Work Life

My coworker won’t share crucial information

Apply the four cardinal virtues. You might remember them from the catechism (1805-09). They’re essential for human excellence and, from top to bottom, also give us a roadmap for problem solving.

Prudence. This is the perfected ability of right decision making. It’s the charioteer of the other three virtues, and it’s all about being rational – getting the best result through the best means. Get clear on your goal. Your bottom line result is good coverage during your coworker’s absences. To get there you’ll need:

How can I make the most of my internship?

Be determined. If you are willing, my son, you will be taught, and if you apply yourself you will become clever. If you love to listen you will gain knowledge, and if you incline your ear you will become wise. (Sir 6:32-33)

Since your boss is busy, ask what you can do to lighten his/her load. Don’t be a pest, but be pleasantly persistent. Be observant and look for opportunities. Seek advice and perspectives from experienced co-workers. “Pursue wisdom like a hunter, and lie in wait on her paths.” (Sir 14:22)

Do I have to get all my retail staff together for meetings?

There is a phrase called “death by meetings,” but there’s also a kind of “death by no meetings.” The biggest challenge in every organization is communication. The best companies do it well.For starters, I recommend a 30-minute weekly meeting, same time and place. Focus on the operations and tactics, with a look-back at last week, and look-forward to the next.1. Get clear in your own mind. What are the top three things you and they need to know? What are the success indicators? What’s bugging you? What’s bugging them? At a minimum, meetings should solve problems.

Should I blow the whistle on safety violations?

My workplace has several machines where safety guards have been removed, plus a few other things I am pretty sure are OSHA violations. My boss told me to just ignore them and do my work, but I’m afraid someone is going to get hurt. I’m also afraid I’ll be fired if I blow the whistle. What do I do?

For starters, I’m assuming from your question that your company doesn’t have a stated policy or protocols for dealing with safety matters, or recourse to an ombudsman or human resources department.

My employer won't let me take Good Friday off

I want to take time off for Good Friday, and my employer won’t let me. Don’t I have the right to do this under my freedom to practice my religion?

Only if your company has more than 15 employees. If so, you’re in luck (or rather in Providence). By law, companies must make reasonable accommodation for employees’ observance of religious holidays. If your company grants a certain number of paid personal days, you might choose that option for your Good Friday observance. If it doesn’t, your sole payback will be eternal. Not a bad deal.

How should I handle a co-worker's same-sex wedding invitation?

My co-worker invited me to he rwedding to another woman. Do I explain why I'm not going or just decline the invitation? And do I send a gift for something I don't believe is valid? 

This is a very difficult situation, with no standard solution. The assault on the sanctity and even notion of marriage has put faithful Catholics in a very uncomfortable position. Novel, previously unthinkable norms have set us back on our heels, so to speak.

I love Christmas, but not the office parties that come with it

I love Jesus’ birthday – but I hate Christmas in the office. There is an endless round of after-work parties we are expected to attend. Do I really have to go?

I appreciate your spiritual discernment and priorities. The way the world “celebrates” Christmas is a formula for stress, overeating, overspending and over-socializing. It launches on Black Friday, accelerates to a fever pitch for a month, and then crashes to an oft-disappointing halt on Christmas day.

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