mini answer Monday: 7 short questions, 7 short answers

It’s mini answer Monday! Today: you’re pregnant and making a lot of trips to the office bathroom, you want to appeal a job rejection, you sure as hell don’t want to help out a coworker, and more. Here we go…

1. Should I share resources with another department?

I work for a nonprofit, educational institution. Even though we should all be working for the common good, the lines in the sand have been drawn — because of tight budgets. You do what you do for your department because they are paying your salary. A coworker from another department asked if they could use an e-mail list that I have spent significant time developing. It’s not e-mails that couldn’t be shared because of confidentiality reasons, as they are not personal, but rather businesses and media lists. But I have worked on it for years and continue to fine-tune it. The coworker asked to use for a hurry up project that needs to go out immediately and is actually in the same capacity as I am in, but a different department. Someone from their department recently wanted me to work on something for them, but the director stated it was not permitted because in no shape or way are they paying any of my funds… What to do?

Wow, good luck explaining to donors and other constituents that the organization is so turf-driven that you don’t share resources, even when you’d lose nothing by doing so. Do you really want to work somewhere that approaches its mission this way?

2. Pregnant and using the office bathroom a lot

I’m 9 weeks pregnant and everyone at my workplace knows it. Sometimes I go every hour to pee, other times it’s every two. I get the feeling I’m being talked about for “using the bathroom a lot.” I know for a fact my boss is asking those I work with how often I am going. Not like I’m doing it to waste time, I’ve been told not to drink as much too, that maybe it will help. I drink as much as necessary to stay healthy. I’m quite frustrated and don’t exactly know the correct way to handle it. I’m emotionally stressed because its an every day issue. I have to resist the urge to print out pregnancy symptoms and say I know you’ve never been pregnant so thought you might want this. Any help would be appreciated!

Go talk to your boss. But stay away from comments like “I know you’ve never been pregnant”; it’s irrelevant, and you actually don’t know that. Instead, say, “Hey, I’m experiencing some symptoms of pregnancy, and one is that I need to use the bathroom a lot. I wanted to mention this up front in case you notice it and wonder what’s up.” Period. End of story.

It’s always better to address things head-on than to let them fester. If anyone pressures you to drink less water or use the bathroom less, say that you’re following your doctor’s advice. If it continues, you may need to educate them about the law, but right now, it’s not at that point.

3. Appealing a job rejection

Just minutes ago, I received a note of rejection from “my dream job” employer, and in the same time I found and read your article “But I’m qualified for that job – why did you reject me?” My question to you, shall I send another email convincing them that my qualification/experience do match their job description?

No. Go back and re-read the article.

4. Listing an Etsy store on your resume

I operate a store on Etsy. It’s not necessarily related to the field I am interested in pursuing, but I think the skills it takes to run it are valuable. Should I list it on my resume and, if so, how?

Yes. List yourself as the owner, and describes what it entails and what you’ve achieved.

5. Listing volunteer work on a resume

I was told to avoid using the word “volunteer” on my resume, and to instead find a different way to list that relevant experience. The explanation was that some employers may not consider a volunteer position as challenging, demanding, or worthwhile as an actual paid position. To not list that sort of work as volunteer seems misleading, but I don’t want to hurt my chances just by using the wrong word.

You should absolutely list the work on your resume, and it’s up to you whether you indicate that it was pro bono or not. It’s no one’s business how much you got paid for your work, even if that amount was zero.

That said, it is true that with volunteer work, employers may wonder whether the organization you volunteered for was holding the bar lower or holding you less accountable since your work was free — because in fact that’s often the case. So make sure that you focus on your accomplishments there, rather than just listing duties.

6. Emailing employers who don’t get back to you after an interview

Can you update all of us as to how the “E-mail Your Interviewer” service is doing? I know you mentioned awhile back somebody said that it caused them to reconsider their practices and they do let candidates know now, but have you received any hate mail as a result of it? I’m sure having fun using it.

For people who don’t know, lets you generate an anonymous (and polite; it’s pre-written) letter to employers who interviewed you and then never got back to you back again — no rejection, nothing — even after you followed up with them to ask for an update.

