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Judgment Calls: how to handle 5 delicate personal situations in the work environment

What do you do or say, if anything, in each of these situations, and why?

1. A colleague, an amateur pilot, shows up at a critical meeting with some Japanese executives wearing a tie adorned with pictures of a P51D Mustang escorting a B-29 Superfortress (the Mustang is a World War II fighter and the Superfortress is the type of plane that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War II).

2. You know that you have only $110 left before you hit the limit on your credit card, and you have $8 in your wallet. You are the host to three clients. One has just announced that he is considering the lobster dinner for $40. The other two clients nod their heads.

3. While waiting outside a meeting room, you notice that the next middle manager making a presentation is rehearsing what he will say. The pants zipper of his blue suit is open and part of his white shirt is protruding.

4. Your firm has a no-smoking policy in all its buildings. One of your co-workers consistently smokes in the bathroom, usually just before you have to go in there.

5. During an initial lunch with some important potential customers, your boss made a spectacle of herself. The potential customer's managers spent most of the time watching her as she talked about how dumb your company's suppliers are and how all manages are like those in Dilbert. She used her fingers to wipe her mouth and kept the napkin on the table to wipe her fingers on. She used a salad fork to stab the chicken out of her chicken soup and wrapped her tea bag around her dessert spoon to wring the last drops of tea from it. At the end, she asked for a doggie bag because she "might want a little something later." She says she can't wait for the next meeting, which may make or break the whole deal.

Solution Preview

1) I would ask him to remove the tie. Considering he is meeting with Japanese executives, he should know his clientele. Most Japanese are very sensitive to this day of the horrible events that occurred during WW2. It is disrespectful for him to be wearing a tie of this nature - akin to a person wearing a Hitler uniform when meeting with a Rabbi. The Japanese often do not have a sense of humor, and would be very offended by this tie.

2) I would politely inform then that the specialty of the house is the fabulous salmon or chicken or steak (whatever item is on the daily ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses judgment calls in difficult situations.

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