Saturday, May 19, 2018
Business

Don't trust office email when reporting a bad boss Don't trust office email when reporting a bad boss

Q: After joining this company six weeks ago, I quickly learned that my new boss is a tyrant. "Doug" constantly makes insulting and demeaning remarks, to the point that I am almost in tears every day.

When our department vice president asked me how things were going, I didn't reply immediately. He then said "Well, I guess I have my answer." A few days later, he asked to meet with Doug and me to discuss our working relationship. I avoided saying anything negative, but the vice president said to call or email him if I had any concerns.

Since then, many people have told me that Doug is a monster who drives away talented employees. He is apparently abusive to everyone. I am considering sending the vice president an email with the truth about Doug, but I'm afraid this might backfire. What do you think?

A: Criticizing your boss in an email is a highly risky proposition for several reasons. Painting an accurate picture in writing can be difficult, so written comments are easily misinterpreted. An email also creates a permanent record, which you might later regret.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the vice president will be the only one to see your complaint. You have no way of knowing who might view this email on the company server, nor do you know what the VP may do when he receives it. He could decide to forward it to his boss, to human resources or even to Doug.

But perhaps the biggest drawback is that an email from one individual cannot adequately convey Doug's widespread reputation as a chronic abuser and toxic manager. Therefore, a better strategy would be to ask some of the "many people" who share this perception to join you in meeting with the VP. Going as a group will not only increase the impact but also lessen the risk.

Fortunately, the VP's inquiries about your experience would seem to indicate that he already has his suspicions about Doug's management style. If so, a group intervention might be the final piece of evidence needed to spur some long-overdue action.

Language was off, but points weren't

Q: I disagreed with your column about the managers who failed to deal with a mentally disturbed employee. In today's world, you can't just have someone hauled away for being "crazy." This woman is probably harmless, so I believe you were wrong to call her "deranged" and a possible danger to others.

A: Thank you for writing to express your concern. In my astonishment at management's decision to ignore an employee who was clearly out of touch with reality, I may have used some overly colorful language to describe the situation. I certainly did not intend to be insulting.

But the other employees did have a valid reason to be fearful. People who believe they are being persecuted have been known to harm others in an effort to protect themselves from imagined threats. By disregarding this possibility, management was neglecting the welfare of both the troubled employee and the rest of the staff.

Dress 'one step up' for job interviews

Q: My son is about to graduate from college, so I need to buy him appropriate clothing for job interviews. However, I'm not sure what to recommend because I haven't looked for work in a long time. Is a suit required or would a sport coat be sufficient?

A: In a job search, the general rule is to dress "one step up" from the position for which you are applying. For example, if business casual is the prevalent attire, then a jacket and tie would be appropriate for interviews. But if the atmosphere is more formal, a suit might make a better impression.

For professional positions, most companies require more than one interview, so your son will need at least a couple of suitable outfits. If his current wardrobe consists largely of jeans and T-shirts, you could be in for a rather expensive shopping trip.

Comments
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

TAMPA ó A decade ago, the Great Recession put Hillsborough and Pinellas countiesí efforts to grow their foreign exports on hold.But since then those efforts have returned, gained support and momentum, expanded the range of their ambition and are now ...
Published: 05/18/18
Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Floridaís economy appears to have plateaued with its unemployment rate holding at 3.9 percent for the seventh straight month, according to the April report released Friday.But some economists say it may be a good thing if the rate doesnít fall much m...
Published: 05/18/18
Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

TAMPA ó A lawsuit over the mix of residences and offices in the planned $350 million Riverwalk Place tower has been dropped.Last August, Riverwalk Tower Investment-Intown LLC, which had been expected to be one of the developers in the project, filed ...
Published: 05/18/18
Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

By MIKE SCHNEIDERORLANDO ó The arms race to build new theme park attractions in Orlando is paying dividends. A new report released this week shows theme park attendance at the largest parks in North America last year was up 2.3 percent, powered by ne...
Published: 05/18/18
How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

Tampa International covets a nonstop flight to S„o Paulo, Brazil. Mosaic Co, which is moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County, has huge holdings in the country, including several mines. Could Mosaicís relocation help TIA realize its dream? It ...
Published: 05/18/18
Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

HOLIDAY ó A year ago this month, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans for its first-ever RV park, near Tarpon Springs where the Anclote River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The $35 million resort, named after the popular Jamaican marine artist...
Published: 05/18/18
American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

MIAMI ó A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades...
Published: 05/18/18