team member caused drunken scene at coworker’s wedding, asking for Friday off the first week on the job, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Team member caused a drunken scene at coworker’s wedding

I am a team leader in a very small company. The team I manage only has two other members.

A few weeks ago, one of them, Jamie, got married. A few other colleagues and I were invited to the evening reception. The other member of the team got overly drunk and was abusive to many guests, knocked small children over on the dance floor, and was heard at the bar saying he was going to “F#%k s$¥t up.” When everyone was trying to leave, he started to get naked and violently abusive in the venue’s car park. This led to a massive fight as Jamie asked him to leave and he hit Jamie twice, knocking him to the floor. Guests were trying to eject him, but he was throwing punches and fighting them. He also spat blood all over the bride. His girlfriend punched the bride too. Jamie did not want to spend the night with police giving statements so did not press charges.

Jamie and I have stated to our employer that we do not want to work with this person. Our employer has said that the incident was outside of work so they are powerless. Jamie has been given a week to “forgive and forget” before the other member is sent back to the team.

Your employer isn’t powerless; they can absolutely take action over this if they want to, just like they could take action over, say, a sexual harassment incident that happened outside of work. They might be choosing not to get involved because they don’t know for sure what happened and they’d have to do an investigation, who knows. But yes, this sucks, and asking Jamie to “forgive and forget” the guy who punched him at his wedding, spat blood all over the bride, and generally caused a massive clusterfudge at his wedding is … a tall order.

But if you’re truly stuck with the situation and can’t change their mind, I’d sit down with this guy and tell him that he’ll need to figure out how to repair relations with Jamie, and that when he returns after his week away, you’ll expect to hear his thoughts on how he can do that. Put it on him to figure it out. (And if he doesn’t figure out on his own that any proposal is going to have to involve massive apologies and groveling, and possibly a plan for his alcohol use, point him in that direction.)

2. Asking to take off the Friday of my first week on the job

I have just been hired and accepted my offer letter for a new job. I have my start date set for about a week away. I was wondering if it would be alright to ask the hiring manager if I could take the Friday of my first week off for a family vacation we are doing that weekend. The company is very laid back and casual, but I want to make sure that I would not be offending anyone. I also do not want the company to think I do not take the job seriously.

No, don’t do that. It would be one thing if you had negotiated that day off as part of the offer negotiations, but now that you’ve accepted, asking for a day off on your first week won’t reflect well on you. Your new employer doesn’t know you well yet, and taking a day off that quickly is going to make them wonder if this is the start of a pattern of unreliable attendance. It doesn’t matter if they’re laid back and casual; you do not want to raise worries about your work ethic and commitment to the new job when they have so little data about you.

3. Some of my references haven’t responded

I am currently being considered for a new position in the health care industry. I had my interview and shortly after I was asked to provide five professional references. I had already secured my references before I initiated my job search. I was told by all five that they would gladly give me a reference. Before submitting their names and contact info, I sent all of my references a brief message alerting them that someone from the company that I applied to will be getting in contact with them. They all responded favorably, and three of them gave me a great reference. I am now waiting on two of my references to respond. I really want this job but I am concerned that if they don’t respond in time, I will be passed up for another candidate. I don’t know if I should send them a quick reminder via email, but I don’t want to come off as a nuisance. Or should I provide two more references who I know will respond? What do I do?

How long has it been? If it’s just been a day or two, give them a little more time. But if it’s been multiple business days with no response, yes, you should follow up with them. Say something like this: “Jane, I wanted to check with you about the reference Teapots Inc. reached out about. They told me they haven’t heard from you and they can’t move forward until they do, so I was hoping that you might be able to get back to them today!” Sometimes people just forget, or don’t realize it’s time-sensitive. A polite reminder is perfectly appropriate.

And meanwhile, tell the employer that you’re following up with the references, so that they know you’re on it.

4. Team leads vs. managers

I’ve noticed in a few of your articles that you note a difference between team lead and manager. At my company, all management are called “team lead” (even the CEO). Team leads are responsible for rankings, which determine your raises and bonuses, but don’t know how much you make (or even the percentage change); if you have a problem with your compensation, you’re referred to HR. Team leads are responsible for working people out if it’s a bad fit but aren’t given the information gleaned from HR’s exit interviews. We only hire for entry-level positions and becoming a team lead isn’t considered a promotion (and doesn’t include a raise). This is my first time with a company this size (~10,000) so I’m at a loss to know if this is normal. What do you think?

Nope, not normal. Your company is using the terminology differently than it’s usually used.

Typically a team lead is someone who keeps team members focused and on track for various projects. They might divvy up and monitor work, and they often give feedback and guidance to team members but generally don’t have real managerial authority. When issues arise, they typically can intervene only in fairly limited ways and usually need to escalate anything serious to the team’s manager.

A manager, on the other hand, has broader decision-making responsibilities and and usually has hiring and firing authority, which a team lead does not.

5. Following up about a second position after an interview for a different one

Can I follow up on other positions at a company after I’ve had an interview about one of the positions and am still waiting to hear back? I feel like I was invited to do so, but the interviewer didn’t take the initiative with it.

Earlier, when we were setting up the phone interview for the position I’m still waiting to hear about, she included this in the email: “Are you going to [professional conference] this year? If so, would you like to get together with me and one or two of my colleagues from [our institution] for coffee and a conversation? This wouldn’t be a formal interview, but rather just a chance to meet in person and talk a bit. We could tell you about the program we’re building at [our institution] and a number of positions that will be open in the near future.”

I was not attending the conference, so I said I looked forward to discussing it in the interview. I didn’t end up asking about it in the interview because there were more people than just her on the call. Can I follow up now with an email like this: “It was great talking with you earlier today about the [position]. While I’m very excited about this opportunity, I wanted to follow up with you on your mention of other positions that will open in the future. I see that you have also listed [different position]. Would you find it strange if I also applied for this? I think working for a new department and helping to set up the guides and workflows would be a really interesting opportunity and I would like to participate in some way.”

Basically, yes, but I’d reword it to something more like this: “It was great talking with you earlier today about the [position]. I’m really interested in the role and look forward to learn more. In addition, I recalled that when we connected a few weeks ago, you mentioned you expected to have other positions opening soon, and I noticed you’ve posted an X opening. I’d love to throw my hat in the ring for both if you think it would make sense to do so; I’d be excited to pursue either of them.”

So less “would you find it strange?” (that’s a little too strong) and less “I would like to participate in some way” (that way is by being hired for the job, presumably), and more straightforward.

{ 409 comments… read them below or add one }

    1. Sherm

      Yeah, poor Jamie. An ass for a coworker, and an ass for an employer. I’d be tempted to give 2 weeks if I was given 1 week to “forgive and forget.”

      Reply
      1. fposte

        If I were the bride, I’d have marched down to the police station on my own.

        If this guy doesn’t have the sense to realize how much trouble Jamie spared him, he may not be smart enough to hold down a job.

        Reply
        1. BananaPants

          No kidding. The wedding was already ruined by the drunk coworker and his girlfriend, why not spend the evening at the police station filing charges? It’s not like any wedding night festivities are going to make up for what this guy did.

          Reply
          1. AMG

            Or get a restraining order. If Drunk Jerk is a dangerous person and HR isn’t willing to get involved then I would take matters into my own hands.

            Also, this is completely and totally update worthy. I will remember this if there’s an end-of-the-year voting on worst co-worker.

            Reply
          2. A Non

            Dunno about Jaime and bride, but I was totally exhausted by the end of my wedding reception. Talking to the police would have been very, very low on my list of things to do. I probably would have done it, but I entirely understand why other people would choose not to.

            My sympathies to the both of them, I do believe that is the worst unruly guest story I’ve ever heard. (No, commentariat, that is not a dare.)

            Reply
          3. Annonymouse

            If you have to leave somewhere for a honeymoon (like a cruise or flight) it might not be worth the staying up late to do it.

            Incidentally is it too late to press charges now?

            Reply
          1. MegEB

            Even if they don’t file charges themselves, in many places the police will file charges on behalf of the city, so Jamie may end up having to go to court regardless.

            Reply
          2. AW

            I don’t know how long you have and it probably varies by location but you don’t have to press charges same day. Jamie should definitely consider filing charges now.

            Reply
      2. Nina

        I feel so bad for the bride and groom. Frankly, this guy owes everyone at the wedding an apology for his disgusting behavior. Punching the groom? Spitting blood on the bride? Knocking over some kids? What an awful way to remember your wedding day.

        Even the kindest of people would have trouble forgiving or forgetting this. If I were Jamie, I would be submitting resumes elsewhere.

        Reply
    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      Part of me kind of hoped someone would make an interesting scene at my wedding. I like good stories, and someone getting really drunk or someone other than me showing up in a bridal gown or just any weird inappropriateness would have entertained me to no end. But this would be far too much even for me. If he had just stuck to getting naked in the car park (!), that would have been the right balance.

      Reply
        1. Stephanie

          LOL. My friend (who’s a former frat president) said someone half-jokingly designated him to be the rowdy wedding guest.

          Reply
          1. College Career Counselor

            IME, every wedding reception has a “That Guy.” Several years ago, “That Guy” in my friend set got married, so a bunch of us took turns filling the role during the reception at his wedding. Nobody took it too far, and a good time was had by all.

            Reply
            1. Katniss

              yup! At the wedding I was at this weekend the “that guys” were so much fun. A fake rivalry was developed between the crew who work at the comic shop and the crew who work at the alternative circus (I have an awesome friend group) that culminated in a dance-off.

              Reply
                1. Katniss

                  It really was! They had video game music and books as party favors too. And in case you were curious, the dance-off was a tie.

      1. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

        I am forever thankful that DH’s uncle waited until after the reception, when he was on his way home, to violently soil himself while wearing a kilt.

        Reply
        1. Engineer Girl

          My cousins got the knives out for mock silly fights. The women had to search sporran and socks for dirks. They wanted to keep the evening from getting a little too interesting. Good thing they were happy drunks.

          Reply
          1. Chinook

            Sadly, sister-in-laws wedding never got that interesting because she asked DH to come in full Mountie uniform (complete with spurs) and everyone was worried that he would arrest them. On the plus side, guests were very conscientious about taking a cab home afterwards.

            Reply
      2. Anon for this one

        My wedding was family only, but that needn’t minimize the “interesting scenes.”

        My family and my ex’s family were scheduled to fly into wedding city two days before hand and have a family dinner. My family, with my fiance and I, are seated at dinner, expecting her mother to show up at some point. The rest of her family checks in, but no word from mom. My fiance continues to get more and more nervous. I ask her, what’s the worst that could happen? “Mom got too drunk at the airport.” Oh really? “Yeah, it’s happened before.” Ok then!

        About three hours later, there was still no word from mom. Finally, curiosity gets the best of me. I call the airline, who says mom never boarded her flight. Next call was to the airport police department. I informed them that I was looking for a passenger who missed their flight. The cops were like, “yeah uh we don’t handle that.” I told them to humour me and look it up. “Oh! We picked her up and took her to XXX detention center.” What charge? “Public intox.” When I called the jail, they had already released her. Funny, no phone call to tell us that her flight was “canceled” or whatever.

        The amusing thing is, I worked for an airline for two years. I’ve never once heard any of my gate agent friends tell stories about the cops coming for an uncooperative passenger. To this day, I have no idea how drunk you have to get or exactly what you have to do to 1) Make the gate agents call the cops on you and 2) Have the cops haul you away.

        Mom made it the next night, in plenty of time for the wedding the following day. On the way to dinner, my fiance whispers to her mother, “We know where you were last night.”

        We did get married, and subsequently divorced just a couple of years later.

        The one momento I have from my wedding is my ex MIL’s mugshot, which can still be found on mugshots.com.

        Reply
        1. A Dispatcher

          Well, being so drunk/unruly that you keep trying to physically push past the flight attendants to board before they have started the boarding process will get a call to security at the Moscow airport. Then again, by the time they’d arrived he was passed out on the floor bleeding everywhere from hitting his head off a metal doorway casing after stumbling away after one of his many attempts to “pre-board”.

          My favorite part of this story is that boarding began shortly after and we all were supposed to quite literally step over him (and avoid the blood everywhere) to do so, as he waited for medics to arrive. He was at least conscious by then.

          Reply
          1. Wed anon

            Waiting for an endlessly rescheduled flight I got to watch someone who got so drunk he started to be belligerent with the people at the one open food/drink place. They called the police, who tried to calm him down and get him away. He started fighting with the police (!) who promptly took his passport, handcuffed him and led him away, while he was screaming he needed to board the flight etc. It was not pretty, but I was glad he would not be on my flight.

            Reply
          1. Yep

            My mother-in-law got a DUI on the way to my bridal shower.

            Seemed to stay sober at the wedding, though, these horror stories are ridiculous!

            Reply
        2. Today's Satan

          My brother was so drunk [already] on the way to his daughter’s wedding that he slid his truck into a ditch and had to have his daughter’s mom’s [not “ex-wife” because they were never married] husband come winch him out of the ditch. Then he proceeded to get even more plastered at the wedding and crashed his truck on the way home. Totaled it. Rolled it over and over and over, and smashed it into a pole. Broke several vertebrae, and the fire department had to use the Jaws of Life to cut his girlfriend out of the passenger side.

          Oh, wait, there was someone else, someone who possibly wasn’t as drunk as he was who could have driven them home? Why wasn’t the girlfriend driving, you ask? Because she’d lost her license due to her own multiple DUIs. A lovely couple, those two.

          Reply
      3. Cupcake

        At my wedding, our best man’s Vietnamese girlfriend didn’t know the guests are not supposed to wear white. She was a very pretty lady, but she was also wearing a long white dress, which was similar to mine and she was sitting beside me at the head table.

        Many of the pictures look like there were two brides, because I didn’t wear a veil, so some of the guests ‘ “plus 1” who didn’t know me thought she was the bride!

        Reply
          1. Mpls

            I think the “don’t wear a white dress to another women’s (Western) wedding” is advice circulated among the female set – so I don’t know Best Man would have been especially aware of it, unless specifically told.

            Reply
            1. SL

              Yeah, it’s definitely a thing female friends and relatives tend to circulate among each other. Unspoken rules and all. I had to tell my friend a couple weekends ago (we’re both in our early 20s) that no, she cannot wear white to a wedding (where she is not the bride), period, even if she’s just a +1.

              “But it’s a short dress!” No, just don’t do it at all. If you want to wear white, choose a floral dress with a white background. Save yourself the embarrassment when every other guest starts looking at you strangely because you’re that person who wore a white dress and accidentally matched the bride.

