wee answer Wednesday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

It’s wee answer Wednesday — seven short answers to seven short questions.

1. I don’t want to relocate to the city my employer is suggesting

I received a relocation offer from my current employer. Our small company was recently acquired by a large corporation, and we all knew something like this would be coming. I’ve always told HR that I’m open to moving (which is true; no mortgage, no kids, no husband), but I’m not too keen on the new city.

They’ve suggested I come visit the city to meet other employees at the office and explore over the weekend, but I’m a bit hesitant. Even though it’s a better position & pay, I’m really not interested (and don’t want to be tempted by visiting), but I also don’t want them to think I’m blowing off the good offer and burn bridges. Should I go on the company-paid trip?

Also, how do I get other coworkers to mind their own business when it comes to this transition? I think they should just be worried about their offers, and I’m not interested in sharing the details of my own or what I’m thinking of doing, but I don’t want to be rude.

If you’re 100% sure you wouldn’t relocate there, just tell them that. But otherwise, go on the trip with an open mind; you might be pleasantly surprised. If you still aren’t interested in moving afterwards, you can tell them that you thought it over but it’s not for you.

As for your coworkers, tell them, “I’ll let you know once I’ve made a decision.” Repeat as necessary.

2. Rescheduling an interview

I have an interview for a new job, but my current job will not let me off at that time. They will for a time earlier that day. How can I ask the interviewer for a change?

Just ask. Say, “I’m unable to get away from work at 3:00, but could be available earlier that day. Would you be able to meet earlier instead?”

3. Social anxiety disorder and interviews

I have social anxiety disorder and am currently job hunting. In case you don’t know what that is, here is a brief rundown of some of the symptoms I experience: sweaty palms, nervousness, an intense fear that I am going to say/do the wrong thing, fear of being judged, and occasional anxiety attacks. Frankly, I go to an interview and I look like a nervous wreck. Medication hasn’t worked and neither has cognitive behavioral therapy, but I can’t afford not to work. The thing is, most of my nervousness is a result of being in an unfamiliar place or around unfamiliar people (both of which are factors at job interviews). Once I have had a week or two around a new job I settle in just fine. So my question is, should I be upfront during the interview and tell the interviewer that I have this mental illness, or should I just hope for the best and say nothing?

I wouldn’t announce a specific diagnosis, but it’s perfectly fine to say, “I tend to get really nervous in interviews, so I hope you’ll excuse any obvious signs of that.” Also, I don’t know if this will help or not, but there are a lot of tips for overcoming interview nerves in my free job interview preparation guide.

4. Feedback when you’ve been used to bad managers

I’ve been in my new position for 2 months now. In previous positions, I’ve either been blindsided by crappy managers with disciplinary action after having good reviews shortly before, or not receiving any feedback at all on how I was doing. In my current job, my supervisor is managing another person for the first time, and he’s a very busy person. We meet regularly every week. Each time he sends a calendar request to have a meeting to discuss ongoing work, my stomach clenches and I get very nervous. Then in the meeting, we discuss .. work. Not me or my performance, which as far as I know is fine. The last time we met, I asked how I was doing and he said “good!” I didn’t get the impression that he had any problems with my work. However, I still get very nervous when he schedules meetings.

I realize this is my own hangup. I want to do well in my new role and some day advance in the company. Should I ask him how I’m doing often, or wait for him to offer feedback?

Good managers do weekly or bi-weekly check-ins — to check in on progress, talk about priorities, give feedback, and serve as a resource. It sounds like that’s what your manager is doing, so I’d really try to see it as just a regular forum for that stuff, rather than as a Big Scary Conversation. You can absolutely ask for feedback on how you’re doing in these meetings, but it’s going to sound oddly needy if you do it every week — I’d limit that to roughly every quarter. However, what you can do more often is to ask for feedback on specific projects — “Did you have any feedback on that memo I wrote?”, “Is there anything you’d like me to do differently with Client X?”, etc.

5. Did naming a higher salary take me out of the running for this position?

I had a phone screening this morning and was, of course, asked about salary. I stated it was negotiable, but I would prefer $40,000. (My answer was based on the general market rate for the position, as well as my own personal budget.) My interviewer was silent for a moment, and said that generally, as this was an entry-level position, the person would be paid $30,000. She asked if I was still interested, as there was quite a bit of discrepancy between the two salaries. I stated that I was, especially since they have an excellent benefits package that she had outlined earlier. Is there a possibility I will be ruled out as a being “too expensive” in the long run? I am willing to take the salary to get my foot in the door, as this is a great non-profit managerial position that will look wonderful on my resume, and will not require a lengthy commute.

It’s possible you’ll be ruled out for being too expensive, yes. Employers often don’t like to hire people for a significantly lower salary than what the person was looking for, because of a concern that they’ll be dissatisfied and continuing to look elsewhere. But it’s also perfectly possibly that you won’t be ruled out — there’s no way to know how your interviewer will feel about it.

By the way, don’t base salary requests on your personal budget. It needs to be based exclusively on the market rate for the position.

6. Business professional attire vs. business casual

I have a question about office attire. I have about 5 years of work experience — one year at an internship where the dress code was business casual and four years at my current position where the dress code is extremely casual (I’m talking everything from jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops, to yoga pants and over-sized hoodies). Needless to say, I need to buy a new wardrobe.

I asked my new boss what the dress code would be for my position, assuming it would be business casual. She clarified and said it’s actually business professional attire. She said it’s not suits and heels everyday, but it is professional.

With my lack of experience in dressing up for work, I am just wondering what “business professional” is if it ISN’T suits and heels every day. When I wore business casual at my internship, I’d wear slacks with a nice top and a cardigan (with heels or flats) — -would that be okay? Or, would this impact men more than women with their suits, ties, etc.? I have already bought a few outfits for this position, including lots of dresses that I planned to wear with a belt and a cute jacket or sweater. Please tell me I don’t have to return them!

Business casual is generally on the level of khakis, where as business professional is generally more dress pants and nice tops, just not full suits. Picture the suit without the jacket and you have the basic idea.

The outfits you bought are probably fine, as long as they’re not really casual fabrics. I’d wear the dressiest of them on the first day and get a feel for what other people are wearing, and dress to match that level of formality. (Also, think back to what you saw people wearing when you interviewed.)

7. Benefits of travel agents

I’m not sure if this question is outside your scope — if so, I apologize but would love guidance on where to go for the answer. I work for a very small company of 3 people. Is it beneficial for companies of this size to enlist the services of a travel agent? My take is that it is easy enough for everyone to arrange their own travel, but my boss is suggesting that we hire a travel agency. Seems like a waste of money, and creation of additional hassle, to me.

