my partner on a group project is holding everything up, chilly behavior at the end of an interview, and more

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

1. My partner on a group project is holding everything up

For an internal project my department has been split into groups of two. I’ve been paired with one of our managers (I’m just a staffer). Every time we’ve had an activity to do, my partner, the manager, delays making a decision. I’ve offered up suggestions, I’ve provided details to help expedite her side of the decision making process, I’ve been patient and proactive. But literally every time we make plans to work on the project, she reschedules. I’m getting frustrated because I’m already uncomfortable with presenting information and now the time I have to prepare will be reduced. How can I light a fire under her without appearing insubordinate or rude?

Try saying something like this: “In order to meet our deadlines and for me to have time to prepare for the presentation, we’d need to decide X no later than Thursday. I know you’re really busy, so my plan is to move forward by doing Y unless we come to a different decision before that.” (In doing this, make sure you’re giving her a reasonable amount of time to weigh in. Don’t give a deadline of 11 a.m. Thursday when it’s already 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.)

If she says no, that she wants to meet first instead and then ends up canceling that meeting, say this when she cancels it: “I understand. We do need to move forward on this though or we won’t have enough time, so I’m going to do Y in order to keep this moving.” Then do so. She can object if she wants, but it’s more likely that she’ll either be relieved that you’re moving it forward or that this will nudge her to actually do her part.

2. I resigned right before my company announced voluntary layoffs

Recently I was offered a new job and decided to move on from my current post. As a gesture of good will, I gave my company far more notice than was required (three months), as there was a particular project I was lined up to work on that would require the training-in of another person to replace me. I have a good relationship with my employer and didn’t want to let them down by leaving them in the lurch last minute.

After handing in my notice, the company announced voluntary redundancies. Had I not handed in my notice so early, I would have been able to take voluntary redundancy. However as I had already handed in my notice, I believe I’m not entitled to anything. (My notice was given verbally, by the way. We are a small company of 30 people and it wasn’t required to give notice in writing).

Friends are encouraging me to bring this to the attention of my employer and ask if I’m entitled to any payment. My role has been central to the commercial success of the company over the past seven years, so I feel that I have contributed a lot. At the same time, it’ll be a difficult conversation to have. Do you think I have any grounds for asking, given the fact that I gave more notice than was required?

No, I’m sorry. The payments with voluntary redundancies are to incentivize people to leave when they otherwise wouldn’t (generally to try to reduce the greater pain of involuntary lay-offs later). You’re already leaving for your own reasons, so it wouldn’t make any sense for the company to incentivize you by paying you to go.

I kind of get your thinking — you’re thinking that they want people to leave and are paying them to do so, and hey, you’re leaving so why not lump you in with that group. And yes, if your timing had worked out differently and you hadn’t given your notice yet, you could have ended up with that group. But at this point you’re not in the “incentivize to leave” group. It’s just bad timing for you.

3. Chilly behavior at the end of an interview

I had a weird interview experience today. It was for a manager-level position for a nonprofit. I was interviewed by three people: the hiring manager (a VP) and two peer-level individuals. The interview itself seemed normal and was nothing unusual. I think I did well answering their questions and asked a few questions of my own. The end seemed weird. After the interview ended, the two peer-level people just left. No goodbyes, no handshakes, no glad-to-meet-you’s. They literally just walked quickly out the room and were gone by the time I rose from my seat and shook the hiring manager’s hand.

This really took me aback and I can’t stop thinking about it. How should I read into this? Is this a red flag?

(During the interview itself, they seemed engaged. A bit on the reserved side, but nothing unusual until the very end. They asked me good questions and I also asked them questions.)

Eh, since they seemed engaged and friendly during the interview itself, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Some people are awkward, especially in situations they’re not used to being in. If they haven’t been in many interviews, they might have just not been sure what their role was at the end.

4. Interviewing someone you know socially

We have an open position that we’re trying to fill, and after I posted about the job in a number of places, a person that I know socially, but not professionally, applied. While I knew that they were in my field, I have never worked with them and am wondering what I need to keep in mind as we conduct interviews. We’re not really friends outside of the organization we’re both members of, but I am not sure how to respond if they ask about their candidacy, the status of the search, etc.

I know you have suggested in the past that people recuse themselves from interviews with or hiring people they know, but I am not the hiring manager and won’t make the final decision. As the most senior person in our group outside of our manager, however, I will be working very closely with whoever we hire as we bring them on-board. As a result, I don’t want to take myself out of the process since I need to make sure that we hire someone who is the right fit for the role and is someone that we can work with. I’m not really concerned that my familiarity with the candidate will bias my honest assessment of their skills, but I am concerned about the social fall-out if we end up not hiring them or even proceeding to the interview phase. The person contacted me when they applied and seemed to indicate that they believed that they would at least get a courtesy interview, but that may or may not happen depending on how strong the rest of the pool is.

It doesn’t sound like you know each other well enough that you’d need to recuse yourself from the process, so I agree that you don’t need to worry about that.

If the person contacts you to ask about their candidacy or the search status, it’s fine to be vague and defer to the hiring manager. For example: “I know Jane is reviewing applications and will contact people when she’s ready to start interviews.” If she asks directly about her chances (which most people won’t do, so you probably don’t have to worry about it), you can say something like, “I know Jane is looking at a bunch of candidates, so I’m not really sure, although I know she thinks it will be competitive.”

If the person ends up not even being interviewed, you can say something to her like, “I wasn’t involved in the final choice of who to interview, but I know that we had a ton of candidates and it was really competitive.” If she’s interviewed but not hired, you can say something similar: “I wasn’t involved in the final decision, but I do know that Jane felt we had a number of strong candidates and it was really competitive.” (Make sure that you get the hiring manager’s okay before you say either of these things, so that you’re not saying it before she’s rejected the person, and so that you’re not inadvertently contradicting anything she may have said.)

5. Who has the right of way when entering/leaving a bathroom?

Like “walkers on the left, standers on the right” at airports, the typical social norm for elevators is that those coming OFF leave before anyone gets ON (although it seems many people missed this memo in my building).

Is there any sort of protocol when it comes to the bathroom? Situation: Two people approach the door of a multi-stall bathroom — one is leaving the bathroom and one is trying to enter. Who has the right-of-way? Does it matter who is holding the door open? I always feel like those coming in deserve the right-of-way, because “when you gotta go you gotta go” and they may be in a rush. I felt like you’d have the official answer.

General etiquette says that the person going out has the right-of-way, and the person coming in should stand aside and wait for the other person to exit. That’s not specific to bathrooms, but I don’t know of any bathroom-specific modification to the rule that takes into account your point about potential urgency.

