why do so many adults want to leave anonymous notes for their coworkers?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from a decade of writing Ask a Manager, it’s that people really, really don’t want to have awkward conversations. But what still takes me by surprise is how often people want to anonymous notes as a substitute for face-to-face conversation.

Fans of the anonymous note clearly think they’ve found a loophole that will let them deliver a message without having to attach their names to it, neatly bypassing the problem of having to deal with any resulting awkwardness. In reality, they’re just passing all the awkwardness over to the recipient of their anonymous missive, who now has to wonder how much weight to give the note and whether it’s serious or a joke, and who now must suspect each of their coworkers of being the note-leaver.

I wrote about this impulse toward anonymous notes for Slate today — and why you shouldn’t do it! You can read it here.

my employee gets stressed and frustrated and snaps at me

A reader writes:

I work at a small company; we have around 35 employees, and the office is very laid back. We don’t have HR; we have great hands-on leaders who are accessible, and there are no real structures around management.

One of the people I manage is recently graduated; this is his first full-time office role and he struggles quite a bit with anxiety. When I assign him projects, he is immediately overwhelmed and panicked. No amount or type of support mitigates this, but the next day he comes in feeling much better. We then reflect on how easy it is to feel anxious when doing new things but that sometimes we just need to work through it, and how awesome is it that he was able to do X, Y, Z and get so far from where he was the day before.

I’m fine with all of this and helping him work through it to the amount I can, but when his anxiety is spiking, it is so evident that I have had other coworkers email me and ask what’s happening and if my team needs support (we don’t!). I then have felt obliged to respond and explain that we’re fine, that he just tends to get a bit anxious with new projects, and that I’m working with him on it. It feels so strange to have to say this, but everyone likes my new employee a lot, I’m the only one who assigns him projects so no one else sees this cycle/works closely with him, and I don’t want to come across like I’m doing a bad job managing/mentoring our newest hire (which I realize is my own fear about how I’m perceived, as I’m also new to the company).

The part that I’m finding frustrating is that when I give my employee feedback about his work, he often responds with very irritated sounding sighs and an exasperated tone of voice, and he often argues with me about what I’m saying. I have historically just ignored this and responded calmly. After an initial bad response, he then goes and does what he needs to. Aside from these things, he is very smart and capable, and I enjoy working with him immensely (we work fairly closely together day to day). I sat down with him the other day and calmly raised for the first time how he had responded in a specific scenario a few days prior (sighing, sounding exasperated), that it’s not a great dynamic, and asked his thoughts for how we could work together more effectively. He took the feedback well and was open about sometimes feeling overwhelmed. The problem is that this behavior continues.

When he reacts this way in our small, open office environment, what should I say in the moment? Anything harsh or strict would be out of character in our office and would get me in trouble. I almost asked him to take a deep breath this morning (I have small children) but that’s obviously not appropriate. And it’s incredibly irritating to make time to answer his questions and then have him respond in such an insulting way.

You’re trying to be very kind and accommodating here, but I don’t think you’re doing him any favors in the long run.

It’s very likely that his next boss isn’t going to be so accommodating, and if he goes into his next job expecting to be able to lean on his boss for this type of support — let alone thinking that he can snap at and argue with her — it’s not likely to go well for him. By allowing him to respond to you that way, you’re training him to think it’s okay, his pattern is getting more ingrained, and it’ll be harder for him to break if in the future. It’s in his best long-term interest to put limits on the amount of support you’re giving him, and you should not be doing the amount of emotional hand-holding that it sounds like you’re doing.

It’s good that you’re starting to address these issues with him, but telling him “it’s not a great dynamic” is a pretty soft message, and one that allows a lot of space for him to think it’s not the huge problem that it actually is. Instead, I’d have this conversation with him: “We talked the other day about you sounding irritated or arguing when I give you feedback. It’s continuing to happen, and so I want to be clearer with you that this is a serious problem that cannot continue. It’s disruptive to our workflow and makes it hard to give you the feedback I need to give you for both of us to do our jobs. It sounded like you were on board with that when we talked, but since it’s been continuing, what’s going on?”

If he tells you he gets overwhelmed or so forth, then say this: “I understand that it can be tough to hear feedback or take on new work you’ve never done before. But I do need you to find a way to respond professionally, and this is going to be something you’ll need to do in every job you have in the future too. You’re smart and capable, and want to see you succeed in your career, and this has the potential to really hold you back if you don’t get it under control.”

