What's your problem?

Since starting my new job, I've been finding it difficult to switch off my office 'self' when I get home from work. I'm employed as a sales manager in a call centre and need to present quite a decisive, almost aggressive, full-on sales persona - which I find difficult to shake off when I get home.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

My wife is complaining and the children shy away from me. I don't really realise how I'm being until it's too late. What would you advise?

A: There's an embarrassing scene in a Noel Coward play that might help.

A couple given to uncontrollable rows invent a word (I can't remember what it is, but it's a silly one). Whenever a row is clearly imminent, one of them says 'Crumchocks!' The row evaporates.

Since you're so clearly aware of what's happening, agree on such a word with your wife. Whenever you adopt the worst of your call centre persona, she should simply say 'Crumchocks!' The sillier the word, the more likely it is to be effective.

Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Ranked: Britain's best-run companies

These are the businesses rated top by their peers for their quality of management.

Unconscious bias in action

Would you dislike someone just because they’re from the Forest of Dean?

I ran Iceland's central bank in 2009. Here's what I learned about crisis ...

And you thought your turnaround was tricky.

"It's easy to write a cheque you don't have to cash for 30 ...

But BP's new CEO has staked his legacy on going green.

AI opens up an ethical minefield for businesses

There will inevitably be unintended consequences from blindly adopting new technology.

The strange curse of No 11 Downing Street

As Sajid Javid has just discovered, “chancellors come and go… the Treasury endures forever”.