Since the majority of bathroom visits aren’t so urgent that an extra few seconds will cause an accident, I suspect the etiquette overlords haven’t thought about making a bathroom-specific ruling. And even leaving official etiquette out of it and just thinking about how it should work, I think the same probably holds true. People mostly aren’t assuming the situation is so urgent that they’d need to deviate from the usual course of things, so it would probably be an up-hill battle to establish a different norm.

{ 165 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Imaginary Number

    I have to disagree on #5 because it depend on the door.

    If it’s a door that swings both ways the person exiting should have the ROW because they’re pushing the door out of the bathroom (thus making it a less crowded situation.)

    If the door pushes one way and pulls the other: The rule of thumb for single doors (if no one is carrying anything and no one is jumping to hold the door) is that the person pushing goes through first because it’s a much simpler motion. The pusher passes it off once they’ve gone through and it’s generally quicker for everyone. If the person pulling the door open goes through first there’s no non-awkward way for them to pass the door off to the opposite person. That’s usually what leads to the awkward “here, walk under my armpit” situation.

    Reply
    1. HeatherT

      Agreed! If the door opens inward, than I always hold the door for the person entering and then exit myself. Otherwise, you’re pushing past someone and closing the door in their face all at the same time.

      Reply
    2. Violet

      I agree. If I’m entering the bathroom the same time someone is exiting, and I’m pushing the door while they’re pulling – I’m already halfway inside the bathroom before I realize this is even happening. It would be very strange to take a step back out to let them exit first, closing the door in front of me, then re-enter.

      Reply
    3. Fiennes

      I’d say that in any public bathroom, going out trumps going in, because that’s the only way to make enough room for people. I’ve been in plenty of airport bathrooms, for instance, that are too narrow and badly designed for traffic flow. A “going in first” rule would quickly result in a logjam.

      Besides, when someone dashes up with a desperate look and a real emergency, people are almost always polite enough to make way.

      Reply
      1. Look! A bee!

        Bingo. It makes logistical sense to let people out before anyone enters. In reality, I find that whoever makes the ‘no, you first, I insist’ motion first usually wins and the other person goes ahead entering or exiting or whatever while thanking them. Unless it’s a male and a female and then all kinds of weird gender expectations kick in, there’ve been times when a guy has literally insisted I pass through a door first that he’s holding even if it makes much more sense for me to allow him through before me, just because I’m female.

        Reply
      2. Grey

        Yes. Let people out first. Think of a single toilet bathroom. Do you both need to be in there at the same time? Do you really want to stop and factor in the bathroom size each time you need to make this decision?

        Reply
      3. Falling Diphthong

        Yeah, the reason for that rule on elevators–and subway cars–is simple logic about making enough space. Same thing applies to bathrooms.

        Reply
    4. David St. Hubbins

      I feel it has more to do with space. There is generally less space inside than outside, so let the people come out, before going in. Less congestion that way. It’s like boarding a train. Wait for people to exit before entering.

      But it doesn’t really matter that much

      Reply
    5. always in email jail

      Exactly.
      I agree that it SHOULD be the person exiting who has right of way, but more often than not the person exiting decides to hold the door open for the person entering so it’s just faster to go in. Kind of like at 4way stops when someone thinks they’re being nice by giving you the “go ahead” wave when it’s not your turn (I find both to be frustrating despite the good intentions JUST FOLLOW THE RULES OF SOCIETY GUYS)

      Reply
      1. OnFire

        Ugh. I hate the go-ahead wave at 4-way stops. I’m always paranoid that it’s a set-up and they’re going to T-bone me, and *I will be at fault.* Traffic laws spell out very clearly how to handle 4-ways, and your (generic you) “courtesy” is illegal!

        Rant over. I agree, let people out of the bathroom first.

        Reply
        1. Samata

          True story: A friend of mine got a ticket for a moving violation when waving someone along when she actually had the right away.

          Reply
          1. Admin of Sys

            Ooh, I didn’t know that could happen. But then, I tend to be really stubborn when the person w/ the right-of-way tries to get me to go first. Mind you, I have before waved someone on because I suddenly wasn’t sure if I was supposed to turn or not, and there wasn’t anyone behind me to delay if I checked directions.

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        2. Don't make unprotected lefts at rush hour

          Not quite the same set-up, but I’ve seen multiple accidents from people stopping on multi-lane streets to let people turn out of parking lots. It’s usually when traffic is stopping for the next light ahead. Parking lot driver turns across multiple lanes only to be hit by a vehicle several lanes over whose lane is not backed up as far and therefore is not expecting to have to stop yet.

          At least with the bathroom if there’s a collision no one’s going to have to call an ambulance for an injury.

          Reply
      2. Typhon Worker Bee

        I agree, especially when I’m on my bike. It’s so much safer when everyone behaves predictably!

        The worst are the people in the lane nearest you who wave you over when traffic’s still moving in the other lane.

        Reply
        1. Ego Chamber

          That’s my favorite: when someone (unintentionally—I hope!) attempts to wave me into oncoming traffic when I’m on a bike. Bonus points if they get really annoyed at me for not going, and double extra bonus points if they end up cursing at or flipping me off. (I ride a bike in a small town where most people drive farm trucks. I have seen some shit.)

          Reply
    6. kittymommy

      That’s how I normally do it, but for a bathroom my brain is out trumps in. I don’t know why though. It just makes more sense to me.

      Reply
    7. Alex

      I think the rule should be that when possible the person coming in should hold the door for the person coming out so that the person who (hopefully) just washed their hands doesn’t have to touch a potentially gross door handle.

      Reply
    8. Elsajeni

      Yes, this is what I was thinking. The outer door to the bathroom at my work swings inward; when you run into someone, what generally happens is that the person leaving (coming from the “pull” direction) takes a half-step back and holds the door, and the person entering (coming from the “push” direction) goes through first.

      Of course, if there is no outer door, or it’s propped open, or you have a futuristic bathroom with automatic sliding doors or something, I suppose this isn’t much help…

      Reply
    9. Breda

      Exactly. Elevators & subway trains are different, because the doors remove themselves from the equation. Doors that swing inward change the logistics completely, and in that case the person pushing gets right-of-way. (Also, office bathrooms are rarely so crowded that you need to make space in the same way. Movie theater or airport bathrooms, maybe – but that’s why the best of those have an aisle that turns rather than a door.)

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    10. Koko ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Yes, this is exactly what I was going to say. The door swing makes all the difference.

      The only “modification” I use is a big one – I think that significant weather plays a role when it comes to exterior doors. If it’s pouring down rain or excruciatingly hot outside, I always yield to let people come in to escape the weather conditions before I go outside. This is especially a thing with high-traffic entrances where there could be a half dozen people on each side of the door…I feel badly making 6 people stand in the rain or swelter in 98*F temps while a train of 6 people exits the building. If the door swings the wrong way then I always just step clearly to the side and wait for the people on the outside walk through, then I step back over and exit myself once everyone has gotten inside.

