short answer Saturday: seven short answers to seven short questions

Well, the title is misleading, because not all of these questions are short. But the answers are. Mostly. Okay, this is the longest short answer Saturday ever.

How can I help my struggling new boss avoid getting fired?

A new manager got appointed to be my boss just over a year ago.  Whether he was poorly recruited or made claims he couldn’t deliver, it soon became clear that he was having difficulties with working at the level he was expected to perform.  It didn’t  help that the previous manager was excellent, but hadn’t been recognized for her efforts.  The work that he was meant to deliver was poor and as his line manager decided to let him sink, he was getting noticed for all the wrong reasons at the board level. The manager is now facing a capability hearing at the end of the month, which may decide to fire him.  Obviously he’s getting very worried and that’s not helping his performance any.  I feel like I should really make him shine in this month but that’s hard and while I could do it for a month I’m not sure that I could do it indefinitely and if I try and make him look good that might just make it look like he can’t cut it on his own.  I just don’t want to be the reason he gets fired.

If he gets fired, you won’t be the reason why. His performance will be the reason why.

You say yourself that he’s not working at the level needed; you won’t be doing anyone any favors (him included) by trying to cover this up. Do your job to the best of your ability, and let him be accountable for his own performance.

Interviewed twice, but turned down for an interview the third time

I work for a public institution and applied for a position in August. I interviewed for the job, but did not get it. Another opening, same position, same department opened up a few months later. I applied and got an interview, but did not get the job once again. They went for other people in the office. So when I saw another opening, I thought I would be persistent because I really want to move on and up. This time however I was not selected for an interview. I was taken aback that I was not selected since I was interviewed the previous two times.  Is there anything I can do in this situation? I would have thought that they would have in the least interviewed me since they found me qualified enough for the first two position openings. One last note: nothing differed about the positions. It was the same department, same job, same job description all three times. And nothing changed about me and my experience.

There are all kinds of reasons this might have happened:  They had, say, four interview slots and there were four people who seemed like a stronger match than you (which doesn’t mean you weren’t qualified; it just means that other people were more qualified, a common occurrence). Or they stumbled upon the perfect candidate and hired her without interviewing others. Or they felt they were familiar with your candidacy from your two previous interviews and didn’t need to bring you in again to judge you against their other candidates.

I don’t think you should be taken aback by this. It’s clear that you’re reasonably qualified or they wouldn’t have interviewed you twice before. But plenty of well-qualified candidates don’t get interviews, simply because there are often a lot of them for any one position, and they can’t interview everyone.

How I convey that I’m smart in job applications?

I’m job-searching as a recent graduate with only one full-time job under my belt. In sending out resumes, experience isn’t really likely to make me stand out. The thing that I think would/could make me stand out is that I am smart; I ask questions to make sure I understand things thoroughly, I learn things quickly and well, I’m intellectually engaged in my work, I get things done and I do them well. My question: how do I express that? In my cover letters I do write pretty much what I wrote here, but I’m not really sure how to say, “but for really real, I’m not just full of myself.” Should I list my GPA and GRE scores and maybe my ACT score? I know you’ve written that listing MENSA membership and IQ scores is tacky, but how do unsolicited GPAs and test scores strike you as a hiring manager? Is there any sort of official certification that I can get that will convey this? I do know that I stand out in interviews, because I ask questions that demonstrate this attribute, but I need to get to the interview first. You’ve also written that a proofread cover letter that isn’t just a resume summary will give a candidate a significant advantage just because this is so rare; do I have to rely on that alone?

As a recent graduate, if you have an impressive GPA, you should list it. Listing GRE or ACT scores would be fairly unusual and possibly a little odd; I could maybe see doing it if you had perfect scores, but even then I’m a little wary of it (simply because it might look like you don’t understand professional norms). (Also, I definitely think you can’t do it once you’re a year or two out of school, because at that point it’s seen as old news.) (Also, I am parentheses-prone.) If you’ve won awards or scholarships that might indicate intellectual strength, you can list those. Other than that, though, your cover letter is your answer — write a smart, thoughtful cover letter that makes your intelligence obvious. That’s going to carry more weight than GRE scores anyway — because intelligence on its own isn’t enough to grab a hiring manager; it needs to be accompanied by exactly the sorts of traits you described in your third sentence — and a cover letter can convey those in a way a GRE score can’t.

