Here are four more updates from readers who had their questions answered here this year.
1. Should I take a job working with a creepy boss? (#1 at the link)
Thank you so much for publishing my letter! It was very helpful to hear what you and your readers thought. I spent a lot of time thinking about how it would be to frequently work one-on-one with this guy and in the end decided not to apply for the job. While it would have been a good step for my career, I wasn’t so excited about the opportunity that it would have been worth it to work that closely with him. Some commenters suggested going to HR, which I didn’t end up doing. I didn’t think I had enough concrete evidence that he was acting inappropriately for them to do anything.
One good thing that came of this is that it made me think about the direction I wanted my career to take and how my company fit in with that. I had a lot of other issues with the way my company operated and my work environment, and I didn’t feel like I had a whole lot of opportunities to advance my career. This issue gave me the push I needed to start seriously looking for other jobs. I was lucky enough to get a new job not too long ago. Your website was an extremely helpful resource during my search. I am enjoying my new job SO much more than my last job, and so far no one has given me any inappropriate presents!
2. My mother’s boss is spreading a false rumor that my mom is dying
There hasn’t actually been much drama since Mom’s had to take FMLA for the whole of her chemo. She’d gone back after surgery, but she quickly realized how tired it made her and she won’t be going back until February. She hasn’t said word one to her boss, or vice versa, since her last day there, and she’s dreading having to deal with her again in February. I’m sure I’ll hear more when she goes back to work, but right now there’s just silence while my mom works to get better.
3. My manager and coworkers use my email when I’m away (#6 at the link)
Maybe my manager also reads AAM. Since the question was in AAM, I have not had a problem with my password being changed/email being hacked while I am on vacation – to my knowledge anyway. My manager/IT did ask for my password of which I have given them a password they can use to change to while I am away instead of the one I regularly use – this way I know when they access my system. Thank you, AAM.
4. The reader whose cubicle was giving her migraines
So you might recall that I wrote in a while ago because I was stuck in a cubicle next to gigantic windows, and getting migraines, and my boss was throwing a holy fit about letting me switch to another desk less than five feet away. He did let me move desks but wasn’t pleased about it, as I mentioned in my first update.
So what’s been going on since then? In January 2013, my second boss (who would have been fine with me not sitting next to windows) had to move her office and lab four floors up. Eventually, my first boss would have to move floors too but last I heard, he was trying to delay that until 2014 or so. It was decided that I would continue to support both managers, which is cool, but it meant having to have desks on the two different floors. Okay, fine– it’s still a job, right? Only I couldn’t just do (for example), the morning on the original floor and the afternoon on the new floor. Oh no. It was decided that I would spend 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on the original floor, 12-3 on the new floor, and then come back down to the original floor from 3 to 5. Every day. Ironically, around this time, the financial manager is complaining about how we all need to be more efficient so we can save money, but then he authorizes a $5000 work order to get me set up with a second computer, telephone, printer, fax line, etc. on the new floor. And all the other people on the new floor weren’t related to my department at all but they were so totally happy and welcoming to see our lab! (sarcasm alert).
I’d been job searching anyway for a while because I’d been there long enough that it was time for a change. Luckily, earlier this summer, I got a lead on a job opening at friend’s company that led to a job offer! It’s much more in line with my degree and writing experience, it’s only a half hour away (previous job was a 90-minute, multi-mode trip on public transit), and I don’t have to switch desks every three hours (unless I really wanted to for some strange reason, like if I felt like writing in the conference room). My team is very nice too; total opposite of what I was dealing with at my old job. There had been a lot of interpersonal drama with my cubicle-mate and cubicle neighbors (on both floors) that I’d left out of my original letter to Alison. Nothing like that here at New Job (knock on wood). (I’m totally willing to agree that I was the problem in those conflicts but I’d also get random coworkers coming up to me about So-and-So to say that they’d had inappropriate behavior from her too. So I don’t think it was *all* my fault, you know?)
Sorry this update is so long! Thank you for all of your advice, Alison and commenters, both with these issues and job searching in general. I used Alison’s advice to rewrite my resume and cover letters, formulate interview questions, etc. and I think it definitely helped me land this new job.