Labor Day open thread

It’s Labor Day and I don’t think many people are around and reading … but for people who are, if you want to have a really sparsely-attended open thread (work, non-work, whatever), please go for it in the comments here!

{ 514 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Ramona Flowers

    It’s a normal working day for me – I’m in England and we had our bank holiday last week. I’m currently stuck on a train due to signalling problems…

    Reply
        1. Miso

          Oh, you know how it is: Autumn, trains don’t go because of the leaves. Winter, trains don’t go because of the snow. Summer, AC on the trains doesn’t work. Spring – eh, too much rain, or maybe a tree on the tracks or someone jumped or they’re just late – they’ll find something…

          Reply
    1. Jules the First

      I feel your pain. I cannot for the life of me understand why the train “being held to regulate the service” is always the one I’m on, instead of the one I missed by ten seconds…

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth West

        If I’m on the tube and it happens, it’s while we’re in a tunnel. Every. Time. Which is kind of creepy, because then you wonder if you’re going to be trapped forever.

        For those who’ve never been on the London Underground, only about 45% of it is actually under the ground/ in tunnels.

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        1. You're welcom

          “Did he ever return no he never returned, & his fate is still unlearned; he will ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston, he’s the man who never returned.”

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        2. Artemesia

          The last time this happened to me I was on the way to the airport — or to Victoria station to catch a train to the airport — and I had no idea how long we would be stuck underground in the dark. I always leave a little time to get to airports, but I had no plan B if stranded in the tube underground for an hour. Luckily it was more like 10 minutes — but it was long enough to induce panic at missing a plane.

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      2. Bryce

        Because the one being held is always the second one in line. When you’re in the first car and it doesn’t get held, you never know.

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  2. roslin

    I have good working conditions, can take another day off anytime in the fiscal year because I’m working on Labor Day, have had the same situation for the past ten years,…and I still am annoyed I’m working on Labor Day! I work in academia where we can’t close due to students. I’m sure the students would not mind the day off…

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  3. Katie the Fed

    I’m trying to clean out the house/nursery to make room for the baby. Can someone please explain to me why I thought I’d be a professional dinner-party thrower? WATER GOBLETS? Why did I register for those? We’ve used them precisely once. Sigh.

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    1. Legalchef

      Haha! We brought two carloads of stuff to the Salvation Army when we cleaned out the nursery/storage closet in the nursery.

      Reply
    2. Janelle

      Last time I moved I realized I had so many candle holders, different types of glassware, etc etc etc. I finally brought a bunch to Goodwill. It was just out of hand. I feel your pain. You know how many times I used any of those, maybe minus candle holders? Never. Not once.

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    3. Ghost Town

      China, crystal, and silver. Bc of course you register for that when you’re going to move half way cross the country for grad school. 12 yrs on, I’m not sure whenrwe last used any of it.

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    4. SaraV

      We were “forced” to register for fancy china by my husband’s stepmother. Of course, that was their wedding present.. 19 years later, and it’s still somewhere at my parents’ house in a neighboring state. It’s going to be sold in one way or another when I get a hold of it.

      Not to mention, my mom has my grandmother’s wedding crystal from the 40’s. Not sure what to do with that when the time comes.

      Reply
      1. many bells down

        Hah my stepmother tried to get me to do that too. Mr. Bells and I had both been married before, we didn’t need anything. She told me I was a “bad hostess” if I didn’t tell my guests what to buy me.

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        1. danr

          Well, we got married before the days of registries. Since we were putting two apartments together we already had the basics, we had bought our own china and glassware, so… we put out word that we wanted something interesting. We only got two duplicates and everything else was interesting and useful. In addition to cash gifts.

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          1. My Name is Bob

            Registries date back to the 1920’s so I doubt you did. Maybe you mean “before the days of crazy online registries for things other than china and crystal”?

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      2. Not So NewReader

        You can try selling the crystal. Do you know what the brand or pattern is?

        There’s plenty of books on depression era glass. (Yeah, the 1940s would be in that category, as manufacturers kept making many of the patterns they had in place.)
        Or you could check out “replacements dot com” to see if they would be interested in buying it. They have been around for as long as I can remember and they have quite a variety of china and glassware.

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      3. Stellaaaaa

        In all honesty, young adults moving out for the first time will take that stuff for cheap if you don’t care about making a profit off it. I’ve seen the nuttiest collections of mismatched (I mean “bohemian”) dishes and silverware in post-college apartments, because that’s what the local Goodwill had at the time.

        It’s so funny, my mom hates her real wedding china and in her 50s decided to splurge on the Old Country Roses china she always wanted. She uses it about once a month. The ugly china is probably going to end up traveling with whichever one of my siblings needs ugly plates.

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    5. the gold digger

      Primo couldn’t understand why I didn’t want his parents’ silver and crystal when they died. Aside from the obvious – I want no reminders of them in my home (although their ashes are on the bookcase in Primo’s office), I don’t use that stuff.

      I told Primo that if we could sell it, I would take it, but otherwise, if he wanted it, he would be in charge of polishing it because I am done with that.

      He sent it to his obnoxious half brother Ted after Ted implied – once again – that Primo had stolen an expensive bracelet that Doris had promised to Ted’sWife. (He sent the silver along with the entire contents of Doris’ jewelry box. Well played, Primo!)

      Reply
    6. Artemesia

      You never know. When I bought a set of danz china for 10 about 30 years ago (seconds, they were a real steal) we had 10 cups and saucers which we literally never used for 20 years. We use coffee mugs and we don’t serve coffee after dinner at dinner parties because no one seems to drink it then these days. And then my husband got his espresso maker which he uses every day and these cups were absolutely perfect for cappuccinos and are now in constant use after sitting in a closet for 20 years.

      We use the champagne flutes every time we have guests because bubbly is our choice for the cocktail hour most of the time.

      when we moved from giant house to tiny condo a few years ago, all of the crystal went to an auction house because I didn’t like it and didn’t use it. We gave all the other dishes, pots and pans, small appliances etc to refugee resettlement and started over in the new town.

      It is always hard to know what to keep and what to throw away/give away. I just know that every time I open up a box from storage I wonder ‘why did I keep this piece of junk?’ and then I regret things I got rid of like the kids metal tonka construction trucks — what was I thinking when I didn’t hang on to those?

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    7. Talia

      I presume water goblets are what you set out next to the wine glasses at fancy dinner parties?

      I’m in the process of going through two sets of grandparents’ stuff (well, my mother is doing most of it, but I’ve been helping), and thus I am now interacting with several sets of china and crystal and silver. And I’m reaching for one set of each because someday I am going to have dinner parties. Judging by the responses here, I don’t have a high likelihood of actually doing that, but I live in hope!

      Reply
      1. Artemesia

        I am retired; we have a couple of dinner parties a month at least and we go to them at other people’s houses. It is a really fun way to get together with friends. And when you are starting up, potlucks are much cheaper than going out to dinner.

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    8. Thlayli

      When I moved in almost everyone got me wine glasses. Then when I got married we got about 4 more sets of wine glasses.

      People must think I’m an alcoholic.

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    9. Floundering Mander

      My parents decided that after 35 years in the same house they wanted to move. They were fortunate in that they were able to buy the new house and slowly move their stuff from the old one, rather than having to do it all at once. Which is good because it’s been astounding what has emerged from the forgotten corners of the house. Toys I thought I’d ditched decades ago, glassware that belonged to my grandmother, electrical doo-dads that my father had long forgotten about, and seemingly millions of books. It’s taken them nearly 9 months to move everything out and get rid of the extra stuff, and we still have a family storage unit to clean out!

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    10. Kiwi

      We have dinner parties pretty often, if by dinner party you mean friends come over and we all eat dinner. We buy the cheapest wine glasses we can get our mitts on because our friends help set the table and clean up afterwards and at least once a year someone drops a tray of glasses. I like the idea of a Bohemian set of opshop glasses.

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    11. Lightly-chewed Jimmy

      if you like them then put’em in the cupboard and use’em for water or juice or whatever every day, because every day is a special occasion :)

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    12. Woman of a Certain Age

      My parents got married in 1958 and received a gift of Waterford crystal which remained in the box until they moved into a large house with a large built-in china cabinet in 1997. I had never seen them until that time and they had been in their box for almost 40 years. They have used them occasionally since they unpacked in 1997.

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      1. Workaholic

        My senior year of high school mom started buying me stuff for my hope chest and future home. I have 20 or so coffee chips and sauces for pfaltzgraff tea rose collection. I don’t drink coffee but feel a little guilty at getting rid of them all. They’re part of the set i still use.

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    13. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

      I heard so much of this kind of lamenting before our wedding that we chose to register only for Corelle (for me the Klutziest of all) and some nice flatware. I appreciate everyone who vented about their China and stemware that never got used :)

      Reply
    14. Pol

      What’s registering for china/goblets/etc.? Google seems to indicate it’s something you get in the US with a marriage license? Do they just send you plates? What?

      Reply
      1. Neruda

        A gift registry is generally made by engaged couples in preparation for their wedding. The bride and groom go to a shop and make a list of all the things in that shop they might like to receive as a wedding present. These are listed at the shop. You ‘register’for those gifts. (You can also do it online these days). Your wedding guests then go to the shop and choose a gift from the list. The point being that as the bride and groom have selected it, they must want it, and it avoids duplicate gifts.

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    15. DivineMissL

      Post them on Craigslist or Ebay so they can go to someone like me, who ADORES all the fancy china, silver and glassware!

      By the way, water goblets and assorted glass items make great votive candle holders at the holidays, with some fresh greens and a few ornaments at the base. Pretty and cheap!

      Reply
  4. Economist

    Today I’m remembering a Labor Day years ago when I was in graduate school–I was taking my labor economics comprehensive exam on Labor Day, and one of my fellow grad students taking the exam was worried that his very pregnant wife would go into labor while we were in the exam. Labor cubed!

    Reply
      1. Not That Anne, The Other Anne

        I was due on Labor Day and people kept asking my mom if she planned it that way.

        And then I decided the world was far too interesting to stay in the womb and decided to make my arrival early, so there went that joke.

        Reply
    1. hermit crab

      Ha, that’s fabulous! My dad is an OB/GYN and, for an embarrassingly long part of my childhood, I assumed that Labor Day had something to do with his job. I had no idea why the rest of the country got the day off!

      (He also received a nice houseplant one time from some colleagues at an organization that I — very logically for a small child — assumed was called “Plant Parenthood.”)

      Reply
  5. Madalena

    I get paid terribly, I have an awful work schedule that allows me almost no social life, my boss is volatile and unreliable etc. And yet I have such a hard time trying to move on because I really do love the work itself. Everytime I job search and look at job adds my soul dies a little because really, I don’t want a different job, I just want this one to behave! Which it’s never going to. (yes I talked to my boss multiple times, nothing ever changed). What to do do :(

    Reply
    1. fposte

      I bet you’ve had friends say this to you about bad boyfriends who are really nice sometimes. Do you tell them they should stay and maybe they can make them into the boyfriend they want? Or do you say,”Dump him; you deserve better, the good stuff isn’t worth the shit you put up with”?

      That’s just too many bad factors at once here. If you don’t leave now, when are you going to leave?

      Reply
      1. Madalena

        It does feel a bit like a bad boyfriend situation, yes.
        I think I just need to sit on my butt and job search away, because really, what’s the worst thing that can happen? That I don’t find a new job and things stay the same.

        Reply
    2. WG

      I could have written a similar post a few years ago. I really liked the work, but the conditions were terrible. I did finally move on to somewhere else. And now I really like the work and the conditions are much, much better. It can be a bit scary to change what’s familiar, but the rewards can be well worth it.

      Reply
    3. Butch Cassidy

      It being Labor Day and all, have you tried asking around to see if other people have similar grievances as you? There’s still power in workers organizing to get things at their workplace fixed. You could keep doing the work you love, but you and your coworkers would have gotten the employer to behave through your own action.

      Reply
    4. Thlayli

      Can you try to mentally shift so you recognise the parts of the job you dislike are actually parts of the job? It’s like you’re thinking the job is great but all this extra stuff that comes with is bad. But those extra bad things are part of the job too.

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    5. Not So NewReader

      I had a job that I totally loved. It was THE job of my life. For many reasons I had to let go of it. This involved a 9 week long migraine. Someone pointed out that a migraine like that happens AFTER the dreaded event. Boy, I guess.

      I analyzed what went wrong there. I got really attached to the job. I realized that in the future I would need to watch that because it led to bad decision making such as staying too long and getting even more attached.

      I have had some pretty cool jobs since then. Every one of them has had advantages. Has it been the same? No. Absolutely not. And in an unexpected surprise, I am relieved that it has not been the same.

      Reply
    6. Casca

      I recently moved on from the same thing because even though I loved the work, the job and managers were making me a less happy person. The work is something I would have to move to do elsewhere since there’s only one team in each state/territory.

      I’ve been gone for 2 months and it was definitely the right decision. I’m less stressed/drained. I see friends more and when I see them, I don’t complain about work. I’m also in contact with former colleagues and the drama never ends- only escalates.

      I will learn to love other work but I have to take care of myself to make it happen

      Reply
    7. A Person

      I hear you. I’m slowly working towards the qualification that should help me get out of my current job, and everytime I talk about it/work with my friends (who work similar jobs which they complain about), they pull a ‘the grass isn’t always greener’. It super sucks. I try to remind myself that 1. At least with the qualification I’ll have choices about the shade of green I put up with and 2. I’m doing the best I can with the resources I have at my current workplace.

      I think you’re doing the right thing, looking at jobs, so take your time and work up to finding something that’s a good fit and go from there.

      Reply
    8. Zip Zap

      Job ads can be depressing. They’re often not written to make the job sound appealing. There can also be a “bottom of the barrel” sort of thing where companies that have a hard time finding candidates are over-represented.

      Have you tried other job search strategies? Like networking, volunteering, asking people if they’re hiring, etc. Sometimes things go better face to face (and it can be more fun too).

      My experience has been that a social life is good for job prospects. I’ve gotten more job offers from hanging out in bars than from sending my resume out. I know that sounds controversial. I don’t mean to advocate drinking. I think anything social would work just as well. Think outside the box, get out and talk to people, and let them know what’s going on. Most of us have been there.

      Reply
  6. Going crazy employee

    My manager disclosed her mental health diagnosis and medications with our group. She has started asking during meetings if I’ve been evaluated for such condition.
    Her behavior is very bizzare at times like being upset at me for turning pages in a meeting and saying I’m distracting her. She now says I speak too fast but only she has ever had an issue with what I say. How do I address bizarre behavior with my manager or go to HR?

    Reply
    1. fposte

      This is a few different things at once. Asking if you’ve been evaluated is deeply inappropriate. Saying you speak too fast for her isn’t, on the face of it–it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak too fast for other people, it won’t hurt you to slow it down a little for her–and it is possible to be distracting to people in meetings.

      As a package, though, it makes me uneasy, and I’d consider going to HR with the fact that she has asked you more than once about your getting evaluated and that it makes you supremely uncomfortable.

      Reply
      1. Zip Zap

        And the fact that she’s doing this during meetings! Something isn’t right here. I would definitely say something to someone.

        Reply
      2. Engineer Girl

        Make sure you list all the behaviors. Each by itself might be explained. All together it is a pattern of bizarre behavior.

        Reply
    2. Bryce

      Not that it in any way excuses the inappropriateness of her behavior, but if she’s just started treatment I can shed light on some of it. The shift when medication first kicks in can be like cleaning a window that’s been dirty your whole life, and since we can’t see into other people’s heads and tend to project, it’s easy to assume that everyone else is walking around with dirty windows and get evangelical about it.

      (and then, to extend the metaphor, as treatment goes on we realize that there’s still a lot of gunk left on that window and spend years figuring out how to get it off, and it’s never “truly” clean but at least we can see through it now and it keeps getting cleaner as we find new techniques/solvents)

      Unfortunately none of that gives an answer to how to approach her about it, even if it’s accurate to what’s going on.

      Reply
    3. Observer

      Slow down when you talk to her. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a problem for other people – it could be a problem for her.

      However, the combination of the multiple criticisms and asking you if you have been evaluated for a condition during meetings MULTIPLE TIMES is incredibly inappropriate. So, go to HR with that and loop in her boss, if you can. Leave out the fact that she’s shared a mental health diagnosis – it’s not relevant from your point of view. And you don’t want to have even the faintest whiff of you complaining because you discovered that your manager has a mental health condition. It’s possible that the condition helps to explain the behavior, but from your point of view, that DOES NOT MATTER. What matters is that she’s subjecting to some extremely inappropriate questioning in public and accompanying it with what seems like ultra pickiness about your behavior.

      Is she doing anything like this to anyone else?

      Reply
      1. fposte

        Crap, I missed that she was asking that during meetings–I just saw the part about Going distracting her. Yeah, HR that soonest.

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    4. A. Non

      The next time she does it in a meeting, go straight to HR afterward, and name names of people in the meeting who heard her say this and let them know it’s happened multiple times.

      Reply
    5. Temperance

      Not knowing what her dx is, it’s hard to give advice, but it sounds like she might be fixated on you for some reason. I would talk to HR, confidentially, because you can’t really reason with someone who isn’t operating with the same set of facts you are.

      Reply
  7. Nervous Accountant

    Spent 3 days at home, sleeping, and watching psych.

    I’m kind of excited to go back to work but kind of not. In contrast to previous holidays, when I was psyched to go back on Monday/Tuesday, I’m just eh. Funny how a few weeks ago things were very different.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous because

    I’ve got today off but have to work tomorrow to get paid for today before taking a 1 week paid vacation. I asked my boss prior to taking my PTO because i wanted to make sure I received holiday pay. Co-workers think there may have been miscommunication in the chain (he checked policy with HR). There’s so much work I’ve decided I’m okay working tomorrow but it’s still a bit irritating.

    Reply
    1. Gaia

      I’ve worked somewhere with similar policies. If a holiday was on a Monday and you normally work Sunday – Thursday you had to work your Sunday and Tuesday shifts in order to be paid for Monday OR you had to have PTO on Sunday and Tuesday – Thursday. TO make it even better, if you worked Sunday but were late: no holiday pay. If you worked Sunday and Tuesday but had to leave early on Tuesday: no holiday pay.

      I do not miss that job.

      Reply
    2. KR

      There was a similar policy at old job. There was also a policy where you could only have holiday pay if you worked that day as a regular part of your schedule. Okay, that makes sense except that I worked part time and flexed evening hours and the end of the week because of the nature of my job. Because I worked flex hours, even if I worked literally every Monday that year I was only eligible for 5 hours for holidays because of the fact that I worked a flex schedule at all. It was so annoying because I’d have to make up the other three hours somewhere else in the week.

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    3. Old Cynic

      Heh. Reminds me of a manager I worked for.

      I worked for a company that had a use it or lose it vacation policy, resetting on January 1. I joined mid year, so had 23 hours vacation to use.

      Coming off a major software implementation of working 6 weekends, lots of unpaid overtime (being exempt), I decided to take the 3 days before Thanksgiving and use my vacation time. I was docked for the 24th hour. As an exempt employee.

