short answer Saturday — 6 short answers to 6 short questions

It’s short answer Saturday — six short answers to six short questions. Here we go…

1. Did I handle my resignation badly?

I’m a trades student right now. I moved to a city 30 minutes away to go to school. I agreed with my manager that I would keep working on the weekends until the end of May, since she is short on people and I needed work anyway. Then I found work related to my trade for the weekends, which doesn’t require as much of a commute and pays far better. I gave two weeks notice (and apologized profusely), but I’m wondering, was it unethical to quit when I had agreed to stay until the end of May? Or was it okay because I still gave two weeks notice?

That sounds fine. You agreed to stay longer when she asked you to, but your circumstances changed and you gave appropriate notice. Leaving without notice would be a problem, but this is not.

2. Asking for extra vacation time instead of a raise

I work for the largest health insurance company in my state. Of all the companies I’ve worked for, their policies seem the most reasonable and the most considerate of their employees, except for how much PTO is granted.

I have been with them for almost seven years now, and my annual reviews have been great every year. I’m at a point in my life where I’m making enough money to pay my bills and save for emergencies, vacations, retirement, etc. I would much rather at this point be rewarded with an increase in the amount of PTO I can earn per pay period than additional salary. Is there any way for me to phrase this request that sounds professional? I would have to take it up either with my VP or HR or both because neither my supervisor nor manager have any say according to the administrative policies I’ve read.

Absolutely! Your company may or may be willing to do it, but it’s a completely reasonable request. I’d say something like, “I’m really interested in earning additional PTO and wonder if you’d consider giving me an extra two weeks (or whatever) per year in lieu of a raise this year.”

You still might start with your manager though, which is usually the appropriate protocol even if your manager needs to go up the food chain to get approval.

3. Company says I used to work for them, but I didn’t

I’m in a little bit of a situation with my employer. I have recently started working for them (~1 month) and everything seemed to be going well… until today. When they entered my information into their system, corporate said that I already had an employee number and that I worked for them at a different location for 2 years between 2008 and 2010. This doesn’t make any sense because I have never worked for them. I have reached out to the other location but they are not required to keep any records for longer than a year. Asset Protection is now handling it as an “investigation” and if they find what they have already essentially “found,” even though it’s false, I could be terminated, as it is falsifying a document. Please help.

It’s hard to advise on this without knowing the specifics of the situation, but if you didn’t work there, you didn’t work there — and your social security number should make that clear. Ask specifically what they’re finding that indicates that you did since clearly there’s been a mistake somewhere, and ask Asset Protection to check your social and see if that helps.

4. When will this temp job turn permanent?

I am currently working as a temp at a large company. The position is temp-to-hire and I have been told that there is no doubt that I will be brought on permanently with the company I am temping at. Initially they told me it would only be a couple weeks to a month more of temping, but now they are telling me it will be three or four more months. I was okay with one more month, but three or four really puts a burden on me. I have already been a temp for over four months.

How can I convey the burden this puts me under to my boss in a professional manner? I have made it clear that I am hesitant to stay on as a temp that long and each time it comes up, my boss is dumfounded as to why and I am asked to explain my hesitancy. I have said it is because I am looking for something that provides stability, but in reality the issue is that the temp salary is barely enough for me to get by and it also does not include any benefits, including sick and vacation days. Additionally, I feel like my status as a temp has led to people treating me with less respect at the company. I realize that saying all of that to my boss is unprofessional, so how can I get the message across in an appropriate manner?

Also–is it wrong for me to be upset with the company over them dragging their feet to bring me on permanently? How they have treated me during this process is raising doubts as to whether or not I actually want to stay with the company in the future. While I enjoy the work I do not enjoy how they treat their employees. I feel like I have been abused because I am desperate and they know that.

You can’t force someone to understand something. If she doesn’t get this pretty basic concept after an explanation, give up on trying to force the issue.

