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Are you using common words and phrases that are now considered socially inappropriate? Culturally appropriated or insensitive? Derogatory? Overly gendered? Non-inclusive? Or just annoying and overused? If so, you are not alone. In this episode, Mary and Chris explore words and phrases that are now deemed problematic.We’d love to tell you what they are, but we don’t want to get in trouble with the language police, so you’ll have to listen to learn what is acceptable and what isn’t in today’s enlightened and more inclusive world. Don’t say that we didn’t warn you. And just for the record, we’ll miss some of these expressions! Show us your love. Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts.  We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us:  info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent... Check out the University of Washington’s Guide to Inclusive Language: https://itconnect.uw.edu/work/inclusive-language-guide/
The Worst Advice Ever

The Worst Advice Ever

2022-08-0337:06

Advice is cheap. And sometimes bad. In this episode, Mary and Chris try to help listeners sort through good advice and bad advice. And one listener writes back to take us to task about our advice! Damned if You Do in Dubuque took advice from a mentor that backfired. The problem? The male advice giver didn’t consider how his advice to his female protege would play into a gender-biased workplace. While his advice may have worked well for a man, for a woman, not so much.Their Way or The Highway writes back to tell us that we gave bad advice. And by we, he means Chris. So, what does he do now? And how much can Mary gloat that he wishes had taken her advice instead of Chris'?Taking a Pass on Passion in Lincoln is a recent college graduate who wants to know if the advice to just “follow your passion” is good career advice. Mary and Chris call bulls**t. Can we please stop telling young people that all they need to do to succeed is “do what you love, and the money will follow”? Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
This week’s show is all about recognition, praise, and appreciation. Or rather, when recognition and praise go astray. Have you ever given a gift that was misinterpreted? Or have a piece of praise misfire? Tune in to learn strategies to align your recognition strategies to those being recognized!Yay For Me in Detroit wants to know if it is okay to nominate oneself for an award? Or should she just hope that someone else does it for her....Treats Not the Trick in Topeka gave an employee a gift that backfired. Instead of being appreciated, the recipient was offended by the gift. Deeply offended. How should they manage the situation? Do they buy a new gift or just let it go.Sneers of Service in Raleigh thinks giving awards for years of service is just about the stupidest thing ever. How does he get his company to find a better way to recognize good work?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
How honest are you? While you might like to think you’re an honest person, statistically speaking we are all liars. Researchers estimate the average person lies a minimum of once to twice per day. But when do those little “white lies” become problematic? In this week’s episode, Chris and Mary explore listeners’ concerns about lying, cheating, and stealing at work!Mum’s the Word in Maryland suspects that one of their employees is handing in fake expense receipts. The problem? The employee in question happens to be the granddaughter of the owner. Yikes! Thinking Fast to Go Slow is a data entry contractor who has decided to work more slowly in order to make more money. Should he bring others into his scheme? Or is he about to get hoisted by his own petard…Been There, Done That in Tampa is a marketing consultant who wonders if he can plagiarize his own work—in other words, can he provide the same strategies to multiple clients in the same industry? Is this cheating?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
While there may be nothing constant in this world, except change—it doesn’t mean that organizations are good at creating change. In fact, research shows that organizational leaders are getting worse at implanting successful change and not better. So where does that leave those of us who must navigate change and transition in the workplace? Flummoxed in Philadelphia is a new manager who has been tasked with “cleaning up” the culture of their department. Is it possible to change the culture? Is so, where does one begin?Can’t Take the Complaining in Kansas City is sick and tired of their team complaining about recent changes to their workplace. The team said that they wanted more flexibility, but now they are complaining about the result. What gives?Cope-less in Cleveland is exhausted by all the constant changes at her workplace. What can she do to become more resilient?  Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
This episode marks the first anniversary of Cubicle Confidential! So, in honor of this celebratory “podiversay” event, Mary & Chris answer listeners’ questions about—you guessed it—partnerships!Am I Being Cheesy or Whiny in Washington wants to know if it is a good idea to open a wine and cheese shop with their best friend? Is this a good idea or recipe for disaster?Until D&I do We Part in Pittsburgh has learned that their consulting business partner is cheating on them. And by cheating, we mean that their partner is doing side work for their clients and not putting the money into the partnership. WTF? Should they break up, if so, how?Stuck on You in Stanton wants to start a podcast with their partner—their romantic partner—and wants some advice on creating a successful podcast partnership. Mary and Chris are only too happy to help!  Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts.  We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
If It Bleeds, It Leads