      Ugh. Still nags in my craw.

      Reply
    4. Thlayli

      My husband was entitled to 3 days paternity and when My water broke on Friday morn he went into work otherwise they would have counted the paternity as fri, sat and sun even tho he doesn’t typically work weekends. His boss let him go unofficially after a couple hours and paternity was mon – wed

      Reply
    5. Doreen

      I’ve had jobs where I had to be in pay status on the days before and after a holiday in order to be paid for the holiday*, but never one where I had to actually work the days before and after the holiday. Maybe that’s the sort of miscommunication your coworkers are thinking of.

      Reply
      1. No Name Yet

        Yes, as a US federal employee, this was the case. I took a mix of sick time, vacation time, and leave without pay for my maternity leave, and I made sure to have either sick or vacation time around the federal holidays, so then I got paid for them – if I had taken a LWOP day right before (or maybe right after?, can’t remember), I wouldn’t have been paid for the holiday.

        Reply
    6. Engineer Girl

      We had that for sick leave. If you were sick before and after a holiday then you coded sick for thas holiday.
      That was NOT true for vacation and holiday. You could do those back to back.
      Any chance your PTO is combined sick/vacation? Otherwise I’d challenge it.

      Reply
      1. Workaholic

        I will be double checking policy for future. But i would be too stressed with everything on my to-do-list so I’m okay as it stands now. My travel plans are cancelled anyhow (pretty much everywhere i wanted to go is on fire, plus car repairs killed the travel budget) so it’s a staycation.

        Reply
  9. Victoria, Please

    I’m working at my dining room table on project planning for the rest of the year. I have a huge flip chart and piles of post-it notes for writing down everything and then moving it all around.

    Does anyone remember those dot-matrix printer papers? The ones with green and white stripes, that were in a long, long perforated sheet? I LOVED that stuff both as a kid and as a student, so awesome for planning and writing. Does it still exist? Better yet, anyone have a stash they’d sell me????

    Reply
        1. Artemesia

          Or loading up a complicated program to run and coming back to the computer center two hours later to find it aborted because of a missing comma somewhere in the stack.

          I once drove into an intersection and saw two of those huge long boxes of bunch cards which had spewed their cards in a wide arc across the street. I just assumed that was the only punched copy of someone’s dissertation data.

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    1. Lady Ariel Ponyweather

      Dot matrix paper is the best thing ever. You should be able to still get the paper as many places do still use dot matrix printers. Do a search and see what comes up?

      Reply
      1. Never Nicky

        And now you can get post its which are all sticky apart from a small strip so you can do your planning and they don’t move unless you make them move! I am in love…

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    2. GiantPanda

      Not giving up my stash, no.
      (I Inherited a lot of 70’s paper from my Mom when she retired. She won’t give me the punchcards though.)

      Reply
    3. Victoria, Please

      IT STILL EXISTS!!! I am happy!

      I think I’ll email some of the retired computer science faculty on campus and see if they have stacks. Part of the fun is using people’s old program sheets.

      Yes, Golddigger, I had one of those wreaths. Staple ’em, spray paint ’em green, stick on a bell and a toy squirrel and a red bow, good to go.

      Reply
    4. NacSacJack

      For a while, my parents had a surplus supply of pink dot matrix printer paper. Imagine handing in my hs or college assignments on pink paper. After the first professors rejected it, I learned to get to the school early with my 5 1/4 diskette (yes, I’m that old) to print out my paper on white sheets.

      Reply
  10. Elizabeth West

    It’s just another day for me. All days are the same now. Though my trash company is working–they just picked up my rubbish. I hope they got holiday pay.

    I have all this time to write and yet I can’t seem to make my fingers or my brain do anything. It seems to go better when I have something to work around. But why bother? Nobody wants this book. Why bother writing a sequel? Why bother doing anything at all?

    Reply
    1. bunniferous

      I write songs and I have the same issues. What I have to do is come up with deadlines somehow. Because if I have openended time it just does NOT happen….ugh.

      I do have a day job but I pretty much set my own hours on that one too, but that one has deadlines built in. But today, we barbecue!(or in my case go TO a barbecue….)

      Reply
    2. Another Writer!

      I feel your pain! Without some kind of directive, I can’t seem to focus on anything for more than a few thousand words before it feels like the story is dead and I’m just staring at a flashing cursor day after day. Have you tried a “writing sprint” group? Just knowing that I’ll be reporting on my productivity every 15 minutes helps me so much. I may only write a couple hundred words, but it’s a couple hundred words closer to THE END.

      Reply
    3. Hellanon

      About 10-12 years ago I decided it was time to write the novel I was sure I had in me, and set about taking writing classes, working with writer’s groups, and carving out the physical time I needed to launch into writing. All of it went really well – except the actual writing, which was an interesting revelation. Eventually it did lead to other things, which I do enjoy way more than novel writing… but the point for me was that one of the parts I disliked the most was the continual feeling of not having any control over the work’s reception, in that I could do the best writing I had in me, work with multiple rounds of editing & critique, and still – I had no control over whether my work would be judged “enough” or not.

      I have enormous respect for anyone who can withstand that process. I couldn’t. It is hard, and it is everyday, and only you can come to peace with it. It sounds a bit like you are fighting one of those battles… I wonder if it wouldn’t help to put the queries down, write the sequel (and maybe the third book), go back in and re-edit the first, and query them as a package? So many books seem to be coming out in series form that an agent/publisher might be more motivated if your current book can be presented as Part One.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth West

        That’s what I’m trying to do–finish the series. I don’t think it would be so bad if anything else were moving, but nothing else is moving. I can’t stand this gridlock one more second.

        Reply
  11. Suzy Q

    Just popping in to say Thank You to Alison for this site! You have helped so many people, me included, with your knowledge and wisdom. I hope you’re having a great day!

    Reply
  12. Lemon Zinger

    Spending my day off by getting up to speed on my reading and homework for grad school. Afterwards I will enjoy the rest of my day by… cleaning the bathrooms. Oh joy.

    Reply
    1. Get a Haircut

      Ha, and I thought I had an original idea! Taking a break from bathroom cleaning- just finished the tub. Shiny!

      Reply
    2. The Other Dawn

      I went to the store to find shoes for an upcoming work seminar. Total bust. It’s really tough being a size 12 women’s shoe. :/ Seems like I can only shop online for them, which stinks because I really need to try shoes on; sometimes I’m a wide width and sometimes I’m not, depending on fit. I hate getting them in the mail and then having to ship them back and wait for another pair.

      Reply
      1. Ruh Roh, Raggy!

        Have you tried Nordstrom Rack? The one in my area always seem to have a decent selection of larger shoes, and I’ve heard the same in other places. Although I’ve only looked for 10-11, so my impression may be off.

        Reply
        1. The Other Dawn

          Yup, went there right after the other store. They had my size, but really nothing that I actually wanted. I’m also really tall, so the 4″ heels were a little too much for me. There was a pair of shoes that I really liked, but I could only find one shoe. I checked all the surrounding racks and couldn’t find it. Either someone decided they only needed one shoe, or it got lost under a rack or something.

          Reply
          1. SignalLost

            Some Racks, and I’m sure you’d know if yours was one, only stock one shoe out; you have to get the other at the counter.

            I feel you though. I’m 6’4″, size 13, generally wide width. And I hate ordering shoes online.

            Reply
          2. Anonymous Ann

            I wear an 11 & have similar issues – I buy nearly all of my shoes at Payless (they go up to at least 13 I believe) online & just order a ton at a time & return what doesn’t fit/I don’t like to the store. Inconvenient, sure, but at least I have shoes! Also once I find a style I like I order ALL the colors!

            Reply
    3. Junior Dev

      This was a hard week and I didn’t do any cleaning so I’m doing it now. Have laundry in the dryer and dishes in the dishwasher, and I’m about to go finish cleaning the kitchen.

      Reply
    4. Shayland

      I need to clean my bathroom as well.

      My mom came over to my house for a bit, helping me put away the shopping. She asked to use my restroom before she left. I warned her that I was going to clean it tomorrow.

      She said, “Is that to let me know it’s going to be gross?”

      I said, “I don’t know, I don’t know what normal people find gross.”

      She took a look and said, “It’s pretty bad.”

      I made a sad noise.

      “Most public restrooms aren’t covered in dog hair.”

      Reply
    5. Zathras

      I scrubbed down my kitchen!

      I am now trying to think of a tactful way to explain to my roommate, who is under the impression that he cleaned the bathroom, that one needs to scrub the tile until all the mold is gone, not just pass the sponge over it once and call it good.

      Reply
      1. Artemesia

        This is a losing battle. Can you teach him to spray the shower walls with diluted bleach after he showers (and you shower first of course in this scenario)? When I did this about once a week after my husband showered, we had no mold in our white/white grout tile shower for 25 years. WE actually scrubbed the thing down completely rarely and usually squeeged the glass door and wiped down the tile to keep moisture down after a shower. The bleach totally prevented mold growth and we could close the door after doing it and turn the fan on, so it wasn’t a respiratory hazard.

        Reply
        1. Zathras

          I know, I’ve been losing this battle for over 10 years with various roommates. I swear I’m not even *that* clean of a person, but when I decide something needs cleaning, I don’t screw around. It’s weird to me that other people are content to spend time cleaning something without actually making it clean.

          Thanks for the diluted bleach idea! I might be able to get him to do that.

          Reply
    6. AvonLady Barksdale

      I deliberately didn’t clean the bathroom this weekend because my bf did it last weekend and was soooo proud of himself because he bleached the shower and took the drain cover off and got all of the “sludge” out of there. Then I came home from my family visit and discovered that he had scrubbed the shower, the sink, and the toilet, but… he didn’t vacuum or clean the floor.

      Do I want to be right… or do I want to be partnered? I made my choice.

      Reply
  13. Legalchef

    My baby slept through the night for the first time last night!!! I’m hoping this sticks, since I start back at work one week from today (holy. moly.).

    But today he’s been pretty cranky. Maybe getting adjusted to sleeping through the night?

    Reply
    1. LaterKate

      Ah, to first full night of sleep is so, so good! Hope the sleep sticks around, and that your first at back to work goes smoothly!

      Reply
    2. Artemesia

      None of mine slept through till about 6 mos. They only needed one feeding in the night — but I remember how brutal those days were of never having a full night’s sleep. Congrats and hope it keeps up.

      Reply
  14. Drew

    I’m technically working because I’m flying back from a work conference. (And I’m not just technically working, because after I post this, I’m going right back to actual work.)

    I’d hoped I would be able to take a day off later this week, but it looks like there’s no way I’ll be able to do that and still get the work done that I have to do in order for others on my team to meet their deadlines. Maybe I can cadge an out-of-office work day and head over to the nice coworking spot near my house.

    Reply
  15. Anon today

    Thanks Alison for this open thread. My dad is likely to have surgery tonight. I have been sent home by my mum and siblings as my partner and I are due to fly out on vacation tomorrow. I’m worried about my dad but both parents say I have to go as can’t do anything to help. An anonymous internet post is my venting. Staying away from my own social media as my dad would hate that.

    Reply
    1. Observer

      I hope all goes well with your father. And, you can feel good that you are handling this in a way that your father would appreciate.

      Reply
    2. Not So NewReader

      We are supposed to trust that we are where we should be. This is hard because many times it does not make sense.
      Trust. And may you be given comforting insight as to why.

      Reply
      1. Anon today

        It is really hard, I know whatever I do I should be somewhere else. Hopefully that insight will come soon and I’ll be in the right place when it does.

        Reply
  16. Justme

    I just started a grad program. Someone in one of my classes found me on LinkedIn and has requested to join my network. I find this very odd.

    Reply
    1. Sparkly Librarian

      It seems normal to me — I connected with anyone I did a group project with, because those are the people who know my work and can recommend me for a job. Nothing says you have to accept, though!

      Reply
    2. Kate the Teapots Project Manager

      Personally, this doesn’t feel inappropriate to me as LinkedIn is a social network for professional connections and as a graduate student in the same program, presumably this person is in the same professional area as you.

      However, I think writing back and saying “hey, I don’t like to add people on LinkedIn until I know their work a bit better,” or just ignoring the request should deal with it fine if you’re uncomfortable.

      Reply
        1. Angelinha

          If you’re in the same grad program, that counts as a professional area! Accept or don’t, whatever, but I wouldn’t send them a note explaining why you’re declining their request. That would come across as really over-the-top.

          Reply
    3. Durham Rose

      I think this is normal. In my grad program it seemed a lot of people were in it for networking, they are all thinking 2 years in advance about who can help get them a job. It may be obsequious but at least in my experience this was normal for my program.

      Reply
    4. Anonymous Poster

      This happened to me all the time in my MBA. I wouldn’t find it odd, they’re mostly just trying to network.

      MBA is different than another grad program, but even in my engineering masters I wouldn’t have found this too odd.

      Reply
  17. Who is Sparkly Librarian?

    This AAM commenter is headed to “the Los Angeles area” to tape an episode (or maybe more?) of Jeopardy!

    (I feel compelled to use the proper trademarked name, but it makes me seem overly excited to bring it into conversation.)

    Reply
    1. Fafaflunkie

      Congratulations! Say hello to Alex Trebec on behalf of us all! Of course we can’t compel you to tell us how well you’ve done until the episode airs, but we can ask when will the episode air. Please?

      Reply
    2. SL #2

      Hooray! I’ve been to Jeopardy and Wheel tapings before, they’re so much fun, but the contestants always look so nervous. Best of luck during your tapings!

      Reply
      1. GH in SOCal

        Whoo hoo! Good lunck and have fun!

        I watch J! regularly and have other friends who’ve done well at it. The Number One Rule I learned from them is: don’t guess! You can win without getting a lot of questions right, if you avoid throwing money away by ringing in and getting them wrong.

        Reply
  18. no name supervisor

    Happy Labor Day everyone! I’m glad there is an open thread on a day have off (Friday is always too hectic for me to post here). I am having an issue at work. One of my reports kept coming to work drunk or getting drunk at work. It was daily thing and she was not hiding it well. We live in a downtown core and she took transit and doesn’t have a car and we work in an office pushing paper and not in place with heavy machinery but as we know drunk people can be obnoxious and not pleasant to be around when you are trying to work. There were several complaints about her and people were resigning and leaving for other jobs because of it. The HR department and finally got involved because she made a big scene one day and was ranting and yelling and also because one of her colleagues got a lawyer because of harassment my alcoholic report was doing. I took over as the supervisor right after HR got involved because the old supervisor voluntarily retired (he was pushed out for failing to act about the alcoholic report and allowed to retire). She has been given accommodation for a disability. She has access to FMLA and uses it on days she has appointments for rehab and doctors or when she is too impaired to come to work. The issue is she has had slip ups where she comes in drunk and has to be sent home. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous in extreme cases but she wasn’t that far gone and has been medically cleared to come in if she hasn’t drank and is withdrawing. I understand it is not her fault and she is not doing it on purpose but she is moody if she hasn’t been drinking and obnoxious if she is drunk. It is almost an untenable situation for my other reports because he behavior affects them and no one wants to work on or with this team because of her. I was brought in to replace the old supervisor. How can I balance the needs of my report who is an alcoholic with the needs of the rest of my team. I am having a tough time because I want to be fair to everyone. Advice is wanted and appreciated!

    Reply
      1. no name supervisor

        I can’t fire her because she has an ADA accommodation. The company and HR already tried to head down that road and they had to backpedal to avoid being sued. She did an inpatient stint and is now outpatient. As per her accommodation she is going to outpatient rehab and therapy now, and since it is a legally recognized disability and she is following the plan she can’t be fired for it. I don’t agree because I see the effect it is having on the rest of my reports but my hands are tied by HR and the accommodation. She has curtailed the drinking, is doing rehab, 12 step or therapy and isn’t doing anything dangerous or causing accidents. I wish it were different but there is nothing I can do and since I’m not a medical professional or accommodation expert I can’t tell her what to with her FMLA because she is following her plan and it would be interference which would get me and the company in trouble.

        Reply
        1. KR

          Yeah, I agree with the other commenters that you need to document like crazy. And hold her accountable like “Jane, I heard fr several different people that you were moody and snapping at them this week. I know you’re going through some difficulties but I need you to be more pleasant to your co-workers.” Then follow up next week so it’s documented that there are complaints and issues with her work.

          Reply
        2. Naltrexone?

          Consult with a lawyer to confirm, but my understanding is that the ADA protection for addiction is frequently misunderstood as protecting any and all addict-y behavior. Specifically, her coming in drunk and needing to be sent home is very likely not a reasonable accommodation.

          Frankly, if your company won’t step up and manage this effectively, I would start looking for another job.

          Reply
        3. no name supervisor

          I have been documenting and speaking with the HR department. There are lawyers involved already on both our side and hers and they made the plan which she is following and why my hands are tied. I know it may come to me having to get another job but I’m afraid because of how rough the market is and I have moved into a new rental and need to make at least what I am making now to afford my rent. I appreciate the responses everyone.

          Reply
          1. Observer

            It’s not enough that she’s supposedly following her plan. If your lawyers don’t know this, send them to the ADA handbooks.

            I’ll post some links separately.

            Reply
            1. WellRed

              Yes. Are running they actually employment lawyers or some sort of corporate lawyers? We fired the last person ( well, the company) that drank on the job. It didn’t helo that she was busted for DUI. In our parking lot.

              Reply
        4. fposte

          Of course she can be fired–she’s coming to work drunk. That’s not a reasonable accommodation, and she’s not doing her job. The ADA doesn’t protect that. Your employer is losing money in her job and on the people who are leaving because of her, so their defensive approach is hurting the company.

          Reply
          1. neverjaunty

            Exactly. no name supervisor, I understand you’re getting this all through HR, but none of this makes sense – an appropriate accommodation is ‘we arrange her hours to allow her to attend rehab’, NOT ‘she gets to come to work drunk’. You may want to ask HR some pointed questions about exactly what legal advice they are getting and from whom – if it’s “oh, Jane’s an HR professional and she has some legal training on the ADA”, then the advice is wrong.

            The ADA does not require you to make the ‘accommodation’ of allowing an alcoholic to show up drunk when other employees are not allowed to.

            Reply
              1. fposte

                Just to clarify, no name supervisor, I don’t mean you–I mean your company, which seems to be running in blind panic here.

                Reply
        5. Artemesia

          Accommodating an alcoholic doesn’t mean you have to tolerate drunkenness on the job. Your HR needs to step up and deal with a lawsuit if necessary and this behavior should never be tolerated. You need to focus on the behavior, document it and not subject other workers to it. This sounds like a serious misinterpretation of reasonable accommodation by and HR that is to timid to hold her accountable for aversive behavior. You don’t get to be a jerk at work because you have a medical issue whether physical or mental.

