As hard-working Americans, we tend to spend more time in the workplace than with our own families.  For some, this is a good thing.  For others, it can be a total nightmare! From nagging bosses to annoying co-workers, we are thrown into a pot of people that must work together toward a common company goal.   It’s human nature to be “your best” when starting a job – but where the fun comes in… is when the true colors come out! 

How do you maintain your composure, stay professional, and even get ahead when there are deadlines to meet and distractions along the way?  Let Anita Clew be your guide. From asking for a raise to filing a complaint – Anita is your go-to gal!

We invite you to post the questions you’ve been dying to ask (but in some cases, have been too embarrassed to do so) as they relate to employee situations. And don’t forget to read about others’ trials and tribulations. Maybe you have a tip or two for them too?

197 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    May 29, 2016 @ 08:47:18

    Hello Anita

    I want to ask you a question I never thought I would ask. Which one should you choose first actually when getting a job? A job that you love or a job that fits your lifestyle?

    Since I was a kid I have always targeted on that one job and I studied hard for it. Lets say its a job in the art/media industry. I finally got the job and I felt so happy because I could finally gain knowledge and experience of it. And i did. I learned a lot and getting better eventhough its very slow. However, the job (which I never know) requires me to work in crazy long hours. And I realized that even when I become good at it, I’m still gonna stuck in the same long hour working routine. This effect my life so much as I don’t have time at all for my family. I have to come on weekends. I have no time to do other things that I like to do.No time to do my other responsibilities. I have no time for myself. I know that we have to work hard but those kind of things have limits too. And now Im not sure if I love this job anymore. I feel so lost as I never thought of other jobs before than this job. What should I do? Should I stay or look for another job that fits


  2. Paul Roberts
    May 20, 2016 @ 07:40:59

    I was terminated from my job for time theft although I wasn’t paid for the time I was accuse of stolen.(2hrs) On the flip side I worked 6 hrs and didn’t get paid for it.i left work for a family emergency and didn’t told a manager so during the rush I didn’t clock out . In my job scope I am allow to make temporary decision when there is an emergency ..So my question should I be terminated for time theft and can I fight it in court ?


    • anitaclew
      May 20, 2016 @ 12:33:42

      Paul, I would think a manager would be understanding that you forgot to clock out during your emergency situation. However, I don’t know if that was your “third strike” or if you’d had other prior warnings for other work issues. Since I don’t know the whole situation (and I’m not a lawyer!), it’s hard for me to say if you have a case. You may wish to consult with an employment attorney.


  3. Carol Edwards
    May 09, 2016 @ 12:13:22

    Is it legal for my manager to change my clock in or out?
    I work part time and arrive 15 minutes before my schedule, and sometime leave later than my hours by 2 – 10 minutes, because I was finishing up my work. He changed my clock in and did not tell me. When I received my paycheck he did not print my clocked in hours.


  4. Anonymous
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 12:29:21

    Hi Anita,

    How do you deal with a manager who never is in the office or doesn’t pull their share of work? Meaning, this individual works maybe 15 hours a week at the office and sits at home watching their emails from the phone.
    It is exhausting, as it is a small office and I am stuck running it almost every single day. When the manager does engage, all that happens is critique of my work, and any possible error found is pointed out.


    • anitaclew
      Apr 07, 2016 @ 16:18:37

      Anonymous, since you work in a small office, shall I assume you don’t have a Human Resources department to help you address this issue? Can you speak to your manager’s boss about feeling overworked? You may want to ask for a raise for the additional duties you are performing! That would be one way of shrewdly letting your manager know about the workload inequity without pointing a finger outright.


  5. Sandra
    Apr 04, 2016 @ 11:46:43

    Hello Anita. Thank you for your assistance is advance.
    I would like to know if it’s conflict of interest when the company owner’s
    sister is the Human Resources Manager.
    I’ve been asking for some needed information is she is not assisting me
    with what I need.


  6. susan
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 14:24:05

    I have been only taking one break and at times none, so i dont clock in and out at those times. However, a supervisor has been putting in my time, so i am not getting paid for this time. Well i left for lunch to get the he supervisor and my manager food and forgot to clock out. I dod clock back in. I did not realize i hadnt clocked out until yhey called me in and told me that i was termed for taking 11 extra minutes and not clocking out. I explained that this was not intentenial, but they would not listen. Also there are employees there that ride the clock intentenially at the end of the shift for 15-20 minutes and they have been warned. Never fired.