If It Bleeds, It Leads

2022-06-2933:13

How susceptible are you to clickbait? Are you a sucker for catchy headlines? In this special episode, Chris DeSantis quizzes Mary on real and fake headlines. Tune in and play along! Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
How important is the opinion of others? Do you care what other people think of you at work? Should you? What is the balance between caring and not caring? In this episode, Mary and Chris take a deep dive with listeners who are struggling with what others think of them…Baby Faced in Baltimore is a seasoned professional who looks way younger than they are and thus people don’t give her the respect she is due. People assume she is too young to know what she is doing. It’s a nice problem to have, but still a problem.Is the Gift of Gab Really a Gift in Gaithersburg worries that their extroversion may be repelling their quieter colleagues. How do they modulate to connect but not repulse…It’s Not Me, It’s You in Utica is not seen as a team player. They’ve been called bossy and opinionated. Does it matter? If it does, what can they do?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
Have you ever left a job for a shiny new one, only to discover, that--oops--it was a bad fit? Have you ever been tempted to double-dip on jobs? Or have you ever hired someone and uh-oh it may have been a mistake? If so, this episode tackles these pesky job-hopping dilemmas!Miss Match in Michigan is concerned that a new hire doesn’t have what it takes to succeed in their role. So, Miss Match wonders if they should continue to give this person a shot, or just call it a day. Our question to Miss Match is—did you hire a bad fit or did you do a bad job helping this person fit in?Buyer’s Remorse in Racine fears she has made a big mistake. After 10 years of working for a large (and stable) organization, she took a new job and discovered that she hates it. The new company has a toxic culture, and the leadership is, well, just plain awful. She’s only been in the job for 6 months—is it too soon to quit? And how should she position this sudden departure to new prospective employers?This Bytes in Brooklyn wants to moonlight on their current company. The problem? It’s with a competing tech company. How bad of an idea is this? Uh, probably pretty bad….Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
Ghosts, Wimps, and Implusives, oh my! Have you ever dealt with a boss or colleague who ghosts you? Or a boss who is so wishy-washy that you want to pull your hair out? Or how about the boss or co-worker who is always changing their minds or chasing shiny objects? If so, this episode was made for you. Chris and Mary hear from listeners who need their help dealing with these difficult dynamics. Ghosted in Galveston is frustrated by her ghost boss. He’s never around when she needs him, and it is beginning to impact her ability to succeed. Does she need a ghostbuster or ghost chaser?Seeking Serenity in Salt Lake City is exhausted by her impulsive, scattered-brained boss. The chaos, madness, and constant shifting of priorities are driving her crazy. What can she do?My Boss is a Wimp in Wisconsin wants to know how to transplant a backbone into their boss who can’t seem to make a decision to save their life. And even when they do decide on something, they are easily swayed to change it. How do they get their boss to “pick and stick”? Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts.  We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...Recommended Book: Managing Up, How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss
Despite tremendous gains made by women in the workforce, women still face many structural and personal barriers to success—especially in leadership roles. In this episode, Mary and Chris hear from several female listeners who are struggling with gender and leadership issues and expectations.  Raising the Roof in Tulsa is up for promotion to District Manager. She is also the only woman at the management level. Even though her district outperforms her peers, her boss told her she needs to make a more “compelling case” to win the promotion. WTF???Woman on the Verge in Virginia is tired of being the only woman in the C-suite. She is tired of having to represent the views of all the women and she can’t bear to attend another retreat golf outing. Plus, the wives of the other executives are mean to her. Is it time to throw in the towel?Snow Flakes in Florida has no interest in mentoring or coaching the younger women in her company. She finds them entitled and dismissive. She worked her ass off to succeed and thinks they should just toughen up. Is she justified in her attitude or is she going to hell?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1.  All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
Let’s be honest. The workplace can be very ageist. Very ageist. Being seen as “too young” or “too old” can stymie your career. How do you manage perceptions that you are “over” qualified or that you don’t have enough experience based on your age? In this episode, Mary and Chris provide advice to listeners who are dealing with ageist perceptions and perspectives.Gambling with My Future in Vegas keeps being told that they are “overqualified” for jobs. How do they neutralize this perception?Big in Bedford Heights is NOT happy that her new manager is 30 years her junior. How can she possibly work for a “child”? Does she need a new job or a new attitude?High Rise Hi Jinx doesn’t think a young employee is cut out for the job. Does he fish or cut bait? How much time (and effort) does he owe this young employee?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
After two years of wearing our dress shirts with pajama bottoms, it’s time to dress up for work again. Which for many of us, means the reappearance of the fashion crisis. Just exactly what does “business casual” really mean?  And can I still wear my yoga pants to work?In this week’s show, Chris De Santis and Mary Abbajay help listeners navigate the new rules of office dress-up. Hint: the days of mullet dressing are over…Dapper in Delaware wonders if he is just a bit too well dressed for the office. Should he tone it down a bit?Dis-Dressed in Silicon Valley hates the bro-culture hoodie look in Silicon Valley. Does dressing like a teenager equal “business casual?”Well Suited in Syracuse thinks his people are dressed too casually for the office. Is it time to institute a dress code?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