          Reply
        6. Elder Dog

          There was a court ruling over a year ago that an employee could be fired for being drunk at work even after the employee had disclosed her alcoholism and that she was being treated for it. I think it was Home Depot? They had given her time off and rearranged her schedule to accommodate AA meetings and she’d been to EAP. The court ruled they could enforce their general drug free policy and hold her to the same performance standards as everybody else.

          Your company’s lawyers might want to take another look at that case.

          Reply
          1. Artemesia

            Exactly. I had a colleague who was an alcoholic and he was told ‘rehab or you are fired’ and the manager supported his rehab and leave. But our lawyers made it clear that we could fire him if he fell back into into the old behaviors that lead to the ultimatum. He turned it around, turned his life around and was forever grateful for that ultimatum. Your company needs better legal advice and the courage to stand up to an abusive employee who thinks they can use legal threats to misbehave.

            Reply
        7. Observer

          HR is wrong. She’ll probably sue. But she’ll lose – the rules are pretty clear. You can’t fire her for going to rehab. But you most definitely CAN fire her for coming to work drunk and making it hard for people to work with her, even if she is supposedly following her program.

          Reply
          1. Observer

            https://www.ada.gov/employmt.htm

            Q. Can an employer maintain existing production/performance standards for an employee with a disability?

            A. An employer can hold employees with disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as other similarly situated employees without disabilities for performing essential job functions, with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer also can hold employees with disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as other employees regarding marginal functions unless the disability affects the person’s ability to perform those marginal functions. If the ability to perform marginal functions is affected by the disability, the employer must provide some type of reasonable accommodation such as job restructuring but may not exclude an individual with a disability who is satisfactorily performing a jobs essential functions.

            Being sober and reasonably behaved falls under “essential functions”

            This is even more relevant:
            Q. Are alcoholics covered by the ADA?

            A. Yes. While a current illegal user of drugs is not protected by the ADA if an employer acts on the basis of such use, a person who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if s/he is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct. An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace and can require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol.

            Reply
          2. Not So NewReader

            Yeah, I was thinking leave the alcohol out of the write up and just write her for what she says.
            She is killing your business by driving employees away.
            Make it very clear that she MUST be cooperative and professional at all times. (Notice no mention of alcohol here.)

            Reply
        8. Temperance

          Showing up to work drunk, though, is not something that has to be accommodated. The company needs to consult a lawyer and get her the hell out before she destroys the working environment for everyone else.

          Reply
          1. Managing to get by

            Yeah, my understanding is that an accommodation for alcoholism would be something like not requiring the person to attend work functions centered on drinking, not accommodating them being drunk at work!

            Reply
          2. Everything Bagel Fan

            Perhaps drug test when she shows up drunk. Actual proof not just an assumption by her behavior. Just another paper trail…

            Reply
    1. Hellanon

      Perhaps she could take a longer, full-FMLA leave and devote herself in a more dedicated way to rehab? I don’t think accommodating an illness necessarily needs to involve accommodating frequent disruptions & abusive behavior toward coworkers. She’s making choices here, both in continuing to drink and continuing to behave badly, and tolerating the latter tips you as her employer into the realm of enabling the former. As well as subjecting her coworkers to something they haven’t signed on for but seem to be responsible for tolerating.

      Reply
    2. Observer

      How can I balance the needs of my report who is an alcoholic with the needs of the rest of my team.
      ==========================================================================

      You don’t. Keep HR involved. But you need to have ONE serious sit down with her, preferably with HR present, in which you lay out the expectations to he. No coming to work drunk. No getting drunk at work. No obnoxious behavior – anything that would get anyone else into trouble gets her into trouble. Period. Full stop.

      Then start documenting the behavior. She come in drunk – she gets sent home. She gets sent home 3 times, she’s fired. Any other misbehavior on her part gets treated EXACTLY like misbehavior from any other employee, with the same negative consequences.

      The rules around the ADA are clear on this. You cannot fire an alcoholic who is in recovery and is dry. You cannot fire some for taking time to go to rehab / treatment / whatever to deal with alcoholism. You do NOT have to allow or accommodate misbehavior just because it’s because of the alcoholism.

      Reply
        1. Academic Librarian

          FMLA isn’t a free ticket to do whatever you want. I was in a similar situation with a report. Go over the job description. Investigate by interviewing the colleagues affected by the behavior with specific examples.
          Have a meeting with HR present. Go over point by point with the employee. Have the employee sign a statement that these behaviors/performance issues will cease. There is no 80%. Document, document, document. Make sure that you have the same expectations of all of your employees.

          Reply
  19. Cruciatus

    For people who bought a home while single, how many square feet did you go and do you regret not going bigger or smaller? I feel shamed by the internet because I seemingly prefer more space than seems usual and so many forums say anything more than 1000 sq. ft. for a single person is obscene. Except…the houses where I’ve felt most comfortable are in the 1700-2000 sq. ft. range. And of course, layout also really matters here. Square footage isn’t my only criteria of course, but this is just what I’ve noticed–that I’m more comfortable in a larger space. I don’t want a 3000 sq. ft. house or anything, but is it so crazy to want 1700?

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth West

      No.
      You need what you need. Single people who have frequent guests will need more space than someone who doesn’t. If you have a hobby that requires you to spread out a bit, like quilting or some sort of craft, you will want extra space. If you’re tall and don’t want to bump into walls all the time, you’ll be happier with a little extra space. It’s all down to what you want and if you can afford it. Bigger houses will have higher utilities–if you have the money, go for it.

      My house is 780 square feet. I know people whose apartments are bigger than my damn house (2 bed, 1 bath, extremely cramped 1952 post-war cardboard tract house). I HATE IT. If only I had one more room….and a second bathroom. I don’t know what I was thinking.

      Reply
      1. Iowan

        That sounds like my place! The original part of my postwar prefab house is 864 square feet, and at some point an addition was put on that brings the total to 1,020 square feet. Without the addition I would hate it, but the extra room makes it much more livable. However, I do regret being talked into buying a 3-bedroom house “for better resale value”. I live alone, but I would gladly give up that third bedroom for a second bathroom.

        Reply
    2. Kate the Teapots Project Manager

      If you can afford the space and want to spend your money that way you deserve the space! You would be buying a house anyway, it’s not like you’re somehow taking a house away from other people.

      Reply
    3. anon24

      My husband and I have an 1100 sq ft apartment (2 bedroom, we use the second bedroom as our den with our entertainment center and normal living room stuff). It feels small and I can’t wait til we can move to something bigger, like 1800 sq ft.

      I grew up in a family of 6 in an 1150 sq ft house. The first time my mom came out to see our place I cheerfully told her that it was 50 sq ft less than our old house. We then walked around horrified that our whole family had fit in such a tiny space.

      Reply
      1. SignalLost

        My dad’s family lived most of his life in a house smaller than my current apt. Family of four, postwar housing stock, small town with limited options, etc.

        My apt is 650 square feet. My mind boggles.

        Reply
    4. Lynn

      My first house was about 800 square feet. Just me – not even a fish or houseplant. I didn’t work at home then, didn’t work out at home, didn’t have many hobbies other than video gaming, and didn’t have much interest in cooking or other homemaking type activities. It actually felt pretty big to me while I lived there.

      My current house is about 1500. I have pets; I work at home; I have a couple space-intensive hobbies; I like gourmet cooking, sewing, design, woodworking, and similar activities; I have regular houseguests; and I have an extensive book collection. The house seemed huge when I bought it, but now, I wish I’d opted for my second choice, which was about 2000 and would have had room for a dedicated home gym, eat in kitchen, and separate library instead of the multi-use spaces and galley kitchen I have now.

      You need the space you need. Spend some time really thinking about how you use the space and how your needs might change in the next five years.

      Reply
    5. Hellanon

      You should buy what you want & are comfortable in. I have a number of single friends living in historic houses that are 1500-2500 square feet, and the “extra” space allows for amenities like guest rooms, home offices/studies, laundry rooms, etc – by no means the extravagance or extra work of having rooms you’ll never use, but certainly adequate space for enjoying your home. (My apartment is 1400 square feet & certainly doesn’t feel “obscene”! And I use all my rooms…)

      Reply
    6. Merci Dee

      The house I bought in May is 1,050 sf, and it’s comfortable for kiddo, a cat, and me. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, and an open living/kitchen/dining. Doesn’t sound huge, but the space is well-planned, so it feels larger than it is. I was looking at the long game when I bought this place. My kid will be 13 at the end of the month, so she’ll only be here for another 5 years before college. I won’t need a huge house once she’s gone, and this place doesn’t take much time to clean. It’ll be a good home for aging in place, and that’s what was foremost on my mind.

      Reply
    7. Drew

      I just bought a house well over 2,500 sf. I don’t need that much space but I sure enjoy having it – and right now two of the three bedrooms are designated “guest rooms” because I’ve told various cousins and nephewnieces and siblings and friends that as long as I’m free, they’re welcome to the space with SOME advance notice.

      For now, I’m enjoying taking my time filling up the rooms as I get to them.

      Reply
    8. Marzipan

      I’m in the UK where we don’t really tend to think about homes in terms of the square footage, but I’m all for going as big as you want and can afford.

      Reply
      1. Generic name here

        I’m always fascinated by this. I have precisely no idea what square footage my abode is. I’d love someone to tell me but can’t be bothered to do the legwork to find out.

        Reply
    9. fposte

      My house is 1700 feet. And on the one hand, I love my house, and I didn’t want anything smaller when I bought it. And on the other, now that I’ve been here for a while, I know I don’t need several of the rooms, and when I eventually move I’ll want something smaller.

      So I don’t think there’s any need to buy smaller now just in case you want it later, but I’d be open to the possibility that your priorities might change down the line. And the concrete advice I’d give is don’t fill space up just because it’s there.

      Reply
    10. Cristina in England

      We have a 4 bedroom that is 1150 sq feet. At least 200 of that is actually just hallway. A friend of mine has a 3 bedroom 680 sq foot house (no hallways, just landings). How can this be? I sometimes wonder that myself. Everything here (UK) is smaller than in the US. Ovens, fridges, you name it, smaller. Also we have fewer windows so you can put furniture up against more wall space than you can in the New England styles I grew up in/near.

      If you want the space and you can afford it, go for it! Layout matters so much though, more than actual square footage.

      Reply
      1. Cristina in England

        Oh, and ceiling height will also make a difference on top of the actual square footage. For practical purposes it means you have more wall space for cabinets or shelves or paintings, but it also makes a room feel a lot bigger. Old Victorian properties in Glasgow are an excellent example of this (but the Victorian flats/houses have great room sizes generally compared to newer homes).

        Reply
    11. Thlayli

      I have no idea of square footage but I always knew I wanted to have a family so I bought a family home by myself. Now I line in it with my husband and 2 kids.

      Screw what the Internet says – you do you.

      Reply
    12. Soupspoon McGee

      My first house was about 750 square feet, plus a full, unfinished basement. It was too small, and the tiny closets made it really difficult to find an accessible, logical place for everything. My second house is about twice that size. When I lived alone, it was perfect–I had room enough for an office, a guest room, and creative space in the basement. Then my BF and his two boys moved in with their assorted stuff, and it feels crowded and cluttered again. So, buy as big as you want. If people give you grief about it, it’s not their business.

      Reply
    13. Floundering Mander

      Buy what you want! I know tiny houses are trendy and all but as long as you’re happy to do the vacuuming, who cares? It’s your house!

      Reply
    14. SignalLost

      Think about furniture. I added a new bookcase recently, because I keep adding books, and my living room now feels super cramped. It’s been a couple months, and I’m still not done with the planned redo of the living room, but I don’t think it won’t feel cramped in the place I spend the most time. If you have a space-intensive hobby or collection, go larger.

      Reply
    15. Anono-me

      It is YOUR home and YOU need to be happy with it.

      It is YOUR major investment and YOU need to be smart about it.

      Also you never know what tomorrow will bring. (Just look at Gru.)

      Reply
    16. rj

      I live by myself, no pets. I rent a duplex that is 1100 square feet. This would be enough square footage for me if it were better organized. Find a place that is well organized and suits your needs, however many square feet that is.

      Reply
    17. Book Lover

      First was about 1750 sq ft – 2 bedrooms and a loft, small patio house. I used the second bedroom as a guest room, had the loft with a desk and computer and didn’t use them much, but enjoyed the downstairs and my bedroom. Second was 2400 sq ft, three bedrooms and a loft, and I again enjoyed my room and downstairs and never really used the rest of it. Then I had my son and it was just right.

      I think the issue for me is that the room sizes seem to go along with the rest of it? So if you want it to feel spacious you end up with more bedrooms…. Anyway, I was happy with both homes, even if there were unused rooms.

      Reply
    18. Middle Name Jane

      Not crazy at all! I’m single and bought a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single family home that’s just under 1700 square feet. It’s the perfect size.

      Buy what you want and can afford. Don’t let others influence you. This is the most important purchase you’ll make.

      Reply
    19. Aardvark

      Buy what makes you happy and that you can afford!
      1700 ft^2 seems totally reasonable.
      I bought an 1050-ish ft^2 home. It’s a good size for me + 1 dog right now, but if the real estate market were less dumb here (or I were rich) I would have gone larger so I could have a formal dining room and room for a full, well-lit studio.

      Reply
    20. Temperance

      Nope. I think it’s really silly that you would have to only have a smallish house because you don’t have a partner. I mean, what if you meet someone? Smaller homes are harder to resell.

      Reply
    21. Snargulfuss

      Nope, not at all crazy. I recently bought a house that is about 1550 sq ft, and I love it! Even though I live alone, I wanted something with at least 3 bedrooms and two full baths. In my area homes with less than that are harder to sell, so I was thinking of resale when I set my criteria. I use the master, I have one bedroom set up as a guest room, and I use the final bedroom as an office/library. People occasionally ask me if I’m going to have a roommate and I joke that I don’t have space for a roommate. (I know, I know, first world mentality; I just love my rooms the way I have them set up now.)

      Reply
  20. Ask a Manager Post author

    So we found a contractor to remove the kudzu that’s all over our trees and ground (it’s highly invasive and will kill your trees if you don’t remove it). He estimated it would take three days at $2100/day. (This is less than other estimates I’ve gotten; trust me that it’s a decent price for the area). They started today, and had three guys work four hours. They just left. They showed up at 10:15 and left at 2:30.

    I … feel uncomfortable with this. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I thought he’d said he’d send a crew of five guys. I said yes to that daily rate thinking it would be more guys and more hours. It’s definitely hard work and I wouldn’t expect eight hours straight of it, but at least six? Definitely more than four? I don’t think I would have agreed to that price if I’d realized it was for such a short day. Also, the main guy wasn’t here today (he’ll be here the other two days though) and I wonder if he even knows what hours they worked.

    I don’t have any experience dealing with this stuff though. People who do, am I being unrealistic? I should push back on this, right?

    Reply
    1. The Other Dawn

      It’s not exactly the same thing, but my BIL works for himself doing masonry work, as well as some other construction-type stuff. His typical work day is six hours, as he’s usually out in the hot sun. And it’s tough work whether he’s inside or outside. From what I understand, six hours for that type of work is typical.

      Four hours definitely seems a little skimpy to me and I’d ask them about it. Hopefully it was a short day because it’s the first day on the job. Maybe tomorrow will be six to eight hours?

      Reply
    2. Myrin

      I’m obviously in a completely different geographical area from you so who knows how well my experience translates into American customs, but if that’d happened to me here, I’d immediately approach the head guy about it as soon as I saw him. Something like “I’m so glad you’re here today! I’ve got a question because I was super confused the other day when your crew came around – they only worked from ten to two. Is that how it’s supposed to be? Did I misunderstand something?”. I’d probably tack on something about the daily rate and the promise of five guys as well but see what he says first.

      Reply
    3. Anon attorney

      I don’t have any direct experience of this, but I wouldn’t call that a day’s work either. However, in the spirit of results based management, do you think they’ve done 33% of the work? If so, then they’re on track to deliver, and although I’d be annoyed in your shoes too I don’t know if I’d raise it. Perhaps tomorrow will be a nine hour day. Either way I’d be calling the contractor to clarify what a “day” means and what labor he is going to supply for the rest of the contract. I’d also be making clear that the agreement was to do the job in three days and that remains your understanding (and you won’t pay if it runs over).

      Reply
      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        It’s definitely not a third of the job, which is what worries me. Not even close. But yeah, I think I made a huge mistake in agreeing to a daily rate without finding out exactly what was included in each day.

        Reply
        1. LG

          Yeah, this is stressful! I echo other folks who are suggesting you talk with the main guy tomorrow morning (in person if he shows up, by phone if he does not.) Or if you have an email for him, even go ahead and email tonight to clarify that the daily rate was based on a third of the job getting done each day, so you expect to pay that total for the finished job.

          I’m glad that at least you’ve found a way to jump on the kudzu removal! I know it was stressful when you first moved in, and am sorry that the removal process is stressful, too.

          Reply
    4. Helena

      I would definitely speak to him. It could be that today was a short day because of Labor Day. Maybe a piece of equipment broke. Maybe it was too hot, or there was a chance of lightning or whatever else with the weather. Maybe there was a rare bird in one of the trees and they had to cut it short by law (this happened once at a site I was working on, they had to bring in wildlife experts to extract and take the bird somewhere else). Maybe they will work a much longer day tomorrow. You are right to want clarification for sure, I would wait to see what the explanation is before feeling uncomfortable. I have worked both office and outdoor manual labor jobs and the latter can be a whole different animal. Definitely speak to him to see what the explanation is and whether or not it was reasonable. If they work longer tomorrow and the next day, and all the work gets done in the timeline he gave you, it may all balance out. Now if he said he would work longer, all three days are short and it doesn’t get it done on time and there is not a reasonable explanation, than you can be uncomfortable and go from there.

      Reply
    5. Gaia

      Oh I think you need to talk to the contractor and find out why it was a short day. Maybe you’ll hear that because it is a holiday today was short and that will be made up for over the next two days but if you don’t, I’d be having a conversation about what is normal. Six hours a day is normal for this kind of thing, 4 is not.

      Reply
    6. Zip Zap

      I would complain and ask to pay one sum for the entire job and not by the day. Then suggest a reasonable price based on your research. If he doesn’t budge, call another contractor and get another estimate. Then call the first one and repeat that information. Be prepared to cancel. You have every right to negotiate as long as you’re paying them market value for the work.

      Reply
      1. Zip Zap

        PS – Here’s a way you could begin the conversation:

        “Hi John! I have a question. When you said it would be $2100 per day, how much work did you mean per day and how many hours?”

        As I’m sure you know, be friendly but assertive at the same time. Good luck!

        Reply
    7. Uncivil Engineer

      I had a bit of a disaster with a contractor last year and the best advice I can offer is to make sure you say something right away. I didn’t and I ended up wasting a bunch of money.

      I hired a contractor to do a big, maintenance job at a given rate that he estimated would take 3 weeks. After the first week, I knew it was too big a job for his crew to handle but, since I had already paid them 1/3 of the money, I didn’t say anything. 6 weeks later it was “finished” but the quality was poor. I ended up paying him the full contract amount (minus the amount he owed me for breaking my window) just to go away. I’ll end up having to hire someone else to redo it in about 2 years instead of the 7-10 years I should have gotten out of it.