I’d say that somewhere between 5% of the letters sent through the site result in a rude/angry/self-righteous email back to me from the employer, denying any wrongdoing. A bit less than that, there’s an email saying “whoops, that shouldn’t have happened.” Mainly there’s silence (fittingly, I suppose), but I hope that it’s changed the way at least some employers think.

7. Getting help practicing interviewing skills

Among the comments in a recent post on resume-writing, I spotted your suggestion about practicing tricky interview questions and answers. You wrote: “The person has to be someone whose input on this will be on-target (i.e., your mom might see you as great no matter what, and a 20-something friend might not have the same perspective as a hiring manager), and they have to be someone who’s willing to tell you the truth, even if it’s awkward or uncomfortable. If it’s hard to find someone who meets both criteria in your circle (and it often is), then a professional might be a good answer.”

Would you have any suggestions how one find such a professional? Is there an organization for HR pros who assist individuals?

There’s no organization like that (at least that I know of), but what I was talking about in that article was someone like a career coach. One caveat, though, is that they’re really hit-or-miss, so choose carefully: Make sure you find someone who’s smart, in touch with how hiring managers think, and not a sugar-coater.

{ 95 comments… read them below }

  1. Joey*

    #1. The only time this is a good idea is if there are specific requirements attached to the donation or grant. I’ve seen quite a few that specify exactly what they can and cannot be used for.

    1. Jamie*

      I can see this if she was currently compiling the list, or expecting to keep it updated for them. But my impression is that she created the list for the benefit of her own department and another wants to use it.

      There are no labor dollars being accrued in allowing access to a list that already exists. So I don’t see how this could be a funding issue.

      Declining to put in time for another department, absolutely valid – but hoarding information which could be shared but isn’t due to territorial issues? The other department would need to spend the time and resources (read money) to compile the same information – what a waste of funds. Privately owned companies can waste money all they like, it’s their money. Non-profits are held to a higher standard because it’s other people’s money.

      I really hope this isn’t an organization to which I’ve donated.

  2. Ashley*

    For the volunteer experience, I use “community involvement” instead. I like the way it sounds.

  3. JPT*

    “Wow, good luck explaining to donors and other constituents that the organization is so turf-driven that you don’t share resources, even when you’d lose nothing by doing so. Do you really want to work somewhere that approaches its mission this way?”

    A valid statement, unless you’re working in academia, because that’s pretty much standard. One department or office may have absolutely zip to do with the other. From an HR perspective, or the perspective of this person’s supervisor, that other area may use completely different accounts to pay for their work, making helping out have the potential for being a second job assignment (with the potential for having to pay that person overtime). But I don’t see a problem with sharing a contact list, unless those contacts don’t want to be pimped out. I wouldn’t say no, you can’t have my list, just because I spent years developing it and you didn’t put that work into it. Seems a little stingy.

    The way I have dealt with this sort of thing is, if it’s a reasonable request and takes me almost no time, I’ll do it to help someone out. If it’s a time sink and not related to my job, I’d check with a supervisor to see if they want me to spend my time on it or if it’s not appropriate. But overall, may need some more information on this situation.

    1. EB*

      I actually want to agree with this. In universities, each department really is separate with its own sub-budget, and often has nothing to do with other departments unless there is a “joint venture.” Departments almost function like like a separate sub-organization, so sometimes its easier to think of an overall university or college like a parent company that contains a bunch of sub-companies who compete for resources from the parent company. Sometimes other educational institutions may follow a similar model of organizing. In these cases, sending an admin to work for another department is like sending your secretary to work for another company unless you form a joint-venture of some kind where you pool your resources. Furthermore, if the admins are being funded with grants specific to the department (which the admins in my center are), the grants may prohibit employees from being shopped out to different departments (because the grant is only funding the center’s research and support for that specific research).

      I wouldn’t send out the list without specific supervisor approval, because in universities (which, granted, you may not be working at) each department/center can sometimes cultivate its own list of donors separate and apart from the general university (alumni who majored or minored in the department, people or institutions who fund the faculty or are interested in their research) who earmark their donations specifically to your department and have been carefully cultivated over time. Your supervisor may want to negotiate specific promises from the other department in exchange for your resources or may want to agree to have you send out the item in order to avoid handing over all the hard work you have done.