Instead, assume that there’s no regular job to be offered until the day you see a job offer in writing, and continue to conduct an active job search. This will be far less frustrating than continually expecting something and being annoyed that it’s not happening. (It will also be less frustrating to not assume they’re “abusing” you, but rather are dealing with higher priorities, disorganized, working out budget issues, or any of the other explanations for the delay that have nothing to do with you.)

5. What job search info should I track?

I keep an Excel spreadsheet to monitor jobs I’ve applied to. What data do you think is most important to track (beyond point of contact, position description, dates, etc.)?

Make sure you’re keeping the actual job description somewhere, not just the URL for it, because job postings get taken down, even when the job is still open. I’d also track any actual contact you’ve had with anyone there.

6. Can you accept a job offer contingently?

Have you heard of people contingently accepting a job offer based on what happens with the open position that they’d directly report to? In this situation, the management position it would report to is also open and one of the interviewees would create a conflict of interest if they were hired. Is contingently accepting an offer something people do?

They should do it more often, frankly, given what a major impact your manager has on your quality of life at work, but it doesn’t happen too often. Although there’s no reason someone couldn’t reasonably say, “I’d love to accept the job, but I’d like to hold off on a formal acceptance until you fill the manager role, since rapport with that person will be so important.” You’d need to be willing for them to refuse that, though.

However, in your case, where you’re worried about a potential conflict of interest, it’s a little different. I’d just be direct: “I’d love to take the job, but I know that you’re considering Jesse Pinkman for the manager role. Jesse is my husband, and so obviously that would be a conflict. In light of that, would it make sense to wait to see how that role is filled first?”

{ 79 comments… read them below }

  1. V

    #5 – can’t stress Alison’s point enough! Nothing worse than getting that call for an interview and then not being able to find the job description when you’ve applied to 80 jobs. I once had to ferociously google one and finally found it on the only website that hadn’t taken it down yet.

    This wouldn’t go in Excel, but I also create a folder and save every single resume and cover letter that goes out. I found myself making lots of tweaks to these documents for different jobs, and really wanted to make sure I was bringing the right copies to the interview. More importantly, I’d be able to go back and look at what I sent in for that job so I could know what to refer to/emphasize in conversation. I strongly strongly urge you to save everything :)

    1. fishy

      I second the folder system. It’s nice to know what version of your resume you sent to them.

      When I was a applying for jobs I also created a column that listed whether my application was still “active.” I had them set to become inactive after 1 month or sooner if I received a rejection note. I then used the total active applications as my target for applying. For example, if my target active applications was 10 and I received a rejection note today, then I would need to submit another application. Of course I didn’t only submit when the number of active applications dropped below the target, but it was a way to stay motivated (especially when I didn’t hear back from lots of places).

    2. Elizabeth West

      That’s exactly what I did. As for the job description, I used Cute PDF Writer (free) to save a copy of the webpage with the job posting on it so that I could refer back to it. Sometimes it took a while before I got an interview, and I wanted to be able to go over it before then. The company webpage URL went into my spreadsheet (if there was one) so I could refresh my memory also.

      An additional bonus was that if the job were posted more than once in different places and different wordings, I could compare the old listing to the new one and deduce that I already applied. This happened a couple of times with a lawyer’s office–I had an interview and decided the job wasn’t for me, and then saw it reposted in a slightly different form later. The address was the same. I was able to avoid reapplying.

      1. EngineerGirl

        I love CutePDF. I use it all the time to store documents on my smart phone.

        Just a suggestion here. Create short cuts within your Excel spread sheet to the other files you are using (Job Description, Resume). Right click on your document and create short cut. Once that is created right click again and get the full path name. Paste that in your Excel cell.

        Then access the documents through the Excel spread sheet. It avoids confusion.

        1. Rachel

          You don’t need it- Macs have a built-in PDF writer. The bottom left corner of your print menu will always have a “PDF” button, which gives you an assortment of options for creating a PDF of that page.

