It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. My friends think I should bash an employer on Twitter
I went abroad to get my master’s, finished, I’m doing also an internship abroad, and now I am looking for a job. I filled out an online application (taleo system) for a large multinational consumer goods corporation in my home country. I am a national of that country, so obviously I can work there.
However, I got an email a week ago that says that they can’t consider me because I am not allowed to work there. Obviously they misread all the fields (they explicitly ask things like country of birth, country of nationality, country of current residence, etc.) and must have thought that I require some sort of immigration sponsorship. I tried to reply, but their email does not accept replies. Getting through that corporate bureaucrazy is going to be really time-consuming. My concern is that this is a big red flag about their company; they don’t even read their applications! I don’t want to work in a place like that! God knows what will happen if I am hired! They do pay well though…
Some friends have suggested that I insist and get them to consider me and apologize; some say I should forget about it; some say I should just put it on Twitter and bash them, that this could help me get their attention or that of another good company that will value me. What should I do?
Don’t listen to your friends — none of them, from the sounds of it. Insist that they consider you? And insist they apologize? How exactly do your friends think that’s even possible to do? Or bash them on Twitter?! That will not go over well with other potential employers who look at your Twitter feed in the future, believe me.
Ignore your friends, who seem to want to keep you from gainful employment. If you’re still interested in working there (and this really shouldn’t deter you; employers are staffed by humans, who occasionally make mistakes), find an email contact for either the hiring manager or the HR department and email them to politely explain the misunderstanding. That’s really all you can do.
2. Recruiters who text me as their first contact
I have a question about weird recruiter contact methods, and if they’re as weird as they seem to me.
I’m a software engineer in a major city. People with my skills here are in super high demand right now, so I hear from recruiters all the time. That’s not surprising.
What is surprising is when they text me. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s happened a few times. It feels way too personal if I get something like “Hey Eric, I’m X, a recruiter with Y agency. We have a Z job with a company downtown. Interested?” in a text, even if I’ve talked to the recruiter before.
The last time a recruiter texted me, I replied with “I prefer discussing these things through email. If you email me the job description, I’ll look it over and let you know if it sounds like a good fit for me.” No response. Did I mishandle this, and is being texted by recruiters as weird as it sounds to me, or am I just old fashioned?
I think texting people in a business context when you you don’t know them is obnoxious, although clearly some people disagree. It’s totally reasonable, though, for you to respond with “It’s easier to reach me via email — would you send this to me at (email address)?”
I’m not surprised that resulted in silence when you tried it — people who are unprofessional in their first communication often aren’t professional enough to follow through with the next step when you ask them to.
But I’d just think of it this way: This will help you screen for recruiters who are willing to communicate in a way that works for you and who respect your preferences once you state them. (Not everyone has the luxury of being choosy in that regard, but it sounds like you do.)
3. Is it annoying not to get to the point when you call a company?
When calling a company (bank, utilities, store, etc.), my husband starts the call with “Hi, how are you?” when they answer. I told him that these phone reps are very busy, handle lots of calls, and would prefer that you just get to the point and forget the pleasantries. Besides that, you don’t really care how they are anyway. He says I’m wrong. What do you think?
I’m with you. Of course, there are probably some phone reps out there who genuinely appreciate these pleasantries — but I suspect that they’re in the minority. Still, though, I doubt that anyone is gnashing their teeth when your husband is nice to them, so I wouldn’t give him a hard time about it.
4. Student employee didn’t acknowledge the gift I gave him
I have a question about someone not thanking me for a gift. I manage two grad students who are new this year. I gave them each a holiday gift, a small gift of food. Each got a food I have seen them eat, because I wanted to be sensitive to allergies and what they like. I left the gifts on their desks the same day, with a card saying happy holidays and who it was from. They work in different spaces. One employee came to me right away and said thank you, and took the gift home with her. The other employee has clearly seen the gift, because it has been moved to another part of his desk and the card is gone. I have been in his office a handful of times since I left the gift, and I have seen it there. He has not said anything about it, including thank you. I also think it’s strange that he is just letting it it on his desk. If he didn’t like it, I understand it could be awkward for him, but still strange to leave it in his office. And I think that’s unlikely since I got him something I know he likes.
It’s been almost a month. Should I say anything? Maybe he feels awkward receiving a gift from me, and I don’t want to make it more awkward. I also think it’s good etiquette to say thank you for a gift, but I don’t know if it’s my place to say so. Maybe I shouldn’t give gifts? Am I overthinking it?
Probably, a bit. It’s natural to want some kind of acknowledgement for a gift, but … well, some people are not especially gracious, which I suspect is the case here. I would let it go.
5. Which state law governs when an employee works in a different state than the company is headquartered in?
The minimum wage in my state went up to $9 an hour as of January 1st, but I’m noticing remote job listings in other states are paying their state’s minimum wage (sometimes as low as $7-8 an hour). Do these jobs have to comply to the employee’s state’s minimum wage or do they have to comply with the minimum wage standards set in the state the company is located?
It’s governed by the laws of the state where the employee is working. So if you work in California but your employer is based in New York, they’ll need to comply with California’s laws on minimum wage, overtime, and so forth (where you’re concerned, that is — they wouldn’t need to do it for employees who are in New York).
Even more interestingly, this can apply to employees who are only temporarily in another state, so if you’re normally based in Wisconsin but you spend a week in California on a work trip, you’re subject to California’s labor laws while you’re there. That could mean, for example, that if you’re non-exempt, during that week you’d need to be paid overtime for all hours over eight that you work in a day (because California has a daily overtime threshold, in addition to the usual weekly one). In practice, employers rarely bother with that (and probably rarely even realize it), but it’s actually a thing they’re supposed to do.