[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I am a frequent long-term contractor at a very small company. There are two owners, two full-time employees, and a handful of freelancers and interns at any one time. The owners are wonderful people whom I enjoy spending time with, but they have a practice that some coworkers and I feel conflicted about: they expect us to eat lunch with them in the office every day. And pay (and shop) for it.

They send a tin around every week to collect our lunch payments, which supposedly are based on how much we are paid (my expected weekly contribution is $40). We take turns shopping for the lunch and assembling it. The owners think this is wonderful “family” time and feel it’s an added benefit for those who work there. On your first day, they say, “This is what we do for lunch” and after that, you’re locked in.

The problem is that sometimes we don’t want to all eat lunch together and feel pressure or worry about appearances if we decline. I’ve only known one freelancer who didn’t participate, and they said things like “Does he not like us?” “Is he anti-social?” So you pretty much have to participate or you’re sort of an outsider.

I’d be happy to do it sometimes, even more than once a week, just not always. What’s troubling is the expectation that everyone participate every day. Is there any kind way to inform the owners that something that they clearly love isn’t working for everyone? They would be hurt if they knew that some employees just want to get away for an hour.

They think this is “family time”? Are you perhaps all related?

If not, this isn’t family time, and it’s bizarre that they’re calling it that.

For the record: Workplaces aren’t families. They can be places where people have close, supportive relationships and genuinely care about each other, but unless they’re using a dramatically different business model than most employers in the U.S., they’re not families. They’re paying people to be there, and those people would not show up otherwise. Workplaces don’t typically inspire (or warrant) the sort of loyalty that families do, and families don’t typically fire people or lay them off.

This is more than semantics. It can have real ramifications for employees, because it generally means that boundaries get violated and people end up feeling like they’re supposed to display inappropriate amounts of commitment and loyalty, even when that’s very much against their self-interest. And it’s usually the employees who bear the burden a lot more than the company. Turn this around, and try to imagine an employee saying “but we’re like a family!” when her boss gives her critical feedback.

Anyway, that rant aside, the best thing here is to be straightforward and matter-of-fact. You can do that on a case-by-case basis, or you can do it big-picture.

If you do it case-by-case, then on days you don’t feel like eating with everyone else, just say, “I’ve got some errands I’m going to run today so I won’t be joining you in the kitchen. See you in about an hour!” Say it cheerfully and like of course it’s no big deal, and hope that they’ll respond with some degree of reasonableness. (I know they were all weird and sad about the freelancer who didn’t eat with them, but it sounds like that was every day, so maybe they’ll pull it together and get through the shock of you doing it less frequently? If not, you’d need to decide to just be okay with the fact that they’re baffled by your absences.)

But I think you’d be better off addressing it big-picture. That’s potentially more awkward, but it’s more likely to get you a clearer resolution. Ideally you’d get a group of coworkers to say this with you so that you’re not out on a limb by yourself, but if you can’t, it’s reasonable to say it on your own too. You’d say something like this: “It’s nice of you to set up these group lunches, but can we do them less often? Sometimes I/we need use my/our lunch time for other things — running errands or even just talking a walk — and it feels like a big deal to not attend. What if we switched to doing them once a week instead so that people can use their lunch break in different ways if they want or need to?”

Of course, that’s not even getting into the (seemingly required?) lunch payments. If you succeed in getting these lunches cut back to weekly or less, you may not need to. But if would be entirely reasonable for you and your coworkers to say, “You know, we don’t want to be locked into spending $40 on lunches every week. Can we switch to a system where we fend for ourselves so that people have more control of their lunch budgets? We could still do group lunches occasionally — maybe weekly or monthly? — but it would be easier on us if we brought our own food rather than shopping for the group and preparing it together.” That’s not really addressing the issue head-on (although certainly the money/shopping/prep part of this is a weirdness in its own right), but it’s an option if your sense is that it’ll go over better.

my office makes us cook and eat lunch together every day was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I’m a new manager at a small nonprofit I’ve worked at for about 2 years. My role recently expanded to include managing a small team of two full time staff and an intern, who perform duties that were unfamiliar to me before. Overall, the transition has gone well and I have good individual relationships with each person. However, I am really struggling with our new every-other-week team meetings. I feel like I’m the only person talking, and staff facial expressions and body language make me feel like they hate being there. It’s stressful for me and in some ways I find it quite rude.

I think I’m following good meeting etiquette – I keep the meetings short, always have a printed agenda, ask for feedback about everything, and one of the staff takes notes. But when I ask for feedback, suggestions or other business, they just stare at me. These staff/interns are all fairly reserved and young (oldest is 23) and I worry that because I’m outspoken and their boss, they take everything I suggest as law, when I want discussion and feedback.

It’s worth noting that prior to the org restructure, this team was largely unsupervised and underdeveloped. They never had one-on-one supervisions, team meetings, learning goals or reporting requirements, all of which we now have — so a lot of things may feel new and unfamiliar. Even now, due to the nature of their roles they still work fairly independently on a daily basis. I feel like they don’t understand the general point of having team meetings and are not used to continuous improvement processes, etc.