Then, if it happens again, you can say something right in the moment:

* If he sounds panicky about a new assignment: “Take some time to think about how you’ll approach this and what questions you have for me, and then we’ll meet again later this afternoon once you’ve had a chance to digest it.”

* If he sounds frustrated or irritated: “You sound frustrated right now. What’s going on?” … followed by, if necessary, “This is an example of what we were discussing about taking feedback. Do you want to take a few minutes to yourself and then come back and resume our conversation?”

* If he pushes back or argues with you: “This is the decision I’ve made, so let’s talk about how to implement it.”

* If he keeps arguing: “This is an example of what we discussed. Do you want to take a few minutes to yourself and then come back and resume our meeting?”

And really, if it continues much more after that, then you have a pretty serious problem on your hands and I’d be reconsidering whether it makes sense to keep him on your team. It’s not a good use of your time and energy to have to do this much work to manage someone else’s emotions, especially someone entry-level, where it’s especially key that the person be open and willing to learn and reasonably easy and pleasant to work with.

I’ve found your new personal shopper

It’s my dream to have someone else handle my clothes shopping for me – and thredUP’s Goody Boxes are now fulfilling that dream, at a super low price.

thredUP Goody Boxes are a try-before-you-buy service that acts like a personal shopper for you – sending you a box full of a huge amount of clothes they think you’ll like, tailored to your style.

As you might know, thredUP is the largest online consignment and thrift store that buys and sells high-quality clothing for women and kids. You can shop on-trend, like-new fashion from top name brands and designers for up to 90% off estimated retail.
(That is a huge discount, and you could assemble a whole new wardrobe for pennies on the dollar if you wanted to.) They have a huge selection, with brands like Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, DKNY, Cole Haan, Theory, Eileen Fisher, and more.

Goody Boxes are their latest feature, and here’s how it works: You fill out a style quiz and pay a $10 deposit (down from $20 for a limited time) to receive a personalized box of 15 secondhand items from brands you love at ridiculously low prices. It’s all your sizes and curated based on what you like. You only pay for what you keep (with the deposit going towards anything you keep) and you return what you don’t like (using a free return label so you don’t pay shipping). They have completely custom boxes or you can choose a themed box. (And they have a “9 to 5 Styles” box filled with business casual items that could be great for work).

I wasn’t sure how well they’d do at picking out clothes I liked, especially since I’m pathologically picky, but they did surprisingly well! I’m returning a few items that weren’t quite for me, but I’m keeping a ton of it, including what you see pictured, like a black and white Alice + Olivia skirt, a super cute yellow Leifsdottir skirt, and a bunch of tops. Everything that I’m keeping that’s pictured here would retail for a total of $853 … and I’m paying $148.94, or 17% of the original retail prices, all without having to shop for myself.

I was skeptical about that Sea New York shirt since I am not normally a stripes fan, but I dutifully tried it on and discovered I liked it. Which of course is an advantage of this kind of service – you end up discovering and liking stuff you wouldn’t have known to order for yourself.

Also, you get a ton of things in your box. Unpacking it was really fun – 15 items is a lot, so you keep thinking you’re at the bottom of your box and then find more and more items tucked away in there.

Want to try a thredUP’s Goody Box of your own? Click here to order yours now, and for a limited time, pay only a $10 deposit (down from $20)!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by thredUP. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

problem employee or youthful hijinks, music in a shared hotel room, and more

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

1. Is this new hire a problem employee, or is it just youthful hijinks?

This isn’t the most important question, but it’s turned into the Yanny/Laurel of a networking group. We love your site and we’d be honored to hear your thoughts!

We’re divided in opinion over the recent behavior of a new hire at one of our workplaces, a small company in a technical niche industry. New Guy is just out of school with no previous experience in the field and this is his first industry job. New Guy appears to be bright based on his degree, and he expresses eagerness to move up from entry level very quickly.

New Guy is in his training period. Last week, he approached a coworker (a member of the networking group) about training with them. Coworker assumed New Guy had been directed to do this as part of his training rotation. It turns out that New Guy did this on his own initiative and didn’t clear it with his coordinator, who had other plans for him. New Guy was sent back to his original assignment once this was discovered. Coworker was embarrassed but learned a lesson about verifying assignments before proceeding.

Here are the positions: Some feel that New Guy showed hustle and moxie and find this be a hilarious no harm no foul episode. Others feel New Guy abused the trust of Coworker to get out of an assignment that apparently wasn’t to his liking.