It is indeed outside my scope, but I’ll throw it out here to see if others have answers for you. For what it’s worth, my advice would be to talk to a travel agent and ask exactly this question; see what they say. You can also try one for a couple of trips and see what you think.

{ 133 comments… read them below }

  1. B*

    #6 – exactly what AAM said. Business professional is nice pants, skirts, dresses, nice looking buttondowns, sweaters, tops that do not show cleavage. Business casual is more along the lines of those outfits but also skinny jeans, cute top, knee high boots. It’s hard to have those distinctions between professional and casual sometimes but after 2 or 3 days you will have a feel for the clothing others wear.

    1. PEBCAK*

      Business professional is what the marketing people wear, while business casual is what the IT people wear.


      1. Aimee*

        The difference between marketing people and IT people at my company is that we marketing people wear jeans with our flip flops and tshirts while the IT people wear shorts with their flip flops and tshirts. :)

    2. Blue Dog*

      I agree. Wear your nicest stuff for the first few days, see what everyone else is wearing, and then dress slightly better than the norm.

      You should always dress for the position you want, not the position you have.

      1. Josh S*

        See, my boss told me this, but when I showed up the next week dressed as Batman… didnotgosowell.

    3. Sam*

      Are skinny jeans really business casual? I guess I hadn’t classified them as such, but I would include trouser-cut denim slacks as business casual. And I love, love, love Alison’s description of business professional:

      “Picture the suit without the jacket and you have the basic idea.”

      1. Sascha*

        Depends on the skinny jean. I have a pair from Ann Taylor that is higher cut, not skin-tight, and in a dark wash with no distressing. I wear that often with cardigans and flats and it looks very nice. But if I showed up in my supertight party pants in the crazy wash, it probably wouldn’t look as polished.

        1. B*

          Agreed. It depends on the jeans and where you are working. Half the ladies on my commute, NYC, are in dark skinny, nice jeans with a very nice top and knee high boots. There are no faded washes, holes, or clunky looking. Sometimes they look nicer than those trying to be professional but not really doing it.

          1. Sam*

            Totally agree with your last sentence. And it’s similar to my view on many of the so-called rules of fashion. Some people can break the “rules” and it looks amazing, but you have to have that critical fashion sense to pull it off. Same with dress codes.

      2. Sascha*

        P.S. And the office. My former workplace was business casual, but I would have been written up if I came to work in any kind of pants other than slacks. My current workplace’s definition of business casual is “anything other than naked.”

        1. littlemoose*

          We must work at the same place. I’ve seen my coworkers in sweatpants (not grungy, bright white actually, but sweatpants nonetheless), and, in the summer, rubber flip-flops. Because the office is casual and I have no contact with the public, I do wear jeans, but always nice jeans with a nice top/sweater, nice shoes, etc. A few folks dress nicer, but with my attire I’m about in the middle, and that’s fine with me.

          1. Anonymous*

            I’ve worn sweatpants and flipflips together to work. In my defense, it was Saturday and only a couple people were there not including any bosses or higher ups AND I sit in another side of the building alone.

            1. littlemoose*

              Ah, everyone gets a pass for weekends in the office. My boss always wore suits, or at least shirts and ties, but if he was in the office on Saturday he was rocking a t-shirt and basketball shorts. Saturdays in the office for me usually entail jeans and sneakers. But for regular M-F attire, yeah maybe not.

              1. Jamie*

                Oh yeah – weekends are a whole different animal.

                Sweatshirt and sweatpants/flannel jammie pants are my inform of choice for the weekends in my office.

              2. K*

                One thing I find hilarious about busy periods in the office is watching people’s wardrobes devolve. Last year, I had a big appellate brief due the day after Memorial Day; by that Monday, the four or five of us involved were staggering around the office in, like, X Family Reunion ’97 t-shirts.

                1. Nicole*

                  For me personally my wardrobe devolves as the temperature drops. A skirt or polyester dress pants below freezing? Don’t think so. Of course, I live in the South where below freezing is a big deal, and there’s no such thing as wool. Like K I work for a lawyer, and if I’m not personally meeting clients it’s jeans all the way.

        2. littlemoose*

          This would be another good open thread or topic for the commenters – ridiculous office attire you’ve seen. I am sure we all have some good stories.

          1. Long Time Admin*

            Like the girl who came to work in an evening gown on Profit Sharing Day. Yes, people did dress up on that day, but in their good suits. And yes, she did know better, but she would do anything for attention.

          2. Anonymous*

            I have so many. This one is good, though. I was walking by the lobby of my job and they were interviewing temps for the busy season. One girl was wearing a nice blazer and cute top WITH LEGGINGS SO SHEER THEY COULD HAVE BEEN PANTYHOSE! O_o

          3. Anna*

            One woman showed up in pajamas (long-sleeved top and bottom, both the same materials with little moons on them), big pink bunny slippers, and carrying a pillow to one of our training sessions. She was not trying to be funny — apparently, she was sick and thought that since it was a training day, she wouldn’t have to use a sick leave. And yes, she used the pillow.

            I thought it was very disrespectful to our two external trainers…and so did HR because our company guidebook was quickly updated to say that “We are a casual office, but sleepwear and slippers are not permitted.”

            1. Natalie*

              I used to work nights at a place that specifically called out pajamas in its dress code. I always wondered about what had led to that.

              1. Elizabeth*

                We specifically call out shorts in ours. That is thanks to a former boss who took “casual Friday” when we all wore jeans to mean that he could wear his hiking shorts.

                1. Min*

                  I once worked for a major bank which included in the dress code that we must wear underwear and that it must be clean, but not showing. I always wanted to know a) what prompted this to be in the dress code and b) if it must not show then who is going to check that we’re wearing it and it’s clean?

          4. Aimee*

            My company is mostly really casual (like I said above – jeans, tshirts, flip flops are all ok), but some people have no sense of what is appropriate. Like the woman who wore skin tight leopard print leggings with weird brown suede patches on the thighs and a much too short (for leggings) shirt that did not match at all. Yikes!

            1. Anonymous*

              Weirdest office attire? Skin-tight (think Star Trek) blue/spandex suit and a tweed blazer (this was a woman). Super-awkward.

        3. BW*

          When I’ve worked in “business casual”, jeans were explicitly not part of that dress code. Jeans, T-shirts, sneakers, etc – would all get you sent home to change unless it was a Friday or any day HR announced that dress would be “casual”.

