It’s once again time for short answer Sunday — seven short answers to seven short questions — this one an exciting mix of affairs with coworkers, weight-snarking managers, and more. Here we go…
Can I be fired for outing my coworker’s affair to her husband?
I dated a co-worker for ten years. Unbeknownst to me, he was also dating another co-worker, this one married. I let that co-worker’s husband know and we exchanged conversation by personal home computer email. Now she claims I harrassed her and should be fired. If nothing has been done at work, can they fire me?
Harassment laws don’t stop when you walk out of your office; they cover interactions between employees that happen on the evenings and weekends and in locations far away from work, so the fact that your actions were taken via your home email is irrelevant here. That still doesn’t mean it was harassment though, and I don’t have enough information to know if what you did would qualify as harassment or not. (However, most harassment policies don’t call for people to be fired for a first offense.)
But at a minimum, this wasn’t the smartest move if you wanted to have a harmonious workplace, or to be seen as someone who handles herself professionally. I’m curious about what you expected would happen.
Bringing a revised resume to an interview
Is it poor form to bring a more edited resume that is slightly different than the one you sent in to an interview? For example, if I wanted to add a couple of things and make some statements more brief?
Nope, that’s fine. I wouldn’t totally redo it or you’ll cause confusion, but these sorts of small tweaks are fine. (Keep in mind though that they may not even look at the new version you hand them though; when I go into an interview, I have a copy of the person’s resume already prepared with my notes on it, and that’s the version I use.)
Resigning when others are leaving too
I have been unhappily employed at a small company for three years. (The work itself is enjoyable, but the environment is very difficult.) After a lot of thought, I made the decision to take a big leap and move closer to family in another state. I plan to leave mid-June and have notified my landlord but not my manager, since it is still almost two months away. Then, last week, a co-worker in my department gave notice. Our manager let us know that, due to finances, she is holding off replacing him for now. In the meantime, my only other co-worker in this department confided in me that she has lined up a new job for the fall and will be leaving at the end of the summer. She has been at this company much longer than me.
I have no desire to end my employment on a bad or unprofessional note. It seems like we should both tell our boss now so that she can begin to recruit a whole new department. At the same time, we are worried we will be kicked out sooner or treated poorly. Also, my co-worker would like to give notice before me, since she has been at the company so long. I am very anxious (understatement) about being the third person to quit. I am not sure how to do it without my boss feeling ambushed and stranded.
As is always the case when deciding when to give notice, you should be guided by how your employer has handled previous resignations. Does your manager typically push resigning employees out earlier than they would have otherwise planned to leave? Or are people generally allowed to work their full notice period? Looking at how she’s handled it in the past will tell you how she’s likely to handle it this time, and you can make your decision accordingly.
Also, you and your coworker should each decide your timing independently of each other; trying to coordinate it is unnecessary and will likely just add to any weirdness. Decide what makes sense for you and do it; she should do the same for herself.
Last, I think you’re over-thinking all of this. People leave jobs. Sometimes several people leave around the same time. Your manager will make do.
Following up on an application to work at Target
I’ve been waiting for a sales floor opening at Target for months now and when I found out three days ago that one was open, I immediately filled out the application. My mom and uncle have worked at Target for about 15 years and counting, so it’s a store I know well, though not the same store they work at, and I love the atmosphere. Apparently if they know that I know a Target employee, that would put me at the top of the list, but to my mom’s surprise, they didn’t ask if I knew a Target worker but did ask if I was referred by one.
My friend told me that I should call and tell them my name and that I was calling to see if anyone is available to review my application with me. He did say that most will say they’re not reviewing applications at that time, which is similar to replies I’ve received calling other companies about jobs. I don’t want to screw this up though, and I know the name of the HR manager since my mother is looking for extra hours, but he’s kind of hard to catch, so I was thinking I would call to see if he’s busy and if so, just leave my name and number to review my application. Is that wise? If not, what should I do?
I don’t have any experience in retail, which often operates by different norms, but I’m posting this in the hopes that someone who knows more than me will weigh in in the comments. However, I can say that calling and asking a manager to review your application with you right then and there seems a bit presumptuous and demanding of their time; I suspect that just calling to reiterate your interest might be a better move. (I’m normally strongly opposed to the follow-up call before you’ve even had an interview, but in retail and food service, it seems to be The Thing To Do.)