Unemployed friend is defensive about age

I have a friend who has been looking for a job since late 2009. He is beginning to come across as bitter now because his calls are not answered, interviewers don’t get back to him, etc.  He unfortunately is transitioning from a sales environment to something else, but even so the skill set he has could easily be supplemented to apply for a variety of jobs.  I wanted to help, so I sent over a couple of jobs that looked like they would fit his skill set, and his response was that the company is geared toward a younger group, 30 and under.  He feels he wouldn’t be a good fit in the dynamics of the company or even be considered for employment.

In the current job economy, what are you seeing in terms of those in the age range of 45 to 55 in getting hired?  Generally speaking, is the fact that he may be attempting to transition out of a sales environment into an administrative one in this economy a hindrance?  I feel like my friend is slamming the door in his own face by not trying to apply for a job, because he feels his age places him outside of the dynamics of the company.  My contention is that a year-plus without a job means one shouldn’t be too picky about the dynamics or atmosphere of a potential employer as those things evolve over time and do not have to remain as perceived.

My guess is that his attitude is the hindrance here, not his age. He’s deciding sight unseen that a company is too young for him? This kind of defensive posturing is almost certainly affecting the way he comes across when dealing with prospective employers; that’s what he needs to focus on changing. Bitter or defensive is pretty much a deal-breaker.

(And let me say once again that in this economy, tons of people aren’t getting interviews and it has nothing to do with age discrimination; it has to do with the job market. The fact that he’s changing fields is an added challenge.)

Citing achievements on resume when clients have turned down my suggestions

I absolutely love your advice about “the #1 question your resume should answer.”  It makes so much sense, and seems to be a culmination of all the other (decent) advice I’ve heard on composing a resume. My difficulty arises when I try to put this advice into practice.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been a Freelance Market Research Analyst, working consistently for one main client (an established international market research firm) and frequently for a second client (a local start-up firm that’s little more than a one-man shop). Throughout my work with these firms, I have sought to go beyond the scope of my projects, offering insights into how the projects themselves could be improved, or offering opportunities for custom research that would help boost the clients’ sales. These recommendations have ranged from verbal suggestions on simple formatting changes to formal written project improvements. Almost without exception, these suggestions have been ignored or discarded.

So while I’d like to be considered more of a “partnering consultant,” the past few years have taught me that neither company is willing to consider me in that light. Instead, they view me as a “contractor”–so long as I get the job done by the deadline and do good work, they don’t care about much else. From the client’s perspective, my greatest accomplishment is that I have “completed projects on time and with high quality work.” That’s a great compliment, but hardly something that’s unusual in the realm of contract-work.  How can I include these efforts in my resume (thereby answering “the #1 question your resume should address”) when my clients haven’t given me the opportunity to execute on these suggestions?

It sounds a bit like your clients have hired you to play one role, and you’ve been hoping to turn it into a different role — but they’re not particularly receptive to that. I think you’ve got to accept that reality and think about what you’ve achieved in the realm you’re actually in. Hopefully you’ve done more than just complete projects on time — have you saved them money? Achieved results beyond the norm? Exceeded expectations in some other way? That’s what you’ve got to find a way to convey on your resume.

When should I tell my employer I’m applying to grad school?

So here I am, fresh out of college working my first job. I was hired a couple of months ago. When I was interviewing I mentioned that I plan to apply to grad school in the near future. My interviewer (now my boss) returned that he was concerned about that because he didn’t want to invest time and money in someone who wasn’t going to stay a full year, he wants someone who will stay at least two. I assured him I wasn’t going to apply immediately and that I would stay for a year at least. When we talked money he offered me what I had gauged to be a great entry level salary, and he mentioned a potential (huge) raise for year number two. My offer letter does not stipulate any minimum on time worked. Great organization, good vibes from the people there and a real, well paying job in this job market….it was a no brainer, I took it.

I will definitely be staying here for a year at least. However, I absolutely plan to apply to grad school later this year and if I get in, I will likely quit this job around April next year so I can spend time with my family (who do not live in the US) before diving into something new. Is it appropriate for me to mention the application process to my coworkers and/or boss as it happens? Also, if I am offered a raise at the end of my first year, how ethical is it for me to take it and then quit four months down the line? I want to emphasize that while I don’t always love the work I do at this job, I have tremendous like and respect for the people I work with and for the organization. I couldn’t be luckier to be where I am given this job market, they have taken a chance on me when I’m sure they could have found a person with far more work experience and I want to ensure that I don’t sour these relationships in any way. Advice?