              Reply
              1. TootsNYC

                Actually, bcs I was the etiquette expert at a weddings magazine for a while, I looked this up in all the etiquette books. None of them have this as a rule, and the only mention of it in one place was “it shouldn’t look bridal.”

                This truly is an “unspoken rule.”

                Reply
                1. Rana

                  It would have been really odd at my wedding, too, because the dress I wore wasn’t even white. It was green.

                2. Annonymouse

                  Considering how different the level of wedding formality can be nowadays I think a “no white” rule is fair.

                  I mean with a beach wedding clearly it’s off limits.

                  At my second wedding I wore a short lace dress that didn’t look lacy unless you were less than 3 feet away. Anyone wearing a white dress would have looked as bridal or more than me.

            2. TootsNYC

              He may also not have known what she was going to wear. How many men quiz their female partners about attire?

              Even if he did know it, it wouldn’t have occurred to him that she didn’t know, I bet.

              Reply
          1. Dan

            Because I’m not necessarily sure us guys know that stuff, or that the women show off their dresses to us before the event.

            Reply
            1. Ad Astra

              I think you’re probably right that he didn’t ask his girlfriend what she was wearing or anticipate that the cultural difference could cause confusion, but you don’t have to be a fashion expert to know that wearing a long white dress to a wedding is a bad idea. As the best man, your job is to proactively handle situations that might complicate the wedding day or stress out the bride and groom. I would be far less disappointed if she were the girlfriend of a regular guest.

              Reply
              1. Blue Anne

                Yeah, this is very, very, very basic and widely known. I’ve even had a college boyfriend express concern when I sent him a picture of what I’d be wearing and the washed-out phone picture made my dress look close to white.

                Mpls, you might not know this, your friends might not know this, but a *lot* of guys do.

                Reply
                1. Tau

                  and the washed-out phone picture made my dress look close to white.

                  In reality it was blue and black, right?

                  Sorry, sorry, I’ll see myself out…

        1. AnonInSC

          Wow. At least you know it wasn’t purposeful, which would be a totally different situation. But the best man should not have been THAT clueless.

          Reply
          1. Dan

            As Mpls says, that might not be advice circulated amongst the dudes. As far as we’re concerned, women’s fashion is something we will never understand, and therefore keep our noses out of as much as possible.

            Reply
            1. heymacerena

              But come on – “don’t upstage the bride” isn’t just a fashion rule, it’s also basic common sense. Yes, guys ARE expected to know that – especially the best man, for crying out loud.

              Reply
            2. Blue Anne

              I think that’s common wisdom even among guys. The “women’s fashion is something we will never understand” may apply to you and your friends, it may be widespread, but it’s really far from universally applicable.

              I even remember once when I was in college I sent my boyfriend a picture of the dress I’d be wearing as his +1 to a friend’s wedding. It was a floaty tan dress with gray, light brown and teal dots, but the picture was washed out and made it look close to white. He freaked.

              Reply
          2. Chinook

            “But the best man should not have been THAT clueless.”

            I disagree. Had he been to many weddings before that?(I had to coach DH and most aspects of our wedding because it was the first one he had ever attended. He didn’t believe me when I told him people would ask where we were registered or that they would give us gifts) Did he notice that no other women wear white? Does he regularly pay attention to what other women wear? Does he think he girlfriend wouldn’t know this rule? Did he say anything when he saw her dress and she point out that she had nothing else appropriate? There are so many ways the best man could have been innocent in not intervening.

            Plus, how many of us women would take kindly to being told not to wear a particular dress to an event by the man we are dating?

            Reply
            1. JMegan

              I agree. I think it’s highly likely that the best man did *not* know about this particular custom, had never noticed what other women wear to weddings, and that his girlfriend also didn’t know about the custom and probably didn’t show him her dress beforehand.

              Totally get that it sucks for the actual bride in that situation, though! But I would chalk it up to a misunderstanding rather than trying to assign blame to any specific person.

              Reply
              1. Elizabeth West

                If I were the bride and I knew someone had worn white by mistake (i.e. she didn’t know, like this person), I’d feel more badly for her than for myself. Because I know some people would say something to her and then she would feel bad. So I’d probably make sure to give her a compliment–“You look so pretty! Thank you for coming!” where people could hear me and leave it at that.

                If the guest did it deliberately because they were an attention monkey, I’d say, “Thank you for coming!” and ignore it. People waiting for drama would wait forever. :)

                Reply
            2. Cath in Canada

              When I went to the weddings of my friends from Chinese and Indian backgrounds, I made sure to ASK if there were any colours I should avoid well before it was time to choose an outfit!

              Reply
        2. Lead, Follow or Get Outta the Way!

          My mother was still looking for a dress the day of my wedding. When she shows up at the venue (help her daughter…what help) just before the wedding, I see she is wearing a white dress with lace. I was NOT happy.

          Reply
          1. Rebecca

            My mother-in-law wore a white dress with lace to my wedding. It was a shorter dress (not short-short, like cocktail length) with a white jacket on top.

            She even “asked” (read: told) me about what she wanted to wear a couple of weeks beforehand. Supposedly it was the only dress she found that she loved. I was like, “Fine, go ahead.” I mean, I was wearing a ball gown and a veil so it’s not like anyone would mistake her for the bride. It was just so odd because she considers herself so traditional and Miss Manners. Whatever, she looked like the crazy one, not me!

            Reply
            1. Muriel Heslop

              I have a friend whose MIL wore a floor-length white sequined gown to the wedding. I’ve never been able to get over it, especially since the MIL considers herself to be very “society”.

              Reply
              1. Rebecca

                Haha, my husband only has one brother. My MIL actually did recycle the jacket but put it over a black dress for his wedding.

                Reply
                1. Lia

                  I should have clarified — my sister’s MIL wore the same white lacy dress with a lace jacket to each of her sons’ weddings. I’m fine with repeating the fancy dress, but not upstaging the bride four times!

                1. Annonymouse

                  You don’t wear anything bridal to a wedding if you aren’t a bride.

                  No tiaras, veils or white satin/tulle/lace.

                  This is understood to be a rule amongst people in the western world.

                  So the same woman wearing the same white lace dress to 4 different weddings would have known better. Especially since people would have called her on it the first time.

                  But maybe everyone eventually thought she was poor and bad mannered if she kept recycling it…..

              2. Avery

                Speaking of upstaging the bride, do you think it’s appropriate to show a lot of cleavage at a wedding? As teenagers, we were scandalized when one of our classmate’s mothers showed up in a plunging neckline and a push-up bra to a wedding. Maybe this is common in other parts of the country and we were just being prudes?

                Reply
          2. Kyrielle

            Yikes. Admittedly, I attended a friend’s wedding in the dress I wore when I was married, but I was a non-traditional bride and didn’t wear a white dress. Also, I got married in it a couple years *after* I attended her wedding in it.

            Reply
        3. LemonLady

          My husband’s brother was an usher at our wedding and the woman he brought to our wedding wore a very lovely long white dress. Her dress was probably much more expensive than mine. There was no cultural misinformation going on at all but maybe something else altogether. My poor mother was so upset but I knew what kind of family I was marrying into and we are still together 40 years later.

          Reply
        4. Nervous Accountant

          I am so glad we don’t have this typ e of restriction in my culture (South Asian)… brides traditionally wear red, but guests can wear red too. I’ve read discussions on other boards about what’s inappropriate for a guest. Crazy enough, I do have a competition story: my cousin got married, she wears a traditional red gown, heavy gold jewelry, heavy makeup, veil on the head.

          Her relative shows up, dressed exactly the same but in a way better because her dress and jewelery were more expensive. Everyone thought she looked like an idiot…I wish I’d taken a picture of it.

          Reply
          1. Nervous Accountant

            I need to add tha from what I know about western culture, brides dont’ re-wear their wedding dress…. not so in my culture..but there is a way to wear your wedding dress that’s appropriate as a guest (toned down jewelry/accessories, makeup etc).

            Reply
        5. Kristen

          When I got married, my boss’s wife showed up in a white pants suit….and she was the type of woman who did know better! Plus they pulled in to the parking lot as I was in front of the church waiting for my wedding party to walk in. If it hadn’t been the happiest day of my life I would have chewed them both out at the reception.

          Reply
      4. Blue Anne

        At our reception my favourite aunt drank a too much, tripped over her toy poodle, and sat in the driveway in great pain drunkenly refusing to be moved for about two hours. Luckily one of my high school friends has become an EMT, and between the two of us we eventually convinced her to be driven to the hospital, and stayed with her until the painkillers kicked in. (At which point we returned to find both of our husbands also very drunk, as my Scottish husband gave her Arkansan one a crash course in whisky.)

        Turned out Aunty had cracked a hip. When she got out of the hospital she sent flowers to my friend and a very large wedding cheque to me.

        Reply
            1. Blue Anne

              It was a casual-ish outdoor reception held in the huge backyard of my childhood home, so I guess… but yeah, she’s a bit of an eccentric.

              Eccentric Aunt is my inspiration for life generally (dogs and wine, give no f***s) and career (she’s the main administrator for a large city hospital).

              I love that she and her goddamn yappy toy poodle were the drunk disruption at my wedding. Wish she hadn’t hurt herself though.

              Reply
      5. the gold digger

        My husband’s parents were both drunk. His mother sobbed that the best years of her life were when my husband was a toddler. My husband’s dad made a toast and did not mention my name or even the words “My son’s wife” once.

        I consider it a success given what I dreaded might happen with them.

        (We spent our wedding night on the pull-out sofa bed in the basement while his parents clomped around upstairs in our bedroom and my mom slept in the guest room. Here’s some advice: Do not let anyone stay with you during your wedding. Let them make their own arrangements. )

        Reply
        1. Gene

          That’s one of the big reasons we got married in Vegas. Everyone got to make their own arrangements and entertained themselves.

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      6. Wedding Anon

        I’m sure you ended up with your own ridiculous wedding stories. No drama at mine, either, but we still tell these stories all the time:

        – The one where my husband forgot my ring.
        – The one where we forgot to sign the marriage certificate so didn’t technically get married until the next day (whoops!).
        – The one where I lost – then found, thank god – an heirloom handkerchief my brand-new mother-in-law gave me to carry down the aisle.
        – The one where a friend of my husbands and a friend of mine almost hooked up, but then he called it off because “she’s a nice girl.” We haven’t stopped laughing about that, given the woman in question (who is indeed very nice, but not in the way he was thinking; let’s just say that he really missed out).

        etc.

        Reply
        1. Al Lo

          Our legal wedding date is a month before our actual wedding because the pastor put the wrong date on the marriage license. We didn’t realize it until the license came in the mail, and by that point we decided it would make a good story, so we left it. My mother was horrified and is convinced that we’re dooming future generations of family historians to failure when family records and government records don’t match up.

          Reply
          1. Wedding Anon

            I have a friend whose officiant screwed up their filing, so when they filed their taxes they found out they weren’t officially married. They waited for the next year so they could keep their anniversary.

            (Our officiant and witnesses backdated the certificate. Shhhh!!)

            Reply
        2. simonthegrey

          I only have one wedding story, and it didn’t happen at the wedding. My husband and I booked a room at a bed and breakfast for our wedding night (honeymoon wasn’t for a month due to finances). We had brought our cell phones and didn’t turn them off in case of emergency as we both had quite elderly grandmothers. It was late and we were ready to…retire…when his phone rang. He checked it and answered it, as it was a friend who had been at the wedding. Said friend was after-gaming, drunk, and had just recognized that the song we walked down the aisle to came from a fairly popular at the time movie. He felt that midnight on our wedding night was THE TIME to call and announce this to my husband.

          I’ve never let him live it down, but we still love him.

          Reply
        1. chump with a degree

          A friend of the family brought a very drunken Englishman who proceeded to call me the C-word. Mind you, 30ish years ago you would most likely not encounter that word outside of XXX movies (my, I am showing my age!). I let it go because what the hell? We never saw him again…she went through a lot of men.

          Reply
          1. AnonForThis

            Why do people bring randoms to weddings? They always cause trouble. I know someone who had to stop a young “lady” from twerking with no panties on and a sheer outfit at a wedding. She didn’t know the bride or the groom, she was just a date. And she didn’t seem to care about the situation she just saw a DJ and an open bar and decided to “turn up.” SMH

            Reply
            1. Cath in Canada

              I’m pretty sure the +1 our former tenant brought to our wedding was a professional escort.

              I was blissfully aware of the other happenings, which included:

              1) my husband’s brother’s ex showing up and making a big scene outside the venue. She blamed one of hubby’s sisters for the fact that she hadn’t been invited while other family exes were present. In fact, she was not invited because no-one likes her because she causes drama.
              2) some drunken randoms trying to steal the taxi we’d pre-booked for my parents and sister (who were taking all the decorations, leftover cake etc. back to our place – we were staying in a hotel that night) and getting really nasty about it. I know it’s hard to find a taxi in Vancouver, but c’mon.
              3) hubby’s friend hitting on our barely legal niece (who to be fair looked older than she was at the time).
              4) four of our pre-teen / early teen nephews picking a lock and getting onto the roof of the venue. No injuries or damage, thankfully.

              Hubby knew about #1 and #3, but made sure I didn’t find out until afterwards. My sister told us about #2 the next day. Hubby’s sister told us about #4 when we got back from our honeymoon (the youngest nephew ‘fessed up in a fit of remorse – his brother and cousins weren’t happy with him!)

              Reply
      7. Ad Astra

        At the hair salon, my flighty mother who pays for everything in cash left after getting her hair done to hit the ATM and pick up my brother’s girlfriend. When it was time for me and my bridesmaids to head to the church, she still hadn’t returned, and the salon manager had to pull me aside and ask me to pay for my mother’s hair. I really didn’t have the money, so I called my mom and said “Hey, where are you? We can’t leave until you come pay for your hair, and we’re already running late.”

        Well, my mom heard the annoyance in my voice but assumed it was directed at the salon, not her. She showed up, huffing and puffing about them “HOLDING MY BABY HOSTAGE” and vocally refused to tip. My bridesmaids shuffled me out of there ASAP because I was in danger of ruining my makeup with tears of embarrassment.

        A few minutes before I walked down the aisle, she said, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Uh, yeah, actually.

        When I was 3/4 of the way down the aisle and having a little trouble with my dress (I had decided at the last minute not to wear heels, so now it was too long), she scurried out to help me when it was my MOH’s job to smooth and fluff the appropriate dress parts.