      1. fposte*

        This is all true, but there are other kinds of lists, and it sounds to me more like a promotional contacts list, or at least not a donor list. I’d handle a donor list very differently than I would that kind of list; in fact, I have shared media contact lists with other departments, now that I think about it.

        I can see that it would be annoying if this other department seems repeatedly determined to get the benefit of your dept’s work without actually doing or funding it, but I think it’s worth looking at the requests individually and considering their legitimacy rather than just writing them all off with “Them again.”

        1. JPT*

          To some degree it depends on where you are, but from what I’ve heard at bigger universities it’s pretty much the standard (I’ve worked at two universities, one now and one just as a student employee.) There’s the overall university, different colleges/schools/administrative units within the university, and different departments/offices within those. And going the other way, for some there is a system of multiple campuses beyond the one university. Donors typically give to specific places (such as the academic department, school or college they graduated from) or to specific campaigns. Money goes to a very specific place and can only be used for a specific use that was outlined before that money was solicited.

          1. EB*

            re: money having very specific purposes

            oh yeah, this is a big problem sometimes. At one university I was at, for example, there was a general layoff in the library, however, the university was able to build a new building. They had to keep building because there had been a fundraising campaign specifically for that construction and, due to the rules governing the donations, they could not legally transfer money donated to the building project to the library (often time, if you get a big donor, there may be a contract of sorts governing the donation).

            On one hand the rules are good, you don’t want to donate say, money to add more books to the library and find that the school has spent it on a new gym for the football team. On the other hand, it sucks when the reverse is true and people will donate money for sports and buildings (especially if you put their name on the building) but not for staffing for the library.

  4. Jamie*

    Another person with the bathroom issue?

    Honestly, the day I start tracking how frequently my co-workers use the restroom I hope someone fires me because I was focused on asshattery rather than my job.

    The fact that the OP’s boss is asking her co-workers about this…wow. I can’t even imagine what my reaction would be if my boss asked me about how often someone else was using the ladies room. I would think they had lost their mind.

    On a non-work related note – FWIW for most women the frequency goes back to normal in the second trimester…and comes back with a vengeance in the third when the baby is using your bladder as a bouncy house.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy – btw.

    1. JoAnna*

      “The day I start tracking how frequently my co-workers use the restroom I hope someone fires me because I was focused on asshattery rather than my job.”

      A-freaking-men. My office is right off the main hallway toward the bathroom and my desk faces the door (which I keep open almost all the time); if I wanted to, I could probably track how many times Co-worker X went to use the bathroom. However, I hardly ever notice when people walk by because I’m to focused on doing my job.

    2. Paralegal*

      “I get the feeling I’m being talked about for “using the bathroom a lot.” ”

      Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I hope this isn’t a symptom of a larger issue regarding pregnancy and the work culture. I wonder if people would notice or comment on the constant bathroom breaks if they didn’t associate it with her pregnancy.

      1. Jamie*

        It’s astounding to me what people will notice.

        I worked a place once where a guy thought he was so very clever because he figured out why women carry their purses to the ladies room with them sometimes, but not other times.

        And he would smirk and comment about “that time again.”

          1. Jamie*

            It was a temp job for me and he was the owner’s son – so wasn’t a battle I was in a position to fight. I just ignored him and refused reassignment there.

            He was in his late 30’s – you’d think the novelty value of that little bit of knowledge would have worn off by now.

            1. The gold digger*

              Obviously, he had never managed to maintain a relationship with a woman long enough that she asked him to pick up some tampax when he went to the store.

              1. Charles*

                NO, NO, NO If you want to show respect for your guy never ask him to pick up “women’s products”!

                Guys don’t even go down that isle in the store!

              2. jmkenrick*

                @Charles – I don’t mean this in a condensending way, but this attitude genuinelly baffles me. I can certainly understand not being particualrly interested, but “NO, NO, NO”? You sound like you’re actually scared of how femaile bodies function. Why?

