Can I complain to the boss about my colleagues’ political banter?

My colleagues can’t stop talking about the election. The conversations make me uncomfortable. Do I have grounds to complain that it’s inappropriate at work? Should I speak to my colleagues, my boss, or go to HR?

In a normal year, colleagues may have been able to talk politics without offending each other. This year has been anything but normal. Now, unless you all have similar views, it’s all but impossible not to devolve into something hostile. While a discussion in the workplace about politics is generally not considered taboo (unlike the topic of sex, for example), it’s prudent to avoid discussions about anything that could reasonably offend someone. Whether you say something to your boss or HR really depends on your relationships at work and how comfortable you feel. My advice is always to deal directly with your colleagues whenever possible. If that doesn’t work, escalate from there.

I’m a veteran and having difficulty finding a civilian job. I’m told I’ll have no trouble getting work in security, but I don’t want to work in security. Are we pigeon-holed into certain careers?

First of all, we can never stop showing our gratitude, first by saying thank you for your service and second by helping vets transition to active civilian duty, otherwise the words are just platitudes. So, any veterans who want a free resume review, send it to me. Fortunately, there are many other resources available. A great place to start is the US Department of Veteran Affairs Web site where you can find resources. They also have virtual career fairs, where you can speak with recruiters who can answer questions and guide you on opportunities that best match your skill set. The Department of Defense also offers a transition assistance program. You also need to create a profile on LinkedIn, where you can network with vets who have successfully made the transition. Recruiters and employers also target vets for hiring, and they can find you there. It’s a process and it takes some time, so stay positive and don’t give up.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work.

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