Does anyone enjoy having to give or receive difficult or “constructive” feedback? Hearing that you are not hitting the mark is never fun. Nor is it enjoyable to be the person who must burst the bubble. Yet, without feedback, it’s hard to know how to adjust one’s performance and behavior. This week’s episode addresses listeners' challenges with giving or receiving feedback. Not Dressed for Success in Sausalito wants to know how to tell their employees that their professional attire is, well, not professional. How does he tell them to improve their appearance?Out of Options in Ontario is frustrated with an employee who simply ignores constructive feedback. How can they get this person to get with the program?I Need More in Madison wants to know how to give feedback to her boss who is simply terrible at communicating. What is the protocol for giving upwards feedback (without getting fired)?Fears the Tears in Tampa has an employee who utterly implodes with even the slightest criticism. Every time they even give the slightest constructive feedback this employee has a complete meltdown. What gives?Give us some feedback! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. Good or bad--we want to hear from you.We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...Our favorite books and resources on feedback:Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, by Sheila Heen & Douglas StoneFierce Conversations Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time, by Susan ScottHow to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work, by Shari HarleyRadical Candor: How to Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott
Apparently, not everyone is excited to return to the physical office. This week’s episode hears from listeners who are less than thrilled at the prospect of going back to the office. The Party’s Over in Pensacola does NOT want to go back to the physical office.  In fact, they dread it. How can they convince their employer to let them stay remote?Boston Yank in Spanx gained a lot of weight during the pandemic, and now he fears being the subject of ridicule and mockery when he returns. How can he prepare for the teasing to come? Betwixt a Rock and a Hard Place in Batavia is furious that her team is being asked to work full-time in the physical office while other teams are being allowed to retain remote flexibility and options. Should we fight for her team?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us at: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
Do generational differences at work have you perplexed? Annoyed? Confused? Do you look at other generations at work and think to yourself WTF? Well, Chris De Santis is here to help! In honor of his newly published book Why I Find You Irritating: Navigating Generational Friction at Work, Chris and Mary answer questions from multiple generations about how to deal with each other.Ants in My Pants in Ann Arbor wants to turn down a promotion in order to travel the world. After 4 years in the workforce, they feel they need a break. WTF? My Way or the Highway in Hawaii is frustrated that their young employees don’t want to come into a physical office. Yet, they complain that they don’t feel “connected” to the firm. WTF? He Who Has Had It with Them in Everywhere USA doesn’t know what to make of the focus on pronouns. After 30 years of work experience, he is having trouble making sense of this “pronoun thing.” WTF? PS: Chris De Santis is giving away free books to anyone who sends in a question. Email us at: info@cubicleconfidential and get your free book. PPS: Mary says that Gen X is really the greatest generation ever!!!!Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
How important is having a personal brand for career success? What’s the difference between your brand and your reputation? How do you know if your brand is working for you? What letter comes after X in the alphabet? Chris and Mary lay out the do’s and don’ts of creating an effective personal brand to ensure a positive reputation.  Young and Virtual in Vermont wonders how to build a personal brand in an entry-level position?Building My Brand in Buffalo is concerned that a polished and professional brand will make him/her/them seem unapproachable…Going Social in South Carolina wants help with using social media to build their brand…Curious in Connecticut is curious about how one goes about measuring the success of their brand…Might Be Misaligned in Michigan is worried that their personal brand is at odds with their current employer…is this a problem?We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. 
In this special episode, Chris and Mary share listeners’ thoughts and LinkedIn poll results on various workplace and career topics. Check out this episode to learn you and other listeners think about Pay Transparency, Introversion and Extroversion, Family Leave, Big Ideas, Workplace Appreciation, Micromanagers, and other topics!Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
When it comes to favors, are you a giver or a taker? Do you make it easy for people to say yes to favors? Do you reciprocate? Are you tired of people asking you for favors? If so, this episode is for you. Chris and Mary give out some tough love on the art of asking for and receiving favors. Don’t break your favor bank!Unimpressed with the Unprepared in L.A. has a big problem with people asking to meet with him to “pick his brain” and then these people show up late and unprepared for the meeting…No, it’s Not Nice to Meet You in New York is sick and tired of unsolicited introductions. How can they politely decline these requests? Can they tell people that they don’t have time for meaningless meetings?Overdrawn in Ohio is frustrated with a colleague who never reciprocates favors. Can she start saying “no” to this colleague who has clearly overdrawn her favor bank?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
How do you annoy me? Let me count the ways! In this episode, Mary and Chris address listeners’ complaints about their annoying co-workers. When dealing with bothersome behaviors in others, should we speak up, shut up, or suck it up?Pompous Panelist in Pasadena wants to know how to deal with a fellow panelist who is obnoxious, pompous, and overly self-promoting.  Should they say something? How can they hold their own with an air hog?Should I Say Something in St. Louis can’t help but notice that her husband is well, a jerk, when talking to his colleagues. Should she say something? Or let him go on being a jerk….Stop Drooling on Me in Dallas works in a pet-friendly workplace. The problem? One of the pets is too friendly. Should they say something?Tired of the Baby Talk in Toledo can’t take a single more conversation about a co-worker's brand new grandchild. If she has to look at one more picture of that kid, she may poke her own eyes out. Should she say something?Show us your love! Please give us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’re here to help you succeed! Send us your workplace dilemmas or career questions. Email us: info@cubicleconfidential.com or tweet us: @cubicleconfide1. All names will be changed to protect the guilty and innocent...
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