          My first career job was technically business casual, but it was not enforced. So it was, in practice, a mix of business casual and “anything other than naked”.

          I think it’s important to take cues from co-workers on what constitutes proper dress in any given workplace.

          1. Sascha*

            Quite true, and to keep in mind that what is acceptable in one department may not be in another (see marketing vs. IT comment above). At my last workplace, I was always envious of the other departments because they got away with much more casual attire, but my boss would have had us wearing suits all day, every day, if she could.

          2. AnotherAlison*

            Ditto – we’re business casual, but the dress code specifically says no jeans or sneakers (or trashy, inappropriate clothes).

            1. AnotherAlison*

              Hit reply too soon. . .

              I’m actually finding it weird on here this week that so many people are calling nice jeans business casual. I feel like my age is starting to show. : (

              1. KayDay*

                That surprised me too! I am all for wearing (nice) jeans to work (jeans = best pants ever), but I still consider them to be casual (or maybe “business extra-casual,” which is how I describe my current office, and I do wear jeans here on occasion). [note: I am referring to typical Mon – Thurs dress. I believe that jeans on Friday are a basic human right.]

                I’ve never ever worked anywhere that would actually send an employee home for wearing jeans. You might get a few weird looks or a “doing something fun after work?” but that’s it.

                1. AnotherAlison*

                  The few times I’ve tried to wear jeans to work on non-jeans allowed days, I’ve always regretted it.

                  You think, hey, I have a flight at 11 am. I can wear jeans for a couple hrs, no big deal. And then you find out there are Very Important Client meetings in your area, or you have an emergency meeting with the big boss.

                  But, no, no one gets sent home over it.

              2. littlemoose*

                To clarify, I did not mean that jeans are business casual – I disagree. We just get away with jeans in my office because it is definitely a casual dress code.

        1. Sascha*

          I agree with that. Even at my jobs where I was told it was super casual, I didn’t wear the jeans the first week, until I was explicitly told to wear jeans.

        2. Julie*

          My company agrees with you. Here’s the list of what is considered “business appropriate”–
          – Collared shirts or blouses
          – Sweaters or sweater sets
          – Jackets or blazers
          – Neatly pressed chinos
          – Trousers or dress pants
          – Skirts or dresses
          – Business suits
          – Formal business attire is always appropriate

          This is specifically prohibited:
          – Denim of any type or color (trousers, skirts, vests, dresses or jackets)
          – Tank, halter, strapless, tube, or spaghetti strap tops
          – T-shirts
          – Shirts with slogans
          – Sweatshirts, sweatpants or athletic clothing
          – Cropped shirts
          – Knicker-style Capri pants
          – Shorts and Bermudas
          – Mini skirts
          – Leggings/Spandex clothing
          – Cowboy boots
          – Athletic shoes/sneakers
          – Beach sandals and shoes

          I think it’s interesting that on the version of this list for Canada, “Trousers or dress pants or dress Capri pants” and “Golf shirts” ARE allowed.

          Until just now, I didn’t realize that cowboy boots were on the list. I have to admit that when it’s rainy, I have worn my cowboy boots with my dress pants (not tucked in!).

      3. Anonymous*

        I wear dark black skinny jeans with all black stitching. Technically, they are jeans, but I think they are acceptable because they’re not blue jeans or leggings pretending to be pants.

        1. LMW*

          That’s my understanding too. Most places I’ve worked have had professional or business casual dress codes and that never included blue jeans unless it was a specified jeans day. Or leggings! At my last job I heard many snarky comments about some of the younger women who didn’t know the difference between leggings and pants.

          1. Sascha*

            Yep, I worked a college graduation ceremony once where one of the young ladies wore glittery spandex leggings as her attempt at “business formal.” This is an event where staffers are told to wear suits only. She was wearing them as pants with a too-short top. Oy.

          2. Lulu*

            Wow, I don’t think I’ve worked anywhere where every day wasn’t jeans day since the mid ’90s, although I also made that a dealbreaker in terms of where I’d work… If they didn’t like jeans, I assumed they also wouldn’t like the nose piercing or the multi-colored hair! I’ve toned it down a lot these days, but am only just getting to a point I think I can cope with not being able to wear jeans to the office most of the time. I think it’s also a regional (and probably industry) thing – even the large retailer I just did some holiday work for had a different dress code for the west coast employees.

      4. BeenThere*

        I’s say it depends on the office and the industry. The places I’ve worked in the finance sector have declared in the dress code any denim as casual and not professional enough for business casual.

      1. PEBCAK*

        Then 40K is not really the market rate. The point I’m trying to make here is that if her expectations differ that greatly from the company’s, then it’s not a good fit in either direction.

        1. Anonymous*

          The benefit package may be outstanding. I don’t make a lot of money, but since I work at college I can go to school for free and I have every holiday I can think of off.

        2. Mike C.*

          The current workplace environment doesn’t have anything to do with the market rate salary. The average salary for a job doesn’t suddenly change just because a single manager starts to sexually harass an employee, but for that employee taking a reduction in pay might be worth the “benefit” of not being groped on a daily basis.

          Replace sexual harassment with other examples of a bad work environment, it works the same.

          1. PEBCAK*

            Okay, then more precisely, 40K is not really her salary requirement. Again, my point is that taking yourself out of the running because your requirement is too high is really taking the company out of the running because what they are offering is too low. There has to be a two-way fit, and candidates are too quick to think “oh, no, I may have blown it with them”. Maybe they blew it with you.

            1. Lulu*

              I struggle with this because I feel like there’s a “reasonable market rate” and a “crazy employers who think they have the upper hand market rate”. I personally do not feel $14/hr for 10+ years of experience is a reasonable market rate, but if the latter rate is dominant and has become the default baseline, and I’m not working at all, it might have to become my salary requirement as well. It’s a tough call.

              1. Min*

                That depends on the job, though. You can have 10+ years of experience and be amazing at your job, but the job itself will have a salary ceiling.

                I am currently underemployed (out of desperation) and it is galling to be paid so much less than I once was, but I have to remind myself that my paycheck is based on the job and not my own value as an employee or a person.

  2. Mary*

    Re: your response to #5
    “By the way, don’t base salary requests on your personal budget. It needs to be based exclusively on the market rate for the position.”

