my manager moved into my apartment building, can I land my dream job after a not-great interview, and more

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

1. I shared concerns about my boss, and they weren’t kept confidential

My department within the last year had a new vice president brought on board. My manager, who at the time was overseeing me and my coworker, wasn’t performing very well, and in my one-on-one meetings with the VP, I expressed my concerns about our manager not hitting goals or being particularly good or effective at her job. My coworker at the time also expressed similar concerns about her. It was clear that she wasn’t going to come close to her goals and wasn’t performing at the level of her job. She often commented that managing the two of us was very time consuming, which we both felt was a joke as we were quite self-sufficient.

My manager has since left the organization, and I got the sense that she didn’t want to leave but felt like she had to because this VP didn’t seem to want to have her as part of the team.

I found out very recently from the former coworker (who also left for different reasons) that my VP told our former manager about the comments we both made. My coworker found this out because our manager asked her directly about it. Our manager never brought it up with me directly. In my conversation with the VP, I asked for these comments to be confidential, but I am hearing thirdhand that they were not. I believe the source (my former coworker) is not lying or overexaggerating to me and that this is indeed true. I don’t think that my coworker told our former manager what I said.

I am looking for your advice on whether or not I bring this up with my VP as an issue and something I just found out about, or if I simply learn my lesson about not throwing anyone under the bus ever again and keep my comments to myself, even with my VP. I feel like I can’t trust my VP—she has asked for honest feedback on other coworkers and I declined (this was before I found out this breach of trust).

The VP shouldn’t have promised you confidentiality (if she did; I can’t totally tell from your letter). Managers often need to be able to act on this kind of information and can’t always keep it confidential, and they shouldn’t make promises they can’t keep. Whenever possible, they should strive to avoid naming sources; often information can be used on background, as a roadmap to things they should find ways to “discover” for themselves, but that’s not always possible.

But the next time your VP asks you for input about other coworkers, you could certainly ask more specifically about how the info will be used and even mention your concerns about this incident. You could say something like, “I’m a little hesitant to be totally candid, because I’ve heard rumors — and I don’t know if they’re true or not — that some of the input I gave you about Jane ended up being passed along to her, which I hadn’t been prepared for. So I’d want to know more about how my input would be used, and whether there’s any chance my name would be attached to it.”

All that said, though, it doesn’t sound like this was a horrible outcome. You had serious concerns about your manager, you shared them, the VP ended up sharing those concerns, and the situation was dealt with. You have a VP who’s willing to act when there are serious performance problems, and that’s something many people wish they had when they’re dealing with a bad manager or coworker. These aren’t personal relationships; they’re professional ones, and sometimes that does mean sharing your concerns and being okay with them being acted on. (Obviously there are limits to that; you don’t want to mention a minor issue with someone and see that person fired over it, but it sounds like issues with your old boss were pretty serious ones.)

2. My district manager moved into my apartment building

I went into my apartment building laundry room today and was surprised to find my district manager doing a load of laundry. We were both shocked to see each other, and after a brief chat I learned that she has just moved into an apartment on the floor above me.

In my building, the residents pretty much keep to themselves. You will see other people, but I’ve lived in my building two years and I’ve literally seen my neighbor across the hall one time. That being said, I do assume I will run into her from time to time.

My DM and I have a great rapport on a personal and professional level. In fact, I’m working on a novel and she’s offered to put me in contact with her mother, who is a copy editor. I only see my DM a couple times a month, but I adore her. Yet as I faced her in the laundry room today, I felt very awkward about the whole thing. Especially considering I was doing a load of delicates and she has now seen my underwear.

How should I interact with her outside of work? While chatting, she asked me how things were at work, but we also talked about living in the building, and I mentioned my personal life in the form of plans for my next day off. Should I have a level of professionalism? Keep a strictly neighbor relationship? Where am I supposed to draw the line between professional and private life now?