I’m not sure how to get them comfortable and engaged. Icebreakers feel cheesy in meetings that are often just three people. What can I do?

You can read my answer to this letter at New York Magazine today. Head over there to read it.

how can I get my staff to talk in meetings? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I just graduated college in May, and landed a full-time job in my hometown in the perfect field for me, thanks to your help with resumes and cover letters! However, this job has turned out to be very different from what I expected — namely, there is no semblance of work-life balance, and I was hoping you could help me figure out what to do.

Some background: my job is at an agency where our clients are working almost 24/7. I specifically didn’t want to work in that field because I hated that 24/7 work in previous internships — something I mentioned during my interview. But I was assured that working at our agency was much less demanding.

Boy, do I feel like my interviewer (who is now my boss) told me wrong. In my first four months at this job, I have stayed late at least two nights every week, been forced to stay home both days all weekend to wait on client approval for content, been literally woken up by phone calls on holiday weekends to work, and am now (understandably, I hope) scared to make any advance plans because I’m worried I may have to drop everything and work. One time, I waited an hour to reply to a request outside of working hours because I was at a movie, and was given a pretty stern talking-to by my boss.

I’ve asked coworkers about how they manage work-life balance, or avoid situations like being chained to my laptop all weekend. People mostly laugh when I ask about work-life balance, and the best advice I’ve been given is to take my laptop with me everywhere, and use my phone as a hotspot (a service that my company does not pay for).

I’m really struggling with what to do here. I know the logical answer is to talk to my boss, but I’m worried I’ll get the same sort of laughed off reaction that other coworkers have given me. I like my company and the work we do, but I can’t work non-stop like this. While I don’t mind having high expectations set for me or working a little extra since I’m new and still trying to make an impression, this feels excessive. I have no work-life balance, at all. Family members who I consider mentors have told me to look for a different job, but I feel like I have to stick it out for at least a year, and since I love the results of our non-stop work for so long, I would want to stay longer if I could make this work.

I wrote back and asked, “When you say you’ve had to stay late two nights every week, how late is it usually?”

I usually have to stay about an hour past the time I’m supposed to get off.

Huh. Okay, that changes things for me. Based on the letter, I was expecting it to be hours and hours.

Staying an hour late twice a week isn’t a big deal in a lot of fields. Even in fields that don’t have particularly crazy hours, staying an extra hour two nights a week is pretty normal for many professional jobs (to the point that it wouldn’t even be considered working late).

Things get iffier with some of the other details. Getting a stern talking-to because you took an hour to respond to an email over the weekend is not normal or reasonable, assuming that there wasn’t something unusual going on where you should have known to be on high alert.

Getting woken up by work calls on holiday weekends — it could go either way. If someone is calling you at 7 a.m., that better be a serious emergency. But an 11 a.m. call on a holiday weekend in a field where it’s known that work sometimes happens outside of regular work hours — it might not be an outrage, if it was for something that really couldn’t wait. (On the other hand, you should be left alone on weekends if it’s not time-sensitive.)

Staying home both days one weekend to wait for client approval … it’s a thing that happens in some fields. If it’s rare (and it sounds like it’s only happened once), it can just be part of a professional job, even in fields that aren’t constantly hectic.

So this is a tricky question to answer because, unless there are details that didn’t make it into your letter, this doesn’t actually sound like working non-stop. It sounds like a lot of professional jobs that are busy but not insanely so. With the exception of the lecture when you were at a movie, this is the kind of thing that you could encounter in a lot of other jobs, even if you change fields. So that’s one perspective to have on it.

That said, given the movie lecture and the fact that your coworkers laughed when you asked about work-life balance, I’m betting that there are other details that add up to something closer to non-stop. If that’s the case, then yes, I would start looking around at other jobs. You know that you don’t want this kind of schedule, you knew that before you took this job and thought that they’d assured you that you wouldn’t have it here, and it’s making you miserable. You’re allowed to leave!

You said you feel like you have to stick it out for a year, which I assume is because you’re trying to avoid looking like a job hopper. But you’re not going to look like a job hopper if you have one short stay. Job hopping is about a pattern of behavior, not leaving quickly one time. It does mean that it’ll be important that you stay at your next job for a while, but you don’t need to be miserable in this job out of some notion that you’re obligated to stay a year. (Also, for the record, one year is still really short in most fields. A pattern of one-year stays would be a problem, and aiming for a year is not the right goal if you’re trying to avoid that. Read this for more on that. But that doesn’t sound like it will apply here, since this is your first post-college job.)

You asked about talking to your boss, and you could certainly try that, but if this is how your office works — and especially if this is how your field works, which sounds like the case — I’m doubtful that much will come of that. If these are the hours and this is the culture … well, these are the hours and this is the culture, and there’s some risk of looking out of touch.

