mini answer Monday: 7 short questions, 7 short answers

It’s mini answer Monday: 7 short answers to 7 short questions!  We’ve got job ads that request a copy of your last performance evaluation, a horribly incompetent boss, and we’re warily, cautiously, revisiting the pantyhose debate. Here we go…

1. My manager won’t let me do my own hiring

My manager is trying to hire my team for me. I’m the manager, but she keeps recommending people for me to hire. It’s pretty clear she would be disappointed if I didn’t hire her recommendation. She says things like, “Here’s someone I used to work with and you should hire them” and “I don’t really want you to interview anyone else.”

Tell her that you’d be glad to interview them along with other candidates, but that you believe having the best people on your team is so important that you’d feel negligent if you didn’t do a full hiring process. (And if she’s so sure they’re the best, she should be sure they’ll still be the best once they’re compared to others, right? Well, no, she probably isn’t, but it’s a principle to keep in your head.) If she keeps pressuring you and you have an HR department, talk to them. They’ll probably back you up (and they probably know that only considering candidates you already know is a good way to end up with a not-very-diverse workforce.)

2. Will wearing pantyhose to an interview make me look out-of-date?

If I have scarring on my calves from a genetic disorder and have to wear a dress, am I making myself appear old and out-of-date if I wear stockings to hide those scars? I never wear shorts even in the hottest weather due to my scarring.

Not at all. While women are no longer required to wear pantyhose to appear professionally dressed in most industries, there’s nothing wrong with doing so. Wear them without fear! (And let’s not have a revival of the Great Pantyhose Debate of 2010, as my mental health cannot take it.)

3. Jobs that require driver’s licenses without any clear reason why

I noticed that a public library stated in a job advertisement for a position that the applicant must have a valid driver’s license. The duties of this job, however, do not require a person to drive to fulfill them. I am interested in applying for the job. I am afraid to apply for it as I do not have a driver’s license and cannot obtain one because of a disability that I have. I have three questions regarding the subject of employers requiring employees to have driver’s licenses. The first is: Can a public institution such as a library state in a job advertisement that an applicant must have a valid driver’s license? The second question is: Can they do this even if the duties of the position do not require driving? The final question: What would be the best way for me to tell the hiring manager at this library that I could fulfill the duties of the position when I cannot meet the requirement of having a document which is not needed to fulfill the duties of the position?

They can indeed require it if the duties of the job require driving. It’s possible that they do, even though the job description didn’t mention it; job descriptions sometimes don’t do a very good job of covering the reality of the position. That said, since driving wasn’t mentioned in the ad, it’s reasonable to apply and ask about this if you get to the interview stage. But when you ask about it, I wouldn’t frame it as “a document which is not needed to fulfill the duties of the position”; that’s going to seem unnecessarily adversarial, especially if driving is needed. Instead, simply say, “I noticed that the ad asked for a driver’s license, but I didn’t see activities that involved driving among the responsibilities listed. I have a disability that prevents me from having a license; is that prohibitive for this role?”

4. My boss is horribly incompetent and it’s demoralizing me

About 8 months ago, my new boss joined our company. I thought at first she was just nervous. Now, I’m just plain exhausted and fed-up. She lied on her resume and in her interview: she doesn’t have the experience that she said she did. I am training her. She can’t remember too much, so it goes on and on and on. Customers say, and I quote, “she’s so ignorant…she has a PhD and cannot understand what I am asking her”…”she doesn’t understand what to use to solve the problem”…”omg – I thought you were her boss.” I found out senior management is backing her and I don’t understand why. No, I cannot ask. I feel like this is unfair to me and the company. What can I do to get over it? I’m sad and upset a lot, though I do not show it at work.

You’ve got two basic options: Tell someone above her what’s going on, or resign yourself to nothing changing. You’ve ruled out the first option, so that leaves you with the second. In that case, figure out your bottom line — are you willing to deal with this annoying situation in exchange for __ (fill in the blank with your salary, your short commute, your on-site daycare, doing work that you really like, etc.)? Or is it not worth it when you do these calculations? If you decide it’s not worth it, then you should move on, for the sake of your own mental health.