    I understand why you would say this, but a candidate’s personal financial needs have to play a role in your salary request. If I can’t afford to live on $30,000, my ask will have to be higher. I recognize that if the market rate for the position is lower, my higher price may knock me out of the running. However, “market rate” implies “what the market will bear,” and the market, in this case, is employees willing to take the job. Candidates naming what they think is the fair rate and what they can afford needs to be a force in setting the market rate. Employers should have a clear picture of which candidates they’re not getting because of salary.

    I emphasize this because many (most?) employers have been resisting salary increases that keep up with the cost of living, and the market rate, in many fields, is too low. We need to let employers know if their salary expectations are off-base.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Hmmm. Asking for something above market rate generally isn’t effective, can make you look naive, and can get you knocked out of the running for a job you would have taken for less money (as she seems willing to do).

    2. B*

      While a good thought and one I agree with, it is not the reality of the time. In this job market there are many, many people willing to take less just to have a steady paycheck and benefits. It is absolutely an employers market, not an employee market.

    3. Joey*

      Of course it’s a factor when you determine what salary you can work for, but its not a bargaining chip you can use. It’s sort of a backwards approach. Your personal budget needs to be based on your income, not the other way around.

      1. PuppyKat*

        I agree with what Joey said. That’s the most sensible approach to take, whether it’s an employers’ market or employees’.

    4. Sam*

      Lots of good points here, Mary. I once declined a job offer in another state because the salary was so out of whack with the cost of living. I wasn’t willing to make the personal budget cuts necessary to make it work. If I was stuck in that particular city, I probably would have had to lower my expectations to meet the going rates. As someone doing a national job search, no freaking way.

  3. OP#4*

    Thanks Alison! I know I’m a nutcase but it sounds good to hear that it’s ok to ask for feedback.

    1. businesslady*

      I don’t know if it’s impostor syndrome or what, but I can relate–despite working with the same organization for nearly six years, with no particular performance issues (& no skeletons of secret slackitude lurking in my closet), I still get freaked out any time I’m called into an unscheduled meeting with a higher-up. it’s ridiculous!

      inevitably the conversation is actually “by the way, Colleague is leaving but it’s not common knowledge yet” or “here’s this project I want you to work on”–but for some reason, part of me is always expecting “well, Businesslady, I’m afraid you’re incompetent, everyone hates you, & you’re fired. surely this can’t come as a surprise.”

      one of my good friends shares this neurosis, so you’re definitely not alone. he’s also a coworker, so it’s become a running joke to ask, “so when’s your last day?” after one of us returns from an impromptu meeting.

      1. the gold digger*

        Is this one of those blue collar/white collar differences? Because I am convinced as well that the next words after, “I need to talk to you in my office” are “because you’re fired.”

        After which I can never find another job again, lose my savings and my home, become a bag lady, and starve to death on the cold, winter streets.

        1. Lulu*

          I wonder if it’s also a function of how much feedback one receives: if you never hear anything about how you’re doing, you just expect something crazy to come out of the blue, almost as a defense mechanism. Whereas if you work with someone who will actually bother to indicate they’re pleased with your work (or not…) on some kind of regular basis, you feel a little less like there’s some whole behind-the-scenes conversation taking place that will one day become horribly apparent. I’ve always felt like every day could be my last day on a job, but I partially attribute that to never really having much idea of expectations or whether I was meeting them, so I guess just found it more prudent to assume I was not doing well and be prepared for the worst rather than be shocked by bad news. Really not an optimal way to live/work! OP, listen to Alison ;)

    2. MsMac*

      OP I had the exact same situation. A manager who would tell me I was fabulous in performance reviews then set up a meeting to talk about project x but it would actually be her ranting that my work was great but she didn’t like me and shouting at me about everything that she thought was wrong with my personality.

      I now have an amazing manager and had the same reaction as you. I was a nervous wreck every time I was alone in a room with her. It takes a while to becoming trusting again, but I now realise how crazy my prior situation was and that it isn’t fair to my current manager to compare her to my previous horrible one. I’m sure you’ll settle into your new role soon.

    3. moss*

      I am very similar to you. My “trauma” was having unscheduled meetings with bosses in which I was laid off (twice, two different companies). So now even when my current very good, very appreciative manager schedules 1:1s, I get nervous.

      I think it will go away with time. I am definitely feeling more secure now, 3+ years with this company and recently promoted.

      1. Julie*

        I think this is more along the lines of the “imposter syndrome,” but I thought of it when I read the comments about being called into unexpected meetings with the manager. My boss has always said that she loves my work and that I’m doing a great job, so when I made some mistakes while learning how to manage a very large project, I felt like a failure. I thought my manager was annoyed with me and that I had ruined my professional reputation. Everyone was on vacation, and I had to wait until the holidays were over to discuss the project. It turns out that my manager did have some suggestions for improvement (which I completely agreed with), and she even joked that “you’re perfect except for this one thing,” so I guess she knows me [and my insecurities] pretty well. What a relief! You’d think that, as an educator, I would be better at learning new things without feeling stupid, but even though I still have those feelings, at least I know they’re not helpful, and I try to squelch them.

  4. Sascha*

    #6 – Think of it in terms of fabric and structure. More professional clothing is generally thicker, stiffer fabrics and pieces that are structured. More casual clothing tends to be thinner, flowy-er fabrics that don’t hold a particular shape. Dresses with a jacket or sweater are usually just fine for a more professional look, especially if they are the more structured shift dresses in suiting fabrics.

  5. Frances*

    I do a lot of travel booking as part of my current position. In my experience, any discounts a travel agent is able to offer is generally offset by their transaction fee (the ones available to us charge about $25 per ticket). However, depending on how complicated an itinerary you have or if you have to often travel on short notice, it might wind up being easier for you if you can just email someone directly and have them do all the research, especially since I gather no one at your workplace has “make travel arrangements” built into their job description.

    1. Chinook*

      I agree with Frances. My experience is that travel agents are good if there are complicated travel plans and/or no one has the time or skill to coordinate well. If your staff is busy, think of the agent as someone you are subcontracting one task to in order to free everyone to do their job.

  6. OP #6*

    Thanks for all the great feedback. I definitely feel like I have a better idea of what to wear/expect now! I start Monday, so I will dress to impress that day and feel the rest of the office out. I hope to dress-up a couple of the dresses I bought that are made of thinner fabrics by pairing them with something more fancy–like a jacket. Hopefully that flies!

    1. Sascha*

      A jacket makes a strong professional statement, so I think you will be just fine. :) Good luck with your new job!

    2. AG*

      I would err on the side of more professional to begin with, then scale back as you see what everyone else is wearing. Dress codes are so tricky and can be very hard to put into words – you’ll get a good idea after a few days in the office.