Okay, so you were candid with your boss when interviewing about the fact that you plan on grad school sometime soon, but you agreed to stay for at least a year, which is a commitment you’re planning on keeping. You’ve been transparent and are keeping your word. So far, so good.

As for whether you should volunteer the information that you are in fact now starting the application process,  that depends 100% on the culture at your company. As I’ve written before, the key is to pay attention to how your employer has handled other employees who give notice. Are people shown the door immediately? Pushed out earlier than they would have otherwise planned to leave? Made to suffer other adverse effects of being honest? If so, assume the same may happen to you, and wait to share your plans until you’re closer to the end of the process. But if your employer has a track record of accommodating long notice periods, has been grateful to employees who provide long notice, and has generally shown that employees can feel safe being candid about their plans to leave, take your cues from that. In other words, know your company and know your boss, and proceed accordingly.

Regarding the raise, it’s absolutely ethical to accept it. Accepting a raise is not a commitment to stay. A raise is a recognition that your work deserves higher compensation. You earned the raise. It does not come with strings attached (unless you’re explicitly asked to make a longer-term commitment in connection with it). Have no qualms in that area.

Also, keep in mind that plans change. While your grad school plans may feel 100% definite to you now, life has a way of interfering with plans. If that happens, you’ll be glad you didn’t turn down a raise.

My boss is undermining my authority with my employees

I run a fairly large department for an auto business. I have 50 employees that work for me. I am paid a weekly salary plus an end of month bonus. My boss is also paid a bonus off my net, but generally stays silent and lets me run the show. My problem is the open door policy. I know from time to time that an employee will go down and talk to him if they dont agree with something im doing, but lately it’s gotten me pretty hot.

Recently an employee of mine whom I hired (for a third time – that’s what our company does) was bothering me for a raise. I wasn’t ready to give him a raise becasue I’d been having issues with him and tardiness. So he goes to my boss and says he needs a raise. My boss calls me and tells me to give him a raise. I told him I didn’t agree with it, but he stated it was better for the employee as they would make us more money by this happening.

Since then, I have not been able to control this employee, who threatens me with the supervisor’s name every time there is an issue, and wants to tell me what I can and can’t do. My boss expects me to just tell this employee to listen to me and do what I say and that’s it, but this is impossible now. There is some serious “DIVIDED I CONQUER” going on now, and my other employees are seeing it. What my next step?

You need to have a serious talk with your boss. If you’re going to manage this employee, and others, effectively, they need to believe that you truly have authority. If your boss is undermining your decisions, your authority is effectively eliminated. However, that doesn’t mean that your boss should blindly back you up; rather, it means that you and your boss need to do a better job of getting aligned behind the scenes. For instance, your boss might quite reasonably feel that tardiness is irrelevant if someone is getting great results; this is something the two of you should get in synch on, so that you can then confidently make decisions that you know your boss isn’t going to feel strongly to the contrary about.

You should also get in synch on other big issues, particularly the ones that your employees are now challenging you on. And once you do, you then need to re-establish your authority with your employees (see this post and this post), but get aligned with your boss first so that those efforts have a solid foundation under them.

{ 21 comments… read them below }

  1. Josh S.*

    I’m the poster of Question #5: “Citing Achievements” here.

    First off, THANK YOU for posting and answering my question.

    I don’t know what else to point at. They’ve hired me to fill a very circumscribed role–complete project X in Y weeks for $Z pay. I fill that role to the best of my ability and do a d*** fine job of it.

    Have I saved them money? Not really, since I’m paid on a per-project basis, it doesn’t save them money if I finish ahead of time, and it doesn’t cost them more if I were to go long. They have a budget of $X for a project, and they pay me $X for completing the project. Perhaps I’m saving them money by not being a full-time employee and costing them for health benefits and payroll taxes, but that’s hardly worth mentioning, is it?