Only you can make these calculations and there’s no right answer, but it’s important to get really clear in your own mind about what matters most to you.

5. When a prospective employer asks for your most recent performance evaluation

I’m looking around at various job postings for newspapers and magazines. And while most have been pretty standard, I did come across one asking for resume, clips (as usual) and then this: “Most recent job appraisal.”

Now, this sounds like a copy of your most recent performance review. I know they usually have some type of review process for employees at many companies. But some small offices similar to where I work don’t necessarily put together formal, periodic performance reviews in writing. That is, mine doesn’t. Am I in the minority here, or is this fairly common not to have formal, recorded performance reviews? I probably can’t just say to my boss, “hey, can you write up a performance review for me, please?”

In my experience, the majority of employers do performance evaluations, but there are plenty that don’t (particularly smaller companies). So you’re not going to shock anyone by explaining that your employer doesn’t. I’d just include a note saying that your company doesn’t do formal evaluations, but that you’d be glad to provide previous managers as references.

6. Do I include sign-on bonus and stock options in my salary history?

When asked about salary history, would I factor in sign-on bonus and stock options? I fear if I don’t, it will make my salary look too low.

Yes, but make sure that you don’t just lump them all into one figure — separate them out. That way, if a prospective employer verifies salary (and some do), you’ll won’t look like you misrepresented anything.

7. What to put on your resume when you’ve had the same job over and over

I’m currently helping a friend with his resumé. He is an account payables clerk who has done essentially the same tasks at each job that he’s been at. What do you recommend he does when listing a new job? Should he just restate the tasks that he’s done, or should he leave them off and write them out a different way?

Has he really done the exact same thing at all of these jobs? Or has he had various accomplishments and evolved throughout his career, even though the jobs themselves have been basically the same? Hopefully it’s the latter, and that’s what the resume should show. Remember, the resume doesn’t have to provide an exhaustive accounting of his job description at each place he worked; it should provide highlights and accomplishments.

{ 75 comments… read them below }

  1. Sabrina*

    Regarding the hose, I have lymphedema in my left leg and have to wear a compression stocking. It looks “enough” like hose that I wouldn’t mind someone seeing it if I wore a long skirt or capris. Actually looks better than my leg. I don’t think you should be worried about being out of date, I think plenty of women still wear hose.

      1. Anna*

        I don’t think I’d wear colored tights to a job interview unless I knew for a fact that the company was creative and quirky. On a job interview, you want to err towards conservative, which means hose in nude or black.

        1. Ariancita*

          I think it also depends on where you live. NYC is more fashion forward, but I agree that for an interview, best to err on the side of conservative (unless you’re applying for a job in fashion). But you could still wear tights, just choose black, charcoal, brown, or maybe navy (depending on outfit).

        2. Liz T*

          I generally avoid looking trendy per se in interviews, lest it make me look frivolous. (As I explained to my sister after an episode of House in which the good doctor rejects a candidate based on her expensive skyscraper heels. Stupid, but perhaps realistic?) As you say–unless you REALLY know the company is quirky, best to go for a classic look.

    1. Kelly O*

      I’d also suggest avoiding colored tights for interviews, however sheer hose are making something of a comeback (thank you, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton-Windsor!)

      I’m just pale. I don’t tan (and believe me, I’ve tried) and every bottled tan looks weird on my skin. I’m okay with my paleness, however sometimes having a little something on the legs makes me less self-conscious about it. In some more conservative fields, bare legs are a no-no anyway.

      I’d just say wear your sheer hose with confidence.

  2. Anonymous*

    Why are performance reviews of any use to a potential employer when interviewing past managers would give a much better take on the performance of the employee?

    There’s the problem that AaM discussed: many small businesses just don’t do them. But let’s say they do. How do you explain a process where ratings are artificially limited? Or the value of a given rating? Where I work, a “Meets Expectations” means that you’re an great employee and an asset to the company. Other companies might use such a rating as code for “to be laid off in the next few months”.