I’d continue to treat it as a professional relationship more than a neighbor relationship. It’s not a big deal to tell her what your plans were for your next day off, because that’s something that wouldn’t be inappropriate to mention in passing at work. It’s fine to chat like you might if you ran into each other in the office kitchen. Just don’t increase the level of socializing you’d normally maintain with her or start commuting to and from work together, since life will be easier if you preserve professional boundaries.

As for the underwear sighting, the only way to handle that is to pretend that it never happened.

3. I don’t want to post my hours for everyone to see

My executive director has asked everyone in the office to keep another sign-in and sign-out sheet (separate from our time cards) on the bulletin board in the middle of the office. She wants us to write our exact hours of when we are in the office, if we go to the post office, lunch, vacation time, etc. We have a very small office of six people, so if I need to run to the post office for 20 minutes I usually just tell people.

I am only accountable to the Executive Director. It seems like a violation of my privacy for my time card to be posted for everyone to see. If my director wants to know my hours, I am happy to give them to her. I am pretty sure that one of the people in the office complained, but she is not my supervisor and I don’t see why she has any business looking at my time card. Am I crazy? Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

I don’t really see a privacy issue here. You could certainly ask what the reasoning is for the new policy so that you have a better understanding of what outcome she’s looking for, but ultimately if she wants the office to operate this way, that’s her call.

4. Is there any way to land my dream job after a less than great interview?

I recently interviewed for my dream job. It’s an editorial job that I truly think I’d be perfect for. I know I nailed everything leading up to the interview. I reached out the hiring manager to show my interest instead of only applying on their job site, had incredible interviews with HR, and did an excellent job on the editorial test given to me prior to the interview (they told me so!). However, the in-person interview with the would-be supervisor was only okay. I didn’t vibe with her as well as I normally do in interviews. She had just started at the company a few weeks prior and was kind of all over the place during the interview. She kept forgetting questions that she wanted to ask and said so.

I’ve also been very sick lately and also started to feel unwell during the meeting (my vision blurred and my head pounded) but, of course, just ignored it and kept the unease internal. I was able to answer all her questions and there interview was overall okay.

I sent a thank-you note to both the supervisor and hiring manager the next day, but haven’t heard anything in a week. I’m afraid my mediocre interview completely ruined my shot.

Is there any way I can redeem myself at this point? I really, really want this opportunity more than anything. Applying to a job you want this desperately is actually the worst. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to land the job and make them love me.

Well, a week really doesn’t really mean anything, so I wouldn’t read into that. But at this point, it’s in their court, and you’ve just got to wait and see what happens. Meanwhile, if you can, you’re better off finding a way to pretend that you didn’t get it and moving on mentally, and then letting it be a pleasant surprise if they do contact you, because otherwise you’re setting yourself up for lots of stress and angst.

It will probably be easier to do this if you keep in mind that you don’t actually know if it’s your dream job. You can’t ever know if something is truly your dream job from the outside — there are just too many unknowns about the work, the culture, the coworkers, and the manager. For all you know, the manager barges in while people are having chemo to force them to talk about work, or insists they come to work during dangerous tornados, or makes low performers wear dunce caps, or sucks in more common and mundane ways.

It’s can actually be pretty harmful to let yourself believe it’s your dream job because it can lull you into overlooking red flags. And it will definitely make the post-interview waiting period far, far worse (as you’re currently seeing).

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. (different) Rebecca

    For OP2, the only time I care about someone else’s underwear in a shared laundry situation is if they leave their stuff in the wash with (seemingly) no intention of coming back, and I have to move it so I can use the machine. ;)

    Reply
    1. MK

      In general, I don’t think it’s a big deal if people see your underwear in a context that it’s normal to see other people’s underwear, like the laundry room. (I had what I think it’s a comparable situation; I lived for 4 years in a small town that was also a beach resort. I work at the courthouse, so at work it’s bussiness formal for everyone, but when I went to the beach I did occasionally saw people from work (clerks, barristers, even judges) and everyone was naturally wearing swimsuits. Was it a bit awkward? Yes. But we just nodded to eachother or said hello and moved on). Also, most people wouldn’t really notice what others are putting into the wash machine; your manager hasn’t actually seen your underwear, she has seen you handle a bundle of underwear. I doubt she is thinking “I wonder if he is wearing the purple bar or the stripped corset” every time she sees you.

