My accidental Zoom chat comment upset my colleague — what can I do?

A concerned businesswoman consoling her crying colleague at his desk.
An employee offended their coworker with a comment about them in a Zoom chat.

I was on a Zoom call and made a comment to one member of the team about someone else in the meeting in the chatbox, but mistakenly sent the message to everyone on the call. The person was very upset and abruptly left the call, which then ended the meeting for everyone. How do I handle this?

I’m assuming your comment wasn’t “this person is doing a great job”? I’ve seen this mistake happen a lot, and it’s always awkward unless the comment is a compliment.

It’s just too risky to have these sidebar conversations about colleagues online, and certainly not within the platform of the meeting. That’s the best way to avoid making this mistake.

All you can do now is follow up with the employee directly and apologize.

Depending on what comment you made, it may take a long time to recover trust — if at all. But own it, and next time keep your comments offline.

I’m a resident manager of a co-op apartment block in NYC, and one resident always asks my staff to do little favors for her. However, she never tips them. Should my staff continue to do things for her outside of their job description? Should I say something to her?

What would you say? “Hey, tips are appreciated?” I think everyone understands that you tip building staff, whether during the year or at the end of the year, and sometimes both depending on the circumstances.

However, it isn’t your place to remind residents of that.

Such reminders and suggestions should only come from the co-op’s board. Your only options are to continue providing great service even without the tips — just because — or politely decline to do the “favors” beyond the job description.

If the resident asks why the staff is no longer accommodating, then you can say something to the effect that it is outside the scope of their responsibilities and constant requests without any additional compensation for the extra work are difficult to accommodate and juggle with their schedule.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. Hear Greg Wed. at 9:35 a.m. on iHeartRadio 710 WOR with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. Email: Follow: and on Twitter: @GregGiangrande