      At least I had a full contract cost and not a daily rate. That was probably not a good idea considering he could see all the work that needed to be done. There should be no surprises and, if there were, you could have negotiated a separate price to deal with the surprise. I’m a fan of paying people for a defined scope of work, not their actual time. I suppose that comes from years of watching certain construction crews drag their feet on my projects at work while others finish up quickly, take their money, and move on to the next project in an efficient manner.

      Reply
    8. the raven

      Construction worker here. This is rather odd to me. If you signed a contract where it says they would do it in 3 days and they don’t get it done in 3 days and try to hit you with an extra days worth of fees, I would definitely bring this up.

      All that said, I would definitely bring it up with whoever is in charge of the crew and find out why they cut things so short. Even with it being a labor intensive job, an 8 hour day is what should be expected as that is what you are paying for. I see people from every trade working 8 or even more hours on a regular basis, even in hot grueling conditions.

      The bottom line is this: you agreed to a daily rate with the condition that it would be done in 3 days. Hold them to that. Best of luck.

      Reply
    9. neverjaunty

      Yes, you should push back on this. 10:15? These guys are the latest landscapers ever.

      I suspect there’s a reason that he had the lowest estimate.

      Reply
    10. Schnapps

      3 people x 4 hours = 12 people hours

      I had housecleaners that worked it that way – they promised four hours and had two people for two hours.

      But I would clarify with the contractor if thats the case . He may not know that they took off after 4 hours.

      Reply
    11. Mimmy

      I’m betting they cut it short because their main guy wasn’t there to keep them in line and they just used the holiday as an excuse. I would absolutely bring it up tomorrow if the main guy shows up. If not, call him.

      Reply
    12. Not So NewReader

      My friend does contract work.
      I never realized what a hodge-podge this type of work is.

      Definitely talk to the lead person.
      It could be some guys wanted to work so he is giving you a freebie. (So put a hold on the upset until you find out if there is an upset.)
      It could be that key people could not come today so he sent the remainder to do some of work.
      Maybe someone got injured on the last job and he is trying to figure out what to do.
      He could be finishing up the previous job with his key person and they will both be there tomorrow.
      Maybe he is trying to find more people to come work.
      One contractor I hired lost his parent in the middle of my job. It was weeks getting back on track. What can ya do, really.

      Please talk to him. My friend goes through all kinds of stuff. One time a worker told my friend he could not go to work because he did not have socks. (You do actually need socks on your feet to protect from blisters etc.) My friend ended up taking the guy to the store to get socks before starting work. (The guy did not have a vehicle.) Of course they were late. This story is pretty tame, but my friend has some pretty wild stories of trying to get a crew together to work.

      What I have done in the past is settle for an adjustment in how many days it will take, but the price remains the same. (More days, same $$.) And I expect every estimate to be wrong, I usually pad estimates by 20% because of unforeseens. There are always unforeseens.

      Reply
    13. Book Lover

      So you paid $175 per hour per person today? Yes, that seems definitely off :(. I would approach the contractor tomorrow and ask about it, breaking it down that way and asking what the plan is for the rest of the job and getting some baseline hours and numbers in place. Sorry :(

      Reply
      1. Academic Librarian

        I would love a contractor thread. I have had the contractor who built my porch do my kitchen. When they pulled up the old tile, he said that they needed to put down concrete board. I said okay.
        The floor was tiled with porcelain tiles.
        The floor came out uneven.
        It never occurred to me to ask/put in writing / whatever that the floor had to be even.
        I asked for a meeting. I said to the contractor that the floor was not level. He said that it could never be level. That was an unreasonable expectation. It was an old house. 1950.

        I said I had two floors tiled in a 1850 apartment in NYC and never even thought this would be a problem.

        I said ok, not level but the tiles are not even. They were oddly uneven with each other and the ran on an angle about 5% to the center. If there was a drain in the center it would have been perfect.
        He said okay, no big deal they would retile the center section.

        The tiler came while I was at work two weeks later. I came home. It was even worse.

        I called the contractor. He had a meeting with the tiler. The conclusion was that he would need to pour a leveling compound then tile again.
        They ordered new tiles.

        This was four weeks ago.
        They are supposed to start the redo tomorrow.

        I wish I knew how to talk to him.
        Can I email tonight and say- work on the floor is supposed to start tomorrow?
        What exactly is happening?
        What is the time table?
        Is there something I should be looking for?

        Reply
  21. Anecdata

    Ooh! Since it’s a holiday, can we do foolish questions?

    Every single time I go on vacation, my manager quits. Adapting to the constant turnover is getting difficult. Am I obligated to disclose this to future employers (what’s your greatest weakness?) Should I just stop taking vacations?

    Reply
    1. Sugar of lead

      This sounds more like a low-level superpower than anything else. Next time you have a boss who sucks and isn’t going to change, all you’ve got to do to save the office is take a few days off.

      Reply
          1. the gold digger

            The product managers were giving an update to senior mgt. The product manager in charge of a certain motor said that the R&D team was adding more power to the motor. Then she said, “And with great power comes great responsibility.”

            I was the only one who laughed. I work with really smart people but apparently not with well-read people.

            Reply
      1. Falling Diphthong

        Our vacations bring on epic weather. It used to be record-setting rain, but then we switched it up with the occasional drought. And when we went to Hawaii the lava that had flowed for years briefly stopped, though I suppose that one is better than the opposite extreme.

        Reply
    2. Girasol

      We used to have one guy in the department who was famous in that every time he went on vacation a reorganization would be announced and he returned to find that he reported to someone else. We all knew we were going to get a reorg when he left for a week.

      Reply
    3. SignalLost

      Mine is that every time I take on an office job the company moves. Been through four so far and I’m talking less than ten cumulative years in permanent office roles.

      Reply
  22. Kate the Teapots Project Manager

    I’m at work today because I work for a UK based company with mostly American clients, and I find that I usually can move a ton of things off my desk if there are no inbound client requests due to the holiday. About to go do that now!

    Reply
    1. KR

      I’m taking today to do things without emails sailing in from everywhere! Love it! No one else in my company is working today! Holla!

      Reply
  23. The Other Dawn

    Anyone ever have an MRI on their lower back? If so, were they able to find the cause of your back pain? I’m wondering if it’s time for me to get one.

    I’ve had lower back pain for years, whether it’s very low level/barely noticeable, or awful and all I can think about, or somewhere in between. I sit at a desk all day, so if I have a muscle spasm it takes weeks for it to almost completely clear up. I live with it. I pull out my brace when I need it, take Tylenol, etc. Working out helps, but not always. Walking helps, but not always.

    This time I’ve had pretty constantly since the weekend of my brother’s death, which was a little more than a month ago (had to make three out of state trips in one week, so tons of sitting), is not going away. It started on the left side and felt like it does after I have a spasm. It seemed to be improving last week, but then it moved to the middle/right side for no apparent reason and it feels more like my spine is compressed or something. In other words, it doesn’t feel like the usual muscle pain. I tried standing at my desk for a while, and it helped slightly, but not nearly as much as it normally does. Keeping moving, whether it’s doing stuff around the house, shopping, or working out, hasn’t helped, because about 5 minutes after I sit down the pain starts setting in again. I can’t move around 24/7! Sleeping sucks because I start waking up around 3 am with back pain. Who the heck wants to get up at 3 am?! So I go back to sleep and then I’m in pain when I wake up at the normal time. I have a Sleep Number bed and tried adjusting it softer, firmer, in between, to no avail.

    UGH…anyway I’m thinking it’s time I have the ortho order an MRI. I didn’t do it last time because I knew it was a spasm and would clear up.

    Reply
      1. The Other Dawn

        Not this time, but I’ve done it before. It just comes back. Sitting all day at a desk is hard on my back. Plus I have mild scoliosis. Not sure if that makes me more susceptible to back pain or not.

        Reply
    1. periwinkle

      Get the MRI. My husband had persistent lower back pain and finally got it checked out. Even a non-medical professional like me could look at the MRI and point out the bulging disc! He now gets an occasional steroid injection to deal with it; he hasn’t had one in over 3 years but is now experiencing pain again so it’s time to make an appointment.

      Reply
      1. The Other Dawn

        That’s what I’m starting to think it is. Thanks for mentioning it! Part of me hopes they find something, so they can treat it and I’ll have an explanation other than being sedentary at work.

        Reply
    2. Ange

      I would say get the MRI – it may not show anything but at least you could rule out herniated disc and that type of thing. I just had one myself for lower back and will get the results on Thursday. I don’t expect mine to show anything – it didn’t when I had upper back pain. But at the very least it should rule some things out.

      BTW have you tried applying heat? That is sometimes the only thong that helps for my back pain.

      Reply
          1. Annon

            When I worked as a cam girl one of my clients referred to my thong as butt floss… It completely killed the mood for me and I had to end the day early.

            Reply
    3. Natalie

      My husband has. He has persistent sciatica that we originally thought was from an injury and he was getting physical therapy for it. That was helping a little bit but not completely, and when he got the MRI it turns out the real problem is spinal stenosis and the injury was just a coincidence. So he was able to try the steroid injections and may be getting surgery (consult is tomorrow, in fact).

      I’d say get it. It’s just information, at this point – it doesn’t obligate you to do anything.

      Reply
    4. danr

      Yes. I’ve had two. The first identified a pinched nerve and I had a steroid shot that took care of it. The second was after I injured my back getting my car off a snowbank. I tried the steroid shot again but it didn’t do anything, so I went with the surgery. The MRI is painless, just a bit claustrophobic and noisy. Then talk about the results with your orthopedist.

      Reply
    5. Gaia

      I had lower back pain for years that I treated as lower back pain. It wasn’t until last year that I realized it was actually coming from the back of my legs and my glutes. They would tighten up and it would cause pain in my lower back.

      Obviously this may not be your case, but if you’re going for an MRI, be sure to rule out other options first – especially if your insurance won’t cover the imaging.

      Reply
      1. fposte

        Heh. Just last week I thought my stenosis was getting worse again on the right side, and then I thought to tennis ball things out–worked a treat.

        Reply
    6. Amadeo

      I have had an MRI for back pain. It’s mostly for looking for soft tissue inflammation, which in my case it was useful for. I had (and occasionally have flare-ups of) sacro-iliac joint dysfunction/inflammation. Which is low, low center back and can be low level constant or feel like an aggressive pinch when the joint moves, either to the right or to the left. The MRI did pick it up when nothing out of the ordinary showed on X-ray.

      Might be worth it for you to get one done and see if something turns up.

      Reply
    7. This Daydreamer

      I am so sorry about your brother!

      Honestly, I think that your grief is making your back pain worse, along with sitting for long periods, etc.

      Reply
    8. fposte

      Yeah, it might be worth an MRI. That being said, most insurance companies won’t fund them just because you want one; they may require a certain amount of PT before they’ll cover it.

      Reply
      1. The Other Dawn

        I’m really hoping I don’t have to do PT, as I’ve done it before for the same thing. But I know that’s usually the path to take.

        I’m now in an HSA, so I wonder if that would make a difference in the cost? This is my first time in one so I’m not sure how something like this would work.

        Reply
        1. Amadeo

          I know not everyone likes them, but have you seen a chiropractor? It might be worth it. PT didn’t actually help my SI joint pain (matter of fact kind of made it worse, I think), but in addition to the ‘angry swarm of bees’ dex patch the chiro did three different adjustment things, one of which I asked to never do again because it made it worse (a rocking table thing that swung your legs up and down), one that I couldn’t tell made much of a difference but didn’t really hurt (the activator/hammer instrument that kind kind of thumps you) and the one that he did after the activator, which was a manual adjustment pulling that joint back into line where I laid on my side and he yanked on my hip. That last one was wonderful and while it didn’t last indefinitely while the inflammation was present, I could at least walk out in a lot less pain than I was in when I went in.

          I don’t know about your insurance, but I’d met my deductible by the time I got to the chiro and it covered all but about $40 each of my visits.

          Reply
          1. The Other Dawn

            I’ve actually used a chiropractor off and on since I was a teen (I’m 42 now). It helped when I was younger, but I wasn’t working at a desk back then either. I tried it last time and it didn’t really help anymore. I used to enjoy going, though, if only for the awesome back adjustment–I loved hearing and feeling that crack in my back.

            Reply
            1. TL -

              Can you get a standing/sitting desk or even look into a standing/sitting/treadmill option? It sounds like that would be a reasonable accomodation for you. You’re fairly tall, so you’re going to be a little more prone to joint injuries/troubles – hopefully your doctor will be all for helping you out.

              My brother is recovering from a back/shoulder injury and one of the things that helped was a job where he was standing/walking/doing light lifting (river tubes, so very light) for most of the day.

              Reply
            2. A Nonny Mouse

              I had back pain this spring that wasn’t helped by my chiropractor or physical therapy. My doctor suggested I try acupuncture. I didn’t expect much but was desperate, but it helped immensely – the pain was gone within 2 weeks.

              Reply
    9. Junior Dev

      I had sciatica last year and an MRI revealed it was due to a herniated disc. Two things helped: 1) physical therapy twice a week (and doing the exercises they gave me every day) and 2) high-CBD medical marijuana. I highly recommend PT if you haven’t had it yet. In my case I had underdeveloped core muscles and I’ve been able to prevent a recurrence by doing exercise to strengthen my core–planks, roller skating, weight lifting, at various times. But a PT will help you figure out what is right for you.

      Reply
    10. Thlayli

      My back got so bad at one point they thought I might have bone cancer. I had a Ton of tests to find out it was all muscular.
      Physiotherapist sorted it out for me in about 4 visits at about €50 each (probably gone up since).
      I don’t remember if MRI was one of the tests. I had an MRI before but can’t remember which thing it was for,
      If you haven’t already seen a physiotherapist try that first is my advice.

      Reply
    11. BRR

      I had an MRI for my lower back that found two herniated discs. But my series of events was a little weird as my lower back was not the location of my back pain for a long time. I hope you find out the cause!

      Reply
      1. fposte

        Yeah, that’s a thing too–bulging discs and pain don’t always correlate, so you can have a painless bulge and a bulgeless pain.

        Reply
    12. Book Lover

      So…. Imaging is not particularly useful for most types of chronic back pain. Some people have horrific looking backs and no pain, and others have good looking MRIs and chronic pain. It is usually necessary, or maybe just expected, to get imaging prior to injections. I guess the question is what you expect to get out of the imaging? Is it to assist in guiding injection therapy or surgery? Because otherwise I think it is kind of pointless? I mean, if there is worry about cancer, imaging is needed. And if there is an acute neurological deficit, then of course. But always reasonable to discuss with your primary care doctor of course.

      Reply
  24. Orange Fizz

    Question: who should you ask about future opportunities within a company when you’re already working for that company? For context: I’m a teen working retail, currently planning for college. Sometime soon I’d like to find out about opportunities with this company after graduation (whether they’ll hire part-timers for full-time positions, whether they’d ever be open to the possibility of hiring me specifically for a FT, higher-level job, etc) since I really like them and they fit in with my current career trajectory (such as it is). I’m asking specifically because that could affect my college plans, like whether or not I go out of state for college. Is this an appropriate conversation to have with someone in charge of hiring? If so, who do I talk to: HR or a manager?

    Reply
    1. Kate the Teapots Project Manager

      This may sound cold, but I would suggest that you don’t hinge your college plans on any promise from a company. Companies may try to gain your loyalty but the truth is they may not be there for you and a promise is a pretty empty thing.

      If they offer you something concrete in writing like ongoing co-op employment while you’re in school which pays for part of your tuition, that’s different, of course, and that is the sort of thing that you might hinge a school decision on.

      You are the owner of your own career. Companies will not “just take care of it.” So that means going to the best college you can afford for you and your own career.

      Reply
    2. Kate the Teapots Project Manager

      Oh! And to answer your direct question, I’d think HR would handle this, but if you more regularly see your manager, I would start with them and say “I’d like to find out about future opportunities with the company after I start college, should I talk to HR about that?” I think it can only help you for your manager to hear that you want to stay with the company so they can keep you in mind if something does come up within their sphere of influence, because personal connections matter.

      Reply
    3. Natalie

      It’s not clear to my how this would affect where you go to college? If they think you might be a good candidate for a full time job after graduation, why would that prevent you from going to a college out of state? You can always move back.

      FWIW, I’m glad I went out of state for college, particularly since I had not planned on moving back to my home city but here I am. Living somewhere else, even for a while, is a good experience to have. Particularly as a young adult, I think it helps you separate from your child/adolescent identity and develop your adult identity. YMMV.

      Reply
    4. Amy

      I’m a little confused. Are you wondering about continuing to work at this place after high school graduation, while also attending college? Or about possible future employment after you attend and graduate from college?

      If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t even bother asking. They won’t know what opportunities they might have available that far out, and they don’t know what skills and areas of expertise you might develop in college either, so it’s really premature to have that conversation.

      If it’s the former, I’d just talk to your manager. Presumably they’re aware that you’ll be graduating high school; if so, they probably realize that your schedule and what you’re looking for in a job might change at that point. Ask if you can have a quick chat, tell them you’ve really enjoyed working there and hope to keep doing so while attending college, and ask about potential opportunities for FT work and/or future advancement. Maybe they’ll have info for you; maybe they’ll be able to point you to the right person to talk to. Either outcome is good.

      However, even if they are open to bringing you on full-time in a higher-level position, I don’t think you should base your college plans around that. College is a several-year process, and even if this company really loves you and does their best by you, they won’t be able to commit to keeping you on for several years. They might go out of business, or move to a different location, or go through layoffs, or change management and go in a direction that doesn’t work for you, or a thousand other things that might not work out the way you want. I think you’ll feel more stable if you make college plans that don’t depend on working at this specific company.

      Reply
    5. AcademiaNut

      I definitely wouldn’t base your college applications on the very remote possibility of getting a job at the same place as your teenage part time job. Your own goals may change, and you will have a much broader idea of the job possibilities when you’re through the degree. And asking about employment and promotion opportunities for a period five years or more in the future is rarely a useful idea – things change too fast, and the people you talk to may well have moved on to new jobs by then. Plus, someone being a good part-time retail working as a teen is quite far removed from their potential as a full-time employee in a different position five years later, so a sensible employer certainly wouldn’t make any promises.

      What you could do is ask for a career chat with someone in the business. Explain that you’re thinking of a career in X, will be applying for university, and are looking for advice on career planning – what sort of major, what kind of skills are useful to gain. You could even ask what sort of internship/summer work opportunities they offer.

      Then pick your university based on what is best for you, ignoring the possibility of maybe working for this company in the future. Look at the quality of the university and the program you’re interested, financial considerations, what the life-style is like in different campuses and cities, and work from there. As you’re graduating, if your career goals are the same, apply for appropriate jobs, and mention in the cover letter that you worked there as a teenager, and that it was valuable work experience.