      Reply
      1. Piper

        I would worry more about someone seeing visibly dirty underwear. I don’t mind if they see I have frilly pink underpants, but if they were visibly dirty frilly pink underpants, well, that would be embarrassing.

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        1. Alix

          Why? I mean, it’d be one thing if you were hanging your dirty laundry out on the landing or something, but just bringing dirty laundry to a laundry room to wash it is embarrassing? I find this as baffling as the people who get embarrassed at pooping or farting in the restroom at work. Everyone does it – in this case, everyone has dirty underwear – so why get embarrassed?

          Reply
          1. Piper

            Because I don’t want people I know seeing skid marks in my underwear. I don’t care if it happens to everyone, I don’t need the people I know to have that much information about me.

            Reply
    2. Professional Sweater Folder

      OP#2 here. To be clear, I’m not really that concerned with the underwear bit. I only brought it up because while I was changing my things from the washer to dryer, I dropped a pair of underwear almost on her foot. I mean, I know they’re clean, but it was a little embarrassing.

      Thanks for the advice, Alison. I was struggling to find an answer to this. I got so many responses from the people I know from avoid her like the plague to use it as a tool to get in her good books and push for the promotion I’m currently up for.

      Reply
      1. Mamcats

        Something similarish happened to me when I first started my current job. About a month after starting, one of my bosses (I work for a group of people add their only direct report -they’re at the top of the food chain where I’m at), and o randomly came across each other at a restaurant/bar/karoke establishment. The moment when your lock eyes with your boss doing karoke while you’re dancing at the side of the table is…awkward. The realization on my face made my friends think I was having a panic attack!! I sat down, grabbed a friends Brown liquor drink and tried to be cool. Between this happening , my boss was working the room and I just sat down and tried to be a chair. Of course it didn’t work, he saw me and came up gave me a hug introduced me to his date and friends, then told me to stop hiding my sad little drink doo we could do a proper toast.

        Sometimes you never know.

        Reply
  2. Coco

    #4 Yep, re: dream job. I was so excited to get what felt like a near-perfect job after I got my degree. But so far I’ve had to deal with a culture of working for free, an office environment of 90 degrees on hot days, and my hours being HALVED with false promises of it just being temporary (among other things). I know I would’ve been devastated if I hadn’t gotten the job, but I’m less than six months in and I’m already looking towards the next thing.

    Reply
    1. FiveWheels

      And likewise, I applied for my current job out of a desperate need to leave my old one, and thought it was less than ideal.

      Several years later this is my dream job. The culture is a perfect fit for me, I love the day to day work, and I consider myself a lifer. But until I’d been here for a year or so, I didn’t know it would be so perfect for me.

      Reply
      1. Security SemiPro

        So much this. I applied to a job because I had been out of work for a year and wanted a paycheck. I knew nothing about information security, didn’t code, but… Paycheck.

        Several years later, I’ve been promoted several times, learned a bunch, and not only fit in, but am working to develop the team and culture of work here and am being rewarded for doing so. It’s my dream job, and it’s an industry, with a company, I wouldn’t have looked at if I hadn’t been desperate.

        Reply
        1. Vicki

          Security SemiPro – How in the world did you get the job if you “knew nothing about information security, didn’t code, but…”?

          Reply
        2. TheSnarkyB

          They didn’t say these were the 2 essential tasks of the job. I’d assume that this person had enough of the qualifications or that it’s enough of an entry-level deal that they were able to work up to being in a position where those were more essential.