Descriptions of New Guy has some spidey senses tingling. He has very limited knowledge of the field, as expected of an entry level person (we all start somewhere!), but appears to believe that which he doesn’t understand is easy to accomplish. He’s disparaged employees who have trained him to Coworker. And his attempt to reassign himself demonstrates less than straightforwardness in his dealings with others as his response to misleading Coworker was reportedly along the lines of caveat emptor.

Company reputation in this field depends on the honesty and transparency of employees in the way work is performed. Reputation plays a large role in how contracts are awarded. The perception of not being above board can lead to lost opportunities, and legal liability for actual dishonest conduct.

So far New Guy’s direct manager is unaware of this incident. Team New Guy feels this should be treated as youthful hijinks and not mentioned unless something else happens. Team Play It Safer thinks it’s a case where discreetly alerting someone better positioned to observe/monitor New Guy’s workplace interactions is warranted. What do you think?

If it were just the attempting to reassign himself, I’d say that was quite naive and showed he doesn’t understand how work usually works yet — but that he was corrected and hopefully understands going forward, and that this is within the general scope of “stupid stuff people do when they’re brand new to working” but not highly alarming (just embarrassing). But combined with the other details you shared about him, it does paint an overall picture of someone who not only doesn’t get it (which is fine and understandable at entry level) but is also a bit of a jerk (not fine, and not at any level but it’s especially ridiculous at entry level).

Either way, though, his manager needs to be told what happened — not in a “we’re going to get New Guy in trouble” way, but in a “his manager needs to be aware of this in order to properly manage him” way. I’d be pretty annoyed if I were his manager and no one told me this happened.

2. Sleeping hours and quiet when sharing a hotel room

I’m in an industry where hotel room sharing is the norm. I’m writing to ask, what are best practices around behavior when sharing hotel rooms with a coworker? Some things seem obvious (change clothes in the restroom, don’t use their belongings). I’m interested in norms around noise and sleeping hours. Some people prefer sleeping with the TV on or listening to music in the morning. I prefer quiet and actually can’t sleep with either of those things happening.

I recently shared a room with a coworker (who is in general a great roommate and great person) who gets up to start getting ready at least an hour before I’m awake and plays music. He plays it at a respectful volume, but it’s a small hotel room and I still can’t sleep. He’s shared before that he really enjoys/needs sound throughout the day and (although I feel like this could be accomplished through headphones) I want him to get what he needs. The first question is: how do I handle this in the short term? The second question is: would it just be better for us not to room together in the future? Our team travels for work four to six times a year and I’m sure that there are others whose sleep schedule/noise preferences are more compatible with ours. If that’s the case, should I talk to him, our office manager (who books rooms), or our manager, or some combination of those folks?

I’m not sure there’s any such thing as playing music “at a respectful volume” when someone else is still asleep in your shared hotel room. And yes, he could wear headphones if he needs music at all times, even when you’re sleeping. It’s kind of you to want him to get what he needs, but when you share a room with someone, a need for sleep trumps a desire to enjoy music. That’s especially true when the other person is a coworker and you’re on a business trip, since there’s such a high need there to respect boundaries and personal space.

Tell him that you appreciate him trying to keep the volume down but it wakes you up anyway, and ask that he use headphones until you’re awake. Ask if that’ll work for him or whether it would be better to find different roommates. If he doesn’t agree to it, then, yes, talk to the person who books rooms and say you have incompatible schedules and would like to switch in the future.

3. Getting gender right when we’ve never met in person

My conundrum has to do with gender. I remotely connect with people all over the world for online events. We are given the connection through any number of means, from a coworker to LinkedIn to website chat. Sometimes we don’t know the gender of the person, even after speaking and emailing back and forth. This causes problems with pronouns and properly addressing someone. Think taking notes on conference calls that are sent out to all attendees: “Carol asked Cory when the proposal would be sent. Cory stated tomorrow. Carol thanked Cory, then asked him/her when he/she would need a response. Also, think in terms of conference call introductions: “Carol has been with Teapots Unlimited for 15 years. He has been Cory’s counterpart for five years.”

What is the best way to clarify this? Is there a polite way to ask if Carol is a Mr. or a Ms.? Since we aren’t perfect and won’t always get it correct, how do we handle it when we are wrong and use the wrong pronoun when directly addressing or referring to someone?

Do you have people register for these events in any way? If so, can you include a field for pronoun preference? There’s a move toward explicitly asking people what pronouns they use, and while it’s not widespread yet, it’s increasing and it would solve your problem. It’s true that there are still lots of places/fields where that would be considered an unusual thing to do, and where organizations would worry that it would read as an explicit stance on social justice issues that they don’t want to take an explicit stance on. But in a context like yours, it makes such good sense that it would be silly not to do it.

