Jen's Workplace News


We are back with a workplace trend, news snippets and sage advice in the “Dear Jen” column.

And of course, I share my recommendations for your viewing pleasure.

I hope this newsletter brings you some wisdom and joy!

Cheers, Jen


Jens Lens

Clash of the Generations!

Boomers and Millennials don’t always ‘get’ each other…

Whilst I would never condone age discrimination, this week’s meme (below) is an example of one employer’s frustration.

Communication between different generations can be a real challenge in contemporary workplaces. Gen Z’s digital-first, communication style doesn’t always work for older generations. And (I’m told) Gen Z find some of us just a tad frustrating too.

Communication training that employs real-world scenarios can go a long way in smoothing out misunderstandings between generations.

Lucky y’all know where to find a “difficult conversations” expert.

See: Head to our website to learn how to have Difficult Conversations.



First Job Of the Week

Taylor Swift Reporter
Employed by:
 US newspaper publisher Gannett.
Location: USA and on tour.
Key skills – the “Ultimate Swiftie” must be “experienced, video-forward, with a knack for capturing the musical and cultural essence of Taylor Swift”.

Take Out Point: Methinks Gannett’s HR Manager will need some assistance from AI to review the thousands of applications for this role.

See: Dream Job for a Swifty

Second Job Of the Week

CEO for the Prince and Princess of Wales
Location: Kensington Palace (and other castles).
Key skills – the successful candidate must “stay calm under pressure”, have a “low ego” and manage “around 60 people”.

Take Out Point: Whilst the ad doesn’t say it, I’m guessing there is a presumption that Americans need not apply for this role.

See: William and Kate’s search for a CEO

Buzzword Of the Week – “Feedforward”

“Feedforward”: the opposite of “feedback”. Places importance on improvement rather than criticism.

Is it just me or are people making up words for the sake of it!

Teacher Fired After Replying to All In Email Blunder

A much-loved science teacher lost his job of 22 years after he hit “reply all” in an email he thought he was sending to his union representative complaining about his supervisor. After the teacher filed a claim with the Fair Work Commission his former students came forward in his support describing him as the “best educator”. The matter is now in the Federal Circuit Court for mediation.

Take Out Point: Beware “reply all”.

See: Teacher Fired After Email Blunder

How New Sexual Harassment Laws Could Affect Your Pay

From December this year, employers will need to meet their positive duty of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. The Australian Human Rights Commission has suggested that workplaces consider offering pay boosts or gift vouchers to reward respectful behaviour and denying bonuses or pay rises for employees who have demonstrated poor conduct.

Take Out Point: Not sure how I feel about this, but there’s nothing like money to focus peoples’ minds.

See: Bonuses at Risk Under New Sexual Harassment Laws

BP CEO Resigns after Not Disclosing Relationships with Colleagues

Bernard Looney, CEO of BP has quit after it came to light that he failed to disclose previous relationships he had with a number of his colleagues. BP stated that last year, they reviewed allegations of the CEO’s previous personal relationships and found there were no breaches of the Company’s Code of Conduct. But after further allegations were received, Mr Looney admitted that he hadn’t been fully transparent and resigned with immediate effect. He had been with BP since the 1990s working his way up from drilling engineer to the CEO position.

Take Out Point: Transparency.

See: BP Boss Quits over Relationships with Colleagues


Employee Terminated After Not Attending Office for Three Weeks

A Real Estate Business Development Manager was fired after she decided to work from home without any agreement with her boss to do so.

The employer discovered a “To Do” list on the former employee’s desk dated almost three weeks earlier. They then discovered that she had been leaving at lunchtime on occasions and had been working at her home in Noosa instead of the business’ office at the Sunshine Coast. This was a breach of the employer’s workplace practice. The employer asserted that “It was a strict obligation to notify the HR department when unable to attend the workplace or seeking approval to work from home by text message or Teams chat”.

In the employee’s application for an unfair dismissal to the FWC, she contended that in her previous role with the business, she had access to flexible working arrangements and was promised flexibility when she was hired.

The FWC dismissed the application and found the failure to attend the office by the employee along with confidentiality breaches provided a valid reason to terminate her employment.

Take Out Point: To avoid confusion businesses should have clearly written Work from Home Policies, that set out the expectations and obligations of both parties.

See: Ms Chantelle Major v Strata Management Group


Jen's Difficult Conversations in the Workplace

Is valuable time, money and sleep being lost because your team is avoiding necessary but challenging workplace conversations?

The ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop will empower your managers and team with essential skills and techniques to tackle challenging conversations with confidence.

Don’t let unresolved workplace issues hold your business back. Empower your team with the skills to have difficult conversations. Increase productivity. Decrease recruitment costs. Boost profits! Check out the ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop.

Or grab the most practical online course in town. Run, don’t walk to my website for my highly informative and entertaining online course – “Difficult Conversations In The Workplace: A Lawyer’s Guide to Not Needing a Lawyer”. Spend an hour with your favourite unlawyerly lawyer for just $149 plus GST, or organise a coaching session.


Jen's Mailbox

Dear Jen,

I have a lot of brothers and sisters. Some of us were given fairly “normal” names, but my youngest step-siblings are called X Æ A-Xii, Exa Dark Sideræl and Techno Mechanicus.

They won’t ever need to find a “normal job” because of who our dad is, but it got me thinking – do employers judge prospective employees by their names?

One of the older Musks

Dear ‘one of the older Musks’,

It’ really not fair to judge someone for their parents’ follies, but whether we like it or not, our moniker is part of our brand.

Some victims address ‘wacky name syndrome’ when they grow up. Moon Unit Zappa and Diva Thin Muffin Zappa have both ditched their middle names.

I wish your youngest siblings well.



Jen's After Work


What I’m Watching (On AppleTV)

“The Morning Show” is back and there’s alot going on. A viral data hack. John Hamm playing an “Elon Musk-like” character. And Jennifer Aniston’s hair is as magnificent as ever.

What I’m Watching (On AppleTV)

Docu-series “The Super Models” is a fabulous look at the phenomena that was Naomi, Christy, Linda and Cindy. Such fun to reminisce about the days when we still read magazines.

What I Inhaled (on Britbox)

I have almost perfected my Yorkshire accent thanks to the outstanding homicide team on “DCI Banks”. This is one of those shows where, once it’s over, you miss your friends (I mean the characters).

What I’m Watching (On ABC iView)

Slight accent change, moving to Nottinghamshire for “Sherwood” – inspired by real life murders in a mining town in 2004. [Perhaps alternate with episodes of “The Super Models”].

What I’m Listening to (Podcast)

Lovers of true crime will adore “Who shat on the floor at my wedding?” Hilarious investigation into a truly disgusting crime on what was supposed to be the happiest day of a couple’s lives.


Jen's Last Word

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