          Reply
      2. Chocolate Coffeepot

        Exactly. I knew within a few months of starting my current job that it was the best one I’d ever had (& I’d been working since high school, 20 years at that point). But it was 4 or 5 years before I woke up one day & realized that it was also my dream job.

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      3. (Not an IRS) Auditor

        Yup. Took a job I was overqualified for to tide me over, because I needed something I knew I could do competently while distracted by some overwhelming issues in my personal life.

        My boss ended up being incredibly understanding of the personal drama and found ways to help me grow despite those distractions, such that I was ready for a huge promotion when he left. I don’t love every minute of my job, but this is as close to a dream position as I believe exists for me. Autonomy, flexibility, mostly great coworkers, interesting and challenging work, fair compensation.

        Reply
      4. LQ

        Yup. I took the job here in the first place because my old job had closed shop and I was all kinds of freaked out about it and this was the first thing offered. I figured I’d look while I did this. Which I did. But I got a promotion and a relocation. And then the job was ok. Then another promotion and the job was good, and another one and the job is actually pretty great and I might be here for quite a while longer. I go home at the end of the day, I do good work that matters to people that is engaging to me, my boss is hands off, my coworkers are pretty good, and I get to walk home at 4:30 and by the time I’m home? Work has left my brain and that is pretty amazing.

        Reply
    2. Dot Warner

      Cosigned. My “dream job” turned into a nightmare in less than a month. I managed to get out of that situation, but I still kick myself for taking that offer and damaging my career/reputation.

      You can’t make people love you, OP, and trying to do so will only make you more miserable. If this job loves you, great! If not, there’s another job out there that will.

      Reply
  3. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.

    #3

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what the boss has asked for, but after 1 bazillion years of managing people, I wouldn’t set things up that way. People are busy bodies and I think it’s asking for upward flowing headaches.

    Reply
    1. Rebecca

      I can understand a centralized list to show when people have vacation scheduled, so if you want to take time off, you can see who else might be taking off before you ask for approval, but tracking if someone goes to lunch or to the post office? I understand the need to let people know where you are, but a sign in and out sheet? That seems a bit much.

      Reply
      1. doreen

        I’m wondering if the purpose is not to keep track of time, but to keep track of who is in the building in case of emergency. I’ve worked in places where there was a similar sort of sheet in some locations, while other locations had the “in/out” board you see on old police TV shows- and the sheet/board was to be grabbed on the way out if there was a drill or a real emergency that caused the building to be evacuated. And then there was an attendance check at the meeting point to make sure everyone was accounted for. It had nothing to do with work time – you would sign out if you left the building for work purposes and sign in if you stopped in during your vacation to pick up your paycheck.
        My current work location has neither system- and people with field jobs and flexible schedules. So whenever the building needs to be emptied, there’s a lot of “Did Lucinda leave? I know she was here at 9:30 but I haven’t seen her in a while”. I don’t really think this sort of system is necessary in a six person office, but that could be the thinking behind it.

        Reply
        1. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.

          Yeah, most of our jobs are inter connected and either customer facing or supporting people who are customer facing. I email a pretty big group of people when I’m going to be out of pocket for even an hour during the day. We all touch base with other as necessary.

          I can see why somebody running a 6 person work group might choose a visible system and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Privacy doesn’t come into play with accountability during the work day. I just don’t think much good happens next. All you need is one busy body deciding how long she thinks it takes Jane to go to the post office and speculating about what else Jane is doing on the run.

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          1. Isabel C.

            I can understand it for stuff like that–if you’re preparing for either emergencies or unexpected urgent business events. (Although for that, something like a white board might work better–write your name if you’re out of the building and erase it when you’re back: seems like a way to get the function without the busybodies.)

            But for a position or company without those concerns, this sort of thing would make me start looking for a new position ASAP, or turn one down if I heard about it beforehand.

            Reply
        2. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.