              3. Andrea*

                Any man who cares about and respects a woman that he’s sleeping with and/or sharing a life with ought to be considerate enough, mature enough, and self-assured enough to pick up tampons at the store upon request. I can’t even believe that someone tried to make the argument about not asking men to do that…I hope it was a poorly written joke.

              4. Ellie H.*

                Yeah, I find the idea that it’s “disrespectful” to ask a man to engage with menstrual products in any way really sexist and even misogynist, disturbingly so.

              5. Rana*

                Reminds me of this perhaps apocryphal story I read once about a guy being razzed for buying feminine hygiene products; his response to the other guy heckling him was to point out that his doing this was proof that he was in a relationship with a woman who loved and trusted him.

                Why would that be shameful?

                And if it’s because you’re squicked out by menstruation, my response is two-fold: a) they’re just bits of cotton and paper, for pity’s sake, and b) grow up.

                Seriously, it’s like freaking out because you might be seen buying toilet paper or something.

              6. Anonymous*

                My husband’s take on buying tampons for me: “Well, it’s not like they think they’re for me.”

              7. The gold digger*

                Early on in our relationship, my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I were in the store. I needed some minipads. We got into the aisle and I couldn’t reach the top shelf. He started pulling items off the shelf, asking if I wanted the superthin, wings, light day, whatever – all the variations.

                “How do you know all this stuff?” I asked.

                He rolled his eyes. “I raised two stepdaughters. This is not a big deal.”

              8. Ellie H.*

                Thanks for clarifying Charles, sorry to pile on what was intended to be a joke – unfortunately I think that some guys probably do actually think that way!

        1. Charles*

          Ha! Did he also notice when guys would go to the restroom empty-handed for a quick “pit-stop” vs. going to the restroom with reading material?

        2. Lindsay H.*

          I had a conversation with someone whose cubicle was next to the men’s bathroom. She could tell by the sound of the automatic papertowel dispenser who washed their hands and who didn’t. I told her, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, to send out mass e-mails about any culprits. “Bill from accounting didn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom this morning. Don’t share your Twizzlers with him until uses the Purell at the front desk.”

          1. Anonymous*

            My ex-coworker’s desk was on the other side of the wall from the men’s room and occasionally she would hear someone singing showtunes while he was using the restroom. He was never loud enough that we could figure out who he was, but loud enough that it was distracting my coworker from doing her work.

            One day she asked me to go run around the other side of the office and stake out the door to see who it was so that maybe she could figure out a nice way of saying, “Please do not whistle while you work,” and it turned out that it was one of the PARTNERS of the place we worked. We could never really look at him the same after that. Moral of the story: do not try to figure out when your coworkers are in the bathroom, for your own sake. :P

    3. Ellie H.*

      I HATE things like this. I already go to the bathroom like once an hour and I don’t think I’m *exceptionally* well hydrated, just fairly well – I’m just one of those people who has to go all the time and have been all my life. I picked up some kind of medical book the other day and was horrified to read that apparently it’s “not normal” to go every 1 or 2 hours (apparently every 3 or 4 is normal). Now that I work in an office I genuinely do worry that people notice how often I go and think it’s weird. I cannot imagine what it would be like if I were pregnant.

      Also, there are many women carry their purse to the restroom besides concealing tampons in it. Maybe they want to touch up their makeup or brush their teeth or something. That guy is a jerk.

      1. Rana*

        Or they don’t trust their co-workers to not poke around in it… with a person like this in the office, they’re probably right not to!

        1. Andrea*

          Exactly–when I worked in an office outside of my home and actually had coworkers, I never let my purse out of my sight.

      2. Marketer*

        Thank you! I go every hour or two as well, and was wondering how weird that was. I drink a lot of water, though, and I’d be so mad if an employer told me to regulate that!

  5. fposte*

    “Today: you’re pregnant and making a lot of trips to the office bathroom, you want to appeal a job rejection, you sure as hell don’t want to help out a coworker, and more.”

    Most depressing horoscope *ever.*

  6. JoAnna*

    But stay away from comments like “I know you’ve never been pregnant”; it’s irrelevant, and you actually don’t know that.

