6 more “where are they now” updates from readers

Here are six more reader updates. The subject line for each links back to the person’s original post.

1. The reader who interviewer asked her to bring a print-out of her accrued vacation and sick leave time

In late July, you answered my question in one of your Short Answer days. (Thank you!) I was scheduled for an interview, and the interviewers asked that I bring along a printout of my accrued vacation and sick time. I couldn’t think of any benevolent reasons they would ask for this, and neither could you. Some commenters suggested it might be so that they wouldn’t have to pay out all my leave time if I took the job for two weeks and then bolted. (However, if they got the feeling I was a flight risk, why would they hire me in the first place?)

In the comments section, I added that the woman who would be my supervisor also avoided my question of who would be interviewing me. I said I was thinking about just canceling the interview. However, you told me to go, and I’m so glad you did! This story has a happy ending: I got the job, I’ve been working here for four months, and I really enjoy the work. I also get along well with both my co-workers and my supervisor. So thank you for making me go to the interview!

By the way, I still haven’t gotten up the courage to ask why they wanted to know about my leave time. I’m thinking about asking at my six month review; if I get an answer, I’ll let you know.

2. The reader whose mom bought her a plane ticket without asking if she could take the time off work

As it turns out, my boss was quite easy going about the entire situation. I approached the subject in an asking manner, not telling, and ensured that I would tie up any loose ends I had before I left or take time without pay if needed. He said. since I “technically” was past the probation date, he allowed me to take my full year’s vacation for the trip. My boss indicated that they usually wouldn’t allow something like this but since it was a once in a lifetime trip, he approved the vacation with no issue.

Had I worked at any other company I am not sure that it would have gone so smoothly since my company is usually quite flexible in respect to travel plans and working with your in figuring out your schedule. I have since transferred departments and I remain quite happy with the company.

3. The reader whose mentor blocked her from a job

I took the advice of the readers and you and scheduled a meeting with this woman. She was unapologetic and basically lied, saying I would have to resign from the company in order to apply (not true, and even if it was – why not tell me that to begin with?).  She also told me not to worry because the person they hired would only be in a 3-month contract; also not true.

I ended the meeting and since then have cut ties as much as I can while still being courteous and professional to her. I recently learned that this is not the first time she’s done something like this, so I really picked the wrong person to trust!

In happier news, this kept me free to apply for a different, more senior position within the company where I’m much happier. Lesson learned — the only person who has your back is YOU!!

4. The reader whose older manager called her “kiddo”

Well, I was not very happy in my last position working for the guy who called me “kiddo.” Although he was very nice and knowledgeable about the industry, the position was a horrible fit for me and I ended up getting a job at a social media startup (Sprout Social, Inc.) about 6 months ago. Since then, I have found COMPLETE job satisfaction. I have already received a promotion and am now the customer support manager. No one calls me kiddo because we’re all about the same age (mid-20s to early-30s). It’s truly the job I was looking for. My previous boss was very supportive of my decision to leave and I have no ill will towards him. But I hope he stops calling anyone else under 30 “kiddo”! I never did bring it up with him, though. In the end, it just wasn’t worth mentioning.

5. The reader whose awful boss wanted to connect on LinkedIn

Shortly after my contact with you, another one of our employees (a manager in a different department) left, leaving a vacancy for a position I was qualified for and had been hoping to move into. I applied and was able to secure a recommendation from the departing manager. Meanwhile, I did not tell my boss that I had applied because I did not want to give him any opportunity to sabotage my effort. He had also applied and, although he had no experience in that department, felt the company owed him that position since he had been “unfairly” demoted. Around the same time, our CEO visited our site and my boss took him aside to ask him to basically give him that position. Because I wouldn’t put it past anyone at that company to do something like that, I started having panic attacks. I had been told I had the position, then someone else almost got hired, then my boss wanted me to write a letter of recommendation for him… The whole process was becoming bizarre and very drawn out, and I had no idea how it was going to turn out.

Finally, he got a job with another company. I was promoted to the new position (two months after it opened). My boss’s boss (who had demoted him, rather than fire) was also laid off shortly thereafter.

I did end up connecting on LinkedIn only after I knew he had secured another job. By then he had a lot more connections and we have such high turn around, there will be very few people left who know him.

6. The reader who was bad at numbers and dreading the budget process

I don’t know how exciting my answer is. Honestly, I just slogged through the forecasting process and did the best I could. I really appreciated the advice about how it’s just a plan and you don’t have to get it exactly right, down to the last cent.

I looked at the previous year and made adjustments where needed. For example, we bought new furniture the previous year, but wouldn’t need to purchase any for the coming year. We spend about the same for signage every year, things like that.

I did think it would be helpful to take a math class (I work at a university after all), but haven’t found the time…

I am also serving as Chairperson of the Board at a non-profit and the more I work with budgets, the more comfortable I will get.

Thank you so much for publishing my original letter. It was so inspiring to get immediate and helpful advice from you and the readers.

{ 9 comments… read them below }

  1. Tech Chic(k)

    I’m impressed by how many of these stories involve new, much better jobs. I know it’s not easy out there right now, but apparently it’s not impossible either.

    I’m greatly enjoying the updates. Thanks everyone!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Oh yes! We had 20 updates last year and 12 updates the year before. This year I’ve run 21 so far, and I have 10 more in my queue (and it’s possible more will be sent in before the month is over).

      The site’s traffic has more than doubled this year (!), so that could be why.

  2. Emily

    #2 That’s a tremendous update. Your boss is made of solid gold. And I bet you’re a pretty stellar employee for him to give you the leeway that he did.

  3. YALM

    #3. Wow. Just, wow. As a manager, I was disgusted by her behavior when you first posted, and I am still. I’ve often encouraged some of my peeps to look at opportunities in other departments. Not that I want to get rid of them–my team would be crushed if they all left–but I know they could be an equal or better asset to the company in other roles and make more money for themselves at the same time. They’ve all chosen to stay for now, for their own reasons.

    I know the behavior you attributed to your boss exists in many organizations, but I’m no less offended by it. I’m sorry that your manager shafted you and that your take-away was that you could only trust yourself. I wish you well in your new role.

  4. Anonymous

    It was question 2 which first introduced me to this blog, and it has been great reading ever since!

  5. Jen M.

    Even though not all of the outcomes have been painless, I’m glad to see that they are mostly good endings.

    Thanks, AAM, for sharing these. I think they give those of us who are down right now some hope! (I’m also just glad when things go well for people who deserve it!)

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