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Questions tagged [work-environment]

Use this tag if the question is related to the work environment, such as an issue with your boss, your coworkers, or someone you have authority over.

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183
votes
10answers
38k views

How to ask a vegan to stop telling me about veganism because I am not interested in it?

I work in an office with a couple of vegan coworkers. If I bring any animal products to lunch (even cheese, which they can smell), I'm likely to get a long earful about it. In the past, I've listened ...
134
votes
17answers
37k views

How do I deal with a coworker who unplugs my monitor because I didn't turn it off?

Background: I have a coworker - let's call her Anne - who believes that saving energy wherever possible is everyone's most important responsibility. Anne has made that clear from the day that I joined ...
130
votes
13answers
27k views

How can I explain to people that a programmer isn't a computer technician?

In Italy, a lot of people keep thinking that programmers are computer technicians. A programmer does completely different things, and in a company, I'm not the guy who should assemble your computer ...
120
votes
12answers
26k views

How do I tell a co-worker that just because something is a hobby doesn't mean I want to do it for free?

I enjoy baking, and on a number of occasions have baked cakes or other desserts for people in the office to celebrate their birthday or a work-related milestone. I've done this of my own accord, ...
105
votes
7answers
34k views

How to gently turn down a female coworker who asked for a sperm donation?

I have a female co-worker (she's technically my superior but in another department). We've worked together for about 4.5 years and have been become pretty good friends, we'll always chat in the ...
94
votes
15answers
27k views

How can I avoid coming across as condescending when telling a coworker I can't work on an issue right now?

Being a programmer, I largely run on the logical/factual side which tends to get me in trouble with my emails being read in tones not intended. One email, I even was sat down with my boss for being "...
92
votes
16answers
23k views

How to address a double standard where my religious colleagues consider it OK to discuss religion, but then ask me not to?

I'm working in a small office of about ten employees, all of whom are religious apart from myself. Although I'm open about my atheism and write about it on my blog, I am careful not to discuss ...
89
votes
9answers
24k views

I'm in a committed relationship and I'm being hit on in the workplace - how do I stop it without bringing it to HR?

Some Background I'm a 21 year old female I'm living in west Europe I am in a committed relationship with my boyfriend The Problem I recently started an internship for the summer which is amazing ...
87
votes
13answers
37k views

Coworker scans my body. How to best tell him to stop?

So, a (male) coworker of mine has the annoying habit of scanning my (female) body each time he walks by. By "scanning" I mean he's looking me up and down; essentially making it clear he is looking at ...
83
votes
9answers
18k views

Responding to people questioning my single status?

Background I am a computer programmer working as a graduate student under a biochemistry department in a university affiliated hospital. So far I have had a very successful career, having written ...
80
votes
7answers
26k views

How can I tactfully tell my ex-superior that I don't owe him anything?

Context Last summer, I had a temporary job which lasted 3 months (not more, not less) as a research engineer. It was decided that if my work gave promising results, my superior would write an ...
75
votes
9answers
16k views

How to redirect a real-life help vampire to an alternate source of food… um… assistance?

I've recently had some troubles with a help-vampire in the office. She's about my age (late twenties), from India and she doesn't speak Dutch. She works in the same office as me, but not on the same ...
74
votes
7answers
26k views

How to politely refuse telling your parents where you work?

While I don’t have a bad relationship with my parent who tries to find out, you could say that our relation is rather cold. I haven’t lived with my parents for about six years. Since I’ve already had ...
71
votes
14answers
30k views

How do I respond to racist remarks from a coworker?

Recently, I've had a couple short conversations with a coworker that have taken a racist turn, and I'm not really sure how to respond. We don't work directly together, but often see each other in ...
70
votes
11answers
14k views

How to behave at a work organized drinking event as a non drinker?

I work in a medium sized company (~150 people) and every year they have this drink off event in conjunction with one of the local fairs. This means they basicly all get together and drink wine and do ....
68
votes
14answers
19k views

Dealing with a person who continuously needs help

Background I have a "friend" who is currently employed at a job as a software developer. Unfortunately, this friend of mine isn't at all willing to look for solutions by themselves. They would rather ...
66
votes
10answers
20k views

How to stop a colleague from talking to me about work when I'm on my lunch break?

