4 destructive work phrases you should never say during COVID
June 18,2020 at 2:16PM UTC
It’s a sensitive time and will continue to be for the months ahead. There are certain sayings I’ve heard employees communicate and my first reaction is “ughhh, why would you say that during a time like this?” – but I don’t actually verbally respond this way.
Here are some sayings we should all definitely dodge during the pandemic!
1) “I know how you must be feeling right now”
We’re all handling this new norm differently. Plus, you can’t really know how someone else is feeling. For example, this person might be grieving a loss. You can show empathy in a way that doesn’t misinterpret that fact that you know how someone is feeling.
2) “Please share the list of things you did today”
A lot of managers use this as a way to stay transparent and communicate -- but really, it’s micromanagement at its finest. It’s essentially saying you don’t trust what they’re doing which isn’t going to increase their productivity and trust to perform for you.
3) “Why are you taking time off?”
This person could be taking off for their mental health. In fact, it’s encouraged for people to take off during these times! People have every reason to take time off, whether they’re going somewhere or not.
4) “Can you get this back to me ASAP?”
No one is going to perform their absolute best right now. Asking someone to send something as soon as possible when the pandemic has been mentally debilitating in many ways, isn’t setting that person up to success -- rather than leaving them feeling anxious.
Have you heard any sayings from coworkers or colleagues you wish wasn’t said? I’d love to hear more so we’re all aware!
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My boss is very rude sometimes and gets defensive when I asks clarifying questions.
For example, she said she was confused about my work. I explained to her my work. She said she was still confused so I asked if I should revise the work. Before I could finish talking, she cut me off and responded, “If I wanted you to revise my work, I would have told you I wanted it revised.”
She is constantly talking over me and getting an attitude when I ask her anything. Most of the time, when I ask her something, it’s cause her directions were not clear. You’re very confused by my work, so am I supposed to know what that means?
Is there a better approach to following up with her when she is unclear so she doesn’t get so defensive?
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Career Pivot Advice
My background is marketing and for the last 5 years I've been a recruiter. I'm so burnt out on recruiting and dread going to work most days. I'd like to pivot into event marketing/planning and even though as a recruiter, I feel like I should know the best way to go about updating my resume, etc. but feeling a bit lost and would love some advice. TY
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I was called ageist...
I'm in my late 20's. And I totally understand that is not the pinnacle of experience, but I don't think that means I deserve to be treated like a child. I have worked here since I was 20, and in that time I have regularly been referred to and introduced as "the office millennial" and "kiddo." The next closest person to me in age is almost 40, with everyone else falling around 50 or older.
We usually hire a temporary employee or two each year to fill in on my job during our busy season. As the only full-time person in my job, I am often very involved in the hiring process. This means I'm in the interviews and help train them, as well as work beside them.
There have been a couple of people, over the age of 50, who have not worked out. Mainly due to the fact that they told us they were able to use computers (it's integral to the job) and then became so intimidated by their computer tasks that they shut down and refused to do them. Or in one case, an employee told us one thing and then others in the office something else entirely about their schedule, causing massive confusion (seemingly just so they could have another day off).
It was brought up to me recently that I "was especially short with them" and that the rest of my coworkers now believe I am biased against older people. When my supervisor told me this I reminded him that both of these people lied to us and actively caused problems for us. And then I told him how hypocritical that felt considering that I am actively reduced to my age often (it's not like I'm walking in calling people "gramps"). When I said my age, he actively snorted a laugh to himself, and it just made me want to walk away.
Is there a professional way to address this? Our office doesn't have a formal HR department.
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My supervisor's solution to the problem of people thinking I don't work...is having me do more work to prove it to those people.
I work for an amusement park, and the week that we open is always very stressful (park open on weekends, office business throughout the week). As our only full-time front office person, I end up leading and taking on a lot. This year, I caught COVID and was out the following week. This was problematic because that week is normally "pick-up" week, where we spend all our time making sure nothing slipped between the cracks and putting the pieces back together that may have been upset in the chaos of opening. The week after that, I was also out of the office (though this was a planned and previously okayed absence, I even delayed and came in an extra day to bridge the gap between my absences).
When I was gone, no one called or texted me to ask any questions. Something I'm not upset about, but I had previously communicated was ok to do if people needed me.
When I got back, everyone seemed to be mad at me for not doing my job well enough that anyone else in our office could pick it up with no training (mind you, I have a few coworkers who are trained to also fill in, but they got sick during this time too)
Apparently our whole office is now under the impression that I don't complete projects and that I'm just playing around on my computer all day. My supervisor's solution is that I have to now develop and send out weekly reports on what I'm doing to our whole office (about 12 people).
None of this sits right with me, and I just can't put my finger on the exact reason why. It has me questioning whether my feelings are based in professional justifications, or if I'm just hurt that I work so hard only to be told I'm not.
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Marketing yourself in a changing job market is not easy. With this in mind, I want to share the following ideas with you that you may not have tried. (I have used many of these ideas in my own job search and they gave me a sense of empowerment.)
▪ Reference checks -- companies can ask for the applicants 1) start date, 2) end date, and 3) are they eligible for re-hire? Question 3 is a closed-end question. It is not asking for any details; however, the way your former employer answers it says a lot.
▪ Not all jobs posted are open positions. Companies often post job descriptions for future positions and to see what the talent pool has to offer.
▪ Does your resume highlight your job-related skills, transferrable skills, self-management skills and your self-leadership skills? What makes you stand out from the rest of the applicants?
▪ Remember, you can search the Internet for job search firms that specialize in your field.
▪ Do you have a plan for your job search? As an unofficial project manager, (I had all of the stress and responsibilities but not the six-figure salary.) Having a plan gives you focus and helps prioritize your search.
▪ Your local unemployment office can help market you to local area companies. Many of these companies do not post open positions or future positions. Ask about project work.
▪ Volunteering has many benefits. It is a great way to network and meet new people. You can put it on your resume under the title of Community Activities. Many companies look for this skill. It shows them that you give back to your communities and it makes them look good.
▪ Check your local area newspapers. Look for articles on business trends and growing companies in your area.
▪ You can order professional, but inexpensive, business cards online. A neighborhood restaurant has a table covered with flyers, bulletins and business cards.
▪ Do not overlook temporary or contract opportunities. These jobs can get your foot into the door, gives you an opportunity to see the company’s culture and could lead to a permanent position. It also helps pay the bills.
Searching for a new job is a fulltime job and I hope these ideas help you in your journey
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I have 2 co-workers who just don't like me.
I honestly do NOT know why. They have been verbally abusive and completely shut me out of projects I need to participate in. The good of this is that it was caught on record and one very nasty bit of communication was recorded (during a meeting) HR did get involved (through my manager, not me) and they are now playing "nice" I am at a loss as to how to deal with this. I am not "nice" back but extremely professional in all my conduct and communication. They are now inviting me to the appropriate meetings and including me in most communications. How do I proceed? continue to be professional with zero trust or (gasp) trust them?