    Unless, of course, her boss is male, in which case it’s a pretty sure bet. ;)

      1. khilde*

        Yes, and the fact that I think the “you’d never know cause you’ve never been in my shoes” is a fairly aggressive phrase in this context. I don’t know how it could be delivered (ha! no pun intended) and not be seen as snarky. This phrase won’t a person to anyone.

        1. Spiny*

          I read that more as informative, as in, “I’m pregnant, and you may not realize that this bathroom frequenting is actually a common symptom…”

    1. ABCD*

      True, but a male boss might have had suffered the loss of a baby as a father. He might be grieving. I think Alison’s advice was great: short, simple, and puts the focus on work.

    2. Anonymous*

      Except if your boss is a transgender male (which means, someone who had been assigned female at birth – and, no, you can’t tell).

  7. JPT*

    Irrelevance is the bigger thing here, not just whether they’ve been pregnant. Not everyone’s pregnancy is the same, not everyone works for the same amount of time during their pregnancy, and not every boss has had a pregnant person work for them. The idea is to get them to understand your needs without playing the “I’m a mommy and you’re not so I’m better than you” card.

  8. ChristineH*

    #5 – Volunteer work on resume

    I’ve wondered about this myself. A lot of my experience over the years have entailed volunteer office work and internships. So I might put “office volunteer” or “social work intern”. I can see how those titles might be frowned upon, but I don’t know what else to put. One place suggested I put “project consultant”, although part of that time was on a volunteer basis. I do have one volunteer position that has a nice fancy title :)

    #7 – I’ve thought about using a career coach myself for interview practice, but would you say it’s best to use one who has good familiarity with my field (human services/nonprofit)?

    1. ChristineH*

      “One place suggested I put “project consultant”, although part of that time was on a volunteer basis. ”

      That made no sense…let me clarify: Part of this was paid, part was volunteer. I’ve had so many roles with this place (paid and volunteer), it can be really confusing to explain.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I wouldn’t call it consulting, unless it was truly consulting work (which it very well may have been; just don’t call it that if you were, say, stuffing envelopes).

      Career coaches: Someone familiar with your field is definitely a plus, but the most important thing is that you get someone who’s smart and is up-to-date on how hiring managers think. And isn’t cheesy.

  9. Josh S*

    I think #3 was spamming you. I’m honestly surprised it even made a “Short Answer” post–the guy clearly didn’t read the article he quoted.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Definitely possible, but I get a surprising number of questions from people on posts where the advice is right there in the post — they just are hoping it doesn’t apply to them!

      1. Sara*

        I get questions like this from my coworkers all the time when they have a step-by-step instruction document to follow.

        Example: “I see here that the instructions say I should always make widgets in batches of 20 or the widget-making machine will explode. So my question is, can I make widgets in batches of 30?”

        *bangs head repeatedly against desk*

        1. Josh S*

          Ugh. I try to think that humanity is better than this. But I know it isn’t true. *sigh*

      2. Liz T*

        It reminds me of Dan Savage–people write in saying they’re long-time readers, and ask questions he’s answered many times over. Often they add, “And don’t tell me to break up with him/her!” because they know that’d be his advice if it were some OTHER person, with some inferior love, writing in.

  10. Charles*

    #1 – I would ask the boss what her thoughts on the subject of sharing an email list are. It could be that she doesn’t want the list pimped out (as stated above). There is such a thing as “donor fatigue.”

    #6 the “E-mail Your Interviewer” service. Thank you AAM for this. I have used it several times now. Only one actually figured out that it was me, rather, I should say that only one employer bothered to get back to me AFTER I used that service. Their response was a simple canned “thanks, but no thanks.” Which is all that I was expecting in the first place.

  11. Ali_R*

    Could it be possible the pregnant woman’s boss is actually excited about her pregnancy and is asking more in a doting, curious way? Awe, our little Janie is going to have a baby!

    Perhaps the suggestions to cut down on liquids is from those that don’t quite understand what’s going on physically and think their helping trying to circumvent the hormones. (Although, in this day and age suggesting anyone cut down on water is pretty far fetched.)