      Reply
  25. Embarrassed

    First time commentator. Thanks to Alison for the open thread. How do you handle it when you call someone out on a word they used and sort of make a spectacle or scene of yourself, only to have the 10 other people who were in the room and 14 other people who were on the phone line on speaker let you know you misheard and the word was completely different than what you heard? I’ve been at my job for less than 2 months and I am mortified about it. I know everyone is talking about me. My manager was in the room and someone from c-suite was on the phone line. I feel safe posting about it here because of how thoughtful the commentators are. Thank-you everyone. Hope you have a great day.

    Reply
    1. fposte

      I’m with Ramona Flowers. Presumably you in the moment said “Holy crap, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize you were talking about Immanuel Kant”; that’s all you can do. Hold back the impulse to correct people on anything other than the life-threatening for a while, and do good work, and it’ll all blow over.

      Sorry; that’s a real “wish the floor would swallow you” moment.

      Reply
    2. Thlayli

      Apologise to the person you insulted if you haven’t already done so – and just wait it out. If you’re friends with someone at the company try talking to them about it maybe.

      Reply
    3. Not So NewReader

      Part 1. Call or email the person. Tell them you are very sorry and you are putting this in your book of life lessons.

      Part 2. You will be okay. I promise. (I think that calling or emailing will give you points in your favor. Just as the story went right around about what you said, your apology will go right around also.)

      If you search I think you will find comment threads on AAM of people talking about stupid stuff they did at work and still survived. We have all BTDT in our own way.

      Reply
    4. ..Kat..

      But, also, don’t do this again. When you make a big deal like this publicly, even if you are correct, you look like a jerk. What was your motive for doing it this way? What will you do differently next time?

      Reply
  26. Generic name here

    My small child just decided, well past his bedtime, that he needed to write himself a note to remind himself that school starts tomorrow. I am so amused. Even if he forgot, the rest of us would remember!! :-D

    Reply
    1. Sugar of lead

      Aww. Kids are so adorable!

      I saw a post on social media recently that said something along the lines of “I love talking to kids; adults never ask me what my third favorite reptile is.” There was also an AMA on Reddit once where a dad was asking the questions submitted to his three-year-old and typing the answers. The result was as sweet as you’d expect.

      Reply
      1. Fact & Fiction

        My son has both a list of his 7-8ish favorite colors (some are tied) and favorite places to eat. He can tell you off the cuff what his fifth (or fourth or sixth) favorite is.

        Reply
  27. NaoNao

    Augh I am going job search follow up crazy!

    Timeline:

    Wednesday I get an interview request email from Dream Company; this email specifically asks for a call the next day, Thursday. Okay, I respond within an hour and say yes, I’m open but best time is after 3.30 MST.

    No answer until afternoon Thursday, asking for a call Friday AM. Okay, a few back and forth’s, and we set a time for 9.30 my time.

    I am all ready, and I get a “no service” note on my phone. My phone company has chosen to (mistakenly) turn off my service. Panicked, I race to my office phone, while pulling up the recruiter’s email to email her and ask for a schedule push. As I’m on the phone with my phone company, I get an email from her asking for a schedule push! Phew, crisis averted.

    I happily accept the schedule push for “later that day or Monday” and give her times on Friday, and note I’m open all day Monday.

    I don’t hear anything back until 4.30 Friday at which point she emails to say she tried to call a couple times but couldn’t get through (even though she asked for a push 4 minutes after the scheduled interview? not sure what happened there) and she’d love to talk to me Sunday or Monday “if that works.”

    I answer back sure, that’s great, I’m available all day either day.

    Sunday crawls by, nothing. This AM I send out a “touch base” email, just 3 lines or so “didn’t want to miss the chance to connect”. So far nothing.

    I mean, on one hand, it’s the holiday weekend, and I’d be a tad alarmed if she were working either or both days. But I am SO over the top interested and excited about this and want to cry thinking I missed my chance!

    She’s been nothing but sweetness and light and very accommodating so far, no reason to think I won’t hear from her Tuesday, but AUGH. The waiting! The uncertainty!!! The agony!!

    It’s like dating! But with money.

    Reply
  28. NaoNao

    Augh I am going job search follow up crazy!

    Timeline:

    Wednesday I get an interview request email from Dream Company; this email specifically asks for a call the next day, Thursday. Okay, I respond within an hour and say yes, I’m open but best time is after 3.30 MST.

    No answer until afternoon Thursday, asking for a call Friday AM. Okay, a few back and forth’s, and we set a time for 9.30 my time.

    I am all ready, and I get a “no service” note on my phone. My phone company has chosen to (mistakenly) turn off my service. Panicked, I race to my office phone, while pulling up the recruiter’s email to email her and ask for a schedule push. As I’m on the phone with my phone company, I get an email from her asking for a schedule push! Phew, crisis averted.

    I happily accept the schedule push for “later that day or Monday” and give her times on Friday, and note I’m open all day Monday.

    I don’t hear anything back until 4.30 Friday at which point she emails to say she tried to call a couple times but couldn’t get through (even though she asked for a push 4 minutes after the scheduled interview? not sure what happened there) and she’d love to talk to me Sunday or Monday “if that works.”

    I answer back sure, that’s great, I’m available all day either day.

    Sunday crawls by, nothing. This AM I send out a “touch base” email, just 3 lines or so “didn’t want to miss the chance to connect”. So far nothing.

    I mean, on one hand, it’s the holiday weekend, and I’d be a tad alarmed if she were working either or both days. But I am SO over the top interested and excited about this and want to cry thinking I missed my chance!

    She’s been nothing but sweetness and light and very accommodating so far, no reason to think I won’t hear from her Tuesday, but AUGH. The waiting! The uncertainty!!! The agony!!

    It’s like dating! But with money.

    Reply
    1. Overeducated

      It’s horrible! I think I got ghosted over scheduling last week and lost out on the interview. Hope it all works out better for you tomorrow.

      Reply
  29. Startup Hell Lisa

    I’m at Starbucks and there’s a college football coach seated next to me (except right now he’s outside on his phone) and I’m currently obsessed with Last Chance U so I wanna make friends and talk about it, but I accidentally asked him if he coaches the Raiders cause I didn’t realize he was watching NFL film not college film. Please send help.

    Reply
      1. Startup Hell Lisa

        Torry Hughes of Pierce College, Defensive Coordinator.

        Nobody you’ve likely heard of but PERFECT FOR ALL MY BURNING QUESTIONS ABOUT LCU because that’s 100% my favorite coaching staff position and Pierce is the EMCC of California and ARGH he never got off his phone and he left :(

        He didn’t actually introduce himself I just figured out who he was, so it’s probably WAY too stalkerish to FB message him right?

        Reply
  30. Annie Mouse

    Does anybody have any advice for mature students going back to university? I won’t be in halls and will actually already know a significant number of people on my course but I’m struggling to remember what I used and needed when I did my undergrad.

    I’m so stoked for this course, can’t wait for it to start!

    Reply
    1. Hellanon

      Don’t try to replicate what you did as an undergrad – adult learning is actually really different than what you do at 18 or 19. Most important thing is probably to engage actively with the material, annotate, write notes, keep a journal where you answer the questions in the test to yourself, that sort of thing; set up study groups or attend them where you can; and always be looking for connections between different parts of the module material & things you already know or are interested in. And have fun, as much as you can – it’s entirely different doing this as a grownup, and you may find you enjoy it a lot more!

      Reply
    2. Dr. KMnO4

      If you have a family to care for, or other commitments that the “traditional” undergrads do not have I’d mention that to your prof, especially if you think it could affect the class in any way. I had a student who was a single mother to two kids so I understood that she had more on her plate than most of the other students. As long as she communicated with me I was more than happy to work with her on things like due dates. All of the professors I know want their students to succeed, and are generally reasonable people. Communication is the key to making sure everything goes smoothly.

      Reply
    3. Red

      I’m a non-traditional student going back to school in a week and what is most calming to me is I set up a board on Trello for each class I’m taking and put in every little task I have to do, with due dates. Now all I have to do to keep on top of everything is just follow that roadmap. Maybe something similar would work for you?

      Reply
  31. Going gender neutral

    Just started the process of changing to a gender-neutral title. So far some have been easy – could change online; some have no gender-neutral option but will allow you to remove the title and some require an argument. And I’ve only done about 6 or 7 so far – mainly because I will have to prove to the Gender Identity Clinic that I have been living as my new gender – sadly there is no real process if you are non-binary. Title change is about all I can do, since UK does not have a legal 3rd gender option.

    This is probably going to take up an annoying amount of my time in the next few weeks….

    Reply
    1. Drew

      I wish you all the luck as you bring the rest of the world into the life you’re already leading.

      If I may ask (and if this is intrusive, please don’t hesitate to say so), what title did you go with? The only one I’m familiar with is Mx. but I’m certain there are many others.

      Reply
      1. Going gender neutral

        Thanks! I went with Mx, since it is somewhat accepted over here. But you’re right, there are many including Misc and Ind. But Mx felt like the best fit.

        Reply
        1. Hanna

          May I ask a question respectfully of you? How is Mx pronounced? English is not my mother language and I learned it later in life. I work with someone who is neutral like you are and uses Mx. I said it wrong when I tried along with another word Xe. I deeply upset her and in the meeting I had with my boss he did not tell me how to say either word and I don’t want to offend the person by asking after what happened before. If anyone knows and can tell me I thank them.

          Reply
  32. Sugar of lead

    I was going to do this Friday but didn’t get a chance. So here, by popular request, is an update on finding a temporary job and also the story of why SOL is SOL.

    I applied to WIS international (which looked like a great gig for someone like me) and several catering companies. Temp agencies required more experience or a different kind of experience than I had, so I crossed those off the list, and call centers would be the absolute worst fit ever. I’m not that much of a masochist. I ended up moving to the city where my parents live, a city with a really low unemployment, and got a job at a pizza shop. Eight-fifty an hour plus tips, since this state’s employment laws are “business friendly.” I could do worse, though.

    So the story goes something like this: as a young adult, I worked sporadically and never for very long. I was never fired outright, but I quit just under the wire once. And I never had a job where I didn’t dread going to work. At one point I even stopped looking both ways when I was crossing because I guess I subconsciously believed that getting clipped by a cab was better than getting reamed by management. Most of this was my fault. I do not do people well. I do not read them well and I do not read situations well and I’m a bit neurotic and annoying. My first professional job I thought would be different. I was still nursing a healthy bit of paranoia about whether or not I was doing the right thing (when you have social/communication blindspots as big as mine, you need paranoia to keep from making huge mistakes.) But everyone told me that it was fine, to stop worrying so much, than no one ever got fired unless they kept calling off or showed up drunk to work. I believed them, and failed a driving test (job involved driving), and got fired.

    Then I got another professional job, same field. I got off to a rough start, both with work and people. There was at least one person who hated me enough to file official complaining paperwork. But I made a few friends, and I stopped feeling like I was drowning after a couple months. Again, paranoia, and again, reassurances from people. And then … suffice it to say that I misread a situation in the extreme, and tried to be assertive but ended up being very rude to someone whose opinion matters a lot. When they were firing me, they raked me over the coals first, bringing up every last mistake I’ve made. It was the first time I’d heard about a lot of them. Apparently I’d been doing and saying all the wrong things, coming across as very unprofessional, and the vast majority of my coworkers thought I was incompetent and hated working with me. I resigned in lieu of termination.

    This is not normal. It is straight-up not normal to have this much trouble. So I got myself evaluated, and the evaluation man said that I have a social learning disability, e.g. nonverbal learning disorder, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, social communication disorder. I’d need more testing to figure out anything more specific, but I know enough. The problem isn’t something I do; it’s something I am.

    So yeah, that’s the story you were asking about last week. Oh, and before you all chime in with the story of the job you only had for a year and a half, the longest I’ve ever hung on is three months and change. This is not a normal part of being young and just starting out. This is, can’t apply to jobs that require a resume because my work history’s worse than nothing.

    Reply
    1. Ange

      I’m sorry to hear that – that sucks. Did the person doing your evaluation point you to any resources for people with your issues?

      Reply
      1. Sugar of lead

        There really aren’t any for high(ish) functioning adults. One of my old coworkers made me pinky swear (like we were in kindergarten or something) that I would work on my social skills. He suggested taking an acting class, which might not be such a bad idea, actually.

        Reply
        1. Ange

          I guess looking for online support groups might also be helpful? You might be able to get some tips on how to modulate how you come across- but acting classes would probably help with that too.

          Reply
        2. Observer

          Acting classes would be a great starting point.

          But “can’t hang on to a job for more than 3 months” isn’t what I’d call “high functioning”. It sounds extremely difficult on many levels.

          Links in a following post.

          Reply
    2. StubbornWombat

      Fwiw, Vocational Rehabilitation can help with that sort of thing, esp job resources. If you have an official diagnosis it’s worth seeking them out. They help for both mental and physical disabilities/issues that might make it harder to get jobs. I have anxiety issues but also a progressive joint condition and they’ve helped pay for some assistive tech and textbooks in school but they also help with job hunting. They also work closely with the St. Vincent de Paul society.

      Reply
      1. char

        Seconding vocational rehabilitation. I’m on the autism spectrum, and at least in my state that meant I was eligible for voc rehab. Through that I got job coaching and help with my job search. They helped me find my current job, which is at a company that is very accommodating and understanding.

        Reply
    3. NaoNao

      I’m not sure if this will help or not, but my first few jobs:

      I was hired as an assistant manager for a retail store at age 19 or so, and I was woefully under-prepared. One day about 2 months into it, my manager swept in with a 2-page list of mistakes, corrections, and notes that I had to follow/had been doing wrong. Suffice to say it was really hard to course-correct after that.

      I then got a job in my home state (after moving back there) with a really harsh, demanding boss that played favorites, of which I was not one of them. I wound up quitting in a huff after a few months.

      I was made store manager (again, a hiring mistake, I was not ready) for one store, inherited a really awful staff, and wound up being transferred to a small, struggling store in a dying mall, and then fired—but not until after my district manager made my life miserable for several months.

      A few years later, I got a job as a clerk at a library; same thing happened. My boss approached me with a long list of “must correct” items (on pain of being fired) and if any one of them got broken, I would be asked to leave. She also noted that my colleagues had been (what I would call) tattling on me, seeing that I was using the desk computer at my workstation (I was the only one in a very slow area) for surfing the web, something that didn’t affect them in any way, wasn’t against the rules, and honestly, I wasn’t really doing more than a few minutes a day. But for whatever reason, whoever this was made a stink. I wound up basically being asked to leave (a kindness, they allowed me to resign rather than be let go).

      So, overall, I have had a lot of failures, especially in my early jobs. I made mistakes. I was brash, bossy, hard to get along with, couldn’t seem to grasp social stuff easily like other coworkers did, it seemed like no one liked me, and on and on.

      I’m not sure what changed, but some of it was just age and experience. I went back to school and started doing things I really loved: writing, reading, tutoring other students. I gained polish and maturity. I stopped seeing things as black and white, and other people as enemies, or inconveniences. I learned how to make small talk and how to get along with almost everyone. I learned how to ask for help and how to work with authority without being a kiss-butt or a defiant “brilliant jerk”.

      I still struggle with seeing other workers being “popular” or well-liked, or things coming easy for them. But I learned how to keep quiet, observe for a *long* time before jumping in, and how to read the unwritten rules of the workplace.

      I recommend the “Difficult People” series, “Difficult Conversations at…” “What Color is your parachute”, “Seven Habits of Successful People” (for work and home), and finding a good therapist. Also look into jobs where being “on”, social, friendly, and talkative isn’t a must. So no sales, customer service, social work, things like that.

      Good luck! All kinds of people find and keep jobs, you just have to find a match.

      Reply
    4. Junior Dev

      I’m sorry you’re going through that. My job history isn’t quite as bad but I’m at my ninth month at my current job, which is my personal record for holding a job at the age of 26, and I’m being disciplined for things that are partly due to my depression. I hope you figure something out. What you’re facing sounds really awful.

      Reply
    5. Not So NewReader

      I think it also would be good to be deliberate about where you apply. Put yourself in places where you think you stand a good chance of success.
      I hope I don’t offend, but it looks like you could be just apply anywhere and who ever offers you a job wins.
      Check out Alison’s book and cruise through other posts, make a point of interviewing your interviewer. Ask questions about the job so you can actually decide if it might be a good fit for you.

      Reply
    6. Floundering Mander

      FWIW, my husband was diagnosed as having Asperger’s when he was about 33. He found out because he went to counseling after being fired when he very badly misread a situation and said some very inappropriate things to a colleague. After finding out why he thinks and acts the way he does, he managed to get his job back, and figured out some ways of dealing with his differences (including antidepressants, but that might not be relevant for you).

      There are resources for high-functioning people. I used to look at a website called Wrong Planet which was mainly for Aspies IIRC. It will take time but you can learn to deal more effectively with people who think differently from you.

      Reply
  33. Junior Dev

    This article got recommended to me and I’m wondering if anyone has practical advice on doing the things in it when my brain doesn’t want to cooperate.

    https://captainawkward.com/2013/02/16/450-how-to-tighten-up-your-game-at-work-when-youre-depressed/

    The one I’m most worried about is getting to work on time. I keep sleeping through my alarm and being late. It’s compounded by depression and dreading my job–I’ll procrastinate on getting ready because I really don’t want to go.

    What are some practical tips for nailing down the basics–getting enough sleep, waking up and getting to work on time, bathing every day, eating real food regularly–when your brain is really determined to keep you from doing those things?

    Reply
    1. Simone R

      What always works for me is scheduling things I can’t get out of. If it’s just oh it would be great to get in on time/early to sit at my desk and work it’s easy to put if off. But if I have a meeting/breakfast plans/coffee plans/meeting someone at the gym it’s a lot harder to cancel because I have someone else keeping me in line. Basically some sort of external motivation is always better for me than internal, and even more so when things are blah.

      Reply
    2. Dr. KMnO4

      Something I’ve found that helps when I’m depressed is figuring out which tasks I’m expecting myself to do, and deciding which ones I can actually do with the amount of energy I have (some people call it spoons). So maybe I don’t eat “real food”, just whatever I can scrounge up, whenever I can get to it. Maybe I don’t do dishes, I just eat off of paper plates. I put off laundry as much as I can. But by not doing those tasks I have enough energy that I can push myself to go to work, etc. That’s how I got through my last year of graduate school. I focused on my thesis and almost nothing else. It was still hard, and I wasn’t always perfectly successful, but I did what I had to do to get through it.

      Reply
    3. Paris Geller

      So, this is something that I’ve done less for depression and more for anxiety (that I posted on the weekend open-thread about), but I have one trick I used to use in school for classes I really didn’t want to go through, and also used when I worked a job I hated. I told myself I didn’t have to commit to going to class or work, but I had to at least get dressed to do so. And once I had done that, I told myself I still didn’t have to go to class, but I had to at least leave my apartment. I did that on and on–all the way up to actually walking into the classroom. I don’t need that technique as frequently today, but I still use it. And once I made it past the first two or three steps, I almost always went to whatever the end goal was.