      Reply
      1. Julia

        I’ve had to stand in the pouring rain several times as people inside a building or bus stood right in the doorway instead of letting me in. Thank you for being considerate.

        Reply
    11. DaniCalifornia

      Agree 100%. Lately I’ve had a bunch of people who were near the door decide to leave as I’m coming in and halfway through. They either brush past me and we end up bumping together or I have to take several steps back. I could understand if they had started the motion of opening the door first, then I would step back.

      Reply
    12. Noah

      If the door only goes one way, whoever opens the door holds it for the other person, then goes. At least, that’s the proper, non-bathroom etiquette in this situation.

      Reply
  2. Pete

    No one can enter a full lift. Someone must exit first.

    I use that analogy for doorways. Whoever is leaving has the right-of-way.

    Reply
    1. Ramona Flowers

      I think there’s a caveat for bathrooms: this applies if everyone is walking at a normal pace.

      If someone is walking at a faster-than-normal pace and seems agitated, that’s when ‘if you’ve gotta go’ kicks in and you let them pass first.

      Reply
    2. AMT

      A coworker at an old job would barrel through you to get into the elevator instead of letting you off. She was universally hated.

      Reply
      1. Julia

        My behated co-worker at my old job couldn’t even let people pass through the hallway she was using. Two people could walk side by side there, but whenever she saw someone who wasn’t a higher-up coming, she’d walk slooowly in the middle of the hall.

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    3. Turquoise Cow

      I think in any case, the person leaving should go first if possible. Obviously if the person entering is in the middle of the doorway as the person leaving approaches, they should just keep going, but otherwise, it’s like the NYC subway – let people get off first.

      Or, like I say to the guy slowly inching forward to take my parking spot before I’ve left – I need to vacate the space before you can take it.

      Reply
  3. InkyPinky

    For OP2, I’d guess that your employer also factored in your leaving when they worked out how many people they need to incentivize and how much money they can offer those people. Which means it would probably be even harder for them to add you back into th pool.

    Reply
    1. Samata

      This is a great point. I do feel sorry for OP but do agree with Alison that it’s just a matter of bad timing.

      Reply
    2. Turquoise Cow

      Yeah, it’s possible OP2 might have been slated to be included in the layoffs, but leaving accomplishes the same.

      Reply
    3. Nicotene

      This does stink for OP though, in the sense of things they’d have done differently if they’d known the big picture. My sympathies! But especially since the company seems to be in cost-cutting mode, they’re unlikely to throw you a bone on this one.

      Reply
    4. Artemesia

      Sometimes in a situation like this a ‘fair haired boy’ will be given the bonus for leaving in this situation because of favoritism or a grateful and generous boss, but he is certainly not entitled to it. Bad timing. It is also the case that when people are paid off to volunteer to leave early that people later who are simply riffed do not often get that bonus. By waiting they lose out. So the OP only gets the bonus by the grace of the boss/organization; they is no entitlement.

      Reply
  4. Ramona Flowers

    #2 You could look at it another way: redundancy payments are there to cope with sudden job loss at a time when your employer is struggling and needs to pay people to leave. The best case scenario is that someone who wants to leave anyway gets some money for doing so but, even then, it generally means coping with sudden job loss. There’s still likely to be some stress and uncertainty involved, including financial uncertainty.

    So. How lucky to have already got something lined up and not have to worry about it. And by doing so you may have saved someone else from losing their job, given that if not enough people take voluntary redundancy, they’ll move on to the non-voluntary kind. I’d just thank your lucky stars you have another job.

    Your friends sound well-meaning, but not particularly helpful on this front.

    Reply
    1. Bagpuss

      Also, redundancy payments are not a reward for having contributed to the company’s success, so the fact that #2 has contributed a lot in the past is irrelevant.

      Redundancy payments are there to help tide you over if you have the misfortune to lose your job and help you manage financially while you find a new one. They aren’t a windfall. #2 hasn’t lost their job, they’ve chosen to leave it and (presumably) did so because they decided that they were better off moving elsewhere.

      Reply
    2. Narrator for bad mimes

      I’d have been really annoyed if it happened to me but as you said it would have been way worse having to look for a job out of the blue. Which at least in my industry would most likely take longer than the severance package would last.

      Reply
    3. Lora

      It also sounds like you were central enough in the org that even if you hadn’t had something else lined up, and had volunteered, they might have said, “No not YOU”.

      Reply
    4. Elysian

      I might be going against the flow of advice, but I would ask if I were the OP. The company might not give the same payment to someone who was planning to leave anyway, but lots of people get a severance when they leave for signing a release. Since the wallet is already open, so to speak, they might be more willing to give a payment now than they otherwise would. It is possible that they could say no, but it is also possible that they could give the OP a severance/transition payment. If they asked saying “I understand if this isn’t possible, but I was wondering if…” they would show they were assuming that no would be the answer, but could be surprised with a yes.

      Reply
      1. Narrator for bad mimes

        But isn’t that on par with asking your former company if they mind paying you an extra month’s salary out of good will arguing that since they are already paying their employees they may as well pay out one more salary to someone who used to work there?

        Reply
        1. Elysian

          No, because usually when a company gives a severance they generally make the employee sign a release of claims, non-disparagement provision, confidentiality agreement, etc. Which I’m sure they’re also doing with the voluntary resignation incentive. What you suggest is giving something for nothing; what I’m saying is par for the course on severance agreements. It is just possible that they’ll be more likely to do it now than they might otherwise have been. Giving up those rights is worth something to companies. They might also not be interested, but I don’t think it is an unreasonable ask given the circumstances.

          Reply
          1. Ego Chamber

            I understand your point, but the only time I’ve heard of people getting severance for leaving voluntarily is when they were given the choice of quitting instead of being fired (then they get severance but typically aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits).

            Reply
      2. Sadsack

        I have never heard of receiving severence for quitting. I think asking for it would make OP appear greedy and tone deaf. There are people who are actually losing their jobs and don’t have something else to immediately go to. OP is going to ask for money for quitting her job to go to another? I would not do this.

        Reply
    5. Jerry Vandesic

      In some cases severance payments end when you start a new job (or are offset by the new salary if the new salary is less than the old one). If that’s the case for the OP, there would be no benefit as the severance would end immediately.

      Reply
  5. Ramona Flowers

    #4 If you’re worried about social fall-out I would urge you to rethink your decision to stay on the panel if they’re interviewed. I understand that you want to make sure you hire the right person, but isn’t there someone else from your group who can judge that for you? Seniority doesn’t need to be the decider on that.