In any case, if you do get it wrong, a quick “Sorry about that, thanks for the correction” is all you need, although you could add “one of the drawbacks of doing everything online!” if it makes things feel more comfortable.

But also, those notes you described are really, really detailed! Consider moving just to the upshot — so in your example, you’d just note, “Cory said the proposal would be sent tomorrow and needs a response by Wednesday” and get rid of all the back and forth. Notes aren’t meant to be minute-by-minute accounts; they just need the upshot, and that will cut way down on your need for pronouns too.

4. Can I use a possible promotion to get a higher salary offer from a new job?

I’ve been working for an online retailer for over a year. After becoming burned out, I began looking for work at other retailers. I was recently offered a job at a different company making about a dollar more than I make now. But here’s the problem: I may be up for a promotion at my current company. This promotion would pay much more than the other company is offering me. Unfortunately, nothing is concrete because I’m competing with a lot of very talented people. Also, I’ve been passed over for promotions many times in the past year. Is it unprofessional to call the other company and let them know how much my promotion would be paying? Would this information convince then to offer me a higher salary? I’m excited to work for this new company, so I’d hate to turn it down just because I may or may not be offered more money at my current job.

Nope, don’t do that! The promotion sounds like it’s far from being a sure thing, so it’s not going to be compelling to the other employer. (It’s sort of like saying “I applied for a job that pays more” — they won’t really care unless you actually get offered it.)

If your current company had already offered you the promotion, you could use that as part of salary negotiations with the new company, framing it as, “I’d love to accept. My current job just offered me a raise to $X — would you be able to meet that?” But you can’t use a promotion that’s just a maybe at this point.

5. Can we charge a new hire who flaked for the cost of her training?

We hired an employee who was being trained by the person who was leaving. We trained her for a week, then she didn’t show up and had excuse after excuse for a week while we held her job. We now have no employee or anyone to train the new one. She showed up and wanted her check immediately. Is there anyway we can charge her for her free training and wasting our time along with the person’s salary we paid to train her?

Nope, you cannot. That would be illegal. You’re required by law to pay her for the time she spent working for you, even though it was just training time. It’s incredibly annoying when something like this happens, but you’re better off seeing the occasional flakey new hire as just part of the cost of doing business.

weekend free-for-all – June 23-24, 2018

We got a tiny cat-sized sofa!

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school.)

Book recommendation of the week: Tell the Machine Goodnight, by Katie Williams. It plays out around a piece of new technology that tests your DNA and tells you the three things you need to do to be happier (from “take the night bus” to “eat more fruit” to “smile at your wife”), and that concept alone would be enough to keep me interested, but the story itself is about the humans.

I want my coworkers to stop venting to me

A reader writes:

I work at a large university. Professors here wield a lot of influence in academic and administrative decisions. Although I don’t always agree, I accept this is the way things get approved and done. I have two coworkers who must get permission for much of their work from professors. I hear about this frustration because they will come to my office to tell me what their latest roadblock or hold-up is. I am sympathetic and truly wish that processes were easier for all of us.

However, I am seeing a pattern where their venting to me is becoming more frequent, and despite my response that I have no authority to help them out (I am a middle manager), they are asking if I can somehow streamline the approvals process for their work. There is no way my modest position can overrule tenured academics. I am also uncomfortable that these venting sessions are getting kind of emotional (on their end) and I worry about their mental health and well being. How can I support them but at the same time look after my own priorities and my own work?

I answer this question — and four others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

  • I’m in training with a much slower coworker
  • Should I ask for a lower salary?
  • I’m a bookkeeper for a company that doesn’t pay its bills on time
  • When’s the right time to start bringing in personal belongings to a new job?

open thread – June 22-23, 2018

It’s the Friday open thread! The comment section on this post is open for discussion with other readers on anything work-related that you want to talk about. If you want an answer from me, emailing me is still your best bet*, but this is a chance to talk to other readers.

* If you submitted a question to me recently, please don’t repost it here, as it may be in the to-be-answered queue.

our remote staff want the same perks we have at the office, crappy LinkedIn tips, and more

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

1. Our remote staff want the same perks we give in-office staff

I work for a company that has both in-office employees and work-from-home employees. When we plan events in the office such as chair massages and catered lunches, we offer work-from-home employees the opportunity to work in the office and participate in whatever event we are having, though they rarely come in for them.

