It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. I used an alias to reapply for a job with a company that just rejected me
I applied to a job and went to the third round and then never heard back. Later I learned that the position has been filled. I was not getting any reply from the company after my interview, although I was told “you did great and you ll hear back in a week.” I was trying to reach HR, the team, and everyone, but nobody answered, so I made another profile in their online application system with the same resume, but I changed the name to my alias.
I applied for anther job in same department using my alias. Yesterday I got a call from HR (phone screening) and he scheduled me for interview with the team. What should I do? Should I attend?
I am so confused about what you were attempting to accomplish with applying again with an alias. Obviously if you meet with them, they’re going to realize that it’s you and they’re going to wonder why you’re using an alias. It’s going to look like you were attempting to trick them into interviewing you, and it’s also going to look like a really weirdly-thought-out plan, since they’d of course realize it once you showed up in person.
This is a bad idea.
The only thing I can think of that you could do to try to salvage this would be to immediately fess up to the HR person who scheduled the interview and try to come up with an explanation that might make sense. (I’m racking my brain here and all I can come up with is something like, “I want to mention that I interviewed with this team last month. They know me as Barnaby Warbleworth, my legal name. I use Percival Montblanc socially and I didn’t realize I’d put it on the application.”) But … it’s going to seem weird.
2. How can I tell my manager that I can’t drive on a business trip?
I am in my 30s, but have had severe anxiety about driving all my life. I didn’t get my license until I was 25 and have minimized driving since then. After some therapy, I’ve gotten to the point where I can sort of function in daily life. I can drive to the grocery store and around town, and I take public transit to work since I’m in a large city. I avoid rush hour, highways, and unfamiliar roads. No one at work knows about this.
Here’s where it gets horrible. Our office director recently put me on a project that involves meetings in very small towns in our region. I’m flattered and happy to support the project…but she wants me to do more than just my usual desk job and actually go to those towns for some meetings. The towns are far enough away that I would fly to the nearest city but would still need to drive 1-2 hours from an unfamiliar airport to get to my destination.
What are my options at this point? I am way too embarrassed to admit to her that I can’t drive. I also can’t tell her I’m not interested in the project (plus she didn’t make it sound like I had an option and she’s the big boss). I could try to wing it and just do the driving and hope I survive. But that means I’ll be stressed out (as in unable to eat and sleep and be happy) while I dread this for the next few months. I could hope and pray she offers to drive herself since she is going too, but that just seems risky. I can’t quit my job tomorrow because I actually like it and need the money and jobs in my field are rare (yes, I seriously considered this). I am out of ideas. I know I likely need to tell her the truth and that she would need to do the driving, but I’m really hoping you have a magical solution that doesn’t make me feel like a child.
No magical solution, unfortunately. But you’re far better off explaining that you can’t drive than telling her you’re not interested in the project or quitting your job (especially since this could come up again at the next job).
The tricky part about this is that it would actually be pretty straightforward to say “I can’t drive”; it’s unusual, but some people really never learned. In your case, though, you do have a license and do a little bit of driving — and if she ever realizes either of those things, you risk looking like you lied if you tell her you can’t drive at all. But explaining the whole situation comes with the risk that she won’t take it seriously and just tell you to drive anyway, or will see it as career-limiting in a way that “I never learned to drive” might not be.
No chance that some intense cognitive behavioral therapy over the next few months could solve this, I suppose?
3. My manager is AWOL
I currently work in an office with 4-5 people, depending on what day it is, and our “manager” is in another part of the building. The only real interaction we have with this person is “good morning,” “hello,” or “nice sweater.” There is no oversight, no structure, no policy implementation, no supervision, no problem resolution, no feedback, no praise, nothing. On one hand, I like working independently without someone breathing down my neck, but on the other hand, there are so many times when we need someone in charge and there is no one there. I often feel like I want to step up to the plate, but it’s not my job or place to do so.
