopefully once you become proficient, this won’t be as big of an issue. But when a deadline looms, you could work through your lunch (check with your supervisor to be sure you are both clear on the overtime implications of this extra time), or make arrangements with your babysitter so you can come in early rather than stay late. Don’t be discouraged; getting into the groove at a new job can take some time!

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  8. Alexa
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 19:44:50

    Dear Anita,
    I recently got a job and I am on my probation period. My coworker has been training me and I personally feel she expects me to pick up fast. For example on my first day she quickly gave me a task which involved entering employee attendance. She quickly gave me a whole bunch of information without a chance to take notes that lead me to make lots of mistakes. She addressed those mistakes to me which I corrected but then made different mistakes. She then talked to my supervisor about my mistakes and we had a meeting about it. My supervisor let me know that it was ok to make mistakes and from them I will learn. Just recently my coworker again when over a different task for about 30 min. The next day when I was ready to take on the task I asked her to come to my station.So she can watch me and she responded ” after over an hour we went over the basics you still feel like you need help?” , I said yes. I did some careless errors again and she addressed them to my supervisor after I left. I don’t understand why she gives me such a hard time. Should I talk to my supervisor regarding my coworkers attitude? Or should I talk to my supervisor regarding how I am trying my best. Every mistake I make my coworker lets my supervisor know about it and I feel she tries to make me look like a poor employee and Iam afraid I might end up getting fired. Please help!

    Sincerely,

    Mistaken over mistakes

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    • anitaclew
      Feb 03, 2014 @ 08:53:44

      Dear, Mistaken, It sounds like you have a different learning style that may not be compatible with your co-worker’s fast-paced teaching style. Definitely talk directly with your supervisor about the issue. Is there a written manual for your tasks? If not, then suggest that you make one from notes that you carefully take during training sessions. Send your draft to both your co-worker and manager for review, to ensure that you are performing tasks correctly, and not forgetting any important details. This “cheat sheet” will benefit the company by having written instructions both for employees covering for an employee who is out sick, and for future hires like yourself. For more insight into dealing with different personalities at work, check out the Tradepost blog at http://tradepost.selectfamily.com/index.cfm/2014/1/23/Managing-Personalities.

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  9. basil flournoy
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 01:14:29

    how do i change my address info?

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    • anitaclew
      Jan 13, 2014 @ 10:48:29

      Basil, at the bottom of every Job Talk with Anita Clew email is a link to “Manage Subscriptions.” Once you click on that link, click on “Settings” at the far right, and you’ll be able to update your subscribed email address.

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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