    3. The IT Manager*

      I agree. Here’s what I did. I started a new job about 9 months ago and jeans are allowed by the dress code. (Athletic shoes and t-shirts are not allowed; although, there are some who ignore those limits). I pledged to myself to not wear jeans the whole first month. Then I started wearing jeans only on Fridays. I gradually added in Mondays too. (There are a lot less people in the office on Fridays and Mondays; they work from home or have every other Friday off.) By Christmas depending on my mood and weather I was wearing jeans practically every day.

      Now my supervisor only goes into the office two days a week, but I considered it a win when two weeks ago she noticed I was in jeans and said that she’d never seen me in them before. :) In her mind, I wear business attire everyday.

      That won’t work exactly the same if your boss sees you everyday, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Dress up for more than just the bare minimum for your first day. Allow people to get the idea that you know how to look professional and dress it up firmly in their minds before you start looking too casual.

  7. Y*

    OP #3-

    I’m just going to assume that you’ve read enough “what not to do/say” in interview guides. AAM has some great posts on that (plus her link), and also, check out the recent thread about worst mistakes. Have a laugh. We’ve all been there, but also take note.

    Some anti-interview-anxiety tips:

    1. Be prepared for the interview. The questions. Etc. Have your outfit ready the night before. Get all that stuff out of the way. Less for you to worry about!
    2. Eat a little something. Low blood sugar plus nerves are not good friends.
    3. Practice. In front of a mirror, with friends, practice practice practice for the interview. Answer questions. All that jazz. Speak out loud.
    4. Make a quick joke about being nervous, but nothing too self-effacing. The fact that you are aware will be good. Then get back to business and make a case for why you are the best (although maybe the sweatiest) candidate.
    5. Get to the interview early. Find a hallway. Bathroom. Whatever. Close your eyes and breath. I’m talking some yoga stuff right here (oh, do you work out? Do that. Helps with anxiety. I would know. Go the gym either the night before or even in the morning. Burn off some it) Back to the breathing. Take a moment to just basically meditate. Take in and out 10 breathes. Long ones. Think about nothing excepting that process. Honestly, just taking a moment to ground yourself is a big help.
    6. Find a better therapist. Just because some haven’t worked, even if 20 haven’t, there are more out there, and they may have better professional ideas how to help.

    Good luck!

    1. AG*

      I am pretty anxious myself (not particularly social anxiety but I am very sympathetic). I would recommend trying to eliminate as many “unknowns” as you can before the interview. Do as much research ahead of time as possible, including:
      – Researching the company, hiring manager/interviewer, etc online. Depending on the company, you might be able to find pictures of the office, employee bios, holiday party pix – start with their website and social media, and just major Googling. Find out as much as you can about the person you’ll be speaking with so that they feel less like a stranger.
      – Figure out *exactly* where they are located. Drive/walk by if you want. Or use Google Maps’ “Street View” to get an idea of what the outside of the building looks like.
      – Figure out far ahead of time how you are going to get there, how long it will take, and then factor in a lot of lead time. Drive the route if you want. I live in San Francisco so I prefer not to drive, but I almost always take cabs to interviews so I don’t have to worry about the bus. I use the app Taxi Magic to schedule ahead of time, and they’re always punctual (plus they give you a call a few minutes ahead of time when the driver is on their way).
      – Prep your outfit way ahead of time and practice wearing it at home if it’s something you’re not comfortable in (like a skirt suit and heels is for me!).
      – Using LinkedIn and just asking around, see if you can find someone you know who can give you the inside scoop about the company or the interviewer.
      – Learn some breathing/relaxation techniques, do them every day, and especially right before the interview. I learned something really interesting from a relaxation podcast: when people are having panic attacks, they feel like they can’t get air in, when in reality they often aren’t breathing out fully. Focusing on a looong outbreath can really help calm you down. I realize that you have probably tried a lot and are pretty fed up with therapists/meds/techniques, and I don’t mean to trivialize your problems, but I really believe that breathing/relaxation/meditation are important components of controlling your anxiety.

      1. CatB (Europe)*

        Very good advice! On the breathing: I learned that the first step in controlling panic, when I had attacks, was to do the “zen breathing” (you start the air intake not with the rib cage, but with your stomach first, lowering the diaphragm and pushing your belly. Only after that you open the rib cage. And all is done sloooowly – I would count silently to 7 or 8 while breathing in, 3 or 4 in pause, then breathe out ever so slowly, pause again and start over. A complete cycle took me 15 to 20 seconds, but YMMV).

        On the therapy: it is as unique as we all are. I healed with NLP, but there are many other types and therapists. Try until you find The One. Even MDs do the same with some patients and illnesses (heart or kidney conditions come to mind): they would prescribe a certain mix and then proceed to adjusting it until it fully works. So, go on and try; one out there will click with you.

    2. businesslady*

      to add to all this other good advice, I’d also suggest bringing a bottle of water with you to the interview–it gives you a prop to hold, which will help steady your hands, & you can take a sip to calm yourself down before answering a question (plus, unlike coffee, it’s not going to make you MORE jittery).

      1. fposte*

        I’d amend that slightly, if you can, to obtain a cup. Drinking from a bottle is not really a great action in a formal situation like an interview.

        1. businesslady*

          hm, I’d never thought about that. I’m one of those people who always has a CamelBak on hand at all times, & I do bring it with to interviews (although I usually leave it in my bag until/unless I need it).

          …am I off-base in thinking it’s okay to have a water bottle in interviews? I mean, I do agree that a cup is nicer, but that’s only going to be an option if they give you one on-site.

  8. Elizabeth*

    On #1 … I’d take the trip just because, unless it is a city you are already very familiar with (maybe you grew up there), you may not know enough about the city to be giving it fair consideration. You say the job is better pay in a better position, and you think you might be tempted if you visit. It is worth the visit to find out.

  9. Victoria Nonprofit*

    Wait, what do you call suits & heels if not “business professional?” Business formal?

    1. BW*

      I’ve always heard that just referred to as just “business” as opposed to “business casual”. When I have been told to dress in “business” attire, it has meant suits and heels – basically interview wear.

  10. Omne*

    #5- By the way, don’t base salary requests on your personal budget. It needs to be based exclusively on the market rate for the position.

    I would say it depends. Never go higher than market because you need money but going lower can be ok depending on the situation. I would definitely consider a lower salary if the advancement path is better and the benefits are negotiable. The key is whether I can afford the cut to the budget.