We have a very disruptive employee who causes a lot of drama and conflict due to her personality, and this has caused so many issues within the office that I can’t list them, not to mention extreme stress on myself and my fellow coworkers, one of whom just walks out of the room frequently because she can’t handle the drama. I have requested management out there for this reason, but the answer is “no, come to me when she does something so I can handle it,” etc. I don’t particularly feel that I should be going in there complaining about a coworker when what we need is proper management to be in charge of this and see first-hand what is going on and to put a stop to it. I told the manager this so she knew my position (same position as the other employees, by the way), thinking she would hopefully be more involved in the office (which did not happen). Plus it’s a small enough office that this person would guess who went in there.
The last time the “manager” asked us how things were going was a year ago. No follow-ups. We never have meetings. They’re obviously not interested in managing or knowing what is going on. All the while, I’m led to believe this is a normal office set-up. Am I being unreasonable by wanting someone in charge to keep things in order, or is this normal to be expected to tattle on your coworkers to get anything fixed? It just doesn’t feel right to me.
No, it’s not normal to have a complete lack of management. It’s not inherently problematic to have your manager in another location; the issue is that your manager is declining to do any of the normal parts of managing, like the ones you listed. She doesn’t need to be on-site to do those things; she just needs to do them, and she’s apparently chosen not to.
That said, she did ask you to come to here when you need her involvement, and you’re choosing not to do that in this situation. I agree your manager sounds horribly negligent, but I’d be curious to know what would happen if you did take her up on that request.
4. Can I move up my start date since my old employer told me to leave sooner than I expected?
I work in an industry where it is common courtesy to give at least a one-month period. I set a start date with my next employer for a month away, and when I gave notice to my current employer, he told me to wrap up everything and leave this Friday.
I wanted to know if it is okay to ask my future employer if they can move the start date up by two weeks. I’m happy to have a two-week funemployment time, but I will probably go insane if I have to do it for four weeks. And they seemed to be eager for me to start. But I am afraid it will look like I’m flaky for asking to change terms that were agreed upon, or that they may find it weird that my employer didn’t want me any longer and pull the offer or something. Did my previous job left me too paranoid?
I’d probably keep the original start date, unless you need the money from starting earlier, just since that’s what’s already been agreed to and what they’re planning around. That said, it’s usually fine to say something like, “My employer tends to like people to leave right away when they give notice, so I’d actually be available to start earlier if you’d like” or “Due to what made sense with our project workflow, I’m actually going to be available in two weeks, if you’d like me to start then instead.”
5. Should I be paid for the time I’m training for my new job?
I’m a recent college graduate. Earlier this summer, I interviewed for a medical scribe position that requires new hires to complete a substantial amount of unpaid training before beginning work. My interviewer explained that new hires would first be required to complete an online class covering things like basic medical terminology, how to write a medical note, and common diagnoses in the specific specialty of the doctor we would be working with. Since this class would be completed at our own pace, on our own schedule, and we would not officially begin work until after we had passed it, it didn’t seem unreasonable for this portion of training to be unpaid.
However, I was then told that new hires would also be required to complete six days of unpaid on-site training, during which we would basically be performing all of our regular job duties under the supervision of a more senior scribe. Am I right to think that this seems a bit shady? As I understand it, employers are required to compensate employees for all hours worked, even if they are still being trained. However, I’ve never worked in the health care industry before, so I don’t feel that I have enough of a reference point to determine whether this practice is normal. So, is this a red flag? Should the company be paying trainees for those first 6 days of work, or is it okay for them not to?
For the record, I live in the state of Wisconsin, although this company operates all over the country.
While it’s normally true that you have to be paid for all hours spent working, the law actually has a special category for pre-employment training programs, which are regulated differently because you’re not yet considered an employee. If all six of these criteria apply, an employer is not required to pay you for pre-employment training:
1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school (this means the training is “fungible,” or interchangeable, and can be used by the employee in another position with another employer).
2. The training is for the benefit of the trainee.
3. The trainees do not displace regular employees but work under close observation.
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the trainees’ activities and at least on occasion, its operations may actually be impeded.
5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period.
6. Both the employer and the trainees have an understanding that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
You’d need a lawyer to take a closer look to tell you for sure, but it sounds like #5 isn’t true in your situation, and maybe not #2. If so, your employer would indeed need to pay you for this time.