More often than not, I eat my lunch at my desk. There aren't any shops or cafés nearby, so this suits me just fine. I usually put my headphones in and browse the news or SE to take a break from work. ...
66
votes
8answers
14k views

How can I suggest to someone that he may potentially be colourblind?

My colleague recently had a disagreement with a client about the colour of two items. The client claimed both items were the same colour, while to my colleague one was red and one was green. I can ...
63
votes
11answers
22k views

How to quickly remove yourself from a homophobic conversation?

My problem arises with the fact that I grew up in a very homophobic environment. I'm personally bi (so most people just take me as straight). Yet, I have homosexual friends with whom I'm very close, ...
61
votes
12answers
17k views

How can I stop my friend from replying “anything” when asking them what they'd like to eat?

I always go to lunch with a friend from work. We have at least 6 places where we regularly eat, with 2 of them being the most common. Sometimes I get bored of the same place, and I ask him where to ...
59
votes
6answers
20k views

How do I tell my teammate to stop replying to emails not addressed to him?

I'm a contractor who has recently joined a new project in the last month or so. I am ~8 hours ahead of the rest of the team and so often send emails outside of their working hours. After almost every ...
59
votes
10answers
17k views

How can I ask my husband about his work progress without him becoming defensive?

My husband and I work from home and share a work office. We have so for 5 years. We also have a new 7-week-old baby girl. Prior to her birth, we used to ask each other how work was going all the ...
58
votes
10answers
20k views

How to politely interrupt recruiters who keep cold-calling me during my work hours?

About a year and a half ago I was waist deep in a job search. Having found a new job, I've since attempted to remove my resume from the internet. However, this hasn't stopped recruiters from finding ...
58
votes
6answers
14k views

Dealing with / extricating yourself from having to listen to a superior's xenophobic rants

This could very well be on the workplace, but I'm looking for a IPS solution that will help me deal with this since the usual workplace advice ("Look for a new job") won't help me in this case. I ...
56
votes
7answers
13k views

How to dismiss intrusive questions from a colleague with whom I don't work?

I have a colleague of mine at work. He's just my peer, not my boss or a higher rank, I do not report to him in any way. When I'm late for work (for different, sometimes very personal reasons), he ...
56
votes
16answers
18k views

How to act when people bring a baby to work?

I am uncomfortable interacting with babies because I personally don't find them cute or interesting to interact with. I also am not good at faking positive interactions with babies, because I really ...
55
votes
12answers
15k views

Convince somebody to stop flirting with me

Brief Summary So, I've been in a bit of a situation recently: one of my co-workers (female, I'm male btw) started flirting with me. It started with her throwing things like "hey, beautiful", and I ...
52
votes
16answers
23k views

How to communicate to my co-workers that they don't have to say “bless you” when I sneeze?

I am slightly annoyed by my co-workers who say "bless you" everytime I sneeze. It feels awkward to me to reply with a "thank you". I usually only thank people when they really helped me out in a ...
51
votes
11answers
22k views

“Stole” my friend's excitement about a personal project - how to deal with the fallout

Background: I work at a woodworking shop, doing design etc. and both myself and a colleague sometimes do personal projects using the tools, machinery etc. here in our own time. These projects are ...
49
votes
7answers
12k views

How do I deal with a client who doesn't respect me?

I've been freelancing for 8 years and have never had a problem with a client like this one. I take a lot of pride in my work and take a lot of care to ensure that the client and I are on the same page ...
49
votes
10answers
10k views

How to communicate to a new coworker that I am not comfortable being touched?

Last week a new coworker joined our team, and yesterday we were both invited to eat lunch in the work cafeteria with some other colleagues that I have known for around a year and a half. As he, ...
48
votes
6answers
23k views

How do I respond when someone answers 'Yes' when I ask “Would anyone like the last [Item]?”?

So today at work we had a tray of doughnuts, my colleague called out to the office, "I'm going to have the last one unless anyone else would like it?". At this point, I realised that I don't think I'...
47
votes
11answers
16k views

How to avoid answering “what were you sick with”?

I have been on "sick leave" for a little more than a week due to mental health issues. I'm now back to work and my coworkers are asking "did you have the flu?" or other questions like that. I know ...
47
votes
6answers
8k views

How to ask my office to remove the pride decorations without appearing anti-LGBTQ?