          Oh and way way way back in the day, when we were a tiny company of primarily outside sales people, we had a big “in/out” board. It was necessary for function.

          Reply
        3. FiveWheels

          I once worked somewhere with an electronic tag sign in/out system. When it was installed the bosses assured everyone it would be used only for emergency head counts, and not for tracking hours.

          At the time I was a TERRIBLE employee and constantly late, and I was called up on it because of the electronic check in. Anyway, I wasn’t in a union, neither was anyone else in my department, but the unionised workers heard and threatened a strike should I be disciplined.

          Looking back I wonder why any fool ever agreed to hire me!

          Reply
          1. Rafe

            We live and learn. :)

            But I get a sense from the letter that this is pretty close to why the Executive Director is now requiring this — one or even several busy-bodies wouldn’t mean much at all unless the Executive Director thinks work hours might be being abused or not properly adhered to despite flexibility etc.

            Reply
        4. snuck

          This is what I was going to say.

          I had a workplace that instituted a similar policy, and the reason was the same when I asked why (because I didn’t like recording exact hours when I was (along with most others) employed to “work as many hours as required”… (And this policy was spearheaded by a difficult, nosy, abusive and conniving person).

          So I just started writing “in” and “out” on the sheet each time I left the floor. (We worked in a multi floor building, the other reason this sheet was ridiculous was that even floors evacuated to one area, odd to another a block away, and if there was an evacuation my arrival, lunch and departure (from the building) times weren’t going to help, and even knowing if I was in was pointless if I had gone to the floor below .

          Reply
          1. snuck

            This is what I was going to say.

            I had a workplace that instituted a similar policy, and the reason was the same when I asked why (because I didn’t like recording exact hours when I was (along with most others) employed to “work as many hours as required”… (And this policy was spearheaded by a difficult, nosy, abusive and conniving person).

            So I just started writing “in” and “out” on the sheet each time I left the floor. (We worked in a multi floor building, the other reason this sheet was ridiculous was that even floors evacuated to one area, odd to another a block away, and if there was an evacuation my arrival, lunch and departure (from the building) times weren’t going to help, and even knowing if I was in was pointless if I had gone to the floor below .

            Oh. And we had electronic swipes. So they can always pull those up for actual time sheets for arrival.

            Reply
      2. Sunshine Brite

        I had to sign in/out at my old job. It was kind of strange but an easy place to look so people weren’t tracking you down through the five story building if you weren’t responding to pages.

        An in/out board for a small team of six seems much easier to maintain

        Reply
    2. themmases

      This letter made me think of is it legal type questions. It’s OK to just not like something but we often feel we need to appeal to some general principle.

      I had a system like this suddenly implemented at a job where it truly was not needed– actually I had been trying to get people to stop just dropping by and breaking my concentration to jump to the front of the line. It was also my job to cross the building on short notice a few times a day. The change made me feel nitpicked, not trusted, and like someone was playing politics with the totally legitimate way I got all my work done.

      Maybe this change is reasonable for the OP’s office and maybe it’s not. Only they really know. I think all they can do is comply while they either try to get it changed (or wait for the system to fail on its own if no one else likes it either), try to accept it, or look for an office more to their liking. I think that is easier when one focuses less on the injustice, accepts they have a preference, and decides how far they will go for it.

      Reply
      1. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.

        I like the way you worded this.

        As a boss, using the word “privacy” re accountability for time during work hours pushes my buttons. I gotta lot of accountability for the whole shebang, and you’re a piece of that. If transparency is necessary for function, I’m not swayed by your concerns about privacy re your post office trip, if that’s going to be your main point about why the system is wrong.

        Negative effects to function do sway me, and quickly.

        Reply
  4. FiveWheels

    Another voice for not being concerned about underwear. It was in the laundry room, it was totally appropriate, DM now has confirmation that OP doesn’t routinely go commando.

