my boss is blocking access to the bathroom, disclosing depression, and more

It’s tiny answer Tuesday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. I can’t get to the office bathroom when my boss is in the conference room

My boss is a control freak and wants to be involved in everything that going on in our district. He holds all the meeting for our company in the conference room — at least five scheduled meetings and then when anyone stops in to talk with him. The problem is our only restroom is in the conference room. I start work at 9 a.m. (I have a 20 – 25 minute drive into work and like to use the restroom before I start work). Many mornings I come into the office to find the conference room being used. He has a small conference table in his office, but won’t take people in his office because it is such a mess. Are there any laws to stop him from blocking the restroom from employees?

Your workplace needs to offer access to a bathroom, yes. But before you go at this from a legal standpoint, have you tried simply knocking on the door, opening it, saying “Excuse me, I’m headed to the bathroom,” and simply walking through the conference room to your destination? In other words, the fact that he’s holding a meeting in there doesn’t have to mean that you can’t walk through it to use the bathroom; if he’s even halfway sane, he’s probably assuming that’s what people will do if they need it. If, however, he tells you not to walk through there while the conference room is occupied, then ask him what people should do for bathroom access during that time.

2. Including quotes from coworkers on your resume

I had the opportunity to look over a few resumes for a position my company is hiring for. I noticed that a good handful of the resumes (about 20% or so) had about 2 inches of the left margin blocked off and filled with quotes people supposedly said about the applicant, like “John is an outstanding coworker,” ” Susie Q has great communication skills,” etc. Not only did most of these quotes contain little substance to speak to the skills of the applicants, but I found the whole thing a little narcissistic. Thoughts?

Well, it’s not narcissistic to promote your own work on your resume; that’s what it’s there for. The problem with what you’re describing is that the quotes are so lacking in substance or concrete specifics that they’re essentially worthless. Including anything worthless on your resume isn’t a good idea, but when you feature it so prominently, it says, “I don’t know what truly high performance even means, so I think you’ll be impressed by a quote saying I’m a good coworker.”

3. Disclosing depression to my manager

My question is about how much I should disclose to my manager about mental health problems. Since the start of this year, I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety. I am in treatment for it and had mostly been functioning normally, but lately the depression has gotten worse and affected my work. I have trouble staying motivated, am losing confidence, and have been all over the place emotionally. For the last couple of days, I’ve sat at my desk holding back tears and spent my lunch hours driving to somewhere I could sit and cry without being seen. All of this is affecting my productivity and now I’m worried about missing a deadline. On top of that, I’m a youngish woman in an industry that’s traditionally male-dominated, and I’m concerned about keeping my place in the corporate culture.

I know I need to say something to my manager since it’s affecting my work, but I’m not sure how much to share or what to say. I am in treatment, and she might already have a clue because I adjusted my schedule for a recurring “personal appointment” every week. But unfortunately getting better is likely to be a long-term process. I’m sure my manager will be very understanding about it and be glad I was honest — she is awesome about things like this. But she is also under quite a bit of stress because we recently lost a team member and she’s been doing two people’s jobs while traveling and trying to hire a replacement… so I don’t want to make it any worse.

Well, here’s the thing: Just letting her know about something that’s already going on isn’t going to make anything worse; it’s just going to give her some context to understand what she might already be noticing. In fact, if she has been noticing some of this, letting her know what’s going on will likely relieve some of her stress rather than adding to it, because it’s more stressful to worry that someone’s performance is slipping for no known reason or to notice that you’re not yourself but not to have any context for it.

So talk to her. You don’t need to go into detail, but you can say, “I want to let you know in confidence that I’m working on some issues with depression. I’m trying hard to keep it from affecting my work, but I realize that I might be behaving differently than before, and I wanted to let you know what’s going on. I’m working with my doctor to get it under control.”

4. How can I convince my father to run his business differently?

My father runs a multi-agency that sells every kind of insurance, bookkeeping for other small businesses, taxes, immigration, and more. I have recently graduated with a B.B.A. and my parents have strongly requested that I start working for my dad. I am trying to help him manage his business, yet I am losing motivation to help him because he will not implement the things I have created at the workplace. I have created an employee handbook, installed clock-in/clock-out software, and helped advertise across social media. He keeps putting off on slowly changing the workplace and installing some workplace etiquette and policies. He is scared to lose people. He currently has 2 employees, one part-time bookkeeper and one sales representative. Both of them make personal texts/calls (30-40 minutes daily), which should have been taken care of during their paid lunch hour!) and get paid a generous salary while overstaying breaks and not completing daily tasks. What can I do in this situation? How do I organize this workplace and better yet, how do I get my father to understand I want to help him make money and that I am not nitpicking!?