    If you’re on the interview panel, it’s much more likely to cause social fall-out. And if you’re worried about the social fall-out, then – however professional and unbiased you are – I am going to disagree with Alison and say that’s a sign that you shouldn’t be on the panel. Even if you don’t agree, it sounds like it will cause less of a headache if you aren’t.

    Reply
    1. InkyPinky

      Or I’d rephrase that as considering what’s more of a concern for you – social fallout from an acquaintance or being uninvolved in the hiring and possibly getting stuck with someone you can’t work with. Make your decisions accordingly.

      Reply
    2. Infinity Anon

      I think Alison’s wording could work though. When talking to this applicant in a social setting, minimize your role in the hiring process.

      Reply
  6. Myrin

    #3 could totally be my doctoral advisor. He’s a great scholar, a supportive mentor, and a very good and motivating boss, but he’s also the most awkward person I’ve ever met (incidentally, whenever I hear someone on the internet say “Oh he just did [slightly creepy thing] because he’s awkward!” I do the “Mr M.” test, meaning I wonder whether this is something he would do or not; most of the time, it’s not).

    I was once in a conversation with him and then another colleague joined and the three of us chatted for a few minutes and then suddenly, my advisor just turned around and left! It’s like he has this feeling of “want to leave” but can’t quite connect it to the proper-as-defined-by-etiquette behaviour around it so he just does the thing. It has happened in other situations following a similar pattern as well and I’m used to it by now but I can definitely imagine that someone who doesn’t know this about him would be taken aback!

    But from this experiece, I really think it’s highly likely that the peers in question maybe felt kind of overwhelmed or their minds were already where they had to be next and they just completely blanked on How To Behave.

    Reply
    1. Jeanne

      That’s possible. My vote is they were told when given a cue by manager to get out and let the interview finish without them.

      Reply
      1. oranges & lemons

        Yeah, my guess was that they’d been told to leave after a certain point in the conversation and figured it would be less disruptive not to say anything when they went.

        Reply
    2. Grits McGee

      Yeah, I had a friend like this in high school- really nice guy, but he was single-handedly running his school’s Latin club (how we knew each other), so there were many times where he’d get a look on his face and run off mid-conversation. It’s funny and endearing now after years of knowing each other, but it was definitely disconcerting (and felt incredibly rude) at the time.

      Reply
    3. Look! A bee!

      I find people like this pretty refreshing. I find it really awkward and frustrating trying to end social gatherings, the way you are supposed to first make some noises about leaving, do the rounds saying goodbye, rebuke people trying to get you to stay, and finally walk out with everyone saying ‘bye!’, it’s exhausting and can take ages. It would be a much more wonderful world I think if we were able to just leave situations once we were ready to!

      Reply
          1. Look! A bee!

            Haha yes! I do the same. I’ll normally leave and then let people know via text that I’ve already gone, if we’re out at a club or someplace busy. I’ll say bye at someone’s party though as that’s just manners.

            Reply
      1. Turquoise Cow

        My cousins and I have this understand from our childhood that when our parents say they are ready to leave, they are not really ready to leave for another 20 minutes. Often, one of them would ask why we have not yet gotten our coats and gotten up when they said they were ready to leave, because we knew they weren’t ready, and in the meantime we’d be standing there wearing winter coats indoors and dying of the heat.

        My husband is also terrible at knowing when and how to say goodbye, so despite me really wanting to go home and sleep, and him agreeing and then apologizing afterward every time, we are often the last to leave. He also has “one more question,” or “one more thing,” to ask just as we are leaving. This is true also when consulting with doctors or wedding contractors or pretty much anyone else we have non-social meetings with. I might prefer if he just wandered off, I said quick goodbyes and then we were on our way.

        Reply
        1. Sibley

          My dad is like that. My mom basically drags him out, it looks much more polite than that, but its basically that. Doesn’t work every time of course, but it helps a lot.

          Having small children around who quite literally pee their pants or something horrifying probably helps re-train you too.

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    4. edj3

      Those two peer interviewers may also have been late to a can’t-miss meeting. Their abrupt departure might have nothing to do with the interview, the candidate or any social awkwardness.

      Reply
      1. Nicotene

        That was my thought. Don’t take it personally, they probably needed to rush on to the next thing and didn’t have time for a smooth transition. This sounds like me on days where I have things scheduled back -to-back.

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    5. Episkey

      I also had a friend in grad school that was like this. The first couple of times it happened, it was very disconcerting and I was like, “What just happened?” and thought it felt very rude. But once I got to know her better, I realized it was just one of her quirks and she truly did not mean anything offensive or unkind. She was a unique one!

      Reply
    6. Former Retail Manager

      HA! My current boss does this. At first I found it off-putting and borderline rude, but I’ve come to realize that’s just how he is, blunt and to the point in virtually all ways with no rudeness intended. We’ll be chatting, he’ll decide he’s done with the convo, say “well, okay then” and just spin back around to his computer and start typing. Sometimes he’ll just spin back around without saying a word. He is awkward in other ways as well and I know that when he has interviewed candidates in the past, there has been feedback about his odd personality and communication style. Maybe the people who interviewed OP were odd ducks or just didn’t know how to behave. Definitely wouldn’t read into it too much.

      Reply
    7. Risha

      I catch myself doing this sometimes, and always feel bad about it. A lot of my human interaction is done by rote based on years of endless practice, because I was apparently born without any of the non-verbal interaction skills that usually come pre-installed. I swear, I was enjoying the conversation! I just got distracted by something else hard enough the programming got derailed!

      Reply
  7. Not Australian

    With most doors, the etiquette is simply that the person with better manners defers to the other. (Hence all the ‘after you – no, no, after you!’) It costs nobody anything to stand aside and let someone else go through a door first, although if the bathroom’s very cramped it’s definitely got to be easier to let them leave before you enter.

    Reply
    1. Specialk9

      Ugh, that’s the worst. Etiquette is supposed to reduce having to think about how to be gracious, a streamlining of brain drain. Having to wage a battle of the abject politeness at each door… I’d start thinking of door related murder!

      Reply
      1. MegaMoose, Esq.

        Agreed – etiquette is about streamlining social situations. The “let women go first” rule is big where I live, which can lead to awkwardness when I’m following the “whoever’s closest to the door” rule. If someone says “after you” I take them for their word and go for it. Life is too short to get into politeness contests.

        Reply
        1. Lily Rowan

          Agreed! I also hate milling around and waiting for other people to move, so even though I often think it’s stupid, if a man wants me to go first, I will go first!

          Reply
        2. Kyrielle

          Yep. In that situation, I feel my correct polite response is ‘thank you’ and to go through the door, because we will all get where we want to be faster that way than if I stop and start insisting they go first.

          Reply
      2. AMT

        Yep. Etiquette is all about arbitrary rules that make things easier. There is no physical reason why you walk on one side of the escalator and stand on the other, but everything is better when people know which side is which.

