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?

154 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Monica
    May 14, 2015 @ 09:07:52

    Hello, I was wondering do the select family allow a person to work more than one job through your temporary agency.


    • anitaclew
      May 14, 2015 @ 09:29:19

      If the shifts do not conflict, it’s a possibility. But check with the branch to which you applied.


  2. Maulee
    May 09, 2015 @ 04:27:54

    Hi Anita,

    I have been looking for a permanent job for since last december. Ever since then, I have been working on two-three temporary jobs, mostly because those permanent person have been on emergency leaves and they wanted me to replace them untill permanent person come back. This time, i have landed a temporary job and I’ve been working there for 3 weeks. the contract of this temporary job is untill july. Just two day ago, I just got to know that the person i was temporarily replacing, – She accepted higher position within the same company (internally). Suppose that lady’s name is XYZ. This means they must be looking for new permanent candidate. At the time, they also announced that they have started to interview for another temporary person (total, they wanted two temp persons) to make up the same amount of work that XYZ used to do. Since I know i have learned their softwares and their work structures, i have confident that i will have no problem with finishing my temp contract. but now, i like the job and like the position. I took this job through a staffing agency. Now that i know that XYZ is leaving that position for higher position, is it good to assume that they must looking to hire someone permanently for that position? How do i talk about being permanent? Who do i talk to about considering me for permanent position? Should I talk to a guy from staffing agency or my boss at temporary job? and what do I say to convince both of them to keep me as permanent ??


  3. Robert Kennedy
    May 05, 2015 @ 08:41:50

    Hi Anita,
    I work for a small private company that I am under-appreciated and basically black-balled by the owner and my co-workers to the point I am ostracized and alienated. Obviously there is no chance for promotion, in fact I have had to train new hires who have been promoted over me which is a very humiliating experience. I realize that the only option I have is to resign but I know I won’t be able to get a good reference. What do you suggest I tell potential employers when applying for jobs.


  4. Robert Thompson
    Feb 26, 2015 @ 06:45:41

    Hello and my name is Bobby and I heave always wanted to get into sales because I am very very good at it but unfortunately I am 57 and its tough to get in. I brought a company from 800,000 a year to 1,200,000 per year in 2 years and what they did in 26 years and was doing great until one of the brothers needed a new car and boat and was 50% owner and into drugs and alcohol so he let me go. I was also a receiving manager and shipped UPS, FED-X and all carriers, and can drive any forklift in the world plus never get sick, miss work or be late and no drugs, never smoked and don’t drink plus clean cut, honest and hard working…….. CAn you help?????????????? Thx, Bobby


  5. Kendall
    Feb 25, 2015 @ 09:46:26

    Hi Anita,
    I wanted to ask you about a particular experience I had with a Restaurant type situation.

    They pay the employee’s “off the books” but then takes out 18% for “TAXES” which I do not believe are being reported to the Government – since it’s a Cash based payroll.

    Is this illegal? How can I move forward without getting in trouble myself, for my employer’s choices. Is this considered tax evasion? Is she just STEALING the “18% tax money” to personally pocket?

    I cannot see any way that they would “pay taxes later” without the correct W4 forms … etc.

    Thank You.


    • anitaclew
      Feb 25, 2015 @ 10:42:28

      The restaurants are at it again! Check out the article I wrote on this topic: http://anitaclew.com/2014/10/14/no-payroll-deductions/. If you have never filled out a W-4 form since you started, your employer may not be taking out the proper amount for state and federal taxes. And you may not find out until you get your yearly W-2 Wage and Tax Statement – if you receive one at all. (You should have already received a W-2 for 2014.)

      The IRS Commissioner says, “Failure to pay employment taxes is stealing from the employees of the business.” (http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Warns-Businesses,-Individuals-to-Watch-for-Questionable-Employment-Tax-Practices) The IRS encourages employees to report any concerns that an employer is failing to properly withhold and pay federal income and employment taxes. Taxpayers can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or report suspected tax fraud by calling 1-800-829-0433.


  6. Antonio
    Feb 20, 2015 @ 11:01:46

    I appreciate people trying to help out by telling me about hiring opportunities at various places. It is not so much applying to these places in general, but it is more what jobs I am applying for at these places that I KNOW I am not QUALIFIED for and what jobs interest me. If I know from the very beginning that these are not the jobs I want to settle down with, what is the point in me applying for these jobs in the first place. Yeah I am very unhappy at my current job, which is why I want to leave immediately if something better comes along. Like I mentioned, what is the purpose of going after jobs that I know from the start will have me miserable just because someone else gave me the solution to apply for those jobs? I learned a long time ago that a lot of people will never be truly satisfied working hard for someone else no matter how much they like their JOB. No boss. No rules. More freedom to do all the things a person enjoy doing. There is nothing better than not having a boss dictate a person’s life.


