company wants to take over my personal phone number, should I tell my just-hired manager my concerns about the hiring process, and more

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

1. My company wants to take over the phone number I’ve been using for personal calls

I was given a work phone when I started my job three years ago. As part of her pitch to have me accept, my manager at the time said, “I got rid of my personal phone and just use this one, so you can do the same – it’s a real perk.” I didn’t ever get rid of my personal phone, but my work phone did become my primary contact number for friends and family during the week.

I’m now leaving the company. I gave three months notice and my last day is this week. I have just had an email asking that I give my phone (and number) to my colleague first thing on Monday morning (less than one working day notice to give my number over). I am deeply uncomfortable with this. I don’t think it is appropriate at ALL that a stranger will be given the number that I have been using for three years, especially when i have been given so little time to notify all my contacts. Am I able to say anything / refuse?

This actually isn’t that unusual because they own that phone and that number. And they have a business interest in ensuring that a business number continues to be answered by someone who works for them.

They were wrong not to explain to you from the start that they’d be taking that number back at the end of your employment with them — but you also sort of overlooked that major detail when you started using the work number as your personal contact number.

However, you could certainly say, “I didn’t realize I’d be giving up this number, so I need a couple of days to transfer all my contacts to my personal number. Is it okay for me to do the transfer on the morning of my last day?”

2. Should I connect with my just-hired manager on LinkedIn … and tell him my concerns about the selection process?

I work in a small IT department (four people including the director). The director has been here nearly 30 years. Two of the staff (including me) have been here 19+ years. Our IT Director has announced his retirement effective the end of this year. Both the other long-time staff member and I have expressed interest in the position over our last several annual performance reviews. In May, we were each informed (separately) that management had decided to fill the position from the outside. Neither of us were given interviews, and were both told that no internal applications were to be accepted.

I was not involved in the first round of interviews. But once the field was narrowed to two, I was asked by my manager (retiring IT director) and his manager (CFO) to sit in on part of the second interviews. I was the only staff member of our department given this opportunity. I have been told which one of those two candidates will be given an offer. IMO, he is the better choice of the two.

Is it appropriate to send this person a LinkedIn connection request? If so, when? Before he gets the offer? After he gets the offer, but before he accepts? After he accepts, but before he starts? After his start date?

At some point, I will need to have a very frank discussion with this person about my own career plans, and my thoughts on this selection process. But I am not sure if this is an appropriate conversation to have before he becomes supervisor or after.

Definitely don’t do that before he starts! He’s not working there yet, he’s not your manager yet, and contacting him to complain about the selection process would come across really strangely, and would probably set him up to see you as A Problem before he even starts.

Once he starts, give it some time. After working with him a bit, it might become really clear why your company only wanted to consider outside candidates. It might become clear that they wanted to bring someone in to make changes that they didn’t think could be made as effectively by someone who’s been there two decades already, or it might become clear that he brings key skills that you and you coworker don’t have. Give it some time to play out and impact your thinking before you initiate any conversation about how the process was handled.

As for the LinkedIn request, you can send that any time you want. I’d probably wait until after he accepts the job, but it doesn’t really matter. There’s no urgency though.

3. Can I ask my boss to stop interrupting my presentations?

I’ve been in a new role for a bit more than a year now, and one of the areas I’ve been struggling a bit in is presentations (which come up semi-regularly in my role). The biggest issues are that a) I haven’t been able to do them very often, b) I don’t get to use our analysis tool very often, which means giving demos on it is harder as it’s not fresh in my mind, and c) they have been on topics I’m not very familiar with. All of these are fixable and I know how to work on them.

The biggest issue for me has been that whenever I’ve been giving a presentation, it’s been in front of my boss, who never hesitates to jump in if he feels you have missed something or if someone in the audience asks a question. This has happened a few times now, and just results in me being even more uncomfortable because I know at any time he’s going to interrupt me, which breaks my flow.

So my question: my boss is generally a decent and sane person (although a bit of a control freak). Should (and if so, how) can I tell him to please stop interrupting me during my presentations? I’m happy to receive feedback later, or even for him to let me finish and then go back to points I missed, but the in the moment interruptions really bug me!

“As you know, I’ve been working on strengthening my presentations. I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to get thrown off and therefore to struggle with the presentation if you jump in while I’m in the middle of them. I absolutely want your feedback, and of course I understand if you think it’s crucial to correct something in the moment for the audience, but I wonder if I can ask you to wait to give me feedback until after I’m done? Or, if you want to add something, to do it at the end? Especially while I’m actively working to improve these, I think that would be really helpful to me.”

It’s possible that he’ll tell you that part of giving good presentations is being able to go with the flow and deal with interruptions, but it’s a reasonable thing to ask for and see what he says.

4. What’s a “letter of intent”?

Recently out of work, I’ve noticed a trend of specific job listings asking for a “letter of interest” or “letter of intent” instead of a cover letter. What reasons would someone in a hiring position ask for this? At first I thought these listing were merely asking for a cover letter in an incorrect way in a misguided attempt to sound fancy. However, I’ve noticed it so. Many. Times. Could an employer have legal or other reasons to request this?

Nah, it’s the same thing as a cover letter, just with a different name. I’ve seen some people say that cover letters are for when you’re applying for specific jobs, while letters of intent are what you send when you’re expressing general interest, but that’s really splitting hairs — and clearly inaccurate in the cases you’re seeing, since you’re seeing the term in ads for specific jobs.

Assume the terms are interchangeable, and don’t read anything into it.

5. Asking to delay a start date when you’re in the middle of buying a new house

My fiance and I started a condo search a few months ago (around April). After a while of searching, we finally found a place we liked and had our bid accepted (mid-June). Due to several reasons, our process has taken a while to close and we are now looking at a August 11 closing date.

My fiance has been thinking about switching jobs and had a very passive job search, maybe one job application once a month or every two months. But recently she saw a job that would be a great fit for her and what she wants to do at a bigger organization with more room for upward mobility. She applied, was given a phone interview, and was called back for a two-hour group interview. They asked her permission to check her references, and she indeed heard back from some of them saying they have been contacted. They have stated they would prefer to have someone start sooner rather than later, around August 11. Our banker told us it not recommended to change jobs during closing process. It can be done, just adds extra layers of paperwork and perhaps drags the process out further.

Would it be out of line to ask for a start date that is three or four weeks out after the closing on the condo? If it is okay, should she explain it is due to the closing or just ask for extra time on the start date?

Yep, it’s totally fine to ask, and she can explain that she’s in the middle of closing on a condo and is wary about changing jobs right in the middle of that process. People will understand that.

And she may not even need that much extra time. If she gets a job offer at the end of this week, she’s already going to be exactly two weeks from your closing date.

{ 309 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

    OP#1, it is so so common for a company to reuse the number associated with a work-issued cell phone (it’s happened with literally every work phone I’ve ever been issued, which means I often carried 2 cell phones during the day). I’m sorry that they weren’t clear with you that you would have to return the phone and the associated number. I would not push back on this—you can, of course, use Alison’s script so you have time to save your contacts.

    Going forward, it’s worth remembering that if your company is paying for equipment that is required for you to do your job, they’re usually able to take it back when you move on. You were super wise to keep your personal cell, and it may make sense to reinforce the division if this situation comes up, again.

    Reply
    1. CAA

      From the other side of this, it is so, so annoying to be given a cell # that a previous employee was using as his personal phone. I spent the first 6 months of one job telling callers “sorry, but X doesn’t use this number any more.” X was someone I never even met as he left just before I got hired, and he did an entirely different job from the one I did.

      At my last job they asked me if I wanted to transfer my personal number to a company provided phone and told me up front that there would be no problem taking it back in the future. I did that, and then I transferred it out when I left.

      Reply
      1. PatPat

        Yeah, I had the same problem for my first six months of getting calls for the previous employee, who I knew as a mentor. So it was very embarrassing when those calls were from bill collectors threatening the former employee. I finally got them to stop by saying very firmly, “You’re calling a government agency and I WILL report you if you call again.” Report to whom I had no idea but it was effective.

        Reply
        1. Elfie

          At one of my former jobs, I was given the phone number of someone who had used to work there as the former interim IT Director, who was known for being somewhat … inappropriate. So it wasn’t really a surprise that I kept getting text messages for strip clubs and the like. What was more surprising was that about a year after I joined, he got hired back as the permanent IT Director. Ugh!!

          Reply
          1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

            Lol, I had one of those too. Strip clubs, Atlantic City casinos. So many spammy texts.

            Reply
        2. sam

          It took me several years to stop getting these for the guy who previously had my office number (desk landline, not mobile number).

          Reply
          1. requiredname

            I *still* get calls on my desk phone for someone who I never met, who left over a year (maybe two) before I started. I’ve been here 3.5 years.

            Reply
            1. SpaceySteph

              When I started at my first job out of college I used to get calls at my desk from the mom of some previous employee (who nobody in my department knew, because numbers are recycled company wide). She was *convinced* that her son could be reached at the number and he was having me answer the phone so he didn’t have to talk to her. She got quite salty with me.

              Reply
          2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

            When I left my last-last job, my replacement was still getting calls for the person who had my desk landline (it was a fixed-term job, so the person changes every 2 years). I remember one caller, in particular, thought I was lying for my predecessor and kept telling me to stop interfering with their ability to access that person. Sorry, lady, he literally works in a different state, now.

            I once got a call for a predecessor from the 00’s—there had been 4 position changes by then!

            Reply
        3. Creag an Tuire

          I had the same problem, except I didn’t know the previous owner of the number. But “Wakeen” sure had a lot of debt collectors going after him. Eventually I just started saying: “Yeah, Wakeen died… … for all I know. But seriously, this was his work number and I don’t know him, please stop calling.”

          Reply
      2. Not Rebee

        My company is a startup, so the phone numbers we are given belonged to totally random people. Awkwardly, it seems like the person who had my number before me was job searching in all kinds of different states. I get calls from Colorado and New Jersey (I’m in California and the area code is for California) from different agencies who want to talk to “Grace” about a job opportunity. I am not sure that she was a specialized employee of any kind, since often when I say they have the wrong number they ask if I am looking for a job (which I find highly awkward since I’ve already answered the phone with “CompanyName, this is NotRebee”).

        Reply
    2. krysb

      My work phone has my old phone’s number. If I ever leave, I’ll have to give up the number I’ve had for the past 9 or so years, but I knew when I was offered the company phone (I didn’t have to transfer my number, I opted to for simplicity sake), and chose to not keep a second phone for personal use.

      Reply
    3. Cody's Dad

      I too agree. In my experience I did start to use my work phone with some personal use but once I left I had to turn in the phone and I believe they kept the same number BUT I knew that when I took and the phone. It sounds to me the OP is more aggravated they want the phone on Monday which is short notice to contact your personal contacts.

      Ironically I just started a new position within the same company and now I am required to have a company phone. It’s been a month and my precesador still refuses to return the phone (he banged out sick his last few weeks which is why he still has it…along with the bldg. keys and the company lap top!)

      Reply
      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        Yeah. Sometimes you can work out an agreement with your replacement to record a vmail that redirects people (the same way you would with an office landline). It wouldn’t solve the “transfer of contacts” problem, but it may make it easier for OP to deal with notifying people… although I guess OP could also just email those contacts with a contact info update.

        Reply
        1. sam

          yeah – it’s generally a good idea when companies recycle phone numbers for them to NOT re-use them right away – to actually leave them set up for, say a month or two (or even more) with a direct-to-voicemail recording explaining that the person no longer works there. My old law firms would do this because people would often need to be redirected to the right people. It can help significantly. But a lot of companies don’t want to go through the expense of maintaining “unused” phone numbers and so will recycle them within days.

          Reply
      2. Arjay

        Just curious, are you in the Boston area? that’s the only place I’ve ever heard of people “banging out sick.” :)

        Reply
    4. Anonymous Educator

      As part of her pitch to have me accept, my manager at the time said, “I got rid of my personal phone and just use this one, so you can do the same – it’s a real perk.”

      The manager was out of line to pitch this as a “perk.” It isn’t a perk, and your work number really shouldn’t be used as your personal number, just as your personal number shouldn’t be used as your work number.

      I’ve seen a lot of co-workers over the years (at various workplaces) entwine their work and personal lives this way (for example, using their work email as the primary email for banking, Amazon, Netflix, etc.), and I can’t say they’ll have an easy time with it if they end up unceremoniously let go… or even ceremoniously!

      Reply
      1. jasmine

        Also, there’s no expectation of privacy when you’re using a company-owned phone or e-mail address (at least in the U.S.). Your company can legally read all your work e-mails, install monitoring software on your work phone or work PC, etc.

        At my workplace, for example, every corporate phone is required to have software installed on it that allows everything on the phone to be remotely erased in case the phone is stolen. Presumably, they’d also do that if an employee is fired and should no longer have access to confidential corporate data.

        So yes, you’re much better off using your own phone and e-mail for personal stuff.

        Reply
          1. SomeoneLikeAnon

            Typically no, because that starts to get into wiretapping concerns. Many states have laws prohibting eavesdropping on conversation, via a camera or mic. Emails and texts are considered “records,” from my understanding, which makes them acceptable things for an employer to look at or monitor. Not work related; but I know a while back that there was a school was in a lot of hot water for turning on laptop cameras of school issued computers.

            Reply
            1. Observer

              That was a stupid mess. They turned on recording literally in kid’s bedrooms, and in the case that hit the papers, misused the pictures they got.

              In general there is a difference between recording what you do WITH your phone, even if it’s personal and using the phone to record things you are doing off the clock or in situations where there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” This actually apparently came up in a court case with a company that had security cameras in the bathrooms.

              Reply
              1. Laura (Needs to Change Her Name)

                I was student teaching at that school during that incident. I’ve always kept a post-it note or band-aid over the built-in video camera on my laptop. My friends told me I was paranoid. I felt VERY STRONGLY VINDICATED when that story broke. One of the laptops that I had a post-it note on was provided by that very school!

                Reply
        1. Karen K

          And this is the reason that I don’t get my work email on my current cellphone. I still use my old phone for this, though, as when I set that one up originally, this was not a requirement. All I need is WIFI.

          Reply
      2. hbc

        Some people really see it as a perk, though. I don’t think our old manager ever bought a cell phone or set up an email address. I guess he didn’t see the downsides, even though I got a ton of Father’s Day texts for him a month after he left and he missed changing over at least one bank account.

        Reply
        1. Alter_ego

          Yeah, my step dad is retiring soon, and he’s asking for his birthday that his kids set up a new iPhone and iPad with non work emails and phone number and all new accounts for everything. He’s totally willing to pay for the technology, he’s just never had a personal device before, and he’s always had an it guy to set things up and troubleshoot for him, so he has no clue what to do now.

          Reply
        2. BPT

          Yeah, for me it was definitely a perk. I mean my company paid for unlimited data on my phone for 6 years. It was well worth it to watch to make sure I didn’t do anything super inappropriate during that time. Don’t act like it’s not a perk to everyone – for some people it definitely is.

