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273 votes
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How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

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 ...
Summer's user avatar
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117 votes
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I'm in marketing in a team whose name sounds too much like mine. What to do when introducing myself?

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) ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
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98 votes
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How can I politely tell someone I won't do my job for free?

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 ...
Catija's user avatar
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69 votes
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Why is a 'good' handshake important?

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 ...
tim's user avatar
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58 votes

How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

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 ...
SZCZERZO KŁY's user avatar
57 votes

How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

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 ...
Separatrix's user avatar
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35 votes
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What is the etiquette for smalltalk in a workplace when the context and person is always the same?

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 ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
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30 votes

How to tell other people that my job is only a job to me?

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 ...
Stephan Branczyk's user avatar
30 votes

How to tell employees that I don't mean my insults seriously?

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'...
Erik's user avatar
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29 votes

How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

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 ...
Ael's user avatar
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28 votes

Talking to the parents of an adult autistic student

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'...
apaul's user avatar
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22 votes

How can I assert my domain knowledge, while signalling openness to useful information, over email?

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 ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
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21 votes

How to tell my usual plumber their service isn’t needed any more?

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.
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 1,565
20 votes

Talking to the parents of an adult autistic student

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 ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
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20 votes
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How to tell my usual plumber their service isn’t needed any more?

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 ...
witlore's user avatar
  • 456
19 votes

Why is a 'good' handshake important?

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 ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 34k
18 votes
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How to deal with a colleague who tries to undermine me?

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 ...
threetimes's user avatar
18 votes
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How should one deal with overly familiar serving staff?

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, ...
apaul's user avatar
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18 votes
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How to handle accidential baldness in a professional environment?

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 ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 2,299
18 votes

How to tell employees that I don't mean my insults seriously?

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 ...
MKHC's user avatar
  • 435
17 votes

How can I politely tell someone I won't do my job for free?

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 ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
17 votes

How can I assert my domain knowledge, while signalling openness to useful information, over email?

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 ...
DaveG's user avatar
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16 votes
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How can I deal with good friends who suffer from a lack of self-esteem -- and rightly so?

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 ...
Kat's user avatar
  • 5,871
15 votes

How to tell a coworker that you would like to date them?

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 ...
Edwin Buck's user avatar
15 votes

Asking for fees for an assumed free service

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 ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
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14 votes
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Can we use abbreviations in professional communication?

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. ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
14 votes

How to ask a friend to do professional work?

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 ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
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13 votes
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How to politely decline a friend request from a colleague who wants to add me on Facebook?

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 ...
NVZ's user avatar
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