    Really, it just seems lazy to me. It’s much like asking for a salary history now that I think about it – a perspective employer is refusing to do their own homework!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I agree. But my hunch is that the employer asking for this is probably thinking it’ll get them a more honest assessment than a reference might give, or that it’s a way to get very current information (since they might not want to ask for the current manager as a reference, which is actually considerate). Still, asking for it with the application itself is silly.

      1. Anonymous*

        It is silly, and I can say from experience that such a document would NOT be accurate at all.

        What if you are someone who works for clueless idiots? LOL!

    2. Anonymous*

      I always willingly hand over my performance evaluations, especially when people are requesting references for my current job. I don’t want to tip off my current job that I’m leaving so I don’t feel comfortable providing references…. but handing over my performance evaluations for the past two years that state I am one of the best employees in the company is quite easy for me to do.I’m not even talking about the rating scales, which I think are very subjective– but the comments sections can always share valuable insight. A glowing review = a fantastic employee. However, I completely understand that some companies don’t even have comments sections, some managers don’t care and thus don’t put forth effort into writing the evals, some companies don’t even have evals, etc… so it should not be a requirement. A request for it though? Sure.

      1. Jill*

        On the request for employee evaluations, I work in government where almost all of our records are subject to open/public records laws – including salary and employee discipline information. One record people cannot get (in WI anyway) are employee evaluation records. I just find it odd that citizens cannot obtain employee evaluation info from a government employer under open records laws, yet private sector employers ask for them.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I’d say the difference is that if they were available under open records laws, anyone could see them and the employee would have no say over who viewed them. With an employer requesting it, the employee can decide whether or not to supply it.

  3. Meredith*

    2, I think there are so many cute yet professional stockings/tights you can wear (think jewel tones, textured [I have some “cable-knit” tights]) that you could go that route if you’re worried about looking dated. You could also wear silk knee-high or thigh-high socks which are very in right now and which look great with either boots or heels/flats. But either way, I’m 25 and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with hose! I don’t think it’s mandatory, but I would never look at someone strangely for wearing it. THE END.

  4. ChristineH*

    #3 – This has been the bane of my existence. I too have a disability that prevents me from having a drivers license, and I’ve seen plenty of job ads where I wonder why a drivers license is required. I’ve passed on applying on quite a few otherwise interesting jobs because of it.

    I had one interview a few years ago that lasted all of two minutes because it was stated early on that the job entailed a lot of fieldwork (I did not see the job ad; the interviewer somehow came across my resume), and I disclosed that I can’t drive. Ever since then, I’ve almost always asked up front if driving is involved whenever I’m invited for an interview.

    1. William*

      I have asked in interviews where they said a drivers license was required (for jobs that didn’t involve driving) and in most cases, the answer was that it indicated that the potential employee had reliable transportation – not having to rely on mass transit or bicycling in inclement weather. I don’t know if that was true – they never actually asked about car ownership – but that is the reason I usually heard.

      1. Mike C.*

        Wait, if mass transit can get someone to a workplace on time then why does it matter to the employer? It’s one less parking spot they have to build. Many employers also receive incentives from the local municipality for encouraging the use of mass transit.

        1. JT*

          That’s pretty gross – discriminating against people who take mass transit. I think that works against poorer people.

          1. fposte*

            And also against people whose disabilities prevent them from driving, which could raise some legal issues.

        2. Jamie*

          A lot of cities have excellent mass transit systems, but many areas do not.

          I’ve worked at more than one place where during inclement weather people would call the office to see if someone could come pick them up from the stop – because a mile in rain or snow is a different animal than a mile on a sunny day.

          At these places some of the non-drivers would also solicit rides home from co-workers…and sometimes doing one favor can quickly lead into an expectation. When this is a regular thing it does breed resentment among people who don’t think chauffeuring their co-workers is part of the job.

          If an employer has been burned like this before, I can see why they would be cautious, but I don’t agree with the method. Vetting someone to make sure they have reliable transportation is fine – as long as you’re not dictating that they necessarily need to drive in.