You can’t. Find a job somewhere else. You’ve proposed changes, and your father/manager has indicated that he’s not interested in implementing them. That’s his call and his prerogative. That would be true in any case, but it’s especially true when you’re right out of school and don’t have a ton of experience in the work world, because at that point it becomes not just a fruitless quest, but a sort of silly one too.

You’re better off finding work somewhere without family ties, so that you can have a more straightforward relationship with a boss, unencumbered by family dynamics and expectations.

5. Should typing speed go on my resume?

I am applying for an administrative assistant job, and I was wondering should I put my typing speed on my resume. I have a fast words-per-minute, but I’ve read online that I should leave that off of my resume. I feel with my typing speed, it could be a useful addition to my resume but other websites say otherwise. What is your take on this?

Put it on. I agree that it doesn’t belong on there for non-administrative-assistant jobs, because if you’re applying for, say, a research analyst position, selling your typing as one of your qualifications doesn’t make sense — but it does make sense for admin assistant jobs. If it’s high, include it. (P.S. Mine is 103, and I would like to have that tattooed on my face for all the world to know about.)

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6. What does it mean that my interviewer cc’d a bunch of other people?

After my final round interview, the interviewer, who would be my supervisor if I was hired, told me that they would get back to me in the next few weeks, after I asked for a timeline. I emailed 2 weeks later, on a Friday morning, reiterating my enthusiasm and asking if I could get a sense of their new timeline. The interviewer emailed back on Monday, saying they would get back to me sometime this week. My interviewer CC’d the office manager and regional HR head, as well as another manager who I had interviewed with previously. What does this mean? I guess I am still in the running, but they need to think about details, like salary and work authorization? I know I’m trying to read tea leaves here.

You are trying to read tea leaves, and you are better off not. It could mean anything — from an offer being imminent to the interviewer nudging others on staff to let you know they’ve chosen another candidate. In other words, it means nothing. Be patient and wait for an answer.

7. My company is making me log how I spend my time

My company insists that I use a daily log sheet. I therefore have to state what I do throughout the day, but no one else has to do this (I job share). I find this degrading, as I have worked there for many years and have only been asked to do this recently. Is this lawful for them to expect me to do this on a lengthy basis?

Yes. Of course. Do you really think there’s a law saying that employers can’t ask you to log how you’re spending your time? Think this through — what on earth would be the reasoning for such a law?

In any case, since this is a change, why not ask your manager what’s behind it? Say something like, “Was the change to the daily log sheet prompted by any concern about my work? I was surprised to be asked to do it after so many years of not, and wanted to make sure it wasn’t indicative of a problem on my end.”

{ 219 comments… read them below }

  1. pidgeonpenelope

    7. That is pretty normal for bosses to request people logging how they use their time. This could be for a variety of non-personal reasons but I second Allison in just asking more about it to make sure they don’t have concerns you might want to address.

    5. 103!?!? Mavis Beacon says I type about 63 wpm. Of course, I get nervous and mess up when I have a typing test.

    1. Victoria x

      I really need to get my typing speed and accuracy up (even though I have been typing for more years than I care to figure out!).

      Does anyone have any recommendations for programs or online resources to improve? thanks.

      1. AmyNYC

        I second the request for programs! I’m ashamed to say I’m in my late 20’s and can’t type correctly.

        1. Chinook

          I know Mavis Beacon programs were the standard for the longest time in Canadian schools. They start you out with the keys on the “home” row and even had typing games to help make the practice less boring.

          1. Esra

            Was that the whole “A sad lad has a salad” etc program? That’s what we had in high school a scant 15 years ago. It seemed dumb at the time, but man, I’m grateful for it now.

            1. Parfait

              Dad had half a shad salad. A lad has a glad dad. A lass has a sash as a fad. A lad has a lash.

              1. Natalie

                I’m pretty impressed with the fact that those are all grammatically correct and logical sentences, although a shad salad sounds disgusting.

      2. moe

        I play this game whenever I’m bored: http://play.typeracer.com/. I went from typing low-100s to now hitting the 130s.

        I’m sure there are better ways of improving your speed the “right” way, but this one is fun. I’m planning to set up a Dvorak keyboard soon.

        1. tcookson

          Gah — I’ve always been a mediocre typist, always about 44 – 52 wpm. True to form, I just got a 46 on the typeracer test. And I’m an admin assistant — fortunately nobody seems to notice my typing!