        Reply
      3. nonymous

        This reminds me of a pre-wedding dinner I went to where my MIL (American) and Uncle (Asian) both offered to pay. MIL was offended that Uncle challenged her offer to pay, and Uncle was confused that there were another couple back-and-forths before they settled on who would pay.

        Reply
    2. Bagpuss

      I disagree. I think it is normally about practicalities – which way the door opens, mainly, but for outside doors also whether the conditions outside are such that its reasonable to give way to those entering because they are for instance) coming in our of unpleasant conditions

      Reply
  8. MommyMD

    Three months notice seems like an immense amount of time. Anything can and does happen in life. I think four weeks is plenty wherever you work. A position three months off could fall through for any number of reasons.

    Reply
    1. xyz

      Somewhere between 1-3 months has been standard everywhere I’ve worked (a number of different countries, none in the US). But you would already have a signed employment contract lined up in the next place you’re going to, which I understand from AAM is not usual in the US.

      Reply
    2. Bagpuss

      This does vary by location and job. 3 months is standard in my industry, and although a job offer *could* fall through, it isn’t common.

      Reply
    3. Anoushka

      I know this wasn’t OP’s issue, but there actually are some places where you need to give a generous notice period like this, or at least more than two weeks! My contract states that I need to give a month’s notice, and then another week on top of that for every year I work past five years, up to a maximum of three months. A month has been the standard everywhere I’ve worked. I’m always shocked when American readers say they only have to give two weeks! Must be nice :)

      Reply
      1. MK

        Nice? It never sounded that way to me. As far as I know, in all the countries where long notice periods are required, they are also required for the employer in case of firings and layoffs, as well as legally mandatory severance pay. Not to mention that, in practice, I have never seen a low-level, or even a mid-level, employee forced to work the whole long notice period if they said they wanted\needed to leave sooner. It always seemed to me that the u.s. at-will system’s advantages mostly apply to higher-level, well-compensated workers.

        Reply
        1. Specialk9

          Yeah, not “nice”, since even with a signed contract, your job can still magically disappear, even after quitting your job. Not the fun kind of suspense.

          Reply
          1. Anoushka

            Sorry, I meant nice in the sense that if you’re in a horrible job or chomping at the bit to leave, you can be out within two weeks. By the time I hand in my notice to a job, I’m more than ready to go, and a month of working somewhere you’ve mentally checked out of is torture. And since I would never give notice until I have a signed contract in hand, it’s often months between when I accept a job and when I start it. And sure, you probably won’t face legal repercussions if you don’t work your full notice period, but you’ll be burning a bridge. And while I’m glad my employer also has to offer me a notice period, I have seen it cause problems in getting rid of people or an employer having to pay obscene amounts of gardening leave to someone while the position remains vacant, because they can’t pay gardening leave and a new person.

            All that said, it’s obviously not great to live in suspense, wondering if your new job is going to disappear. Reading this site leaves me feeling like US workers have very less job security compared to the UK and Canadian workers. There are downsides to having longer notice periods, but I think overall they make sense.

            Reply
            1. Artemesia

              Yes US workers have generally zero job security. You could walk into work today and be walked out the door with no severance.

              Reply
            2. Ego Chamber

              “you probably won’t face legal repercussions if you don’t work your full notice period, but you’ll be burning a bridge.”

              Here’s the thing though: even without being contractually required to give any notice, it burns bridges over here too—and potentially has financial consequences if ExJob makes a point of telling reference checkers that you left without notice (because they’re one of those places that fast-walks you out or just takes you off the schedule when you say you’re leaving, and you couldn’t afford the lost income between jobs).

              I would kill for an employment contract situation. Literally kill. Seriously, who do I have to kill? :(

              Reply
    4. Lone Rhino

      I just gave six weeks notice. It wasn’t required but I know what my plans are, I like my bosses and I’m not worried about being pushed out early. I think if all of those conditions exist, it’s ok to give a longer notice.

      Reply
      1. Kathleen Adams

        The last time I gave notice (a long time ago now), I gave almost a month, but of course it wasn’t required. I just knew it was going to be stressful trying to replace me and wanted to help my supervisor out. Plus I knew I wouldn’t be pushed out early.

        Reply
    5. TL -

      Yeah I’ve always given months of notice – either that I’m looking or when I went to grad school; that was at least 6 months’ notice.
      Academia is weird like that, though.

      Reply
      1. MegaMoose, Esq.

        I think I gave two or three months when I went to law school. Of course, my manager wrote one of my letter said of recommendation, so he knew something was up.

        Reply
      2. Laura (Needs a New Name)

        Yeah, in academia I’ve typically given about 7 months notice. You *can* tell a chair in May that you won’t be back in September, but that would be massively nerve-wrecking for all involved.

        Reply
      3. Artemesia

        Academia also has contracts and in many cases even without tenure, if you are notified by X date (around April or May some time) you are contractually employed for the next year. They cannot generally speaking riff you in the middle of the year and certainly not in the middle of the term and so you are also expected to honor your contract . If you do need to leave mid year (say family move or something) then you would be expected to give long advance notice and work with the department to make sure things were in place for coverage in the final semester. Same in public schools, you are expected to honor the contract if possible — generally only physical disability or illness is acceptable as a reason to not follow through.

        Reply
    6. Purple snowdrop

      A while back we had to wait four months for a new member of staff. His notice period was that long. He hoped his previous employer would be flexible but no :(

      Reply
      1. Oscar Madisoy

        Four months! Was that contractually mandated? If not, since the guy already had the new job lined up, why couldn’t he have just decided to leave when he wanted to? Again, barring a contractual agreement, the old employer couldn’t force him to stay the full four months… right?

        Reply
        1. BananaPants

          In Europe, employment contracts are common and spell out the required notice period, which the employee is contractually obligated to give.

          We’ve had colleagues in Europe leave and they typically give several months’ notice because they’re contractually obligated to do so. Having a contract usually means that they also get a lot more protections against layoffs. For example, a colleague’s wife was laid off when she was in early pregnancy and because she was let go when she was pregnant (even though her employer didn’t know), her former employer was compelled to pay her a full salary for something like a year and a half beyond the layoff – the entire pregnancy plus maternity leave.

          Reply
        2. MK

          No one can be forced to show up for work, but there might be financial considerations. Usually, when long notice e periods are mandatory by law, the “severance in lieu of notice” applies to the employee too, in that the employee (or more likely the new employer) will pay this to the old employer, so that the employee will be released early. Most companies are not really that invested in keeping unwilling employees for months on end, unless it’s a particularly critical or hard-to-fill position.

