It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Our boss keeps taking holiday gifts meant for the whole office
I work for a small office of 14 employees. Every holiday season, certain companies we deal with, as well as some clients, will send in or bring gifts to the office — things like gift baskets filled with goodies, cookies, thing of that nature. The people who bring the gifts to the office will announce that the gift is for all of us for our hard work, and they are cleary addressed to our company name and staff. But, after they leave, my boss will take the basket into his office and bring it home or re-gift to someone else. This bring down office morale tremendously. Should we say anything to the boss about him taking the gifts?
Does one of you have good rapport with him? If so, that person should tell him that he’s demoralizing everyone by taking gifts clearly meant for the whole staff. If no one really has a good rapport with him, you could speak up in a group (which makes it less likely that one person will be scapegoated if he’s a jerk).
2. Recruiter hinted that I should help her find white candidates
I work for an IT consulting company. As part of my other assigned duties, I’m frequently asked to screen potential hires as well as current consultants for openings at my client site. Said client is a European company that has made a decision to outsource more of their IT services with disastrous results for one project. Because of this bad experience, the U.S. managers in this area are copping an attitude toward offshore (read India).
I dropped in on our recruiter and she asked if I would help her screen some resumes for an opening at my client, adding that she’s looking for someone like John Smith. I assume she’s wanting someone with John’s skill set. Problem is, I don’t know what his skill set is. I probe and get a non-responsive answer. I probe some more and get “Does he look like John Smith?”
Duh. She’s telling me she wants to present white guys to the client.
Fortunately for me, none of the resumes presented really had the skill set we were looking for. Two of the resumes were so poorly written that they were rejected on that basis.
I’ve worked with this recruiter for seven years, and this is the only time anything like this has happened so I’m hoping it’s a one-off event. But what if it isn’t? Got any suggestions in case it happens again?
Ick. Tell her point-blank that it’s illegal to consider race or national original in hiring decisions (sex too, if that’s part of what she was implying). For example: “Obviously we can’t consider race or national origin in hiring decisions because that’s illegal under federal law. Can you tell me more about what skill set you’re looking for?”
If it happens again, either in that conversation or in another one later, say this: “What you’re asking is against the law, and I’m really uncomfortable with the request regardless. Please tell me we don’t make hiring decisions that way.”
You might also consider reporting it to someone above her and pointing out that she’s putting the company in legal danger, as well as simply sucking at life and at hiring.
3. Companies giving out work schedules to spouses
If a wife calls her husband’s employer and asks “What hours has my husband worked this week?” to try to catch her husband in a lie, is it legal for an employer to give her the information?
There’s no law against it, but most employers have policies against it (or no official policy, but just wouldn’t do it). There are too many potential complications with giving that information out. For example, they have no way of knowing you’re really his wife versus someone else who may mean him harm. Or, maybe you are his wife but you’re currently estranged and in the process of divorcing. Or, they just don’t want to get involved in a marital spat. Regardless, smart employers don’t release this kind of information.
For what it’s worth, if you’re at the point of trying to catch him in a lie, there’s a problem no matter what it turns out his hours were this week. Focus on that instead.
4. I got a job offer in my holiday card
I am currently a temp (long-term temp work with no end date on my contract). I have been in this position for about a year and a half. I enjoy my job and the pay is excellent for being entry-level. I have expressed that I would love to be hired on as a full-time employee, and the possibility has been mentioned by my manager before.
Today we had a Christmas party during the work day, and my manager handed out gift cards to everyone in envelopes. When I opened mine, in addition to the gift card, there was an offer of employment. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled, but it is just so odd to me that a job offer would be considered a gift. I asked my manager if I could have the weekend to look it all over and to speak with the agency I am with before I gave a firm answer. I don’t plan on turning it down, but I have one week of vacation that I will lose when I terminate my contract so that needs to be organized. Is this weird or am I being weird about it?
It’s a little weird because a job offer is not a gift or an act of generosity; it’s a business offer that’s supposed to be of mutual benefit. That said, I wouldn’t get too hung up on that and would just take it in the spirit in which I’m sure it was intended — as good news offered in a warm, excited way.
5. My interviewer wasn’t there when I arrived for my scheduled interview
What do you do when the staffing center schedules you for a face-to-face interview with a person who is not even working on the day of the interview? When I arrived for my interview, I was asked to wait until the operations manager was done interviewing a candidate for a lumber position. I was then led to her office. I had interviewed with her in late October. She was not who I was supposed to see. She told me she would email my interviewer and that I would either receive a call to reschedule or I could come in the next day and wait for the correct interviewer to see me if she was available. I then was given a business card and told that maybe I should call her to reschedule the appointment no one even knew about. If I call the staffing center, won’t I be shooting myself in the foot?
No, the staffing center isn’t going to blame you for this; either they messed up or the person you were supposed to interview with mess up, but no one is going to think that you messed up (assuming you had the time and day correct). Contact the staffing agency, fill them in, and ask if you should reschedule through them or directly with the interviewer. (Or you could just do the latter, depending on how your staffing agency works.)