        Once my dad handed me over to my husband and we got settled on the kneelers, I whispered to my husband, “I’m gonna kill her.”

        Don’t worry, my mother is alive and well.

        Reply
      8. lfi

        … i had someone kicked out of my wedding because they were so drunk they kept smashing glasses and was unruly. guess we can throw an okay party? ;)

        Reply
      9. mirror

        I work in the wedding industry. Oh, the stories…. :)

        2 highlights: A wedding I worked, the brother of the bride body slammed another guest. They were fighting over who gets to put the garter on the bouquet-catcher. 2nd was a guest shi**ing himself on the dance floor.

        Reply
    3. Beezus

      My father-in-law performed a PG-rated striptease at my reception that involved suggestively removing and performing a very interesting dance with his necktie (think dental floss). He’s one of my favorite people and the story mortifies him, hehe.

      Reply
      1. Cath in Canada

        LOL!

        I was once at a wedding where the Kiwi contingent of the bride’s family performed a Haka in the general direction of the groom’s family, who responded with a mass mooning. Unfortunately I missed this because my husband had broken his ankle on the stag do (skydiving) and I was running around with extra buffet plates and drinks etc.. The video was great though.

        Reply
    4. AnonForThis

      Alcohol and high emotions – yes, even at “happy” occasions such as weddings – can make people do crazy things. But this guy was just a COWORKER and showed out like this. I’m very angry management isn’t taking a harder line with this, but of course it wasn’t THEIR wedding and they don’t care. That’s what this comes down to. We can say they are cowardly and bad managers, etc., and all of that is true, but the real issue is that they don’t care enough to address this. They just don’t.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        I’m probably in a tiny minority, but I’m a firm believer that whatever happens outside of work (or a work related event), stays there.

        While it’s fair to ask how one would be expected to work with The Dude after that incident, welcome to the real world. The rest of us have to work with people we’d prefer not to every day.

        I’d probably be that manager who would try to ignore it and hope it went away or otherwise resolved itself without my involvement.

        Reply
        1. AMT

          In general I think that outside work should not affect work – that said, if the guy had just been a drunk obnoxious jerk that’s one thing, but he ASSAULTED his co-worker. To me, that is crossing the line of what can affect your work life

          Reply
          1. Ad Astra

            Yeah, it’s the punching that makes a difference to me. I don’t really care if my employees have an uncomfortable social interaction outside of work, but I care if there’s physical violence or sexual harassment involved.

            Reply
            1. Charlotte Collins

              Once the law is violated, I think an employer has every right to question whether this is someone they want to be associated with. (FTR I mean things like assault and robbery, not things like speeding.) But if I were Jamie, I would’ve called the cops. In my town, even if charges weren’t pressed, the CW would get a trip to detox. I’m not above using stomach pumping and 24-hour observation to teach someone a very important lesson.

              Reply
              1. Ad Astra

                It sounded to me like someone called the police but the bride and groom declined to go down to the station and fill out paperwork. If that’s the case, I would think the CW was at least removed from the premises or even arrested, but he wasn’t charged. But I could be mistaken.

                Reply
            1. Dan

              So call the cops then, that’s what they’re for. I just don’t like seeing HR being used as a substitute for proper law enforcement. If a crime has been committed, let the law run its course.

              Reply
              1. Today's Satan

                Sorry, but I’ve seen too many times when an argument between co-workers is “settled” by one of them off company property. . . on purpose. They think that if they beat the crap out of their co-worker in, say, the parking lot of Chili’s then there won’t be any job-related repercussions. I know I for damned sure don’t want that kind of mentality in my company. If you think punching people is the best way to handle a non-life-threatening situation, then you’re not the right kind of employee for my company. Ditto for rapists, thieves, pedophiles, and verbally abusive folks. Just because you don’t do it on the job doesn’t mean I still want you working for me.

                Reply
                1. Suz

                  When I had jury duty, this was the exact what the trial was about, except it was at a McDonald’s instead of Chili’s. We found him guilty.

          2. Chinook

            ” if the guy had just been a drunk obnoxious jerk that’s one thing, but he ASSAULTED his co-worker. ”

            I have to agree that this is the line where a manager should intervene. From a business perspective, she shouldn’t insist the two people work together as it will not be an environment where work will be done at its best. It would be like insisting a Hatfield and a McCoy work on the teapot review – don’t be surprised if the work quality is below par or somebody ups and quits (or if yelling or punching starts happening). On top of that, what is there to stop the drunk coworker from pulling this stunt at the next work sponsored event?

            Reply
        2. Rock

          Why? Why should someone’s drunken, VIOLENT, and highly inappropriate actions be okay, just because they didn’t happen in the cube? This guy punched his co-worker. I don’t understand why that is somehow out of bounds.

          Reply
          1. Charlotte Collins

            Also, this was a highly public incident in front of other coworkers. And I can only assume that the groom introduced the CW to other guests who would know where they work, so there’s also a PR issue for the company. “So, this is the way employees of Wakeen’s Teapots behave at a wedding? Maybe I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

            Reply
            1. Rock

              That’s a hella good point I hadn’t even thought of in this instance. Employees represent their company off the clock as well as on…

              Reply
              1. Charlotte Collins

                If he was wearing anything with the company logo, that would make it even worse for them. (As someone who nearly got creamed a week ago by a badly driven truck, you bet I judged the company whose name was branded all over it for the behavior of the driver.)

                Reply
        3. Observer

          Up to a point, yes.

          But someone who punched you in the face is not just “someone you prefer not to work with”. And, if you punch a co-worker in the face at ANY time, it IS absolutely relevant to work.

          Reply
        4. Student

          I think that’s a recipe to lose the guy who is sane (and also the sane team lead who wrote in) and keep the crazy, drunk, spitting guy. Maybe you don’t lose the reasonable guys overnight, but this will be A Factor when they move on if it is handled poorly.

          Is that what you want? A team of crazies that you are too passive to confront? Or a team of reasonable people who you don’t usually need to confront?

          Reply
        5. Annonymouse

          Yeah, I think most people believe that as long as what you do outside of work doesn’t impact your work it should be fine.

          So getting drunk Friday/Saturday and being hungover the next day? Fine. Recreational pot use after work but being normal by morning? Sure.

          But in all seriousness one co-worker physically assaulted another coworker and spat blood all over his wife in front of his boss.

          That is clearly going impact him at work. Boss isn’t going to trust him, coworker isn’t going to want to work with him and he has severely damaged his reputation with this.

          This isn’t something that is going to blow over – this is something that needs to be dealt with.

          Reply
    5. BenAdminGeek

      Hey, who among us hasn’t gotten wildly drunk, punched the groom, spit on the bride, and gotten hauled off in a rage from the wedding? Happens all the time I’m sure…

      Reply
  1. UKAnon

    #1 I don’t think I could work again with somebody who ruined my wedding. OP, can you take to management that you are concerned that Jamie will leave if this colleague doesn’t and/or that you don’t really want to go back to working with him either? Even if he does grovel and apologise, this team is never going to be anything but downright frosty again.

    Also, I’ll second Stephanie’s wow.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      Another thought. I know it’s a small company, but is there an EAP (or one you guys might contract with)? Would it be out of line to request he deals with his alcohol problems?

      Reply
    2. Artemesia

      NO kidding. If he had just been a little drunk and obnox, that is one thing, but this description was of a disaster of Biblical proportions. What a horrible management to inflict this on the rest of the team.

      Time for the OP and Jamie to find another job if it is at all feasible. This company deserves to have employees like the Jerk.

      Reply
    3. All can be returned. All can be taken away.

      For many years I’ve heard that in Japan it’s more or less the rule that anything one does or says while drunk is conveniently forgiven / forgotten. I’ve never managed to get a good feel for whether or not this is really true. And even if it is true – I’m not sure that violence is covered.

      But – assuming the situation in #1 didn’t happen in Japan – none of that matters. And – the girlfriend punched the bride, too? There’s got to be some fascinating history / backstory here.

      It sounds to me like management is being lazy: they’ve just had an “incident” but they don’t want to deal with it, and they’re unrealistically hoping that it will just ‘go away’ and be forgotten after a week’s time.

      I don’t know Jaime, but it might be good to remind him that it would be against his best interests to start any violence against this co-worker.

      On the plus side: I sure hope the photographer managed to capture some of the action. Jaime and his bride may be in possession of a most rare and curious artifact: a wedding album that people actually want to see.

      Reply
      1. Anon for this one

        Could be true.

        When I was in Japan, some bloke got so piss drunk that he passed out. The non-passed out people had some good fun with him, and I had plenty of the pictures. The dude was at the bar, and the bartenders never said a word. He woke up and just seem to have no idea we had some great fun at his expense.

        Reply
      2. The Bimmer Guy

        So if I steal a new BMW 650i cabriolet while drunk ($100K car, mind you), all is forgiven? I need to move to Japan!

        But in all seriousness, yes, this needs to be dealt with. Much like the “quack” sex club, (remember that one?) it can’t be ignored just because it’s icky…

        Reply
      3. amaia

        Here’s my understanding- Japanese workplace culture has fairly strict norms about authority, hierarchy and politeness, followed by mandatory drinking and socialization with coworkers in the evening.

        So the idea is that during the day you might have to say “yes sir” to everything your supervisor says, but in the evening after everyone’s had a few you can tell him his latest idea is a big pile of bull. Message communicated, everyone pretends the conversation didn’t happen the next morning, office keeps on functioning with no social norms broken.

        Punching someone in the face at a wedding would probably not be included in this leeway.

        Reply
        1. Dan

          That drinking culture is also what drives the “capsule hotel” market. These are essentially hostels for grown ups. My understanding is that the Tokyo subway shuts down about midnight, but the “salarymen” stay out drinking past that. Cabs are expensive as hell, so this is a cheap place for them to sleep and shower for work in the morning.

          Reply
          1. Lily in NYC

            It’s like sleeping in a coffin! I could never. But I know it’s a necessity in Tokyo since so many people live way far out in the burbs.

            Reply
        2. Chinook

          Amaia, I agree with you that alcohol in Japan is used as a way to circumvent the rigid social protocols of business in Japan. When I worked there, my western bosses always made sure that the western teachers understood that a) this is a Japanese norm and b) that doesn’t mean that western employees can pull this stunt because they new full well we had no problem expressing our opinions when sober.

          But, when it came to things like assault or other criminal actions, being drunk was not considered a good enough excuse (though it may mitigate the punishment a bit). This is doubly true if you are not Japanese (which is why American soldiers in Okinawa were looked at in disgust because of the actions of a few drunk soldiers who were known to sexually assault locals). From what I understood when I was there (from the English language, Japanese based news broadcasts), alcohol was not ever seen as an excuse in foreigners.

          Reply
      4. Stranger than fiction

        Oh, you touched on something great there. The best way to get back at this guy (’cause he may not even remember what happened) is to take whatever videos of all this outrageousness and post it on youtube and social media. In other words, shame this guy. I’m not usually an advocate for such things, but he deserves it. And, who knows, maybe it’ll be the wake up call he needs. Nobody gets THAT drunk at a coworkers wedding unless they have a serious problem. Normal responsible people take it easy on the liquor when work is involved.

        Reply
    4. jules

      Maybe presenting it as: “whatever we do, we’re going to lose an employee. We can lose the friendly employee that invites colleagues to his wedding, or we can lose the violent drunk employee who has no sense of boundaries. Your pick.”

      Reply
      1. Graciosa

        I’m wondering if it’s too late for Jamie to press charges – and (or at least) get a no contact order. Perhaps a legal prohibition on the offender’s presence with Jamie in the work place will move management to behave like managers.

        Reply
        1. JGray

          I agree with you. If there are enough witnesses (or pics/video) go to the police now. Management would have to do something at that point because if an employee has a pending charge of assaulting another employee than management has to do something. I also can’t believe that the bridge didn’t do anything. I would have even if my husband didn’t want too. At that point nothing could have salvaged the night so why not spend some time talking to the cops.

          Reply
          1. The IT Manager

            There’s no law that management will have to do something even if charges are pending. Terrible management could easily say that everyone is innocent until proven guilty / that’s it’s one person’s word against another, etc.

            Because good management, would have handled this already even if charges are never pressed. There are witnesses! This is bad management and they might keep refusing to do a thing about it unless someone is sent to jail and then he’s fired because he’s a no show.

            Reply
      2. Creag an Tuire

        Hell, never mind Jamie — I know we’re not usually a fan of ultimatums here, but I think this would be a “fire him, or I’m leaving” conversation.

        Reply
        1. voyager1

          If you go the whole fire the drunk or else route, be ready to leave, they probably won’t have any problem with you leaving. If anything that solves all the problems that the drunk caused.

          I would highly suggest filing a police report on all this. If there is video try and get copies. Should have done that when all this happened… but that is water under the bridge now.

          I would NOT post it to social media. You know that the guy is violent, you have no idea how the drunk and violent coworker could react to the “shame fame.”

          The only way that the employer is going to do anything is when this becomes a workplace problem.

          Reply
      3. Annonymouse

        and they’ll lose OP and the other coworkers eventually too.

        Who wants to work for a company that makes the VICTIM of ASSAULT have to suck it up and forgive?

        Drunk Coworker (DCW) isn’t being asked to apologise either. It’s all on Jamie.

        That is messed up.

        Reply
  2. FiveByFive

    #1 – What the?

    Wasn’t this an episode of COPS or something?

    We’re not getting all the details here. What set this guy off? He just randomly starting beating up everyone? Was he provoked? How was he spitting up blood – did he punch himself? His girlfriend randomly punches people too?

    The venue had no way to stop this? The police weren’t called? Nobody in the entire venue was capable of keeping the bride and groom from being beat up at their wedding?

    What a uh, peculiar group of people…

    Reply
    1. Nonny For This

      You would be surprised what alcohol can do to a person. I think it’s likely that this all went down in a relatively short time, people were shocked, and the newlyweds wanted to get on with their wedding night and honeymoon rather than deal with the police.

      Reply
      1. UKAnon

        I can definitely see how this escalates – it isn’t out of the realms of possibility. All of that would probably take less than 5 mins.

        Reply
        1. Nina

          This. All it takes is for a couple of people to start throwing punches. You had the drunk guy and his gf starting fights, the bride and groom trying to defend themselves, and other people trying to protect the bride and groom while trying to hustle the drunk guy and his gf outta there. Add some alcohol, and you have a melee.

          Reply
          1. Drunk Driving

            Here’s my question even if they bride/groom didn’t want to deal with the police – how did the violent couple get home? I doubt they took a cab, I would have called the police just for the drunk driving alone, last thing I want on my wedding night in addition to a fight is knowing that someone got killed or seriously hurt because of a bunch of douches who can’t handle booze.

