most popular posts of 2011…and my own favorites

Ask a Manager’s traffic tripled this year, with 1.4 million unique visitors and more than 3.7 million page views. Thanks for helping to make that happen!

Here are the posts that interested people the most this year, based on the number of comments they generated … plus a list of a few more than I just really liked.

(This, by the way, wraps up all this special year-end programming. Tomorrow we return to the normal Q&A’s.)

Most popular posts of 2011

10. How to deal with an employee who takes too much sick leave

9. Declining boss’s invitation to dinner on a Saturday

8. Hiring-related emails that are sent at night or over the weekend

7. I don’t want my coworkers to know I’m living off cupcakes from the office kitchen

6. Employer is monitoring my bathroom breaks

5. Is “use a landline” outdated advice for phone interviews?

4. My boss keeps stealing my lunch after I’ve asked him to stop

3. Telling your assistant her shirts are too low-cut

2. What’s your secret career alter ego?

1. Being told to remove “merry Christmas” from your work email signature

My favorites in 2011

1o. Can your employer make you get a fake tan?
Because I just found the entire question fascinating and weird.

9. Ending an interview early when your interviewer is a jerk
Because this gets at everything I love to discuss: power dynamics, jerkiness, and the nuances of how to behave in a weird situation.

8. It’s time for a job-seekers’ bill of rights
Because something should change.

7. New manager wonder about the best way to give feedback
Because this goes to a fundamental about good management.

6. G is for gimmick
Because awful things amuse me.

5. Fired for not replacing the milk
See reasoning for #9 above.

4. Bad career advice and requests for salary expectations
Because I love ranting about bad advice.

3. 3 things I learned by quitting my job in a recession
Because this post had been in my head for months before I wrote it.

2. Firing in literature: Should this book character have been fired?
Because I loved the idea of answering questions from literature.

1. Some things about my dad
For obvious reasons.

{ 8 comments… read them below }

  1. Nathan A.*

    There’s some definite gems here! I especially like “Ending an interview early when your interviewer is a jerk”.

  2. Anonymous*

    I only started reading in 2011, but what a great blog! I especially like the fact that the advice is helpful, and clear from a manager’s viewpoint. Admittedly I am not in the US, but it is great to have Alison’s viewpoint on workplace issues (variations on the strange boss or colleague seem to be a global concern).

    Long may it continue!

  3. ThatHRGirl*

    Oh god… Somehow I missed the whole “my employee takes too many sick days” post and just read through the comments. I want to stab my eyes out with a pen.

    I know the OP was in Europe and therefore the laws are a little bit different – BUT – if I was the manager in this situation…

    1. Provide employee with FMLA/ADA Rights & Responsibilities letter just *in case* she has a legit illness.

    2. New PTO policy – one bucket of hours that are accrued each pay period. You can use them for vacay, sick, personal, etc.

    3. New ATTENDANCE policy – if you do not request time off in advance and in effect “call off”, then you are subject to an attendance policy that tracks “occurences” of unplanned absence. Progressive discipline ensues after you start to rack up too many (verbal, written, final written warning & suspension, termination).

    This way, you can call off for a “headache”, your car won’t start, kid is sick, Jersey Shore marathon is on, etc. and no one has to police the reason for the absence. If you really have a legit illness of 5+ days then you apply for LOA, or you can write into the policy that consecutive days missed for the same reason (ANY reason) = 1 occurence.

    TA-DA! :) -end of rant…

  4. Helen*

    Just wanted to throw in another thank you for the Magic Question! I had an interview today where I used it (slightly filtered, as with the rest of your blog, for the UK!) and the response was fascinating. I won’t know until next week whether I’m being asked back for a second interview, but I really enjoyed hearing their description of a “great” person in the role, and felt like I’d love to be that person (and could!). So even if I don’t get this, I’m going to look more closely at similar roles.

  5. anonymous*

    Congratulations Allison, Hope your success continues for 2012 and beyond. Enjoy your BLOG, informative and entertaining

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