    Wow, and usually I am the one that is sure everyone is being a jerk. Ha! This must be middle age, I am too old and my children are too young yet. I am far enough removed from pregnancies I would probably be overbearing to a pregnant co-worker in my vicarious excitement. Silly, huh?

    1. Jamie*

      Not silly – me too! I’m not having any more of my own and years away from grandbabies – so I will buy baby gifts for anyone I know even remotely just so I can pick out little bathrobes with ducks on them…or my new favorite the rattle which looks like a plastic iPhone!

      I wouldn’t bother a co-worker if they didn’t want to discuss it, but I’d be all over living vicariously through one if they were chatty about it!

  12. Grey*

    I used “Email Your Interviewer” once. It was about two months after my interview.

    My feeling of satisfaction soon turned to guilt when I thought about the poor person who might have interviewed there last week. The company would probably think it was them that sent the email. I might have cost someone a job.

    Then again, if they’re interviewing one person, they’re interviewing many. They couldn’t single anyone out. Still, it gave me an uneasy feeling.

    If this happens to me in the future, I might think of a polite personal way to express my dissatisfaction.

  13. Kimberlee*

    #4: Definitely put an Etsy store! The way I see it, there’s no downside (unless you’re selling something gross or terrible, I guess), and even if you don’t get an interview you might get a sale! If a resume that I even half liked listed an Etsy store, I would almost certainly check it out. If you’re sending several resumes out, that could lead to some real sales, in addition to a job!

    1. Rana*

      Eh, I’m going to politely disagree. I’ve seen far too many amateurish, unprofessional Etsy shops to assume that having one is an indication of anything more than an urge to be crafty on the internet. (Check out the offerings featured on Regretsy, for example!)

      All it takes to open an Etsy store is something to sell, access to the internet, and the willingness to pay Etsy’s listing fees. That’s not really very impressive, and some of the shops I’ve seen raise serious questions about not merely the professional competence of their owners, but their mental competence as well. For it to be something I’d take seriously, let alone positively, I’d need more evidence of professionalism than simply owning the shop.

      I’m not saying don’t put it on there, but be aware that it’s not automatically a good thing, in and of itself.

      1. Kimberlee*

        Maybe the solution is to find a friend who isn’t bad at breaking bad news and ask them if they’d list it? There ARE some pretty terrible things on there, but in general, I’m going to look favorably toward the entrepreneurial spirit, so unless it’s quite bad, it would still probably be a net plus with me!

      2. fposte*

        It reminds me a little bit of the knitting question from back a month or so ago. I think it works if you can quantify the achievement–“Etsy business bringing in 500 quatloos monthly, with 200 custom chocolate teapots produced annually for the last five years”–which is what Alison said. But without details, it’s kind of like saying you have a website. That’s not an achievement, that’s filling out a form. Make it about the achievement.

      3. Ellie H.*

        I kind of agree with Rana, my first thought when I think of Etsy is Regretsy type stuff. I do like fposte’s idea about giving quantifying details that confirm its legitimacy.

  14. kristinyc*

    Re #1-
    I’m a little curious about this email list/how big it is. Does your company use an email delivery platform (like Constant Contact or ExacTarget), or do you use this list to personally send individual emails in Outlook?

    Is there overlap between your list and the audience that the other person is trying to target? If you’re using an email platform, you should all be using the same contact lists (or possibly segmenting them by types of emails – press releases, newsletters, event info, etc), and make sure that you’re not sending too many emails to any particular person.

  15. mh_76*

    #1 – Some places do have separate account codes for different departments but what you describe just sounds silly. Does that colleague know that the director wouldn’t grant the other department’s request for you to help them (if you & your boss were OK with it…or if the director is really a dictator)?

    #2 – Your restroom needs are your business but I agree with AAM to be up front with your boss. Even if you weren’t pregnant, there are other medical reasons why a person would need to use the restroom frequently, including paralysis. There are also some conditions that cause a person to drink a lot of liquid and that leads to…

    If you’ve gotta go, go…it’s better than to hold it and someday not be able to because holding it frequently wrecks the body…and it’s better than making a mess. I believe that bathroom use falls under Basic Human Rights (but I’m not sure…or maybe I’m hearing a former retail manager telling me that I had to wait…).