      As for eating real food regularly, sometimes I settle with perhaps not what people will call a real meal but has better nutritional value than something from the vending machine (which I’ve also done), and also making large batches of food on my better energy days that I can eat leftovers of. I keep a lot of triscuits, fresh fruit, cheese, pretzels, and yogurt around, and often for meals I grab a little of each.

      Reply
    4. NaoNao

      What has worked for me is “outsourcing” as much as I can. I buy these *great* frozen meals called Eating Well and use those for as many meals in a row as I need. I stock up on nibbles and snack packs and other ‘protein packs’ type stuff, and to me, that counts as food.

      I also have a cleaning person who does the cleaning every 3 weeks, so I don’t have to do stuff like scrubbing the tub, etc.

      For sleep, the hardest part is getting up, so I try to make my morning ritual very rewarding: awesome, fancy soap in the shower, new clothes on a Monday, play music, treat myself to Starbucks everyday once I get to work, stuff like that. I also don’t use the snooze button–the alarm goes off, my feet hit the floor. The longer I stay in bed, the harder it gets to get out. I leave my curtains partly open so sunlight can wake me, and I sometimes use sleep aids if I’m very wound up by the time it gets to bedtime (like, if I’m feeling tense, emotional and strung out, I take a light sleep aid at 6, in bed by 8, asleep by 9, that type of thing).

      Do you have a timed coffee maker? The smell of coffee might make getting out of bed more tempting.

      I don’t know if this will work, but sometimes I think about how blah and crappy I feel when I *do* stay in bed all day and that helps me focus, get stuff done, and not just watch TV or movies, or lay in bed.

      Do you have a friend, or partner who can help you out? Like an accountability buddy–someone who’s expecting a 7 AM “on my way to work” text every day? Or someone who can text a bit with you on break, or at lunch?

      This is also a bit of a “maybe it will work” hack but I find reading what I call “wafty softy” blogs (like BLDNG 25 by Free People, Moon Juice, Apartment Therapy, Gala Darling, Goop, etc) weirdly helps me get motivated. I find positive motivation works a LOT better for me—treats, plans for the future, stuff to dream about or look forward to, and so on. So filling my “feed” with pretty pictures, and ideas (like I started bathing in Epsom salts thanks to the Sakara blog and I’ll be damned it if doesn’t work!) helps me stay “up.”

      Good luck, I know this sucks.

      Reply
    5. Not So NewReader

      Regarding don’t really want to go to work: Set two alarm clocks five minutes apart. Put the across the room so you have to get out of bed to shut them off. Put lights on timers so the room brightens when it is time to get up.

      Scare the crap out of yourself: Understand that no one can make you go to work. But if you don’t work, you stand to lose so much more than just a job.

      Also know for a fact that most people do not want to go to a job that is not going well. I believe you were commenting about problems at work. How bad was your depression before this job? Is it possible that this job is so toxic that you need to leave immediately? I have seen bad jobs turn people into a shell of a human being.

      If you knew that you were getting up to spend a half hour helping yourself in some manner before going to work, would it be easier to get up? This could be job hunting, exercise, journaling, whatever.

      Reply
    6. Dinosaur

      Several years ago I was about to lose my job because I kept sleeping through my alarm and was late opening the store. I downloaded this app called “I Can’t Wake Up Alarm Clock” and it made it impossible to sleep through my alarm. The app has tasks that you can pick (math problems, color matching puzzles, or even scanning barcodes of products around your house so that you have to get up out of bed and scan) and your alarm won’t stop ringing until you complete those tasks. It also has an “awake test” where 5 minutes after you complete those tasks, it will test to see if you’re awake and if you don’t respond the whole thing starts all over. I have never slept late again. It saved my job. Maybe something like that could help with the getting to work on time? Depression sucks so hard, and I’m sorry you’re struggling.

      Reply
    7. JanetM

      I hope this isn’t out of line, but if you aren’t seeing a therapist and/or a psych, I strongly encourage you to do so if you can. Meds make a *huge* difference for me. The way I describe it for myself is, “Meds are like a belaying rope. They don’t keep me from falling off the cliff, but they do keep me from crashing to the jagged rocks below.”

      Reply
  34. Shrunken Hippo

    The forest fire smoke came back into my town yesterday so I’m feeling very tired and out of it. Nothing like asthma and smoke to ruin your day. I was going to try writing something or drawing, but I have mostly just slept and ate a little.

    I have also been looking at job postings, but it’s hard going. I have a bachelors of arts but sadly in my area that doesn’t get you anywhere; even an entry level office job requires a office administration certificate (which costs $3400 just in tuition). It’s slightly sucky for my depression, but I have been writing out some of the odd and slightly horrific interview stories I have and they make me giggle. At this point I’m probably going to end up working in retail again, but that’s fine because minimum wage has gone up.

    Considering that I still have half the day left I might try sketching. I suck at art, but I’m trying to improve again and it’s something I can do and take my mind off how much I regret going to university. Trying to stay as positive as my depression will let me.

    Reply
    1. Junior Dev

      Hope you have fun sketching. I’m sorry your struggling with depression. I think doing art is a good idea–lifting weights and doing non-work stuff to further my career has been really helping me feel competent despite my work struggles.

      Reply
  35. Emilia

    Watched the new Great British Bake Off (Channel 4 edition) and it was…surprisingly not that bad. Could do without the commercial breaks and weird singing cakes in said commercials, but not nearly as over-the-top as I’d feared.

    I’d always like Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig in their other shows so wasn’t /too/ concerned about them, but it might take a while for them to ‘gel’ in their comedy and not come off as trying too hard to be Mel&Sue.

    Prue Leith seems perfectly nice but dammit I miss Mary Berry. That was never going to be an easy role to step into for anyone. Paul Hollywood is the same as he always has been.

    The new contestants seem like a good, talented bunch, and still the same warm/friendly vibe without any cattiness or manufactured dramas. Will tune in again for the next episode.

    Reply
    1. AnonAndOn

      I watched the three seasons that Netflix has. They call it “The Great British Baking Show” in the States for copyright reasons (Pillsbury owns the copyright to the term “Bake Off”) I love how positive it is and how the competition seems friendly. So many other reality shows should take a page from them. I heard about Mel & Sue and Mary Berry leaving. I felt that they made the show!

      Reply
      1. Cristina in England

        Yes absolutely agree on all counts. It helps that there is no prize money to compete for, although winners get visibility and opportunities for cookbooks, etc, and in Nadiya’s case, a few TV shows as well as several books.

        Reply
    2. Elkay

      I felt like they’d broken Mary Berry down and rebuilt her into Prue Leith and Sandi Toksvig.

      It was like watching a charity episode, I keep expecting the proper team to come back. I’d been losing interest in the last series anyway so I think this one will be something I watch if I’m at a loose end, not as must see TV.

      Reply
        1. Cristina in England

          Technically, the show left for another channel and Mel, Sue, and Mary didn’t go along with it. Mary, I think, framed it as she was staying at the BBC.

          Reply
    3. Cristina in England

      I really like Noel Fielding. I really like Sandi Toksvig (I enjoyed her on Radio4’s News Quiz or whatever it is called). I just don’t like changes like this. I also don’t like ads. I am not wild about Channel 4.

      I love the BBC iplayer app and I can’t be bothered to sign up for Channel4 on Demand again. For some reason they decided last year that they were going to delete my account because I hadn’t logged in to watch anything in awhile and they sent me a bunch of emails about it.

      Reply
  36. Naltrexone?

    Has anyone here used naltrexone for alcohol dependence? I’m seeing a counselor and we’re working on how I manage stress, which is already having a good impact for me day to day. But I have pretty bad social anxiety at parties and such and tend to drink compulsively. The doc is recommending naltrexone to help with that, at least temporarily. I don’t have any particular concerns, just curious about people’s experiences.

    (12 step folks, glad it works for you but I’m not interested.)

    Reply
    1. Thlayli

      I haven’t got any real life stories for you but I did read an article that said aa is only effective on the first try for 5% of people whereas the latest alcoholism drugs work for more than half of people.

      So the odds are ever in your favour.

      Reply
    2. WellRed

      I’ve read several articles and an excellent book on how AA is not for everyone and also, that the US lags in using things like Naltrexone in treating addiction. I guess it…removes the craving?

      Reply
    3. Not So NewReader

      Going the opposite way, why go to parties if you do not enjoy large groups? I much prefer small groups of one to three people. I finally figured out why, I like to be able to hear something about each person. A sea of humanity just does not do it for me.
      I tire at night, sometimes a little too fast. This makes me uncomfortable too. So I watch how much I do at night and who I am hanging out with.

      Reply
  37. Merci Dee

    Y’all, I am so ridiculously excited about seeing It this coming weekend. My parents should be back from their 3-week western odyssey in a few days, so I’m going to ask if kiddo can visit a few hours while I hit the movie.

    I remember seeing the 2-part TV movie when I was 13, and I finished the book a couple weeks ago. Bill Skarsgard looks freaky as hellish in his Pennywise set-up, and I’m looking forward to renewing my vow to never walk on top of storm drains due to killer clowns!

    (PS — so not lying. Tim Curry did such a great job in the 1990 TV movie that I couldn’t bring myself to stand on storm drains ever since. I fully admit I’ve always had issues with creepy clowns, though, so that flick didn’t help. I’m not ashamed to admit my weaknesses.)

    Reply
    1. anon24

      I’m so excited too! I didnt see the original but I’m a huge Stephen King fan – read almost all of his books. I’ve read IT a couple times and love it. I don’t think it’s possible for a movie to do it justice but I still can’t wait to see it. And my husband is terrified of clowns and screamed his head off watching the trailer so this should be fun :)

      Reply
    2. Me too!

      My cousin lives in the city where the IT house that was used in all the exterior shots was built and set up. He sent me photos of it months ago and it looked so spooky. He lived not too far from there and he told me whenever he would walk near it to go to the bus stop or whatever it gave him the creeps. I cannot wait for the movie!

      Reply
    3. Thlayli

      Nope nope hell nope. That movie terrified me there is no way I will be watching the remake.
      Hope you enjoy it though.

      Reply
      1. Merci Dee

        It scared the hell out of me, too, which is why I decided to read the book. I’m looking forward to the new flick because I haven’t found a movie that actually scared me since I watched the original TV version or the original Alien in my early teen years. Nothing else has been remotely scary since.

        And I’m discounting splatter porn here, because it’s always seemed to me that the best horror films should only hint and tease at the Big Scary until almost the end of the film. The more you see, the more you can process and analyze until it’s just not scary anymore.

        Reply
    4. Dinosaur

      I’M SO EXCITED TOO. I pre-ordered my Thursday early release tickets which I’ve never done for any other movie. Tim Curry was a fabulous Pennywise but I’m open to Bill Skarsgard doing an awesome job. I read the book many years ago and I didn’t shower the entire week it took me to finish it; drains were just too spooky to risk it.

      Reply
      1. Merci Dee

        Weirdly enough, I thought I’d read the book before, so was really excited to re-read it this summer after I found out about the updated movie. I got a chapter or two in before I realized I hadn’t actually read it. So it was nice to get immersed in the story. It was a long book, but I loved the way the childhood passages became more and more entwined with the “present” passages, until they’re mirroring so closely that they’re switching mid-sentence. It was a really great book.

        Reply
  38. Gaia

    I’m trying really really really hard not to get my hopes up but…my sister has informed our mother that she is checking into rehab today.

    Of course, she has said this before and her mental illness (and addiction, and homelessness) makes her word a bit unreliable but….I hope. I really hope. This woman could run the world given the right opportunities. It is unspeakably unfair that we grew up together and I climbed out of that mess and she is mired in it (and I know she has some deep resentment around that, and I wish I could help with that).

    So if anyone has some good vibes, wishes and thoughts to send her way she could use them.

    Reply
  39. Antti

    Telling myself I’m gonna clean house to distract myself from an internal application I put in. Odds are I’m not going to end up cleaning house though…

    I feel like I committed a grave sin by following up with the recruiter though. In the past when I’ve applied internally I’ve gotten a response the next day or the day after asking for pre-screening stuff (that I’d normally expect an actual phone interview for, but that’s neither here nor there right now), but on Friday it had been a week since I applied. I’d thought maybe they were just waiting to close this position before reaching out to candidates, but I’d heard someone else in my department had applied and gotten a response almost right away. Probably should’ve left well enough alone but I decided to just email and make sure my stuff got through right since it was so long compared to before. Kept it brief and courteous, and replied to the brief confirmation I got with a thank-you.

    It’s probably unreasonable and I should just put this out of my mind already because I’ll feel a lot better, but I can’t help feeling like I shouldn’t have done that. Ah well.

    Reply
  40. Sick of wedding talk

    How do I tell someone I am sick of hearing about their upcoming wedding? I work with this person so I have to be as professional as possible. Some background: She started working here in August of 2016, just after she had finished school. We sit next to each other, we both went to the same community college and I had worked here for a year and we were close in age (one year apart) so I made an effort to be welcoming and friendly as I have never shared a seating area or worked closely with someone before. The first 6 months were fine and she was nice and there was no problem.

    In February of this year she got engaged. Ever since she goes on non-stop about her wedding, the planning, the proposal and ring and everything else. I figured she was excited and it would wear off after a few days but it’s just gotten worse. She cannot have a conversation without bringing it up and she initiates conversations about it. We are a team of 2 and now everyone will only talk to me and they are sick of hearing about it. People have told her to stop bringing it up and our boss mentioned it to her. After the talk with our boss she stopped for the rest of the day (2 hours) but the next day it started again. If I hear the story one more time about how her girlfriend proposed on the 3.5 year anniversary of the day they met/had their first date and the wedding is on the 5 year anniversary of that my head will explode. I think about going to my boss because she just. won’t. listen. She is otherwise nice and things were fine before this but the wedding is not until August of next year and I can’t take almost another year of this.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Do you know the gist of what the boss said to her? If she told her to cut it out, I think it’s fair game for you to mention to the boss that she hasn’t and that it’s non-stop and maddening.

      Otherwise, though, I think you’ve got to address it directly yourself. I think you can be nice about it but still tell her to stop. For example: “I’m really happy for you, but I’ve got to put a moratorium on wedding talk. I’m all wedding-talked out and it’s making it hard to talk about anything else.” Then if she does it after that: “We have a wedding talk moratorium, remember? (Insert subject change here.)”

      If you have an easy rapport with her, you could also just say, “Dude, you are becoming the wedding version of the Cross-Fit people. I can’t take any more wedding talk.”

      Reply
      1. Sick of wedding talk

        Thank you Alison! She told me our boss told her she needed to stop talking about and bringing it up unless the conversation was about weddings and even then not to go overboard. I don’t know why I feel so bad about the thought of getting her in trouble. Your script is helpful because I know I haven’t been firm enough when asking her to stop. I’m shy and have hard time speaking up sometimes and it’s something I need to work on. This was helpful!

        Reply
    2. Typhon Worker Bee

      I had a coworker who did a milder version of this once. Another colleague set up a “wedding jar” – like a swear jar but for wedding talk – and told her she had to put a coin in every time she mentioned her wedding. It cut down on the wedding talk, and when she really couldn’t help herself, we got some money for the “buy drinks for the whole team at the wedding reception” fund. Win-win! We had a few rounds on her, lol.

      Reply
  41. Lucy

    Got a dog from the shelter exactly one week ago and I am so. in. love. He’s about 1.5 years old, a Dachshund mix, and was surrendered by his previous owners (we have no idea why! He’s a total sweetheart). As a totally novice dogowner, I would be so grateful for any and all advice!

    A few specific questions:
    – He seems sort-of potty-trained. Like, he’s pooped and peed inside a few times, but most of the time, even when I’ve left him home alone for quite a few hours, he’s held it until I’ve gotten home and can let him out. I’m not sure whether to chalk his accidents up to still adjusting or to being at least a little untrained. Any tips on keeping his messes outside?
    – I am pretty allergic. I take a 24-hour pill every day (generic Zyrtec) but it doesn’t do too much for my itchy eyes. Any recommendations to help with dog allergies?
    – He looooves to nibble on fingers (never hard! just playing) but seems pretty uninterested in toys. For a variety of reasons I would love to train him out of this habit but am not really sure how to go about it.

    Reply
    1. Amadeo

      Potty training: sounds like maybe he’s got the start of it, but needs the rest hammered out. He needs outside within 15 minutes of eating a meal and drinking, within 15 minutes of waking from sleep (whether from the night or a nap), and within 15 minutes of play. In addition to that, create a schedule for trips outside he can count on. First thing in the morning, right before you leave for work, lunchtime, when you get home, after he’s eaten supper and right before bed is a good one. Same times every day if you can. Small dogs can be a real challenge to potty train sometimes.

      Allergies: Keep him bathed and brushed, see if you can find a dog shampoo that helps keep dander and hair to a minimum. I wouldn’t bathe more than once a week, less if you notice his skin is getting a bit dry, they don’t need it like we do. Brush him daily outdoors to help get rid of shed fur and dander.

      Nibbles: Does he have a toy that he actually likes? If he does, use that here. Make some noise that startles him when he puts his mouth on your fingers. A high pitched yelp of your own, a canful of pennies, whatever, a nice loud noise that makes him stare up at you like ‘WTF?!’. Don’t yank your hands away or make flighty little gestures with them, that’s a fun game! Chance the squeaking hands! As soon as you’ve made your noise and he’s let go, redirect to his toy or appropriate chew.

      It might also be worth checking out the trainers where you live and getting him into obedience classes too. A tired dog is a well-mannered dog and it’s also nice to have one that obeys your commands without fail.

      Reply
    2. Hellanon

      >>it doesn’t do too much for my itchy eyes

      Wash your hands. A lot. You are probably touching your dog’s fur & then your face – this happens to a friend of mine.

      Reply
    3. AAM fan

      First-time commenter here! I became a dog owner as an adult and have had five rescue dogs so far – currently own three. First of all, expect problems to show up after the first two-three weeks as the dog starts to relax. Most rescues have some issues and you should start to see those soon. In my experience the first year is tough. Ask at local vets for names of good trainers and, if you know other dog owners, ask them too. A good basic dog training class is a great start and an essential basis for further training if needed. If your dog turns out to have aggression issues with either dogs or people, these are fixable, but you might need one-on-one classes to start. Dachshunds tend to be assertive and self-assured which ups the chances of aggression if they weren’t properly trained/socialized to begin with. Oh, for the finger-nibbling, say a firm no and take your hand out of reach. Then pet/praise/treat when he stops.
      Inside messes might be a small dog issue to some extent, they have little bladders and bowels. Often they are pee-pad trained so you can confine him to one room with pee pads and a non-carpet floor when you’re out. Also overall training helps with this, and dogs often have their own internal schedule, eg always poop right after eating. You should get the hang of that over the next few weeks. If it happens when you’re home, tie him to you on a long leash and scoop him up to take him outside if he starts to squat or lift a leg. Lots of praise if he asks to go out to pee etc! That’s also good for general training as you can quickly stop unwanted behaviors and quickly praise good ones.
      Having a dog for the first time is a BIG learning curve. Totally worth it in my opinion though! I don’t have allergies so I can’t help you with that, sorry.