More often then not, I get a lot of emails from work-from-home staff complaining that we do lots of events for the office staff but we don’t have events that work-from-home staff can do remotely.

I feel that is part of working remotely. I personally can’t come into the office in a tank and knickers, yet they can answer calls in whatever they want to wear at home. That is part of working in the office. They are given the opportunity to come in and work in the office if they want to participate.

When asked, they suggest the company just offer them gift cards to restaurants when we cater lunch and gift cards to massage locations. Do I need to cater to them if they don’t come into the office?


As you point out, they get many benefits from working from home that in-office staff don’t get — but yes, sometimes there might be something going on at the office that they’ll miss out on if they don’t choose to come in for it. This is part of the deal with working from home versus in the office.

I’d say, “It’s true that we sometimes do events at the office, and if you’d like to participate in them, you’re welcome to work from the office during those days. But working from home full-time is a significant benefit that offers a lot of perks that our in-office staff don’t have access to, and our goal isn’t to try to make each set-up perfectly mirror the other.” I’d be tempted to add, “Should we talk about whether you’d prefer to work from the office rather than remotely?” but that would be snarky, so I would repress the urge.

2. Are these LinkedIn tips crap?

I’m an intern at a pretty prestigious laboratory this summer, and today we had a seminar titled “Winning at LinkedIn” where the presenter gave us tips on how to curate our personal brand and become a thought leader in our professions. That’s the exact wording he used. However, I’m not sure how much of his advice relates to what hiring managers actually look for — he highly recommended we use the endorsements feature, which I know you’ve spoken out against in the past. He also told us to post two blog posts each month, share an update on our or our colleagues’ careers each week, and to possibly post a video to make ourselves stand out. He said that all of this was necessary to differentiate ourselves from the other thousands of people in our professions. What do you think about all of this? It feels like a little too much to me, but I’m also just an intern.

Ignore everything he told you, because sadly this advice is so awful that it means none of what he told you can be trusted. Endorsements carry zero weight with hiring managers (you can endorse anyone for anything, whether you’ve ever worked with them or not; it’s a ridiculous feature), very few hiring managers will bother watching videos or reading a bunch of updates on your or your colleagues’ (?!) careers (and even if they did, that’s not what’s going to make you a strong candidate), and blogs rarely make compelling reading when you’re just doing them to be attractive to employers. Your presenter seems to have a profound misunderstanding of what makes a strong candidate.

You stand out by being a highly qualified candidate with a track record of accomplishment and writing a strong cover letter that doesn’t simply regurgitate your resume. No gimmicks involved.

3. Should we tell a client their employee has applied for a job with us?

An employee of a client has inquired about a position that is open with us and has interviewed for it, but cannot commit until they resign from their current job. But they have requested that the current employer not be informed about their search and possible move for fear of being terminated immediately before they decide to move or stay or just retire.

Should we inform the client anyway? We want to preserve the privacy of this employee however, as a vendor of this client, do we owe a fiduciary obligation to break a privacy rule with this employee who might lose their job before they make a final decision?

No, you do not have a fiduciary obligation to violate this candidate’s privacy and inform your client, possibly putting the person’s job at risk. And under no circumstances should you put someone’s job at risk that way — that would be an unforgivable breach of trust.

If you decide that you don’t want to risk upsetting the client if they feel you hired away their employee, that’s your prerogative, but in that case, you should let the candidate know that you can’t proceed with them without their employer’s okay — and leave it up to them to decide if that’s something they want to pursue or not.

4. Can I ask interviewers if they value loyalty over competence?

I’m job searching right now, partially because my current employer seems to value loyalty to the point where people who are terribly incompetent in their positions are kept on and encouraged due to their (perceived) loyalty to the company, and I am Over It.

My thought is to ask the following: “As a manager, which do you value more: loyalty, or competence?” However, that doesn’t seem to quite get at the heart of what I want to know. Any thoughts on how to word this?

I wouldn’t ask that, because I don’t think you’re likely to get a truly honest answer — not because interviewers want to lie to you, but because people are really bad at self-assessing this kind of thing. Also, few managers are likely to come out and tell you they value loyalty over competence; you’re more likely to hear that both are important or some other kind of pablum that won’t help you avoid what you want to avoid.

Instead, the way to learn about this thing is do due diligence that I talk about here — especially, if possible, talking to people in your network or in your network’s network who know the inside scoop on the company and manager. That’s much more likely to get you the lowdown.

can I go barefoot at work?