    1. KellyK*

      That’s pretty reasonable. Also, “market rate” is usually kind of a range, so I can see a decision about whether you take something at the lower end of the range being dependent on your budget. Though that assumes you have an accurate idea what the range really is and aren’t basing it on outdated info or an overblown sense of your own awesomeness.

  11. BW*

    #3 – learning some simple techniques like breathing exercises and visualizing things or rehearsing situations in my head to control anxiety really helped me. I used to get full blown panic attacks. Medication did help take the edge off my anxiety issues, but not 100%. I would still uh…freakout…on occasion.

    When you get to the interview, take a trip to the restroom and freshen up first thing – neaten up your hair, wash up, retouch make up if you’re a woman and wear it. If you sweat a lot, get a good antiperspirant. If you sweat very badly that it soaks your clothing, consider changing into your dress shirt/blouse when you get there.

  12. AP*

    #7 – My business does a ton of complicated travel booking for our various projects, and we’ve found that it’s easier to do it ourselves. On the rare occasion that we’ve hired someone (specifically, it was for a 3-week trip to Cambodia and Vietnam for 8 people), when we inevitably needed to make changes at the last second, we still ended up doing it ourselves because the agent just wasn’t fast or responsive enough. If it’s only 3 of you, I would try to convince your boss to it on your own and then, if it’s really becoming a hardship or if your arrangements become enough of a PITA, then consider finding someone.

  13. Yup*

    #3 I have an anxiety disorder too, so I completely sympathize with the interviewing stress. Some ideas:

    Drive or travel to the interview location more than 1x as a test run, if possible. Once is enough to not worry you’ll be lost, and twice is enough to feel a little familiarity.

    Role play your interview with a friend or family member. Practice questions and answers, get used to the pacing.

    The night before the interview, get your briefcase or tote bag ready: extra copies of your resume, copy of the job posting, your notes, pen and paper for notes, etc. Have it all ready to go before you go to bed so you won’t start the next day in a rush.

    On the way to the interview, try to put your mind on other things temporarily. I like audio books, but maybe calming music or a travel magazine would work for you? Use that time to visualize your conversations with the interviewer in a positive way.

    And lastly, be kind to yourself. :) Keep breathing and tell yourself that it’s OK to ask to step out to the restroom if you need a moment.

    1. Jamie*

      I don’t have anxiety disorder, per se, at least I don’t have a diagnosis but I remember interviews being incredibly stressful for me and I’d have physical reaction starting the night before. It’s what my mom used to call a nervous stomach and I get migraines.

      I echo Yup’s points – I found what really helped me was to prepare. The more prepared I felt and the more confident I felt in the outfit I could mitigate some of it.

      I also found that listening to music on the way over would make my mind wander and that’s not good – so I would stick to audio books or talk radio (if Steve Dahl was on) but that’s me.

      Interviews are unlike other nerve wracking things because we don’t typically do them constantly enough to get over the fear.

      For example, I used to get just as nervous starting a new temp job and then later in my career giving presentations as I did on interviews. After a month or so of temping that went away and I started thinking of myself as a hired gun there to fulfill a contract and weren’t they lucky to have me. Same with presentations – I wouldn’t say I’m great at them and couldn’t make a living as a motivational speaker but I don’t suck – I give information in a clear and concise manner, I take questions, and I’m respectful of their time and don’t run over. I think that’s all they can really ask unless they want to hire Tony Robbins.

      The other thing was admitting it. In one presentation I gave I stammered a little bit (which I do when nervous) and since past history has shown if I ignore it it gets worse, I gave a nervous laugh and told them I didn’t know why I was so nervous – something like “I like all of you guys and as individuals none of you scare me, but in a group all looking at me you’re terrifying!” and once I made the joke I was just me again.

      All presentations after that were easier – I’m not sure why.

      Good luck and just remember that the person on the other side of the desk has probably been nervous in interviews themselves. It’s perfectly normal.

  14. yasmara*

    #1 – If your company has been acquired, be aware that the proposed relocation may in fact turn out to be mandatory relocation or risk losing your position. This is often the case when a larger company acquires a smaller one & wants to consolidate. Those willing to relocate will be considered for continuing positions, those not willing won’t be.

    So I wouldn’t say no unless you’re willing to be on the acquisition chopping block (and maybe you are – sometimes there are decent severance packages, but usually for higher level positions).

    1. AB*

      “So I wouldn’t say no unless you’re willing to be on the acquisition chopping block (and maybe you are – sometimes there are decent severance packages, but usually for higher level positions).”

      OP #1, Yasmara beat me to the punch. That’s exactly my experience — whenever a friend or colleague was “offered the opportunity” to relocate as part of a merge or acquisition, saying “no” always meant they had to leave the company. If you are fine with this outcome, then go for it, but don’t count on staying in your current position as a real alternative (even if the company don’t say anything to this effect, they are most likely going to get rid of whoever don’t take the offer to relocate).

      1. OP#1*

        Yes, I should have clarified that. If I don’t move, my employment will be over this September. I am willing to relocate, I just don’t want to feel forced into this change in a city I’m not excited about (Cincinnati).
        I’ve talked to some other employees, and now my biggest concern is how I’ll get out of it all. I’ve agreed to visit the city, but with so many different departments thinking I’m interested, it will be hard for me personally to tell them No.

        1. Anonna Miss*

          “I really appreciate the opportunity, but I have a lot of family/friends/local commitments here,, and I don’t think I could bear to be that far away (even for the sake of my job). I hope you understand.”

  15. ExceptionToTheRule*

    OP #7 – I have a part-time job in a very small office (2.5 people) and we use a travel agent for our executive director’s travel for a couple of reasons: a) it eliminates our office manager spending time comparison shopping flights (he travels at least once every other week, so there’s a lot of travel); and b) our travel agent is very responsive and if the ED is having travel problems when nobody is in the office, the travel agent can take care of him. For us, the $30 per ticket charge is worth the office manager’s time. However, YMMV.

  16. Katie the Fed*

    to #3:

    I used to suffer from severe anxiety too. I found a therapist who was well-versed in Eastern philosophy and medicine, and taught me mindfulness techniques that made a HUGE impact.

    It may or may not work, but try this: focus specifically on where you’re feeling the anxiety in your body. Don’t try to ignore the anxiety – focus on it. Where do you feel it? Is it in your stomach (that’s where mine is). Breathe deeply and keep focusing on it – you’ll feel it start to dissolve as you do this.

    This really does work. It won’t fix everything but it might help a lot.