            Reply
        2. Today's Satan

          I was at a friend’s house several years ago. There were four of us having dinner and drinks. I started joking with my friend that I was going to steal his beautiful leather jacket when he wasn’t looking. (“You sure you want to go to the bathroom, Roy? Your jacket and I might not still be here when you get out;” that kind of thing). All of a sudden he jumps up, heads into his bedroom (where the jacket was kept; it wasn’t out in a common space) and returns with a LOADED, LIVE GUN. And starts waving it around and yelling about how *nobody* is going to take his goddamn jacket!

          Dude.

          Stand down.

          I was only joking. I was complimenting it. (And, hell, I’m a woman half his size; and the jacket wouldn’t fit me; and it was a man’s style). But booze and a [heretofore unseen] crazy side of his personality pushed him over the edge into someplace violent and scary.

          We’d been friends for 15 years. I never spoke to him again.

          So, yeah, alcohol can make some people do really crazy stuff even with the most neutral of provocations.

          Reply
      2. FiveByFive

        Right, I understand why the newlyweds wouldn’t want to deal with this – but apparently there they were, right in the middle of all of it, and nobody else was able to handle it and keep them out of it. This is just all kinds of crazy town.

        Reply
            1. fposte

              There’s a certain level of drunk and disorderly where you don’t really have options beyond forcibly pinning somebody down in the police way without just turning the situation into a free-for-all. That’s not something many people can pull off, especially when there were apparently two people who needed it.

              Reply
            2. Kara

              I’ve photographed literally hundreds of weddings. You’d be surprised at how quickly things can escalate when there’s booze and high emotion involved. And how hard it is to de-escalate in that situation.

              Reply
            3. Annonymouse

              Also most people aren’t trained to deal with things like that.

              I’m a black belt and I’m trained to talk it down first and try to calm people down before getting to fisticuffs.

              And pulling off those kinds of moves isn’t easy even with practice.

              Reply
          1. Charlotte Collins

            And we don’t know where the wedding was. I’ve been to weddings where the venue is basically a (very nice) park shelter or other public building or somebody’s home and after dinner is served, it’s pretty much just the guests, so that might explain why there wasn’t a non-guest/wedding party member to call the police.

            And situations can escalate very, very quickly.

            Reply
    2. Sonya

      Are we sure he wasn’t on meth/ice as well as hitting the turps? That’s the only drug I know that could make someone that strong and violent in such a short time. Make sure you’re auditing the systems, OP. Ice addicts love to steal to feed their habit and many of them are functional addicts who can hold down a job.

      Reply
      1. A Dispatcher

        Actually, we’ve been having a huge issue lately with combative parties/patients on synthetic Marijuana/designer drugs (spike, spice, bath salts, flakka, etc) so it’s not just meth anymore. Not to say this guy was on drugs.

        Reply
        1. Natalie

          It’s never been just meth, tbh. Whatever the current drug du jour is usually gets press attention for somehow being extra violent or scary, when generally the violence and aggression has less to do with the drug and more to do with the underlying issues of the user. Once that drug either fades away or becomes more popular, the press moves on. (My favorite example being cops in the 30s, who insisted they needed higher caliber bullets to deal with users of marijuana and [comparatively weak to today] powder cocaine.)

          Reply
      2. Natalie

        Not impossible, but definitely not necessary. People can get plenty violent and uncontrollable on good old-fashioned alcohol.

        Reply
      1. Lee

        Yep. And I’m not really understanding the underlying message that there’s some scenario under which, if we knew more details than booze, it would be Oh that makes it okay for the coworker to beat up the groom and spit blood at the bride.

        Reply
          1. some1

            Can’t speak for Lee but your questions about “what provoked him”, etc, implied (at least to me) that there is some scenario where the co-worker’s behavior is excused or the responsibility should be shared by the other people there.

            When grown-ups get “provoked”; they walk away. And if they know they can’t walk away from being provoked when they’ve been drinking, they don’t drink (or drink that much) or stay home.

            Reply
            1. Ad Astra

              I interpreted “What set this guy off?” to mean “What event or conversation was he (over)reacting to so violently?” And with a lot of drunk people, the answer is usually some ridiculous perceived slight, like an accidental elbow or something. Or when he knocked over the children, an adult tried to get him off the dance floor, he perceived this as somehow rude or unfair, and all hell broke loose.

              I doubt he was “provoked,” but I’m sure at the time he felt he was. That’s how drunk logic works.

              Reply
            2. FiveByFive

              Ok, in no way do I excuse this guy’s behavior. Or his girlfriend’s behavior.

              I just think it’s bizarre that they would both randomly start punching everyone in the wedding party. But certainly they may have. I just find this whole thing really, really bizarre, but maybe it’s just me. *shrug*

              Reply
              1. Joline

                I assumed that it started with raised voices and then someone started doing the arm around and “come on, bro. youu gotta get out of here” and then the guy overreacted to the touching and swung at that guy. So someone tried to grab him and punches flew (and drunk girlfriend probably jumped in to “protect” her drunk boyfriend).

                The drunk full-out fights I’ve seen usually come from someone crossing that touch barrier – no matter how innocently.

                I almost saw it happen at a football game a few years ago. Where the guys beside me were heckling the guys a row below is. They were okay until the drunker of my seat neighbours decided to start flicking the hood of the sweatshirt of the guy in front of him. You could see the guy being hassled’s face change – he was about to snap. I had to point out to drunk guy’s buddy that he needed to get the drunk to not touch people – that it escalates things quickly. He didn’t think it was a big deal at first but he couldn’t see the face of the guy in front of us – he was about ready to turn around and clock the drunk. He managed to get his buddy to stop but it was pretty close to ending in a pretty unpleasant situation.

                Reply
          2. Kara

            I didn’t get the impression that you thought the situation was “ok”, but from your questions, it sounds like you think everyone just sat around on their thumbs and let this guy go on a drunken rampage.
            You asked:
            The venue had no way to stop this? The police weren’t called? Nobody in the entire venue was capable of keeping the bride and groom from being beat up at their wedding?
            I think it’s clear that you’ve never had to deal with someone who is totally unreasonably an angry drunk who looks for something to be pissed off about. Which is great – trust me, you don’t want that! But factually these people exist and when they lose it, it all goes pear shaped fast and hard.

            Reply
              1. A Non

                The letter writer doesn’t owe us a complete report of what happened. They’re reporting the general outcome and how their employer is failing to deal with it. I don’t doubt there was some perceived slight that set the guy off, but it’s really irrelevant to the letter.

                Reply
                1. FiveByFive

                  I didn’t say we’re owed anything. The letter and the response are open to comments, and I commented.

      2. Anon for this

        Yup. Having dated a couple of musicians and a DJ back in my youth, I’ve seen this happen a couple of times at shows/events where there’s a large crowd and plentiful alcohol. For some people (see also, for example, my father’s angry, controlling, anti-social relatives), a lot of booze is all it takes. My experience is that angry drunks often get more angry when people try to step in and get them to calm down, so I can absolutely see a bunch of people at the wedding trying to stop him and him continuing to lash out and escalate the situation.

        Reply
    3. Don't dox me, bro!

      There was a rumor that went around at one of my jobs that they had gotten in trouble for not having diversity hiring. Someone had reported them, they were over a certain size and it was a sea of white faces kind of thing but no one knew who had lodged the complaint. So, the PTB quickly hired some minorities to make it all Okey-dokey. One of them was a black man who seemed like a super nice guy, very funny, but he had a chip on his shoulder and somehow knew or had been told about being a diversity hire. Didn’t find this out until after a company party where it turned out he had gotten really drunk, destroyed property at the bar yelling about how unfair it was then drove home in the middle of the night, people had tried to stop him as he was still drunk. Back at the office, no one said a thing.

      Reply
      1. My Fake Name is Laura

        Trying to fix institutional racism by adding more racism rarely works out. They basically used the new hires as tokens, subjected them to covert racism (re: diversity hire commentary etc), and questioned their qualifications/humanity because of it. Not shocking at all that one of the workers reacted poorly. Doesn’t excuse his behavior, but I lay all the blame at the company’s feet for trying to take a shortcut and failing.

        Reply
  3. Min

    #4 – This reminds me of when I worked for one of the major national banks years ago. Because of strict pay scales, our entire department was classed as Team Leads in order to recruit staff at the level needed to do the work. It was always a bit awkward to try to explain to people from other departments that while the corporate directory said we were all Team Leads, I was actually *the* Team Lead.

    I did at least get a raise out of the deal, though. I can’t imagine taking on the extra responsibilities listed by the OP without one.

    Reply
    1. All can be returned. All can be taken away.

      Honestly, I often get confused when people start talking about “team leads” and “managers” and “directors” and “supervisors”. I bet if I had an MBA I’d be able to quote some standard definition of each of these roles, but it seems like it is not uncommon for people or companies to attach their own idiosyncratic meanings to them.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        In my field, it’s rather common to have people-managers/leads and technical/project manager/leads.

        Speaking of MBA mumbo jumbo, my last company was pretty small with aspirations of becoming pretty big. Sot they paid some HR consulting firm to institute “levels”. They wanted to make levels comparable against different job functions. So, a “level 2 receptionist” was actually on the same pay scale as a “level 2 engineer.” Except the pay scales were so wide to compensate for that, that they were almost meaningless.

        The other thing is, there were about ten “core competencies” that were evaluated at every level. IOW, a very senior analyst and a very junior analyst were graded on “industry knowledge” albeit to different standards. The kicker was that some things just didn’t apply — you’re not expecting a 23 year old right out of college to do proposal development or external communication. So they’d come up with some general BS to fill in the box.

        You know, it would have been just fine to tell junior that he was not expected to participate in business development. Was I suppose to get a low mark because I didn’t have the opportunity to contribute?

        Reply
      2. BRR

        There’s really no standard definition to these terms, many are company specific. I’ve been having this problem applying for jobs where I’m not quite sure how junior or senior a position is when I apply. I try to go by who it reports to and years of experience asked for but even then sometimes things don’t line up.

        Reply
      3. Brandy

        I have a team reporting into me that includes managers, a director, and a team lead.

        My team lead has hire/fire power, does performance reviews and the whole lot. Pay the same as the managers. The reason he’s a TL and not a Manager of Technical People is because he is part Technical Person. So he has 3 full time do-ers, and he is a part time do-er, part time manager.

        FWIW, the straight Manager role is NOT a technical role and the people managed are not technical. I tend to think TL is more common within the tech side of things. We do have a TL role on our customer service side, and that tends to be what is described upthread- no hire/fire power and is comparitively a less senior role than on my team.

        (in our company, CS Associate > CS Team lead > Technical Person > Technical Team Lead in terms of pay and seniority, and there can be a growth track from CS to technical, but it takes 5+ years)

        Reply
          1. The IT Manager

            Maybe it’s the way you explained it in your letter, but if every manager in your company is called a team lead to include the CEO being the Executive Team Lead, there’s got to be some of these “team leads” who do have hire/fire authority and an awareness of salaries. In a ~10,000 some of these people must serve as true managers/supervisors of people. That said I think it is unusual and an increase in responsibility of becoming a team lead vice being an individual contributor does not result in at least a small pay increase because that step up does signify more responsibility and presumably more value to the company.

            “Team lead” is usually a way to signify a position that has some leadership responsibility be it for a small group of people or for a project, but without the authority of a supervisor/manager to hire/fire, impact salary, provide formal feedback.

            But all companies are different. It’s important for you to be able to explain your level of responsibility to others when your job hunting. This discussion points you in the right direction.

            Reply
      4. doreen

        Forget idiosyncratic definitions – I can’t even figure out if a “team lead” is more like a supervisor or more like the possibly old-fashioned “head” titles. And “director” seems like “vice-president” – a high level title in some places and a first-level manager in others.

        ( Head tellers and cashiers would answer questions from the other tellers and cashiers- and make sure there was coverage during breaks – but they actually worked as tellers and cashiers. )

        Reply
      5. Stranger than fiction

        True, it varies by industry. In my realm (tech, manufacturing, software and the like) a team lead would be the same as a supervisor. They would be the senior person of a team and train and oversee the day to day tasks, but they’re not quite a manger yet. A manager is, well just that. They hire/fire; oversee an entire department (sometimes more than one deptl.), attend management meetings, delegate tasks out to their reports, etc. Then, a director is a step up from management, they basically manage several managers, and is the last step before becoming a VP.

        Reply
  4. All can be returned. All can be taken away.

    #2: this has come up here before on AAM. I think it’s a judgement call on the part of the OP, but in my experience it is not uncommon for new employees to ask for small amounts of time off not long after starting work because of any number of minutiae. It’s especially common with people who have just moved to the area.

    The thing to avoid is making a habit of it. If it’s a one-time thing, it’s not a problem. If it becomes a habit / pattern, then it’s a problem.

    WRT the OP’s situation, I’d weigh the necessity of taking Friday off: is it simply a matter of convenience (ie, you want to spend Friday packing?) or is it more like you have plane tickets and you need to leave early on Friday morning? I assume it’s obvious that it would be good to advise your new employer of this situation as soon as possible.

    Also – you might consider offering to work the Saturday after your vacation, to make up for the Friday.

    Reply
    1. Chocolate Teapot

      Yes, I did that at my last job but one (Family event necessitating travel, which had been booked before I had even applied!). The company was fine about it, but I made sure not to take any more time off for several months afterwards.

      Reply
    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      You can do it, but the key is to negotiate it before you start, as part of the offer. If you bring it up later, it comes across as too cavalier about your new job. Usually when you’re starting a job, they either want you training intensively at first and/or there’s been a vacancy and so they’re eager to get you up and running, to get coverage where they didn’t have any before. Asking for a Friday off on your first week when you didn’t negotiate earlier is going to come across as tone deaf and for most managers will raise concerns about your commitment to the job/your reliability/your work ethic (unless there are extenuating circumstances like “I just moved here and that’s the only day I can sign my new lease” or “I have jury duty”).

      Again, it’s fine if you negotiate it earlier, but that doesn’t sound like the case here.

      Reply
      1. Artemesia

        Yeah — have to close on the house, ok — family vacation — no — that sounds like a college student who still expects spring break.

        Reply
        1. Graciosa

          Exactly. Not mentioning until starting the job that you’re going to need a long weekend your first week would make me seriously question whether I hired the right person. This would not have been a problem if it had been mentioned before the offer had been accepted, but it is a problem as it is presented here.