    • anitaclew
      Feb 01, 2016 @ 16:25:27

      Susan, it seems odd that they would fire you over one incident. Many companies use an informal “three strikes” policy. First, a verbal warning is issued. Secondly, a written warning. If these don’t work on a specific issue, the final strike is to terminate the employee. Check with your company’s Human Resource department/person to address your situation.


  7. Abree
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 22:05:04

    Is it fair that only me and my other two co- workers clock in and out and bosses family don’t, they just leave when ever and miss.? Who to call? Or what to do ?


    • anitaclew
      Jan 28, 2016 @ 08:50:53

      Your boss and his family may run his/their business however they choose. Some employees may be hourly while others may be on salary, not dependent on actual hours worked.


  8. Abree
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 21:58:08

    I been working for 4 months in a Adult Day Care as a CNA, my boss makes me and co- worker clean the entire facility, even his disk. It’s a family business so they all have each others back, we only get 15 min brakes when we work 6hr ,5 days a week. Bt they don’t care, he ( boss)has cameras and always looking at what we do or if we’re doing something bad, he will come out and stand there looking at us. what to do or who call ?


    • anitaclew
      Jan 28, 2016 @ 08:48:26

      Abree, If you are unclear about the job duties expected in your position, ask your boss for a written job description. If you are unhappy with cleaning tasks, and these were not expected when you were hired, talk with your boss about it. But there is no law against requiring an employee to clean; in fact CNA job description probably includes cleaning and sanitizing patient areas. Your boss can add his desk to your duties if he so desires. He may also supervise your work. As for breaks, there is no federal law requiring lunch or coffee breaks. Your state may have a law requiring a meal break or rest period; check these charts: http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/meal.htm, http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/rest.htm


  9. T.
    Jan 13, 2016 @ 08:59:43

    Anita, my coworker is in some deep trouble and may lose his job. He forged hours on his time card and said he was at work when he wasn’t. What kind of repercussions do you think he could be looking at? His boss is not telling him anything at this time because they are still deciding on what will happen to him.


    • anitaclew
      Jan 17, 2016 @ 15:59:10

      T, forging hours is a serious infraction. It calls his integrity into question. Most employers want employees they can trust.


  10. Ronald Brantis
    Dec 05, 2015 @ 20:06:56

    Hello, I have a question. I have been working with a Temporary Agency at a Electronics Company in the Syracuse NY area Since August 10th 2015 till present. I have been told since October that I will definitely be hired by the company, but they have postponed the “Hiring process 3 times already since October. Can you tell me if it is worth my effort to keep on waiting or purse other options??? I am not the only person in the same situation with the potential employer, but they have hired other people that have started after 2 of us already. We both have been at work everyday, and have not called in or left early for any reason. We have both also done our jobs well. But have been told that the hiring process is postponed due to Owner being out of town, could this be true or could it be just a excuse.


    • anitaclew
      Dec 06, 2015 @ 14:10:38

      Have a frank discussion with the personnel manager at your temporary agency. Mention that you have been promised a full-time position, but have noticed that other more recently hired temps have secured a permanent post before you. Ask if there is something that the client employer is unhappy with in your performance, and what you can do to remedy the situation to be the next one hired on directly with the company. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.


  11. Sandy Joans
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 06:59:36

    Hello Anita..I am a 60+ year old GrandMother. I clean Commercial properties. I cleaned an Admin building for a medium sized Healthcare Clinic. The next month the Clinic called me and offered me a “Part-Time” position as Head Custodian. I was Thrilled! A Steady paycheck! After 7 years of working “on my own”..I felt my hard work finally paid off!
    Last month 2 weeks before Halloween..the Co called All the Custodians to a meeting. They handed All 7 of us Pink Slips..right then! (I had worked there since June..4 months) Laid us all off with a 3 week notice. They said upper management made the decision it would SAVE the co $80000 a year by OUTSOURCING the cleaning crew for all 9 Clinics inc. the Admin building!
    How in the world is it going to SAVE the co money by hiring a crew that is going to be doing the cleaning instead of individual cleaning staff?? I had NO Benefits because I was Part Time. Some of the employees had been cleaning for them for over 15 years! I am still confused by that decision but at least I now have another great reference. Thank you for your reply.