A reader writes:

I work in a legal office. I am the assistant but I sit in an open area outside my boss’s office. I wear business casual clothing and shoes. However, my feet get uncomfortable in the shoes. I often take my shoes off and go barefoot. They’re under the desk for the most part, but occasionally people will have to look at my computer. Is it improper to take your shoes off in the office? I’d like to walk from my desk to the copier with no shoes on.

I sympathize because I prefer to live my entire life barefoot.

But in most offices — not all, but the majority — walking around barefoot will come across as way too casual and unprofessional. Also, a lot of people find it gross. (I went looking for data on this and came across a reference to a 2012 survey that found that more than 40% of people feel offended when colleagues take off their shoes at work.)

But under your desk? If no one can see your feet under there, go for it. If someone comes over to look at your computer, though, it’s more polite to slip your shoes back on.

Basically, if anyone is likely to see you at work, stay fully clothed and shod.

updates: the soda policer, the person who slept through a day of work, and more

Here are three updates from people who had their letters answered here in the past.

1. My coworker keeps nagging me about drinking diet soda (#2 at the link)

First of all, a huge thanks to you and the commenters for the support and confirmation that I wasn’t thinking that my coworker was overstepping his bounds with the comments about my diet soda habit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of politics in play in my office and I couldn’t be as direct with my responses as what was listed, but I was able to adapt some of them successfully! I didn’t state it in my letter, but I am a contractor and half of my job is to provide administrative support for the department, so I do have to tread lightly with a lot of things (especially upper management).

After my letter was published, things actually calmed down with the coworker and he didn’t make any comments or statements for several weeks. I was surprised, but it did eventually come back around. Once he did, I didn’t engage. I mostly ignored his comments with pointed silence, but If I did respond, it was with a simple and stern “yes” to his “still drinking diet soda?” It didn’t leave any room for conversation and it only took a few rounds of this before he stopped entirely with the nagging about my drink choice.

There was one additional comment that came several weeks later that surprised me… At our year-end party in January, he peeked over my shoulder while I was eating my lunch and said, “That doesn’t look gluten free!” For context, at the time he was eating gluten-free and I believe he practices veganism with his family, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that he said something. Instead of laughing it off like I would have done before, I turned to him and responded “Nope, it’s not. I don’t eat a gluten-free diet.” and I continued eating. He didn’t say anything after that, and it’s been five months since! I think he’s finally realized that I don’t want or appreciate his advice on my food or drink choices.

Now that it’s stopped, I realized that his comments before were making me dread interactions with him and I would actively avoid any conversations where he was involved. Our work relationship is much better now and working with him has gotten a thousand times easier since I’m not always on the defense around him. Thanks again for all the advice and support!

2. I slept through an entire day of work

Two months ago I wrote to you in a panic after sleeping through a day of work

After months of doctor’s visits, it turns out I have been suffering from Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia. I just wanted to say thank you, because the advice from you and your readers was the first step in normalizing what felt like a shameful experience. Rather than view myself as a slacker or screw up, I felt encouraged to address my fatigue as a real issue.

Things are still tough, trying to manage chronic illnesses with a new and demanding job, but I’m really grateful that you chose to answer my question.

3. My boss has phone sex with his girlfriend with his office door open

I was determined not to send in an update until I had a happy one. And the only happy one would be me getting the hell out of there….I’m happy to say I am finally gone after a very, very, very long job search.

I’m still in shock my boss was nominated for worst boss of the year in 2015. It’s such an honor that other’s recognized his craziness and also deflating that I was stuck with him for what seemed like forever.

After I wrote to you the multiple times a day calls from the girlfriend stopped completely. I was starting to wonder if either he found out I wrote into AAM or he and his girlfriend broke up. Turns out they didn’t break up, I think she just got a new job and didn’t have time to call him all day. He on the other hand still had plenty of time to make other loud personal calls all day and do no work. But that’s a whole other issue. I could write a novel on him and that place.

Shortly before I quit we were at our company picnic. He came solo and drank heavily. Someone asked him where his girlfriend was. He replied that she was waiting at home for him. The person said something like, “oh yeah, sure.” He said, “she really is, look!” That is when he pulled out his cell phone and began showing everyone indecent pictures of his girlfriend.

I really wanted to call his girlfriend and let her know what her man was really like. But I’ve read AAM enough to know my time would be better spent job hunting. I’m happy to say so far at my new job I have not heard anyone have phone sex, already a step up!