    Achieved results beyond the norm? Well, it’s a syndicated product that simply gets updated every year with the newest data available. There’s a report with a specific format and outline, and a database with a set number of data points. When these are complete and updated, there’s nothing else to be done. It’s the equivalent of updating a dictionary year after year–there’s only so much of any value that can be added or subtracted. And for most of these subjects, there’s not any Spectacular New Revelation that can really be described…

    The way I’ve sought to stand out is to offer them insight into ways they might improve their syndicated product. (Playing off the dictionary analogy, it’d be like suggesting that they could add a thesaurus.) This is certainly outside the scope of what they’ve hired me for, and I understand that. But from my perspective, if there’s a way to make their product better or more useful to their clients, I’m all about helping them explore it (or at least understanding that such options exist). If they choose not to pursue it for whatever reason (i.e. they don’t have the budget to develop a thesaurus), that’s completely understandable.

    But the point I’m hoping to make (to them, and to future employers) is that even in a very circumscribed role, I’m looking to bring additional value and benefit to my client/the company I’m working for. I’m not hoping that my suggestions will earn me some better position, but that by my ‘outside’ perspective, I can help the company get better.

    Perhaps at some point in the future, the company will add a thesaurus, and I could add that to my resume as “I suggested an improvement that was implemented and led to additional $100,000 in revenue.” But until that point, this all seems moot.

    The only other real ‘special’ thing I do is respond quickly to their queries. I know that they often have a hard time getting updates from their contractors (who are often flighty, irresponsible, out-of-contact for days on end, and/or late with their projects), while I am reliable and quick to respond. But to me, this seems to be basic professional courtesy, and nothing worth harping on.

    I guess, at the end, these companies have pretty low expectations of their contractors. Exceeding those expectations doesn’t seem exceptional to me, and the things I do that ‘do’ seem exceptional are basically ignored by my clients. What’s a guy to do?

    Any thoughts? Anyone else been in this sort of position?

    1. Josh S.*

      And you’re right, this is the longest “short answers” ever! (My comment isn’t helping things either. :/

    2. Charles*

      Josh – the truth be told it doesn’t sound to me like you have done anything “special.” I don’t mean to be rude by saying that . . . but. . .

      For example, continuing to give suggestions, after they have clearly indicated that they are not interested, might be more of an annoyance than a help. That’s something that you, as a contractor, need to seriously look at.

      As a contractor (I’m a corporate trainer often hired on a contractor basis) I make sure that the contract’s goals are clear and that I deliver on those goals. You’ve done that; but does the client know that? That is a serious question, I am not trying to be funny. I know that some clients might appreciate some suggestions on other projects; but if they are not receptive to suggestions then I know to keep my mouth shut and make sure that I give the appearance that I am concentrating 100% on the contract’s goals. Anything else, for many clients, comes across as an effort to drum up additional business and neglecting the current contract; even if the current goals are being met. It is really a matter of perception.

      And speaking of perception; Are you sure that your perception of the other contractors is correct? How do you know that the other contractors are “flighty, irresponsible, out-of-contact for days on end, and/or late with their projects”? Even if the client tells you this, you should take it with some skepticism. They might be just telling you that to keep you responding quickly. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has told a “little white lie” to get something from someone.

      Also, are you sure that your suggestions are being ignored? Or have they been, discretely, passed onto other contractors? Perhaps, they have passed some of those suggestions onto other contractors who will spend their time on the clearly stated goals and not looking for other options?

      Or, perhaps, with the economy in the state it is in they have decided NOT to pursue any of your suggestions. It is not uncommon for a client to not say anything to a contractor until they have made a financial decision.

      You’re right in that doing some things is very “basic.” Meeting goals on time, within budget, etc. are what you should mention to future clients. Giving the perception of being there for what they have hired you for is what is most important. I’ll repeat that since I think it is the most important comment I have to make:

      Giving the perception of being there for what they have hired you for is what is most important

      Lastly, the only suggestion I can really give you is to join some sort of professional organization. While it might not help, it is something that you might be able to list on your resume and give you an opportunity to network with others in your field.

      1. Josh S*

        Thanks for the perspective. I’ve definitely scaled back my ‘improvement suggestions’ once it became clear that they weren’t being well-received.

        For a while, I worked in the client’s office, and had the ‘privilege’ to overhear complaints about poorly written reports, lack of communication, etc. It wasn’t communicated directly to me; it was heard over the cubicle wall. Honestly, I was shocked to hear about some of it–weeks past deadline with no status update, etc etc.