First, for clarification, I am not anti-LGBTQ. My office has taken part in the Pride Month, which is celebrated throughout the UK in June every year. The month celebrations end in a large Pride ...
46
votes
16answers
14k views

How to explain to coworkers that being vegan does not mean I know everything about it?

The other day, I was in a company meal with ~20 coworkers and someone offered me wine before adding: "At least you know this is vegan." (because I'm vegan). I don't like alcohol so I politely refused ...
44
votes
7answers
12k views

Can my sister convey to her womanizer boss by her body language and general behavior that she is not 'available' for an 'office romance'?

My sister recently accepted a high-paying job offer as office administrator in a local firm in our hometown in India, run by a divorced middle aged financial consultant. She is due to join next week ...
43
votes
8answers
11k views

How can I say I want to be left alone without having to explain myself or lie about it?

In all my jobs so far I have had coworkers who spent their lunch breaks together. At my current job there are a lot of restaurants close and everyone goes there during their break. I'm a very ...
42
votes
12answers
10k views

Handling questions about new tattoo from friends and coworkers

I recently got a tattoo of a semicolon on my wrist. If you haven't heard of semicolon tattoos here is a link to a website that explains it better than I could. The TL;DR is A semicolon is used when ...
42
votes
11answers
10k views

How can you distance yourself from people you have nothing in common with without being a snob?

Over the last couple of months, I was entrusted by a few people in my workplace with the fact that I was considered a snob by a large part of the staff. That sort of hit a soft spot since I always ...
40
votes
12answers
13k views

Colleague thinks that he is too slow

Background I am frequently working with a colleague who is a little bit junior to me (but not particularly "fresh" - he has been in the company for over 10 years in a lead developer/expert role for ...
38
votes
6answers
7k views

How to react when someone makes a racially charged joke about their own heritage [closed]

I have a friend who is a research scientist of Mexican descent. Before a work meeting, as he was wiping off the whiteboards to begin a presentation, he joked "This is the part that my people are best ...
38
votes
6answers
8k views

How to deal with avoiding someone I don't like

Currently, as part of my work, I come into proximity with a lot of people (via getting food, to being at some company-wide meeting, or just at a mutual work friend's party), some of whom I do not like ...
36
votes
6answers
10k views

How to politely decline painting requests from co-workers?

Update: Someone recently requested I paint something, and I said that I'm short on time. It was really painless Thank you guys! I paint to relax. During the office lunch break, I paint in my ...
34
votes
7answers
11k views

How to tell someone not to start a business?

My Tae Kwon-Do instructor is looking to make a little extra money on the side. He's hired me to do some graphics work for him, which I'm more than happy to do, but now I'm beginning to wonder if he's ...
33
votes
8answers
8k views

How to tactfully ask if someone is from the same ethno-religious group as I am?

I am an ethnic and religious member of a certain ethno-religious group. (You can probably guess which one, but I thought the question might be broad enough to apply to other ethnic/religious groups ...
33
votes
7answers
7k views

How to deal with coworkers making comments on my dietary/lifestyle choices

I work at an office where I'm the only vegan in the company and a I choose to eat a lot healthier than most people in the company. People find it necessary to make comments about my lifestyle choice. ...
33
votes
5answers
8k views

How do I continue to be quiet without being rude?

I'm a man of few words, very introverted, and prefer to work in silence where possible (my own silence, music is a must have but I normally wear headphones to avoid bothering others). It's not that I ...
32
votes
10answers
9k views

How can I switch a conversation from a language to another?

Being new in Germany (around ten months now), I am suffering from the language, and it is not that easy for me to keep the communication in German. Therefore sometimes I use English or even French ...
32
votes
9answers
13k views

How do I politely tell my coworker he can do the work himself?

My team, A, has set up everything for team B to work with. They can change texts, values, basic colors. The only thing they can't change is general layout or complicated styling. They can ask my team, ...
32
votes
4answers
11k views

How to tell an older colleague that they are not superior to me?

I've got a communication issue with my colleague, let's call her Alice. Alice seems to feel superior to me just because she is about 20 years older than me. We were hired for the same position at the ...