So I’d start looking around and see if you can find a better fit. Before you make any moves, talk to people who work in whatever field you’re thinking of moving into so that you have a really realistic understanding of the norms around hours. You probably know about the fields with truly crazy hours (law, politics, advocacy, PR, and a bunch of others), but there are a ton more where a few extra hours a week and the occasional weekend isn’t going to register on anyone’s radar (and thus won’t get mentioned when you ask an interviewer about work/life/balance). So you want to really dig into the norms of any field you move toward — not just with your interviewers, but with people working in that industry. Good luck!

I’m a recent grad and feel like I’m working too much was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2fxZFDn
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Can I talk to my boss about how she’s treating my coworker?

A colleague of mine — let’s call her Sarah — just got promoted to the level of supervisor, moving above myself and two other colleagues. This was a bit of a surprise to us all. Sarah hasn’t had any management experience, and she’s clearly trying to feel out her role. We all used to be very good friends when we were at the same level, but now that she’s a supervisor, she’s doing her best to be an appropriate and respectable authority. I’m not new to a change like this, so I’m trying to give her the gravitas she seems to crave at the moment.

However, one of the people still at my level — let’s call her Heather — is really struggling. She is relatively new to our office and for most of her time here, she and Sarah have been good friends, and now the power dynamic has changed. Additionally, Sarah is coming down hard on Heather. I’m not privy to their conversations, but it’s very clear that Heather is just not doing anything right by Sarah, and Sarah is hounding Heather about every finite detail of her work. It’s really creating animosity in the office.

Is there any way to speak to Sarah about this? I value Sarah’s work and her effort — she does a good job, and she deserved to get this position. But by puffing her chest and trying to establish herself as an authority, her subordinates (me included) are losing faith in her actions. Is there a way to speak with Sarah, on the level, and let her know that she needs to find a new approach?

Well … it’s actually possible that there are real problems with Heather’s work, and that Sarah’s oversight and feedback to her is appropriate. That’s something you wouldn’t necessarily know.

But it’s also true that it’s common for new managers to struggle with authority and be either too lenient or too hard on people. Of course, talking about that might not go well with someone who’s already getting hung up on “I’m now the boss and demand respect.”

But if you have pretty good rapport with Sarah, you might be able to frame it not as “hey, you’re being too hard on Heather” (because you don’t actually know that) but as “this is being perceived in a way that’s freaking people out.” For instance: “I’m glad you got this promotion; you deserved it. I want to let you know that I’m getting the sense the team is starting to worry about what’s going on with you and Heather because it seems like you’re coming down really hard on her. I know we don’t know everything that’s going on, but the pieces that we can see are making people worry that you’re being too harsh. I’m not suggesting that you need to change that; for all I know, it could be perfectly warranted and that’s not information I would be privy to. But I wanted you to know how it’s being perceived, in case you didn’t intend that or don’t want that.”

When you say this, your tone shouldn’t be “you need to change this.” You want it to convey “I respect you and this is your call; I’m just giving you information that might be helpful to you.”

2. Were these interview exercises unreasonable?

At what point do exercises or activities given during an interview process become training? During an interview process, I was given three exercises total (in addition to three phone interviews and one in-person interview).

The first two exercises were given with the explanation that this would help me determine my ability to complete the job. So far, all good. During the in-person interview, we reviewed my answers to the exercises and I was given input on how I could have completed them better. This would have been fine, except I then had to incorporate that feedback right then and there so they could review and provide additional feedback. To me, that’s training.

A few days after the in-person interview, they emailed saying there was another exercise they’d want me to complete. This exercise seemed like actual work that needed to be done. I felt like I was being used as free labor. Total, I’d say the three exercises took around three hours to complete — I think I work at a normal pace. (Not to mention that the first two exercises were sent with a timeline that would require me to complete over a long weekend.)

So I ask – at what point are interview exercises really just unpaid work/training in disguise? Would you say the amount of exercises were acceptable? Is this normal hiring practice (for NGO’s or in general)? For the record, I have a similar title to the one I was applying for although in a different department, and have two years of full-time work experience.

Employers are increasingly using exercises to evaluate candidates, and — assuming the exercises are well-thought out and considerate of candidates’ time — that’s a good thing. It’s much easier to hire the right person when you actually see candidates in action (as opposed to just asking them about their work). It’s good for candidates too; it means you’re more likely to stand out for the jobs you’re well-matched with and less likely to end up in one where you struggle.

But there are definitely employers who do it badly. It’s hard to say if yours were reasonable without knowing what the job was, exactly what the exercises were, and if they’re being used solely to evaluate you or for something more than that. In general, if they’re just using the exercises to evaluate your candidacy (as opposed to actually using what you produce), that’s not free work. It could still be an unreasonable request, though, depending on how much time they want you to invest. Three one-hour exercises spread out over four conversations is borderline; it’s approaching too much, but it’s not solidly in “this is an outrage” category. Asking you for another one at this point, though, would be pushing it.