Informational interviews when changing fields
I am changing fields in the sport and entertainment industry, moving from indoor arena management to golf course management. Per your conversation about having savings, I can be fairly patient about how to approach this, but here’s the question. With respect to networking, is it best to ask a general manager of a course if he/she could meet for coffee or lunch when convenient to ask questions and talk about careers or just apply for whatever positions are open?
I’ve received amazing feedback from people in the golf industry about my experience, specifically they are intrigued about what I’ve done and so forth. If nothing else it’s made a great conversation piece. however, I really want to learn about what they do.
If you truly just want to learn more about the industry, you’re looking for an informational interview. However, if you’re secretly planning to use that conversation to hit them up for a job, then you shouldn’t mislead them into thinking you just want to learn from them; that’s disingenuous. More here and here (and especially in the comments on those posts).
Second-guessing the job I just started working at
So, I just got a job doing administrative work for a restaurant. When they had me on the phone to offer me the job, I was just so excited to finally get an offer after over a year of unemployment that I jumped at it, and didn’t ask about benefits. I learned on my first day that they were not offering benefits, so I was on my own for health insurance, dental, etc. I thought I’d be ok with that, but I’ve just seen my first paycheck and done some math and I’m not really sure I’ll be able to afford insurance. Add to this that after working at this restaurant for two weeks I’m really not happy with being crammed into the windowless closet office in the back of the kitchen all day, and I’m considering starting my job search again. Is that wrong? I mean, this restaurant thing has great potential because it’s the first location in the US for a restaurant corporation that has more than 30 other locations in Northern Africa and the Middle East. They intend to expand and ideally they’ll eventually have actual, corporate offices in the US. I’m just not sure I can deal with the current work environment and lack of benefits that long. And if I do start searching again, what am I going to tell anyone who I interview with? And how am I even going to go to interviews when I work till 5pm?
Is it wrong? Hard to say. I mean, ideally before you accept a job, you get all the information you need to determine if it makes sense for you financially. However, there’s also high turnover in the restaurant industry … but perhaps not in back-office jobs like the one you’re in. So I don’t really know, because of that.
But if you do start interviewing, I’d explain that you took the job to keep busy while you continued to search for something in your field. The fact that it’s at a restaurant (again, associated with high turnover) means that most interviewers probably aren’t going to question that in the way that they might if you’d just taken a job they’d be more likely to think of as long-term (fairly or not).
Regarding how to find the time for interviews when you’re working all day, you’re unfortunately in the same boat as everyone who’s employed and job-searching: you can ask for interviews to be scheduled late in the day or first thing in the morning, but be prepared to have to do them during your lunch break or to take time off work “for a personal appointment.” It’s tricky and it sucks, but it can be done.
Manager won’t stop talking about my weight
I have a question regarding manager comments. I work in what one might call a hostile work enviroment. I work in a salon, and we are all women, all shapes, sizes, marital statues, etc.
My manager has been at her job for a very long time. She has been known to blow up and go on tangents and there is a lot of gossiping going on. As of late though, she has been making a lot of comments about my weight. This has been going on as I eat, as I talk about trends, indirectly to other people. She even asked one of my co-workers how to approach me about an outfit I was wearing because it made me look really fat.
I keep a log of things that she has said with the dates and try to record them as accurately as she said them. I do not weigh any more than when she hired me, I am completely happy with my weight.I don’t know if she is saying these things because it’s a salon and she feels that we need to all look “thin.” I feel this is completely unprofessional and makes me very uncomfortable. To make things worse, I have terrible anxiety and am terrified of this woman. I don’t know what to do, but can’t help but feel this is completely inappropriate.
Honestly, I’d find another job and leave. Your manager sounds like a jerk, and the environment sounds really unprofessional. Even if the weight comments stopped, you’d still be working for a jerk in an unprofessional environment.
However, if you want to try to address this, you could certainly say to her head-on, “Mary, I don’t want to hear any more about my weight. I’m the same weight that I was when you hired me, and even if I wasn’t, it’s not a topic that’s open for discussion. Please stop.” But she sounds like someone who might not take this well, which brings us back to the first point: consider working somewhere not run by a jerk.