          Reply
      3. Anon Accountant

        Or as my coworker who’s leaving has used her company email as the email companies she’s applied with contacted her at. Yes she really used her current employer issued email address for her job search. Plus listed it on her resume, which was saved on the computer and emailed from work. Her work email jdoe@teapots.com as her contact email and some company hired her 3 weeks ago.

        Reply
      4. Basia, also a Fed

        I think it will help the OP understand a bit better if she thinks of the cell phone number the same way she thinks of her company email. Lots of people use their work email for personal reasons, but they understand that it belongs to the employer and they can’t keep it when they leave. The cell phone number is no different.

        Reply
        1. Scrinnbles

          No it is different, because you can transfer mobile numbers, but yourname@acme.com is pretty much only usefull to acme co.

          Basically the person buying mobile phones for the company is incompetent.

          Reply
          1. BPT

            I’m not sure how you’re getting they’re incompetent?

            Work gives the OP a work phone with phone number and says it’s not a problem if they use it for personal things too.
            OP does not get rid of personal phone, but starts to use work phone for personal things.
            OP is leaving and work wants the phone/phone number back since the number is associated with the workplace.

            There is nothing incompetent about that. It was OP’s choice to use the work phone for personal contacts. There’s nothing wrong with that either, but it’s incredibly common for a workplace to keep the numbers they give out. There’s nothing wrong with that.

            Reply
            1. Fafaflunkie

              This exactly. Work have me a phone and a phone number, and I fully accept that that is their number. Hence, I keep my personal phone and its number completely separate from the work number.

              I’ve had some nasty experiences when work have me this phone. Apparently whoever had the phine number before I did had some rather shady business going on considering the texts I received from numbers I knew nothing about. Worse was when we decided to go with a fax to email service and kept the fax line but changed its number to end the spammy faxes that polluted that number. It turned out whoever had that number before we did was in big shit with the taxman. How many times did I have to tell the CRA guy on the other end “we at (company) were assigned this number a few days/weeks ago and we have no idea who (deadbeat) is. PLEASE STOP CALLING US!” Of course that fell on deaf ears for another fee months before they finally got it through their thick skulls to leave us alone.

              Reply
          2. Observer

            You are totally incorrect. There are a lot of good reasons for a company to retain a phone number that has become associated with a company. That’s not universal. But the idea that it never happens is just not so.

            Reply
          3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

            That seems like a weird conclusion. Most companies keep the mobile numbers they’re issued, often for extremely sensible reason (e.g., they bought a block of numbers that match their landline, or that spell out an acronym). That doesn’t make the person buying the phones incompetent. I think Basia’s analogy is bang on.

            Reply
        2. TootsNYC

          actually, it almost sounds as though she did use the cell phone the way I use my work email.

          it’s not what I use for “personal stuff,” but my mom has my work email and might email me there if she wants me to see it.

          In fact, she used her company cell phone the way I use my company desk phone: My relatives can call me there during the day, when they know I’ll be at work.

          So I don’t really think she’s losing all that much. She just gives people her new work phone number–just as she would if she’d never been issued a cell phone (and didn’t have one of her own).

          Reply
      5. copy run start

        My company sells it as a perk too- they’ll pay for your phone bill if you use your personal number.

        The extra expense is worth it to me to know that my personal life is truly separate and that I won’t have former clients or our idiotic outside support calling me if I ever leave. When the Pokemon Go craze started they banned the app from any company devices too, not just on the property. I prefer not to be told how to waste my time!

        Plus I like to have a new phone and the company won’t pay for a new device unless yours is basically broken.

        Reply
        1. Observer

          I’m sure they didn’t ban it because they are worried about how you waste your time. There were, however, a number of issues with the app, one of which could have turned out to be serious for any employer handling sensitive information. (Fortunately that one was fixed before anything major happened, but I can see it scaring any sensible management team.)

          Reply
          1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

            And for physical security reasons (the number of people who caused traffic accidents, walked into things, etc., while playing Pokemon Go was low, but the kinds of bizarre accidents/injuries were pretty bad when it first rolled out).

            Reply
            1. Observer

              Yeah, the bad publicity around some of what was going on is something I would expect any decent PR team to be wary of.

              Reply
        2. KellyK

          When the Pokemon Go craze started they banned the app from any company devices too, not just on the property. I prefer not to be told how to waste my time!

          This right here is why I will always want to keep my work and personal devices separate. There are an awful lot of fun, time-waster apps that I enjoy the heck out of, and which no IT person is going to allow on a company device. Pokémon Go is the main one that really needs to live on my phone rather than a tablet, but the ability to play Words with Friends or various match 3 games at the pharmacy or the DMV is not something I’d sacrifice for the convenience of only carrying one phone.

          Reply
        3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          I think the frustrating part, also, is that once your company pays for your phone use, it’s not really fully private or your own, anymore. You waive a bunch of privacy protections (in most states, CA requires a contract where you explicitly waive your rights), and you also have to preserve records on your personal phone in case there’s litigation.

          I’m like you—the extra expense is worth it, to me.

          Reply
      6. Bea

        I flinched at the idea of using a work email as a personal one. I got full access to the email of the person I replaced, she used her email appropriately so no weirdness but I can only imagine the awkwardness when that isn’t the case.

        I think it’s too presumptuous that you’ll never cut ties with or be let go from a job when you tangle up your devices and accounts like that. I’ve seen too many people laid off or fired for that kind of thinking.

        Reply
        1. Garrett

          I have given my work email to my friends and family, since that is the email I check most often during the day. But, anything like on-line shopping or signing up for newsletters or social media is done through a personal account. Mainly because I would be so annoyed if I had to deal with the spam that tends to follow any online activity.

          Reply
      7. Jubilance

        This! We had a big layoff a few years ago, and people knew it was coming, but maybe they didn’t expect it would be so big? Anyway, a lot of people never changed their logins for banking, or other websites until it was too late :-(

        Reply
    5. Bagpuss

      Yes. When I first read the letter I mis-read it as saying that OP had just handed in her notice and was being asked to return the phone early in the notice period, which I could see as being a surprise, but then I re-read and saw that her last day is this week, so it makes a lot more sense!

      I don’t think the company was wrong to not have explicitly explained that the phone and number would be returned at the end of her employment, it would have been nice had they reminded her when she handed her notice in, but I think returning company property when you leave is pretty standard so I can understand why they didn’t think it was necessary to raise it specifcally.

      I agree that it would be fine to ask for an extra day or so to give you time to uninstall any apps, unlink it from your personal accounts and social media and send out texts or messages to your personal contacts to let them know that you won’t be using the phone any longer.

      Reply
    6. Princess Carolyn

      I worked at a newspaper with a similar cellphone set up and could not believe how many people used these work phones as their personal phones. It caused some real inconvenience for employees who left their jobs or, worse, were laid off — suddenly, they had no access to a phone at all. The company sold the free phone as a “perk,” and my manager was even kind of grumpy about me keeping my personal phone. (My work-issued phone was also an Android, which wasn’t compatible with iPhone or the other programs I needed to, y’know, do my job. My personal phone was an iPhone.)

      Reply
    7. Young and Managing

      OP #1. One former company gave me the number of the person who was in my role last. It was actually really helpful because I could introduce myself to callers as the new manager if they weren’t aware that the previous one had retired. It’s not the worst idea to keep it consistent when possible. However, I can see the frustration with using it for more personal calls. I’ve always found it helpful to keep separate numbers entirely, since there are always friends and family that love to call in the middle of work days!

      Reply
    8. TootsNYC

      If you have a desk phone, you absolutely assume that number will stay with the desk phone.
      A cell isn’t any different.

      Reply
    9. TootsNYC

      Google Voice.

      I ended up w/ a Google Voice number for my personal cell phone (my first phone got waterlogged very shortly after I got it, and I also liked the ability to forward calls to any phone, bcs I was thinking of going freelance, and I might be able to do that if I was working somewhere steadily, so I wouldn’t be seen on my cell).

      And now that I have a company-issued smartphone, I did abandon my cell phone and just use this one. I give out the Google Voice number to everybody, and it’s forwarded to my work cell.
      I make calls directly on this number, but the people I call are generally family, and they can simply delete this work number (my husband calls on the G.V. number; my best friend said, “oh, I’ll just call on this, and I’ll know when you change jobs.)

      I need to get better about periodically backing up the phone at home, and exporting my contacts, so that I don’t lose too much. Because there’s some pressure to cut costs, and my cell could be seen as unnecessary.

      Reply
      1. Observer

        If you have a google voice number, you have a google account. The easiest way to avoid losing anything is to put all of your personal contacts into your contacts in your google account. This way, the phone could go “poof” tomorrow, and you’d still have everything. And, while it would show up on your work phone as long as you have it on that phone, you can delete the account in about 1 minute, so you would not have to leave your contacts etc on the phone.

        Reply
    10. Stephanie

      Yeah, all the people at my internship this summer walk around with two cell phones. I’m using my personal number just because I’m not allowed to have a phone as an intern, but I think they’re pretty clear that the work smartphone is to be used for work.

      Reply
      1. BananaPants

        Most of the folks at my workplace who have company phones end up doing the same – they have their company iPhone, and their personal phone. “Don’t cross the streams” seems to be the option chosen.

        We’re experimenting with limited BYOD, which is not really BYOD, but “you can get company email and your calendar on your personal device”. Ostensibly for IT security reasons they’ve only opened it up to iOS devices. Since I’ve sold my soul to Google rather than Apple, I can’t participate. That said, if you use it and leave the company or get laid off, it doesn’t brick your phone or delete your files, it just disables your access to company servers. I’m OK with that kind of arrangement.

        Reply
        1. nonegiven

          My husband’s work went kind of backwards from that. They provided basic cell phones with voice to most employees as needed. As tech matured, people were paying, through the company, the extra to have unlimited texts, then to have data. Something changed in tax law and the company decided it was more trouble than it was worth to oversee all that and gave each employee that was required to have a phone at work a monthly stipend and signed over the phone and the number to each employee at the end of the year. I put his phone on my plan. He is still the only one at work without a smartphone. When he retires the number will still be (technically) mine since the phone plan is in my name.

          Reply
    11. Floundering Mander

      Is there any possibility of paying to take over the number for yourself and taking it with you?

      Reply
  2. Ramona Flowers

    #2 What do you hope to gain from sharing your thoughts on the selection process in particular? It’s understandable that you’re disappointed at not being given a chance to apply for the role. But I’m not sure it’s going to help if you tell him exactly what you think. At best, it may make things awkward – at worst, you could seem kind of insubordinate.

    It’s okay to discuss your own career aspirations but I’m not sure a very frank discussion is going to be the best thing.

    For what it’s worth, it sounds like they may have been hesitant to choose between two long-time staff members and to promote one above the other.

    Reply
    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      Yeah—this was my question, as well. I don’t think it comes across insubordinate, but it does come across as inappropriate as a first interaction with a new boss and somewhat sour-grapes-y. It just seems unnecessarily antagonistic… especially because it sounds like the real target of OP#2’s feedback is their Old Boss and the CFO. What information could the New Boss provide re: hiring externally v. internally, etc.? I suspect not much compared to Old Boss & co.

      It’s going to be tough enough for an outside hire to manage a team that includes two people who interviewed for the same job (not impossible, just slightly awkward). But imagine if before you even start, those employees contact you to express their frustration with the hiring process. I’ve been in that position, and it made me seriously question whether we’d be able to work in a team because it sounded like they were either (1) super hung up on not getting the job; and/or (2) unwilling to accept an “outsider” as their boss.

      If you can, OP#2, I would take a step back and a deep breath. Figure out why you want to share your feedback and what purpose sharing that feedback serves in this specific context. I suspect that once you start getting really concrete about your purpose, you’ll determine who the right recipient is for your feedback and whether giving that feedback serves your purpose/goals.

      Reply
      1. Ramona Flowers

        In this case I don’t think it’s two people who interviewed for it – it sounds like neither did.

        I always think nothing surprises me any more but am genuinely shocked that you’ve had the experience of being contacted before you started.

        Reply
        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          Sorry—you’re totally right. That said, I don’t think it changes my advice. Even not being allowed to apply, and then complaining about it to the new hire, is not a great move.

          Re: being contacted before starting, this is probably a great conversation for an open thread. But being contacted before I started was only the beginning of a series of batshit crazy actions from one particular person on the team who had not gotten the job (literally everyone on a 6-member team interviewed for the position, but somehow the 4 other members of the team who did not get the job were able to be professional and gracious about it).

          Reply
      2. Lily in NYC

        Right – this is the kind of conversation that tends to backfire. It’s not the new manager’s fault OP wasn’t considered for the role and I’m not really sure what OP hopes will happen.

        Reply
      3. ZenJen

        OP#2 sounds like they have a chip on their shoulder. If they wanted to be considered for the position, then they should have spoken to old manager/hiring manager. Whining about it when it’s DONE is too late and makes OP#2 look really bad. If OP#2 wants a new position, then maybe they need to move on to a different company, with a fresh and healthy perspective.

        Reply
        1. Observer

          Well, to be fair, they were apparently told up front that their applications were not going to be considered.

          Reply
        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          The timing doesn’t actually bother me—it’s more complaining to the incoming/new manager. I think OP’s concerns are super valid and may still be appropriate to share with the old/hiring manager (or the Grandboss, assuming they’re still around). But I do think OP would have to be very careful about how to raise the issue.

          Reply
    2. TL -

      Yes, I’m also a bit confused on why you think it’s necessary to have a talk with your new manager about the hiring process that they don’t have any control over (and won’t have any control over when they leave, most likely.) I’m curious about why you feel you need to have that talk – I’m not sure there’s any actionable outcome to be had.

      Reply
      1. Myrin

        I’m glad there’s this thread here already. I read #2 and OP said “At some point, I will need to have a very frank discussion with this person about […] my thoughts on this selection process.” so confidently and like the reasoning is obvious that I feared that I had missed something big.

        (Additionally, I don’t think it’s uncommon to not allow internal candidates for any given position. Disappointing, certainly, but it’s not like this is a huge preach of business protocol or an abhorrent moral failing on the departing boss’s part.)

        Reply
        1. Ramona Flowers

          I think it’s understandable if you do need to air your feelings but I would not do it to anyone at your work. Pick someone removed from the situation, not your boss.

          Reply
          1. Lily Rowan

            But also, your new boss might ask you, and you will need to be careful about what you say, to make sure you aren’t setting up an antagonistic relationship right up front. I was hired once to supervise someone who was totally qualified for my job, and I did ask her pretty early on if she had been interested in the position, because I needed to know if she was already bitter before ever meeting me. She said no, and had great reasons why not, and we went on to a really good working relationship.

            Reply
        2. Fifty Foot Commute

          You’re right about the confidence level; I think because of that, I interpreted the OP as saying “I will need to tell my new boss that I am actively trying to leave because there is no longer any opportunity for upward movement.”