          I say this as someone who is *extremely* flexible about time off for existing employees, including approving late afternoon requests to take the following day off. I manage professionals, and trust them to know and manage their work loads.

          But they have *earned* that trust in a way that is just not possible for someone in the first week of a job – especially someone who accepted an offer without bothering to tell me that they want time off in the first week.

          The extra day of family vacation is not worth starting off like this with your manager. The OP should write the vacation off as the natural consequence of forgetting to say something before the offer was accepted.

          Reply
          1. Kat A.

            Or perhaps the OP can join the family a day late for the trip. I say this as someone who recently lost a family member and wishes I had taken more vacation time to be with them.

            Reply
      2. T

        Asking for Friday off wouldn’t bother me but I would find it odd that it wasn’t mentioned earlier. Didn’t we just agree on a start date like a week or so ago? That would have been the time to mention this vacation. Group vacations typically aren’t scheduled out of the blue so it would reasonably be presumed that you already had this information while discussing your start date and withheld it. Depending on our staffing needs, maybe I would have said to just take the whole week and start the following Monday after your vacation. If it were me, I would just suck it up and pass on the vacation.

        Reply
    3. Buu

      Unless it’s time sensitive, starting the week after the vacation might have been the most sensible move. Probably a bit late for OP but when negotiating start dates mention holidays but sometimes you’ll have to be prepared to cancel. ( I’ve never had to though)

      Reply
      1. Annonymouse

        Agreed.

        I was interviewing for jobs and brought up my upcoming wedding and honeymoon because this is something important for potential employers to know and factor in to my candidacy.

        When I did get a job it wasn’t a surprise for them when I asked for two weeks off after being there two weeks – it was negotiated as part of my hiring.

        Incidentally I did have a second job interview were I now work and this actually was said:
        Boss: If I remember correctly you have your wedding coming up. When is that again?
        Me: Tomorrow.
        Boss: Tomorrow? Then what are you doing here?!?
        Me: Interviewing for your open position?

        (To be fair it was and still is a role I love in an industry I’m passionate about. And I managed to get some last minute shopping done before my interview so…. Worth it!)

        Reply
  5. Fleur

    OP1: I completely understand Jamie not wanting to spend his wedding night at a police station, but what about filing charges now? It’s obvious his employer won’t do anything about it, so at the very least, it’s worth a civil suit for damages, though I’d personally want to file criminal charges too.

    Reply
    1. Alma

      There would be witnesses and photos to show the extent of damage done. It would probably be wise to file a police report, so if it turns out he broke someone’s cheekbone, or damaged something at the reception hall there is a report to assist with insurance claims. It would also be a record of his behavior should anything happen at work, or at another festive occasion.

      Reply
      1. Charlotte Collins

        At the very least, they can get him to pay to clean the bride’s dress.

        I was at a wedding where the bride spilled red wine on her dress, and that seemed pretty awful at the time. This is way worse…

        Reply
        1. VintageLydia USA

          I spilled red wine down my dress. I was pretty upset since I intended to donate it to one of those charities that give dresses to people who can’t afford them. But that was my fault. I couldn’t imagine the situation that happened in the OP.

          Reply
    2. hbc

      Yeah, I’d be inclined to do this anyway, but if my employer was going to keep the guy who assaulted me as my only team member? Maybe having him in jail for a few days and a conviction on his record will help them see they’re not powerless.

      Reply
    3. jhhj

      I also think that Jaime should look into filing charges and/or a civil suit now. This might also help with your employer being able to fire blood spitter. (If you are in some places outside of the US, though, they really might not be able to fire someone for offences committed outside of work.)

      Reply
      1. Apollo Warbucks

        Even with the most stringent employee protection laws in place a violent assault would still count as gross misconduct and would be grounds for summary dismissal, and if the fired employee tried to bring a claim for unfair dismissal I can only imagine the judge would laugh them out of court.

        Reply
        1. jhhj

          There are actually stories of people who were forced to be reinstated after doing things like SETTING A COWORKER ON FIRE WHILE AT WORK as a joke, so, um, don’t be so sure. (This one might have been because the guy was fired without his notice period, I don’t remember the exact details.)

          Reply
          1. Apollo Warbucks

            That’s crazy!

            I’m all for being fair to employees and believe there has to be due process before sacking someone but really, setting fire to someone should be grounds for dismissal.

            Reply
            1. jhhj

              I do have a link, it’s in moderation. But you can search “Dryco Drywall Supplies Ltd v Teamsters Local Union No 213, 2013 CanLII 7695 (BC LA)” — or, for other fun, “International Union of Elevator Constructors, Local 50 v ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Ltd, 2011 CanLII 46582 (ON LRB)”

              Reply
              1. UKAnon

                Ok, so the first one sounds ridiculous but actually is pretty solid law (viz, it turns on the word “may” and also follows a clear set of questions leading to the conclusion that an otherwise good employee had a moment of unintentional stupidity – i.e. he wasn’t malicious (unlike for the OP)) It’s one of those quirks of law that while your sentence is technically a true summary of the case, it’s also law which, whether you disagree with it or not, makes perfect sense and was arrived at perfectly logically. One of the reasons I find law so fascinating :-).

                The second one, I really wish I hadn’t read the first sentence of the judgment. In fact, I really, really wish I hadn’t read any more. I think I may be sick. Para 29 made me lol though. And it turns out you can fire employees for behaviour which is frankly inexplicable.

                Thanks for the searches!

                Reply
                1. jhhj

                  “As a joke” I think covers not malicious. (But I did have to research the details which I didn’t remember initially.)

                  I actually think that the setting fire to the coworker guy (in front of a customer, who got burned) should have been fired, despite it clearly being a non-malicious prank that went further than he thought it would, but they’re in different provinces so who knows.

                  The point was mostly that what one imagines would be clearly firing offenses at work are sometimes not, and a lot of places would restrict what you can do to someone for things they do outside of work, especially given that no police report was filed.

                2. UKAnon

                  This is true, although I think the non-malicious is an important point. For the OP, firing isn’t so much about the exact details or where it happened but just the sheer impossibility of continuing to work together. In the case, there’s no indication it changed their working relationship and idiot apologised; here there’s no indication that coworker realises quite how awful they’ve been, and combined with the clearly malicious nature of their acts is what makes it fireable, I think.

                3. jhhj

                  I’m not saying that blood spitter doesn’t deserve to be fired. I absolutely think he deserves to be fired. I am saying that it might be the case that the employer really can’t fire him legally for things he did in a non-work context. It seems like it should be obvious that the employer could fire him, if he wanted to, but it isn’t.

                4. fposte

                  @jhhj–in fact, I was thinking it might not be in the U.S. because of “car park,” which isn’t a common U.S. term.

        2. la Contessa

          Eventually, but the case might go on forever. I know of a case (from having to read weekly case digests, not from knowing the people) where some guy was clearly and unequivocally sexually harassing a coworker (including lying under her desk and peeping, if I recall correctly) and was fired when the bosses found out, but the union filed a grievance and the arbitrator originally reinstated him with back pay because he didn’t harass the woman between being told not to and being fired, so the warning was enough and there was no cause to fire him. It took multiple appeals (intermediate court, supreme court, back to intermediate court, and then back to supreme court) to finally and forever get the dude fired.

          Just because you’re right doesn’t mean your lawyer bills will be $0. (I forget on which site I saw someone comment that, it may have been here, but it’s my new go-to quote)

          Reply
          1. Elizabeth West

            Wow. If someone hid under my desk to peep, I’d wear spike heels to work and “accidentally” step on him repeatedly–“Oh sorry Bob, I didn’t see you down there. Did you lose something?” “Sorry Bob–darn heels.” “Oops, maybe you better go put some ice on your unmentionables there.”

            Reply
          2. catsAreCool

            So the union cares more about the peeper than about the woman who has to deal with it? Wasn’t she in the union too?

            Reply
        3. IrishGirl

          Here in Ireland you can be considered unfairly dismissed if the dismissal procedure is considered unfair, even if it’s acknowledged that the original offense was worthy of being fired.

          Reply
  6. Stephanie

    #2: Yeah, it sucks to cancel this, but it’d look bad to ask for leave during your first week (without clearing it ahead of time). If you’ve got lodging and all that arranged, look to see if you can reschedule.

    Reply
  7. DIYBlogGuy

    #2 – I have to disagree here as I would ask for the day off if it’s really required. Why? Because as a former manager I understand that people have lives to live. Although it would have been more sensible to broach this during the appointment discussion.

    #4 – Team Leaders can also be referred to as Coordinators, but I totally agree with Alison, Managers are completely different kettle of fish.

    Reply
      1. Ad Astra

        In my experience, most coordinators are somewhat senior employees who run an entire aspect of the business (I’m thinking marketing coordinator), but it’s often a small aspect with no direct reports. In some cases, I’ve seen coordinators who manage some people directly. In fact, I don’t typically see “manager” in the title of my managers. My company just has a handful of marketing specialists and one marketing director.

        Reply
        1. Shan

          Yep, I’m a coordinator and in my industry (non-profit in A/E/C and business development), that’s the definition most companies use. Coordinators are in charge of one particular aspect of an organization, with no direct reports. Some of them are senior, but some are entry-level or mid-level and move up to roles like manager, then director.

          But…I’ve been called “assistant” or “admin” so many times I’ve almost stopped using my title. Is that bad? I don’t want to be misleading about what I do, and at my organization there’s a big difference between “admin” and “coordinator.”

          Reply
        1. Lily in NYC

          Or “yes” in many cases. Where I work, “coordinator” is the title we give admins who want to be promoted but aren’t qualified for a non-admin role (most of our jobs require specialized advanced degrees). So they are given that title to try to keep them happy, but their job remains exactly the same. It’s been like this at every place I’ve worked.

          Reply
      2. Anony-turtle in a half shell!

        It was at the last place I worked. Several years ago, they changed everyone’s title from something like Teapot Spout Assistant (for someone working in the Teapot Spout Office) to Teapot Spout Coordinator for all of those working in offices for/with administration (managers).

        Reply
    1. Zillah

      I think that the general consensus, though, is that it’s fine to ask for the day off if it’s really required – but a family vacation doesn’t really fall under that umbrella.

      Reply
    2. Lead, Follow or Get Outta the Way!

      #2 – I think this person should have cleared it much earlier, especially if it had already been planned. For them to ask this late in the game shows that they weren’t thinking ahead or that it was last minute and they are placing the priority on this non-urgent trip vs starting a new job on solid footing.

      Reply
  8. TheLazyB (UK)

    #4- IME they’re not usually used like that in the UK (but I’ve always worked in the public sector, so might not be representative) but there is one team in my current org that does work that way. I’ve never understood why they have both a manager and a team lead. Thanks to OP4 for asking and Alison for answering! :)

    Reply
  9. Amy UK

    I don’t see the harm in asking about taking the Friday off, as long as you make it a casual request and are OK hearing a ‘no’. I guess it also depends on your role- I’ve never had a job where the first week wasn’t fairly casual training, where I usually pick things up quicker than the time allocated anyway. But I guess if you have a more formal training plan- as in, a set number of days all timetabled out for specific things- then that’s different. I’d play it by ear when you discuss this on your first morning.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      I started one job without clearing a pre-scheduled week off with my boss first. At the time, I had filled out enough applications where they asked, “Are there any times where you are unable to work?” and figured I’d just fill it out. Except they didn’t ask it then, so I figured they’d ask me in person. I start work and asked the boss about it, his response was “too late now, shoulda asked beforehand.” I ended up cancelling the vacation.

      These days? If someone were to ask me about a measily day off, I’m not sure I’d care. “Hey boss, I shoulda cleared this with you before I started, but it slipped my mind with everything going on. Mind if I take Friday off for a family function?” I just don’t see how that would raise too many eye brows.

      At my current job, I took a month of leave after about three months on the job. I cleared it with HR who was handling my offer, and they didn’t even bat an eye. “We value work life balance. You might have to take some of it unpaid though.”

      Reply
      1. Erin

        I agree with this wording, starting with “I should have cleared this with you beforehand.” If the OP does decide to take the risk and ask, this would be a good way to phrase it.

        I might still lean against asking, though – how important is this family vacation?

        Honestly if it were me I think I’d have to play it by ear depending on how well I hit it off with the hiring manager and if this was a busy season for them.

        If I thought I had a chance I might say, “I should have cleared this with you beforehand, but I was excited about the job and didn’t realize the timing – would it be possible for me to take Friday the 11th off for a family thing? If not it’s no problem, I can catch up with them on Saturday, but I figured I’d ask.”

        Reply
      2. Stranger than fiction

        I’m really on the fence about this but I’m leaning your way. Plus, it seems from the letter that she just accepted the offer within the last couple days, so maybe a quick call to them explaining in her haste and excitement she forgot to ask would be ok here, but definitely prepare for a no.

        Reply
    2. Ad Astra

      The thing is, even if the OP gets her day off, she’s made an unsavory impression. That could color all of her interactions with this manager going forward. It’s less about whether they absolutely need her to function that day and more about the message she’s sending.

      Reply
      1. All can be returned. All can be taken away.

        > … unsavory impression …

        Given that OP doesn’t turn it into a habit, I doubt that anyone will remember the day off a month later. And if OP has the kind of management that does remember the day off, and holds it against them – it’s probably better to find out sooner than later.

        Oh – re bringing up the day off during hiring negotiations: yes, this would be ideal. But the AAM archives hold many examples of people intending to bring up a topic during negotiations (upcoming vacations, weddings, healthcare details, insurance, retirement plans, titles, etc), and for whatever reason it gets lost in the shuffle. I can see this sometimes being a Big Deal (“yes, we do expect that our pilots know how to fly an airplane”) but a day off for a planned vacation? That’s chump change.

        Reply
    3. A Manager

      I do see the harm in asking. The harm is to your reputation with your manager and with your coworkers. As a manager, I would think I had made a big mistake in hiring you if you couldn’t even make it one week without asking for time off, for a vacation no less. Keep in mind, that position has been vacant for awhile. Someone else has been doing their own work and the work of this position. That person should be the one asking for time off, not the person who just started four days before.

      Reply
      1. Anonymousterical

        It’s pretty common for people to have vacations lined up that intersect with a job search/new job, and this happens all the time. It’s a single day. If this hurts OP’s reputation/job prospects, then OP doesn’t need to be working for that company/manager. I really don’t see the big red flag here, and I’ve been a manager in charge of hiring/firing/performance management.

