I am having lunch at The Vagabond in Miami when owner Avra Jain welcomes my small group and draws our attention to the details of the retro-inspired boutique hotel, including the stylish bar and mermaid fountain.
Q: My colleagues frequently complain that my emails are too long. Because my thoughts seem to occur in “long form,” it takes a lot of time to edit, shorten, tighten and cut an email from several paragraphs to one. When I’m rushed, upset, emotionally invested or trying to be thorough, this is especially difficult.
Workplaces are awash in statistics. Surveys and studies pop up weekly on every issue imaginable — diversity, health, engagement and job satisfaction, to name a few.
When Pope Francis made his historic trip through the U.S. last month and sent a message that strong families are the foundation of a healthy society, he left me to ponder the predicament America finds itself in.
Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.
Reader: I am getting ready to give notice at my employer in New York state. I planned to use my accrued vacation time during my last two days, because our handbook states that unused vacation time cannot be cashed out.
Q: One of my team members takes it personally when clients disagree with him; he even is offended if other colleagues try to have a dialogue about opinions, and thinks that they don’t like him. How can I help him see that everything isn’t personal?
Just outside my cubicle lies the Pit of Atrociousness. It’s a cavernous chasm into which I toss the inane press releases and insipid workplace-related books that cross my desk each day.
After giving her sons breakfast, Karin Bejerano dashes off to work as a high school dance instructor. Her husband, Andres, moves fully into dad mode, adjusting the boys’ shirt buttons, sticking lunches into backpacks, driving them to school and delivering their sports bags to their grandparents’ home for use later in the day.
Q: I seem to have acquired some unwanted responsibilities. Although I was hired to process payroll and do other administrative tasks, I have gradually become the go-to person for personnel issues. Little by little, various human resources duties have been given to me, and I am now expected to handle them.
Q: I recently took a job in the kitchen of a local elementary school. I have never done this type of work before, and my job description isn’t very clear.
Like so many, I was shocked to learn that some housing units set aside for low-income families are being occupied by people earning six-figure salaries.
If there were a common protest chant in workplaces across America it would go something like this:
“What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”
“Soon, so we can start complaining about it!”
Charles Dickens’ famous phrase opening “A Tale of Two Cities” — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — lends itself to a new study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Professor Carl Van Horn and his colleagues at Rutgers University this spring did an in-depth survey of 944 workers, 504 of whom were involuntary part-time workers and 440 who were part-timers by choice. They were a sample of the 26 million Americans who hold part-time jobs.
I recently brought up the overall worthlessness of annual work reviews and introduced a more optimistic feedback approach called “feedforward.”
After 10 years in the workforce, Edward Cruz wanted someone to guide him on his career path, an experienced professional who could provide objective advice.