          Realistically, if an employee stops coming to work and gets a new job, all that the old employer can do is sue them for money. If the compensation owed is not a great sum, they will be unlikely to bother. Even if it is, the litigation and the negative publicity are rarely worth it. I have only seen such cases successfully going to trial when the timing of the employee leaving had extraordinary negative consequences for the company.

          Reply
    7. Look! A bee!

      Totally depends. My notice period is three months as I work with patients delivering longterm psychotherapy and it takes time to work towards endings, transfer cases, prepare people for finishing therapy etc. not to mention tying up all of the other loose ends/referrals/getting case notes up to date for transfer. I know this is sandwiches territory but there are many jobs where twelve weeks is necessary to be able to leave the position in a good place.

      Reply
      1. Sled Dog Mama

        Absolute bare minimum in my position is six weeks, most people go longer, you might be able to get away with less if you were very very junior in a very large facility (but you’d probably kill that reference).
        This is because the company has to either get the new person in place or hire temporary coverage. A significant portion of my position involves public safety and without someone to fulfill that role the (US) federal government can and will shut us down.

        Reply
  9. MommyMD

    It’s nice manners to move out of the way if possible, wherever you are. Never insist on the right of way. It’s inconsequential in the scheme of things.

    Reply
    1. Specialk9

      I like to be polite and give way, hold doors etc, but sometimes it’s actually more polite to let someone else give way and not insist – I give a warm thank you and sail ahead. Not every door needs to be a logjam.

      Reply
    2. Sutemi

      However, on the flip side don’t insist on being the person to hold the door if the other person does first.
      I can’t count the number of times I’ve held a door and had a man insist that he needed to hold it instead, that I must go first because men must hold doors and poor, delicate ladies must not.

      Reply
      1. Bagpuss

        yes, and almost always when the mechanics, (which way the door opens etc.) means that it is much more awkward.
        Politeness is about making things easier for others. What they are doing is not polite, it is controlling.

        Reply
        1. Turquoise Cow

          Yes! I’ve had people try to hold doors for me who ended up basically having to stand IN the doorway to hold it. At that point, your chivalry is kind but ultimately makes it harder. Just go.

          Reply
          1. Allison

            I was in an elevator the other day and a man, who was in front of me, refused to get off the elevator until I did, which involved me walking past him, and it just didn’t make any sense. I know “ladies first” is a general rule men, especially older men, still follow, I just don’t understand why. ~Manners~ they say, but . . . shouldn’t there be some reason for etiquette beyond “this is how we’ve always done it”? If you’re close to the door, go ahead, if you’re far from the door, let the people in front of you off first. Why should gender impact this order? I’d only feel disrespected if a man barged past me to get off first, and sometimes I wonder if “ladies first” was implemented to keep men from doing just that.

            Reply
            1. SSS

              I’ve had that happen too. A pair of men were standing in the front of the elevator, I was in back. The doors opened and they both turned around and beckoned me to go out. However, they were blocking the path. They wouldn’t move AND kept insisting I needed to leave first. I finally had to loudly state that I couldn’t exit since they were in the way so would they PLEASE move out of the elevator?

              Reply
            2. chomps

              Ugh. A coworker at a former job did this ALL. THE. TIME. But it wasn’t just for women. He’d let everyone off the elevator before he got off, even if he was standing in front and there were 7 or 8 people behind him. It was more work for me to walk around him than for him to just go and let me walk out the way I normally would.

              Reply
      2. Allison

        Ughhh that bothers me so much. Just let me hold the door for you, I promise your mother is not going to jump out and beat you with a wooden spoon.

        Reply
        1. hbc

          Agh, why do they always invoke their mothers? She’s not here, and if she were here and as narrow-minded as you seem to think, she’d probably be blaming me for grabbing the door in such an unladylike way.

          Reply
    3. Antilles

      It’s nice manners to offer the other person to go ahead, but if the other person says go ahead, then just accept it and go. Don’t sit there and start fighting with each other about who’s the nicer and better and more polite, just go through the friggin’ door.

      Reply
      1. Orlando

        Nope, totes disagree. Stand there, duke it out. Have a glorious politeness dominance duel. Block the exit from both ways.

        Reply
        1. MashaKasha

          Are we holding the bathroom door wide open, too, while we’re having that duel? Because that would be more fun for anyone else trying to use it! And, we’ll both look polite as heck because we’re holding the door for one another!

          Reply
        2. SusanIvanova

          Remember the Looney Tunes gophers? “You first, my dear,” “But, no, no, no. It must be you who goes first!” “Oh, I couldn’t possibly, you must be the first to go.”

          Reply
      2. OtterB

        Waiting to get on an elevator, I was once part of a politeness duel that resulted in the elevator door closing and leaving both of us behind. I don’t let that happen any more. I do try not to overcompensate by barging ahead of everyone, though. :-)

        Reply
        1. Allison

          Yep, this sort of standoff caused me to miss a train once. The train wasn’t full, the driver either wasn’t paying attention to the back door or didn’t feel like waiting for us to resolve the whole “who gets on first” thing, so he closed the doors and pulled away.

          Reply
    4. Sled Dog Mama

      Reminds me of my grandfather’s saying about right-of-way. Anytime some one said anything about some one not yielding right-of-way (in any context) he would reply “Here lies John Jay, he died defending his right of way.”

      Reply
      1. JanetM

        I read somewhere a second line to that: “The right was his, his will was strong, and he’s as dead as if he’d been wrong.”

        Reply
    5. MCMonkeyBean

      This is bad advice because then everyone would move out of the way and no one would get anywhere. That’s why it’s good to have an idea of who is supposed to have the right of way. It keeps the world moving.

      Reply
      1. Antilles

        Especially when driving. It’s incredible that people think stuff like “ignoring the rules of 4-way stop signs” or “stopping at a green light to let someone else through” is being polite – yeah, you’re being nice to the one car you’re letting out, but you’re being a jerk to the other ten cars behind you.

        Reply
        1. marymoocow

          One time, a car dropped in a traffic circle to wave me forward. I couldn’t believe it. His attempt at being polite to me risked his safety and the safety of everyone behind him.

          Reply
          1. Allison

            Right! If you stop to let someone go, but you don’t have the right of way or it’s not obvious to the people behind you why you’re stopping, someone may try to pass you.

            Reply
        2. Laura (Needs a New Name)

          The stopping on getting on green so someone can turn left is a Thing in Rhode Island and it terrified me. A COP did it to me once! I was like “don’t you know there are rules ?!”

          Reply
        3. Mel

          I had a driving lesson on Saturday (lived overseas and my US license became very expired), and my instructor lambasted me for waiting too long at stop signs. I assumed it would just be extra courteous if I was slow, but he said it showed that I didn’t know who had the right of way. (Most of his feedback was about how I was too worried about what other drivers might do.)