    Also, when I interview candidates I don’t mind at all if they’re nervous. I kind of appreciate it actually – it means they care a lot about the job.

      1. Blue Dog*

        Ironically, every job I have really, really wanted, I did not get. Every job I didn’t really care about, I got (which is another good reason not to leave your job until you have another one lined up).

        I don’t know if it is because I had the stink of death on me for those jobs I really wanted or because the interviewers responded to a certain degree of swagger. Just my own personal experience….

        1. Joey*

          Yes, sort of like a friend of mine. She is totally turned off by this guy she started dating because he can’t stop telling her how bad he’s always wanted to date her.

  17. Oxford Comma*

    #7: We are obligated to use a travel agency to book our plane tickets for business travel. I have learned through bitter experience I need to do the research myself because if I don’t provide the agent with that, she will book me for the first thing that comes up on her screen regardless of price. So I would say if you can’t find a good agency, you’re better off having people book their own travel.

    1. Hope*

      This is my experience as well. My new company forces us to use a travel agency (online…go figure), but I do my own research first so I can get what I need/want. Not sure how this helps the company save money, but I’m saving my energy for bigger battles. :)

      1. Lulu*

        Also my experience. We had online portals (Travelport, and then an AmEx-run site called AXIOM) similar to Orbitz, and also access to travel agency rep’s. I found the only reason to use the rep’s was to book the one or two airlines that for some reason wouldn’t book through the portal; otherwise, it was more time consuming for me to explain to them what I wanted to do, wait for them to get back to me with options etc. For the most part it was just easier and more expedient to deal with everything on my own. Even in “emergencies”, it was easier for the communication chain to be traveler > me > airline/hotel than adding another step of the TA in there (because the traveler would never call them directly!). If they’d actually had more knowledge about say hotels, and been able to make recommendations, they might have been helpful, but really we knew more than they did (or would take the time to research), so it was more annoying than anything else.

        Unless you’re doing really elaborate travel – large groups, foreign countries, something like that – it doesn’t seem worth it to involve a third party. The closer the booker is to being the traveler, the less time consuming I found it ;)

  18. Anon*

    OP #3 –

    As someone with avoidant personality disorder, I sympathize :(.

    I’ve found that it does help me to bring up some of the issues that I have with new environments and people in the interview. I tend to mention it while addressing things such as working in a team and like to let the interviewer know that it takes me a little while to feel comfortable with new people but after a little while I’m fine. The fact that I hold back and don’t talk much those first few weeks just means I’m listening and trying to get a feel for the place and my new colleagues (in reality I’m just scared to death of being judged and/or rejected but hell if I’ll let them know about THAT). This has worked well so far. I still feel anxious but at least I’ve let them know up front how this will manifest itself in my behavior.

    I still struggle with interviews, though, and don’t have particularly good advice on that front. I also struggle with things such as quitting jobs because I’m scared of how my boss will react, even though I know it’s silly. Sigh.

    1. Anonymous*

      OP#3 – I know a lot of folks on the thread were trying to be helpful with advice for nerves and may not realize the difference btw being nervous and an anxiety disorder, and there is a really big difference. Since you have tried medication and therapy without success, I think your next step that you’re thinking about – referencing it in the interview – is something to consider. I would look at it this way – it sounds like you feel pretty certain that your anxiety is affecting your performance in interviews already, so there’s not much to be lost by addressing it. I would try to be objective about how visible it is to employers — if you really feel its making a noticeable difference in how you perform, I think it’s worth trying this.

      Be as matter of fact about it as you can, if you stumble in something you say or it takes you a moment to find the words to answer because you’re getting a wave of anxiety, just smile and say “Sorry, I tend to get a bit nervous in interviews, let me start again” or something like that.

      As you mentioned part of this condition is the fear of saying something inappropriate or being “found out” that you are in a full on panic mode. Acknowledging in some way that it’s happening may diffuse the symptoms a bit. Good luck!!

      I don’t know if you tried mindfullness meditation yet as a way to relieve some of this. If not, I recommend this book: 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life. If you can commit to doing 8 minutes a day for 8 weeks, I think it’s worth a try. The practice of letting feelings and thoughts come and go without judgement or the need to act on them has a lot of benefits and I think it could help with this

  19. OP # 5*

    Thanks so much for the remarks! I guess I’ll wait and see what happens; although I dislike having to “show my cards” when the employer already knows what they would be willing to pay, this would be a great opportunity. I would hate to have blown it.

  20. DA*

    For #1, be prepared to be without a job if you say no. You claim to be willing to relocate, yet not to whatever the other city is – based on what?

    Besides, they are offering you a free trip to the new city to check things out. Go and see what’s going on. If you haven’t been there, it may help eliminate whatever pre-concieved notions you have about the place.

    1. PuppyKat*

      I think DA makes an excellent point. A couple years ago I found a job posting that intrigued me, but it was in Kansas City. I thought, “Kansas City? I don’t want to move to Kansas City!” But I applied anyway. And when they flew me in for an in-person interview, I discovered that KC is actually a very cool town. I loved the time that I spent there, and would definitely consider going back if I need to find a job again.

    2. Jamie*

      I agree – I’d take the free trip to check it out, that way you’re showing that you’re open minded and willing to consider things before closing the door.

      That said – where you live is important and if you will truly be unhappy and are willing to risk being downsized then that’s certainly your call to make.

      I know people who moved to some places for work that they wouldn’t have chosen – but it was for a finite duration (in one case 3 years, in one case 5). They chose to do it because long term it was good for their career with these huge international companies and knew it wouldn’t be forever.

      I do think it’s worth the trouble to go check it out though – since it’s on their dime.

  21. girlreading*

    to #1- if you are willing to share the city, some people here may live there and able to share the true ups and downs of living there that you haven’t thought of. I think it’s understandable if there are certain places you’re just a “no” on, there are certain cities I’d be open to living in and others that I would never consider. You said you’re not too keen on it, so maybe given the experience you would like it.

    1. OP#1*

      The prospective city is Cincinnati. I’m in a comparable city now, and while it’s bearable, it’s definitely not my “dream city.” At this point, I think I would rather try out a new location that I am crazy about (for example, move to California), than settle in a location for a job. To clarify, my employment would be done this September if I don’t transfer. My biggest thing is to be sure I’m making a rational decision that’s right for me, and not feeling forced into this for the paycheck.