      2. NicoleW

        Thank you for the CutePDF recommendation! I feel kind of silly that I haven’t sought out something like that sooner…

    3. Waiting Patiently

      I third that? :)
      In the past few years I had only sent out 1-2 resumes, now it’s at least 2 a month. A couple of months ago I created a new career folder to help track everything I sent out. I love the op’s idea about tracking this info in Excel!
      Finding a job is really a job in itself!

    4. Jessa

      OH yes, absolutely keep the job description. What I usually do is I copy and paste it into an email, along with the original description link (which I can check to see if it’s changed in a newer posting,) and maybe a copy of whatever cover letter I attached, or version of resume. (Or a note that says “cover letter number 25 and Resume number 4,” if I label those that way in my word processor.)

      Then I email myself with an email that says “Excel sheet line X job with Y.” and file it in a folder in my email about “jobs on the excel sheet.”

      And that way if I want to I can also print out that email and supporting documents if I go for an interview.

    5. Corporate Drone

      I have a related question. I just saw my dream job, at a dream company, posted on LinkedIn. I’m in an industry group on LinkedIn with the recruiter who posted it, but I do not know her. I’m guessing it would be inappropriate to message her. Don’t know how guerilla I want to go.

  2. Jamie

    #4 – it would be great if these temp to perm assignments went according to schedule, but it so rarely happens. Being strung along is so common it’s in the category of not receiving a rejection letter: yes, it’s rude and unprofessional bit so commonplace that getting upset about it only punishes you.

    Also, you mention feeling abused by the company – that is very strong wording, is there something else going on aside from your temp contract not ending on time?

    Do you know that they will pay you more if/when taken on permanently? Because you can’t assume it will mean more money and if it does the raise is often negligible. And respect? I temped for 2 years back in the day and I have never seen that change based on employee status. If you have problems with lack of respect now I would not assume things will get better if you we’re a direct employee.

    I get it, when I was a new temp I assumed the timelines they set were based unreality, too, and I was also outraged. Then I figured out that some companies say temp to perm because they want to get good temps with less turnover, but perm isn’t guaranteed and others means well but are disorganized and timelines are sliding.

    1. Jessa

      If it’s anything like the temp work I used to do, you find the company dithers like crazy because honestly, you’re not costing them as much overhead as a temp. They don’t have to carry insurance, they can drop you with no real notice. They have inertia in their favour, you’re already working for them.

      The problem with this is despite everything temps have NOT been able to convince permanent people that they’re just as real employees as they are. And they get treated like garbage. Nobody respects them because “if you were any good you’d be HIRED for real.” As if they don’t really know that a temp has to be able to step into a job in a fraction of the time they did and do it just as good as they did.

      I temped mid term (6 mos) for a credit card company. The permanent people got 6 weeks of training, I got 3 days. Yes, 3 days. Now part of that was I was working with a small slice of what they worked with. But normally they’d probably get 2 weeks on that part. I was held to the exact same standards they were. Now, there’s an issue there, either temps are seriously able to absorb info better because they have a skillset that lets them take over jobs FAST. Or they’re training their permanent people too long? I dunno.

      But if you’re being treated second class, that’s a separate issue that NEEDS to be brought up to the manager in addition to the “not being hired thing,” and it needs to be brought up in a different conversation. This is not about whinging to be hired. This is specifically about “I am not being treated with the respect I need to do this job because the team perceives me as a temp to be lower than them, even though they report to me. How can we deal with this in a way that makes doing this job easier and more efficient?”

      Or, “I’m about to do x, y, z, because I’m not getting the edible paint chocolate teapot sheets from Wakeen on a timely basis, and when I say that’s a problem, I get pushback because I’m a temp and that’s not considered a “real manager.” I’d like your support on this.”

    2. Paloma

      Hi, I saw that, too – the part about assuming they will pay more. Isn’t temping usually paying hire rates than hourly staff, thus OP would get less (unless they really inspired a big upgrade in status from the employer? When I’ve done freelance temping, contracted to clients through an agency, it’s always at premium rates.