    #5 – Whomever gave you that advice is a fool. I agree with AAM’s answer.

    Two questions to ask yourself: (1) Is the work professionally relevant? If yes, I’d be inclined to leave the word “volunteer” off; (2) Is it something that you can/plan to continue after you do find a job? If yes, then I’d include the word “volunteer” and stress that you will absolutely put paid work first. Ultmately, though, it’s up to you to do what you’re most comfortable with. And you can always add/delete the word “volunteer” to/from each resume you send out to see what seems to work better.

    1. Sadya*

      Taking mh’s answer a little further: In the US you are not legally obligated to declare your pregnancy. There can be/ could be multiple other reasons to use the bathroom frequently. I think OP should ask her boss if her frequent visits were a problem to him/her. Chances are it will embarrass him/her or you might get to hear ‘oh no i was just looking for you’. If at most you could say that the frequent visits are medically related matter.
      Also your coworkers are petty minded.

      1. mh_76*

        Agree completely. Even though #2 doesn’t legally have to disclose pregnancy, it might be a good idea anyway because sooner or later, it will be very obvious, even before she goes on maternity leave.

  16. Anonymous*

    I also disagree with the Etsy answer. As someone who represents artists, that would be a red flag for me – far too much junk to outweigh the positives. Truth is, my successful artists only use it as a way to show work – not as a money maker. And considering the lax standards (mass production pretending to be one offs, etc.) I am leery of one claiming an Etsy store. Not a deal killer with an otherwise strong resume – but otherwise…

    1. Another Emily*

      I think if the store owner can add meaningful details like how many sales per year then I think it would be fine on the resume. As long as the number is actually impressive.

  17. AD*

    #7 — Check with your alma mater. Some offer these services to alumni. I know that some college career offices are TERRIBLE, but you could at least try it out before shelling out dough.

  18. Tim C.*

    My only issue with sharing a list where years were spent in the making is that seldom is your work given the credit it deserves. Your boss is not the one who benefits from it and it saved many man hours of labor for the company. This is all because you managed your time effectively to produce a useful product. When performance appraisals come up, where is this mentioned? Unless this specific list is in a job description or was a formal part of their duties, this is material to justify real value of an employee.

      1. Tim C.*

        Yes you can do this. But unless it is important to your boss, it rarely is given credit.

  19. Chris Walker*

    Re #3: Once the ‘we picked someone else’ message has been delivered, the conversation is over. From the employer’s perspective, there is nothing to be gained by reopening it. If you want feedback, ask for it in the interview while the conversation is still going. Say something like ‘Do you have any concerns I need to address in order to be a top candidate?’

    You wouldn’t be sitting in the interview unless someone thought you were at least marginally qualified for the position. So everyone who interviews is qualified. That makes the choice more about attitude, personality, fit etc.

  20. Vicki*

    I had a crazy manager once (dept director) who assigned everyone their new location for a move to a new building (He assigned; no appeals permitted). Hoping for some sense, I asked if I could possibly be near a couple of co-workers I worked with regularly.

    When we moved in, my cube was next to the break area which was between the restrooms. Everyone in the dept knew that the smell of microwave popcorn made me nauseous.

    When I asked why he’s put me there he said, no joke, “You asked for a cubicle next to the women’s room”. I was flabbergasted.

    Oh… and he made me get a letter from my Doctor before I could move away from near the microwave.

    1. Vicki*

      Note to anyone wondering: the co-workers I had asked about being near were located in a different wing, so the restroom location was about as far from them as it was possible to be. This wasn’t a weird “compromise”.

    2. Jamie*

      I hate the smell of popcorn and this is the only office I’ve worked in where it’s not a constant thing.

      I don’t know how you got any work done at all sitting there.

  21. Anonymous*

    Re: #6. Emailing employers who don’t get back to you after an interview

    For the 5%, I wish there was a way for us to know when whoever we interview actually responds back.

    1. Anonymous*

      AaM could publish the list of companies which fall into each category – and whether they are multiple offenders.

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