        I can certainly focus more on their perceptions. That’s probably something I have not done enough of.

        Thanks for the tips!

  2. JC*

    Regarding grad school: I’m really glad someone asked this question, because I was planning to ask the same thing a few months from now.

    I was hired in November and before I started, during my interview, my boss told me she wanted me to be there for at least a year. I plan on being there for roughly 21-22 months (almost 2 years) before returning to grad school, which will be Sept 2012. I have been trying to decide how I should go about telling my boss when I will be going to grad school (roughly a year before when I start applying, a few months before when I find out what schools I got into, or 2 months before I actually leave). I know that my promise to her will be well-kept, and I would stay longer (and work through grad school), but unlike the OP the pay is very entry-level and although field-related, isn’t career-related…so by the time I go back to grad school I will be very relieved to say the least.

    I 100% agree with AAM on this one. Don’t turn down the raise if offered and stay if you want to/leave if you want to. Just give them enough notice if you do decide to leave or stay…common courtesy and all :)

    For me, I plan on keeping it relatively hush-hush until a few months prior when I figure out which schools accepted me and which ones didn’t, though at the same time, I feel that my boss would be upset that I didn’t tell her sooner (she’s heavily dependent on her assistants and I’m worried she’ll think I’m “keeping things from her” behind her back – I think honesty and loyalty means a lot to her). But if my dream school accepts me, I’ll leave the job. If my second choice accepts me, I’ll cry, because I work at that second choice and so would probably work full-time and go to school part-time to take advantage of the tuition remission…I know, I know, doesn’t sound all that bad…but I can’t stand the thought of being an assistant for longer than 2 years. I’m 25 and feel like I’m already behind where I should be in my life. But we’ll see! :)

    1. Elaine*

      JC, I learned something the hard way, and it’s something you need to know. Your employer would dump you in a second if she thought it would benefit the bottom line. It’s nice that you feel some loyalty to your boss, but rest assured that your boss would not have that same loyalty to you. Assistants are a dime a dozen – I know because I am one.

      Stop worrying about when you should give your boss notice. While 2 weeks is standard, a month or so is more than sufficient. Also know that you could be escorted from the building one minute after you give your notice.

      Good luck in Grad School.

      1. JC*

        That is very true Elaine! I’ve always found it unfortunate that the boss can dump an employee in a second, but the employee has to choose their next steps carefully when deciding to leave a job.

        Thanks for the advice and well wishes!

  3. anonarealius*

    1st OP: The previous manager was doing an excellent job unrecognized and the new guy is recognized in a threatening manner for doing a poor job. Sigh.

    Small wonder the message sent to the staff is one sided and others think they should jump in to help. But that won’t solve his issue or the big picture of expectations, delivery, realization, results and recognition. Although I commend you for your compassion, your manager will need to ride out their performance plan alone.

    As an employee watching this unfold ask yourself if this is a place you want to grow old. jmho When balance is skewed, when employees are only acknowledged when they do something poorly the best performers find a way out. I’d bet the excellent manager put together an exit strategy to gain ground, acceptance and recognition even if meant using them long enough to start over.

    I’ve worked at companies like this (you know, the ones that dangle the carrot long enough to get you into position to beat you with either more work or a stick), and being recognized after you leave is seriously a huge slap in the face.

    Plan your career path here wisely, as what happened to them can happen to you. Good luck!

    1. Anonymous*

      It sounds like the first OP is being given an excellent chance to polish up her Sir Humphrey skills, and for some reason doesn’t want to take it. For example, should senior management come by, and ask about the boss’ performance, emphasize how you’re sure that the boss is really doing their absolute best. If asked if you know if there’s a behind-the-scenes reason for the boss’ poor performance, simply state that you wouldn’t want to repeat rumors which you cannot verify.

  4. Dawn*

    To the first OP, do not cover up for your boss. It’s apparent that this job is not a good fit for him. It’s one thing to make your boss look good through your own stellar work. It’s another to actually cover up for him. If someone were to find out you were covering up for him, not only would he likely be fired, you might be fired too.

  5. Maddy*

    to smart job applications: I know, don’t you wish someone would just give you the chance to show how smart and hard working you really are. Sigh, but unfortunately cover letter makes it or breaks it.