          Personally, I would just stress that showing up reliably and on time is critical and let people worry about how to meet those ends on their own.

          1. Anonymous*

            It depends where you live. In the city, you can rely on mass transportation. Where I live there isn’t even mass transportation, nor are there cabs… so no, you don’t want to hire someone who needs to rely on a ride from others to be at work on time each day.

            In respect to disabilities, however,transportation assistance is available. If you are in fact eligible for this sort of assistance, just tell them as a result of your disability you cannot legally drive, however this makes you eligible for assistance and thus it will never present a problem.

            1. ChristineH*

              *raises hand* I use such transportation assistance. Generally it has worked well for me, but does on occasion have its hiccups (delayed pickup, route schedules that make no sense, etc).

          2. Danielle*

            Oooohhh, this has totally been my experience! There was a security guard who always asked for a ride to the bus stop, and then the requests progressed to asking for a ride home. It wasn’t THAT much out of my way, but I definitely started to resent her. And she would ask EVERY DAY. If I were in that situation, I would probably ask the person giving me a ride if we could just work something out, and I’d give them a few dollars a week, instead of them having to dread me asking them EVERY DAY.

            Btw, I live in Detroit, which has a TERRIBLE bus system, so I understand employers’ concerns, but just because someone doesn’t have a license or a car of their own doesn’t mean they won’t be getting a ride.

            1. Jamie*

              I don’t understand why people don’t offer to kick in for gas once in a while. My daughter’s friend drives her to school MWF and I pay for a tank of gas a week.

              A particular pet peeve of mine is when people do not own cars on principle, because of they are taking an ecological stand – yet have no problem bumming rides all the time. Don’t brag about how you aren’t supporting the evil oil companies with your business, when you have no problem asking me to go out of my way to drive you home. In my car – which oddly enough burns gas purchased from said evil companies.

              Don’t get me wrong, more power to them to conserve, but when you brag about how you’ve never bought a tank of gas to people who do a lot of driving you around…the hypocrisy grates.

      2. Natalie*

        Ha! Whenever we have serious snowfall, the only people who make it on time to my office are me, on the bus, and my co-worker who lives three blocks away. All of the people with “reliable” cars end up stuck in their driveway or in traffic on the freeway.

        1. Jamie*

          To this point is why a lot of employers also inquire about your commute, if you have a car. Anything over 20 miles and I’ve been asked if the commute will be an issue – in Chicago being 30 miles from work could mean up to a 3+ hour trek in really bad weather (rare, but at least a few times a year) and definitely 1.5 hours in rush hour, so I thought it was a valid question.

          That’s why an employer would be better off just vetting their ability to get there reliably, and not worry about the method.

          1. Natalie*

            “That’s why an employer would be better off just vetting their ability to get there reliably, and not worry about the method.”

            Exactly. Of course, that requires that they trust the employee when they say “yes, I can make it reliably”.

            1. Jamie*

              Yes – in the way that every new hire is a leap of faith, in a way, no matter how carefully you screen.

              But if it was established at the outside that reliability was important, the manager has a foundation to hold the employee to that.

              Personally if someone was not showing up reliably I’d never tell them to learn to drive or get a car. Because I don’t care if they are late because they keep missing their bus, or if they need a new alarm clock, or they just can’t tear themselves away from Beverly Hillbilly reruns. I lay out the attendance requirements and the employee finds a way to meet them – or doesn’t.

        2. Nyxalinth*

          Same here! I live in Denver, and my last job (loved it, was unfortunately let go because as smart as I am, I couldn’t get my head around the insurance coding part of it) and while I was still in my training class (it was a call center for a pet insurance company) there was a really big snow. Me and two others made it in to class on time that day, because we took public transportation. One other guy got snowed in 3 feet, and because he lived in an area without bus service and had to drive, he couldn’t get in at all.

          I’ve also seen employers demand a license because even though they lived in area that had a really good bus route, they didn’t trust their employees to get in on time without a car. So there’s an unfortunate stigma attached, I guess.