    • anitaclew
      Dec 06, 2015 @ 14:06:12

      Sandy, I don’t know the specifics but can only imagine that a cleaning business gave the company an outrageously good proposal. And since they will be outsourcing, it will also save the company the headaches of administrative costs, and matching payroll deductions for an in-house staff, even part-time with no benefits. Check out my post from an employer’s viewpoint: http://anitaclew.com/2015/12/01/the-true-cost-of-employees/


  12. susy
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 21:57:01

    hi anita
    well i been working in this Adult day care for about 2months now. Only work 6 hrs Five days a week,ny salary is 9hr.So My two bosses are the owners and have 1 child of theres and the boss Sister working as well, bt an employee and i who work there have notice that none of them clock in or out, the Sister boss is always later and leaves early, who we never see her clock out. It get me and my friend mad only because they make us 2 clock in or out and if we miss we don’t get paid or if we leave early thy don’t pay us the extra hours. Bt were pretty sure she does and prabably gets paid more salary than we do. what do you suggest us doing, please help my friend and i.


    • anitaclew
      Nov 07, 2015 @ 07:32:04

      Susy, this family-owned business can run their company however they see fit. Family members may have part ownership of the business, work on paperwork at home, or many other scenarios. Regardless, the owners may pay their child and sister whatever they choose for the hours they agree upon. When you took the job, you agreed to your hours and pay rate. Clock in, do your job well, and ignore the family favoritism. If it really bothers you, seek employment elsewhere.


      • Abree
        Jan 27, 2016 @ 22:02:55

        Call the state in them, I used to work with people like that, and we used to get paid what ever they wanted to get paid


  13. Lori
    Nov 02, 2015 @ 14:41:19

    I run the office at a very small business. I have proof that another employee is altering their time sheet, but the supervisor says to pay him anyway. (There is no owner onsite.) If I issue this paycheck, am I committing fraud? But how can I go over my supervisor’s head? I feel like I am stuck in an impossible situation.


  14. Leticia
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 21:01:22

    Anita, I work at a call center. Recently at my workplace they have begun unplugging computers if a break goes 5 minutes over the alotted time. I am told that they are altering time sheets as well when this happens. Is this legal? I was looking on the internet to see if I could anonymously report this somewhere but am not having any luck.


    • anitaclew
      Oct 14, 2015 @ 11:15:05

      Altering time sheets is not an ethical practice. Contact your Human Resources department with your complaint, anonymously if you wish.


  15. Natalia
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 17:19:21

    I have finally made the decision to leave my job of 8 years, but have not sent out resumes or contacted any potential employers yet. My decision is not based on anything negative – I love my bossses, co-workers, etc., but want a career change. I work at a fairly small (25 employees), family owned business and lead one of their four departments, though the dept only consists of myself and a newly hired assistant (who wont be able to take over). I want to leave on good terms with the company and I know they will have an extremely hard time finding a replacement. I do not want to commit to staying until said replacement is found, but planned on offering 1 month notice and staying until I have completed those clients that have already booked (I am a dog trainer) . Additonally, the gal who does the sales for me is leaving in less than a week and I will now be expected to take on these appointments. My question is: knowing that I will be leaving, is it appropriate for me to not give notice to my employer until I have secured a new job and complete my sales appointments as if I AM staying, or should I notify them of my intent to start looking for alternate employment so they are not then having to cancel clients who may book farther out than 1 month and run the risk of them excusing me before I find new employment. Thanks in advance!


    • anitaclew
      Oct 01, 2015 @ 08:55:04

      Natalia, Searching, applying, interviewing and finally landing the right job may take a while. By the time you are ready to give your standard two weeks notice, it could be months and the salesperson could already be replaced. But since you have worked with this small company eight years, you may wish to inform your bosses of your career goals to allow them the extra time to find a replacement for you AND the salesperson.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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