274

I have recently had to make a long series of doctors appointments. After the 3rd time someone asked me this I got a bit annoyed too and asked them why they were asking. The receptionist smiled at me and said I didn't have to be specific, but she wanted to know so she could provide details for the doctor. This way they can determine multiple things: How ...


117

I suggest you "own" it and if need be, tell a mild joke about it first. I know someone whose initials are STL and who worked on the C++ Standard Library (which for historical reasons we all call STL) team at Microsoft. Nobody was confused by that, and many people called him STL deliberately to draw attention to the name thing. So you can say "Hi, I'm ...


99

I used to be a member of the Austin film community - rife with "working for credit". Part of why I found a job that isn't like this is that I really, really didn't like being in exactly the position you're in. I completely agree that it can be really uncomfortable to ask this but it's important for you to value your own time - you only have so much of it, so ...


87

I don't think it hurts to let them know why you booked with someone else. We'd have booked with you but we really couldn't get hold of you. I'm certainly happy for you to take it on next year if you are going to be more contactable again. Something like that allows for an interpretation that their uncontactability was an aberration, perhaps down to ...


69

The idea is to project confidence and a good first impression (see eg Psych Study: Firm Handshakes Impress). The article also notes: In general, any attempt to assign a single, major specific meaning to a gesture or touch is an oversimplification Regarding the comments you get: That might be genuine small talk/compliments, but I could also imagine that ...


58

The problem may lie in miscommunications. Receptionist asked the question expecting answer as "Consultations / first visit / prescription need". It's rather to know how much time will you take more than exact reason why you want to see a doctor. The problem is that you understand her from totally different perspective so you assumed she's asking about ...


56

Having been that receptionist a few times* I can tell you about it from the other side. I'm UK based and was working for NHS GP surgeries. Receptionists are bound by all the same patient confidentiality rules. They're just receptionists, no special training apart from the list of reasons that get you through regardless, the doctors make any decisions on ...


41

he simply said, "No." I don't know his reasons, but the elephant in the room is that working for/with friends has a tendency to result in drama and ultimately no longer being friends. Usually, it goes like the following algorithm: Your requirements are not clear enough, because you treated this as a friendly meeting and not a business deal. He does some ...


36

What is the standard/polite etiquette for 10 seconds of small talk in a workplace when you repeat the exact same process with the exact same person every single day? I don't know if there's exactly a standard etiquette for this specific situation. But from what I know, the core of etiquette boils down to being considerate of others feelings and being ...


31

Warning: I'm french and the answer to this question might change depending of the country. From my (young) experience, this question is fairly common. I never bother to ask why he/she needed to know but I'm guessing it is to establish the gravity of your problem (and maybe move the appointment to earlier) or direct you to an other specialist (a dentist for ...


29

I should preface this by saying that I'm on the spectrum... I admire your willingness, to be honest about the situation and I realize that this can be a very delicate conversation. I wonder if you've tried to tap into your student's natural talents? I'm not sure what sort of programming you've been working in, but setting up a mock virtual store might be a ...


29

How can I tell them that I'm just joking and don't mean to insult them? You can pick any approach you like. It won't matter one bit, because the important thing isn't how you meant it, but how they're taking it. And they don't seem to like the way you're talking to them. And they don't think your "jokes" are funny. Joke-insulting people is something that ...


28

One approach would be to relate it to something that the person knows about. For instance, you could say something like: Web development is a lot like building a house, fixing a car, or cleaning an apartment. You get a certain satisfaction from completing those jobs and doing those jobs really well, but it's a lot more fun when you're building ...


22

How can I assert my domain knowledge, while signalling openness to useful information, over email? Generally... Switch them around and sandwich them. Act like the guy is the kindest person in the world for sending you a link you've already seen. If you're worried about a single line saying 'I already saw this' being too abrupt/rude, write more than a single ...


21

Disclaimer: I'm on the spectrum myself so I realise that I'm not going to be particularly objective here. I apologise in advance if anything in this answer comes across as harsh because I get the impression that you are actually trying to be a decent guy and "do right" by everyone involved. Have you tried actually talking to the student themselves to sound ...