    2. Anonymous*

      For an internship, I was once asked if I had a driver’s license and a car. Reason being: the company was moving its offices across town, and instead of hiring a moving company to make one big move on one (or two) days, it took on interns with cars to make most of the move for them. While the internship still included tasks relevant to my profession, I turned it down mainly because of this, and when I told the would-be supervisor I was withdrawing, he said I was one he was going to take and sprung up the reimbursement issue – which during the interview was said that there wouldn’t be any pay. It didn’t change my mind; I don’t think it was fair for them to use me and my car. My car only signed up to take me to and from work.

    3. Nichole*

      I don’t drive, though it’s by choice (it’s a result of poorly treated anxiety; since this is the only area of my life it’s been a major issue, I’ve decided to live with it for the time being), and I do the same thing. I’ve been passed over for promotions as a result of not driving as well as not applying in the first place. I can’t imagine the frustration of having it be tied to a disability. AaM, would removal of driving as a requirement if it’s a reasonable accomodation be a legal issue in hiring, or would that only come into play if the disability happened after the person was hired?

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I’m pretty sure that if driving isn’t an “essential function” of the position, then removing that requirement would be a reasonable accommodation for someone whose disability was covered under the ADA. (And that would hold true in hiring and after someone was working there.)

        1. Catherine*

          I completely agree with the advice to just ask about it and briefly explain the concern.

          But as a librarian, I would add that it would totally be normal for the job to include monthly or quarterly off-site meetings at other branches or with regional associations. Something so incidental would never be spelled out in the job ad but could well be part of the job.

          Or it could be standard boilerplate because the library needs *most* employees to be able to drive so that incidentals can be taken care of. Or it could be standard boilerplate for all city employees at a certain level, and it has nothing to do with the library.

          Just ask.

  5. Another Emily*

    #1: My husband once had a manager like this. The employee (hired by his boss) ended up abandoning her job (she just stopped showing up for work one day).

    Stick to your guns!

  6. SCW*

    If the library has more than one location most staff are expected to be able to work at any as assigned, or for training. Many libraries these days also are aiming for outreach to the community, which would require driving. Honestly, I’ve worked for four different library systems and driving was required at all but one for the positions I held. But we had other people who didn’t drive who worked there–it was sometimes harder for them to make it to trainings that bounced from one side of the county to another, and they were in part time entry level positions.

    As for the ad asking for evals, that is such a stupid thing. Each place that does them uses such specific criteria that it would take extensive familiarity with the company to understand what they mean, and even then sometimes they reflect more what is going on with the organization than the individual. I had a great year and got one of the highest ratings in one area in the system where I worked last year, but this year I work in a different org where that rating is standard.

    1. Joey*

      We required driving at the library I worked at for the same reasons. But we also made exceptions for some librarians that worked at the main library in a support type role who couldn’t or didn’t want to drive. The only downside was there were only a handful of positions that truly didn’t require driving.

    2. Anne*

      Yup, I’m a Children’s Librarian at a public library and I would consider driving to be pretty essential to my job, even though it is not mentioned anywhere in my job description (but a license is required for my position). I am constantly attending trainings, meetings, school functions, community expos, etc. on behalf of my library and it would be a nightmare if I didn’t have a license. Not only do I need to be able to get around efficiently, but usually I have to haul boxes and boxes of things with me as well. For the storytimes we do in the parks in the summer, that means craft supplies, books we read, any props for acting out stories, etc. For a community expo event, we will often have flyers, pencils, stickers, maybe some books to give away, an activity for the kids, and on and on.

      To a lesser extent, it would be a pain if I didn’t own my own car, but there have been a few occasions where my car was unavailable (in the shop, etc.) and I have been able to borrow a co-worker’s or get picked up/dropped off by them. Public transportation in my area consists of bus that runs by appointment only and it closes before my library does at night!

      That said, we do have some jobs where we could get by easier if a promising candidate didn’t have a license. (Children’s work just happens to be one of the jobs where you are out of the building and in the community a lot.) The only way to find out whether that is a job where you could get by without a license is to ask, whether you do that before applying or wait and see if you get an interview is up to you.

