It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. My resume writer isn’t following through and I want to ask for my money back
I hired a resume writer and have paid half of the money to have my resume completed; it is a significant amount of money. The person has given me a timeline and has not stuck to it (it’s about three weeks late so far, and I have not heard from her), and I am not impressed with how she has conducted herself throughout the process, like not listening or making the changes I ask for, and I have had to give her the same information many times.
I would like my money back as I still have not heard from her. Any thoughts on how to do this?
I’d trying writing to her and saying this: “Since I haven’t heard from you and we’re three weeks past the timeline you gave me, and because you haven’t been responsive to my requests and I’ve had to give you the same information multiple times, I’d like to cancel our work together and have you refund my money.”
Whether or not she’ll do it is a different issue, but it sounds like you’re justified in asking for it. Also, if you signed any kind of contract with you, take a look at that and see if it provides for refunds.
2. Rejected for a promotion in a group meeting of other internal candidates
Have you ever heard of a firm telling their internal candidates that they were not chosen for an open position in a group meeting?
I recently interviewed for an analyst position at my firm along with three coworkers. After four weeks of hearing nothing from HR, the director of client services, or the hiring team’s manager (who is also the manager of three of the candidates), we were finally emailed a meeting invitation. 30 minutes later, we sat down with the director of client services, the hiring team’s manager and each other/our competition for the same position. We were all told by the director that they had hired the outside candidate. Are you kidding me?! Who does this? I cannot find any examples of this sort of thing on the internet. I was hoping you could provide your opinion on this unique situation.
Ick, yeah, one of them should have met with each of you individually to let you know that you didn’t get the position and give you some feedback — which is a pretty basic obligation for internal candidates, particularly when the hiring manager happens to be your own manager. I don’t think it’s quite as outrageous as it sounds like you do — but definitely bad practice and thoughtless.
3. We have to pay our own expenses for work travel and then get reimbursed later
My employer is requiring the office manager and me (creative director/product development/sales) to attend an industry show in Atlanta. It is a really big show and Atlanta is more expensive than your typical town, so the expenses for eating and/or taking cabs will be higher than typical. For example, we recently attended a show in Tennessee and our food allowance was $30 per day. For this Atlanta trip, the food expense will be $50 per day.
I have one problem with that. It’s going to be $400 in food expenses for the week for just one of us. The employer is requiring that we pay our own expenses during the trip and that he will reimburse us after we return from the trip. Both the office manager and I are on tight budgets, so it is going to take the money we need to pay bills with in order to pay our expenses during the show. In my view, this is asking something of us that should not be asked. The company is telling us we are required to go to this show, stay there for eight days, and finance it ourselves? Shouldn’t the company give us $400 cash to return with receipts and excess money? Or is this something I have to live with?
This is a very, very common way to handle work-related travel expenses, so it’s not outrageous that your employer is doing it. However, because it would cause you hardship, it’s completely reasonable to ask for a different arrangement. I’d say something like, “I’m not in a position to front this money and then get reimbursed later. Could we instead take petty cash and return itemized receipts, or use a company credit card?”
4. Can I negotiate a different work schedule rather than a higher salary?
I’m waiting to hear back about a job. To be honest, it’s a huge career change and I have little experience with the work I’d be doing, or even any kind of record in the kind of work environment I’d be in (moving from blue-collar to white-collar). I think I’m so far along in the running because I have genuinely had enjoyable experiences at all of the interviews I have been to, and I get the sense that they’ve enjoyed meeting with me too.
Even the bottom of their pay scale is roughly twice what I’m making currently, and I don’t think I have anything to negotiate with besides simply “I was hoping for more. Would you consider X?” because they’d pretty much just be taking a leap of faith for me. I have no qualms with negotiating just to see what happens, but I’m wondering if there’s any sense in trying to negotiate work schedule instead of pay. Is it more or less likely that I’d be able to negotiate starting and ending work early? I’m very much so an early morning person and would much rather work 8-4 or even 7-3 than the 9-5 that is expected. What’s my best bet here? A lot of the work is data-entry and envelope stuffing kind of work, so it seems quite possible to do outside of typical business hours.
You can absolutely ask for that type of schedule! Many people negotiate schedules like that for themselves. They may or may not agree to it (and it’s possible that there are legitimate reasons for it not working in this particular role), but it’s not outrageous to ask for.
Also, employers tend to be more agreeable to starting early/leaving early than starting late/leaving late, probably because the latter is at odds with some deep-rooted puritanism about early rising that as a society we still have.
5. Holidays and paid time off
I have a question about holidays/paid time off. My department is required to work on certain company holidays that other departments have off. To compensate for those lost holidays, the company pays our team an extra day’s work on those dates. However, we’ve recently been informed that if we aren’t working those days—i.e., using any accrued PTO, like annual vacation, sick, or personal days—we won’t be eligible for the extra pay.
Does that sound right to you? It seems to me that since the extra pay is meant to compensate for the holiday that the rest of the company gets, anyone in our department who needs those days off will end up getting “double taxed,” since they must dip into their accrued paid time off AND forfeit the value of the company holiday. My gut tells me anyone who uses their PTO for those days should either still receive the extra day’s pay (since they’re still losing a company holiday), or shouldn’t have that day deducted from their accrued PTO. Am I right, or am I overlooking something?
Nope, it’s unfair. While I can see not wanting to give you an additional day’s pay (since that adds to the overall cost of your yearly pay), if I were your manager I’d handle this by either giving you a day off at a different time or not requiring you to use PTO for that day.
Legally, you don’t really have recourse here; companies aren’t required to offer holidays off or holiday pay, and they can give a benefit to one department that they don’t give to another. But it’s certainly a recipe for bad morale. It would be reasonable to ask your boss if she’s open to handling it differently.