          Reply
          1. fposte

            Yeah, that was my immediate interpretation and I can’t really see anything else making as much sense.

            Reply
          2. Feeling Jilted

            I am the OP. Fifty Foot Commute is dead right in their interpretation. I see no opportunity for upward movement here.

            I have a great relationship with my current (retiring) manager. I have been completely honest with him. He knows my feelings already, and has agreed to be a reference.

            My relationship with the CFO is at best rocky. What I have come to realize is that I would likely never be happy working for that person. So maybe in the end this was the best thing for all involved.

            Both my current manager and CFO have told me I do a great job (in my current role) and have asked me not to leave, at least not yet. In fact, that plea did include a small salary increase and now they are talking about a title change.

            Which is all nice, but does not change the fact that I see little real opportunity for advancement here.

            Reply
            1. fposte

              And it sounds like leaving is a viable plan, then. But I would say that 1) your conversation with a new manager would be about your leaving, not about the past hiring process and 2) you want to hold off on that conversation until you have a better idea of the new manager’s take on things–not so much that because he might miraculously manage a promotion for you, though I suppose it’s not impossible, but because you don’t know yet how he’ll react to somebody suggesting they’ve got one foot out the door. There’s nothing urgently actionable here on the manager’s part, and it’s possible it’ll be better for you to wait.

              Reply
              1. LBK

                Frankly, if I were a new manager and right at the beginning someone sat me down and said they had wanted my job, they were pissed about how the process went and they were thinking of leaving, I’d say “Great, there’s the door.” I have no stake in that person yet and I’d much rather fill an open spot with someone I can choose than have to deal with a disgruntled employee who seems right out of the gate like they’re going to cause trouble for me.

                Reply
                1. TootsNYC

                  Yeah, this is where I fall.

                  If you want to leave, just leave. Everybody–but everybody (including the new guy)–knows that’s a possible risk. They’ve tried to sweeten the pot to get you to stay, but I think they’re only expecting it to delay you a little, and hopefully the new guy will have settled in by then. (The new guy has probably already been briefed by his bosses about your status–you don’t need to tell him; if they have any brains at all, they’ve told him. And if they haven’t, if HE has any brains at all, he’ll know it’s a risk.)

                  You get to decide how much impact that “sweetener” will have, but there is NO need to burden the new guy with your PERSONAL decision-making process.
                  And it can backfire bigtime.

              2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

                This is so very bang on. In addition to #2, OP should not bring up dissatisfaction or leaving with the New Boss until OP has another job in hand that they’ve accepted. The truth is that OP doesn’t want to stay, so there’s nothing the New Boss could offer, anyway (and even if they could, would you want to take it? I wouldn’t.).

                Frankly, if working with the CFO is going to be ick, and if OP wants to leave, then it doesn’t make sense to talk to the New Boss about the hiring process because that wasn’t the problem—the problem was the lack of opportunity for upward movement.

                Reply
            2. AMPG

              I think you’re seeing the situation pretty clearly for what it is. The fact is, if they really wanted you to stay, they would have at least given you the opportunity to apply for the position, so every day you continue to stay is really just doing them a favor.

              On the other hand, I don’t think it’s worth bringing this up to the new manager. It would be appropriate, in a conversation about your career goals, to explain that you’ve been given pretty clear signals that you won’t be able to move up within this company, but initiating a conversation just sounds like you’re pre-emptively giving notice.

              Reply
              1. Snark

                “The fact is, if they really wanted you to stay, they would have at least given you the opportunity to apply for the position, so every day you continue to stay is really just doing them a favor.”

                Hard disagree. I have several direct reports who have decades more experience than me, are older and more experienced, and one is even paid higher than me. They weren’t considered for my position, because while they’re excellent subject matter experts with a great depth of knowledge, they weren’t project managers, they don’t work especially well in large teams, and they lack broad knowledge required to put all the pieces together. The fact that they don’t manage the task order doesn’t mean we want them gone, and their staying isn’t doing us a favor, it just means they had no business being promoted to manager. Thankfully, they all realize that.

                Reply
                1. LBK

                  Right – tenure and strength as an individual contributor have almost nothing to do with being a successful manager. There’s nothing inherent about being there longer that entitles you to a management role, and there isn’t really a point in them interviewing you if they know already that you’re not the right person (which they can probably judge pretty accurately considering you already work there).

                2. AMPG

                  But clearly your direct reports feel the same way you do, which makes all the difference. In this case, OP #2 has made it known for YEARS that they were looking for upward mobility, and then wasn’t even permitted to apply for the first open position to come along in a long time. The OP’s and the company’s long-term goals are at direct odds with each other, and instead of being honest about that, the CFO is trying to throw scraps to the OP in hopes that they’ll stick around. Not considering the OP for this position could be a completely valid and understandable decision – I have no way to know. But I DO know that they’ve more or less told the OP flat out not to expect to achieve their professional goals as long as they stay.

                3. Snark

                  Sure, AMPG, and I totally agree that it would have been a kindness to let OP know that they should expect to continue in an individual contributor role rather than a management one. Not everybody whose goal it is to become a manager is necessarily well suited to that, and not everybody who is a manager planned to be there (o hai). But given their rocky relationship with the CFO, I’m not honestly sure it should have come as a surprise.

                  And I don’t think they’re being thrown scraps. If the CFO truly saw no value to them sticking around, it’d just be like, tough cookies. They are clearly valued, just not in a manager role. That’s not necessarily a slight.

                4. LBK

                  But wanting to move up doesn’t make you qualified for it. I suppose you can argue that a good manager would be helping the OP develop the skills she needs to become more qualified for promotions, but if there’s nowhere else to go but into a manager role and they just don’t think she’s suited for management, that’s not always something you can train people for.

                  This isn’t to say that the OP definitely isn’t qualified, and it’s of course possible she’s genuinely not being recognized for skills she has and promotions to roles she would excel at. But I think it’s worth examining what *management* qualities she has, not just what makes her good at her current role; you say that Snark’s employees being on board makes all the difference, but the OP is in control of her attitude. She may not be able to decide who gets the manager position, but she can decide to be on board with whoever it is (and a positive attitude often makes people more amenable to working with you to develop your skills and give you necessary feedback in order to move up).

                5. LBK

                  @Snark – Yeah, you’ve touched on something here that I think is really important. There’s kind of a misconception that if you’re a good employee, you will continue to get promoted until you rise into management, because that’s where you eventually go when you move up. But that’s how we end up with a lot of bad managers, because people get promoted on their strength as an individual contributor when management is a wholly different skillset.

                  I would say that generally people who end up as good managers were good at their individual contributor roles, but the reverse isn’t always true, and it’s important to not get fixated on believing that the only way good performance over a long period of time would be adequately recognized is by becoming a manager. Management is a job with distinct requirements and responsibilities, it’s not a reward.

                6. Snark

                  “it’s important to not get fixated on believing that the only way good performance over a long period of time would be adequately recognized is by becoming a manager.”

                  Totally agreed. I think a lot of people pine for management jobs without actually wanting to manage. I have a friend who was nursing this huge grudge that he hadn’t been promoted to management yet, and I was like, “DUDE. You talk all the time about how you just love to be buried in a project that you can work solo, you hate meetings, you complain about people you have to collaborate with, and you work from home three days a week. You’d hate being a manager.”

                7. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

                  I’m with Snark and LBK on this—oftentimes people are not qualified to be managers, even if they’re great at what they’re currently doing. And many companies won’t courtesy interview someone who they know they’ll reject, in part because the rejection would put OP in the same position as not being able to apply. So I don’t think the ban on internal candidates necessarily signaled that the company doesn’t care about retaining OP—I think it means they were not willing to promote OP at that time.

                  If OP had intended to stay, I would say that a more constructive/value-added conversation might be asking the New Boss (after about a month) what OP needs to do to be eligible for promotion/upward-mobility. But it sounds like OP wouldn’t want to work for the CFO, anyway, in which case, leaving makes the most sense.

                8. TootsNYC

                  also a hard disagree.

                  They could really want him to stay in the current role, and still know that they really want to hire from outside, or that he doesn’t have the skill set they need. And so why waste everyone’s time? Treat him respectfully, but letting everyone know that they aren’t considering any internal candidates (which means they HAVE considered you and decided it’s not what they need).

                9. Dead-End

                  @Snark, out of curiosity, were an of your direct reports who “weren’t project managers” ever given the *chance* to prove themselves in a management role? Did any of them ever express a desire to be (or not be) in a management role?

                  I’m getting the sense that because they were subject matter efforts, someone *assumed*, without any basis, that they “had no business being promoted to manager.”

                10. LBK

                  @Dead-End – Internal employees aren’t unknown quantities, and it’s not like every role is completely discrete; you generally don’t just let people try out roles that require skills they haven’t shown an aptitude for in their current role. It’s not an assumption that they “had no business being promoted,” it’s an extremely well-educated position based on seeing someone’s current work. People usually don’t magically whip out talents you never knew they had when you promote them – they get promoted because they’re already doing the work and displaying the skill needed for the new role.

                11. Snark

                  “I’m getting the sense that because they were subject matter efforts, someone *assumed*, without any basis, that they “had no business being promoted to manager.”

                  My boss *judged,* on the basis of years of experience working with them, that they had not displayed any initiative or interest in management, they hadn’t undertaken any professional development that would give them management skills, and had actively sought roles that led to them working self-directed and solo. So, yes, it was rightly assumed, with basis, that because they were exclusively interested in being SMEs, they had no business being promoted to manager. And they promoted me because, even though I’d never thought of myself as management, I’d obtained a PMP, I’d worked in several compliance areas, and I’d assumed leadership of a couple of big projects.

                  I find it incredibly weird that you jumped to the conclusion there was no basis and that the decision was made on the basis of half-assed assumptions, but I think it says more about you than about how we promote.

            3. just another day

              The new manager will probably have concerns about inheriting two long-term, experienced / potentially qualified for that role employees anyway, so if anything you should tread lightly, rather than “addressing” anything at all about the position, hiring process, or even your professional track for at least several months.

              It’s a tough position, but Alison writing “A Problem” with capital letters is spot-on – it would be a huge red flag for the new manager.

              Reply
            4. Snark

              Have you really mulled over whether that role is actually a fit for your skills, background, temperament, etc? This is no slight on you, but there’s a lot of folks who really aren’t cut out for management or directorship-type roles, even though they’re good at their jobs. Frankly, the fact that you’re considering directly contacting the new person to complain about their own hiring process gives a bit of ammo to that interpretation.

              Reply
      2. MCMonkeyBean

        It seems to me that the best person to talk to is the manager that’s leaving. When my first manager left, I took that as an opportunity to have a very frank conversation with him and ask him things I might have felt awkward asking earlier. (Honestly it was stuff I probably could have asked him anytime, but this was my first job and I’m kind of awkward when it comes to asking my boss for things.)

        I think it would be extremely reasonable and much more helpful to ask for a meeting with your leaving manager and ask him for honest feedback about why they wanted to go with someone from the outside, and if there is anything you should be doing differently to be considered for a role like that in the future.

        Reply
    3. Liane

      Agreed that this is bad thing to talk with your *new* boss about. (You might as well send him a meme of the “Danger Will Robinson!” scenes from “Lost in Space” TV show or the Star Trek Red Alert.
      I suppose if you have a very good relationship with one of the *current* management team, you could ask them for the reasoning of hiring outside. (With that wording, NOT “Why didn’t you hire/interview me?”) But it’s probably best not to.
      Seriously, whether management did the “right thing” for the company by hiring from outside or not, maybe this is a sign you should see what else is out there.

      Reply
      1. AthenaC

        “I suppose if you have a very good relationship with one of the *current* management team, you could ask them for the reasoning of hiring outside. ”

        I agree with this and I would frame it as “… so I can best support them in their transition” or something like that.

        Reply
        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          I agree, too. And if it’s structured slightly like an informal exit interview where OP is interviewing the exiting current manager, as MCMonkeyBean described, then I think OP can also ask questions about:
          (1) how to support the transition, and
          (2) how to become “promotable” in the future (emphasizing that this is not about the NewBoss, but rather, about OP’s career trajectory in general).

          Reply
      2. fposte

        As a new boss, I would assume that the conversation as framed was about the OP planning to leave. I really wouldn’t recommend requesting it if that’s *not* what you’re planning.

        Reply
      3. DArcy

        If they’re in a position where they can ask the current management about it, it does seem reasonable for the OP to want to know whether the company intends to continue hiring exclusively from outside for future management positions, as opposed to this being a decision specific to this particular hiring. But yes, they definitely need to be careful about how they word that request!

        Reply
    4. kittymommy

      Yeah, it’s one thing to have a conversation about your career goals (normal, I just wouldn’t do it immediately) and quite another to discuss a selection process he had no part of (other than being a candidate). I’m trying to figure out what his response would be.

      Reply
    5. The IT Manager

      Point 1: You should connect on LinkedIn after he’s announced as the new hire. It’s not necessarily a problem before but why connect to someone who might not take the job? Don’t connect and say “I heard you’re my new boss” before he’s actually informed of the offer.

      Point 2: No need to give feedback on the hiring process at all. Don’t lead with this when you meet him and tight when he starts work. He has different goals in mind (understanding the department, processes, getting started working, etc).

      At some point after a month or two, though, either he should ask or you should mention your career plans which should include a mention of your disappointment that you were not considered for his job because internal candidates were not considered and a frank discussion of your future there since there seems to be no career progression for you. It’s not so much a conversation about your opinion of the hiring process which is done but a conversation about your future and career path with the company. You don’t even have to say “I get your job or I leave”, but you find out if you have any hope of promotion. If not you can make your decision without informing your boss that you’re looking if you choose to do so.

      Reply
      1. Kathleen Adams

        I agree with points 1 and 2, but I really cannot think of a good reason to tell your new boss “I really wanted the job they gave you.” I reeeeeeeally can’t. There’s just no way to say that without sounding aggrieved, and while it might be OK once you know each other really well, there’s no way it’s a good idea when you don’t. In fact, it may not ever be a good idea.

        Reply
        1. LBK

          Yeah, if you’re ever going to say it, it should be waaaaay down the line once you have a much stronger relationship. I can’t see any good reason to tell him this early – what do you expect to get out of it?

          Reply
        2. AMPG

          I think it could be valid if it’s in the context of career goals. It sounds like the OP is pretty sure they’ll have to leave in order to advance, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing to make the new director aware (at the appropriate time, i.e. NOT before or right after they’ve started) that the OP wasn’t even permitted to apply for the director position and they’ve had to do some pretty serious thinking about their future at the company as a result.

          I was in a slightly similar position at one point – I applied for an internal promotion (and was encouraged to apply), only to lose to a colleague. I was very gracious about not getting the job and she really appreciated that, and we had a great working relationship, but we both knew going in that my days with that company were numbered, because there just wasn’t a lot of upward movement at that level. Luckily she was really supportive of my job search, so it was worth it to be both honest and really supportive of her transition.