          Reply
        4. Always Lurking, Never Commenting

          I was once approaching an intersection with a blinking yellow light, the cross road had a blinking red light. The intersection was three lanes wide and someone in the middle lane decided to be “polite” and stop to let the cross traffic go, almost causing an accident since the cars behind them were not expecting a full stop like that. The other two lanes continued as they were supposed to, so the cross traffic could not go anyway.

          Reply
  10. Orlando

    OP#3 Heh, I can totally see myself doing the weird leaving-with-no-acknowledgmenet thing when I was a little younger and couldn’t speak human. Something like “my role here is finished. My superior will handle the exiting pleasantries. I should vacate the premises to free up space and boost efficiency.”

    OP#5: Gah, no, the standing protocol is fine. A space has to be vacated from within before it can be refilled from the outside.

    Reply
    1. The Expendable Redshirt

      Or like the Clan of the Cavebear book. The Clan doesn’t have a sign for goodbye, because it’s self evident that the person is leaving. Usually, they just walk off after ending a conversation.

      I somewhat wish exiting pleasantries didn’t exist.

      Reply
  11. Claustrophobia Anyone?

    Number 5
    Bathrooms are smaller rooms, generally, than wherever you are coming from to go into it. The person leaving the bathroom should have the right of way simply because of the awkwardness of stuffing another person into an already small room and then making way for another person to leave. Even if the bathroom is large, think of it that way. Letting a person out of a smaller area before putting another body in said area. Let the person leaving the bathroom out, and then make your way inside. It really is that simple, the same as elevators.

    Reply
  12. Akcipitrokulo

    In our bathroom, there’s a small hall just before it – so it’s whoever is in the hall first gets right of way!

    Reply
  13. Specialk9

    Managing upward can be really hard. Figure out for yourself how important the internal project is, and how much a failure will reflect on you. Then let that inform how aggressively you purse things. Alison’s scripts are great though. Understood you need to cancel, but I’m going to do X because of the deadline. If they don’t like X, they’ll reschedule quickly, but more likely they will let you run with it (best case scenario).

    I love the ‘respond by X date or this draft goes final’ email to managers. I wish I had discovered it years ago!

    Reply
  14. AMD

    #3, I totally did this to someone the other day without meaning to. We had interviewed them in one room, had them wait in the hallway, and then my co-interviewer who was leading said he would tell our interviewee what the next steps were. I realized after I had walked past them talking in the hall that maybe I should had said goodbye or been present for the next steps conversation, but I 1) wasn’t sure if I was needed for that, and 2) had my real work to get back to.

    I apologize on behalf of your interviewers, if you can accept on behalf of my interviewee!

    Reply
  15. JJJJShabado

    #4, I think Alison’s advice is 100%. From my perspective, I’ve gotten 3 friends interviews in my department. I recused for 2 out of 3. I do think all 3 of my friends are closer friends than what you are describing, but I think that if you think there is information to be gained, then you do not need to recuse. 2 of my friends, I had no information to gained (we were in each others weddings, there’s no way I wouldn’t push hard for them). The third, I do not know quite as well, so I at least wanted to see what he had to say. The interview itself shouldn’t be much different.

    I kind of want to be like Marge Simpson here (“Anyone who beats you up for wearing a shirt isn’t your friend”); because you are not the hiring manager, it should be understood that there is only so much you can do. Only 1 of the 3 got hired. There haven’t been issues socially for me.

    Reply
  16. CM

    For #2, I would ask, but would assume the answer will be no. I think OP#2 risks a little awkwardness, but otherwise has nothing to lose by asking. I would say something like, “I wanted to make sure you had ample notice before I left so I could complete Project X. Since you announced voluntary redundancies after that, I was wondering if I would be eligible.” Most likely scenario, they will say no, but it’s possible they will say that it does seem unfair and offer something.

    Reply
  17. RabbitRabbit

    I hate the elevator politeness duel at work. I am a woman who works at a medical center, and employees are supposed to defer to patients and their families/companions when it comes to elevator access, among other things. I’m sure it will feel nice to the older gentleman with a walker and a very unsteady gait to be trying to wave me on/off the elevator before him, but the elevator doors also close quickly (many patients, many floors, must keep moving). I don’t want him getting whisked off to another location or chomped on by an elevator door because he’s not quite in the sensor area to keep it from closing. I usually move quickly but stick an arm out to hold the door while tucking myself around the side of the door to avoid blocking it.

    Reply
  18. ArtK

    LW #1: Alison’s advice is spot on. I’m going to add just one little thing. Make all of this communication in writing. Yes, you can say it at the time, but follow up with “Per our conversation this morning, if we can’t decide between X and Y by next Monday, I’m going to go with Y.” Always a good idea, but even more important when your partner is a manager. A sad fact of life is that if things fall apart, the manager is in a better position to throw you under the bus unless you have documentation.

    Reply
    1. DDJ

      It’s amazing how much more responses you tend to get when you include that you’ve already made a decision, and X is the thing that WILL BE happening, unless I hear otherwise. I always do these sorts of things by email so that if there’s a complaint about how I’ve done something, I can go back to the person and say “I sent you this notice Y days prior to the decision being finalized, and when I didn’t hear back I proceeded as I’d indicated I would.” The other thing this does, sometimes, is save some time because if the person from whom you’ve requested the input agrees with your decision, they don’t have to take any further action.

      Reply
  19. NW Mossy

    OP #1, have you been communicating with this manager exclusively over email? If so, try mixing up your communication method and see what you get. Some people will be much more responsive to an in-person “Hey, I need X” than they ever will to multiple emails saying the same, even if you as the sender wouldn’t behave the same way.

    Reply
    1. Former Retail Manager

      I couldn’t agree more! Everyone has their preferred methods of communication and, while most of us adapt as needed, some just refuse. My own manager is this way….e-mails aren’t read half the time, just saved in a folder. It often takes walking into the office and having a face-to-face if you need action to occur. Manager is also forgetful, admittedly, so I’ve gone so far as to send Outlook reminders/appointments if I really need a certain action to occur or meeting to be held. If that meeting gets rescheduled, I’ll use verbiage virtually identical to what Alison suggested. I’ve never had any fallout from doing so. Manager is usually relieved that some action can be taken and he can just defer to me regarding whatever that action is.

      Reply
    2. OP1

      It’s a great idea, but I’ve tried email, impromptu office visits, scheduled meetings. None of them get a productive response. Lately I’ve been sending an email, getting a non-productive reply (usually letting me know additional considerations they’re considering), which I then follow up with a visit to the office with supporting material about the considerations they’re considering (that so far has yielded nothing), then following that up with an email that offers a course of action, which is ignored. (Repeat process each week) That doesn’t include the 5 meetings that the manager themself has scheduled (all of which have been rescheduled at least once).