      1. Colette

        I went from temp to perm, and I got a raise, but I would be surprised if that was the norm.

        1. Julie

          When you go from temp to perm, you’re changing employers, so you can negotiate salary. There’s no guarantee that the new employer would give you a raise (after all, you’re already doing the job, and they know you want to continue working there). However, when I went from temp to perm, I negotiated a raise, so it is possible.

      2. Rana

        On the other hand, you do usually get benefits when you switch from temp to perm, and that can be a savings if you’ve been paying for your own insurance out of pocket up to that point.

        1. Paloma

          Can you tell me, is this in the U.S., Rana? In the major East Coast cities, I’ve never come across an agency placing freelance/temp professionals that did not provide health insurance, so long as one works a minimum number of hours.

      3. E

        I got exactly the same pay when I got hired as permanent from temping. The difference was benefits, paid time off, retirement plans, etc.

      4. Anne_A

        That’s the complete opposite to my experience. I was constantly pushed by a temp firm I’d signed on with to take temp positions at $10 or $12 an hour, and told that expecting more than that from even a permanent position was patently ridiculous – fortunately I knew much beter than to believe that nonsense, and went on to find much better-paid employment on my own.

    3. EngineerGirl

      This is one of those times where the adage “don’t take it personally, treat is like a game” comes into play. If they aren’t keeping their promise, you are free to look for another job. That is how the game is played.

      Keeping the emotion out of it gives you much more power in negotiating.

      1. Colette

        I’d add that you should keep looking for a new job. When I was a temp, I was very open with my manager that I was still looking, and she supported me taking time off for interviews. Obviously, not all managers would support that, but it’s totally normal to job hunt while a temp because, we’ll. it’s a temporary job, and most of us need to eat.

    4. JessB

      To OP #4, I would repeat, let go of your angst around this. I have been working as a temp for years, and I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot, but I never held out any hope of being made a permanent staff member, even when the people I worked for discussed it with me. If it happened, that was great; if not, never mind.

      I was lucky enough to be earning enough money, after I’d spent the first few months proving myself to my agency. And I am now working somewhere as a contract staff member – for an organisation I started at as a temp. My pay did go up when I signed the contract, but that was the end of a protracted process, which my boss had barely kept me informed about because there was such a slim chance it was going to be signed off.

      Good luck with this position, but if you are really looking for a permanent position, I would echo Alison’s advice to keep looking. Good luck with that as well.

  3. Sabrina

    #4 I temped for my company for a year before getting hired on. The temp company said that “everyone” gets hired on after 90 days. They didn’t say how long after. It was immediately obvious that no one got hired on after 90 days, and it was usually closer to 5 months or more. I wish I hadn’t stopped my job search, but I did, and didn’t pick it back up until I was 4 months in. Going back to school was my priority, though, and I didn’t find anything else before they finally offered me a full time position. Anyway, my advice is don’t believe them. Start looking elsewhere. You temping benefits them and they have no motivation to hire you on. And don’t think that your temp agency will help you out either, they have a good deal too, making money off of you working there, they also have no motivation to help you find something else. Good Luck.

    1. nyxalinth

      My last so called temp to hire position was with a major insurance carrier that involves the color Blue. the temps already there told me that their 90 days had ended 3-5 YEARS ago. I found another position…which promptly folded out from under me.

      I get calls all the time from temp agencies looking to fill a csr position, and it’s almost always the Blue guys. I always end up turning it down, and telling them why.

      1. nyxalinth

        Oh, and add to that when people misbehaved or had low numbers they would threaten outsourcing to the Phillipines…nope. Not going back.

  4. Anonymous

    #3 – how weird? No records after 1 year? They may not have a paper trail, but the tax people do. I wonder if you can get that information from taxation – or if you have a copy of your returns for that timeframe, showing where you were employed.

    1. Blinx

      Yes — can you produce W2s from another company that you were employed with during that time?