  7. Anonymous*

    I’m 32 and I always wear panty hose with a skirt!…I’m extremely fair skinned (Irish) and OMG, my legs without hose? scary! Hose are completely acceptable, especially if you don’t have legs like Angelina Jolie. :-)

    1. The Other Dawn*

      +1. I’m like Casper the Friendly Ghost so my legs would likely glow in the dark if I didn’t put on pantyhose.

  8. EngineerGirl*

    To the OP with the incompetent manager: It’s possible that you we’re non-specific when you went to your managers boss? “my boss is terrible” is not the same as “my boss didn’t know what a chocolate teapot was-I expect that from PHds. Also could you explain to the big boss that customers are complaining (give specific examples). You also might ask big boss how yo handle the situation with customers-frame it as a “how do we keep the customer happy” question.

    It is also possible that incompetent is on a performance improvement plan and you wouldn’t know it.

    1. Charles*

      These are along the same lines that I was thinking; the OP might not see everything. There could be a lot more going on that she isn’t aware of; such as you, EngineerGirl, suggest – a performance improvment plan.

      Also, as a trainer, I am very skeptical about the OP stating that “I am training her.” Is the OP really training her on the basics of their industry? Or is the OP showing her how their organziation handles things? This isn’t clear. And, please don’t use the term “training” if one isn’t really training!

      Of course, I could also read a lot into this and say that what is really happening is resentment that the OP has a new boss and wasn’t promoted herself. The OP might do herself a world of good to make sure that this isn’t resentment on her part instead of a “horribly incompetent” boss.

  9. Tim C.*

    4. My boss is horribly incompetent and it’s demoralizing me

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. If you decide to stay ( a very difficult thing to do), there will be allot of collateral damage. Senior staff do not want to be reminded of their poor choice and you could look as a disgruntled employee. Offering to help out will prolong the agony but at least you will not be held accountable when it falls apart. If you can get another job, do not state why you are leaving. Lie untill your pants catch fire! Most people will already know why or soon guess. Good luck, you will need it.

    1. Anonymous*

      For me, I have coworkers who break the rules left and right, which at times do have negative consequences in my direction. When I talk to my supervisor about it, he says he knows about it (even cites examples for when I am no there), but lo and behold, the rule breaking continues. So much for standing up to the employees and reminding them the rules.

      I’ll take a t-shirt too. LOL

    2. Mike C.*

      Repeat after me for your future interviews:

      “I’ve had a great N years with my current company, but I’m looking for a new challenge.”

      1. Anonymous*

        Just remember that you have to make N equal to the number of years shown on the resume, not the real value.

    3. Anonymous*

      Tim C. and AAM are spot on in their advice. Decide if you can make it work. If not, do a great job, smile, and look for another job.

  10. Ugh!*

    I hate to contribute to the discussion about hose, and I am a perpetual black tights wearer, but in the winter time, it wouldn’t feel right to wear black tights with a skirt suit to an interview. If you’re in a warm location (and this year, weren’t we all?) I think unless you’re interviewing at a law firm, you don’t need them.

  11. Nyxalinth*

    I’ve had #3, albeit for a very stupid reason. The lady on the phone (it was a position as an office assistant for a small local trucking company) said there was never any driving for the position per se, but because “we can’t sort out who has a driver’s license versus who doesn’t, everyone has to have one.” I said politely “Well, if I wouldn’t ever be driving, wouldn’t it just be easy enough to have it on file that “Sheila doesn’t drive?” She started getting snotty about it, so I ended the call.

    Stupidest reason EVER. Surely even a Rolodex could sort such an issue easily! Has anyone else ever heard such a thing?

  12. Elizabeth West*

    Ugh, I have to wear hose with dress shoes or I get blisters. I can’t imagine not doing it. I hardly ever wear dresses, so it’s not much of a problem.

