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Lockton Companies executive vice president Mark Henderson has a long-standing habit of going to lunch each week with two randomly selected employees to talk about anything they want.

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.

Calling in sick because it’s a beautiful autumn day? You should know that about 1 in 3 employers said they check to see if their employees really are sick.

Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.

Have you ever dropped everything to make sure you were early or on time for a meeting or appointment, only to be kept waiting by the other party?

Q: Two years ago, our department got a new director who came from another business. “Rick” gradually brought in more employees from his previous company, and they now make up a rather large group.

A job hunter offered to come in for an interview because she was “needing a daytime job to fill my time.”

Once the choirs have stopped singing and the homilies have been delivered, will Pope Francis' urging that we all commit to helping the poor make a difference?

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: I work for a large nonprofit — tax-exempt, but not faith-based. Our new supervisor is a conservative Christian who formerly worked for a faith-based organization and is open in the workplace about his beliefs.

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?

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.

Did you watch the stock market — and the value of your savings — plummet in the recent market dive? Yep, you know the emotional toll exacted by following your investments, even if the drop is short term.

Rank and yank is tough language for a tough system. It’s the employee evaluation method that periodically rates some workers lower than their peers and fires them.

Reader: My 17-year-old daughter started a job at a national retail chain store two months ago. After working there for a couple of weeks, she asked for a weekend off to attend a family event.

Q: Sometimes I feel invisible — I’ll say things and no one reacts, then someone else says the same thing and people respond. I don’t know if it’s me or them; what should I be doing differently?

I was perusing the Interwebs recently and came across an article titled “7 Morning Habits to Be Happier at Work.” I assumed that habits one through six would be “don’t get out of bed” and No. 7 would be “have doughnuts delivered to bed.”

Q: For the past few months, my co-worker has been cooking frozen fish and vegetables in the common work microwave every day for lunch.

Q: A group of people I work near are very outspoken, and very different from me in their attitudes and beliefs. It gets uncomfortable for me, but then I feel like I’m being too thin-skinned. What can I do?

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.