      Also, check and see if they store employee photos in the system. At my last company, your photo was taken for your employee badge. It was then stored in a database that security could access, to ensure that someone else wasn’t using your badge.

      I’m also wondering if the SSN number IS in their system, that someone was using your identity for the job.

      1. Anonymous

        I thought that too, some form of ID theft. If that were the case, I would think OP would have gotten tax notifications from the IRS. Pulling a credit report could help. Mine has my current company listed.

          1. EngineerGirl

            You can also go to the Social Security Administration and pull up your lifetime earnings by year. There is no employer identified with the earnings, but it should correlate with what you know.
            http://ssa.gov/myaccount/

            1. anon...

              Thank you for this link EngineerGirl! I just created an account and was able to save/print out my record, including a chart of earnings from the first year I started working!

              Very much appreciated!

        1. JBeane

          Yup, agreed. A lot of people have the same name, so I would think the company got a hit on your SSN. Definitely pull a copy of your credit report, as this sounds like it could be identity fraud.

    2. JT

      I was going to say the same thing. There is no way the company or at least its payroll service does not have records of payments to employees only a year or so ago.

      1. EngineerGirl

        Exactly. There are all sorts of legal reasons they need to keep this information. And if they don’t then run, not walk away from this job.

        As others stated, this could be identity theft. I would find out what identity theft laws are applicable in your state and city. Some places even have identity theft units . I would go back to asset protection and tell them you are worried about criminal identity theft. Tell them that you will need the information to report to the Social Security Administration and other appropriate authorities. At a minimum, this will cause Asset Protection to perform basic due diligence. I would phone up the other business unit and do the same.

      2. Jessa

        I don’t know about taxation in other countries but in the US they can check back at least 7 years. There is no way they do not have payroll back at least that far. Just none.

        Also you can get your own tax information as well and show that to them as others have suggested.

        But right now I’d go back to them with an attitude of OMG you think I worked here? We should call the cops because I never did, did someone steal my identity? Kind of low level panic thing. Make them understand that you’re not joking, and this is a serious and scarey thing because their records are seriously screwed up.

    3. AP

      One other very random suggestion – they didn’t buy a company you used to work at, or merge in any way, did they? I could see this happening if an employee worked at, say, Taco Bell, and is now applying at KFC, thinking they have never worked there before – but they are indeed different brands of the same parent company, and most likely share paperwork.

      1. Sascha

        That’s my thought, as well. Also, great suggestions from everyone about the tax stuff. My first thought was, check payroll.

        I experienced something sort of similar when I started working at my current workplace, which the university I graduated from. They still had my student ID in the database and when my boss went to create a new employee ID for me, my social was already tied to that student ID, and she had to do some finagling to get the accounts matched up.

    1. Chinook - Chocolate Teapot Social Coordinator

      Other than a typo or identity theft, I agree that the only other explanation is you worked for a company acquired by your current employer and I don’t see how you could be faulted for not knowing that (especially since some of these acquisitions are not well known).

      1. Jessa

        OOH I never thought of that. Get your resume out and show them what you gave them on their hiring form. If you worked for Betsey’s Teapot Emporium, 2 years ago, you can ask them, hey could it be because you might have bought Betsey’s?

        Because you’re not lying if your resume says you worked for Betsey’s and you had no idea Ginormous Teapots International bought them.

  5. Christine

    #3 – Any chance they’re confusing you with someone with a similar name to yours? Or even the same name as yours?

  6. Cathy

    #4 — You are lying to your boss about your reasons for needing a regular job, and you say you are confused because she doesn’t understand what your reasons are. “Needing stability” isn’t going to make sense to her because obviously you are in a stable position now. You come to work every day and there’s no end in sight. To her, changing your status is a technicality. Even if you get hired for a regular position, you won’t have any more stability than you are right now. You can still be let go any time.