    There is a large religious organization in town that a former classmate who works there told me REQUIRES female employees to wear dresses. That would not work for me. Hose gets torn up and is expensive. Also, their employment criteria is out of the nineteenth century. :P

    1. Jamie*

      Have you tried the little footie things – little nylons for just your feet…like peds?

      They are invisible under most pumps/non-sandal dress shoes so you can avoid the blister problem.

      I don’t even know if there is a name for them – but most shoe stores carry them.

      1. ChristineH*

        I think I know what you’re talking about…I wear knee-high hosiery whenever I wear my pumps with dressy pants. I assumed that it’s proper to wear hose unless you’re wearing sandals; plus, I find wearing hose with pumps to be more comfortable.

      2. Jaime*

        I’ve tried those. I don’t know if I’m wearing the wrong shoes or my feet are weird, but it’s like I have a little vacuum on the bottom of my feet that sucks the footies right off. (same for nylon type things or just low athletic socks)

  13. Julia*

    Just a thought about the valid drivers license. It also keeps many alcoholics from applying. If you have DUIs, you loose your license.

    It can weed out unreliable individuals due to alcohol without ever having to do a background check.

    1. Anonymous*

      The majority of jobs within my company require a driver’s license, and on top of that require the ability to pass driver’s clearance– this is because the majority of our employees need to be insured as they sometimes transport clients.

      1. Anonymous*

        And I left out the important part, ha. You’d be surprised how many offers we have to rescind because we find old DUI’s (plural) on driver’s records, which prohibits driver’s clearance. And yes, they are explicitly told while interviewing they must pass driver’s clearance.

        1. Jamie*

          Why do people do this?? Apply for jobs which they KNOW won’t result in a hire.

          I’ve seen it with drug tests, too. Ad says there will be a pre-hire drug test – drug free workplace. Interview affirms that all new hires, without exception, must undergo a pre-hire drug test – must be clean as we’re a drug free workplace. Go through two more interviews, send them to the clinic for the drug screen and bam – tested hot.

          And no, not talking about prescription drugs or anything justifiable. What a waste of freaking time.

          1. Charles*

            Perhaps, drug abusers are in denial and think that they hide things very well. I’ve worked with two such folks in the past.

            One was a manager who was an “occasional” drug user. I’m not sure what he was doing; But it was upper management that eventually fired him. And, when I found out – so many things then made sense. I guess I was the clueless one as I just thought he was an idiot until it was pointed out to me that he had a drug problem.

            The other guy was truly an alcoholic – you know, the kind that shows up at work with “that smell” on his breath. I so wondered why management didn’t do anything; especially when he would take a 3-4 hour “liquid” lunch. Sometimes he wouldn’t even come back from lunch at all! Well, as can be said in so many situations, we don’t have all the information – his supervisor, our department head, and HR were all working together on the situation – just being the professionals that they were it was all kept very confidential until he was “fired.” They even allowed a “going away party” for him!

            But, in both cases I would say that they were in denial that they had a problem. I would not be surprised if either of them would try to pass a drug test.

    2. Student*

      Not true. I know alcoholics with pretty severe problems that have retained their licenses. I’m sure it varies a great deal by state, but your comment reminded me rather vividly of my uncle, who got three DUIs in a month before he finally got his driver’s license revoked (temporarily revoked, mind you!). They didn’t revoke his license until he had an accident with major property damage. Other family members drive drunk frequently, but haven’t killed anyone or sideswiped a police car yet, so they simply haven’t been caught.

      In short, please don’t use this method to try to screen for drunks – they’re better at not getting caught than you’d think.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I was going to say the same thing — I’d bet that the majority of alcoholics do have their licenses, so it’s not going to effectively screen them out, and it WILL screen out great employees who happen not to have cars.

      2. The gold digger*

        I think you have to have a dozen DUIs in Wisconsin and then kill someone before you lose your license. It’s illegal to park on a public street overnight and it’s illegal to put yard waste in the trash, but driving drunk doesn’t seem to be an issue.