          Reply
          1. Artemesia

            But if you are considering leaving you absolutely don’t want to breathe a word of that to the boss. This is a great way to be out the door on their time table and not yours.

            Reply
            1. AMPG

              My second paragraph above is the story of a time when my boss knew I was planning to leave and it worked out well in my favor. In fact, I ended up giving her several months’ notice (I moved out of state for family reasons before I ended up finding a new job), and she was very accommodating. If you have the right relationship with your boss (which is a big if, obviously), it can be the right move.

              Reply
      2. Elise

        +1 to your last paragraph. A manager shouldn’t be at all surprised that a staff member is concerned about the prospect of whether there is an opportunity for progression in a company. Frame it that way, and don’t get bogged down in your opinion of the hiring process. I understand how the OP feels, but the new boss is the wrong target for that particular conversation. They could end up being a powerful ally though if shown that you can put aside disappointment and make their transition as painless as possible.

        Reply
      3. TootsNYC

        It would be really weird to connect to a potential new boss until it was solid.

        And I think it would be weird to connect even after he’s been announced but before he starts.

        I would also never, ever say I was disappointed to not be considered for HIS JOB. Sure, find out about whether he sees any upward path for you (you KNOW there isn’t a path to HIS job–but is there a path to being his deputy?)

        Reply
        1. Feeling Jilted

          One more comment. I completely understand what everyone is saying that if I tell the new boss that I was disappointed I was not considered for his job, that would mark me as “A Problem”.

          My concern and another reason I feel I need to talk this out with the new boss sooner than later, is that on each of my last seven annual performance reviews (all of which are on file) I was asked “What position would you most like to see yourself next holding at (company)”; I do not think I need to tell you what I wrote for my answer.

          I am assuming people who are hired to manage a team would at some point look at previous performance reviews of their direct reports. If I say I was never interested, that is a bold face lie and easily disproven by what is in my file. If I am honest, I am “A Problem”. I believe my silence on the matter would clearly be interpreted as dissatisfaction a well.

          I am generally an honest person by nature. Maybe sometimes too honest. I believe my best course of action (as long as I stay) is to tell the new hire, yes I had been interested in his job. I was disappointed that I was not considered. But I understand (maybe not agree, but understand) that upper management did what they feel is best for the company. I will do whatever I can to help the new boss transition into his role.

          I have no bitterness toward the new boss. Any negative feelings I do have are directed squarely toward upper management, who did not feel I was a qualified candidate.

          Reply
          1. Kathleen Adams

            That is something I hadn’t thought of, so that’s an excellent point. Yes, if it’s right there on your performance review, you should bring it up. I wouldn’t do so until you start to know each other a little bit, though.

            Reply
    6. Artemesia

      It is almost always wiser to go outside for major appointments especially when the internal candidates have been there a decade or more and the top management wants to see some change. Whether it was wise in this case or not, there is no upside to complaining to the person appointed that you should have gotten the job. This will put a target on your backside as the resentful trouble maker who is angry to have been passed over; it does not matter how tactfully you think you are wording it, there is no way to say to the new hire ‘I should have been interviewed for your job’ that doesn’t come across that way. I see not a single possible benefit of every mentioning this to him or her. If you want to be considered for future promotions, sitting down with the hiring manager above the new guy is reasonable — but only in the ‘what should I be doing to enhance my chances’ not ‘why wasn’t I interviewed, I have so much more experience than new hire.’

      Reply
  3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

    OP#3, I had a boss who used to do this to me. So in addition to Alison’s suggestion, would it make sense to offer your boss a preview of your presentation?

    With my interrupting boss, I realized that when she felt like she didn’t know what I was going to present, her instinctive response was to get somewhat controlling and overly participatory (she would assume I wasn’t covering information that was literally in the next slide). So I offered to do a practice run with her in advance, or I would give her a copy of my .ppt deck and script for the presentation. It was frustrating at the time and felt micro-manage-y to me, but after the first two presentations, she backed way off and only asked for a presentation outline in advance. The truth is that she really didn’t have time to watch practice presentations, etc., but by making her choose how she wanted to review my work, she also ended up cutting down on mid-presentation interruptions.

    Reply
    1. FTW

      As a manager that sometimes interrupts, here are a few reasons why:
      – you didn’t give enough context, and the audience is confused
      – something you said was not clear
      – the person is interested in X (which I know from prior interactions that you were not part of), and you are focusing on Y
      – you misunderstood a question
      – I need to drive home a point with them

      With most of these, I debrief with my team member after to help them improve. Although, with reasons 3 and 5, there isn’t always a solution.

      So, in addition to what Allison said, I would ask your manager about their interjections. You may get valuable feedback on how to improve.

      Reply
      1. Tuckerman

        I think your list of reasons is spot on. Experienced managers and people with experience teaching can probably recognize subtle signs of confusion earlier than someone is relatively new to presenting.

        Reply
        1. Chinook

          “Experienced managers and people with experience teaching can probably recognize subtle signs of confusion earlier than someone is relatively new to presenting.”

          Absolutely. I once did a presentation to 10 different groups with one of our tech guys (who wanted to hear feedback on the program we were implementing to help improve it). He was amazed that, even though the slides were the same, every presentation was slightly different and catered to very different questions and concerns (think engineers vs. managers vs. ditch diggers). Experience has taught me the difference between a group being quiet because they are fascinated vs. they are bored vs. they are confused. And it isn’t necessarily anything said or done, just something in the atmosphere.

          But, if a manager wants to teach a presenter how to read the room, often it is best to wait for a debrief after the presentation rather than throwing a presenter off their stride by taking over (unless the presenter is way off in the weeds and is drowning).

          Reply
      2. Here we go again

        Even if those reasons are valid, the approach isn’t. Unless the OP is giving out misinformation you should not correct a colleague in front of clients or peers – it makes that colleague seem less knowledgeable which hurts the overall credibility of your team. The manager is free to ask clarifying questions but should not take over the presentation.

        Reply
        1. Lora

          YES.

          If you have these concerns, the appropriate time to do any corrections or clarifications is *before* the material is presented to someone else. Not in the middle of. In the middle of, shush and let your employee do their thing. Ask questions after. To the audience, when you jump in and start talking, it looks like you think the employee is stupid or untrustworthy or that you haven’t vetted their work in general.

          Also note: If you are going to make any corrections or clarifications or improvements, be REALLY sure that YOU are the Best TED-talking Steve Jobs-level charisma presenter EVER and someone else has specifically told you so. I have seen many many many many MANY managers who THINK they are good presenters who then make a 4-point serif font wall of text on a hideous background, which they proceed to read almost word for word to the audience in a monotone. If you do this, I am telling you right now, you are a terrible presenter, everyone hates and dreads your meetings, and you need to improve this immediately before you have another meeting. Take the Edward Tufte classes, do Toastmasters, fix it somehow, but don’t presume to tell anyone anything about their presenting skills if you are writing a wall of text and reading it. Yes, I know lots of other managers do it, maybe even your manager does it too, but it needs to stop because everyone is dying of boredom and not listening to you.

          Reply
          1. Here we go again

            My old boss was like this…. I had extensive public speaking experience… YEARS of Toastmasters, participation in a championship-level speech team, presentations to groups over 1,000. She didn’t, but I still wanted some input when I was working on a report and presentation for a client that we did not have the best relationship with. She gave me a ton of feedback that I disagreed with, but complied anyway and told me to add a bunch of points to my presentation that I felt were unnecessary…. When I went through it again, she complained that it was too long. Grr….

            Reply
        2. JulieBulie

          And as a person who has watched many presentations that were interrupted by an enthusiastic VP, can I add that the interruptions create a miserable and disjointed experience for the audience. We’re on, like, slide 3 and the VP wants to talk about something that he’s concerned hasn’t been covered yet. Or he wants to get to a level of detail that isn’t suitable for the overview segment of the presentation. Or he wants to talk about exceptions to the rule that was just presented – those exceptions will be acknowledged and discussed later. Now we run out of time before we reach the end of the presentation, or we have to blow through the last 20 slides (often the very stuff I was looking forward to). But all of those interruptions were for remarks/questions that could have waited, and some of those remarks/questions would have been answered if the presentation could have run its course without interruption.

          Reply
        3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          I agree. The other way for a manager to ask clarifying questions in a supportive manner is to work in Q&A breaks with the presenting employee. But if you’re going to interrupt for any of the (very valid) reasons provided in FTW’s list, honestly, that stuff should happen before the actual presentation… ideally in a practice-run where the manager can debrief with the employee about tweaking sections. It’s time intensive, but in theory, if you’re trying to support skill development around public presentations, then the manager should take the time to do more intensive, one-on-one, pre-presentation coaching with their report.

          The optics of a manager interrupting a report in a presentation to others is not great—it comes off really undermining, like you don’t trust your report or their competence. It doesn’t mean you should never interrupt, but it sounds like OP’s manager interrupts often enough that it’s signalling a lack of confidence in OP’s capabilities.

          Reply
        4. Optimistic Prime

          Yeah, this. And there are ways that you can help someone address those issues without jumping in. You can ask “clarifying” questions – questions you know the answer to already but that help guide your presenter to address the issue from a different angle or hit upon something they missed. You can even ask the presenter to specifically address an area you think they’ve missed or that you know Person A wants to know about – “Sally, can you also give us some more context on/talk a little more about X?”

          Not only does interrupting your presenter undermine them, it also can shake their confidence. You have to give them opportunities to succeed, particularly if they are nervous presenters.

          Reply
      3. MicroManagered

        It’s really degrading to be rinterrupted by your manager during a presentation like this… The only reason to *interrupt* the speaker is if there’s some technical problem they’re unaware of that’s screwing up the presentation from the audience-side. You can add context, drive a point, clear up misunderstanding, etc. during the Q/A portion or another natural break in the presentation.

        Reply
        1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

          Yes, I’ve been working on this myself. As in my natural speaking/conversing style, I’m inclined to just jump in when the moment calls for it (missing information, an inaccurate statement, etc.) In conversation, these interruptions may be rude in some contexts but aren’t generally demeaning. In a presentation, they are.

          I’ve also read some research that shows that, unsurprisingly, these kinds of public corrections happen more often to people of color. My team is working on being intentional about how we do cross-racial facilitation (multiple facilitators of different races working together), and a part of that has been asking ourselves to notice how and to whom we make these kinds of interjections/corrections/etc.

          Reply
        2. Anon in AZ

          My manager tends to want all the information in once concise sentence, which is of course impossible, and take everything extremely literally (an asset in other facets of our work). So they tend to jump in and derail to provide information that I was getting to or ask questions. My presentations/conversations with them tend to be very disjointed.
          This is after I have gotten peer input and rehearsed what I am going to say. It really undermines my confidence both during the presentation and afterwards. I keep getting pinged on my presentation skills, so I went so far as to rehearse with a senior colleague and told them explicitly that I would need assistance with driving home a certain point that I didn’t have the organizational experience to speak on. The colleague didn’t pick up on my cues to jump in, and again, I got reprimanded afterwards for floundering. I deliberately sought out this field so I would not have to make presentations in front of people. I get it that I can’t avoid this entirely, and I could use some improvement, but give a dog a bone here!

          Reply
        3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          Yup. It’s also awful for the audience, because it becomes an uncomfortable back-and-forth with the manager and report instead of an instructive presentation in which the audience gets to take in information and ask questions.

          It also runs the risk of the manager dominating to the point where others are disinclined to ask legitimate, valuable questions because they don’t want to further interrupt the presenter.

          Reply
      4. M-C

        I agree there might be many legitimate reasons to ‘interrupt’ a presentation. Often, someone in the audience perceives audience confusion better than the speaker. But also, I question the OP’s need for ‘flow’ here. If you need so much to keep to a specific path to get your point across, a presentation isn’t necessarily the best medium – I’d just write down what I want to say as clearly as possible and distribute that. To me an oral presentation is necessarily something which should be responsive to the audience’s reaction. If you can’t handle that gracefully, you aren’t really prepared to be giving presentations.

        Reply
        1. Nicotene

          Maybe, but it’s different for me if it’s my literal boss in the audience jumping in (more than once? When I’m mid-sentence?) to add their spin to what I’m saying. The power dynamic is so slanted there that it’s not like I can push back the way I would with another audience member who’s questions might be miss-timed. Plus, as the boss, you should be aware that your staff will find it demeaning – which may totally be worth it for a big ticket correction, as you’ve said, this isn’t an ego trip – but should be a thoughtful judgement call. If you find that you HAVE to interrupt more than once, I’m wondering if something is wrong with your training, preparation, or hiring.

          Reply
        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          I believe OP on “flow.” I have been interrupted multiple times on multiple slides before, and it really does wreck the flow of a presentation. Even an interactive or concise presentation can be ruined by someone else constantly jumping in and derailing (or assuming I’m not covering an issue that is literally in the next slide).

          Reply
        3. Optimistic Prime

          Mmmph, I don’t know if I agree with that…I 100% agree that presentations should be responsive to the audience, and I often try to make my presentations shorter than the allotted time to allow time for interruptions. But some topics do come across better with a certain order/flow AND are better presented than written down. In those cases I often briefly address the issue but redirect that we’re definitely going to get to that point later.

          I will also add that responding to audience interruptions gracefully and then getting back to your flow seamlessly is kind of an intermediate to advanced presentation technique. When you’re nervous about presenting in front of others and you have sort of memorized your words and flow, it can be difficult to get back in the groove. That doesn’t mean one isn’t “ready” to give presentations. They’re just at a different learning stage than others.

          Reply
      5. Chinook

        I have had to sit through multiple versions of the same presentation (for reasons that made sense) where the manager constantly interrupted the presenter and I have to admit that I felt bad for the presenter and annoyed at the manager. I w2as actually quite impressed that the presenter didn’t tell her to shut up in some way. Having been a presenter myself, these types of interruptions drive me up the wall.

        While some managers are like FTW and have good reasons for doing so, I believe that the manager I saw interrupting just had a hard time giving up control. She also wasn’t giving the presenter time to answer the questions or concerns that I knew were going to be covered in later slides (or even a chance to say she will be answering them in a minute). A good presenter has a flow and a plan in their mind of when things will be covered and, in the case I saw, the manager had a different flow/plan in her mind (which, ironically, was not always in touch with her audience) and would try to redirect the manager from her original presentation. A great one can take asides and derailing questions and turn them back into the presentation at hand. But, you have to be given the time to respond to do that, and having a manager jump in before you can respond doesn’t let you do that.

        Man, just thinking about those interruptions makes me frustrated.

        Reply
      6. Stranger than fiction

        I only have a problem with your third item. If there’s an outside conversation like that shouldn’t you share that with the presenter ahead of time?