21

I think it is as simple as: I have already booked service with another plumber. This a busy plumber. They don't want any fluff.


21

You tagged this question assertiveness. I want to go a bit further than the other commenters: the main thing for you to learn in this situation is how to become comfortable telling a service provider you no longer require their services. Essentially, you're "firing" your plumber. There's no point dancing around that fact. You have a right to use any plumber ...


19

I found this scientific study by the Beckman Institute in Illinois. It is all about first impressions, see the first sentence: "New neuroscience research is confirming an old adage about the power of a handshake: strangers do form a better impression of those who proffer their hand in greeting." And I found this list about what a 'good' handshake is ...


19

I am German and also shave my head; since my mid-30s the hair was receding and thinning out, following the typical male pattern baldness. So finally I trimmed them extremely short. I think your fear is unnecessary, skinheads are also wearing dark clothes, boots and bomber jackets. I have always worn glasses and like bright colors like orange, red or green, ...


18

I am not sure why you call Bob a friend. At two jobs now you state that Bob has intentionally jockeyed position in a way that actively harms your standing at work. You also say he intends to treat you as lesser than him despite it seeming you are at the same level. You also basically say Bob is targeting you by keeping tabs on you in order to sabotage your ...


18

That you refer to them as 'whiny' employees in your title suggests you have little to no respect for your team. You want to make them change to fit your personal preferences, did you ever consider you are the one who needs to change? Being 'can-do' does not mean belittling and insulting people who obviously don't appreciate your attempts at humour. As Erik ...


17

I would approach this from the point of view of egoless programming. Address this as "we are on the same team, we have the same basic goal, we are trying to help each other", rather than "why is this person questioning what I did". From his point of view, he saw someone writing something that already existing, and it sounds you hadn't made clear why you ...


16

Remember, you have services to offer and they've asked for them. It's as simple as that, they can't always expect you to do it for free. It's your time. I do freelance work on the side sometimes (as a developer, this can become time consuming). I would simply say: "I would love to help you out, but I charge a small fee. I have other projects going on at ...


16

Frame challenge: stop trying to help them fix their problems. They have clearly demonstrated they aren't willing to put in the effort to actually change their situation, and there's nothing you can do to force them to change. Of course everyone would like to be in a better situation than they are now, but that's not the same thing as wanting to do the things ...


15

Times they are a changing.... This isn't as culturally specific to the UK as you might think. The US had very similar conventions, and still does in certain places. Working in the service industry, the appropriate honorifics typically change with the atmosphere. In fine dining establishments Sir and Ma'am are still common. Takeout and your typical ...


15

The age difference is not the problem. The problem is that you are being positioned to have an in-office affair with a woman that is related to others in power. First, find out if it is part of a pattern. It is unlikely that you are the first of Mary's interests. It's even more odd that a company would "help" her be "managed" by arranging close proximity ...


15

I've done IT support for a while and don't do it anymore outside of my job. Why? It never ends.... When I've had to terminate a "free" relationship, I've found that giving notice is the way to go about doing it. Establish a guideline for what will constitute "completion" and when you will hand it over. Your mentor, if he/she is a good mentor, will ...


14

Is it good to use the abbreviation words in my professional communication? It's not, unless you're using it multiple times. When writing professional documents, you should always remain that way. Professional. even if it's informal or you're friends with them. You need to remain professional (you're representing the company you work for, not yourself). ...


14

First things first, he's already told you no, so whatever your approach don't get your hopes too high. When you do approach it, offer up all of the reasons you think it'd be a good idea like you did above. It's also a good idea to acknowledge you heard him the last time you asked. "Hey, I know you initially said no, but I wanted to ask you one more time ...


13

Let it be. If friend requests come from people I don't really feel like sharing my personal photos and stuff with, I don't accept, I don't decline, I just ignore it. They'll automatically become subscribers to my account, and by that, they'll be able to see my public posts, and not private ones. They can still send me messages when needed. The sender will ...


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