Ask Jack: Trash-Talk Tweets, Earphones at Work, Job of the Week

man with a mohawk
Getty ImagesHeadphones: save them for your commute.

An anonymous Twitter user/AOL Jobs reader poses this query:

It's ok to tweet peeves about work people as long as I don't name names, right? It lets me blow off some steam and still remain professional at the office.

You know what's fun? Try to say "tweet peeves" five times fast. Maybe that will be enough to blow off some steam. Anonymous tweeting is appealing because you are sharing your gripes with the world! But staying anonymous is key; you must avoid anything that could lead back to you. So your "@" username and e-mail address need to be fictitious, and where it says to "enter your real name so people you know can recognize you," um, don't do that.

Also, don't follow the accounts of any of your co-workers, or your company's official feed, or clients you deal with regularly, because they might follow you back and your cover could be blown. And don't sign in on your work computer, especially if the screen is facing out. Oh, and don't tweet any photos of your cat.

Sounds like an awful lot of hassle, right? Maybe just stick with the tried-and-true methods to vent about co-workers: Scream at the top of your lungs in the car on your drive home, and/or purchase a voodoo doll.

Reader Craig wants to know:

I have a few people who report to me at work. They are good at their jobs but there's one thing I can't stand: They often wear earphones during the day. I'll call out one of their names and they don't hear me -- they don't respond! It is really annoying. My company doesn't have rules against this, and some people say that music helps them concentrate on their work. But still, I'm the boss and I feel like it's disrespectful. What can I do?

Hmmm... by any chance do you have an anonymous Twitter account? What you describe is a more and more common problem, especially in "open space" work environments, where employees often lack privacy, and there is lots of "ambient" sound. Noise-canceling headphones are increasingly popular. But when it hinders direct communication, earphone use crosses a line. Sure, you could use another method to contact your employee -- phone, e-mail, instant-messaging programs -- but for immediate attention, there's nothing like blurting out "Hey you!"

Can you ask them to turn down the volume, explaining your quite valid point of view? Or set up a "no earphones" portion of the day? Or maybe even make an agreement in which, if an employee doesn't reply when summoned, they lose earphone privileges for the rest of the day. (Might make them more attentive the next day.) I am certainly open to suggestions on this topic -- but put your ideas in the comments below, because I CANNOT HEAR YOU when I am rocking out to my killer jams.

Click here for last week's questions

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

Hey, stop tweeting under a barrel. It's time to let your skills shine as a social media strategist in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Now doesn't that sound like a lovely place to live? Just picture yourself, arms stretched wide, running through the rolling meadows on a beautiful summer day. The fact of the matter is, you can find all sorts of jobs in all kinds of topographical situations by doing a search on AOL Jobs right now. You can even search while wearing earphones; I won't tell.

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