        Reply
    2. Demon Llama

      Wow, your micromanager could have been me in a few years. I’ve just had feedback that I tend to be a “rescuer” on calls and in presentations – if I see someone floundering to answer a question (not someone I manage), I tend to leap in with an (not THE) answer. It was a really good catch that I’m not trusting my colleagues to cope, nor am I getting a good understanding of what they know and what their perspective on an issue is.

      I’d say that the OP’s manager needs some coaching on how to develop their team – they’re not trusting the OP to cope with an unexpected question, or be challenged by the audience to give a better answer.

      Alison’s answer is great, but if the OPs manager really can’t constrain themselves, perhaps the OP needs to be really explicit, like, “I really want to get better at judging my material and coping with questions from my audience, so I’d like the opportunity to present without as much support from you. Would it be ok for me to take all the questions and only ask you to step in if it’s one that I really can’t answer?” That might sound more proactive than, “I get thrown off by interruptions.”

      Reply
    3. Optimistic Prime

      Yeah, this is a good idea. If my manager is going to be in a meeting with me at which I am presenting, I always try to at least walk her through what I’m going to present so she doesn’t try to jump in with stuff I’m getting ready to cover.

      Reply
  4. Ramona Flowers

    #3 So right now it’s a vicious cycle where you’re nervous about your boss jumping in which is throwing you off which means your boss keeps jumping in.

    Ideally Alison’s script will help, but the only person you can definitely control is you, so it might also be an idea to think of strategies for if he won’t stop doing it. Like pretending your boss is just another customer.

    Can you pinpoint whether the exact issue is the interruptions themselves, or the fact that you’re constantly worried he’ll interrupt you?

    Reply
  5. INTP

    For OP1, I think you can explain that you were told it was okay to use the company phone as a personal phone, and as a result your contacts all have that number, and ask if it would be possible to transfer that number to a service you pay for. (Not just for your sake but for the next person to avoid getting personal calls for you all the time.) Of course, if they say no then don’t push back at all, but they may be willing to allow it because having one of those cell numbers that gets calls for the previous owner all the time is annoying.

    Reply
      1. Marzipan

        There isn’t an option where one of those things doesn’t happen, though. Either the new person using the phone at work will get #1’s personal calls, or (if they can persuade their employer to let them take the number) #1 will continue to get work calls. There’s no avoiding one of those, because the OP has been using one number for both.
        (Short of mothballing the number so no-one gets any of the calls, I suppose.)

        #1, I’m curious as to what you were expecting to happen, on a practical level? Were you expecting your old employer to continue paying for your phone indefinitely? Or were you anticipating some sort of transfer of the number to yourself (in which case, did you not do anything to instigate this)? I can see how frustrating the situation is but practically I’m just not totally seeing how you thought this would work, and I suppose I’m wondering if you interpreted your manager’s comment as meaning something more than ‘it’s OK to use your work number for personal calls’ which is how I read it.

        I hope you get it all sorted soon!

        Reply
        1. Basia, also a Fed

          I agree. If the LW thought she was keeping the number, I would have expected her to reach out to her company to find out how to switch the phone over to her own account before the last week, especially since she gave three months notice and so had plenty of time. Since she didn’t do this, it’s not clear what she thought was going to happen.

          Reply
        2. Hanna

          Maybe she thought the company would permanently discontinue the number? I don’t even know if you can do that, though. Wouldn’t the phone company insist on reusing the number?

          Reply
      2. Colette

        In my mind, it depends whether external customers have the number, or if it’s just internal people. If it’s external, the company has a good reason to want the number back; if it’s just internal, they should be able to manage without it.

        Reply
        1. DArcy

          It’s been a company phone and a company phone number all along, so the OP is framing the situation very inaccurately when she says, “My company wants to take over my personal phone number”. It would be more accurate to say, “My company wants me to return my company phone and number even though they told me personal use was allowed.”

          Reply
        2. Leenie

          Eh, my company lets people take over their work cell numbers when they leave. And our cells are on our email signatures and business cards. They wouldn’t typically reassign the numbers and no one is going to monitor the old numbers. I think it depends on the industry and even more on the company culture. However, it is pretty surprising that the LW didn’t ask her manager or IT about this sometime in the last three months.

          Reply
      3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        It’s tricky, but isn’t that the same problem as someone calling your (work) landline? It seems like the solution should be similar—email all your personal contacts with your new number, email all your work contacts to introduce your replacement, and put up a voicemail that notifies people that you’re no longer at that number but they’ve reached the line for your replacement.

        Reply
    1. OnFire

      When I received a company cell phone, my office manager said, “you can get rid of your personal number and just use this.” But a) all my family and I were on the same carrier, which (back then) gave us free mobile-to-mobile calls and b) I’m very careful to keep my work and personal business separate. Besides which, I didn’t want my personal stuff to be subject to my state’s open records law. So I kept my own number, and have never used the work phone for personal stuff. I just think it’s a best practices issue.
      OP #1 should transfer all personal contacts and send a mass text/email (and call others) notifying those contacts “effective immediately, use this number to contact me. The old number is no longer valid.”

      Reply
  6. CAA

    #4 — is there any chance some of these positions are contingent upon the employer getting a contract? As a government contractor, we use letters of intent for contingent hires. We don’t expect the candidate to submit them as part of the application though. The job posting just says something like “this position is contingent upon a contract award and candidates who are offered positions may be asked to sign a letter of intent to accept”.

    Reply
  7. Ramona Flowers

    #4 I don’t love the ‘letter of intent’ thing, because it potentially puts some people at a disadvantage if they don’t know what it means. In the interest of inclusivity I think all hiring processes should put their instructions in plain English.

    Reply
    1. JamieS

      Agreed. To me a letter of intent is a binding agreement between two parties and/or an agreement to agree. That’s completely different from a cover letter, the phrasing is unnecessarily complicated, and (IMO) a misuse of the phrase ‘letter of intent’.

      Reply
      1. Lawyer

        In the corporate law world, a letter of intent is usually NOT binding (although it should explicitly state as much). It may or may not be an agreement to negotiate in good faith (i.e., “an agreement to agree”), depending on various factors.

        It’s obviously being used here in a different context, of course.

        Reply
          1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

            The law of LOIs varies by state, but generally a letter of intent (which is different from a letter of interest) is a binding contract if both parties set forth the terms of their agreement, and they sign the LOI. If it’s non-binding, it should have a clause clarifying that this is an agreement to bargain in good faith with the purpose of reaching a (binding) agreement/contract (although sometimes courts have held that an LOI with a “non-binding clause” is still binding). The rules are different depending on sector (the law re: commercial real estate LOIs ≠ the law re: employment LOIs).

            So yes, a lack of precision/consistency in language makes all of this unnecessarily confusing. If employers want a cover letter, that’s what they should say. A “letter of interest” is also fine, although it sounds a bit silly to me. If they want a letter of intent (which usually comes post-offer), they should explain to applicants what that term means.

            Reply
      2. Leenie

        To me a letter of intent is executed by two or more parties, agreeing to move forward on basic terms if other specific conditions are met. To me, it’s weird to use LOI for something that comes from a single party. In my industry, we use Letter of Interest synonymously with Letter of Intent. But I think letter of interest would better capture the nature of a cover letter than letter of intent does. How can you form intent based on a single job ad? But you could develop interest.

        Reply
    2. FiveWheels

      In my field /geography, “cover letter” means “please find closed herewith application form/CV” – AAM-style cover letters could well mean application gets binned unread. Plain English isn’t always plain!

      Reply
    3. Emi.

      I mean … the job and job-searching world has so much specialized lingo. “Cover letter” also puts people who don’t know what it means at a disadvantage. Very little hiring lingo is self-evident.

      Reply
    4. Typhon Worker Bee

      In my world, a letter of intent is something you submit to a funding agency before you submit a full grant application. Sometimes the LOI stage is competitive, with only some applicants being invited to the full grant stage, and sometimes it’s just a heads up to the funding agency so they can get a head start on recruiting qualified reviewers before the full applications come in. When I first read this letter I thought “so you’re supposed to send a letter telling them you plan to apply for a job?”. Which didn’t make much sense, obviously.

      Reply
    1. Garrett

      Yeah, I was going to suggest a group text and also an email and also mention it to anyone you talk to in person. You won’t catch everyone, but it should get most of them. Although it sounds like you don’t have a new number lined up, so I understand the frustration. Hopefully, you can get a few days to fix it.

      Reply
    2. TootsNYC

      yeah, this is family and friends, and they only use this (your words) for contacting you during work hours.

      Just tell them. Send them a text w/ your real/new number in it, so it’s easy for them to put it into their contacts app.

      Reply
  8. MommyMD

    Why would you have to discuss his hiring/selection process? What good can come of it? It hurts but they wanted someone fresh to the company. I would just welcome him.

    Reply
    1. Mike C.

      It might be useful to the company to understand why they can’t keep someone there for more than a few years?

      Reply
      1. LBK

        What’s a brand new manager going to do about that, though? If she’s going to talk to anyone, talk to the people who made the hiring decision.

        Reply
          1. LBK

            The OP did, though…so without explicitly saying otherwise, it certainly reads like you’re agreeing with her plan to do this right away.

            Reply
            1. Toph

              OP didn’t say right away, she said “at some point”, which to me read like OP is going to promptly start searching for a new gig, and after accepting one, wants to address this as part of the “why I’m leaving” spiel. How soon that happens is yet to be determined.

              Reply
      2. AMPG

        Yeah, once a relationship is established, it would be a kindness to the new manager to let them know that the CFO has essentially put them in the position of having to replace their two longest-serving team members pretty quickly.

        Reply
        1. LBK

          Eh…I still don’t really know what you expect the manager to do at that point. I’d save this conversation for after you’re leaving if you feel so inclined to explain your reasons for job searching.

          Reply
          1. Mike C.

            I would expect them to take it up the chain and do something about the apparent lack of career progress. Conversations like these can lead to new opportunities for long time employees that have proved themselves.

            Reply
            1. LBK

              Here’s my question though: what’s the something you expect them to do? Create a new position just for the OP that’s a step up from where she is but isn’t a manager? Are they going to create one for her coworker as well?

              I guess this relates to what I was saying below, that you seem to be treating the OP leaving as a sign of failure. But there’s a lot of roles that aren’t meant to be career jobs – you’re meant to do them for a while until you’ve exceeded the capacity of that role to meet your needs as an employee, then you move on, whether it’s there or elsewhere.

              Reply
              1. Mike C.

                Here are several ideas:

                1. Bonuses
                2. Additional paid training or education
                3. Adding levels to a current position – Engineer I vs Engineer II or Engineer vs. Senior Engineer
                4. Other additional titles
                5. Other meaningful benefits

                Given the fact that the current and wide trend for so many of us is to leave our current company after a few years just to get any sort of additional benefit is a massive waste of time and money, for both employer and employee.

                Reply
                1. LBK

                  I suppose if the OP is happy doing functionally the same job with a better title and pay, then the problem it solved, but I didn’t get the sense from the letter that she’d be satisfied with that – it sounded specifically like she wanted to move into management.

                2. Snark

                  But the OP has specifically said that they were offered a raise and a title change and that that just felt like they were being “thrown scraps” to stick around. So they’re likely not interested in all that. And at some point, there’s only so far a role can go. If someone has been there 20 years, they’ve climbed the IT tech ladder as far as it goes. If an employee is not viewed as a candidate for management, and they don’t have a good relationship with the CFO, how far past going market rate for non-management IT positions should the company be expected to go?

            2. Snark

              “I would expect them to take it up the chain and do something about the apparent lack of career progress. Conversations like these can lead to new opportunities for long time employees that have proved themselves.”

              But in this situation, probably not. With 20 years of experience, there’s probably not a significant non-management step this person can take at that company. And “lack of career progress” is not necessarily a problem that needs solved.

              Reply
              1. Mike C.

                How do you know the answer is “probably not” without trying? How do you expect to get anything if you aren’t willing to ask for it?

                Reply
                1. Snark

                  After 20 years, you know how the company works as well as anybody, and you know if there’s actually a realistic path to additional responsibility and pay that doesn’t involve a jump to management. Sometimes, there’s hard limits to what a position entails, regardless of the degree of gumption you display.

                2. TootsNYC

                  But the company already knows the OP wants to move up. And the company has already offered more money, a slight title bump, assurances of high regard.
                  The company did NOT say, “the new person may have different ideas about what your role could be, so hang in, and let’s see if there’s a bigger role for you.”

                  What more will an incoming manager be able to do?
                  Where I work, the corporation figures out the structure (and the budget) at a hiring time like this. Corporate isn’t going to be open to any reorganizations.

        2. Snark

          I don’t think they’re necessarily in that position. Tenure in position is not rightly considered a guarantee of promotion to a manager role.

          Reply
          1. AMPG

            Of course not. But this is a situation where two team members had made it clear for quite some time that upward movement was an important professional goal for them, and have now been given strong signals that they’ll need to move on in order to achieve that goal. The OP has already posted above that that’s their plan, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the other team member moves on, as well.

            Ultimately I think there’s some poor management going on, here. I’ve had subordinates (either direct reports or one level down) who wanted to move up within my team and just weren’t going to for any number of reasons. I’ve found ways to communicate that to them and suggest other ways to advance or gain professional development. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to the OP and their teammate that they wouldn’t be permitted to apply.

            Reply
            1. Snark

              “It shouldn’t have been a surprise to the OP and their teammate that they wouldn’t be permitted to apply.”

              That’s fair, but they do cop to a rocky relationship with the CFO, and I generally don’t expect people I butt heads with to want to promote me and work with me more closely.

              Reply
            2. LBK

              But I think a certain level of self-awareness should be expected, too – obviously I don’t know about the OP’s qualifications, but I’m in a department where other people have complained about lack of upward mobility and yet I’ve been promoted twice and am on the verge of another promotion. The issue isn’t that there’s no chance to get promoted here, it’s that the people who think they deserve promotions they aren’t getting are wildly overestimating their own skill, and they don’t seem to be able to extrapolate that even from the feedback they receive.

              Additionally, it feels to me like you’re framing employees leaving as a sign of failure, which I don’t think is valid. Companies can’t magically concoct roles people are qualified for in order to promote them; if there’s no need for an intermediate position between the OP’s current role and management and the company has clearly decided she’s not qualified for the manager role, it’s an acceptable outcome for her to find a new job. That doesn’t inherently mean the company did something wrong, it’s just a mismatch of what the business needs and what the employee needs.

              Reply
              1. Mike C.

                It used to be that companies would nurture and educate their employees and move them up the ranks. This is still done if the employer in question is willing to actually care about the issue rather than treating every position as immutable and every employee who fills such a position as an easily replaceable cog.

                Yes, it’s a trivial claim that not every single job in existence can lead to promotion opportunities. But that ignores the simple fact that there are numerous positions that could if only the employer could consider rewarding hard work and loyalty with training and a chance to advance. Brain drains suck, and can easily kill a company.

