SME Agony Uncle: Bobby Kerr answers all your business and work-related questions

Join Bobby on The Hard Shoulder every Tuesday, with thanks to Energia

Each week broadcaster, entrepreneur and agony uncle Bobby Kerr joins The Hard Shoulder to answer all your employment-related questions.

This week, Ivan kicked things off with Bobby by discussing desk lunches. Ivan says it might be a sign of a hard worker but it's not always nice for the person sitting next to you if you're wolfing down a messy meal. 

Bobby says if you can at all, get up and get out for your lunch break. Go for a walk, eat your sandwich in the park and just forget about work for a few minutes each day. That way, you will be more awake and more productive for the afternoon and you'll have gotten a little bit of exercise or activity in as well. 

Ivan, on the other hand, says he admires people who are so dedicated to their workflow that they don't break their flow just to go and have something to eat. 

Now onto your questions... 

I was concerned that I had made an eejit of myself in front of management at a recent work retirement do. I spent the whole weekend living in fear but to my relief, nobody mentioned it in a negative way when I returned to work on Monday except for the CFO, who made a joke that I must be still hungover. I still feel like I should address it but will this only exaggerate the situation in their minds? It's been two weeks, should I just let it go? 

Bobby says yes, just let this one go. The important thing is that this person recognises he made a fool of himself and probably won't do it again. With the amount of time that has gone since the event, it's not worth bringing it up now but Bobby says if this person did want to address it, the next working day following the night out would have been the best time to just explain it was out of character or apologise for anything out of order that might have happened. 

I work as a solicitor and have been part of a business networking group for a couple of years. They have a breakfast meeting once a month and I have picked up a fair bit of business through this over time but now there's another solicitor joined and I fear that I will miss opportunities because there's a competitor in the room.  Should I stand up and fight or roll up my tent and move on. 

Bobby's response is that if this person has been doing this for years and gotten business then it's worked so far and he should probably hang on. Bobby added that typically, these types of networking groups have rules that only allow one of each type of job in so that people can fairly do business within the group so Bobby suggests this man maybe asks the organisers about the new joiner and whether or not he could be removed. 

I have been asked out by a colleague at work who I find quite attractive. I am worried that it might develop into something and cause problems. He's not married or in a relationship... He's ticking all the boxes! So do you think I should give it a go? 

Bobby says  that if there are no complications then why not! It can be a problem with couples working together, for example Bobby's architect friends who used to work together while in a relationship and have open rows in meeting but that's not always going to be the case so Bobby says why not explore the option. Because we spend so much time in work these days, it is one of the few places people actually get the opportunity to meet new people and at the end of the day, one of them could always end up getting a new job or moving department anyway. 

Ivan also added some advise for this person, stating that 30% of all long term relationships begin in the workplace but cautioned that they should take things slow. 

You can listen back to all of Bobby’s employment advice from Tuesday’s The Hard Shoulder here:

If you have a business or SME related query you would like answered - you can get in touch with Bobby each week by simply sending a short mail to