6 reader updates: where are they now?

Here are updates from six readers who had their letters answered here recently (well, one not so recently).

1. The reader whose manager hadn’t gotten back to her about her raise request

I thought I’d send you an update on what happened.

The beginning of 2013 was extraordinarily tough on me. Work was beyond busy and at the same time I was dealing with a health related issue about my dad. During that time, I also got a new boss. My raise request was something I did not actively follow up on and I heard nothing back from my employer as well.

As things have calmed down with my workload and my personal obligations have subsided for now, I knew this needed to be a priority once again. As my previous boss was doing my year-end review, the issue was raised once more. The delay in getting an answer was apparently because of some shuffling in our HR department and getting a new HR business partner. I was rated as a top performer last year (exceeds expectations) and while I received a merit increase, the issue of an overall increase in my base pay was still up in the air.

After some more back and forth, with still no answer, I went back to my current boss over the last week or so to mention that I was still waiting for an answer, and that I’ve been waiting on this since the end of November. He apologized and told me he would push for some action to be taken.

I was informed today that they’ve increased by base pay by about 15% — and while I could probably get more money leaving the organization, I’m very happy with what I received. The company treats me well, offers a lot of flexibility, has been very understanding about having to deal with my personal issue re: my dad and every year participates in a summer hours program. That even more money isn’t worth giving those things up.

On a personal level, being direct and asking for what I know I’m worth is a big accomplishment for me.

2. The reader trying to get a promotion when he’d had a bad attitude toward higher-ups (#6 at the link … and this is from 2011!)

A lot has gone on, but first, thanks for putting up the question, it provoked good discussion and a bit of soul searching for me.

I was covering the vacancy of my manager and wanted to know how I could get into that role full-time when I had a bad relationship with most of the higher-ups. You were completely right that they wouldn’t be interested in promoting me. In fact, they eliminated the manager position because I could handle it and left me covering the two jobs. So I decided to go and get another job and happened to find one in the same sort of job, applied and got it fairly easily.

Working at a different employer has been a revelation. Surprisingly, I’ve found that I’m easy to manage and there’s no dysfunctional “us vs them” culture that was prevalent where I worked before. Maybe I helped cause the culture at my old place by the cold war between me and the bosses, I don’t really know how it started. Hopefully me not being there anymore has helped the employees who had the misfortune of working alongside me.

Back in 2011, I felt as if I were unemployable at anything else than the niche I had dug myself into. Although I said in my letter to you I was happy most of the time, I now think that I had desensitized myself into not realising how depressed I was. Family and friends have remarked how I’m like a different person now. If I could talk to anyone in my 2011 shoes I would say, “You’re not useless, you have skills, it’s just the attitude that sucks and you can change your attitude.”

3. The reader wondering if she should hug people she would know at a job interview

I was the person who wrote in a few weeks ago with the question about hugging people I knew when I went in for a job interview. I really appreciated everyone’s feedback.


There was no hugging. In fact, at the first interview no one I knew was in the office because an off-site meeting was in progress. And each of the remaining interviews were off-site or via Skype, for various logistical reasons. I did get the offer, and it’s a great opportunity for me– there may be hugging on my first day in a few weeks, but hopefully not!

As for your interview prep guide, I want to send you a tremendous thank you. I spent an entire afternoon going thru it; I used both the video and the written guide. It is really sound advice, and well organized. It got me motivated and gave structure to my preparation. It initially made me a little panicky, when I realized how much goes into a full preparation effort . But I worked thru it, and as you predicted, I felt better and better as I checked off all of my tasks. I walked into my interview with ideas about what would be most important to cover and a list of questions. I am confident it was the best interview I ever gave — the guide walked me thru a preparation process that set me up for success.

4. The reader wondering how to deal with an overly eager junior colleague

I did have a brief chat with my new coworker directly after she had another Great Idea, where I said, “It’s not that your ideas aren’t good, it’s just that from a business perspective they’re often not where we want to be spending resources.” A few days later, our manager mentioned that she had come to her and asked for a little more guidance about the best ways of “doing things” in our workplace, and specifically to get a better picture of the company’s strategy, and since then she’s chilled out a lot (and has also been getting through her workload, which she wasn’t always before).

Last week, I was offered a promotion to another department (where I’ll be line managing two people, aah!). The “newbie” will be taking over a lot of my responsibilities, and I’m really excited for her — I think she’s going to be a great achiever with a little more experience (again, it’s her first-ever office job and she’s only been here for four months!).

Thank you again for your advice — I think sorting out problems between well-meaning and potentially-good people can be a lot harder than obvious she’s-a-jerk conflicts and I really appreciate your advice and skill in that area.

5. The reader whose bosses were having an affair with each other, and much inappropriate socializing 

I did exactly what you suggested. I haven’t quit, but I did stop attending the Friday after work events. I also believe the two in question have stopped their behavior…or at least it is no longer evident at work. Anyway, great reply! Thank you!

6. The reader with M.S. looking for jobs working from home (#6 at the link)

I just wanted to give you an update — though very partial it may be. Unfortunately, I have since then had a MS flare up that caused me to take a week off my customer service position. However, I spent a lot of that time re reading all the suggestions posted and took a lot to heart! I do realise now I must be “The Master of My Destiny,” as the customer service jobs are a problem if I have a flare up or need time to go to the doctor (learned that the hard way, as this time couldn’t get off work for 2.5 weeks and doctor wouldn’t give meds without seeing me).

I have since then signed up for various click work and micro work sites, signed up for grant writing and business writing courses at my local public library, signed up for ezine, elance, etc., enrolled in a class at Paul VI Pontifical Institute to get my 3rd certification in Religious studies, updated the Creative Art Experience Talk MS Group Facebook page, signed up for a ton of WAHM sites, etc. While none of these things have obviously led to anything yet, it is a start.

I wanted to say thank you for your site and the opportunity to correspond with so many people. I am looking at all of this as a beginning stage and no learning opportunity is ever wasted. I honestly can say I would not have taken any of these steps without the helpful and thoughtful responses I received. Fear is such a deterrent, especially when one has naysayers in their lives life telling one just stick with the status quo, which is not optimal for my situation. As Frost once said taking the less traveled road makes all the difference. Thank you so much, as to all the responders to that post (I hope you are a shade of crimson by now!). You are awesome!

{ 9 comments… read them below }

  1. AmThere*

    Thanks #2 …. or future me. That helps. I’m headed in that positive direction now.

  2. Runon*

    Thanks so much to everyone who sends in updates, they are always great to hear, no matter how they turned out.

  3. Elle*

    Asking this seriously about LW #3: is there some resurgence of the spelling “thru” that I’m missing?

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