                Reply
                1. LBK

                  Yeah, and that’s how you ended up with a lot of people in positions they didn’t deserve and couldn’t perform, because they got promoted based more on seniority than on talent. I’m glad we’ve culturally moved away from the assumption that everyone will or should eventually be promoted. Some people just aren’t good enough employees to ever deserve to move up.

                  Additionally, as I said, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to create a position just to let someone advance into it. Sometimes the reward for your dedication to an employee is seeing them move on to something better somewhere else, and I think great managers don’t treat it as a failure if an employee they nurtured ends up taking a job somewhere else if their company just doesn’t have the right opportunity available for them.

                  Yeah, retaining good people is important, but not to the point that it justifies promotions that don’t align with business needs – the point of higher roles is still first and foremost to get work done, not solely to reward people.

                2. Snark

                  “But that ignores the simple fact that there are numerous positions that could if only the employer could consider rewarding hard work and loyalty with training and a chance to advance. Brain drains suck, and can easily kill a company.”

                  And you know what also can kill a company? Being topheavy with people promoted past their actual competence and strengths because they worked hard and were loyal. Ever hear the saying “people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers?” What creates more brain drain – someone with a lot of knowledge departing for a role with potential their current position can’t deliver, or cranking through ten people who lose their minds working for someone who got kicked into the corner office because they had seniority, and who doesn’t have the skills, temperament, or inclination to actually manage well?

                  And for that matter, if we go with your other selection and ladle on additional pay, benefits, and titles to retain people, how does that serve a business need? We’re contractors, in my field. We can’t bid competitively if we’ve got overpaid, over-titled non-management folks pulling down six figures or better.

                  Brain drain is an issue, sure, but not more of an issue than those two.

      3. Graciosa

        Well, in this case they have kept people there for much longer than a few years (19+) so I don’t think that is really the issue.

        They may not be able to keep the OP very much longer now that there is no further opportunity to advance, but it sounds like that decision was quite deliberate and intentional on the part of higher level management.

        Reply
    2. Stephanie

      Yeah, I wouldn’t send the new manager feedback, but I have gotten surveys from companies asking about their hiring process. I do find providing the feedback cathartic (I’m diplomatic, of course.)

      Reply
  9. The Supreme Troll

    For OP#1, yes, what the company is asking is perfectly normal. For the reasons that earlier commenters mentioned above, and also, that the particular # assigned to that business phone could have a strong “mental” association to the job title that you have held at the company in the eyes of fellow internal employees and even others outside of the company-not so much to you as a person (or your predecessor) specifically.

    Reply
  10. The Supreme Troll

    For OP#2, I think sending a LinkedIn request right at this moment and offering critiques of the hiring process will come across as a little antagonistic. Not overly so (that would give the new boss strong vibes of insubordination), but it is not the most friendly way to start a boss/employee work relationship off.

    As Ramona Flowers and Princess Consuela mentioned earlier, you have to judge whether the new boss really is the person who can make effective changes in how the hiring decisions are handled going forward. Personally, I don’t think he is (at least not right now, with him being so new to the organization).

    You might have to start looking outside of the company in order to be appreciated for the value that you believe that you can bring to a better role.

    Reply
  11. Bagpuss

    OP#2 – I think that you’d be fine to send a linked in request once the new hire has accepted the job, but you definitely shouldn’t raise the hiring practices with them at this point.

    Since what you are saying is that you feel the process which resulted in them being chosen is seriously flawed, it’s very, very difficult to raise that without coming across as critical of them and of your employer.

    I’s suggest that you wait until they are in post and you’ve got to know them, and then have a conversation with them next time the company is hiring (Assuming that the policy is standard, and it wasn’t just for this particular role).
    Or speak to them when you have your next appraisal/review about prospects for advancement.

    Reply
    1. Czhorat

      Yes, and “Hi, welcome to Teapots Unlimited. Congrats on getting the job I wanted” is an awkward greeting at best. They’ll be left thinking that you resent them and may view your subsequent actions and behaviours through that lens.

      Reply
  12. cncx

    re OP 1: i have worked in a company where i managed the phones and which used to let people keep their numbers, then the telecom provider changed the contract conditions and the policy was changed for the company to start keeping the numbers. That place is the only workplace i know of that let people keep their numbers at all though.

    HR had been able to work out reasonable transfer times with people- some users were on their company phones for up to three months before giving the numbers back due to the policy change. Or, if someone brought their number in, they were allowed to take it back if they took over the transfer costs.

    i think AAM’s advice is spot on- there is no reason not to ask for a few days to transfer your contacts, remove two-factor authentification for your apps for that number, and so on. I would be really surprised if the IT or admin in charge of phones couldn’t work that out. it could be that the person who asked for such a short deadline was just trying to get things off of their desk, i would be surprised if it was super tight by telecom provider regulation unless the Monday was the 31st of the month or something.

    Reply
    1. Stan

      My dad’s company also allows staff to keep their company numbers (and phones) when they leave. The employees are responsible for any fees and have to take over the phone purchase contract. Their cell phones tend to be used solely for internal contacts though.

      Reply
  13. Rookie Manager

    OP #3; I had an old boss who constantly interrupted me in training/presentations to highlight a point I had ‘missed’ when in fact I hadn’t got there yet! He then talked for 10-15 minutes and handed back with a ‘watch your time!’

    I spoke to him and said it was frustrating when he interrupted me becasue sometimes I just hadn’t got there yet and othertimes he was repeating something a point already made. The result was it put me off my flow, I felt undermined in front of the students/audiance and I had no control over my timings because I didn’t know what he was going to do. We agreed that he would try not to interrupt and at the end of a section I was ask him ‘would you like to add anything?’

    It didn’t solve the interruptions completely but it definitely helped!

    Reply
    1. The Supreme Troll

      When your boss is interrupting you in the middle of a presentation, the real purpose of the presentation could get lost on your audience. And the audience could possibly not trust you as someone that they can respect and take seriously to advocate & promote the points/actions of the presentation.

      Reply
    2. Nicotene

      Oh lord flashbacks to the boss I had who had to jump in and “clarify” things I said – undermining me every time I spoke, and ALWAYS making points I had either already said or were coming up. They basically just couldn’t stand to hear someone else talk about something they cared about. I left that job with relief.

      Reply
      1. Rookie Manager

        Nicotene – that was exactly it! He also thought his phrasing/sentence structure was the only true way to explain something and if I didn’t quote him directly it was wrong. Not wanting to boast but I often got perfect feedback scores when delivering training (as did my colleague). When he ‘helped’ my scores droped to 80/90%, still good but they just didn’t trust me as much.

        Reply
  14. David St. Hubbins

    #1 – This is the norm. Most of my colleagues use the company phone and number as their only phone. But I decided to keep my personal phone and use the company phone just for work. That way, when I eventually leave the company, I can just give their phone back and go on with my life. And Bonus! They can’t reach my on weekends!! Whoo hoo!

    Reply
  15. hbc

    OP3: Maybe in combination with asking your boss to cut back on the interruptions, you can ask him to review your presentations in a structured way after the next one. I’m somewhat sympathetic of his believing he needs to jump in sometimes (if you say “this tool is used for cases X, Y, and Z,” it really should be corrected to “just X and Y” in the moment), but he may have particular changes that he thinks (rightly or wrongly) get the information out there in a better way. He may also feel more comfortable zipping his lip if he knows you’ll be open to his feedback later.

    Reply
  16. Jwal

    I sometimes see “expression of interest” as a thing. While it does essentially mean a covering letter, I would imagine that people are asking for it that way in particular to make it clear that they don’t want a covering letter that just says “please find enclosed my CV for Open Position”…

    Reply
  17. XF1013

    Re OP #1: Anyone who doesn’t want to carry both a business phone and a personal phone might want to try a call forwarding service, such as Google Voice, that lets you set up a fake forwarding number that routes calls to a phone. Set it to forward calls to your business phone, give friends and family the forwarding number, and give business contacts the real number. Later, when you leave the company, get your own phone and change the routing to forward calls to your new phone. No one will have to learn your new number, and the next person at your employer who receives that phone won’t be stuck getting your personal calls after you leave.

    Reply
    1. Janonymous

      I was going to say that as well. I’ve found it really helpful, and it’s pretty easy to turn off and on or forward it to a different place.

      Reply
  18. Czhorat

    FOr OP1, in my industry most people use their personal cells for work. This means that I have professional contacts whose numbers I still have, only to find them working somewhere completely different when I try to call them. That your number follows the company and not you is the only advantage they get from supplying a phone. This is, I suppose, a lesson learned that a phone which you don’t pay for isn’t yours. It’ll be a pain in the neck now, but there’s not really much to be done about it.

    Reply
    1. AMPG

      I had a short-lived job that was BYOD, and it wasn’t until I had been there a couple of weeks and had given my personal number out to a bunch of people that they suggested I set up a Google Voice number for work purposes. I did get a call from a contact almost a year after I left that job – he had been ignored by the leadership for several weeks and was desperate to reach anyone at that point.

      Reply
  19. Czhorat

    OP#2, I’m very sorry to hear this. First off, I agree with Alice and the overall consensus – bringing up the hiring process won’t get you anywhere. After the new person settles in you absolutely can talk to them about your career path and potential advancement, but I’d be concerned if I were in your shoes; IT director jobs don’t open up every day, and the fact that they didn’t even give you a courtesy interview is not a good sign. This could be a case that they wanted an outsider for some specific reason OR a case in which the only path upward leads out the door. If you do want to advance in your career, you might have to be open to looking outside.

    Reply
  20. sssssssssss

    Two ex-jobs ago, if someone had been with the firm long enough, the departing employee was allowed to take the number and phone with him, especially since they were older Blackberries and exJob was moving towards iPhones. Not quite sure what all was involved but it was so common I suspect it was along the lines of a transfer of the account.

    Would it be possible to ask if you can buy the phone/plan?

    Reply
  21. Trout 'Waver

    In regards to letter #3, I wanted to chime in. I sometimes interrupt my team members’ presentations because I have a wider view of the big picture. I also know more about long term strategies going on above the level of my team. So sometimes I need to add context or emphasis to certain things to present a cohesion image between multiple presenters.

    Also, I think OP#3 is missing the bigger picture here. The problem is that you’re being asked to give presentations on topics you’re not familiar with and with tools you don’t frequently use. I think mastering the topics and tools would both give you more confidence and also give your boss less need to jump in.

    Reply
    1. AthenaC

      “I think mastering the topics and tools would both give you more confidence and also give your boss less need to jump in.”

      And OP did mention that they are working to fix that issue; I agree that there’s a possibility that fixing that issue might also fix the other issue.

      Reply
    2. Nicotene

      I feel like with proper planning though, couldn’t you either review the presentation in advance and insert the wider perspective, or ask for a chance to elaborate at the end? You know your own situation best, but I don’t know of any presenter who enjoys being interrupted more than once by someone who thinks they understand the situation better.

      Reply
      1. Trout 'Waver

        Largely because I don’t know which direction the higher-ups are going to run with something during presentations. I do review presentations and give my team a chance to do a trial run. But you can’t foresee everything. Also, when we do presentations, multiple teams go back-to-back. Not everyone is invited to every meeting. I don’t always get a chance to prep my team for things that were discussed in previous meetings.

        Reply
        1. Lora

          The appropriate response when a higher-up is interested in something not included in the presentation is to say, “right, let’s talk about that in the Q&A”

          Where I work now has a similar problem, where data that is relevant to Presentation 3 and would change the interpretation was actually presented an hour earlier in Presentation 2. I was just in one last week where two scientists had already acted on their findings and done purchasing and tech transfer based on the work they were presenting that day – and I asked in the Q&A, have you tried this other method? It’s much cheaper and gives better quality data. “Other method?” They had already blown something like $400k on the low-quality method.

          That’s a communication/silo issue, not a presentation information issue. If the presentations are scheduled too closely together to make adjustments, or not everyone who is affected by new information receives that information, that is not a good reason to undermine the credibility and morale of your team. That’s a reason to invite more people to meetings, or to consider if meetings are really an appropriate format for transmitting this particular information (Slack? SharePoint? Tuesday morning breakfast club? there’s a lot of options) to get everyone on the same page before the material is presented to the higher-ups.

          Reply
          1. Trout 'Waver

            Our format and work culture don’t break down presentations into a formal part and a Q&A part. Everyone is invited to ask questions at any time.

            Also, the major communication issue is that people hurry to finish up projects right before the regularly scheduled meetings. So they’re presenting data and projects they just completed, but hadn’t communicated to stakeholders in advance of the meeting. My new boss is pushing a “send out all the data the day before the meeting” policy, so I think this should improve.

            Reply
    3. Mike C.

      As an employee I would be really irritated that you didn’t tell me this stuff sooner, only waiting until the middle of a presentation to share this sort of strategic information. It would make me look like I didn’t know what I was talking about in front of others.

      Reply
      1. AMPG

        Right. Either your wider context isn’t really essential to the presentation, in which case you’re just being rude to your team member, or it is essential and you haven’t given your team member the proper tools to succeed in the task by not sharing that information while they were developing the presentation.

        Reply
        1. Mike C.

          Nothing like having to trash a bunch of work because someone didn’t tell you something. That does great things for morale.

          Reply
      2. Trout 'Waver

        That would be really irritating if that’s what happened. A much more likely scenario is that I asked a team member to cut strategic information from the presentation to focus on their individual contribution to allow the presentation to fit the time slot so they didn’t have the long range forecast numbers handy. Or the same exec has been asking for a Lannister analysis on every project, but I didn’t foresee them asking for it so my team member didn’t prepare one.

        Reply
        1. Mike C.

          So in your “much more likely scenario” the employee actually does know the information because they had to cut it, but you still jump in anyway?

          Reply
          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            You jump in when you need to in order for the presentation to meet the outcomes it needs to meet, and sometimes those outcomes can change on the fly.

            Ultimately, meeting business needs is what matters. If you find yourself needing to jump in more than rarely, then you figure out how to avoid it more preemptively — but sometimes you can’t predict it.

            Not everything a manager does that feels irritating is actually wrong.

            Reply
            1. LBK

              Yeah, ultimately the point of a presentation isn’t to give the presentation exactly as it was written, it’s to communicate relevant information. If there’s questions asked during the meeting that reshape the course of the conversation, it makes sense for the manager to chime in to provide answers or context that you may not have prepared for in creating the presentation. Our business can move pretty quickly so my grandboss also does this sometimes to tie things that are being said in the presentation to the most up-to-date status of the project or whatever we’re discussing, or to create touchpoints to other conversations she’s had with the audience of the presentation so they can help center themselves in some of the more technical issues.

              Reply
              1. Nicotene

                I’d add that, if you are sure you’re not going to be able to keep from jumping in for the reasons outlined above, please at least give your employees a heads-up, “hey, just so you know, I’m going to have to weigh in a couple times, it’s NOT a sign of how you’re handling the presentation, I do it to everyone …” so that they can prepare for their presentation with this expectation in mind.

