Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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(Q 1) MY FRIEND AND I retired together a year ago and set up a business as consultants in our industry. I developed the business plan, designed the Web site and press kit, and listed all our many contacts in top management who will be instrumental in hiring us. In general, I am managing the organization. My partner was supposed to handle marketing and public relations and bring in clients. So far she has done nothing. She hasn't made phone calls, sent emails, held meetings, knocked n doors, or taken any other necessary steps toward building our brand to bring in business. I am thinking I don't need this kind of partner, but don't know how to tell her, or how to make her change. I never faced this challenge when I was a top manager within an organization.


(A) DO AS YOU WOULD IN A LARGE organization. Obviously you are miscommunicating. You missed clearly defining what you believe is her job, and she missed telling you how she defines her job. Make a list of all you believe she should do and a list of what you should do. Ask her to do the same. Meet to sit down and go over both lists until they match so it will be clear what each of you should do. If she doesn't change, dissolve the partnership.




Q.2 I FOUND A GREAT COMPUTER REPAIR company and used them  until they got too busy and referred me to his friend. We've been happy with him but last week the original repair man called and said he had complaints the other man has cash flow problems and took money upfront for parts then never returned. He was upset because the man has been a friend but he implied I stop using him. What do you think I should do? I still like the second guy and he never cheated me..


(A) FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED. You have important information on your side and can be grateful to the first man for alerting you. You also can keep using the second man as you want to. Just  don’t give him money to pay for parts until they are installed. You can buy them yourself if he writes down exactly what you need before he comes to install them. Tell him you heard he has money problems, and he can explain to all his clients how he is solving them. It always helps to turn a light on the elephant in the room.





(Q 3) THE OWNER OF THIS COMPANY is 63, but he has “busy hands’ even though he's been happily married  40 years and we all know his wife. He puts his arm around women employees, gets too friendly at parties, and was caught in an office affairs the HR department had to settle with a  “payoffs” to keep quiet and leave.. Do we women need the FBI in here, or is there some other way to keep him in the front office with his hands on the computer instead of on us?. He owns the place, and we need these jobs, so no one wants to be the whistle-blower. 


(A)YOU ARE THE ONES TO MAKE that final decision in this difficult jobs market. And you must consider that in addition to losing this job, the reason may reflect on your ability to easily get another. Not fair, but that's the risk. And yet some think principle is worth all that. Start by meeting with others who had your experience and a representative from HR. Ask the HR person the best route to inform the owner that his behavior is not acceptable. Also stress that he is in danger of real legal action if he continues it. Sadly many people in his age bracket who have owned small businesses and treated them like their own fiefdoms, never had to stop and realize they are living in a new century. It would be a kindness for you and the others to teach him how to successfully enter it.





(Q.4) I HEARD ABOUT A NEW Internet employment scam that involves being asked to just do some "reshipping" for this company and get paid for it. I wonder if you know about it, and is it too good to be true. I'm just out of college and very discouraged about finding a real job.


 (A) DON'T GIVE UP YOUR REAL JOB HUNT, and stay away from this "reshipping scam." The US Postal Inspection Service warns that criminals are posting job announcements on Internet career sites, as well as social sites like LinkedIn and CareerBuilder, offering work-at-home jobs, sometimes advertised as "merchandising manager or "package processing assistant." People hired are told they'll just have to mail some packages. Unfortunately, the scammers want you to redistribute stolen or counterfeit goods, or goods purchased with stolen credit cards or counterfeit money orders. Also, employees often are paid with the same counterfeit checks or money orders-and left facing possible charges after depositing "false paychecks."  For details see .