The part about asking you to incorporate their feedback doesn’t worry me. That can make a lot of sense to do because often a candidate will produce, say, a writing exercise that isn’t quite what the employer is looking for — but might be able to nail it with three minutes of feedback. There’s real value in seeing how/whether someone incorporates feedback into their work. That’s not training; that’s still part of assessing you. (I’d answer differently if they gave you two hours of coaching, but it doesn’t sound like that.)

3. Should I have to use vacation time for a religious holiday?

I’m Jewish, but no one else in the company I work for is. This Thursday is the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana, and services are at 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., then traditional luncheon is always hosted by my parents at their home right after.

I approached HR this morning asking if I’m able to take off this Thursday in observance of my Jewish holiday and they said, “It’s not a holiday for the company as a whole, it’s only your holiday. So therefore, you can use a PTO day of yours to take it off.”

Umm… well Christmas is not my holiday but we’re automatically off without taking PTO for that day? So can she really say that to me? Also, is it right that I’m forced to use a PTO day for it?

It’s not a great practice — smart employers don’t make employees take PTO for major religious holidays — but it’s legal and pretty common. If she was saying you couldn’t take the day off at all, you’d be able to formally ask for religious accommodation (and would have the law backing you up unless your employer could show that giving you the day off would cause undue hardship). But they’re letting you take it, just saying you need to use PTO. It’s annoying and they’d do well to rethink the policy, but they can indeed say this.

That said, if that’s the actual wording that HR used, that sounds particularly rude. If this is something you feel strongly about, one option would be to push back on the policy for next year (or for Yom Kippur in a couple of weeks) and in that context mention that the particular response you got was worded in a bizarrely rude way for a company that presumably wants to encourage inclusivity and diversity on its staff.

4. What do I say to networking contacts who I don’t have much connection with?

I was fortunate enough to unintentionally do some informal networking on Twitter, and got referrals for a couple of people to reach out to on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m really qualified to work for/with either of them, based on my having some very non-specific experience that some people seem to assume is more relevant than it is (i.e., you were an English major years ago, you can do copywriting easily!) I hate to let potential connections go to waste, or disregard someone who has been generous enough to try to help me network despite having a very tenuous connection. But I also hate to show up on someone’s doorstep with no real qualifications like I expect a huge favor just because I was referred by someone they know.

The only thing I can think of to do is to InMail them on LinkedIn acknowledging that I don’t think I’m currently qualified to work with them and ask whether they had a minute to share what steps I might take in order to BE qualified. Would that be okay? Is there a better way to make use of the connections without sounding ridiculous or presumptuous?

Is that stuff you genuinely want to know and would be excited to connect about? And is there no other obvious way of getting that information? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then yeah, you can do that. But if the answer to either question is no and you’d just be asking those things because you feel like you should make use of the connection somehow, don’t do that — that will probably show and it will be annoying to the contacts. In that case, I’d spend more time thinking about what exactly you really want from these people (and can realistically expect). It’s okay if it’s just “Jane Warbleworth suggested I contact you because X. I realize that my background isn’t quite what you’re looking for for the roles you hire for, but I’d love to connect on LinkedIn since I’m hoping to do Y in the future.” (Note that’s not asking them for their time; don’t ask for that unless you can clearly explain why you want it.)

Also, sometimes contacts refer you to people who just aren’t going to make sense for you to network with. It’s okay to decide that happened here, if that’s actually the case. (If that’s true, and if the person who referred you is more than a casual Twitter acquaintance, go back and explain that so they’re not wondering why you never acted on their suggestion. That will also give them the opening to say, “No, actually, I was thinking she’d be a great person to do X for you,” and maybe X is something you hadn’t thought about.)

5. Employer wants list of questions answered in cover letter

When recently applying for a job, I came across something I don’t think I’ve encountered before: requirements for the cover letter. In this case, it was a list of seven questions they wanted answered. I’m sure this isn’t uncommon, but I was stumped about the way to go about answering the questions: do I fold each answer into the body of the letter, or do I answer each question point by point in list form? Which would you prefer to see? I ended up working them into the letter and trying to weave them into my spiel, but I’ve been doubting myself ever since. These questions were rather complex, and after answering them, it left little space on the page to write anything else about myself. What do you think?

I think either way is fine. There’s a slight argument for making them really clear numbered points (although still in the body of your letter) so that they can see clearly and immediately that you definitely answered everything, but really, either way should be fine.

can I talk to my boss about how she’s treating my coworker, interview exercises, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Freeze by Bead (T)

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:09 pm
smilebackwards: (john sheppard)
[personal profile] smilebackwards posting in [community profile] stargateficrec
Show: SGA

Rec Category: John/Rodney
Characters: John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan
Pairings: John/Rodney
Categories: Slash, Drama
Warnings: None
Author’s Website: Bead on AO3
Link: Freeze

Why This Must Be Read: Rodney tries to talk to John about feelings and John shoves Pegasus-equivalent steak into his mouth to escape. This is just really nicely written from the emotional repression to the emotional conclusion. Love it.