    Reply
    1. Kyrielle

      If DM actually even looked closely! I never pay much attention to others’ baskets in a laundry room or laundromat because they’re not interesting, not my business, and I’m going to pay more attention to either the other person, or my own laundry, because those are the two things I might care about here.

      DM may or may not have even really noticed the underwear, and if so, may also be trying to forget it.

      Best bet: DM seeing the underwear really didn’t happen. Even if it happened, it didn’t happen.

      Reply
      1. K.

        Yeah, I’d bet that beyond “that is underwear,” the manager didn’t notice unless it was really outlandish (and I’m talking fetish gear, not, like, lace or polka dots). And it would say way more about her than the OP if she went back to her apartment and was ruminating on it.

        Reply
    2. Isabel C.

      Yep, this. Most people wear underwear, and everyone with access to laundry *should* be washing theirs regularly. I don’t really notice other people’s in a communal laundry situation, but if I did, it wouldn’t make me feel awkward about them or anything.

      Reply
    3. Jean

      One more voice on underwear: Relax, it’s no big deal even if you wear cotton bikinis with stripes or polka dots. (Looks blandly innocent.) Ditto re the delicates. Most folks have walked past a store display of bras or panties.

      If we get enough voices we might have an Underwear Choir. :-)

      Reply
  5. Expected to pay more than my fair share

    #2 – Bought a house when I first got married. The partner of the company that my husband ans I worked for at the time already lived around the corner and later an associate moved in down the street. And all they had to do to see my underwear was check out my clothes line. We all still live here 30+ years later.

    Reply
    1. Jean

      I love the idea of the neighbors actually paying attention to what’s on your laundry line. “Must be a week after [insert date of reference] already. The Pfaffenmeisters have their bloomers up today!”

      Reply
  6. Evan

    Re #4– one week post-interview and you’re already stressing? When I hire, I’m lucky to get all the first round interviews scheduled in a two week window. So I wouldn’t feet until it’s been at least three weeks without word. (And even then, don’t fret–no benefit to worrying over a situation you can’t control.)

    Reply
  7. Mulalay

    OP4: I encourage you to bring it up when you experience these symptoms in an interview – I commonly get migraines when stressed and get a pounding head/blurry vision. I don’t know about you, but it gives me a glazed over/detached look… which can make the interviewer assume that you are bored or disinterested in the job. Just saying “I apologize if I am looking detached, I can assure you that you have my attention, it is just I am not feeling well and I don’t want you to take my body language the wrong way”

    Reply
  8. Dania

    Another “dream job” horror story: I was working at a finance company and the job was actually pretty dreamy for a while. I got a 16% raise after only 4 months but then got fired literally one week later because we got a new manager who accused me of “insubordination” for asking a question about his planned changes for our company’s website. Yeah, that turned crazy pretty fast. I ended up getting a job that didn’t seem that great when I applied, but turned out to be literally the best team I’ve ever been on, going strong for 3+ years now (hopefully no repeat of the prior situation). So don’t overrate or underrate anything because you never know what will happen!

    Also, side note for Alison — I’m on the mobile AAM website and there’s a Dick’s Sporting Goods ad at the bottom that will not go away no matter how many times I try to X out. When I press my finger down on it, the X seems to be part of the image of the ad rather than something you can actually close out of. I promise I don’t have fat fingers LOL. Just putting it out there in case anyone else is having the same issue.

    Reply
  9. Down Range

    #3, are you me?

    I literally got a text from my coworker “Sarah” yesterday that our site supervisor was implementing this for her team of 6 and wants us 2 to do it too. We don’t report to her or even work for her company (they gave us “intern” badges and we are just housed there).

    Site supervisor is only doing this because one of her employees leaves for 3-5 hours at a time without telling anyone. She not-so-secretly runs a business and goes there in the middle of her day, 3-4 days a week.

    She can’t control Business Betty, so now she is passing this stupid ‘post your hours on the board’ crap with all of us because she doesn’t have the cojones to tell Betty to cut that ish out.

