You should also keep you eyes and your options open. Perhaps there is a transfer opportunity, or perhaps your network can help you net a better job. Q My manager told me that the company is monitoring employee Internet use, and that I am spending too much time surfing the Net. I get my job done, and I resent this intrusion into my privacy. Besides, doesn’t management have anything better to do? A Rather than wondering if management has anything better to do, the real question is whether you have anything better to do, such as your job? If you can get your job done with time to spare, your next step is to check and upgrade the quality of your work, and let your manager know you are done. As long as you are being paid, you should be spending the bulk of your time working, not surfing. Although a growing number of employers are letting employees do some personal chores online, this varies from one company to another. It is also important to note that although such policies can create a convenience for the employees, these policies subtly induce employees to spend more time at work. Either way, it appears that you have crossed your company’s policies in this area. As for the privacy issue, most employers have policies stating that equipment such as the phones and computers are company property, and the company has the right to monitor all Internet activity and e-mail. You should expect your actions in this area to be monitored at the company’s discretion. Your manager has given you a clear message, and if you do not heed it, you are likely to be surfing the net on your own computer in search of a job. Ken Lloyd is an Encino-based consultant, coach and author who specializes in organizational behavior. He is the author of “Jerks at Work: How to Dealth With People Problems and Problem People.” Write to him at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre This raises one overarching question: How important is it for you to promote excellence? Most successful managers today have an excellent answer. Q I cannot stand my manager who happens to be an owner of the company. He can be friendly, but he can instantly become mean and insulting especially in front of others. Whenever I see his name on an e-mail to me, or whenever he wants to see me, I feel nauseous. I have tried to talk to him, but I’m never comfortable. How do you deal with someone like this? A Your manager’s tendency to be mean and insult you, especially in front of others, is classic bullying. And the fact that he can occasionally be friendly makes this even more sinister. His moments of friendliness can drop the guard of unwary employees, and then his berating behaviors are even more hurtful. It is actually more difficult to deal with people who run hot and cold than to deal with those who are generally one way or the other. When you do not know if you are going to be dealing with Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, it is difficult to know how to prepare and how to react, whether it’s for a meeting or an e-mail. As a result, you feel nauseous. You are not going to stop this bully from being who and what he is. Nonetheless, you should act assertively and stand up for your beliefs, since bullies do not typically like to confront people who stand up to them, whether literally or figuratively. Q I plan to promote one of my employees to a new position in my department. I have one individual who has been here for four years, and she expects the promotion. I have another employee who has been here for one year but is more qualified and does better work. The longer-term employee will be very upset if she does not get the promotion, and she can create many problems throughout the department. Who do you suggest I promote? A If you promote the longer-term individual, take a look at what else you are promoting. First, you will be promoting a value system that places primary emphasis on loyalty and dedication, rather than productivity and performance. Secondly, there is a less obvious factor that you will be promoting if you go with the longer-term employee. You are concerned that she will be upset and disruptive if she is not promoted. If this is part of your rationale for promoting her, you are essentially rewarding this threat. If you do so, you can expect other employees to use her strategy when they seek promotions. It can be helpful to take a look at your focal point as a manager. Managers who focus on the past are more likely to rely on how long an employee has been with the company. At the same time, managers who focus on the future are likely to rely on how effective an employee has been with the company.