There are five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My colleague lied to me

I was hired by a reputable organization in my field about six months ago. My colleague Fergus started in a similar position at the same time. We work closely together and for the most part get on well. I think of him as something of a friend – or at least that’s how I felt until recently.

Fergus and I were working on a big report that needs to be finished in the next few months. Last week I had been working on other projects and reported back the shared file to get back to work. We sat together and when I logged on he said (without prompting) that he had worked hard on the report, updating an important section and adding information. I noticed very few things changed, so I checked the version history and found that it had worked on it for a total of two minutes in the 24 hours prior to my check.

So I immediately asked him what exactly he was doing with the report, and here I caught him lying. He doubled up and said he changed four or five big things, and when I said these sections looked exactly the same, he said he was working on them offline. I urged him to keep working on the approved document and went on with the conversation. None of the changes he said he made had happened since that conversation.

I find it hard to let go of the lie. The lie was small and not very meaningful in the long run, and I don’t want to compromise my working relationship with my closest collaborator. I haven’t told him or anyone else in the office about it. But I hate to be lied to, especially because he doubled in size, although honestly I wouldn’t have cared if he hadn’t got the job done in the first place. I’ve also had issues with him in the past because I was strangely obsessed with separating the work he did from the work we did together and because he garnered a lot of praise in front of our bosses. I’ve started to stand up for myself more, to be less cooperative and to give myself more recognition.

How should I handle it? I’m very careful about possible future lies he might make, but is that the best way to go? Or should I speak to him directly?

The most important reaction is what you are already doing – to be aware that Fergus is ready to lie to protect or promote himself, to pay more attention in the future, and to be more confident when it comes to getting recognition for your work , and less willing to work together since he’s a credit hog.

But I don’t know if calling him more directly about this lie will do much good. In a way, you’ve already called him – you’ve made it clear that his claim is inconsistent with what you’re seeing, and you’ve given him firm instructions for the future. There’s a good chance he already realizes you caught him, and it might be better for your relationship – since you will have to keep working together – to save him a little face by not spelling it explicitly. That is, if something like this ever happened again, I wouldn’t give him the same grace; At this point, you’d need to have a more straightforward “You told me X but it was Y” conversation.

2. Should I warn someone that I will report them before I do?

I am currently expecting my first child and my husband and I are taking antenatal classes at the hospital. The teacher is TERRIBLE. Some of what she says is rolling eyes (which suggests harmless but heavily refuted home remedies), some is absurd (when she said you have to pull the cot an inch away from the wall because otherwise there won’t be enough air being the baby), and some of it is dangerous, such as B. Conflicting and misleading information about sleep safety and SIDS.

I am a doctor myself (not a pediatrician or obstetrician) and can tell which studies she is referring to, read and critically judge them if she precedes every ridiculous thing with “studies show…” a happy situation that most people do not find themselves in , and I am furious and concerned that she is posing as Hokum Hospital representative. I would like to write a letter to your manager with feedback.

Should I share my concerns with her? I feel like going over the top of someone and dazzling them with strong negative feedback is not the best course of action, but at the same time there is no answer she could give me that would make me NOT write the letter – I just don’t trust her to take my feedback seriously and to react to it.

I think both are fine! If someone supposed to be a technical agency uses this authority to disseminate serious misinformation, there is no obligation to deal with it first. This is twofold if you are a student and you have been hired to teach because there are power dynamics there, even when everyone involved is an adult. That is, if you would like the opportunity to discuss the problem with her first, you could – and you could put it this way: “I’m worried enough about this that I want to contact the hospital and share my concerns with you directly.” But that’s bad enough, that it’s okay to skip this step and go right over her head.

3. How to get a colleague to stop asking me for so much help

I have a coworker who I have to draw lines with and I have no idea how to do this in a friendly way. She joined my company about a year ago. We don’t work on the same team, but we do have some overlapping clients.

We are both lawyers with experience. She went to much more prestigious schools than mine, so I expected her to be pretty confident in her role. But since she arrived, she’s been checking in with me almost every step in many (all?) Of her tasks, from how to deal with X issues to writing emails to customers. I initially thought it had something to do with being new to the job, so I wanted to help her. (I’m not sure why she doesn’t ask her teammates instead.) But it never got better. I have so much of my own work to do that I really don’t have the time or mental capacity to do it.

I don’t know if this is scam syndrome or if she’s just suffering from a total lack of self-confidence, but I have a feeling it must be something like that, so I’d like to refuse further help in the nicest possible way. Any ideas?

Maybe instead of asking someone on her own team, she might ask you because you’ve been so helpful in the past.

Say the following: “In the future, you should ask your team these questions. My schedule is very full right now and I will not be able to provide any further assistance. “

If she still sends you questions, just answer with: “I’m sorry, I can’t help – I’m overwhelmed. You should check with (your manager’s name). “

4. Is my new boss signaling that she doesn’t trust me?

My long-time boss recently retired. Before leaving, he promoted me to do many of his duties. I got a raise, a direct contributor, and more responsibility than ever before. However, my new boss (formerly my grand boss) seems determined to take this promotion back as if she hadn’t approved these plans in advance.

For example, a few pay periods after my promotion, my former boss announced that he would be giving me an X% performance-based pay raise at the end of the year, but my new boss later made it clear that it would be an X% increase compared to my previous one Salary, not my new one – which resulted in only a few dollars (think double digits) increase annually. This felt harsh, especially since another team member received a proportionally larger raise despite being in poor standing and having a PIP.

After my direct report resigned, my new boss decided that his successor would now report to you – a replacement I hired, trained and started managing. She even decided that this replacement would take over some of my duties. I feel like I’m in a tug-of-war between my dear former boss and my new one, and all the things my former boss wanted from me have been taken from me. My gut tells me to get out because my new boss doesn’t seem to trust me. My performance is great and my old boss never did anything but sing my praises, but the signals I get from New Boss seem very negative. Can you give me a reality check?

Yes, these are not good signals. At the very least, she’s not as excited about you as your old boss was … and it’s possible that she’s preparing to oust you (I’m particularly concerned about giving your new hire some of your assigns new tasks). But before you finish something, talk to her about it! You should be able to be pretty straightforward, “I wanted to talk to you about how things are going in my new role. A couple of things made me feel that you might have concerns about my job, such as: B. Lower my raise and move Jane from reporting to me to reporting to you. If you have any concerns about my work, I would definitely want to know. “

It’s possible that now that your old boss is gone, she just has a different idea of ​​the role – especially if, for example, he had a lot more experience or a much closer working relationship with her than you – but is one way or another it’s time to have an explicit discussion about what’s going on. (Actually, the time is over, but that’s up to her.)

5. Can my employer give me leave to serve on a jury?

I was appointed to the jury and selected as a member of the jury. The judge expects a hearing to last 10 days. My employment contract is vague about the terms of the employee’s jury duty, but basically it says that even if we do jury duty, we get paid. I am an employee. The company owner is upset that I was selected on a jury and wants me to use all of my 10 days PTO to fulfill my jury duty. I don’t think that’s fair, but is it legal? I’m in california.

It’s pretty crappy – especially since depending on the length of the process, you could use up all of your vacation time for the year – but it’s legal. Some states prohibit employers from taking you off during jury work, but California isn’t one of them (surprisingly, as they’re usually ahead of the curve when it comes to worker protection). California requires employers to give you time to sit on a jury, but that time can be unpaid or billed to your PTO. (Here is a full list of state laws on it.)

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