        Then again, three weeks before my start date at my new-ish job, I asked for my first Friday off, for a life-long friend’s out of town wedding, and my manager is still in my corner. The place didn’t burn down. They chugged along just fine without the four-days-in project coordinator. I’ve also been the person who lost a thousand bucks because she didn’t want to take time off right at the start of a new job and cancelled a booked vacation, and THAT’S the decision I ended up regretting. Not the decision to take a day off.

        Reply
        1. Annonymouse

          But context matters.

          You asked BEFORE you started your job for a single day off for a once in a lifetime event.

          You (in theory) could have still gone on vacation if you had brought it up during negotiations or the interview process.

          This is spoken as someone who had to job search a month before my wedding and honeymoon and I would disclose it to potential employers.

          Did I miss out on jobs because of my timeline not meeting up with the company’s? Sure did.

          But the place I chose thought I was worth waiting for and I started there shortly after returning from my honeymoon.

          It would be completely different if I dropped a “oh by the way I’m getting married in a week and need two weeks off. That’s cool, right?” Shortly after starting.

          It’s about not blindsiding your manager and getting cover last minute for something that could have been done much earlier.

          Reply
  10. Sandy

    Here’s a question related to number two. It causes me angst every few years because I haven’t come up with a good solution.

    In my industry, it’s very common for everybody to change jobs at the same time- typically August/September. It’s a pretty hard-and-fast rule: don’t try to get anything done in August, too many people are on the move.

    Trouble is, two of the biggest Jewish holidays also fall in September, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. They are like the equivalent of Christmas and Easter for the only-go-to-church-on-Christmas-and-Easter Christians. Even fairly secular Jews observe them.

    Unless I have the great luck of having them fall on a weekend, I have to take days off. If I mention it before I accept the new job, then I put both myself and the employer in an uncomfortable position if they decide they don’t want to proceed after all. But the alternative is that I don’t say anything and wind up having to ask for three days off (a week apart) within a few weeks of being on the job.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Time off for religious observance is a different thing; they’re legally required to accommodate you (unless doing so would cause them undue hardship, and it would be unusual for that to be the case with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). I would just mention it as a logistics thing when you’re finalizing the offer — “Also, I should mention that I take Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur off, which are (date) and (date) this year. I know that’s coming up soon, so I wanted to mention it. Do you foresee that posing any problem?”

      Reply
    2. Bend & Snap

      I think it’s crappy that people have to take PTO for non-Christian religious holidays. Major holidays of all mainstream religions should be given without dinging the PTO bank.

      Reply
      1. Ad Astra

        I’d love to see more floating holidays for this purpose. That way you can take off Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashana or Good Friday or Muslim holidays (I’m sorry, I’m blanking on the big ones). Or if you don’t observe any religious holidays, you can take off your birthday and Flag Day.

        Reply
        1. Cat

          My office lets you work minor federal holidays (Columbus Day, President’s Day, MLK Day, Veteran’s Day) and “swap” them for any other day. It works out nicely for stuff like this.

          Reply
          1. Ad Astra

            I would LOVE that! Especially Veterans Day, since it’s a Wednesday this year. Taking the day off is more of a PITA than a nice break.

            Reply
        2. Rebecca

          I think my company uses floating holidays for this purpose. (I’ll have to ask my Jewish coworkers, in case I’m mistaken.) We are closed on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve is a “floating” holiday. So you can come in and work (and provide coverage if your department needs it) and use that day at a different time.

          I’m Christian but always work Christmas Eve. We don’t have to travel, I can go to a later church service and usually my department needs the coverage.

          Reply
          1. OhNo

            True, but not all work requires customers. I can think of a lot of things that need to be done – even in retail stores! – that would be ideal for uninterrupted holiday days.

            Reply
      2. Rachel8489

        It is crappy! But those of us who are not Christian are sadly used to this in the US.

        I’m also an observant Jew, and I’m only a few weeks into a new job myself. Rosh HaShanah falls within my first month! So when they made the offer, I brought up the holidays. Conveniently, the two VPs who called me with the offer are also Jewish, and not only understood but offered without prompting to front me the not-yet-earned vacation time so that I wouldn’t need to take the days unpaid. That’s what I would’ve asked for had they not offered, but having them bring it up is so much easier – and is a good sign about the kind of people I’m working for!

        Reply
      3. Us, Too

        Most Christians have to take PTO for religious observation as well. In fact, the only “Christian” holiday that I’ve ever had as a corporate holiday has been Christmas Day. And that particular holiday is a pretty secular one in the US. From a religious POV, it’s easy for me to attend Christmas Eve mass to meet my religious observation requirement if I needed to work on Christmas day. Meeting the requirements for other holy days is actually much harder.

        And for those days, I’ve never had a company holiday: Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, etc. So if a Christian wanted to take those days off or leave early/late for religious observance, he or she would need to use PTO to be paid for it for every company I have ever worked for. So far, this has just been inconvenient for me and not that big a deal – I just plan accordingly as I lay out my plans for taking time off each year.

        Reply
        1. Charlotte Collins

          I think this really depends upon your industry, but I’ve pretty much always gotten Easter off, because it’s always a Sunday. (When I was in retail, only convenience stores were open on Easter – my, how times have changed!) Weirdly, my company gives the afternoon of Good Friday off (never my experience in the past) but we do not necessarily get Christmas Eve off – last year we got the day after Christmas. (US company – so Boxing Day isn’t a thing; the only conclusion we could come to is someone doing the planning wanted a 4-day weekend.)

          Personally, I would prefer a “floating holiday” system. I think it would be fairer to more people, but I think the US has enough people who celebrate Christmas as a secular as well as religious holiday that it’s nice when employers give the day off (if they can – I still want ERs and firefighters available).

          Reply
        2. Chinook

          “I’ve never had a company holiday: Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, etc. So if a Christian wanted to take those days off or leave early/late for religious observance, he or she would need to use PTO to be paid for it for every company I have ever worked for. ”

          Ditto. In fact, I have gotten pushback from employers because these holy days are not typical holidays that they celebrate and weren’t going to let me take time off until I pointed out that it is a legal requirement to let me attend. And don’t get me started on the floor hockey tournament my team (which was 90% Catholic) lost because the finals happened to be scheduled at 7 pm on Holy Thursday which happened to be the exact time the campus Catholic service was being held (and half our team was ministering at). Until we forfeited that game, we had been undefeated.

          Reply
        3. Anonicorn

          You can’t ignore that most U.S. workplaces build in time off for Christian holidays only. Many are closed on Christmas day if not the entire week (schools, for example), yet very few close for Yom Kippur or any other non-Christian holiday.

          Our office is closed on Christmas and Good Friday, forcing everyone to use PTO for religious holidays that we don’t necessarily observe. This has been the case for every “white collar” job I’ve worked. Certainly retail and blue collar jobs are going to be different. And this is only part of a larger issue with our country’s overall lack of mandated time off.

          Reply
          1. Dan

            I think schools are a bad example here, because school calendars are about far more than just the staff.

            I’ve never worked at a place that observed Good Friday, Easter, or any other non-Christmas religious holiday.

            Reply
          2. Kyrielle

            I’d say it’s more secular holidays in most (but not all, as your example demonstrates – I’ve never worked anywhere that gave Good Friday off). Then again, I’ve also never worked anywhere that required me to use my PTO for holiday closures, they gave those as “holidays” outside the standard PTO and just paid us!

            I’ve usually gotten New Year’s, Martin Luther King Jr Day or Presidents’ Day (but never both, strangely), Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, Christmas Eve and Christmas (unless Christmas Eve was a Wednesday, then it was Christmas and the day after Christmas, or if they fell on weekends they just made a four-day weekend of it somehow), and sometimes New Year’s Eve.

            Only Christmas Eve/Christmas out of that is a Christian holiday.

            Although I agree, a bank of X holidays to use on secular or religious holidays as you see fit would be awesome. Or a list of company holidays with the ability to swap some out if you wanted/needed to, for religious holidays. That’s going to work best for roles where you can just work even if your coworkers aren’t in, though, obviously. :|

            Reply
          3. TootsNYC

            In NYC, the schools are often closed for Jewish holidays, and for several years their spring breaks, etc., were pegged to Jewish holidays.

            my daughter was in a public school, my son in a Christian school, and we missed family vacations several years because they weren’t off at the same time.

            Reply
            1. Elizabeth West

              At Exjob, I had to be careful not to ship anything to New York on Jewish holidays; FedEx still ran but they would leave boxes outside or not deliver them and the businesses we worked with would be closed. I got in the habit of noting the Jewish holidays on my calendar so I could time shipments to avoid them. The big ones were a no-brainer, but you never knew who was marking all the smaller ones as well.

              Reply
          4. Us, Too

            I don’t actually know what “most” US workplaces do. It would be interesting to know, though! My experience has been that the ONLY semi-religious holiday that a company I’ve worked for has ever offered was “Christmas Day” and I suspect that is less about catering to people of faith than a secular tradition in which people just don’t generally work that day in the US.

            So I don’t necessarily see any particular religion getting much preference in my workplaces because pretty much no religious holidays are given.

            Reply
            1. Anonicorn

              TootsNYC pointed out that schools in his/her area actually do close for Jewish holidays, so it makes me wonder if it’s a regional thing. It would certainly be interesting to know.

              My work experience is exclusively in the southeastern part of the country where there aren’t many large groups of non-Christians, and I suppose the holidays our workplaces offer reflect that.

              Reply
              1. AJS

                I grew up in the Boston area and schools/ businesses never gave days off for major Jewish holidays. Fast forward 30 years–I return and it’s commonplace. Progress.

                Reply
        4. Dan

          I agree with your assessment, the only religious holiday I too have had off is Christmas day. And I also agree with you that its observance in the US is quite secular in nature.

          If we want to split hairs, I’d note that Ash Wednesday isn’t a Christian holiday per se, it’s really a Catholic holiday.

          Reply
          1. TootsNYC

            I’m Lutheran–it’s a holy day for us. We have church services that day. There isn’t, however, any requirement to not work that day, and our services are usually in the evening. Or afternoon and evening, if the congregation is big enough.

            Reply
            1. Charlotte Collins

              I was raised Catholic, and my family never took Ash Wednesday off. We went to church in the evening. (My grade school did often have Spring Break before or after Easter, because there were families that traveled, though.)

              Reply
              1. Us, Too

                In order to get to mass on time for evening services, hubby and I have to leave work early due to traffic/commute times. It’s something I can plan/schedule for, but it’s also something that can interfere with my normal work schedule.

                Reply
              2. Elizabeth West

                We went in the morning and then you had to walk around school with ashes on your forehead all day. Which only gave the Baptist kids more ammunition (small town; small Catholic congregation; lots of remarks about everything we did).

                I often wish we had stayed in the city and not moved, because we would have stayed in parochial school and it wouldn’t have been an issue.

                Reply
          2. Stan

            Actually, Ash Wednesday is celebrated by many of the mainline Protestant churches as well. My church does an ecumenical celebration of ashes that day with the neighboring Lutheran and Anglican churches. Next year, the service will also include the non-denominational church that is nearby.

            Reply
      4. Shan

        I was just thinking that this morning! I’m not very religious and my office gets two weeks off over the Christmas holidays. I’m cool with it – after all, it’s 2 weeks PTO, and this covers time off for New Year’s and my birthday – and I usually take a short vacation anyway.

        But that’s almost all my PTO. I only have a few days to use as I’d like. Sometimes I’d rather have all that time to use whenever I’d like, because it kinda sucks to have only one time of the year you can take vacation…getting away for a week in the summer is almost impossible. Everyone in my org is either Christian or just non-religious, but I wonder what would happen if they hired someone of another religion. They’d have to use almost all their PTO on their own religious holidays, but get a few weeks off for a different holiday!

        Reply
          1. Anonicorn

            That’s the case at my workplace as well, though we don’t have 2 weeks of closing. It’s really fun when we HAVE to work on one of those office closed days to finish a project and our manager has to fight with corporate to make them not take our PTO anyway.

            Reply
          2. Dan

            Some places do it that way. Unfortunately, as AAM points out, there’s no law regarding the offering of PTO, so companies can govern its use however they want.

            Reply
          3. Kyrielle

            It drains PTO right before the new year, which can be good for the books, and also if a lot of people would be out then anyway, the remaining employees might not be that effective – so closing makes sense but they don’t want to “pay” for it. I was in a company that did that for a couple years (I’d forgotten until I read this!) and it was not fun. One year it was 7 days of time used…new hires only got 10 days of vacation time a year. (Not in a single bank with sick time, so at least they weren’t draining their sick time, but ick.)

            Reply
        1. Dan

          You say “Christmas holidays” but the reality is that Christmas is only a single day. New Years is by no means a religious holiday. The reason offices close for that week (or two) around Xmas/NYE is that so many people are out on voluntary leave that the office is not very productive. It’s more efficient to close that week, and also people can plan a chunk of time without having to worry about it. And I don’t think this is a religious thing — when you’ve got a four-day work week followed by another four day work week, a good argument can be made for taking four days of PTO and getting two full weeks off.

          Any Christian who wants to observe a holiday other than Xmas pretty much has to take PTO too.

          In my industry, so much of our work is independent, I’ve never worked at a place that had a blanket shut down during the Xmas/NY period. Some people work, most don’t. I tend to work that week and take my large chunks of leave in the spring or fall, although this year I will be gone then.

          Reply
      5. Doreen

        Some of that is due to having a single bucket of PTO ( I dont, I have separate ones for vacation and floating holidays). But not deducting for religious holidays when the company is open leads to other issues. The owner of my husbands company is Jewish and has traditionally closed on Jewish holidays. This year, he decided to open and the Jewish employees were outraged. So manager sent an email saying the Jewish employees would get three extra days of PTO. The reply emails ranged from “You can’t give extra PTO based on religion” to ” I’ve always had to take PTO for the Lunar New Year, Ash Wednesdsy, Eid etc so you have to give me extra days , too” and “We all usef to get them off, so we should all get the three extra days” . Ultimately, everyone got the extra days, but within a year or two it’s just going to look like religious holidays get deducted from PTO. No one is going to remember thst the number of days increased.

        Reply
      6. Lily in NYC

        I love that my office gives us 4 extra “floating holidays” we can take for Yom Kippur or Festivus or whatever. They are so good about vacation time here – I think I get 5 weeks off on top of the floating holidays (maybe 4, I can’t remember).

        Reply
  11. Techfool

    Re references, is it normal to require five references or have I read that wrong? Three or even two is ample unless they particularly want to keep unearthing referees until they find a negative one. It doesn’t matter if you’re mother Theresa, someone isn’t going to like you!