  22. tangoecho5*

    OP#1 – it’s also possible the new city would be bearable for a few years with the goal of then taking a new position elsewhere in an area you’d prefer. Especially if the position and pay are higher – it could be helpful for future opportunities to have that position on your resume from not only an experience standpoint but as proof that you are willing to relocate to meet your employers needs.

    1. Blue Dog*

      Corollary – if it looks like your current position would be contingent on a move, you might tell your supervisor that, “I was unsure about a transfer based on my current situation, but I could really see myself doing that in about 18 months once ‘X’ happens.” That might buy you a little breathing room or at least give you a third option in the case they say, “Well, it’s now or never.”

  23. HR Pufnstuf*

    I’ve booked a bit of travel and use a travel agency where the support may be needed, this is usually large groups traveling to remote Alaska where weather and limited flights are a huge factor.

    For our standard travel we have a Corp account with Alaska Airlines called Easybiz, (I’m sure the other majors have similar) this works well for us since we earn 1 mile for every $1 we spend. We also have AK Airlines credit card through BofA that also gives us 1 mile for every $1 spent. It’s a very simple booking to book online and they also track costs/tickets etc.

    For the occasional city that AK doesn’t go or isn’t the best deal, I use Orbitz.

  24. Anonymous*

    #7 how much are people traveling? if it’s once in while, and you have plenty of notice, then you can probably do it yourself. If the client wants you to be on the plane yesterday, if you are traveling all the time, it’s nice to have someone else do the research and also be there if you have some kind of travel emergency. For instance, if a flight is canceled, our agent can often get you on another plane faster than you can by going through the ticketing desk at the airport. But reading the above comments makes me think we may have an exceptional agency. I think she’s worth her weight in gold!

  25. chica*

    #7 – I’d vote for doing it yourselves. A very excellent website for pricing options/schedules for flights is hipmunk.com, although it leaves out some carriers like SW and JetBlue, who only let you book direct with them. You may want to check, there’s a chance someone in your office actually likes that sort of thing.

    Also another vote here for the workplace attire horror stories open thread!! (re # 6)

  26. birdnerd*

    #7 – I’ve given up on our travel agent. Though we travel a lot, she makes everything harder, more expensive, and sometimes downright silly. She booked one poor guy from Alaska to Iceland through Germany… because she “didn’t know there were flights from the US to Iceland”.

  27. Elizabeth West*

    #6- business professional and slightly off-topic

    That is easy to do; you can get nice blouses and wear them with black / gray pants or pencil skirts and good shoes and they look very classy.

    I took commenters’ advice and wore the khakis/cardigan combo today for my first day at NewJob. I checked, and was informed that is “dressed up” for them. Tomorrow it’s the nice jeans. I’m glad I did that; would have felt weird otherwise. I shall have to dress nice for a headquarters visit next week because there is an executive welcome. :)

  28. Chocolate Teapot*

    Well, years ago, there were flights from the US to Iceland which stopped in Mainland Europe to refuel…

    I think it depends on how much travelling the company does. Regular trips to a specific office or HQ is one thing, odd irregular site visits another.

  29. Jamie*

    #4 – I don’t have the experience of the blindsides, but I do know that you have to consciously shake off bad habits and mindsets you’ve developed to deal with lousy managers.

    I’ve only had one what I would consider a really bad boss…the kind that has no business being in management. He was a micromanager to the nth degree – ugh. Anyway, coming off of that into a new gig working for reasonable people I realized I was responding to new boss as if he was old boss.

    I had no budget under old boss because he needed to approve everything – no matter how small. So (and this should go in the cringeworthy thread) when one of the owners of the company asked me to order a flash drive I emailed boss asking for approval on an $8.00 flash drive.

    It was just habit.

    Boss emailed me back joking that I should ask the head of IT (me) and that she had a large budget and that IT expenditures were her call.

    Seriously – bad bosses can help you develop habits you wouldn’t have otherwise. It will pass.

  30. Anonymous*

    #3- I am in your shoes! I don’t disclose it though, usually just apologize for the nervousness etc., especially because it only impacts the job short-term. I tend to just tell people I’m shy at first, but once I get comfortable I’m outgoing, etc. It is so painful walking into an establishment for an interview, so painful for me to show up on the first day (stressing about lunch, etc), and so painful for me to resign. The good thing about suit jackets is that they can usually hide if you’re sweating through your dress shirt, hahaha. I say this laughing, but I know it isn’t funny at the time, and I know the feeling that your heart is going to pump out of your chest/explode! Despite my anxiety, it has never posed a huge issue in me obtaining a job. It is more once I start that people are wondering why I’m so quiet/awkward, hesitant to speak in meetings, etc. Fortunately after a few months I start getting comfortable…. still not my cup of tea though!

  31. Lulu*

    #1 just wanted to echo the advice to be open-minded, take advantage of the opportunity to visit a new city if nothing else. I worked somewhere where there was a similar situation for a group of co-workers – a few of them said no way after a visit (partly because the company culture and management were so different in the new city and not a great fit), some of them took the opportunity and enjoyed it, and few of those came back after a couple of years for various reasons. But if you’re open to moving in general, may as well entertain the opportunity since there’s no commitment involved at this stage, you never know!

  32. Kristin*

    #7 – As a former corporate travel agent I would suggest researching agencies in your area to see if one has a corporate agent and/or department. Working with an agent that specializes in corporate travel will make all the difference in the world.

  33. TychaBrahe*

    I have traveled on business for a company that used a travel agency and one that requires us to arrange our own tickets.

    I kind of resent having to fund my own travel, especially this summer when a business trip was cancelled three days before take-off. I fly Southwest as much as possible, so nothing was lost, but $300 of my own money was tied up in airline credit, and I wasn’t required to fly again for several months, so I couldn’t ask for reimbursement until then.

    I will always remember, however, the time I was involved in a bomb scare at O’Hare while I was changing planes. We were all evacuated to baggage claim. I called the travel agent and explained my predicament, explaining I thought things would be cleared up within four hours. Twenty minutes later she texted me a new flight arrangement. When the security issue was cleared up, I waited in a 90-minute line to be processed through security, and walked past all the people standing at courtesy desks trying to rebook passage, right onto my airplane. Fifteen minutes later I was on my way to my destination.

  34. WM*

    #3 – In the first interview I ever GAVE, the interviewer mentioned that she was a little bit nervous. I eased her concerns that I was not going to throw any crazy / oddball questions her way, that I was just interested in getting to know her! She seemed to visibly relax. Also, I admitted that I too, get a little nervous performing interviews! We bonded… she was an excellent candidate and now she is part of our team!

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