Free Press Journal

Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems


Breaking the silence

I am an intern at a vet’s clinic. I have been working here for a while for my job experience before I get back to college. The main doctor here is not an animal lover. He is very greedy. I have often noticed that he gives unnecessary medication to the pets just so that they have to pay for it. He gives wrong readings so that the owners of the pets come back very often. Recently, he ‘treated’ a turtle which is a cold-blooded animal and cannot be cured once ill. I want to report him but how should I do it because I don’t want to harm my career.

Ans: Malpractices in the work environment need to be reported at the earliest as you deal with lives of animals and people who care about them bring them in with hopes. You can talk to your friends about this and get to know more about reporting such behaviour. You may get help from your college authorities or a professor who you share a rapport with in order to understand things from a different perspective and taking things further. You can request for anonymity if at all the threat to your career seems too apparent and prevents you from taking a call.

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The caring teacher

I am a teacher. I have always been very passionate about teaching children. I treat them like they are my own. However, I have failed to protect them from their headmaster. He is vicious and unsympathetic. They are scared of him. He threatens to remove me from his school if I try supporting the children. I am worried for them as some kids have become very quiet and lost since he has started teaching. What to do?

Ans: The techniques that you are using for the students can probably be made more student friendly in comparison to the headmaster who is being difficult with the kids. You may also focus more on the kids who have become quite and work with them on one to one basis so as to prevent them from going into a shell. You can also approach the board members with your grievances so as to bring it to their notice about the headmaster’s behaviour towards the kids.

Unsafe work conditions

My office is located in an unsafe area in a small lane. It is hard to locate. The lanes are usually full of staring men. It is uncomfortable for the ladies. Considering that none of us can get a car there and are compelled to go by train due to the long distance, there should be some safety measures. These are lacking. The head of the company has not arranged anything to be done about this issue. There can be a car to come pick us up at the start of the lane or an escort or security man to be there at that time. How should I convey this to him?

Ans: The HR department can be approached to get your complaints across the company head. All the female workers can come together and prepare a plan of action against the security and safety. it is important that you all come together and express your genuine concern and worry on the subject. it would also be effective to come up with tentative solution options that could be feasible.

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Maternity muddle

I am a 28-year-old woman and have been working for the same company since the beginning of my work life. I recently got married and in my contract for the next three years, I said that if I get pregnant I shall get a paid maternity leave. It was a year later that I got pregnant and rightfully asked for my paid leave. My boss plainly denied it to me. He said that the contract had been misplaced and that he has no memory of this agreement. I cannot afford to file a case against him as he is very influential in the field of work I am interested in but I do need the money under any circumstances. What to do?

Ans: Attempt to locate any document that might reflect the agreement between you and the company. Also, the agreement is between you and the company and the company policies need to be checked during your joining date. Check with other female staff members for the clarification on the contract details during maternity leaves. You can then take it up to your boss and discuss things amicably.