        2. Lynne

          Dvorak FTW! :) When you start learning it, though, be prepared for your fingers to get confused and temporarily forget QWERTY…which is disconcerting because all of a sudden you can’t type fast on *any* keyboard layout. I felt like someone had taken away my ability to talk.

          After enough practice switching between, you can get to be keyboard bilingual, which is handy…I still vastly prefer Dvorak; noticeably less finger strain and it makes me faster.

      3. Anonymus

        http://www.typingmaster.com/

        It keeps track of errors you make while you’re doing every day typing (it pays attention to when you hit backspace to fix typos) and then it presents you with customised typing lessons based on the keys and words you have trouble with.

    2. Vicki

      But re #7, the thing that bugs me is that the job share partner is _not_ being asked to log everything.

      There’s a big difference between “we all need to log our time” and “Suddenly, after many years, with no warning, I’m being singled out.”

      OP, you need to ask questions.

  2. jesicka309

    OP #3 – I really feel for you. I’m going through a similar situation myself, and this question was really timely for me.
    Good on you for getting help – telling your manager is a good idea, especially if you’re on the verge of tears frequently. The last thing you need is your boss thinking that you’re way too upset over something minor, when it’s really your breaking point after a terrible week. It will help your boss contextualise what’s going on, and understand, as Alison says, that it’s not a performance related problem, but a personal one.
    Good luck, and I hope things work out for you soon. :)

    1. The Editor

      Another response to #3…

      I’m a long time sufferer of depression and male to boot! A lot of people seem to forget that men get depressed, too. And believe me, I know how hard it can be in a male-dominated field to just need to cry. My last few months have been spent exactly as you describe, especially sitting in the car on lunch. I feel for you, and I’m so sorry.

      I’m going through my own moment right now, and I’ve found so much relief in a good manager who heard me and was open to working with me. Talk to your manager, and I sincerely hope she hears you and understands.

      Good luck with your treatments. It’s such a long, dark road. And one typically fought alone and with very little light. You’re in my thoughts, wherever you are. No one should EVER go through this alone, and you’re not. Hold on and be strong.

      1. tcookson

        This is great – – I occasionally have bouts of self-doubt at work (usually during the really super busy season near the end of each semester) and the advice in here is good not just for depression, but as a general “hold it together” inspiration for times when inspiration might be low.

    2. JuliB

      I think that so many people know someone with depression, that the stigma has lessened. Being proactive both with your treatment and explaining it to your boss will really make you shine.

      One question my doctor had asked me when I saw her about the same thing was whether I really wanted to get better. (The answer was yes.) She told me that not everyone does – it becomes comfortable and all that they know. Change is hard. So your willingness to deal with it should be very reassuring to your supervisor.

    3. Travis

      This is only my own personal experience, I realize. But after telling my boss that I had been diagnosed with depression, she treated me as if I had leprosy. Wouldn’t talk to me and wanted nothing to do with me. About a month later, I was let go. My performance had slipped, but by no means the worst in the office.

      I was able to get unemployment benefits fairly easily, and in retrospect it was the best thing for me, because the job stress was a contributing factor. But what a kick in the nuts.

    4. Another Emily

      I want to encourage you too LW3. I’m in a very similar situation to you (depression, anxiety, not wanting to add stress to an overworked boss, performance being affected). Fortunately my boss is awesome and very understanding. When I told him he was very supportive, and this really took weight off my shoulders, work-wise. Most people try their best to be understanding and kind, so I think that unless your boss is a jerk like Trevor’s (in the comments), it’s worth it to tell her.

    5. NCL

      I’ve been dealing with depression since I was in middle school. I’m 24 now. It’s been especially hard without health insurance, so getting medication and other treatments is difficult. Still, I manage to perform at a very high level at work. I definitely have my bad days, though. Today was one where I really had to fight not to cry at my desk or *sound* depressed, since I talk on the phone with customers all day. So I can definitely relate to OP3. It’s a real struggle.

      Fortunately, I’ll be getting medical insurance soon, so I can finally get the care I need. I haven’t mentioned the depression to my boss yet; she is extremely nice and supportive, but I haven’t felt the need to bring it up. However, I think I probably will once I start meds, since they tend to have some strong side-effects in the adjustment phase.

      Good luck to anyone else who’s going through the same things, and don’t forget to try to be kind to yourself. I try to spend some time to remember what I’ve accomplished for the day. Even the simple stuff. Today was the day that I got out of bed, got cleaned and dressed, and left my house for work, and I treated every customer with the respect and attention they deserved.