      Reply
    4. Not So NewReader

      Nibbling- He’s a year and a half so his teeth are still developing somewhat. This encourages them to chew/nibble.
      You can scold by saying no and wagging your index finger at him. He will get this, but you have to keep doing it.
      You can redirect, have a toy or a chewy available and say, “where is your toy?” Again, you have to keep doing it.
      I used a mix of both because I did not want to keep scolding.

      Getting him to engage with a toy. Dogs can ignore toys UNLESS we tell them it’s fun and it’s a great idea. I have a middle aged dog who is very willful. He will lose interest in his toys quickly and ignore them. So I stand sideways so he cannot really see and I pretend to put the toy in MY mouth and I make a bunch of mouth sounds. Pretty soon his interest is back and we are able to play with the toy some more.

      Tiring him out is good, pups have so much energy. If they can’t disperse that energy any other way they can get mouthy/nibble-y.

      Some of the accidents could be nervousness from changing homes. Be fair and be consistent. It’s true that after they do anything they have to go out so this means sleeping, eating, playing and drinking water. Heck, someone comes to visit they will have to go out.
      When you are home put him on a schedule of every two-three hours while you are awake. Remember on work days they need to go out at least twice before you leave. One is to get rid of the night time accumulation and the other is just because. ha!
      It won’t be like this forever. Just my opinion but they hit 24 months old and we start seeing adult dog behavior. We see what they are going to be like during their adult years. So build a schedule and realize that you will be able to relax the schedule in a while.

      You will notice there are moments where he is really calm and cuddly. Pick him up in those moments. This is not only rewarding for you, but it also teaches him that if he behaves wonderful things happen.

      Reply
    5. Argh!

      Alaway for itchy eyes. Hepa filter for the air. Frequent baths for the dander.

      A good trainer can train you to train him! Enjoy!

      Reply
    6. Buffay the Vampire Layer

      Allergies – switching from Zytrec to Flonase made a tremendous difference for me. I used to be sniffly and gross for the first two hours of the day before the pill kicked in, now I am like a normal, allergy-free person. I took Zyrtec for literally 15 years (mostly bc I’m allergic to my cats, also some seasonal allergies) and the difference is night and day.

      Reply
  42. all aboard the anon train

    I’m catching up on some freelancing and I think I’m going to have to let some clients go. They’re authors of self-published books that are….not great. I usually don’t mind editing less than stellar, but they’re the type of manuscripts where the author adds in a bunch of different types of characters in an effort to be diverse and instead of characters, they become stereotypes. So that sexuality/religion/race/second language part of their character becomes their only defining characteristic and these authors write three page info pamphlets in the middle of the story about that characteristic in a way that makes it more soapboxing and less integral to the plot.

    Not to mention, all the protagonists have Very English Names and all the villains have very Eastern European or Asian or other ethnic names. Pointing out any of this has lead to a lot of defensiveness and cries about how they’re being diverse and ignoring my comments that it comes off as fetishistic, one note, and perpetuating stereotypes.

    I’ve seen this portrayal in mainstream media a lot as well (especially the Very English Names) and it’s exhausting.

    Reply
    1. Hellanon

      I was editing a story for a good friend and had to call her out on fridging her one intersectional character, a trans-identified Asian. To her credit, she was horrified when I pointed it out (yes, exactly in those terms!) but – come on! Do better!

      Reply
      1. all aboard the anon train

        Oh, yeah, I find a lot of fridging in the manuscripts I edit. It’s gotten to the point that I sigh whenever it happens because I’ve been over that trope for years and think sometimes it’s lazy writing (it can be done well, but too often I see it was a cheap way to provoke emotions or drama).

        Reply
    2. Zip Zap

      I sympathize. I would make an excuse and back out. Not a lying type of excuse, but something vague and neutral. You could refer to other commitments, not having enough time, or just sensing that it’s not a great fit because you obviously aren’t interpreting the manuscript in the way they had in mind.

      With all creative things, advice should be taken with a big grain of salt. But my advice is to be selective about what you put your name on and who you associate with.

      Good luck!

      Reply
      1. all aboard the anon train

        Oh, I usually don’t attach my name to self-published works I edit. I consider it ghost editing, just like I’ll ghostwrite certain types of articles or documents. Or I’ll use a fake name. Nothing that will be attached to be real name.

        Reply
        1. Zip Zap

          Yeah, but it could still get out. The person could mention you to other people or it could come up in some other way. Anyway, it sounds like you have good judgment about the whole thing.

          Reply
    1. Shayland

      My food was not very good. I made a chicken dish a while ago and while it sat in the fridge the peanuts in it got soggy and the entire thing taste really salty. I still have another portion of it left.

      Reply
        1. Shayland

          I love that this is specifically in response to my food being yucky and not life being yucky.

          Thinking about finally getting rid of the chicken is much easier to wrap my head around right now than being in a better place in life or just having a good day.

          Thanks for the fortifying words.

          Reply
    2. Zip Zap

      Be kind to yourself. Take breaks as needed. Mix up the work with fun things (listening to music? calling or texting friends?). If it helps, think of all the people who are dealing with similar things. Imagine reaching out to them, commiserating, hugging, whatever helps. You’ll get through it and get to have fun again!

      Reply
      1. Shayland

        Thanks for the suggestion.

        I did a bit of hunting for some sort of chat or form for people who struggle with productivity. But no luck. This totally helped me get through today though.

        Reply
  43. Cristina in England

    I am drinking a gin and tonic while sewing name labels in my daughter’s clothes. She starts school on Wednesday. She is very excited.

    My husband cleared out the attic this week and found a backpack of mine I have really been missing. It is so narrow compared to most backpacks, yet long enough to fit what I need. Also it has side-access so no digging! I love it and have missed it! (Haglofs Corker in medium if you’re interested)

    Our six week summer holidays are finally over. Three weeks away and two and a half weeks with my mum visiting, so not much downtime which is good I guess. My marriage is a bit rocky at the moment but we are still trying. My husband wants to have a third child and I am seriously like, maybe you should make it through a year without threatening, in a moment of anger, to leave me, then we’ll talk about another kid. Sheesh.

    I didn’t really mean to write that last paragraph, but you know, (one) gin and tonic. Ok two more name labels to go…

    Reply
      1. Cristina in England

        Thank you. I left out the key factor in any solo crafting: podcasts. In this case, RuPaul’s What’s the Tee? With Michelle Visage, followed by Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review (finally after a million weeks holiday). I had a goal of three labels and did seven. I now know the reason not to have too many uniform tops/dresses, because I will have to label them all!

        Reply
  44. Helena

    I have a relative who is starting his first full-time job tomorrow after he graduated from university this spring. His only other job through high school and university was in video game store where everyone was friends with everyone and the atmosphere was lax and not structured. This will be a whole new ballgame for him. For those reading today, if you are comfortable sharing, what was the biggest lesson you learned early in your working life when you were just starting out? I’m going to send him a link to Ask a Manager and I know he would appreciate anything in this thread.

    Reply
    1. no name for this one

      I asked my manager for an extension on the due date for something I had been assigned to do the way a student asks a professor when they are college. I didn’t even have a good reason [I had tickets to a music festival in our city and knew I would be tired from staying out and drinking and partying for several nights in a row] and I told my boss this when I asked for the extension. The work was a report that was needed before a major project could continue. It was not even complicated, I had to combine and format reports from 3 different consultants who were brought in to assess things. I still cringe looking back and I’m thankful it happened at my very first job when I was only a few months in and losing it was no big loss. I learned the hard way work is not like school at all.

      Reply
    2. Thlayli

      Never ever lie and say you have finished something if you haven’t.

      In my first job I was working on a task that I expected to take a week and I was about 2 days over the deadline and only half done. My boss asked me about it and I lied and said I had finished it knowing he wouldn’t be looking at it until the next step was complete. Of course that stupid task ended up taking about 2 more weeks to complete and I got caught in my lie.

      Now if I haven’t finished something I am honest and say it’s taking longer than expected.

      Reply
    3. Dinosaur

      It sounds really dumb but it’s okay to ask someone to remind you of their name, especially in the first few weeks of a job. It gets much more awkward to ask when it’s been 6 months and you still aren’t certain if the person on the X account is named Tina or Gina.

      Reply
  45. Elkay

    I’m really annoyed right now at people not having the manners to respond to invitations. My other half invited a friend of ours to visit and they haven’t acknowledged/responded to the invite, thanks to messenger showing read status we know they saw it.

    I don’t understand how other people keep friendships going because I just cannot manage it.

    Reply
    1. all aboard the anon train

      How long has it been? If someone sends me an invite saying, “hey, we we should hang out soon!” I don’t always respond immediately. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I need to check with other people or my calendar to see when I’m free, sometimes I’m in the middle of something and read the message but don’t respond yet, and sometimes I’m just really not in the mood to answer because I know it’ll lead to a longer conversation.

      If it hasn’t been that long, I wouldn’t worry about it. If it’s been a week, then I get your annoyance.

      Reply
        1. KR

          Just message then again! “Hey Lativia, I saw that you’ve seen my message I know it’s a couple weeks away but I’m hoping to solidify my plans for that day. Are you able to make it?”

          Reply
        2. Simone R

          I have some friends who are atrocious about this and I always need to send them at least 2 asks. I love them, I know they’re spacey and they acknowledge it so I just roll with it, but for others I have to draw back and stop asking as much because the friendship isn’t worth it to me.

          Reply
  46. Butch Cassidy

    I spent my Labor Day morning visiting the grave of Ralph Chaplin, labor activist and writer of “Solidarity Forever”

    There were about thirty of us there, singing songs and paying our respects. It felt pretty awesome spending time with like-minded people celebrating what the labor movement has done for us and is continuing to do.

    Reply
  47. StubbornWombat

    I’m a grad student but I don’t teach so I basically spent all weekend working half-time from home on my research and am in the lab for most of a day today. I hurt my shoulder again (I keep dislocating it in my sleep) so until I can talk to PT and PM&R about maybe some sort of brace to wear while I sleep, I am trying to do the best work I can given pain levels and tired. I just wish that the PT-prescribed exercises didn’t leave me so exhausted – it’s hard to do 4-5 reps a day when just one rep has me so tired it’s hard to focus. But I love my current project and it’s going to really help sheep farmers once it’s done, so it is worth it!

    I did spend part of the weekend making fabric roses as a present for an author I love who has a signing this coming weekend, since the roses are made of orange fabric and candy corn pattern fabric, which fits her theme. Very excited to see her next weekend ^^ Seanan McGuire is an amazing writer and her work has really helped me keep steady during grad school!

    Reply
      1. StubbornWombat

        Yep! I am in a Sparrow Hill Road shirt and shorts, and listening to Clipping without headphones. (I have a very eclectic playlist of work music – some rap, some eurovision playlists, some broadway musicals) But the relaxed environment is nice ^^

        Reply
      1. StubbornWombat

        Both of those books helped me a lot with mental issues – I may wind up cross stitching Sumi’s note to Nancy from the first book as a wall hanging bc of how much it helped me in a dark time. I love those books.

        Reply
      1. StubbornWombat

        I am so excited for the next book! I get it Saturday ^^ I even got my mom hooked – she’s a Tybalt fangirl XD

        Reply
  48. Lady Jay

    I celebrated Labor Day by getting out of town & going paddleboarding yesterday. This is my new favorite sport! :)

    Sadly, there are no paddleboarding places in the town where I live, and I’ve got a super-busy next few months, so that may be it until next year. Fingers crossed that I get a little more in!

    Reply
  49. (Future) Super Intern

    I got an interview at a company I’d love to intern at. I’ve been through logic and Excel tests, and I’m excited about this opportunity. It’s a meet the team and ask questions kind of interview, and I’m not used to that.

    It’s an internship position and it’s in HR. I already have a couple of questions I’d like to ask, but I’m afraid I don’t have enough to fill an entire hour. Any suggestions?

    I used the magical questions two years ago, with the same company, when I was in the running for another internship position. Is it okay to ask it again? I’m certain the HR folks absolutely loved it, and it was the reason I got called to the final interview.

    Reply
    1. Stellaaaaa

      If you’ve already asked THE question, try to think of variations on it that show you’re interested in being the best employee you can be. I once asked the question to one manager, and to the other one I asked, “Is there any detail or specific thing that you think I should know about the job? Something that people don’t always intuitively know?” Basically, a nicer version of, “What’s the mistake people make the most and how to you want me to proactively avoid it?”

      Reply
      1. (Future) Super Intern

        I did. It was two years ago, so maybe they don’t remember? But I’d rather use something else.

        Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll add something along those lines.

        Reply
    2. Ramona Flowers

      What would the first few weeks look like?
      What responsibilities might you have?
      How does the team communicate about work?

      Reply
  50. Absolutely Anon

    I’m in a horrible situation at work.

    I have been at BEC status with a coworker for several years now. We got a new manager a couple of months ago. This new manager has realized my coworker is bad at their job.

    My manager complains to me about my coworker.

    I complain back because I have been holding my feelings in for years and it is a release. My manager has been surprised by issues that I already knew about as well- part of me wants to warn him about everything my coworker consistently messes up because then maybe he can get out ahead of it and we can stop losing money from these mistakes. On Friday he noticed an issue that, if I had given a head’s-up before he assigned that task to my coworker, could have been prevented. But I readily admit that the other half of my reason for joining in is that it is just so nice to know someone else finally notices the problem and I’m not just crazy or picky.

    But of course it is so unprofessional- I feel a little sick after these conversations, because I feel bad about myself and about my manager. I agonize over whether I said too much, whether I meant what I said, about what kind of manager does this with an employee and about what kind of employee joins in. I NEED for this to stop.

    I can already, without even trying, list at least a dozen reasons we should not be doing this. I feel like I have to be perfect so he doesn’t complain about me too. I’m paranoid that he already does complain about me too, although we are a tiny department and I don’t think he does, at least to my coworkers. I question his judgement on everything now. I’m afraid he questions my judgement on everything now. I’m absolutely terrified he’s going to mention the things I say to his boss. I know if anything ever happens to my coworker, even years from now, under this manager I’m going to feel 100% responsible. Even if I can stop the conversations in the future I am still afraid of fallout from things we have both already said. Perhaps most importantly, I feel like a fundamentally bad person.

    My manager has even said “I shouldn’t be talking to you about this but I’m just so angry,” so he knows it’s bad too but he still does it- often. He is always the instigator of the conversations. They last a long time. (As you may be able to tell from this wall of text, I have trouble stopping once I get started, and so does he.)

    What do I do? What do I say? He’s my manager. I know for step one I need to not complain back. Do I just say I don’t want to talk about it? Do I list reasons? How do I do that without insulting him? How can I still bring him issues about this coworker when I legitimately need to in the future (because I will)?

    Reply
    1. Observer

      Maybe ask him what he wants you to do to help. Also, when you try to put a stop to the conversations, don’t frame it as he’s doing something he shouldn’t, but that you realize that it’s not good for you to be getting into a venting session about your co-worker.

      I’d say it’s ok to give your manager a heads up in a case where you know that if he does X, coworker is going to mess up in a particular way.

      Reply
    2. Not So NewReader

      Your manager can’t manage and does not know how to manage.

      I don’t know why you would feel guilty if this person lost their job. They caused that to happen not you.

      Tell your manager that this has been going on for a while and you need to start dwelling on positive things. Therefore you cannot be talking about your cohort for long periods of time. There may be times where you need to report a problem so you will.

      Understand that this is gossiping. And gossiping is like an addiction because once we start it is very hard to stop.
      But addictions fill voids. So what is missing from your job? Do you like your work? Are you happy with your compensation?

      You have a terrible boss. We follow our leadership. If we have a leader who acts like a ninny, we will tend to do ninny-ish things ourselves. It’s just human nature.
      Since this has been going on for years and your boss has no plan of making any changes, I think it’s time to start looking for a healthy work environment. It’s like Alison says, we stay to long in Toxic City and we forget what normal is.

      Reply
  51. Daria Grace

    Where I work the tasks could take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour plus. Our daily minimum acceptable number of tasks has been set based on a complicated mathematical model the managers have set up and unfortunately don’t actually line up with the actual demands of the job most days. You have to be having a very good day to reach their minimum. We’ve tried explain the way the target doesn’t accomodate the actual demands and the additional things time needs to be used for that the model does not include but the managers are convinced their model is perfect. Any ideas on how to deal with this?

    Reply
    1. Not So NewReader

      Ugh. This is probably a no-win situation. I have tried to argue on something like this and the ears go deaf.

      If no one is meeting the goals that should be telling. If people are fudging the work that should also be telling. I remember years ago a bunch of 1040s hit the garbage can because IRS agents could not work fast enough for the targeted goals.

      The longer way out of this is to show how their formula is wrong. This would involve record keeping of your tasks.
      task 1 needs A, B , E and G. 2o minutes
      task 2 needs A though M and P, R, and S. 1 hour and 10 minutes.
      task 3 needs A. five minutes.

      and so on.

      Is your pay rate attached to these unattainable goals?

      Reply
  52. Talia

    I’ve been in the process of moving (because Labor Day weekend is when you move, at least around here), and I’ve discovered that cookbooks breed. There’s no other explanation for how I can possibly have a copy of “Backroad Bistros, Farmhouse Fare: A French Country Cookbook” that I have no recollection of ever purchasing. Most of my cookbooks I at least have some idea of their provenance. (Though there’s nothing like moving to bring home just how many cookbooks you have!)

    Anybody else have mysteriously appearing cookbooks?

    Reply
  53. Mimmy

    Tomorrow, I have a phone call with a well-regarded professor at my state university. I saw him a couple weeks ago at a small alumni gathering and invited me to call him if I needed any career-related advice. I’ve spoken with him in the past and he’s been helpful. I *really* hope I don’t squander this!!!!

    Reply
    1. rj

      as a professor 1. I would never say that to someone I wouldn’t want to help and 2. nothing gives me more satisfaction than using my skill set to help people. seriously!