First paragraph to get you started )
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

I was on public radio’s Marketplace Weekend this weekend, talking about job searching, including:

  • how job searching has changed in recent years
  • computerized resume screening (it’s not what you think!)
  • your parents’ advice to pound the pavement and show gumption
  • if there’s anywhere where walking in to apply in person still works
  • how to answer questions about salary history
  • and more

The segment is 14-1/2 minutes and you can listen here:

my interview on Marketplace about how to job search was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

usnewsEver wonder what hiring managers are thinking as the read over your resume, and how they choose who to interview and who to reject?

Having screened thousands of candidates for jobs, I’m giving you an inside look at that process over at U.S. News & World Report today, where I talk about what most hiring managers are thinking about as they read through your resume and cover letter, and how they decide who to interview. You can read it here.

how hiring managers decide who to interview was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

25 Things to Know About the OTW

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:06 am
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW 10th anniversary history

We've been around a while now, so as part of celebrating our 10th anniversary here are 25 things to know about the OTW! https://goo.gl/FuuMWS

العربيةBahasa IndonesiacatalàČeštinadanskDeutschΕλληνικάEnglishespañolfrançaisitalianomagyarNederlandsnorskpolskiportuguês brasileiroportuguês europeuRomânăРусскийsuomisvenskaWikang Filipino中文
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

This past summer, the section I supervise had some interns working here. All of them were offered jobs here once the internships were over. However one of them has created a situation where she lied to the police, but my boss and HR have still decided to offer her a job.

A staff member really liked the intern’s jacket and would often comment saying so. When the jacket went missing, the intern went to security and the footage from the lobby and parking area showed the staff member taking the jacket to her car when most other people were in a meeting. The intern got the police involved and told them her wallet with all of her ID and credit/debit cards were in her pocket. It was found that dozens of Amazon orders were placed with the intern’s credit card in the name of the staff member, to be shipped to a pick up point near our office. Our office is opened without assigned seating so although IT could say which computer was used to place the orders there is no way of knowing who did the ordering.

The police believe it was the staff member and she has been charged for stealing and using the credit card. She admits to taking the jacket but says she doesn’t know anything about the card. She says the intern placed the orders in her name once she realized the jacket was missing as a form of revenge. The staff member is credible, she has no history of trouble working here, has no criminal record and is a good person who volunteers and is active with her church and her family. He husband has told me that her lawyer advised her to take plea to get less time in jail because a trial would not be good for her.

I am concerned about the intern having lied to the police and her now being offered a full-time job. I am not sure how to frame this when I speak to my boss. I want to discuss it with him because some of my other team members have concerns about this intern also.

I don’t know how your office could possibly sort through this better than the police and prosecutors can. You’re presumably not criminal investigators, and it sounds like there’s no obvious way to tell who placed those orders.

But I’d be very wary of assuming that the person who stole the jacket is telling you the truth about the rest of the incident. You say that she has no criminal record and is a good person who volunteers, but you also know that she stole a jacket from an intern. I think you need to consider that there’s more going on with her than you knew about.

The one fact you know for sure here is that she did indeed steal from a coworker (it’s on videotape and she admits that). Given that, you can’t give her the benefit of the doubt about the pieces of this that aren’t on video.

And note that you’re taking her word as fact. In the opening to your letter, you wrote the intern “lied to the police.” But you really don’t know that. Your only evidence for that is the word of someone who stole from a coworker and now has strong motivation to downplay any other pieces of that crime.

If you have other concerns about the intern, which it sounds like you do, you can absolutely share those with your boss. But you don’t have grounds for alleging that she placed those Amazon orders herself, and it would be wrong of you to assert that as fact. You can certainly pass along to your boss that your other coworker is claiming that’s what happened, but you should be careful to note that you’re only passing on information and that you have no way of judging the veracity of any of this. (And if nothing else, your boss should be aware that you and others in the office are looking at the intern with such suspicion. That has the potential to create a really bad situation, so your boss should know.)

All that said … it would be awfully poor judgment to use your own name when ordering on someone else’s stolen credit card! It’s like robbing a house and leaving a signed note behind. If anything here makes me wonder about the intern’s version of events, it’s this. But lots of people commit incredibly stupid crimes so that in itself isn’t evidence of anything … and again, these are all questions for the police, the prosecutor, and your coworker’s lawyer to work out. Your office can’t solve this.

did my intern frame my coworker for credit card theft? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:45 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we start, a quick note because I've had a handful of issues with this lately -- if you want to bring a cause to my attention the best way to go about it is to fill out the Radio Free Monday form (also linked from the sidebar of my tumblr page). It's not just that I might not see a post tagged to me or that it saves me a ton of time, but also that it makes sure I get the information I need to describe the situation, link the appropriate pages, and name and gender people correctly.

The form doesn't ask many questions, doesn't pull any metadata (literally it doesn't even record the date you entered the information), and is as anonymous as you want it to be -- there are options for complete or partial anonymity for the person submitting the item.