                Reply
                1. Chinook

                  “if you are sure you’re not going to be able to keep from jumping in for the reasons outlined above, please at least give your employees a heads-up”

                  This is a huge thing. If I knew ahead of time that I will be interrupted by my boss, then I can prepare mentally for how to segue back into the presentation. And, if I was the type of person who writes out all my words for a presentation, I could have a few lines written down to use. These types of interruptions can throw you off your verbal game if you don’t know that you will need to do a verbal recovery.

                2. LBK

                  I dunno, I kinda think this is just part of giving presentations. How often have you given one that truly had zero disruptions or moments you had to navigate around? Unless, like I said below, this is like a mainstage presentation with a large audience that you’d expect to not have interjections. Otherwise if I’m presenting in front of a small group, I always expect people to interject as needed.

            2. Mike C.

              It’s not about being irritated that drives what I’m saying, it’s about the fact that there are many, many times in the business world where you have to gain the cooperation of other groups you actually have little power over. You have to convince them that your plan is the right one and that it’s being lead by competent people. You can also spend weeks on projects that have to be thrown away as worthless because someone didn’t tell you something important. That’s normally demoralizing as all heck, it’s much worse when it’s done in front of others during a presentation.

              Having one’s manager jump in with information the employee already knows or wasn’t told but should have undermines this effort. It can make the employee look inexperienced or incompetent and makes the audience second guess their own contribution to the plan. I’ve seen situations where they less than enthusiastic response can lead to no help being given, nasty political fights between upper managers or worthwhile plans being scuttled altogether.

              Now I’ll certainly allow that there are smart ways of having a manger interject here. Ultimately this isn’t about being annoyed, its about, as you said yourself, “meeting business needs”.

              Reply
          2. Lora

            yeah, this is why there are back-up slides. You put ALLLLLL the things in that could be relevant but keep them as back-up slides at the end. If someone asks for the info, you have it.

            Reply
            1. Trout 'Waver

              Back-up slides are a two-edged sword, though. They’re great if you know your presentation is never going to be shared with a third party or out-of-context. But if your presentation is going to be shared or forwarded or presented by someone else, back-up slides can come back and bit you.

              Reply
          3. Trout 'Waver

            If they know it, I let them answer it. But if they don’t know it, I jump in. I would never expect someone to present results they didn’t get a chance to prepare for.

            Reply
        2. AMPG

          Then if you do interrupt, you should be doing it as unobtrusively as possible (e.g. at the end of a section and not during the middle) and taking full responsibility for the information that’s left out. And your team should be prepped beforehand that you may have to field questions that are outside the scope of the presentation. It sounds like these things aren’t happening in the OP’s case.

          Reply
          1. LBK

            Hmm, maybe we’re picturing these presentations differently – I’m imagining a relatively small group talking in a conference room, so that it’s a pretty interactive/collaborative environment and jumping in wouldn’t be that obtrusive. But if this is a more formal presentation being given to a larger audience, I’d agree it’s a bit disruptive to be jumping in.

            Reply
            1. Nicotene

              Definitely agree that it depends on the scale of the presentation but I guess I’m also stuck on “interrupting” – are you literally cutting off your employees mid-sentence? I feel like it’s rare that there’s truly a need for that, and it WILL make them feel demeaned / disrespected – as it is literally a sign of disrespect in our culture. I think you could at least try to add your thought at the end of their slide or in a natural break.

              Reply
      3. Nicotene

        I have definitely, irritably, thought to my boss – I think it’s clear that you should be giving these presentations rather than pretending that you want me to do them. If there’s no way for me to know the big-picture stuff and no time to get feedback in advance, I’d feel somewhat set up to fail.

        Reply
    4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      I think there may be disagreement because people have different ideas about the frequency and kind of interruptions. There are times when I’ve had a boss interrupt me, and it was helpful/fine! They were either providing a wider view (or reframing information), backing me up on following up with information for a question where I didn’t have the Lannister analysis, or bailing me out when I was floundering. That’s reasonable! I don’t think there should be a bright-line rule that bosses should never interrupt.

      But if a boss is interrupting pretty frequently (which I’ve also endured), then there’s a problem that requires preparation and correction before the presentation happens. I think many of us are assuming that OP#3 falls into the second category—the boss dominates with his interruptions.

      But it’s helpful for OP to realize that the first scenario is common and often an ok/acceptable/necessary side effect of giving any public presentation. It will be important for OP to figure out if they’re in scenario #1 or scenario #2 territory, because the advice changes significantly based on that context.

      Reply
      1. AMPG

        This is true, and it’s entirely possible that the problems the OP has already identified about not being as familiar with the material could leave them feeling like they’re in scenario #2 (because they’re already feeling like they’re not really in control of the presentation) when an outside observer would put it closer to scenario #1.

        Reply
  22. Anon to me

    #5 – While I don’t see any harm in making the request be prepared that the answer may be no. I just hired a mid-level manager position and one of our applicants wanted a delayed start date because of a house closing, and our answer was no.

    The candidate in question was great, but the reality is the delay would put her start date into the busy part of the season and so she wouldn’t have become a functional team member for months, as no one would have time to train her. We end up hiring our second choice candidate because she could start in the time frame we needed.

    Reply
  23. Essie

    LW #1, in the future it might be better to just forward your personal cell to your work cell. That’s what my colleagues do.

    Reply
  24. AdAgencyChick

    OP2, if I were a new boss coming in and one of my new direct reports started off the relationship by telling me that she wasn’t happy about having been excluded from the selection process for my job, and I knew on top of that that she’s been with the company nearly 20 years, my immediate reaction would be, “I need to watch this person like a hawk, and maybe let her go at some point.” I would have serious doubts about this person’s willingness and ability to take direction and feedback from me, especially if the direction is different from the way things have always been done.

    Perhaps during your first one-on-one with the new boss, you can ask — in a totally non-antagonistic way — what his vision is for the department and what he thinks is key to advancing within the organization now that he’s part of the team. But it has to be clear that you’re willing to be subordinate to your new boss, otherwise he may decide he’d rather be someone else’s boss.

    Reply
    1. Trout 'Waver

      I don’t know. In management positions it’s super common for an external candidate to ask or be told about internal applicants. If you knew a position had internal applicants, I think it’d be more weird if you didn’t have that conversation with the internal applicant.

      Reply
        1. LBK

          They weren’t official applicants but they were internal interested parties; I’d think it would be weird for the hiring team to not mention to the new manager that they’d be managing two people who had expressed interest in the role (or the new manager might at least assume some of the employees in their department would want it, since that’s fairly normal any time there’s a manager role open).

          Reply
          1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

            Yeah, I agree. There weren’t internal candidates because of the company’s approach, but that doesn’t mean that the new boss won’t have the same challenges that occur when there IS an internal candidate. In this case, HR (or the outgoing manager) should certainly disclose the situation to the incoming manager because it’s functionally similar to going up against an internal candidate. But OP shouldn’t be the person imparting that knowledge.

            Reply
            1. AdAgencyChick

              Exactly. If HR said to me, “Your two direct reports both expressed interest in your slot,” that is quite different from one or both of those direct reports coming to me to say “I wanted your slot.” In the former situation, I’d give the benefit of the doubt to the direct report and not assume that she is going to be resistant to working with me. In the latter situation, I’d take the fact that the direct report proactively came to me to discuss it as a sign that she is Not Happy with the situation, and therefore I need to keep an eye on her attitude.

              Reply
              1. Trout 'Waver

                Personally, I’d appreciate an employee being direct with me that they had applied for my job. I think it puts the OP in a tough position.

                Reply
    2. CorporateLady

      I would feel the same exact way. I recently started a new position where I was selected over the most tenured team member.

      The reason that I was selected is that I have vastly more industry expertise, am more versed in creating efficiencies, and am able to provide tangible examples of my ability to generate results. My job is to come in, change how we do things, and evaluate performance and potential. I was very much hired to evoke the change that my team members have been unable to execute in the past.

      Just like it’s my responsibility to develop my team and give them the opportunity to grow, it’s their responsibility to understand that I was chosen for a reason (#moana) and if they were the best fit, the company would have promoted them.

      Reply
    3. Lora

      Maybe a better way to put it would be, “can you share with me what the plans are for the department in the future? It seems like senior management is interested in making changes, and I’d like to get a clearer idea of where I would fit into those plans.”

      The answer may well be, “yeah, the plans are for you to stay in the same job” or “you’re going to be put in charge of Tea Leaf Disposal” or (hey, you can hope) “a new group is going to be created in Tea Strainers and we’d like someone internally to run that (such as you maybe)”. It’s not unheard of. But that way at least you have your answer and it sounds like you are trying to be a good sport – and it opens the door for the “yeah, I am not really all that interested in Tea Leaf Disposal and I would like to know what other options I have in this company” conversation.

      Reply
  25. Shadow

    It’s weird that op 1 finds it so weird that a company who’s paying for his company phone wants it back.

    Reply
      1. Nicotene

        Yeah I think it’s possible I would have thought that they would take the phone back but set it up with a fresh number for the next person. If I were new to how these things work.

        Reply
  26. Observer

    #1, you made a choice to use a work issued phone for your personal use. You didn’t have to do that – and it was something that the company didn’t have to allow you to do. Many don’t. You are not in a good position to complain about giving the phone and number back.

    For future reference, people’s suggestion of forwarding a personal number or using google voice to keep your number separate, is something you should consider.

    Reply
  27. Rat Racer

    OP #3 – on the flip side of this, in some business settings being able to roll with punches is part of being a good presenter. There’s a junior member of my team who gets visibly irritated and flustered whenever anyone stops to ask questions or engage in dialogue. This is a problem because (a) the team needs the opportunity to discuss, make suggestions, ask questions and (b) it comes off as immature and a little naive that a work presentation is a performance, like a piano recital or something.

    I’m not saying that you are like this – she’s an extreme example – but I raise this because a core competency in giving a presentation is being able to communicate the key messages you need to get across, even if it means deviating from the script.

    Reply
    1. Nicotene

      I do think one of the divisions in the comments is – what size presentation are we talking here? What you’re talking about seems more like a briefing, in which I agree it’s appropriate to engage with the topic in the way you’ve described. When I was reading OP’s concern I was picturing something more formal, in which it’s not so commonly done for someone to be interjecting (and would be a sign of disrespect, honestly).

      Reply
      1. Chinook

        Maybe this is my teaching background showing, but being able to roll with the punches is an important presentation skill regardless of the size of the group being presented to. True, a smaller group that is more interactive will allow for more interruptions, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in a larger group. But, an interruption by a manager even in a smaller presentation can be disruptive and rude if done without respecting the position of the presenter (who should be in the “power position” while presenting with the manager there for moral and factual support).

        The presentations I sat through where the manager constantly interrupted were meant to be interactive and fluid but the interruptions were ill-timed and didn’t allow for the presenter to cover her information in the way it should have (think having to show how to do a process step-by-step but the manager kept interrupting with explaining the end result and alternatives). I could tell that the presenter had a path in mind but the manager kept pulling her off it with side trips that we would have gotten to eventually if she had left the presenter alone. This is why I see it as a manager unwilling to give up power.

        If I had been in my presenter’s shoes, I probably would have asked the manager if she would like to take the presentation over in front of everyone and/or talked to her afterwards and ask her if she had a problem with how I presented because her interruptions were causing me problems. I would even go as far as step back from doing it because she obviously doesn’t have faith in my abilities to do it well or doesn’t like how I do it (at which point I would lead her into a discussion on how different personalities require the use of different presentation styles both as presenter and presentee).

        Then again, this is the one thing I actually have a university degree and large experience in and I have no patience for someone who won’t let me do the thing that I am good at. It would be like a chef cooking in their mother’s kitchen – sure Mom may know how to feed her kids, but chef is the one who does it for a living and, as a result, may do it differently but get the same result (i.e. food on the table). But, if Mom is going to interrupt what the chef does, then one of them needs to get out of the kitchen if they want to continue talking to each other later.

        Reply
      2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        I think the issue turns on the frequency of the interruptions, not on the size of the presentation. Ideally people learn how to deal with “interruptions” in presentations with varying audience sizes.

        Reply
        1. Rat Racer

          Yes, I think that’s exactly right. And as I’ve thought about this more, I really do see how hard this must be for the OP who is trying to build confidence in Public Speaking. When I present to clients, I get interrupted/derailed from my slides all the time, and that’s a GOOD thing, because it means that the client is engaged; if I’m presenting in front of my team and my boss continually interrupted me, I’d be delighted to let her take over — but I’ve been in a public speaking role for god knows how long, and it’s not something I’m something I’m actively working on.

          Reply
  28. real estate professional

    #5 – if she is on the financial side of the new condo, do NOT change jobs before closing! Your financials will be run again by the lender a week or so prior to closing, and anything that changes between when you originally applied for financing and when they run it for the final closing will send up huge red flags and it will likely cause your closing to be delayed or you to lose financing entirely. Listen to your banker, they are not joking.

    Reply
    1. Cobol

      If the OP’s new position is higher paying and they were at their last job for at least two years it won’t set off red flags. They’ll have to verify pay with an offer letter, or first pay stub. It’s not ideal, but it’s not that big of a deal. There’s a greater chance of problem of something weird being said during the notice period at old job when the lender verifies employment.

      Reply
      1. OP #5

        She has been at the old job for almost three years, and yes the next job is higher paying. But unfortunately for us we qualifed for down payment assistance of about $6k under the old salary but would not qualify for it under the new salary. If that help we’re to go away we would not be able to make up the difference.

        We knew it wasn’t good to change jobs during this process, but this job came up at a museum that has a lot of employee longevity I’m talking 10/15/20 years here, so job openings are few and far between. The job description is a really good fit for what my fiance wants to do.

        Reply
        1. LB

          This exact same thing happened to my husband when we were under contract on our house last year – passively looking, amazing opportunity with a substantial raise, etc. Our mortgage guy very strongly advised him to not give notice until after we closed. The bank can call to verify employment right up until closing and giving notice before then could jeopardize the whole deal. We were in the same position, we figured as long as he doesn’t start the new job before we closed we were fine. But the notice itself was key. Thankfully, new job was wonderful and agreed to push his start date back a week, and old job was understanding of the less-than-two weeks notice he gave due to the circumstances. It wasn’t ideal, but everything worked out. Best of luck, and big (preliminary) congrats!

          Reply
        2. Cobol

          Yeah. You are kind of between a rock and a hard place if changing jobs makes you not eligible for the assistance.

          Reply
    2. Ann Cognito

      We were in the same position a few years ago when we bought our place, although we weren’t depending on any financial assistance. Our broker told us that the lenders want to see three month’s worth of pay stubs from the current employer, so if I changed jobs it would be delayed by that long.

      Instead of being able to take a week off between my old job and the new one, I delayed the new job start date for a month (they understood when I explained), and worked right up until the Friday beforehand at the old job. We knew we were due to close on the Friday afternoon, and sure enough they verified employment one last time that Friday late morning (having already done so before that). But I had spoken with the HR person who verifies employment at old job, so she simply answered honestly that I was still a current employee. Everything went through fine, but it was nerve-wracking.