    Reply
    1. BRR

      I also thought 5 was a lot. Even academia doesn’t require 5. And the fact they have more they can provide. Now that I type that out I wonder how many are former managers.

      Reply
      1. Zillah

        I know that the general rule of thumb is that one’s references should be former managers, but if the company is asking for five references, that seems unlikely to be the expectation. If it was, their pool would be pretty limited – IME, many (even maybe the majority of) people don’t have contact with five past managers (since current managers often aren’t an option).

        Reply
      2. College Career Counselor

        Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for academia. I’ve seen requests for five references many times. Now, in this case, it’s not just former managers/supervisors (because, hey, you may not have had five jobs before applying to the position in question), but “professional references” also includes peer colleagues and sometimes people who reported directly to you.

        Reply
    2. KAZ2Y5

      It’s not common, but it does happen. I had to have 5 references for my current job (I posted about it at the time). And to give the OP hope, this was for an email survey and I talked to each of my references and told them they would get an email survey by the weekend. I sent out the links on Friday and by Monday morning I had 4 out of the 5 surveys finished – the only holdout was my most recent manager. By Wednesday he still hadn’t responded and I was kind of worried and checked with one of my other references – apparently he had taken the week off for vacation and hadn’t bothered to tell me when I told him about the references! I guess the other 4 were good because I got a job offer that Friday and my former manager didn’t fill out the email survey until the following Monday!

      Reply
    3. SherryD

      The OP said they worked in health care, so I’m wondering if it’s something particular to their field.

      Good luck, OP! It’s exciting to be at this stage.

      Reply
      1. KAZ2Y5

        Mine was healthcare, although it was a teaching hospital associated with a university. With mine only 3 had to be managers – the other two could be co-workers or managers.

        Reply
    4. Ad Astra

      I’ve heard of five but I think three is usually the standard. I had one company ask for three professional references and three personal references. For an entry-level job.

      Reply
    5. Holly

      I recently saw an interesting job but it wanted 5 rec letters up front. So I had to pass. I checked around and no one thought that was too odd so I’m glad to hear others think 5 is excessive.

      Reply
    6. Stranger than fiction

      I think 3-5 is normal and in this case I’d expect three to be enough for this exact reason, in case they’re not all available.

      Reply
    7. Maureen

      I wonder if they really wanted three, but asked for five so that, in the event they couldn’t get hold of one or two, the process wouldn’t be held up.

      Reply
  12. Jazz

    Wow, he beat up a colleague at his wedding reception but bosses are saying that doesn’t matter? Do they realise that everyone’s going to find out in his company and many will be scared of working with this violent man? I’d be surprised if people in your wider industry didn’tfind out,
    and then that starts to affect the company reputation.

    Reply
    1. SystemsLady

      I thought this too. We had an extremely egotistic and often rude temp/intern. I learned today that the nickname somebody in the department gave him and his worst offenses ended up getting spread to customers (who had already been complaining about him to the people who spread that information around, it wasn’t just blabbing).

      He’s gone though, now. Finally. I think he ended up searching in a completely different industry, unfortunately for that industry.

      Reply
  13. Apollo Warbucks

    #1 What weak management, there is every reason to fire this guy for his violent aggressive behaviour, whether or not it was during work time the behaviour was outrageous and he has done a huge amount of damage to his relationship with his co-worker.

    Reply
  14. Apollo Warbucks

    #2 Personally I don’t see much wrong with asking for the time off, but there is every chance that your new boss could form a poor opinion of your work ethic and commitment. If you mentioned in at the offer stage then it would be OK, but I think you’ve missed your chance to go on the trip now.

    Reply
  15. Some

    #2, just ask.
    As somebody mentioned above, people have lives and stuff happens. AAM is talking about your commitment to the the company but let’s not forget it is a two way street. You want to see if your company has a commitment to you too as a worker. And see if your boss understands that you have a life too. You don’t want to be in situation where is impossible to take any time off, expected to work long hours just to show commitment.
    As somebody that trains new hires, by Friday on the first week, they are so overwhelmed with information that their brains have melted. They are not productive in anyway and I see the most mistakes happen then.

    Reply
      1. fposte

        Honestly, I offer huge flexibility to my staff–it’s the one perk I have control over–and I would seriously side-eye a request to take a day off the first week because of vacation.

        Reply
        1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

          Me too. I greatly value – and promote – work /life balance. But work/life balance doesn’t mean that work always takes a back seat to life. One of the key times that work has to come before social events is the first few weeks. I would feel pretty generous about granting a partial day during the first day of work (not relevant if it was brought up during the offer), but a request for a whole day off in the first week – especially when it was pre-planned and you didn’t tell me sooner, would certainly make me feel concerned.

          Reply
    1. BRR

      Yeah I’m not sure it’s a great idea to ask. The time was when they get the offer.

      But I do agree training is mentally exhausting. I’ve always thought companies should schedule in a couple days during the training period.

      Reply
    2. Artemesia

      The request is likely to forever set a ‘first impression’ of this person as a weak stick. What you do the first month is fairly indelible. Do you really want that first impression to be of someone who needs vacation time in the first 5 days of work.

      Reply
      1. All can be returned. All can be taken away.

        The request is likely to forever set a ‘first impression’ of this person as a weak stick. What you do the first month is fairly indelible.

        Seriously? forever?

        People are bad at forecasting their emotions—at appreciating how well, under most circumstances, they will recover. Not long ago, for instance, Gilbert, Wilson, and two other researchers—Carey Morewedge and Jane Risen—asked passengers at a subway station in Cambridge, Massachusetts, how much regret they thought they would feel if they arrived on the platform just as a train was pulling away. Then they approached passengers who really had arrived just as their train was leaving, and asked them how they felt. They found that the predictions of how bad it would feel to have just barely missed a train were on average greater than reports of how it actually felt to watch the train pull away. We suffer from what Wilson and Gilbert call an impact bias: we always assume that our emotional states will last much longer than they do. We forget that other experiences will compete for our attention and emotions. We forget that our psychological immune system will kick in and take away the sting of adversity.

        – “Getting Over It” by Malcolm Gladwell

        Reply
  16. Juli G.

    OP1, can I suggest that you take some burden off Jamie? Keep Jamie and Drunky separate as much as possible for at least the next month. Be the “go between” when you can.

    Eventually, Jamie will have interact with Drunky and decide if it’s worth it to stay at your company or not but giving him some additional space to the extent of your power could help.

    Reply
  17. Katie the Fed

    Good god! There’s “unruly” and the. There’s the satan spawn of Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen, which is what this guy sounds like. He’s a ticking time bomb and the company is insane to keep him there.

    Reply
    1. Charlotte Collins

      If it’s off-site, will the PTB just let anything happen with no consequences?

      Scarier thought, are they not doing anything because this is the way THEY behave at weddings?

      Reply
    1. Rebecca

      We did beer and wine only as well. People will get plenty drunk, but it’s not usually the violent kind. For some reason (at least for most people) that seems to be a hard liquor thing.

      Now, the wine may bring on the Drunk Sads as we call them (for example, my good friend sobbing during the Electric Slide because she was either happy for me or sad for her single self, probably both) but that’s usually easier to deal with.

      Reply
  18. Laurel Gray

    I can’t help but call bs on letter #1. There’s too much that went on. I’ve been to weddings from 25 people to over 300 people and the bride and groom usually have plenty of people around who immediately mitigate fuckery. Bride has a headache or stomach upset and here comes Aunt Edna with CVS in her purse. Groom pops a button and Grandma Ethel has a whole emergency sewing kit in hers. Groom’s high school ex girlfriend is starting to get shit faced? And the maid of honor steps in to show her the exit. I read the OP’s letter 3 times and can’t bring myself to believe that no one was capable of stopping this one violently drunk person – and particularly even allowing them to get this drunk.

    Reply
    1. Former Diet Coke Addict

      Not everyone has the type of family and friends who are even around to do that. And late at night, several drinks in for everyone, things can get very dicey even in a situation where three hours before hand there were plenty of people to put a lid on things. Alcohol changes the entire dynamic of an event and there are tons of people who have experienced all kinds of crazy stuff at weddings.

      Reply
    2. whatwhat

      I agree, I’m not buying it as written. Either it is an exaggeration of what happened or there is info left out. Otherwise police charges would have been filed. I am officially side-eyeing this story.

      Reply
          1. Annonymouse

            There could be plenty of reasons for them not to:

            1) they might miss the closing of front desk / check in for their hotel (assuming they didn’t stay there the night before)

            2) they might need to catch an early flight or cruise the next day for their honeymoon and would not get any/much sleep if they had to go to the station

            3) the bride or groom is too emotionally distressed to deal with that right then and there.

            4) bride or groom just wants the event to be over. Do not want to deal with trying to get DCW arrested and charged.

            5) Jamie is (rightly) concerned how this would impact his working relationship with DCW or make the immediate situation worse.

            Just because something is not what you would have done doesn’t mean it’s fake.

            Reply
    3. Anon Accountant

      I admit I’m shocked no one called the police but when things happen very fast sometimes people don’t think. I think someone there would have called the police when the fighting was escalating and guests couldn’t stop it. And in many venues, at least in my area, you must have security if you serve alcohol. And when the drunken guest attacked the groom and bride I’d think security would’ve stepped in, if security was present.

      Reply
    4. Kara

      I love how people decide that because THEY have never had X experience, then it’s a totally made up lie and it would never happen to anyone else. Good grief.

      Reply
      1. Laurel Gray

        Kara, relax and have a seat. No need for the “I love how PEOPLE” just disagree and state why you disagree, or don’t. I’m skeptical that people probably had their cell phones out taking photos, posting on social media and texting and with all the violence and shenanigans going on not ONE person would take it upon themselves to call the police. For crying out loud the bride was attacked too. Yeah, I don’t believe it, now put your snark away.

        Reply
        1. Kara

          My goodness. Defensive much?

          You wouldn’t believe about 3% or so of the weddings I’ve ever photographed, then. Yes, this kind of drunken brawl DOES happen at some (very few, thankfully) weddings, and I’d say most of the time the police aren’t called. There are some valid reasons that someone might not call the cops at that moment (family involvement, etc.) or that security might not be present.

          Anyone who works in the wedding/event industry can assure you that this kind of thing does happen and it’s not far-fetched at all.

          Reply
          1. Laurel Gray

            Kara, the same way you have your valid reasons to believe this story is the same way I have my valid reasons to not believe it. I was responding to your unnecessary snark in your original comment which I guess is your thing here. FWIW, it’s irking. Be blessed!

            Reply
            1. Kara

              “It’s never happened to me or anyone I know, therefore I call BS” is not a valid reason to call the OP a liar.

              You’ve got multiple wedding and event professionals in this thread saying that yes, this kind of thing does happen and yet you want to insist that it can’t possibly be true because you say it can’t possibly be true.

              Reply
      2. Ask a Manager Post author

        I do think that if you have people saying “I have seen it in my line of work,” saying “I’ve never seen it” doesn’t trump that (since we don’t all see everything that there is to see).

        That said, Kara and Laurel, I’m going to ask both of you to move on from this. Thank you!

        Reply
      3. catsAreCool

        “I love how people decide that because THEY have never had X experience, then it’s a totally made up lie and it would never happen to anyone else. Good grief.” Yes, that’s what I think too. I’ve never been to a wedding like that, but then I haven’t been to a lot. I’d figure people who work at weddings probably have a much better sense for this than I do.

        Reply
        1. catsAreCool

          Sorry, I sent my response before seeing Alison’s note. Feel free to delete my response and this e-mail if you want.

          Reply
    5. Muriel Heslop

      In my experience, people can be in such a hurry to diffuse a situation like a brawl that they are more focused on breaking it up and or/getting rid of one of the parties involved. If everyone has been drinking, the ability to problem solves is even worse. As a wedding planner/coordinator, I probably wouldn’t have called the police first but I would definitely have been trying to break up the fight, or tend to the bride’s injuries/bloodstained gown.

      Reply
  19. Erin

    #1 – I think you and Jamie need to leave your job. A manager who doesn’t intervene in a situation like this is probably not someone you want to work for. This is *insane.*

    Reply
  20. Jubilance

    #1 – your company is being spineless by hiding behind this “it happened outside of work so we can’t take action” nonsense. Do they have a track record of not handling difficult employees/situations? I think if you’re in a position of some power, you should push back against this. I don’t want to tell you to give an ultimatum, but this is ridiculous and I couldn’t work in a place that would allow an employee to physically assault others & still stay employed.

    Reply
  21. Ad Astra

    Did the drunken coworker ever apologize to Jamie? The letter doesn’t say, and for some reason I’m stuck on that. It’s a tall order to “forgive and forget” something like that, but it would be impossible if the coworker wasn’t sorry.

    If the employer doesn’t want to punish someone for what happened outside of work, the least they could do is help Jamie keep whatever distance is possible. It’s a small company, but is there any possibility of reassignment or a redistribution of projects or something that would minimize the time Jamie spends with drunken coworker?

    Reply
    1. NickelandDime

      Sometimes, you can’t apologize for something. This guy caused a scene at this person’s wedding, and the drunken coworker’s girlfriend HIT HIS WIFE. Drunken coworker also spat blood all over this wife. The company is dead wrong for keeping him there. Nothing is going to be right on this team after all of this.

      Reply
      1. Ad Astra

        Yeah, I don’t see this situation working out long term. Maybe in a bigger company, where it’s possible to separate people, but this is really, really bad in a small office. But if someone pulled this stunt at my wedding, I’d expect them to be begging for my forgiveness, even if I wasn’t able to forgive. Acting like you’re not sorry for that kind of behavior just adds insult to injury.

        Reply
        1. Rebecca

          Yes, if for some reason I got drunk enough to cause a scene at a coworker’s wedding, I would be too ashamed to ever show my face at that office again.

          Reply
    2. Lebanese Blonde

      I am honestly astonished he hasn’t just quit…I don’t think I could face the shame of the office after that. Even if he blacked out, he certainly has found out what happened.

      This is seriously past the point of apology.

      Reply
      1. Annonymouse

        But to not attempt any form of apology at all makes it worse.

        I can’t forgive and forget if the other party doesn’t care about being forgiven or isn’t even sorry for what they did.

        Reply
  22. Retail Lifer

    #3 Might it be that the person checking your references is only contacting them by phone, during business hours, when they might not be available to talk? I was pulled from consideration from a job because two out of my three references played phone tag with the recruiter for a week. I convinced the recruiter to email them, and they both responded within a day, but it was already too late. I was originally pretty upset with my references until they told me that they had made several attempts to contact the recruiter but they could never reach her.