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] prismatic-bell linked to a fundraiser for Congregation Beth Yeshurun and their attached day school, which were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, which hit two Jewish neighborhoods in Houston especially hard. The families are currently attending Temple Brith Israel, and the children from the day school have had to scatter among several schools temporarily. You can read more about the damage here, reblog here, give directly to the rebuilding fund, or purchase toys and learning materials or replacement books for the school directly through Amazon.

[tumblr.com profile] reesa-chan is preparing for surgery and gathering supplies to make recovery go as smoothly as possible, but they're coming up short on a few things and surgery is looming. They have a Amazon Wishlist available here and have their paypal giving page here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] poplitealqueen, who is trying to help her mother get some experimental medical treatment which might allow her mobility without the use of a wheelchair. You can read more and reblog here (including links at the top to Patreon and Ko-fi) or give directly to their Ko-Fi here.

[tumblr.com profile] quinfirefrorefiddle linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] niines9s, who is trying to escape an abusive home and needs funding for housing after graduation. They are offering commissions and also taking donations; you can read more, reblog, and find paypal information at their post.

Anon linked to news about a Christian group, Faithfully LGBT, who are fundraising to aid transgender people with gender-confirming surgeries as a way of atoning for religious discrimination against transgender people. You can read and reblog the story here or give directly to the Tithe Campaign here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to a post called Saving Your Grades From A Mental Health Crisis, which is about what to do if you're in college and dealing with mental illness.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
mific: (Carter-ZPM)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] stargateficrec
Show: SG1
Rec Category: 5 Things
Characters: Danielle Jackson, Jack O'Neill, Sam Carter, Cameron Mitchell, Teal'c, Janet Fraiser.
Categories: Gen
Warnings: Major character death
Author on DW/LJ: [personal profile] ivorygates 
Author's Website: See the AO3
Link: Five Ways Danielle Jackson Met The Others If There Was No Stargate Program on AO3
Why This Must Be Read: This is written in an AU verse [personal profile] ivorygates called the "Dani-verse" in which Danielle Jackson's always been a woman. It's five interesting and different takes on how things might have gone with no Stargate Program - to some degree 5 AUs within the overarching Daniverse AU. Yes, a couple of them are somewhat grim, but they're all really beautifully written, as Dani meets in turn, Sam, Jack, Cam, Teal'c and Janet. I enjoyed them a lot, Dani's nicely sarcastic and snarky, and as [personal profile] ivorygates says, Dani and Janet together are love. 

snippet of fic )
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Coworkers and weight talk

I left a relationship that for all intents and purposes was emotionally abusive about a year ago. Word got out around the office that I had left my ex but only a trusted co-worker knew how had bad it had been and from what I can tell, she mostly kept it to herself.

Unexpectedly, I dropped at least 20 pounds after leaving. The effects of the abuse had shown up as binge eating and weight gain over the years. Now, in a matter of months, I was back down to my college weight. This was great, except that people at work began to comment on my weight. They asked if I was on a special diet, if I was skipping meals, if I had a special exercise regiment and even if I was sick. I never bring up the weight loss because I don’t want to talk about it. My feelings are complicated on a daily basis.

I’ve made up some lackluster excuses, mostly because I’m rarely prepared for the question and also because it’s been a surprise for myself. But every time someone asks, it brings up the past and I have to deal with it again during the work day. I don’t want to say, “I left an abusive relationship” but I’m also unsure of what will happen next with my weight or how much I should lie. I also don’t want to continue having to cover up parts of my life, something every person in an emotionally abusive relationship does regularly.

How should I respond to comments about my weight? Especially because it’s not caused by a special diet or workout regiment that I could talk about.

Aghh, people and intrusive questions about bodies. It’s so weird that this is considered socially acceptable.

I think you can be vague while still be honest. For example: “I’ve been in a healthier place lately and I guess I’m eating healthier too.” Or “I’ve just been feeling great and I’ve been naturally eating healthier.” Or even vaguer: “It’s complicated, but I’m happy to feel healthier.” Or “yeah, I’ve lost some weight, but it’s nothing to worry about.”

The main thing to know is that you don’t owe anyone information. If you want, it’s fine to say, “I made a few dietary changes but weight is so boring. Let’s talk about anything other than diet.”

2. My boss rescinded my day off

A few weeks ago, I put in a request for a day off and had it approved. Unfortunately, some personal issues led me to calling out for a week and a half. This included one no-call no-show (I was so busy I forgot to call in). When I returned, I was spoken to about the no-call, no-show and about notifying my boss too late that I wouldn’t be there. (I called him an hour before I was scheduled to be in.) There were also some performance issues, where I had been so distracted I had made some very minor mistakes.

Today, my boss told me that he would have to rescind my day off request, as my absences created a backlog of tasks and he needed me to work on them. I later heard that he gave my day off to a coworker of mine. When I confronted my boss about it, he said that my coworker came in early and stayed late during the time I was out to help out with my workload, and that she had also requested the day off.