      All that to say, things will be delayed if she changes job before that final verification, so she should really try and delay starting at the new job. Hopefully they’ll understand and allow that to happen.

      Reply
  29. Sualah

    For #5, once you have signed the closing documents, the condo is yours and the loan process is over and the bank shouldn’t be doing any more verifications of employment. If you close August 11, you could quit a job on August 12. My point being – for a simpler mortgage purposes, you don’t need to wait to change jobs until three or four weeks after you close. The closing process is done once you sign the closing documents.

    I worked a loan where the borrower planned to close on one day, put in his notice to change jobs, and then the seller needed to push back the closing date–so that was an issue, because the borrower was now unemployed. But if we had made the scheduled closing date, there would have been no issue at all about his employment.

    Reply
    1. OP #5

      Op #5 here.
      Small update: My fiance was officially offered the position (contingent on passing a background check) after I submitted the question last Thursday. She is planning on accepting today, but won’t give notice until after she passes the background later this week and recieves an offer letter.

      I just realized the way I worded it was a bit confusing, I meant asking for a start date about 3 or 4 weeks from when an offer came in and after the closing date, not 3 or 4 weeks after the closing date.

      The ideal situation would be if my fiance can give notice the day after the closing. With a two week notice period that would mean a start date of August 28th at the new job. But that means a start date that is 5 weeks out from today.

      Our banker told us they would call to confirm employment a day or two before closing. That as long as her employer just says “yes she works here now” and they don’t mention that she has given notice or will be leaving everything would be okay. But our fear is that the person my volunteer that she is leaving soon. That what would delay the closing process.

      What we think we have to do is ask her current employer to promise not to volunteer extra information during the final job verification. To be clear we won’t be asking them to lie, just not to volunteer any information they are not asked for.

      Reply
      1. Lauren

        I would not risk it either. This is why I didn’t take an awesome job. I would rather get my house even though I haven’t found one, than wait 2 more years to buy. It is still a thing that mortgage companies want longevity at a job, so moving on to a higher paying one isn’t good for making the process smooth as then the longevity is gone. I refuse to wait another 2 years just because mortgage companies can’t see that I’ve never been unemployed in my entire adult life vs. only see how long I am at the job I am at when I make an offer. So I am staying where I am until I find my house. I don’t want to risk losing a great house over some out-of-date checklist item that a mortgage company requires even though I make more than enough to cover the cost. Apparently, someone who makes minimum wage, but at their job for 15 years is less of a risk than someone making 100K+, but only at their current job for a month even with the past 3 jobs over 5 years also at that salary.

        Reply
        1. MissGirl

          You might be overly cautious. I just started a job in May and am getting preapproved for a mortgage now. They were more concerned with credit history than job history. You also don’t want to lose out on an awesome job on the off chance you buy a house.

          Reply
          1. Lauren

            I’m buying a house this year. It’s my goal. So I’m ok losing out on a job in order to have a place I can call mine. I am almost 40, and I am not waiting any longer. I just paid off 80k in student loans, its time for my house.

            Reply
            1. Cobol

              I think you got some bad advice about changing jobs. Lenders look at the last two years of employment history, but it doesn’t need to be the same job. They might ask questions if you have 3-4 jobs in that time, but honestly even that isn’t a deal breaker. Getting a new job that pays more won’t hurt you, except for very specific rare instances like OP’s

              Reply
              1. Lauren

                I’m kind of in the same boat as OP. I am not getting assistance with money, but I am by qualifying to only offer 3% down – which means I can’t risk anything going wrong. I’ve been told the 2 year employment with same employer by multiple diff lenders, but it may be this is true for only the mortgages that I can do 3% with. I have income restrictions and loan amount restrictions too.

                Reply
        2. Op #5

          Disclaimer: I am not a banker check with your local mortgage professional for more detailed information.
          But what we were told you don’t need a two year history at the same job, you just need a two year employment history showing progression if it is in the same field. If you completely change careers that might be when you would need a new two year job history.

          Our banker told us if she did change jobs it would push back the closing maybe a month until she receives a pay stub or require a letter from her new employer stating how much she will be making.

          The biggest issue is we qualified for down payment assistance under her old pay but would not be eligible under her pay from the new job.

          Reply
          1. Lauren

            Our mortgage lender told us not to change jobs or have anyone check our credit until we find a house. See, we are doing a 3% down, which makes us a weird one. So that makes it more challenging when you don’t have 20% down, and one of you was unemployed for 1.5 years – that makes you not want to jeopardize anything if you find a house you want. Even if pre-approved, if you change your job – the process is longer and could kill the sale. In Mass, the housing market is horrible. Everything goes within 12 hours for 20 – 100k over asking. No one wants to wait so they put timers on stuff, if not closed by X date, offer acceptance is void. But our biggest worry is a straight no from the lender if we change anything – its hard enough to find a house we like – to find one, get the offer accepted and then suddenly denied on an outdated thing like job longevity is not worth the risk for us.

            Reply
        3. Sualah

          Generally, it’s just a two year employment history in general that is required, not at the same employer.

          It’s changing jobs in the middle of the process is what causes headaches. Some programs require 30 days of paystubs, for example. So if you put in the offer in July and your close date is 8/11 and you start a new job 8/10, then you won’t have 30 days of paystubs until 9/10 at the earliest, and depending on how you get paid, maybe not until the end of September. Maybe the seller doesn’t want to wait that long, and since you would have caused the delay, you would lose your earnest money deposit.

          But if you get an awesome job offer and accept it, starting 8/25, and then a week later, find the perfect house, that should be fine. At that point, you would write your offer letter to close, say, October 1, so you likely wouldn’t have any issues with your employment.

          Reply
      2. Sualah

        Oh, I see! Yeah, also depends how the company does their verifications of employment. If the company uses, for example, The Work Number, it’s automated. But if it’s done with a person and someone decides to say, “Yeah, she works here until…” then that could raise an issue. Ability to Repay is no joke!

        Good luck!

        Reply
      3. Ask a Manager Post author

        Since you say you cannot buy the house if the current employer lets anything slip about the fact that she’s given notice (because you will lose the supplement money), I’d really, really, really wait to give notice until, say, the day of the closing (at which point it won’t matter anymore). Unless you’re willing to lose the house entirely in exchange for the job offer. She should ask the new employer for an extra couple of weeks.

        Reply
        1. Op #5

          Op # 5 Final update.

          My fiance contacted the new employer explained the situation and asked for a start date two weeks from the date of closing and they agreed, her future boss was very understanding. She will give her two week notice the day of closing after everything is signed and we have the keys in hand.

          Thank you Allison and everyone else for your suggestions. She was leaning towards asking for extra time but was not quite sure if it was appropriate, all the responses gave her the confidence to ask. My fiance already had a good feeling about her future boss and the company as a whole, but this flexibility with the start date reinforces the fact that it will be a good place to work.

          Reply
  30. The IT Manager

    I didn’t ever get rid of my personal phone, but my work phone did become my primary contact number for friends and family during the week.

    As many others have said being ask to return the phone/number is normal. I don’t understand what you expected to happen. I would like for you to respond with what you expected to happen with the number and phone?

    What you should have done is immediately text all your personal contacts the info that you were about to lose access to that number today/Monday and they should start using your personal number. They already should have your personal phone number for weekends so it won’t be a terrible problem if people ignore the text and call your old number because they have an alternate when they get the wrong guy. But hopefully very few people forget and do this.

    You have less of a problem than people who don’t own an alternate phone or number and people who have only have work provided cell phones. You know how to handle your own cell phone. You sound like someone who gave out their work landline number since friends and family call you on it during workdays. You just have to break them of the habit of using the work number during workdays.

    But in retrospect you should have never given out your work phone and just carried two cell phones. Or used google voice to transfer your personal calls to your work phone on workdays so you didn’t need to carry two phones.

    Reply
    1. fposte

      I think it’s clear what she expected–she thought that the statement about using it as her personal number meant that she would get to keep it. I don’t think she’s that bothered about the phone itself; she’s not trying to keep material goods.

      It’s easy to see that that was an unwise assumption from our position of knowing better, but I can also see why the manager’s words would have been confusing, especially if you didn’t have a ton of workplace experience. And if you didn’t know, the notice does feel quite late, given that the OP kindly gave them three months’ notice. (In reality, it’s not late, because they’re assuming it was a given part of the transition and that it would need to happen right at the end, but I can see how it would feel that way.)

      Reply
      1. Mike C.

        I’m with fposte here, this was really confusing language from the manager and assumed a great deal of knowledge that a new employee might not understand. We all have a first time for learning something.

        Reply
        1. LBK

          What I find confusing is why the OP was using the work phone as a personal phone if she still had a personal phone…I guess if you have to have your work phone on you 24/7 and you don’t want to carry two phones, you might as well use it, but for me part of the advantage of having a separate work phone is not mingling my work and personal phone use. To each their own, I guess.

          Reply
          1. Natalie

            In my experience, at least, that willingness to mingle work and personal numbers seems most common with workers in their first or second job. I assume because they haven’t spent a year fielding calls for an old job yet, and once they do they’re more wary of giving out that personal number.

            Reply
            1. anan

              My stepmom is about 60 and has only ever had a cell phone provided through her work, so she uses that for both personal and business calls. I think that that is not too uncommon – people old enough to have never had a cell phone before they were asked to use one for work might not see a reason to get their own personal one, but would start using the same phone they used for work for personal use. My stepmom also doesn’t have a personal email, as far as I know – she has only ever sent me emails from her work account. My dad also primarily uses his work email for contacting me and my sister. He mentioned that he no longer likes to use his old Yahoo account because it gets so much spam, so he just uses the work account.

              Reply
  31. Polymer Phil

    OP #1 – a coworker of mine was suddenly and unexpectedly fired. I tried to reach out to him several times, as he was a pretty good work friend, and he ignored my texts. A few years later, he reached out to me to reconnect, and I found out that what I believed was his personal cell was actually a company one – he hadn’t been intentionally ignoring me. This guy was a longtime employee, and it sounds like he had the same problem you did, not seeing the need for a personal cell until it was too late.

    OP#2 – when your company hires from the outside for your boss’s job, it’s time to look outside. Your new boss should have no idea you’re unhappy and job-hunting until you give your 2 weeks’ notice.

    Reply
  32. EmilyG

    I’m curious about what OP2 hopes will come of the proposed frank conversation with the incoming boss. The new boss isn’t likely to agree “They should have promoted you instead of hiring me” or “Yes, the leadership that just hired me is in the wrong.” I agree with Alison that it would lead to you being perceived as A Problem. Also, as an incoming boss it’s nice to have some open positions to use to fill out your own team, so if you say anything about your “career plans,” the boss may interpret this as “OP2 is going to leave and I’d better jump on the opportunity to replace them with my own hire”–which would be bad if you’re not 100% serious about leaving. Annoying as it is, I’d keep my head down and see what the new boss is like before making decisions.

    Reply
  33. Widgeon

    OP #2- You’re at a great advantage when an external new boss is hired! They generally come in without previous assumptions and it’s a good opportunity to make a great first impression (a fresh start, even). I’m a bit flabbergasted as to why you would sully that by making the kind of first impression that basically says “we’re going to be a pain because we wanted a chance at your job”. That’s also terribly unfair to a new employee who has presumably given up their previous job on the assumption that they’re making the right step.

    Reply
  34. Snark

    “At some point, I will need to have a very frank discussion with this person about my own career plans, and my thoughts on this selection process. But I am not sure if this is an appropriate conversation to have before he becomes supervisor or after.”

    If the conversation is “I think they should have promoted me rather than hiring you” or “the selection process was incredibly unfair and I’m aggreived,” then the appropriate time to have that conversation is exactly never. Your bosses likely had very good reasons for an external hire. Frankly, if your first impulse is to send your boss an InMail message before they even start complaining to them about their own selection process, I think you need to consider that maybe that was one of those reasons.

    If you want to say “we need to talk about a transition plan because I don’t see a path forward in this position,” then that is a conversation you have with them several weeks after they’ve started, once they’ve at least had a chance to get to know you and your strengths.

    Reply
  35. Snark

    OP3: “The biggest issue for me has been that whenever I’ve been giving a presentation, it’s been in front of my boss, who never hesitates to jump in if he feels you have missed something or if someone in the audience asks a question.”

    There is a certain type of male career professional who gets incredibly uncomfortable when someone besides them starts uttering declarative sentences about something they know a lot about, especially if that someone is younger and/or female. It’s not that you’ve missed something or that you can’t answer the question, he’s just peeing on “his” tree and making sure nobody forgets he’s the master of that particular topic. You can ask him to stop interrupting, but I would be careful with the assumption that he’s doing this for helpful reasons.

    Reply
  36. Noah

    re #5, if the date is 8/11 or later (and Fiance doesn’t plan to leave her job until the day before) you should be fine. Closing dates are set based on the expectation that the loan will close at least a day or two before that (and in fact you’ll quite possibly close on the condo before 8/11).

    Reply
  37. Courtney W

    I’ve only worked in retail, never an office setting…but honestly, some of these things seem like they’d be pretty common sense workplace norms. I don’t understand why anyone would expect their company to let them keep their work phone when they don’t work there anymore, regardless of whether or not personal calls had been allowed on it. And I don’t understand in what industry or workplace could it EVER be appropriate to add someone on LinkedIn (who, if I’m reading this correctly, doesn’t even knows he’s going to receive an offer!!) with basically sour grapes about not being considered for their job. Maybe this is a thing where the letter writers emotions on the topic are clouding their judgement, particularly with the second one. Or maybe I’ve just been reading AAM long enough to have more an instinct on these things. But…come on, letter writers 1 and 2. Try to read your letter like it’s coming from someone else and you’re totally uninvolved. I bet/hope your thinking on it would be similar to the advice you got.

    Reply
  38. Menacia

    I actually use my work phone as my personal cell phone, but I also rarely make personal calls or receive them. I fully intend to give in this device when/if I leave this company as I would not want employees/vendors/contractors calling me. I would only give my new number to those I want to keep in touch.

    Reply
  39. Typhon Worker Bee

    I used to work with someone who was notorious for interrupting every presentation in every meeting – even when the presenter wasn’t from her department. You’d put up your first slide and she’d jump in with “what I think we should be doing on this project is [blah blah blah]”, usually preempting most of your content before you could introduce it yourself. I don’t think I ever presented a slide in that job without first saying “oh, yes, I have that, let me skip forward”. She was very senior and I was very junior, so I couldn’t call her on the pattern. I think it was an insecurity thing based around a need to constantly prove to everyone that she knew her stuff.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Before you comment: Please be kind, stay on-topic, and follow the site's commenting rules.
You can report an ad, tech, or typo issue here.

Subscribe to all comments on this post by RSS