    If you need the regular job because it has benefits, then you just say “Can you give me a better idea of the timeline for hiring? I really need a job with benefits and unfortunately, working for a temp agency doesn’t provide any.” Don’t talk about salary unless you know for a fact that the salary range for your position is higher than what you make as a temp. Otherwise, there’s no reason to think the company would pay you more if you were a regular employee than what the temp agency is paying you now.

    1. Cat

      Just because it’s not the whole truth doesn’t mean it’s a lie; having a temp job dragging out in perpetuity is less stable than being a permanent employee, even if in theory both could end at either time or go on indefinitely. Her manager should understand this and – frankly – probably does but doesn’t actually want to address it.

      1. Jessa

        The truth is a lot of companies have a policy about how they dismiss people. And courts at least in the US are kind of unsympathetic if they fire people without USING the system they’ve written out. So is unemployment.

        A temp can be fired with “hi get out, ” at any time. A permanent employee even in an at will state, still has to go through company policy. So you may indeed have more stability in a permanent job. Also when you’re a temp if you get sick or ill you can be dumped right away. Permanent employees usually have some kind of process, even if they don’t PAY you for sick time, they often let you have a certain amount of it. Or holiday pay.

        1. nyxalinth

          Seconded. It’s happened to me. I swear that considering my crappy luck with agencies that they hate me :P

    2. Nava in NYC

      I’m not sure what part of the country is this, where temp agencies don’t pay benefits? At least all the large national ones, or even small ones in the East Coast cities all offer health insurance, so long as you are working enough hours per month or quarter or whatever. This is for a long term assignment of several months already, so it sounds like the Original Poster has a BIGGER problem with the temp agency.

      1. Elise

        I wondered about that too. But maybe she hasn’t been a temp long enough? Several years ago, I used to temp thru Kelly Services. If you worked enough hours thru them (even if it was at multiple duty stations), you were entitled to benefits after 6 months.

        I’m thinking OP might be without benefits longer if the place hires them on, since day 1 will start from the hire date (not when the temp assignment started) and many companies have 6 month policies.

        1. Meg Murry

          When I temped years ago, the company said “90 days to hire” and it was complete baloney. They very, very rarely hired people in – I would guess less than 25% of the employees were permanent hires. After a certain amount of time temping I was offered the chance to buyinto a health insurance plan, but I had to pay 100% of the cost, and the temp agency straight up said that I would be able to find cheaper coverage on the open market as long as I didn’t have any pre-existing conditions.
          Are there other temps there now who have been there longer than you? Or do they only hire temps if there is an open position available (ie someone leaves?). I think it’s perfectly valid to ask what has to happen for you to get hired in, or if there are positions in other departments or locations you might be able to apply for. Unfortunately, perma-temping or perma-lancing is becoming more and more common, even in positions that require a degree or specialized skills.

      2. Steve

        My first job in the pharmaceutical industry was through a temp agency which offered benefits. For $50 per week I could purchase a “mini-med” plan that would pay a maximum of $2000 per year.

        I’m not an actuary, but it should be plan to everyone that that’s a bad deal.

      3. Chinook - Chocolate Teapot Social Coordinator

        I am quite jealous as I have only run into one temp agency out of the 5 I have worked for in Canada that offered benefits. Most of them just tack my vacation pay to my wages (the one offering benefits, ironically, included the vacation pay in the quoted salary which definitely not in the spirit of the law). On the plus side, when I go from temp to perm I have always been able to waive the 3 month probationary period for benefits by pointing out that I am a known commodity.

        Since I am starting another contract Monday, I am going to have to check this out.

        1. Natalie

          I suspect that has to do with how health coverage differs in Canada. If I understand correctly, you get basic coverage through the government but can purchase additional coverage, so presumably the employer would be offering that additional coverage.

      4. LMW

        I worked for one of the three largest temp agencies in the US, as a temp in their headquarters building for three years. Their so-called health benefits are preventive only (check ups and the like) and don’t really cover emergencies or serious health issue. Plus, they were prohibitively expensive (over twice what their regular employees were paying). And with the new health care laws going into effect in 2014, many companies are just cutting healthcare for temps and paying the fine (the law isn’t designed for this industry and they just can’t afford it).
        My company cut all vacation benefits (the measly 5 days that also was all the sick leave you got) in 2012.