I’m very angry, because now I’ll have to miss my boyfriend’s birthday party. Is there anything I can do?

No-calling, no-showing is a big deal. Some people get fired for doing that, so this isn’t a time where I’d push back or be angry that there are (relatively minor) consequences. This is a time where you want to be humble and accommodating.

It’s not unreasonable that your boss would tell you that because you being out unexpectedly for a week and a half resulted in a backlog, he now needs you to work the day you had planned to take off, or that he’d want to prioritize the coworker who worked extra hours to cover for you during that time.

Think of it this way: You missed seven of eight days work that you had planned to work. Now your boss is telling you that you’ll have to miss one day off that you’d planned not to work. It’s not an unfair trade.

3. What are traditional office working hours?

I’m on the west coast and have worked in two different states. The traditional hours for office jobs in these areas seems to be 8-5 with a one-hour break for lunch, so people are spending nine hours at work (including lunch) and getting paid for eight hours, or 40 hours per week. Obviously there are differences for people who have arranged to work a slightly earlier or later shift, but it still amounts to them spending nine hours at the office and getting paid for eight hours.

However, when I hear people on the east coast talk about their shifts, not just on your site but on other blogs and such, they refer to their office work hours as 9-5, which must mean they are getting paid for their lunch hour. Is that really the case? Are there regional differences in how many hours people actually work, while still getting paid for the same 40 hours per week? I’m genuinely curious about this, because that would add up to quite a large difference over the course of a year.

I don’t have any friends or relatives on the east coast that I can ask about this.

Nah, I don’t think this is an east coast/west coast thing. It just varies by field and by job. Lots of jobs on both coasts are 8-5, 9-6, or some other variation … but there are still 9-5 jobs too.

Also, lots of people don’t take a full hour for lunch (half an hour is really common for people with legally-mandated lunch breaks, and it’s all over the map for exempt people). But it’s not uncommon for a “40-hour week” to really mean “37.5 hours of work plus five half-hour lunches.”

Plus, keep in mind that for salaried exempt people, it’s not really “getting paid for a lunch break” or “not getting paid for lunch” — they’re getting paid for the job, regardless of breaks. Some days it might be eight hours but because they’re exempt other days it might be longer or shorter than that.

But the biggest thing here to realize might be that “a 9-5 job” has become shorthand for “a professional office job with typical Monday through Friday daytime hours.” It doesn’t always refer to the actual hours people are working.

4. Following up on an interview, post-hurricane

I know you are desperately tired of “WHEN I SHOULD FOLLOW UP AFTER MAH INTERVIEW” questions, but I didn’t find my current variation: how long should you wait to follow up after an interview when there’s a hurricane?I had an in-person interview on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and I was told I’d hear back by Friday, Sept. 8 (however, I tacked on 1-2 weeks because #TheProcess). However, I live in Orlando and Irma swept through the local news starting Monday, Sept. 4. Many businesses closed Thursday-Monday (Sept. 7-11), and people are now only able to begin returning to work (Sept. 12-13).

I don’t expect to hear anything re: an update this week (note from Alison: This was written last week) because I know the company is scrambling to assess damages, potentially start repairs, catch up on work, etc I also am wary of checking in too soon post-Irma for fear of coming across as insensitive (I didn’t lose power during the storm, but so many people are still without). How long should I wait to follow up after an interview when the post-interview period involves a natural disaster?

I’d say next week at the earliest.

If they’re ready to turn back to hiring and they’re interested in you, they’re not going to forget about you. But if they’re nowhere near thinking about hiring again, you risk coming across as out-of-touch if you check in too early.

But next week you could send an email that says that you’re hoping they weathered the storm okay and that you assume the storm has changed their initial hiring timeline but that you’d be glad to talk with them at whatever point they’re moving forward.

5. Reaching out after declining an offer

Last year, I received an amazing offer for a new job — great company culture, significant salary increase, in a cool new city with new responsibilities, exposure to a new industry, etc. The same day, I received word that my aunt had passed away unexpectedly at age 54 — just two years older than my mom. I dropped everything to spend the next few weeks at home, helping my mom adjust to a life without her sister. The company was very gracious, and gave me all the time I needed to make my decisions. In the end, I declined their offer, not ready to take on all that change in my career after such a big transition in my personal life.

It’s now about nine months later and I think about that missed opportunity all the time. I’ve been job searching locally, but nothing has impressed me nearly as much as the company from last year. The job posting is still open online (it’s a very large company, so there were multiple spots to fill in the department). Would it be worth reaching out to re-connect? How would I do that in a way that sounds sincere? I did explain the situation to my contacts when I declined, but I worry that I may have been too vague in an attempt to not be overly emotional, and will sound naive when I circle back around now. What do you think?

Contact them! If the job posting is still up, it’s very possible that they’d be delighted to be able to hire you now. You didn’t ghost them; you told them it wasn’t the right time, and it makes sense that now it could be.