      No doubt the manager is busy. And goodness knows, I am not taking this personally… but, I can’t help but start being insulted by the lack of consideration of my time and schedule.

      Reply
      1. Samata

        I can’t say I blame you. I was goign to ask the same question as NW. It can be hard to manage up and even moreso if this project is going to be a part of your evaluation and you ability to get a good review is tied up in her contributions. I don’t have any additional advice – I do think the “hey, I am thinking X will work” will be good enough. She might just be wanting you to take the reigns and it sounds like she is busy. It might not seem fair but this might be a case where you make the suggestions and just get a confirmation from her.

        Reply
      2. NW Mossy

        Rats – hoping I had an easy answer for you! It sounds like the manager you’re working with has analysis paralysis, so take Alison’s suggestion of presenting a fait-accompli proposal as a starting point. My guess is that the foot-dragging is coming from some latent fear that’s associated with actually deciding on a plan and executing it, so if you can uncover what that is, you might be able to allay it.

        In my org, one of the huge obstacles to decision-making is the fear that information that’s forthcoming in the future will drive us in a different direction. As a result, people keep asking for more info or delaying until this or that is done before we commit and we never end up deciding anything because there’s always something new coming down the pike. My strategy with this has been to name the fear for what it is (fear of being wrong) and emphasize that the world won’t cave in if we’re somewhat wrong because we can check in along the way and make adjustments as needed. As a recovering perfectionist, I can totally relate to that impulse, but I’ve had to learn that the world can’t always stop to make sure I’m 100% comfortable.

        Reply
  20. CBH

    OP2
    I’m not saying this as a form of revenge. It sounds like regardless if you stay at your company or not they have big changes coming their way.

    Is there a way for you to shorten your notice. I understand that you gave 3 months notice and are not burning bridges, but are you really needed there since they are reorganizing things with the lay off. Maybe you can give 1 months notice and take an extended vacation.

    Secondly is there a way you can use this to your advantage to negotiate a bit of a severance package. Are you locked into the 3 months? I mean can you tell them that somethign personal has come up and you want to shorten the transition period. If they insist you stay maybe you can negociate something.

    I agree with Alison that this is all in timing. Unfortunately it doesn’t look to be in your favor. Luckily though you do have a job to go to whereas your coworkers are just starting their job search. Good luck.

    Reply
  21. jj york

    #5 – same as an elevator. Allow people to move from the smaller space to the larger space first. Presumably, the hallway outside the restroom holds more space than the restroom. Just my engineering take on things.

    Reply
  22. Siberian

    I think Alison’s answer to OP#1 is perfect. It reminds me of dealing with my controlling and passive-aggressive ex-husband (although in this case I don’t hear any indication that this is what’s motivating the OP’s coworker). We needed to sell our house during our divorce, he was the one still living in the house, and he wouldn’t respond to calls from our real estate agent about when they could hold open houses. Since my ex had assaulted me during the breakup I had to keep my distance. Our agent told me, “I can solve this. I’m just going to leave voicemail messages for him saying, ‘If I don’t hear from you by X time, I’ll be holding the open house this Sunday.'” My ex never got back to him and the agent, who had a key, would proceed with the open house. I used this technique whenever we had a scheduling issue with our young daughter, since my ex refused to speak to me for several years. “If I don’t hear back from you then I’ll pick up Daughter on Friday to take her to her doctor’s appointment,” etc. It’s been 20+ years and I still remember that lesson.

    Reply
  23. Kms1025

    Op #1 I think you really need to be careful since you are dealing with a manager. You don’t want to come across as remotely insubordinate. Who is in charge of this whole project? Maybe ask that person how best to proceed?

    Reply
    1. OP1

      The VP of my division is the one running the show. There’s no way that I am going to bring this up to him. At best I will come across as petty and at worst I will appear to be incapable of working with others. I mentioned it in the most positive light in passing to my boss the other day when we were discussing the project generally… as in, Sebastian likes to consider all the angles and has been very thoughtful about what path we should take. But, if we don’t get the ball rolling soon, I’m going to have to raise my concerns to my boss, who hopefully can help turn the motor on.

      Reply
  24. la bella vita

    Rant somewhat related to #5: the bathrooms in my office have a button to automatically open the door for people with disabilities. The problem is that well over half of the women on my floor use it *every single time* they enter or exit the bathroom. This means the door stays wide open for a good 30 seconds while you’re using the restroom. I find it so creepy and invasive, especially as people are sitting in cubes directly outside the bathroom and are just walking by the open door in general, but apparently everyone else is fine with this.

    Reply
    1. SSS

      Drives me crazy when I see people use the auto-open buttons on doorways for no reason. I watch people walk all the way across a hall to go push the auto-open button and walk back to the door rather than turn a handle. To me, this constant use seems like it will wear out the mechanisms faster and make it unusable at some point (while waiting for repairs) when someone truly needs it.

      Reply
      1. Allison

        Same! I saw people use them all the time in college, and it drove me nuts. It also bothered me on really cold days where the door would stay open for a bit before slowly closing, letting lots of cold air into the lobby. All because someone was too lazy to open the damn door themselves.

        Reply
      2. Hrovitnir

        Huh. I always use the button if they exist, because most of the doors at our university are broken due to people pushing them open when they have a button (there are some signs saying to use the button but people ignore them). Ie: the electrical mechanism no longer works as people have effectively forced the door. This probably doesn’t apply to all mechanisms but it’s made me wary, since it’d suck to get around our uni in a wheelchair.

        Reply
    2. la bella vita

      Yes! I try not to judge individuals, because anyone could have a non-obvious disability, but I totally judge the practice in general. Same goes for people who take the elevator up one floor. Some people of course really need to do things like this, but it’s so inconsiderate of others if you aren’t doing it out of necessity.

      Reply
  25. AdAgencyChick

    #2, I’d just take this as a lesson moving forward not to give so much notice at future jobs.

    Yes, if you’d given two weeks’ notice, you might have created a tough situation for whatever project you’re working on. But that’s just the normal course of business — people quit, duties get reshuffled, and people deal with it. If an employer has treated me especially well, I might give them a month — but not three.

    Reply
  26. Bookworm

    #3: I also wouldn’t read too much into it. Sometimes it’s a genuine miscommunication on their part as to whether that is THE end of the interview or whether the main interviewer has anything else (an assessment, additional paperwork, a quick tour of the facilities) on the agenda or whether the interview has finished.

    There have been a couple of instances where one of the interviewers didn’t realize I was not going to be going by their office/work space in the tour and so no handshake. Again, more of a miscommunication rather than they hate you.

    Reply
  27. Good Afternoon!

    I always think of it as the person in the smaller space goes first. As a way to “make room” for the other person.

    Nowadays I usually have kids and diaper bags in tow so it’s usually to everyone’s benefit to prioritize physical space.

    Reply

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