    Reply
  23. This is not me

    FWIW – The videos ad keeps kicking me back to the top of the comments. I’d love to read them all, but I’m going to have to give up. I did try refreshing, but the same thing keeps happening.

    Reply
    1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

      Alison has said that she needs you to e-mail her the URL that the ad leads to so that she can have it removed, and that there aren’t supposed to be any video ads playing.

      Reply
      1. Kara

        I’m having a similar issue. The problem is I can’t GET to the URL of the ad because it locks up my computer and the fan starts to sound like a jet trying to take off, then shockwave crashes, then the browser window crashes. The only thing I can do is use adblock to turn off the ads temporarily. (Which I hate to do – cause I’m all about making sure good websites get deserved income.)

        Reply
        1. Bostonian

          Ooh! I was having this problem for a long time, but I just discovered the solution, in Chrome, at least. Go to settings, scroll to the bottom to advanced settings, then click on content settings under privacy. Choose the option for plugins where you have to click to let things run – you can manage it by plugin so only shockwave video needs to be clicked, if you want. The videos just come up as gray boxes that ask me to click to watch the video, now.

          Reply
          1. catsAreCool

            Thanks Bostonian!!! I’ve been having slowness issues with this site for a while now. I made the changes you suggested and hope that will fix it.

            Reply
  24. I'm Not Phyllis

    OP1, I have no advice for you but … wow. I’m not sure there is any amount of apologizing to Jamie that would make him forgive something like that, to be quite honest. I generally consider myself a pretty forgiving, “water under the bridge,” type of person, but such a blatant show of violence and disrespect? At his WEDDING? No. And even if he was willing to forgive eventually, it’s not likely to happen in a week. Being drunk is not an excuse for behaviour like that.

    Reply
  25. TotesMaGoats

    #1-If one of my wedding guests had done that, including spitting blood on me, if my hubby hadn’t pounded the guy into the ground we absolutely would’ve spent the evening at the police station. At that point the reception is beyond repair as far as good memories go. Letting that sort of behavior stand wouldn’t have happen. I’m kind of surprised that the groom let it go. Anyway, your company should absolutely do something. Firing seems appropriate to me.

    #2-You missed your chance, in my opinion, to ask for this day off. You’ve should’ve brought it up during the offer. That’s what I did with my pre-planned week of vacation a month into NewJob. I also reminded them of my other work related commitments like the class I teach and such.

    Reply
    1. catsAreCool

      I also keep thinking at this point the wedding had already been fairly messed up, and spending some time at the police station might not make it worse. I’m also thinking that if someone spit blood on what must have been a very nice and very expensive dress, I’d want something to be done about it. What with all that “Drunky” did, it seems like police intervention might be the best thing for society – maybe they can file charges now?

      Reply
  26. Bio-Pharma

    UGH, while reading the comments, the page keeps jumping up so that the video ad is positioned in the top right corner of the monitor. Anyone else having this issue??

    Reply
    1. Kyrielle

      It happens periodically with some of them – per Alison, there shouldn’t *be* any auto-play video any more. If you can click the offending ad when that happens and send her the link it leads to, she can contact her ad network and they can deal with it. (I gather that some advertisers/sub-networks “sneak in” auto-play video when they aren’t supposed to. Ugh.)

      Reply
    2. Art Education

      Yeah, this happens with ads sometimes, and Alison’s been trying to get it stopped. Right-click on the ad, copy the URL it would direct you to, and email that to alison at askamanager dot org.

      Reply
    3. Bio-Pharma

      Are you implying that auto-play and jumping browser go hand-in-hand? (versus hearing an ad but not seeing it because you’re way at the bottom of the page?)

      Reply
      1. Art Education

        They aren’t supposed to, but yes. Auto-play ads that make your browser jump are a problem that Alison’s been trying to stop for probably a few months at this point. Companies seem to try to sneak them in anyway.

        Sorry, I have to stop commenting now, the ads are getting pretty bad and I don’t have adblock on my work computer.

        Reply
    4. Ask a Manager Post author

      I’m so sorry about this! I’m working with my ad network to try to get them stopped; auto-play ads are supposed to be turned off entirely on this site, but unscrupulous advertisers have found ways to send them through anyway.

      Unfortunately, the only way for me to get these tracked down and stopped is if you’re able to send me the URL it links to. If you see any of them again and can do that, I’d really appreciate it!

      Also, would you be open to installing an ad blocker? That might solve the problem for you.

      Alternately, in Chrome you can set ads to never auto-play. To do that, to to Settings/Advanced/Content settings/Plugins/Detect and run important plugins. (It’s not the default, and you’ll need to be in version 43 or higher). After doing that, automatically running ads shouldn’t run and should instead have a “Start arrow” to click if you want to run them.

      Obviously you shouldn’t have to do either of those things, but they might solve it!

      Reply
      1. JMegan

        FYI Alison, the link I sent you earlier this week was getting past my “Never Auto-play ads” settings in Chrome as well. It works in about 99% of cases, but apparently the advertisers are working to find a way around this one too!

        Sorry you’re having to deal with this – it’s no big deal for me, but it must be a huge PITA for you and your ad network.

        Reply
  27. Bostonian

    For #1, does Alison’s response hold outside the US? I think of “car park” as a British phrase, and I think some aspects of employment law are pretty different there. Up-thread someone mentioned that in Ireland the process used to fire someone has to be considered fair, regardless of what the original offence was, and there could be other factors, too. Aren’t a lot of U.K. workers on contracts rather than at-will like most U.S. employees? That doesn’t mean that the guy shouldn’t and couldn’t be fired, but it might complicate things.

    Reply
    1. SL

      Ohh, good point. I noticed “car park” as well and had a moment of “huh, UK or Australian?” Employment laws there might indeed restrict the type of formal disciplinary action that could be taken against Drunk Coworker.

      Reply
      1. Edwina Scissorhands

        In the UK you can be instantly fired for gross misconduct (though it’s obviously a narrow definition) – a senior manager at my ExJob was.

        I wonder whether this is a very skilled industry where it is hard to find staff (like engineering), as I can’t imagine the antagonist keeping their job if they were Joe Average working in a non-regulated industry.

        Reply
      2. Brisvegan

        I am an Aussie and missed “car park” because of the normality of it to me.

        This makes the story even more understandable to me. We have a bit of a binge drinking culture in parts of our society, which includes violence.

        I am legally trained, but am not expert in employment law. However, I think that most employers here could explore sacking someone who had assaulted a co-worker and their bride. We do have rules around fairness etc, but it’s not impossible to get rid of violent employees.

        Reply
  28. whatwhat

    Yeah, something about #1 doesn’t add up. It’s reeeeeeeally hard to believe that the police wouldn’t be called, if those things happened as described in the letter.

    Reply
    1. whatwhat

      Meant to add: “and charges filed”. It is also hard to believe that if things happened as described, the employer would shrug and say, “not our problem”.

      Reply
    2. Beth

      I work at a wedding venue and fights are way more common than I expected, and it’s very rare to have police involvement. I think we produce security tapes for police etc maybe once a year and we are a year-round venue

      Reply
      1. Anon Accountant

        Now I’m glad the weddings I’ve been at have been relatively tame. The most exciting things that happened was some older relatives getting offended at some dirty jokes told over too many drinks. #we are a boring family

        Reply
      2. Muriel Heslop

        I was a wedding/event planner for two years before I got into teaching. I find this letter completely believable. Oh, alcohol. I always encouraged clients to limit their bar to beer/wine only if they were comfortable with that. People can still get crazy with just those, but definitely less so.

        Reply
    3. AnonAnalyst

      I don’t know, I actually don’t find this hard to believe at all. I mean, generally, the people involved are going to be your family and friends. I can see not wanting to get the police involved and possibly getting that person into legal trouble. Even if you’re a guest with no relationship with the people involved, you’d probably assume that they have some relationship with the bride and groom and might hesitate to call the police.

      I’d probably find it less believable if it were like a bar brawl or a fight in the middle of the street where most people around would presumably be strangers. But I think weddings have a weird dynamic, so I can totally see this happening.

      Reply
      1. Edwina Scissorhands

        This type of story often makes the front page of the Daily Fail, so I can well believe it. Also, assuming the reception ended at midnight or later, the couple would be really tired from the long day, to say nothing about being sore/bruised from being attacked. Who would want to go to the police station after all of that?

        Reply
  29. TootsNYC

    #2: asking for the first Friday off:

    You wrote this: “I also do not want the company to think I do not take the job seriously.”

    Here’s what I’d think: If you took the job seriously, you would have brought this up before formally accepting it. You’d have been thinking about our workload and how you would fit in, and you’d have been organized enough to speak up about any conflicting personal plans you have.

    Bringing it up now implies this to me:
    1) you are disorganized; and/or
    2) you will push the boundaries about time off and sick leave, etc.

    You’d have to do a lot to make up for this.

    It’s really, really too bad you didn’t bring it up immediately when the start date was mentioned, because if you’d said, “Unfortunately, there’s a long-planned family reunion that first Friday. Is it possible that I can get an unpaid day to be there for that?” I’d be totally on board.

    Now? You’re going to make yourself look back. Figure out how to get there as fast as possible after the workday, and resign yourself to missing a little bit of it.

    And chalk it up to a lesson learned. Bring these things up right about the time you think they’re going to offer you the job. And if that point isn’t completely clear to you, and you miss it, then bring it up before you accept the offer.

    The “when can you start?” line is your cue. “I can start Monday the 6th, but there’s a weekend family event I have planned; if that’s a problem, maybe I should start on the 13th.”

    Reply
    1. Anonymousterical

      How is it helping the company to have OP miss seven days of expected work, so OP can have a one day off work for a pre-planned personal thing? To me, that’s turning a simple request into a complicated, catastrophic THING, and I’d be more concerned about the new employee who does that.

      Reply
  30. TootsNYC

    #3: non-responsive references

    Can you provide other people as references? If your former manager isn’t responding, is there a somewhat senior colleague you can give them? That will at least make you look good (if your good reputation is that deep, maybe).

    Reply
  31. Lanya

    RE #1, If this guy acted this horrible at the wedding, I would be very surprised if Jamie didn’t already have some inkling that the guy might be a “problem guest” well before he was invited. He got drunk, screwed up royally, and ruined the relationship… but I don’t see why the company would choose to fire him over his behavior at a non-work event, especially if no charges were pressed. Maybe they could transfer him to a different department to keep everyone happy, but fire him over it? That doesn’t sound right to me.

    Reply
    1. catsAreCool

      I wouldn’t be OK with having an employee who would “hit Jamie twice, knocking him to the floor.”, “he was throwing punches and fighting them. He also spat blood all over the bride.”

      That just sounds like a time bomb waiting to go off.

      At best, the company should suspend him for a week or 2 without pay, and have him attend some sort of counseling/group therapy that might help him get his act together. As long as it was legal and reasonably proved that he did these things (“knocked small children over on the dance floor” – who does that?), I wouldn’t want him working for me. What if he went out drinking with clients/customers at some point?

      Reply
    2. Kara

      How on earth do you get to Jamie already knowing that this guy would be a problem guest? If you’ve never seen anyone in anything other than a professional setting, stone sober, then how are you expected to psychically know that he turns into a raging lunatic when you add alcohol?

      There is a reason that one of the most common phrases you hear about men who abuse and beat their wives/kids (or, you know, keep body parts in the fridge or cellar) is “He seemed like such a nice guy. I’d never have imagined.” That’s because those people are really really really good at putting on the public front at work and even in certain structured social settings. But you mix in a little alcohol or drugs or the right trigger happens and suddenly they become entirely different people.

      It happens for the positive, too, actually. I know people who you never hear a peep out of at work. They’re quiet, reserved, do their job, never a sound. Then you see them at a party and after a drink or two, they’re the life of the party, fun, dancing, having a great time. And on Monday everyone is saying “That Jerome! He was a blast on Saturday! Who knew he had that in him!”

      Reply
    3. Edwina Scissorhands

      He punched a colleague on his wedding day and literally ruined the evening celebration. It’s not like he was brawling with a random in a club that he would never see again. Beating up your colleague does not happen in a vacuum and then everything’s hunky dory again on Monday morning. Those two have to work together and see each other every day. Even if Jamie is the bigger person, it’s not exactly going to be a harmonious team that works well together. If I were a manager who saw my report punch another, I would never want to manage that person again. The trust can never be repaired, and it’s better that the guy goes now.

      Reply
  32. Brisvegan

    Re OP1: As a coincidence, the Australian Lawyer’s Weekly is running an opinion piece today on employee control of workers’s behaviour outside work hours: http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/opinion/17125-gcs-extend-reach-beyond-work-hours

    That article says:

    According to Glen [Bartlett], Australian courts and tribunals have been increasingly willing to allow employers to exercise their right to supervise their employees’ private conduct in certain circumstances. Any behaviour can be regulated, as long as there is sufficient connection between what it is you are looking to regulate and the potential for damage to the employer’s reputation or the employee’s ability to carry out work.

    They use the example of a James Boag employee who was legally fired for a DUI against the firm’s responsible use of alcohol code of conduct clauses.

    So here in Australia there is a decent chance that getting drunk and punching a coworker and spitting blood on the bride at the wedding would be grounds for firing, especially if violence or criminal behaviour was banned in a code of conduct.

    Reply
  33. Anonymousterical

    OP #2 – I’m late to the ballgame, but I’m going to go against the grain and say e-mail/call your manager (not the hiring manager) about it. I started a new job two months ago and, three weeks before I started, had to ask for my first Friday off. I e-mailed my new boss and explained the situation (lifelong friend getting married out of town, pre-wedding stuff starting Friday afternoon) and said “if this will create an untimely burden on the office, I understand if it’s not workable, but I had to ask. Thanks, and I’m very excited to begin working with you on DATE!” My boss e-mailed me back and said he would hope I make time for friends and family, especially for a wedding, and that the Friday was fine. My reputation has not been forever scarred. My work ethic has not been extinguished for all of eternity. My 45 day eval was “you’re perfect. Please don’t leave us.” If your manager flips out over this, do yourself a favor and don’t work there.

    Reply
  34. Audiophile

    #3 this happened to me recently. I was told two of my references were unresponsive and asked to provide a few more. I provided two more people, only one person was contacted. Then I did a second round and was asked why the original two didn’t respond. I never thought to contact them myself, since they’d offered to act as references and were normally response, if I sent an email.
    I wound up getting rejected from that job, I don’t fault my references, there were definitely other issues present.

    Reply

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