Say something like this: “You offered me a job I was really excited about last year, but I ultimately needed to decline because there had just been a death in my family and I didn’t think it was the time to make a career transition. I’m now beginning to think about making a move again and I see that the position is still posted. I’d love to talk with you about it again if you still think I might be the right match for it.”

coworkers and weight talk, my boss rescinded my day off, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

chuckro: (Default)
[personal profile] chuckro
Star Wars! / yah-dah-dah Star Wars! / yah-dah-dah Star Wars! / Yah-da-da-DAH

Read more... )

Overall: This follows the same formula as the other Lego games. We beat it in about 10 hours and didn’t feel much need to go back and find all the secrets; we just don’t have that kind of time at this point in our lives. Perhaps in a few more years, ARR will be able to join us for these games.
newredshoes: it's good to feel things you want (<3 | lust lust lust)
[personal profile] newredshoes
A rough decision: This afternoon, I saw an apartment in my dream location. It's literally exactly where I would want an apartment to be, right down to equidistance to my favorite things in the neighborhood. It's within my budget, it's pretty light-filled, it's in the back of the building (a brownstone!), so it should be quiet. I feel like I should be ecstatic.

But the more apartments I see (so many of them utter, utter stinkers!), the more I realize 1) how important having a non-miniscule kitchen is to me, and 2) how little I want to live in the exact same apartment I've lived in since college. This is a steep fourth-floor walkup with no particular amenities, a sloping (and unpretty) floor, bad caulking and a bizarre kitchen (there's a ledge acting as an island that divides it from the living-room area). Plus, no pets. I just have Betta Barnes right now, but I'm really sad any time I think of not having the opportunity to get a dog without moving.

I pretty much have a week to find a place I really like if (and this is still an "if") I plan on going to North Carolina to dogsit Gus while Dad and J are in Thailand. I have to give my management company 30 days' notice that I'm leaving, and honestly, my broker explained today that the most danger I'm in (if that ) is losing my security deposit (which obviously I don't want to lose, but it's also kind of ceased being real money in my head, since it's been out of my hands for three years???).

So, this is my big stress right now. Presumably any place I could sign on for would ask for an Oct. 1 move-in date, which will mean 1) paying rent on two places at once, but 2) the opportunity for a staggered, gradual move. I'm trying to focus on this for the moment, because more immediately, some condensation from a glass of iced tea dripped into my trackpad on Friday, and my laptop has been almost unusably haunted since. (Please let it go away, I don't want to have to buy a new computer too, especially since I don't like any of the new Macs and I'm locked into the dumb system.)

Okay, going to hit post. Hi, friends. I would love to be someplace new already!!!!
goss: (Rainbow - Paint)
[personal profile] goss
Last night, I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2! Poor Baby Groot, I decided to give him a friend. *g*

Title: Flora Friends
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: PG (partial nudity)
Fandom: DCU, Guardians of the Galaxy
Characters/Pairings: Poison Ivy, Baby Groot
Content Notes: Created for the [community profile] drawesome Challenge #8: Non-Dominant Hand. I used my left hand to draw with pencil and paint with watercolour. I have never tried to use a paintbrush with my non-dominant hand, so I'm really happy with the way it came out. It did take me twice as long (if not more!) than it usually would though, plus my wrist kept cramping from the unaccustomed movement. Also, my name is signed backwards, because for some reason it's easier for my left hand to write stuff mirror-imaged. :b


Click here for entire artwork )
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW 10th Anniversary Chat

What were some of your early experiences like when your work gained its own fans?

I think my favorite experience is seeing the fan art, and seeing fanfic from my books show up in Yuletide. That’s hugely exciting to see fanfic and fan art of your work, especially to someone who was a fan from way back in the print zine era.

The first time something I’d created showed up as a fandom option for Yuletide, I literally cried. Happy tears! But it was like, HOLY WHAT NO HOW OMG VIXY LOOK AT THIS DO YOU SEE THIS. It’s amazing. It’s still amazing. I can’t read any of the fanfic of my own work, but knowing it exists makes me so happy.

Did you miss our chat with Seanan McGuire & Martha Wells? If so check out the transcript of their talk https://goo.gl/Q3Wu6P

Grandia 2 (PS2)

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:09 pm
chuckro: (Default)
[personal profile] chuckro
A mercenary (“geohound”) named Ryudo is hired to accompany Elena, a songstress of Granas, in sealing the remains of the evil god Valmar. Unfortunately, the sealing does not go according to plan, and they both end up on a quest to find the other pieces of Valmar before he revives are destroys the world.

Read more... )

Overall: There's plenty here. The systems are complex but understandable, the plot is decent and the dialogue is nicely done. The PS1-era graphic system drove me nuts. On the whole, I don't think it's much that I couldn't get from a KEMCO game--and the latter is portable and costs a buck. I apparently should have played this ten years ago rather than letting it sit on my shelf. Despite some decent concepts, it hasn't aged well.


ivyfic: (Default)

August 2017

67891011 12


Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 06:40 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios