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WORK LIFE - DEAR AUNTIE....

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Dear Auntie, I took a couple of days off last week as I had a really heavy cold. My manager kept phoning me at home...
Dear Auntie, I took a couple of days off last week as I had a really heavy cold. My manager kept phoning me at home with ridiculously petty queries. And when I came back to work was very hostile towards me and kept saying that I didn't sound very ill.

LD, Yorkshire

Dear LD, It sounds like harassment. And phoning you at home seems harsh. I wonder if your boss is just like this with you or other colleagues. There are a lot of colds and flu about at the moment so I wonder if you should ask other colleagues whether they've faced similar problems. If so, I would talk to your personnel department about it. No one should be made to feel guilty about being ill.

Dear Auntie, My department has suddenly decreased - my boss has left and another colleague has been made redundant. A job that was being done by three people is now being done by one - me. No one has told me whether my boss is going to be replaced and I really don't know how I'll cope. What should I do?

DS, Devon

Dear DS, Well you cannot be expected to take on the work of three people. Speak to your boss's boss and discuss your workload. Be realistic in what you can achieve and say 'no' if they try to pile too much work onto you. This could be a good opportunity to make your mark and you may end up getting a promotion out of it. Or, at least a pay rise.

Dear Auntie, Our department is going on a residential course after Christmas. I'm dreading it because we're forced to share bedrooms as a cost saving. I'm stuck with the office weirdo - he's 45, lives with his mum and he reads 'true crime' novels. I'm terrified he's going to finish me off in the middle of the night. What should I do?

DC, Surrey

Dear DC, This sounds worrying - maybe your boss is trying to punish you for some terrible misdemeanour you've committed. I would invent a contagious illness just before the course and be forced to pull out.

If you have any questions please e-mail

dearauntie@emap.com

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