    3. Corporate Drone

      Cathy, do you really think that anyone is so clueless as to not understand that “temp” means “temporary,” and therefore lacks stability? I think this manager is just an ass. No one can possibly be so obtuse that she would be genuinely confused when a temporary worker states that she wants to be a full time employee.

      Also, temp agencies charge way more than they pay the temporary worker, so it’s 99% positive that the full time salary for the position will be more than the $12/hour she’s making as a temp.

    4. FiveNine

      The boss knows exactly what the differences are between a temp position and a full-time staff position.

  7. Heather

    Yup I was also the victim of a “temp to permanent” that never happened. It was supposed to be for three months just like the regular probation. After about 6 weeks my boss told me how much they loved me and my work blah blah blah blah and that they were going to hire me on permanent. Great. I’ll wait for the offer letter. Nothing happened. In addition most of the time I had nothing to do because my boss was so disorganized and controlling that she wouldn’t pass work on to me to do. So they were paying me to sit there and do nothing. Then they hired a team leader for the department and I was still temp. Then they asked me to train this new person. Yeah no. If you want to train my supervisor you can hire me on permanently. About three weeks after that they let me go.

    So yeah don’t believe them and start looking.

    In hindsight it was all for the best since this company was badly managed and I had a couple of issues with my supervisor (work being dumped on me at the last minute (when I would get it); being asked to stay late 5 minutes before I’m to go home; not getting anything to do at all; etc) I’m much happier where I am.

  8. Anon

    #3 – Your identity could have been stolen. I had someone with a similar name and similar social security number who figured this out and used it to their advantage for years. It might not even be that weird- identities get stolen all of the time and sold for use by illegal aliens to gain employment, which is more likely what happened here.

    I had to check my credit report (good to do anyway) and have all the fraudulent things removed. We even considered getting another social security number as I was still pretty young.

    This is exactly why I never give out my ss# (except to my employer / IRS), let you take a photo of me for your file, copy my drivers license or take down the number. Call me paranoid but the cleanup from someone’s dishonesty sucks. Plus you don’t have any credit until it’s done.

    1. Josh S

      There’s any number of things that could be causing this:
      –An undocumented worker could have used your SSN as a way to fraudulently ‘verify’ that they were able to work legally in the US (this happens more than you’d think). You can figure this out if you check with the Social Security office to see if there were additional contributions/reported hours to your SS account during that time that don’t make sense.
      –You could have worked for a company that was acquired by the new company. It seems as though you’d be able to figure this out though since you seem to be in contact with the other location.
      –Someone could have mis-typed the SSN at some point. They should be able to verify that ALL your information (name, address, SSN) is the same now and before.
      –It could be identity theft, though apart from the undocumented issue above, I can’t see how it would make sense to steal an identity for the purposes of employment?

      Sorry you’re having to deal with this uncertainty. It sounds bizarrely Kafka-esque.

      1. littlemoose

        I could also see identity theft for employment purposes occurring if the perpetrator had a criminal record or had been previously terminated for a serious reason like theft, violence, etc. Unlikely, I’m sure, but possible. SSN misuse for an undocumented worker seems more probable. That said, everyone here has offered great suggestions for the OP about verifying and confirming their employment history.

  9. Just a Reader

    #6 I declined a job offer when they sprung a new manager on me last minute, post offer. She was aggressive, snide and horrible during our single phone call. I had really wanted the job before that so it was a bummer, but I’ve never regretted declining to work for that woman.

    1. Number 6 OP

      I totally understand that! Alison was right about my situation though; my husband is applying! It’s sort of bittersweet because I really want the job, but I want him to get the management position more… We shall see!

