It’s fast answer Friday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. I accepted an interview while I was asleep
I got a phone call for an interview from a company at 10 a.m. But I was still sleeping at the time, due to coming home at 4 a.m. the same day from the lab. I have a habit of saying yes and agreeing to everything when I am asleep, so I agreed to go on an interview with the company without remembering which company it was and its address, which I’m sure the person on the phone did give me. I want to call them back and ask for that information, but I don’t know how. What should I tell them so that they won’t be turned off in this situation?
First, Google the phone number. That might tell you what company it is. Or, try calling it after hours; you might get a voicemail with the company name in it. If neither of those work, call the number and explain that you want to confirm the address for your interview (no need to say you don’t recall it or the company). Once you have the address, Google that — you’ll probably find the company associated with it. Worst case scenario, have a friend call the number from a phone that isn’t yours and ask what company they’ve reached. And stop answering your phone when you’re asleep — if you say yes to everything when sleeping, it’s going to cause much bigger problems than this someday.
2. Should employee evaluations be written in the first person?
Is it better for employee reviews to be written in a first person or third person narrative? I personally thought first person would be better, as it would make achievements more personal and create a little more ownership for issues than hearing them as if they are spoken about a third party. All the research I did displayed both sides, stating why their way was the best. What do you prefer to use when performing employee reviews?
First person. You’re a real person writing about a real person; there’s no need for false formality. And really, an evaluation is the start of a conversation between a manager and employee. Write it that way.
3. Job offer isn’t clear about what hours I’d work
I have recieved a job offer. I will be going from a floor nurse to a lower management level-clinical coordinator. The hours on paper say 7 a.m. -3 p.m., but as mentioned in the original interview, those are the hours on paper but in management that can be different (longer). I have a child in day care who cannot be dropped off any earlier then 7:30/8 a.m. My husband is out of town a lot and therefore it’s my responsibility to drop her off 80% of the time. I did ask if it would be a issue if I needed to arrive later then 7 a.m., and was told that it would not be an issue but most clinical coordinators come it at about 7. So I didn’t really receive an answer but I didn’t really ask if it would be possible to change my hours. So now I am stuck. Do I take the offer in hopes that I will be able to change the hours or be up-front and ask right out? Would it be a problem to make my work hours 8 a.m. -4 p.m. due to child care? Is this appropriate or should I not take the position due to the hours mentioned in the initial interview?
You’re not stuck; you can go back and ask. You should absolutely not take a job offer without knowing if you’ll be able to work the hours you need to work, but you also don’t need to turn it down without being sure about that. Go back and say, “I’d love to accept the job, but I often need to arrive at X because I need to drop my child at daycare. Would it be possible to arrange for an 8-4 schedule?”
Stop speculating and find out for sure.
4. Firing an employee who threatened another
What is the correct process to fire an employee who threatens to harm another employee?
Explain that you don’t tolerate threats against other employees, and you’re therefore letting the person go, today. If you’re not completely sure that the threat was made, then investigate first.
5. Distributing coworkers’ personal mail
I work at a hotel, and the owners have told us that no personal mail is to be sent to the office. FedEx and UPS packages are fine, but not mail. However, every morning when I go in, there is a stack of personal mail that employees have had sent there. Is it legal for me to deliver this mail, as I am just a worker here? I do not want to be in control of anyone else’s mail, nor do I want to be responsible for it, as I have to walk across a large parking lot and through some neighborhood to get to the other building where it sometimes needs to go. I do not want to be held responsible for any lost or damaged mail! Sometimes it is medications, and I do not want to be responsible for anyone’s medications! As I am not a postal worker, I feel I should not have to deliver mail, and the owners do not want it coming here anyway.
Yes, it’s legal for you to distribute personal mail to employees who have it sent to your office. The bigger question is whether you should, since the owners have clearly said that they don’t want personal mail coming there. I’d talk to them and say, “Hey, I know you’ve said you don’t want personal mail coming to the office, but it does still happen. How would you like me to handle it when it does?” Then do what they tell you to do — including distributing it if that’s what they want. (And if they tell you to just throw it out, it would be a kindness to let the person with the medications know about that in advance.)
6. My company is hyping themselves all over my LinkedIn page
A LinkedIn representative gave a presentation today to the staff of the nonprofit where I work. It turns out that HR wants us to use our LinkedIn accounts to boost the organization and to push along information about available jobs, company-related articles, etc. When I opened my LinkedIn account afterwards, I saw that, indeed, ads for and links to my employer are now on my page.
I feel that my LinkedIn presence should be about me, not my employer. I was already thinking seriously about moving on, but this makes me want to leave faster. Am I being too sensitive or is this kind of employer intrusion common now? Should I remove the name of my employer from my self-description in order to lose the links? If I leave it alone, will the presence of a lot of hype for my current organization deter others from taking me seriously as a possible job candidate?
It’s not uncommon, and it’s not going to deter others from taking you seriously as a job candidate. You’re entitled to find it obnoxious, however, and to relay that feeling to whoever decided to launch this initiative.
7. Former employer refuses to confirm my employment for an unrelated lawsuit
I was in a car accident several years ago and the lawsuit for damages is ongoing. As part of the discovery, the opposing council has contacted ex-employers for a work history. I signed the releases for this, and assumed all would be fine.
After a year, through my legal council, I got a letter from the opposing council asking for our help in retrieving the work history from one of my previous employers. So I contacted the previous employer myself to expedite the situation and help if needed. I assumed the request was put on the back burner or something, but it turns out that the ex-employer is refusing. The president of the company accused me in a text message of tricking him into committing perjury.
What do you think is going on here? I have W2’s for the work I did. It’s not like they paid me under the table. In addition, one of the massage therapists I saw after the accident is refusing as well. This woman owns her own business and is refusing to send the medical records and billing invoice. Is there a connection between these two? Why would either of these businesses do this?
I have no idea, but I’m throwing it out there for anyone who does know.