  6. Hiring Manager*

    Re: Grades on Resumes,

    Just a word of caution, before you put your grades on your resume, be sure that are, in fact, truly impressive.

    I recently put a job ad onto the local university’s job site and got dozens of resumes from current college students, all of whom were told to put their GPAs on their resumes. Frankly, earning a 3.1 GPA while majoring in Political Science isn’t all that impressive (especially since I am a graduate of this university and have a pretty good idea of how academically rigorous things are) and offered me just another reason to turn the candidate down (aside from the fact that very few of the applicants were in any way qualified for my position).

    Now if you are only a few years out of school and earned a 3.9 GPA at Harvard, by all means, put that on there. But if you are just an average student from a middle-tier state school, it’s probably best to just leave that off. In this market you don’t want to give hiring managers any more reasons to disqualify you.

    1. JC*

      I agree – I think a 3.5 (and moreso at above 3.7) and above GPA is much more impressive than a 3.2 or 3.3

      1. Talyssa*

        A lot of the advice college students were getting (at least when I graduated 5 years ago) was that anything 3.3 or above was impressive and I think that information is really dated — Grade inflation has happened, IS happening, and unless you’re maybe part of a really rigorous department or something (not that it has to be Harvard – but certain schools are better known for certain departments, even state schools, and a 3.3 in one of those majors at those schools might be considered very good) I think closer to a 4.0 is right.

  7. jessica*

    I’m the one who asked how to convey that I really am, for real, smart. I haven’t been putting GPAs or test scores on resumes except when the employer specifically requested it. I was a little hazy on whether I should generally include GPA or not because I’ve read that some people assume that not including your GPA means that it would be a detractor. I think the overwhelming tide is against the practice. Also, since schools are so different, a hiring manager is unlikely to know that my 4.0 at community college was effortless, while my 3.5 at tiny liberal arts school put me third in my class.

    Conclusion: Thoughtful, well-written cover letters it is. I keep reading that things as simple as thorough proof-reading will make an application stand out. I’m surrounded by other smart people, so I have a hard time imagining that proper spelling and complete sentences is above average, but I will have to trust the experts (hiring managers) on this.

    Thank you! I hope you don’t think I’m a pompous jerk.

    1. Talyssa*

      Posted my other thing before I saw this — one thing I think you should consider is whether or not there is any additional knowledge you can gain (not experience but just knowledge) that is relevant to the jobs you want to apply to. I have a friend who is smart and would like a better job, and I agree with her own assessment that if she was given a job in X or Y she could learn to do it, but when I’ve suggested lists of things she could learn related to those jobs, or certificates she could get, her response is sort of “I’m smart, if I get the job I’ll figure it out.”

      And frankly that won’t fly – there was a position I could have recommended her for and I chose not to because she wasn’t even willing to try and go out and read up on some of the technical knowledge I suggested. Why would you hire a smart person that has to start from zero when you could hire a smart person that is going to start from 2 (assuming say, 10 is an actually experienced person).

      If you can go out and identify some areas where you could learn about techniques, technologies, popular topics of discussion, etc that relate to the job or industry you’re applying for, I think that ALSO shows a type of intelligence — not just that you can be TAUGHT but that you know how to go out and learn things on your own.

      1. Charles*

        ” . . . Why would you hire a smart person that has to start from zero when you could hire a smart person that is going to start from 2.”

        Even better, why hire anyone, smart or not, staring at zero when you can hire a maybe-not-so-smart-but-has-the-right-experience person?

        Maybe the smart person will be able to do it; but the experienced person knows what she is in for and will have less of a learning curve.

        Lastly, there are different types of intelligence. Book-smarts works well in school; but in the working world the truly smart person will have figured out a way to demonstrate her smartness without shouting “hire me I’m smart.”

        1. Rana*

          Yes. It’s better to focus on what your intelligence can do for your employer rather than holding it up as valuable in and of itself. Note that some managers are suspicious of people who “act smart”; there’s a tendency among some to assume that people who wear the smart label are going to be snobs and prima donnas.

          (This is one reason why, when I’m applying for jobs that aren’t in academia, I take the time to defuse any such assumptions my PhD might provoke. I need to be proactive about reassuring potential bosses that a doctorate means that I know how to work hard and solve problems efficiently, and that I’m not a snobby egghead who doesn’t understand how the real world works.)

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