The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 19, 2013

Water Cooler: When a Carrot Feels More Like a Stick


Of course, if you see promotion just as a means to an exit, go ahead and demand it, plus retroactive pay for the waiting period. That should force a quick decision from your boss — but probably not the one you're hoping for.

Q: Annual drive for a large charity is at hand. My company "encourages" donations and distributes pre-filled donation forms. Last year I was asked seven times. I feel I should not have to explain why I don't donate, or list who I do contribute to. One colleague gives $5 to get them off his back. That feels like a wimpy way out to me.

A: "Thanks, I've already been asked" with a smile — then turn back to your work. Polite, enigmatic and discouraging of further discussion. And give poor Five Buck Chuck a break; his response is equally valid.

Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers. Miller has written for and edited tax publications for 16 years, most recently for the accounting firm KPMG's Washington National Tax office.

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