    3. Anonymous*

      It is also possible that what these jobs are really asking for is a valid, state-issued photo ID. I’m in Maryland. If you do not get a driver’s license–or can’t–then you get a state ID. Perhaps the OP for that question could ask if that would suffice.

  14. Greg*

    6. Do you really need to submit a full salary history, broken down by type of compensation? Without knowing all the details of the OP’s situation, I would say that it’s generally better to simply say, “I’m looking for a package in the range of $___”. Employers want to know this information to determine if you’re in the same ballpark. So give them just enough info, nothing more. I don’t think any employer deserves to know a full salary history.

    7. The OP should tell his/her friend that resumes should be about accomplishments, not responsibilities. Assuming he has accomplished things that contributed to the businesses’ successes, that should be how to differentiate them.

  15. Anonymous*

    Something that stuck out to me in the hose question – why does the OP “have to” wear a dress?

  16. Cassie*

    #1 – Stand your ground, don’t do it! I had a coworker who was in a similar situation – her boss wanted her to hire people she (the boss) knew, even though they weren’t the most qualified. My coworker caved and hired said people. It’s not going well for various reasons (don’t have the necessary skills, doesn’t respond to corrections/feedback because they know they have the upper boss as backup, etc).

    If I were in that situation, I’m not even sure I would want to include them in the interview process. If they are clearly under qualified, it’s just a waste of time. If they are somewhat qualified, then interviewing them wouldn’t be a problem. And if they were so awesome as the boss thinks they are, I’m sure they will stand out on their own.

  17. LouisaD*

    I’m astounded at the number of companies that seem to be getting away with violations of the ADA and state/city disability laws, as well as the number of prospective job applicants with disabilities that prohibit driving who are giving up potential job opportunities left and right.

    If you qualify as an individual with disability under legal definitions (this has become much easier in recent years) and that is the reason you cannot drive, an employer can only hold that against you if driving is “an essential requirement” of the job, at either the hiring stage or if the disability arises later. Job descriptions are often used as powerful evidence of what job requirements are actually essential and what are tangential. So if a job posting lists a bunch of responsibilities, none of which is related to driving, and then adds a license requirement, that is evidence in your favor that driving is not really required for the job.

    Your commute is totally irrelevant as long as you get to work on time. Snow days have nothing to do with any of this. If you are otherwise qualified for the job and driving is not an essential function of the job, employers have an affirmative obligation to work with you to come up with a reasonable accommodation that will allow you to do the job. This may require them to spend some money, like paying for occasional taxis, etc. I understand that many people believe this to be horribly unfair. But the law is what it is, and it is very clear: failure to accommodate = discrimination.

    Regardless of your personal beliefs, if you are employer, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the law very quickly, because if you’ve been rejecting people in this situation and the job doesn’t really require driving as a major component, you’ve opened yourself up to very serious liability.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      This is exactly right — although the candidate would need to speak up about the fact that the lack of license was related to a disability, so that part is crucial to do.

  18. Anonymous*

    thanks for the info on my inept boss….i didn’t actually think it would get posted so thank you very much!!!

    since then, i’ve made a change. you are correct in stating that i cannot do anything about the situation except to make a decision to stay or leave. i got the will to talk to HR, Snr Mngt and it is what it is. basic statements: we hired her for something different, or she’s actually improving – i can see it, or no comment, or blah blah blah. although some are still on my side. during these “off the record” chats, the best advice i got was to resign myself she’s here. i pondered that for quite a bit of time, considered career changes, etc and one day…i just accepted it. and…i still rock! and…she let me know that she couldn’t do it without me, which is very humble in my eyes. so what did i learn? though there may be people in my life who drive me nuts or i get fed up, i eventually need to take responsibility for the way i “feel” about that individual and do something about it personally. i may need help from hr or eap LOL … and they actually may really have some issues – hey – who doesn’t. but if i can learn to deal with it internally and objectively question things (as much as one can) then kudos to me for being an adult and learning how to deal with tough situations and not run away. boy could i babble some more on this -great learning experience. check back with me in 6 months and let’s see what has happened then. thank you again!

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