How to flirt your way to the top

A banker proud of his ‘professional’ manners is dismayed by the popularity of a new colleague

Graduate talent makes a mentor seethe

A banker resents the arrogant lazy trainee he is nurturing

Dear Lucy . . . 

Agony aunt Lucy Kellaway takes a firm line on soft skills

Must I shell out on every staff gift?

The collection plate goes round too often - can I ignore it?

Can I decline the job move collection?

A middle manager asks if it is acceptable to skip the donation that internal moves prompt

Rise above a conniving weasel colleague

A member of my team withholds information and tells tales

How to handle a non team player

A member of my team refuses to share information and is prone to finger-pointing others to managers

Was I in my job too long?

I am job hunting and suspect I’m disadvantaged because I stayed with my last company for 18 years

Is doing an EMBA fair on my family?

Should I let my company choose my business school and do online courses offer better value?

Should I tell my new boss the truth?

I kept quiet when I should have told my forbidding superior that she had lipstick on her teeth

Should I thank my boss for my bonus?

An analyst asks if he has committed a serious faux pas for not thanking the boss

Stalled internship

An English intern at a German company finds that she is sidelined

Am I better off going to a bigger-brand school with more of a reputation?

Lucy Kellaway on whether location matters when studying

My smoking boss

A male in his 20s is irritated by his boss’s frequent absences while he nips out for a smoke

Family questions

A single woman applying for jobs is thrown by the question of whether she has a family

Boss on holiday

I need to dodge an invitation from my manager who is staying close to the Mallorca villa I am renting

My ‘gem’ of a job

A mother of a child with special needs has a ‘perfect’ part-time management post but is miserable

My pill-peddling son

My 18-year-old son has been selling his ADHD prescription medicine to other students at his school

Disillusioned in DC

I have what I thought was the perfect job but dislike it so much I can’t think of what else to do

Smart or shabby?

I want to create the right impression in an office with vague dress codes

ABOUT DEAR LUCY

Dear Lucy 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.

E-mail Lucy your problems to problems@ft.com

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