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Lifestyle – January 1, 2010

Flowers for your boss on Valentine’s Day?

What’s Your Beef?

The Corner Office Curmudgeon offers advice about life on the job

My boss is an extremely nice person. With Valentine’s Day coming up, would it be appropriate to bring her flowers or is that too personal? How about a box of chocolates or cookies?
Forget Valentine’s Day. Anything you do is likely to be misinterpreted. There’s a Boss’s Day, which is more appropriate, but it isn’t until October. In any event, unless you really have romantic notions about your boss, doing something for Valentine’s Day is a bad idea.
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My company has asked me to look into outsourcing some routine bookkeeping. To be honest, the best person for the job is my wife, who is an outstanding bookkeeper but has chosen to stay home with our young son. Should I recommend her for the job, or would that be too much of a conflict?
Not a chance. Worst case is that somebody would object to the nepotism and you could both be out of jobs. And, do you really want your wife knowing all the details of your company’s finances? That might bring on some interesting dining table discussions if she thinks you ought to be making more money because she finds out what others are making.
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We have a company car, which we are free to use when we have an outside appointment. Occasionally when I’m out, I sneak in a few personal errands. Is that kosher? I don’t see how I could reimburse the company for those side trips.
Aw, c’mon. Sure you could. All you have to do is keep track of the mileage and offer to pay the going rate. That would, of course, cause your boss to wonder why you are going overboard on disclosure. He expects that you’re going to use the company car for some personal stuff. Don’t sweat it.
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I was recently promoted and in my new job I got a close look at the company books. It’s grim. Unless things get better fast, I will be forced to let some people go, folks, who, until recently, were my co-workers. How should I handle this?
You don’t have a lot of options. If you want to keep your job you’ve got to do what’s right for the company. That’s your obligation, unless you’d rather be foolish and quit, and let one of your former co-workers do what you couldn’t. Working in management isn’t always easy.
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Have a question? E-mail it to getbeef@hawaiibusiness.com or mail it to: What’s Your Beef, c/o Hawaii Business, 1000 Bishop St., Suite 405, Honolulu, HI 96813. Your anonymity will be protected!

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