the 8 weirdest questions I’ve ever been asked

In my inaugural post for Intuit QuickBase’s blog, I wrote about the 8 oddest questions I’ve ever been asked at Ask a Manager.

I had a great time going through 4+ years of posts and picking out the weirdest. Take a look here to see which ones made the list…

(Feel free to comment over there!)

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{ 19 comments… read them below }

  1. Erica B*

    ha! those are pretty funny.. and you’re right, the “moonlighting” one would be great on something like skinamax… er Cinemax

    1. Henning Makholm*

      I have trouble understanding Alison’s point with “Yet the letter-writer was mainly bothered that she was stuck picking up the slack”. Why the “yet” here? It seems to indicate that this was a strange thing to be bothered about. But isn’t that, in fact, exactly your usual meta-advice to people with coworker problems: Don’t expect your manager to share (or care about) your moral outrage at the coworker’s behavior; focus on how the behavior harms your productivity. The asker there was following that guidance to an A.

      1. fposte*

        Alison didn’t say it was necessarily a bad thing, but it was a bit surprising. This was somebody using their workplace to commit illegal acts, which has considerable potential for screwing with the jobs of people near her even if she *was* pulling her weight. That’s a practical concern, not just a moral posture.

    2. Anonymous*

      How do we know for sure that the person was moonlighting as a prostitute? There wasn’t anything in that quick summary that really indicated that the person was really doing something illegal.
      For all we know, the person could have been doing something completely legit (albeit at a bad time) and the letter writer could just have been annoyed with having to pick up the slack.

  2. Dawn*

    Calling to say you’ll be late to an interview, then arriving late, just to show you’re responsible about notifying your employer? Where the hell do these people come from?? I’ll definitely have to keep that one in mind the next time I interview someone and they call to say they’re going to be late.

  3. erin*

    Ewww, I completely forgot about the nail clippings one! So yucky. But I’ll never forget the moonlighting coworker. Hehe.

    There are some weird people in the world.

  4. A. Nonymous*

    The pants-wetter and moonlighter were definite musts! I thought you’d put them first, but having those two last was actually perfect. Those two definitely need a second update.

  5. Scott Woode*

    Alison, I loved this new post, and I had to share with you that HBO did pilot and syndicate a show (“Hung”) that was a High School Teacher who was moonlighting as a male prostitute to pay off outstanding debts post-divorce. AND HBO On Demand just reaired the series starting with Season 1 Episode 1 this month. So check it out.

    P.S. A pants-wetter? Really? Did you ever find out what happened with that case? I’d love to know how that ended (my ex-partner had Krohn’s and it affected his employment, but only slightly).

      1. Joe*

        I was going to bring up Hung as well, because that exact situation (get a coworker to cover so he can go service a client) does come up. I’m surprised you didn’t like I, I think it’s pretty well done. The kids are kind of annoying, but other than that, it’s been interesting, and it’s nice to see some recognition that men can be prostitutes too.

  6. Natalie*

    The spitting guy certainly isn’t the only person to have this attitude, but seriously: if your standard for acceptable behavior is “it’s not explicitly prohibited by my lease” you are a jerk.

  7. Wilton Businessman*

    One step away from being hired, a candidate asks me “When do the medical benefits start because I’ve got this nasty case of hemorrhoids that I need to get looked at?”


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