  7. Lori
    Feb 19, 2015 @ 05:25:08

    I am a 55 yr old single female. I’ve been at a state job for 6.5 yrs. If I stay another 7 years I qualify for some retirement – about $1300 a month & 50% of health care covered. If I stay until I am 65, I qualify for full retirement, about $2300 per month, with 50% of health care cost covered.
    My current job pays me $82,000 per yr. I’m in the IT industry as a programmer and I love it, and have very good, marketable skills. My current agency is phasing out the type of programming I do and I’ll be regulated to doing basic maintenance type work on the computer systems I work on, something I’m not happy about. Eventually, my systems will go away and I won’t have any programming to do. I was also given another system to work on, along with 3 other systems I already handle, because another programmer retired. This system is a clunky, horrible mess and I hate working on it, it gives me no good marketable skills or experience because it is ancient and just not used anymore.
    A private industry company is wooing me for a contract job at $111,000 yr. The contract is 1.5 yrs for a large investment firm. There is a chance the position could roll to a permanent position with the company at a salary of about $88,000 – $90,000 per yr, but it is not a given that it could go permanent. Benefits as a permanent employee are very good there, contracting has few benefits other than high salary and the opportunity to do what I love most – programming and new development work. This company also has some great programming tools that my current job does not have. Raises for permanent employees are generally yearly with this company and range from 1.5 to 4%. Bonuses of 10% of salary paid annually are fairly normal for permanent employees. No pension for permanent employees, but 401k that is 100% match up to 7%, plus 10% of annual salary paid once per year as profit sharing and added to the 401k in addition to the bonuses. Contractors cannot join in on that, so would have to become permanent in order to join.
    The state rarely gives raises anymore, and if they do it is in the form of an extra week of vacation or a flat $1000 raise. My salary will probably not go up much if I stay with the state. I also am a very hard worker and handle the largest load of work on my current team while the two men I work with do far less work than I do, but both of them (with less experience than I) make considerably more money than I do. I will generally carry 5-8 projects while they each have 1 or 2.
    I’m very torn over what I should do. Do I leave for the higher salary and opportunity to do what I really love? And get paid at market rate? Do I stay with my current state job for the pension plan that is certainly nothing to stick my nose up at and just suck up doing work I don’t really like much? Do I have enough time to save enough money to retire if I go to the higher salary? I enjoy working and am a very hard worker with a great work ethic and generally do very well in the jobs I have worked. I want to be paid better, but worry about retirement and how I will manage with the way the economy is going. I don’t know how I go about making the right decision – determining what would be best for me at this age. Right now, I only have $100,000 in my 401k, and nothing much in savings, and I have no investments. I have a pension from a previous company that will pay me $240 a month when I retire. Social Security will pay about $1700 monthly if I retire at 65 – if Social Security is still around then… Otherwise, I have nothing else as far as retirement. Do I stay or do I go ???


    • anitaclew
      Feb 19, 2015 @ 15:55:00

      Lori, I think you have me confused with personal financial guru Suze Orman! Ask your financial advisor or accountant to crunch the numbers for all the scenarios to make an informed decision. Let me know what you decide.


  8. Alexis
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:08:44

    Hi Anita,
    My boss is the wife of the owner of my company. Together they have 2 adolescent children that are paid large salaries out of the company. Every morning these children are “clocked in” on their time cards by their mother, my boss, in spite of the fact that they are not at work, and at times not even in the state. In fact, one has made only several physical appearances at my company since my employment began there over two years ago. What are the consequences of my boss clocking in her children when they are not there?


    • anitaclew
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 08:44:45

      It is a legitimate business expense for company owners to pay minor children reasonable wages. I’m no CPA, but there may be penalties for trying to evade or defraud the IRS if said children are not bona fide employees.


  9. Maria Burham
    Feb 05, 2015 @ 17:50:06

    Dear Anita: My husband and I have been in the workforce for quite some time, we had never had problems getting along with everybody in the past, there is a new generation, however, the Milleniums (I apologize if it is not spelled correctly) that have entered the workforce with disregard, and disrespect of any person with more experience than them. We welcome any new employee and are willing to help them. This is not just the cockiness of young people that are coming out of College and think they know it all. This generation is different and we are having a hard time working with them. Do you have any suggestions on how to interact with them. Had you have other people with this problem?


    • anitaclew
      Feb 06, 2015 @ 12:38:02

      Maria, You are not alone in having difficulty relating to Millennials. A few years ago, Forbes reported that HR departments were requesting books, videos, and training programs to help orient Gen Y to the norms of workplaces. Keep in mind, though, that the same stereotypes (self-centered, lazy, entitled) may have been applied to our generation by its predecessors. Here’s an article I found that may give you some insight into this age group and tips to improve your intergenerational relationships at work: http://humanresources.about.com/od/managementtips/a/millenials.htm


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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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