Agony Aunt

Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 07:01 AM IST

Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems


Gender wage gap

I am 26 years old and have been working for the same company for 3 years.  Although I have been promoted several times my pay structure is less than that of my male colleagues. This is a sad situation considering that we live in the 21st century. I am afraid to speak to my boss about this as he is of a patriarchal mindset. The wage gap is very unfair as I work very hard to get less money than my male colleagues who work the same amount. How do I bring this up with the office members?

Ans: You can start by talking to your immediate superiors about this unfair treatment and be clear in your expectations. You will have to be confident in laying across your complaint as it will reflect how you view your own work. Find out the reasons as to why is there a wage gap and if there is more to it than your mere understanding of the situation. Presenting a case and accusing your boss of being partial will not benefit you rather raise it up as an appraisal issue and get to know where the hurdle lies.


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Working in bad office

The working conditions of my office are very bad. My co-workers and I suffer especially during the summer as there are no air conditioners in the building. The bathrooms are extremely unclean and unhygienic. These uncongenial working environments are harmful to our health as a lot of us have caught diseases like dengue, malaria and typhoid. There are no water coolers and the old ones are dirty and grimy. They aren’t in working condition. How can we deal with the surroundings and how to ask our head for some changes without offending him?


Ans: Working in unhygienic conditions is against the work policy and this should be addressed as soon as possible. You can start by listing few essentials and requesting for the same at the earliest. Till the time conditions don’t change you can carry few things such as water and sanitizers so as to be safe and not contract any disease. You demanding basic hygiene may not be offending but an eye opener for the boss as he might be experiencing the fall in attendance of the employees due to various illnesses.

Issues of an intern

I have recently experienced typical working environment as an intern in a bank. I am one of the two only interns. I am very thankful that I got this job. However, I think that my colleagues do not like me. They are very snobbish and do not understand my work potential. They constantly attack all of my actions and make me feel like an outcast. I have discussed this with the other intern and he is facing a similar situation in his department of work. What should we do to be more like them and not left out?


Ans: Initial ice breaking is very important in any new situation. the colleagues might be used to working with interns on regular basis and not form close associations with them as the internships last for a stipulated time limit. You and the other intern could work together on this ice breaking with the other colleagues but with an intention of making better work environment and not that others should like you. Each person may have different perception about liking or disliking someone but with your efforts you can at least attempt at a civil work relation.

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Friends turned competitors

My friend is now my colleague. We joined the company at the same time. We were friends a long time ago. Now, there is a lot of competition between us. Since we both work in the same field, the time of promotions are full of tension between us. I don’t know what to do as this job means a lot to the both of us. Should I confront her about it and if I do, what to say?

Ans: There is a fine line between maintaining your personal and professional relations. The job means a lot to both of you and talking to her about the same is important not only for your professional relationship but your friendship as well. Both of you could try and draw a line which prevents you both to blur in times of work pressure. Your work should define your own hard work and not competitive spirit against your friend.

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Published on: Sunday, May 07, 2017, 03:18 AM IST