Q: I work for the director of a small nonprofit agency. I am the only one who does not have a cellphone, and the director would like me to be available at all times. I can't afford one, and I don't need one in my private life. I had a cellphone when my mother became ill and the caretakers had to be able to reach me immediately. I became ...Read more
Q: I work at a company where the job titles seem to be clearly stated with no crossover. That is not, however, what takes place in reality. When there's an issue, a problem usually starts with a person not communicating the entire situation to the boss. Then others get involved who seemingly have no decision-making authority. They get copied ...Read more
Q: I've started an outside sales job in a new industry. Although I have sales experience, the sales manager wants to play an active role in training me over the next few months before I take over. I didn't mind at all when he told me, but other issues have now entered into it that have me thinking.
His driving terrifies me. I think most ...Read more
Q: I'm an IT professional in her late 50s who has not kept up with learning the new technology for large systems. Luckily, after being laid off at a big company, I found a long-time contract position in the field I knew well. The company just renewed my contract and I've now been there two years. As you know, contract jobs offer companies ...Read more
Q: I was told to sign a noncompete agreement in order to get this job. I was also told everyone at the company signs them, and I shouldn't worry about it. I wanted to take it to an attorney to have it reviewed, but the manager said there was no time; he needed to know that day because he had others he would hire if I didn't agree to it. Should...Read more
Q: I got an interview through a recruiter. I have been a professional sales representative for 10 years and have made a lot of money as such. I have enlarged territories, increased sales and have added innovative features to each position that has helped clients. I am a spectacular sales representative who can deliver accurate information and ...Read more
Q: My husband was recently fired for "insubordination," but was not given any real reason or backup. All the company kept saying was that they have it confirmed. Can you give us any direction on this? We live in South Carolina.
A: Most states are "employment at will," which is true for South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Human ...Read more
Q: I am a field sales/customer service representative, and I love my job, the work and the field, but I dislike the owner. I don't know why this has happened. I have always worked for privately held companies, and it seems like the experience is the same again and again. The company owners/presidents have all behaved like vampires.
I'd like ...Read more
A Song ApartJeffrey H. Baer
A SONG APART revolves around Shannon Kistler, a teenaged pop singer, and Kevin Derow, her 19-year-old biggest fan. They met and fall in love unexpectedly while wishing society would accept them as they are. Then they realize they don’t need anyone else’s approval ...
Q: With all the TV shows on buying and flipping houses as a business, my friend asked me if I wanted to go in with her on buying buildings to rent. We both have some money to invest and would like to quit working full-time.
She chose a building that has one to three bedroom apartments we could rent. I think we need to gut the larger ...Read more
Q: I served two combat tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine over a two-year period, and I continue to serve as a reservist. I knew firsthand how hard it was to find work once rejoining civilian life, even with sufficient on-the-job experience. My job in Iraq was to help build a local city government by working with local politicians and leaders. I ...Read more
Q: I am starting my own consulting firm while I still work full-time. It doesn't compete with my company, so I am not worried about that, but I can't quit until I see how much business I get. I don't belong to any professional groups, as I have found them to be overrated in their usefulness. When I have attended events, everyone wants ...Read more
Q: When I interviewed for a job as an outside sales representative, I was upfront about not being able to travel periodically within a specific two-month period every year. During those two months, I have had a long-standing volunteer commitment to a well-known organization, and I have been deeply involved in their annual event. This event is ...Read more
Q: I have several friends, some corporate professionals and some artists in creative fields, all diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I act as their sounding board, so I end up listening to all of their workplace complaints. It seems there are more troublesome situations and daily problems for my friends in corporate ...Read more