      Reply
  54. Brown Teapot Coordinator

    I’ll be working with an old boss I have some animosity towards. My old company is contracted to manage teapots at various other companies and has staff on site for their various contracts. I was with the company for a while in an entry level position and was open about looking for other opportunities. Everyone (higher ups) agreed that I was an amazing worker and could probably move into many other rolls. Initially my supervisor seemed on board with helping me achieve that but as time went on she gave me more and more of her personal work to complete (these were duties way out of my scope and role). She had no real explanation for giving me her work other than “you’re so smart I know you can do it”. I first became suspicious that reporting to her could prohibit me from moving into another role when my grand boss told me she had me in mind for other opportunities opening up but to not tell my boss because she knows “she wouldn’t want to let you go”. Several opportunities opened up and I did not get any of the positions upon applying which seemed strange because I was recommended to them by my boss’ boss. I became suspicious that my boss was blocking these opportunities as in our 1:1 discussions all mentions of other opportunities or aid in seeking them internally had stopped. She began mentioning projects she had for me for the next year etc. Other people even began questioning her on giving me all these big Director level projects as they even found it odd and she would brush them off as it’s none of their business. Someone blatantly said “I think she’s using you”. She explained the new duties as it now being a part of my position which was strange because they weren’t entry-level work. I only mention entry-level because when I would ask about pay increases for all the additional duties (that other people in my same position did not have to perform) her response was: “Well it’s just an entry level position so the pay is fair”. Fast forward I resigned. I got a new position that is going fairly okay. Old coworkers have told me that the person in my old position was not assigned all the upper level work I had been given and had been explained as “a part of the position now”. The new person only has to do the regular job functions.
    With all this said, I have accepted an offer at the company of which my old company manages teapots for. So I will be working at my old office but basically in a different department and for the company that pays my old company. I will need to interact with my old supervisor from time to time. Probably just being in the same meeting etc. I think the dynamic might be awkward. Especially since she tried to write off my resignation to higher ups and to the company they’re contracted with to save face. I was such a good worker I’m sure people were wondering how could she let me resign on her watch. What makes things even more awkward is that I’m aware of my old company’s behind the scenes of embellishing numbers or exaggerated successes to look good to the company they’re contracted with (my new company). The whole situation should be interesting. Any input is welcomed. :)

    Reply
    1. fposte

      I think this all sounds like drama it would be satisfying to walk away from. The dynamic may be awkward for your old boss, but there’s no reason for it to be awkward for you. Give her the polite greeting you’ll give coworkers there that you weren’t very close with; if anybody asks you why you left, you just shrug and say “Time for a change.”

      Reply
      1. Brown Teapot Coordinator

        Yes, I agree. The whole culture of the previous company is toxic in general. Most people resigned after I left. I will just keep interactions with her cordial.

        Reply
  55. Jessen

    Poison ivy, week three. I have proceeded to not sleep AT ALL. I think the fact that the stuff is drying out and peeling is somehow making it itch more. Next time just put me in a coma for a month, mkay?

    Reply
  56. Anon for this one

    My husband teaches at a local high school. He realized today that one of the new coaches was in an abusive relationship with one of his former students years ago. His former student finally left the coach, is now married to a really nice guy, and is teaching at a different school in the district. Should he alert the administration about what he knows?

    Reply
    1. CAA

      If the coach was an adult involved with a minor student, then yes, he should alert the administration. If not, then I think he should mind his own business.

      Reply
    2. Thlayli

      If he believes the coach was in a relationship with an underage student at any point then he should alert them.
      However if the student was both of age and no longer a student when the relationship began I don’t think he is obliged to report it.
      If the student was of age but still a student then I think it depends on whether there are adult students in your husbands school or not – if so then i would say report it.

      Reply
    3. Anon for this one

      They were high school students/graduates at the time, and are the same age. I think he needs to leave it alone at this point. Thank you for your thoughts.

      Reply
    4. Zip Zap

      You don’t have to answer these questions here, but what are the facts? How do you know what you know? Were any laws broken? Is there any kind of evidence?

      I don’t mean to question or undermine what you’re saying at all. I completely support your concerns. I think it’s great that you’re considering saying something to someone. But sorting out key facts and how they relate to any relevant laws would be a good place to start. It will also help you to present it in an objective way. (“On X date, I witnessed X. The student then confided in me and told me XYZ,” as opposed to something more general).

      Once you have the most important facts listed, consider who you could tell – the school, law enforcement, domestic violence organizations that might be able to offer advice, etc. Also consider whether or not it would be a good idea to contact the former student and get her thoughts and/or let her know about the situation and your concerns. I could see that being a good idea or a bad idea depending on the circumstances and how well you know her.

      Good luck with all of this!

      Reply
      1. Zip Zap

        Yeah… But minors are potentially at risk and the husband might have witnessed something or have other evidence of what happened. I think it would be perfectly reasonable for him to come forward with something like that.

        Reply
  57. Overeducated

    So sad the long weekend’s ending already. Had a couple hours free this afternoon, and instead of applying for jobs like you should when you start saying “I need to move on from my job,”, I browsed for campgrounds and attractions in the places I’m thinking about going for Columbus Day weekend. Escapism at its most literal. (I know, good luck getting reservations at this point.) Any favorite places in the northern Shenandoah area, near Front Royal, or Annapolis? Like hiking, festivals, boats, museums, and beer. Dislike seafood and sitting still.

    Reply
  58. Serendipity

    I am a little overwhelmed at the moment and hoping that an anonymous internet post will provide some catharsis for my stress levels.

    I’m 36 weeks pregnant with our third child and had to stop work at 32 weeks due to complications, but my husband was made redundant two months ago so now neither of us are working.

    I have a very high risk pregnancy (GDM, intrahepatic cholestasis, thyroid issues, kidney issues, oligohydramnios and history of previous pre-eclampsia and placenta perfusion issues), and to top it all off had bacterial bronchitis develop into pneumonia 6 weeks ago, so I have been in hospital about 20 days over the past month. We’re counting down the days until it’s safe to induce, only three more to go.

    We moved from the west coast to the east coast a while back, but the removal company we booked in May (to do a back-fill run in late August for cheaper price) was a no-show and is now ghosting us. All our furniture and baby gear is still over there and we’re over here. Baby is being induced this week and we don’t even have a car seat.

    And to top it all off, yesterday both of my preschool age children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Yep, both. They’re coping with all this change just as well as you might expect.

    On the other hand, I’ve been pregnant the same time as princess Kate in every pregnancy so far, so yay for keeping up the tradition with today’s royal announcement?

    Reply
    1. Thlayli

      Oh my gosh that’s all so much to deal with. Hugs hugs hugs.

      Focus on your baby and let your husband worry about the rest for now.

      Reply
    2. No Name Yet

      Oh my goodness! I hope that typing it all out was cathartic, because of course you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything. I don’t really have anything productive to add, but sending good thoughts your way (to everyone!), and I hope the induction goes smoothly.

      Reply
  59. Rogue

    Just need to vent. My poor pup has had a reoccurring issue (don’t want to give TMI – it’s gross) since March of this year. So far, we’ve seen two vets, done lots of testing that ruled out lots of things, medicated for possible causes, but the problem keeps coming back and we haven’t been able to determine what’s causing the problems she’s having :-( Tomorrow, I’m calling around to find a vet that has lots of experience with canine gastrointestinal issues. Hopefully, I can find someone and the third time will be the charm. Anyone have a vet they’d recommend in the Carlisle/Harrisburg/Gettysburg/York/Lancaster, PA area?

    Reply
    1. Anono-me

      I’m not in your area, but for really complex stuff, we have gone to the local veterinary college.

      Good luck to you and puppy.

      Reply
    2. anon24

      I dont know how much they deal with those issues, but The Animal Hospital of Dauphin county is amazing (it is on route 39 just south of route 22.) It’s a bit of a hike but I take my two cats there. Every vet I’ve dealt with is so caring. My kitten had a minor injury they treated and the vet actually took the time to call a week later and make sure he was doing ok. I’ve also heard wonderful things about the Vetting Zoo in Campbelltown.

      Reply
    3. Rogue

      Thanks, everyone. I’ll look into the ones you mentioned, anon24. Essie & Anono-me, I thought about the Penn Vet, Ryan Veternary Hospital, but the reviews are absolutely horrible. Essie, I’m glad you’ve had a better experience there than many of the reviewers. Thanks again, everyone! Your help is much appreciated.

      Reply
  60. Fake old Converse shoes

    Today I found out my boss is planing to hire an Asian programmer to replace my coworker, who left last month. The problem is that we don’t know when this person arrived to our country, he doesn’t speak Spanish and he speaks broken English. Our reasonable concern is that, even if this person has overcome the culture shock, he would still have to learn our language to an advanced level of proficiency, learn the client’s bussiness model and its background, polish his English, and be productive, all at the same time. Worse of all, only two of us can speak good enough English, so it would be akward for the entired team.

    Reply
  61. Jessen

    I posted one comment online about my boyfriend. I immediately got a request for nudes, an offer for a dick pic, and a generic but slightly creepy chat request. And people wonder why women who don’t like attention don’t post online as women.

    Reply
    1. Fake old Converse shoes

      Yikes. At least it was a request and not n actual pic, as one druk guy at Oldjob did. I really hope you didn’t post that comment here. Lots of virtual hugs to you.

      Reply
    2. NaoNao

      Where online?!?! I always wonder (I don’t doubt the veracity, I’ve just never experienced it) where on earth these super creeps are hanging out?
      Was the remark something like “My boyfriend’s out of town, I’m sooooooo lonely”? I mean, on what planet does a remark about your BF get you a request for nudes unless you’re on “Thrinder” (threesome Tinder)?

      Boggled.

      Reply
      1. Jessen

        Nah, it was on imgur. I was teasing my boyfriend about getting a really popular post on his first try. Some places all it takes is being identifiably female.

        Reply
  62. Andrea Bayden

    Hey all! It’s just a normal business day in Australia so I’m still at work!
    I posted a few weeks ago about trying to increase my emotional intelligence. I’ve been doing everything I mentioned and I think it’s helping a bit, but I still have a long way to go. Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions, tips or stories to share?

    Reply
  63. Floundering Mander

    Have you ever cut your own hair using one of those ponytail methods?

    I’m getting sick of my stupidly long hair but I can’t seem to bring myself to book a hair appointment. I’ve been looking at YouTube tutorials and it doesn’t seem too hard (my hair is fairly curly so any uneven spots would probably just blend in). I haven’t taken the plunge yet, though.

    Reply
    1. rj

      I cut my own (short) hair pretty often to maintain in between cuts. I watched some curly hair tutorials on YouTube and it’s fine. I bought the second-cheapest pair of scissors on amazon. They work well.

      Reply
    2. Emmie

      I recommend going to see someone. Curly hair needs to be cut at the right part of the curl to lay correctly. I’ve seen people attempt to cut their hair on their own and it didn’t end well. But, toneach their own. Good luck!

      Reply
    3. Red

      My coworker has stupidly long curly hair and what she does is flip her head over and cut one line, straight across. Then she flips her head over and BAM, instant layers! It works like magic. I don’t know about the ponytail, but you know what? Go for it. Worst case scenario, you stop at supercuts and have them shape it up a bit and then you have nice hair. Best case scenario, it works and everything is perfect and you have nice hair!

      Reply
    4. Jiddy

      I cut my own hair using the ponytail method and it works really well for me. I have wavy, not curly, hair so it’s definitely ok if I don’t cut it perfectly. Curly could be very different? Once my hair is back down I can fine tune any parts that look a little wonky. I have a pair of cheap hair cutting scissors that do the trick. I have to be careful not to have the base of my ponytail too far forward because I find that creates some very weird short layers that won’t wave like the rest of my hair. To be fair, I am a person who mostly doesn’t fuss over my hair and I do this because I straight up can’t afford to go to the hairdresser so this is a more than acceptable compromise for me. You also don’t have to cut off a huge chunk all at once, just a couple of centimetres at a time etc. then let it out and see what you think.

      Reply
    5. lcsa99

      I have wavy hair and the ponytail method works beautifully for me. Like the others, I am not sure about curly hair. If you decide to go for it, I would leave it a little longer than normal the first time – that way if you hate it you can get it fixed without losing too much length.
      I have a good pair of scissors to use but that’s because I also cut my husband’s hair. It makes a difference, but you might not care and it’s definitely not worth the investment until you’ve tried it once and decide you want to continue.
      If you do try, let us know how it went!

      Reply
    6. Floundering Mander

      Update: when I say curly I really mean wavy. I’ve had a look at some of those hair type charts and I think it’s somewhere between 2b and 2c, so it tends to curl on the ends but not all the way through.

      Anyway I tried it, and I can hardly tell I did it! It did seem to help a bit with the excess length but it didn’t have any kind of dramatic effect. So I guess that’s a good thing, although it still always looks unkempt and awful (a rant for another day, though).

      Reply
  64. MaternityLeave

    Advice please! My partner is job hunting. He applied for job a in one field and job b in another. He’s got an offer for job a but would really prefer job b. He’s completed psychometric testing and a video interview a week ago for company b but nothing yet. Would it be appropriate for him to ring recruiting & say hey – no pressure or anything but I’ve received an offer from another company. I think I’d be a better fit with you and was wondering how long it will take until I’m informed of an outcome ?

    Reply
    1. Not So NewReader

      I think he could say he has an offer but he would prefer company b and he was wondering what the company had for a timeline. It might help them speed up their process. Or not. All he can do is try.

      Reply
    2. Kc89

      He’s in a good position and I don’t think he has anything to lose by telling them he has an offer but he prefers them.

      Reply
  65. Anonarama

    I have kind of a weird question. How would you deal with a person wearing an article of religious clothing/item of religious jewelry that doesn’t fit professional dress norms? There’s no safety issue involved.

    Full disclosure: a casual friend is getting some crap from his managers for this. I don’t want to be too specific on the details (he doesn’t know I’m asking!), but basically he wears a kind of necklace that he’s not supposed to remove but it tends to look kind of cheap to Americans, and also Americans don’t generally seem to be that happy with men wearing jewelry anyway. From what he’s said, they know it’s a religious thing, but either they don’t entirely believe him or they’re trying to pressure him to take it off anyway.

    So I’m kind of curious about both sides, on this. How would you deal with it if you were in Friend’s shoes, and how would you approach this as a manager? I know that reasonable accommodations need to be made for religious stuff, but is there a line where religious dress becomes unreasonable, and if so, how would you navigate that?

    Reply
    1. Kc89

      As a friend I would ask if he could wear it underneath his shirt, I think a manager getting upset about that would be very over the top.

      Reply
    2. Observer

      If he can wear it under his shirt, he should do so. Otherwise, it sounds like he needs to go to HR, if the company has one. This is a classic accommodation that would be expected.

      Reply
    3. NaoNao

      Hmm! Unless he’s in a customer-facing job where looking very sharp is part of the total picture, I wonder why or who is giving him guff about his necklace. I agree that jewelry is less accepted on men in the US, it’s seen as either vain or “pagan” for lack of a better term. I think his best bet it to switch out for a longer chain or string and perhaps one that matches skin tone more closely if possible, then hide beneath a shirt collar. (Like, a very thin gold chain for lighter skin, or a leather string for darker skin?)

      Reply
      1. Observer

        So what if it’s “pagan”? Unless he’s working for a religious institution, where things are a bit different, this is classic “religious accommodation”. The fact that a boss or supervisor doesn’t happen to like that particular religion doesn’t matter.

        Reply
  66. Argh!

    NewGrandBoss is a dishonest, horrible person. I have already gotten into trouble for being honest with a customer about a year ago, before I knew what type of person my boss reported to. I was honest again last week, out of habit. I’m just not the kind of person who can lie for no good reason. It’s not like being honest really hurts anybody, except perhaps NewGrandBoss’s fragile ego. Agreeing when a customer states the obvious shouldn’t be punishable. If something is in black and white, I’m not going to call it purple and gold!

    So… not looking forward to the week. I’ve been looking for a new job since NewGrandBoss arrived but no luck so far. Just have to smile and pretend I like being beat up by a bully.

    Reply
  67. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

    No holiday here, we’re in the dead zone (our last public holiday was the first Monday in June, there isn’t another one until the fourth Monday in October, unless you’re lucky enough to live in a specific region that has their anniversary day near the end of September). So it’s just a normal Tuesday here!

    Our house goes on the market today! There are NO first home-level homes for sale in my area at the moment, because we’re having a bit of a housing crisis, so I’m hoping it will get snatched up. And then all I have to do is find a house and a job in a completely different city.

    …I’m tired just thinking about it.

    Reply
    1. Jiddy

      You don’t happen to live in Auckland do you?
      I’m currently renting with my partner in Grey Lynn, and we’ve been house hunting in a very half-arsed manner for a while. It’s way too soul destroying to be fully invested it in. We looked at an apartment in Eden Terrance the other day, they were asking $550,000 (about our price point, because I’ve just gone back to uni) and it was awful. The price was purely for the view, but I can see it being built out in a few years.

      Good luck with selling, and relocating! I know what you mean about the tiredness, the mental and emotional energy required for that sort of stuff takes its toll.

      Reply
      1. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

        No, thank goodness! We’re currently in Kāpiti and headed for Christchurch. The market is mental all over but Auckland is a whole other level.

        Reply
        1. Jiddy

          Oh, lovely! I lived in Chch before, during and after all the shakes. I have so much love for the place, and would happily live there again if circumstances allowed it. I hope it works out well for you.

          Reply
          1. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

            Yeah, I grew up in South Canterbury then lived in Christchurch from 2008 until late 2011 – Christchurch is home for me so I’m grateful to be going back. Hubby is a north island boy so we’ll see how he copes with a Canterbury winter lol.

            Reply
  68. Carmen Sandiego JD

    SO and I spent the weekend hiking up a hill, and boating in a lake, and museum stuff, courtesy of his uncle and aunt. Super fun!

    Not so fun: dealing with SO’s mom who kept sending multiple texts to 2 of our phones asking which one was easiest to reach us on (phone 1), then she’d text phone 2 (the non-working one due to us in the mountains) then got all huffy/nasty when I told her phone 2 didn’t work and to do phone 1, and claimed she couldn’t understand how to best reach us…X//// Ma’am, do you even pay attention?? Grrrrr….She got so testy with me (she wouldn’t take my answer for the answer) so SO told her to watch her tone and his mom apparently claimed she was just trying to find the best way to communicate (but I told her how–phone 1). How he has patience with her, I will *never* understand.

    Reply
  69. Trina

    Hi didn’t see this thread until today, but was wondering others thoughts on it if it would be ok to email or mail my resume to banks if I do not see that they are hiring currently? Or would this be a bad thing to do?

    Reply
  70. Anxa

    I had Labor Day off, so I tried to salvage the day by going for a swim in my apartment’s pool. It was kind of nice, but definitely not worth having to give up a whole day’s paycheck. Whose idea was it to celebrate labor rights by giving people a day off of work they don’t want or need and making them pay for it?

    At least I don’t have a job that’s so bad I need an extra long weekend to recuperate from it. Silver linings.

    Reply
  71. Yes, that's me

    I am a reporter for a small-town newspaper. Today I covered a township meeting and the treasurer literally couldn’t finish a sentence. Concerned, I asked about him and learned he had suffered a stroke some time ago. I do not reside in this township, but if I did, I would be incredibly uncomfortable knowing he is responsible for managing my taxes. I am not sure what, if anything, I am supposed to do about this as a reporter.

    Reply
    1. Zip Zap

      Late reply. I would dig deeper. What kind of information do you have access to? Are the projects he works on part of the public record? We’re there any news stories about the stroke?

      I think you’re right that it’s interesting. It’s possible that the stroke affected his speech but not anything else related to the job. If this were the case, it could make an interesting story, were he willing to participate. Or maybe you’re right that he’s not fully able to do his job. But that would be a big accusation to make. You’d need plenty of evidence if you decided to go that route, whether running a story or just saying something to someone who could intervene.

      Reply

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