    Sarah is not going to post her hours. I wasn’t physically there, so if she mentions it me to I guess I’ll do it…but this lady has a 3 minute memory. She’ll forget by Tuesday….

    Reply
  10. Alton

    #4 You never know. When I interviewed for my job, I didn’t feel confident at all. I felt less confident about that interview than others I’d had. But they offered me the job.

    A week is a pretty short time. They might still be interviewing people, or might have just finished interviews. Give it time.

    But I agree with Alison’s advice not to put too much stock in this one dream job. You don’t know for sure if it would be the best job for you, and even if it would be a wonderful fit, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other jobs that would be just as or almost as good.

    Reply
  11. Vicki

    OP #1 – you did not throw your manager “under the bus”. Presuming you were honest – she really wasn’t performing very well, was not hitting goals or being particularly good or effective at her job — then what did you expect to happen?

    It is not your fault that this manager is no longer working at your company. It is not your job to save low-performing co-workers.

    You did nothing wrong.

    Reply
  12. Former Computer Professional

    OP1 reminded me of “upward evaluations.” It’s when you review your boss, with confidentiality, and that review is only seen by your boss’s boss (and anyone above).

    I’ve seen it in action. At one time I had difficulties with a manager. I went to the top boss (she had an open-door just-make-an-appointment belief so anyone could come talk to her about work) and talked about her. Top boss said that while she was sorry to hear about this, it sounded like my manager and I simply didn’t get along.

    While I was job hunting, Top Boss installed upward evaluations. I found out a week after I started my new job that I wasn’t the only person who worked for my manager to complain — I was just the only one who had said something directly to the top boss. Once my other coworkers came forth, often with similar stories, my now-former manager was demoted.

    Reply
  13. baseballfan

    #3 – I don’t see a privacy violation here, just micromanaging.

    I have worked in public accounting for a number of years, most of which at Big 4 firms. I’m used to coming and going as I please. I’m accountable to my team and my clients and am always reachable. My team has a shared Google calendar where everyone notes if they are on vacation or working remotely or traveling.

    I worked briefly for a small firm that had a similar sign in and out sheet for anytime you left the office, even for lunch. As a professional I found the notion of essentially clocking in and out to be unnecessary and infantilizing. If someone is not at their desk at 12:15 p.m., I’m going to assume they are at lunch. If someone needs to run an errand for 20 minutes, we are not doing brain surgery for goodness’ sake. If I had Chrohn’s disease and frequently took 20 minute bathroom breaks, would I need to sign out for that so people would know where I was?

    Reply
  14. Peter the Bubblehead

    OP3 – There could be many reasons for a sign-in sheet in your office. The office in which I work requires all employees to sign in when they arrive, sign out when they leave for the day, and sign out and back in for any reason that takes them out of the building. The reason for this is in case of an emergency so we can keep track of who is present if we need to evacuate the building. We are required to have an easily portable method for accounting for every employee in the office so if someone does not arrive at the muster site in an emergency, it can be known that they must be searched for by emergency responders. This new sign-in sheet could less micromanaging on the part of your boss and more compliance with emergency procedures your office must follow.

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  15. LQ

    My boss has us send a shared email. He forgot for his vacation recently and it was super annoying (for about 45 seconds) because I’d wonder where he was, check the calendar, and then finally remember oh yeah, he’s out all week. I have no interest in tracking my coworkers (or my boss’s) time. But it is incredibly handy to know if I should send and email, try to reach out to someone else, whatever. We are having an emergency, will normal person who handles thing be back in 3 minutes or 3 hours or 3 days? That changes things. You are at work. It isn’t private, and it is your employer, not your government.

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  16. k spence

    Had a less than stellar employee going on interviews, personal shopping, cutting out early to go bar hopping all while supposedly on work errands…instituted a similar system until was made clear that only this former employee was at fault and then discontinued the tracking system…unfortunate but didnt know how else to stop the abuse of time.

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