  10. Waiting Patiently

    #2
    Good luck. It sounds perfectly reasonable. I wish I had more PTO. I only get one day but I have* set* unpaid time off during the year. It sucks because I used my one day already for an appt early in the year and my daughter graduates 8th grade in June, which isn’t part of my set unpaid time off. My supervisor is generally good about approving time off request but it would be nice if the handful of us that this effect had more flexibility for time off request and/or more PTO.

      1. Waiting Patiently

        Nope. Eight hours of personal and 40 for sick. I work 180 days/ 10 months out of the year. I have 2 weeks of “set” unpaid time off (in December and April) and then the summer off–unpaid. I love my schedule because it affords me the time with my kids but those unpaid days really hurt my pockets sometimes.

        1. E.R.

          Ah, well it’s not so bad since you have the summer off. (Are you a teacher?) I left a job once primarily because the PTO policy was truly miserable – and at the time, I didn’t think to ask about it in detail before I accepted the job (I do now).

          1. Waiting Patiently

            I’m a pre-k teacher. Our program is housed inside one of district’s schools. The district process our new hires and payroll and that pretty much it -well and staff a few of our classrooms with SpEd teachers for students that have special needs. Their teachers are certified, unionized and salaried-of course. This is why our classrooms operate on the school year calander. I love what I do just wish there were more perks in terms of PTO.

  11. Elise

    #3 – call IRS or file form 4506-T and request a copy of your Wage & Income transcripts for those years. There is no cost for this. Make sure that your name is on the W-2s and 1099 forms and that the employers are companies where you were actually employed.

    If it is an undocumented worker using your number or a typo it will be pretty obvious. If your name is Apple and the wages were paid to a Banana, then it’s not really ID theft but it’s something you should know about.

  12. Jenny S.

    Props for referencing Jesse Pinkman in answer #6, though I don’t think I’d want him as either my husband OR my manager!

  13. #3 - Steven

    Unfortunately, I am #3. I do have more information for anyone that is curious. I work for a performance retail company that is very widely known and the corporate office already had all of my information before I was hired. Many years ago, I applied to a different location (same company) for seasonal help. However, I received no word on whether I was hired or not and continued on with my life not thinking anything of it. This could explain why they have all of my information. As to why I was kept as an “employee” for 2 years, I have no clue. I looked into my credit report and even created an account on the soc sec website to see if anyone was stealing my identity. Nothing. Everything checks out except for their story. Worse yet, the current store manager does not believe a word I say even though I have brought everything to his attention. To save myself added stress, I’m looking for a new job. I did enjoy the time there but if this is any indication on how my time will be at the company, I’ll pass.
    Thank you to everyone who has come forward and offered advice. I appreciate it very much.

    Fun fact: This company took a month to hire me. That should’ve told me something.

  14. Splash

    To #4 – I wouldn’t hold my breath about getting hired on permanently, if I were you. When I was temping, I mostly worked “long term” jobs and made it clear that I would like to be hired permanently and it never happened.

    With one job, I was to cover the receptionist for a week. The receptionist showed the ropes and when she went for her lunch break, called the manager and quit. I stayed on for several months and actively lobbied for the position. Unfortunately, the manager hired a friend of hers and I spent two weeks training her to do the job.

    The agency then sent me on an interview with a company that was looking for someone with a particular skill set to do a two week job. I met with the owner, who said I was a perfect fit for a different opening in the company, but that he would like to evaluate my work performance first.

    After a couple of weeks, I was given a performance evaluation and the owner said he would love for me to stay. I was very happy and attempted to start salary negotiations, but he just laughed and said that it was cheaper for him to keep me as a permanent temp, so that he didn’t have to pay any benefits.

    Things quickly went downhill from there, as I was never sure of my “place”. I was a temp that was treated like a permanent employee in some aspects, but as a temp in other ways. I was required to attend after work team-building meetings, but was kept out of company staff meetings. I had a company email address, but wasn’t allowed to interact with clients in any way. It ended up being the strangest work environment I’ve ever been involved in.

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