Monthly Archives: January 2008

I recently submitted an expense report following a routine trip to Frankfurt. Instead of attaching the total bill, I mistakenly attached a fully itemised printout. Unfortunately, this was returned to me, copied to my boss, with one item – “Private Room Entertainment: Adults Only Movie” – highlighted as an illegitimate business expense. I ordered the film more out of curiosity than habit and am usually meticulous over my expenses. I work in the finance department and am a loyal and trusted employee. The form was seen by my secretary, though, and I am anxious that it may become a topic of conversation with her lunchtime colleagues. How do I salvage the situation?
Manager, Male, 43

My husband’s large aerospace company "went virtual" a year ago. He now works at home from 6.15am to 4.15pm Monday through Friday. He never takes a vacation and is in the house all day long. He has started complaining to friends and co-workers that being with me 24/7 is driving him crazy. It is driving me crazy too and I don’t know what to do about it. I could walk the streets all day – which might at least make me very fit – or I could sit in Starbucks all day and chat with other grande latte drinkers who have nowhere else to go. These don’t seem ideal solutions but I don’t see how we can continue to be in the house all day without destroying our marriage.
Housewife, female, 66

I work for a company in Russia and have an exceptionally attractive young woman on my team. She is 28, blonde, and quite beautiful. The problem is that my boss has developed a crush on her. Actually I think it may be rather more than a crush. I am almost certain that they are having an affair, depsite the twenty year gap in their ages and the fact that he is married. She is bright and capable, though somewhat over-promoted, and this is making it very difficult to manage my team. Most of them are males, many of whom also seem to have crushes on her, but now resent her too. Any ideas on how to manage the situation?
Manager, male, 35

Dear Lucy

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Lucy Kellaway, FT columnist and associate editor, offers her solution to your workplace problems in a fortnightly column in the Financial Times. In this weekly online edition of her 'agony aunt' column, readers are invited to have a say too. Read more about Dear Lucy here.