  3. Ruffingit

    I type 91 wpm. It comes with a lot of practice. When I was in high school, my computer teacher used to get on my case about looking at my hands when I typed. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to type without doing that. Over 20 years later, I could type with my eyes closed and still be fairly accurate.

    OP#3 – I really feel for you. Depression/anxiety issues are more common than you think. It’s sometimes surprising when you share that you suffer from these problems and you find others who nod their heads and say “me too.” I’ve been there. It’s a daily battle against the dark clouds. You’re not alone.

  4. Jessa

    #7, I would totally ask if there was a reason. I wonder if your company works for clients if they want to find out if blocks of your time could be billed out in a better way than they are now.

    They may also not be looking at you but your job share partner. Maybe they want to see how the two of you approach the work differently?

    #4. Run, do not walk to another job. What Alison said but also…you’re new to business. Changes like you wanted to make don’t come overnight. And certainly don’t come in big bunches like you’ve listed. How long have you worked there before you started making changes? I mean even if you were hired to make changes, it takes some … experience to be able to communicate that stuff especially when it’s your father. He was probably overwhelmed and he probably also thought you were communicating a meta message of “see I know all this stuff now and you’ve been doing it ALL wrong forever…” Not necessarily the message you meant, but likely how he heard it.

    1. FiveNine

      And there’s also this: The OP is so new to the work world that he/she doesn’t yet know which issues are worth fighting for and which ones are better off dropped. An employee handbook and clock-in software? Well that’s all well and good, but this is a two-employee atmosphere where the employees have worked there a long, long time. (And depending on where OP goes next, these might or might not be priorities, ever.)

      1. some1

        Agreed. And if the positions in question are both “We Need a Behind in the Seat”-type positions and the employees are leaving early &/or coming in late, there are other ways to deal with that than having them clock in and out. One supervisor that I had would make the employee send an email when she arrived/left for the day, but of course if management goes this route you need to allow 2-5 minutes for the computer to boot up or before you would shut down.

      2. Anonymous

        I haven’t had to clock in for the last 15 years.. I don’t see the point.

        I think he may be overdoing it a bit- organization is great, but there is also company culture to consider.

        He did say that the deadlines were not being met- he should focus on that and ask why (and then fix)

    2. OP # 4

      Yeah I completely understand what you’re saying. Experience really is key. I have worked in 3 management positions where I set up systems and policies. I am a really motivated person and see things through (which are in my control at least).

      Good news is I wrote a professional email to him because that’s how I wanted him to see me. He finally implemented my clock in and clock out idea so we are saving money in that area. I’m on the lookout for a job in the meantime though! Thanks!

      1. OP # 4

        The clock in/out software was an idea to keep that line between employee and employer a bit. It was to acknowledge we see a problem in you overstaying your paid lunches (one hour lunch gets overstayed by 20 more minutes) and coming in late to work by 15 minutes when they’re supposed to open. You get paid for the time you spend on the job – simple.

        I also saw them come back and chat on cell phone while customers are coming in (absolutely unprofessional when a customer is waiting for your to tell your friend goodbye on the phone – reason for employee handbook to outline office etiquette)

        We have a really laid back friendly atmosphere. We always have lunch, pastries, beverages, snacks available for the employees. We even pay for their individual licenses (which they can use at any other insurance agency if they wanted to). A LOT of small businesses in the real world do not do any of these things as well as above average pay.

        So as an employer we are meeting all their requests. The reasons for a clock in/out software and employee handbook was the only 2 indirect nicer ways of saying you’re doing this and it’s unacceptable.

  5. John Quincy Adding Machine

    Maybe OP #1 wants to go #2 in the employee bathroom but doesn’t want to do it with half a dozen people just on the other side of the door…

    1. Anonymous

      Yes! I cringed when I read that the bathroom was inside the conference room. How awful. Especially if people can hear what’s going on in there! I would think that’s disruptive to any meetings that would be in there as well.

      1. EJ

        Amen! I would have a heart attack if I had to announce that I need to use the restroom. This situation makes my skin crawl.

      2. Cat

        That’s an office design problem rather than an issue with her boss though. The only solution to this would be to say that the conference room was never going to be used as a conference room, which doesn’t really seem that tenable either. (Though, seriously, who designed that office space?)

        1. fposte

          Yes, I totally agree. The fault here isn’t the boss’s (he’s using conference space as conference space), it’s whoever designed this office space.

    2. Jane

      Agreed. I wouldnt be comfortable doing that. I also think it just comes off as rude no matter what you say and people who don’t visit the office often will be very confused by it. Definitely a design flaw in the office (sounds like this may have been a larger office that was chopped up to make smaller offices and the part that ended up being OP’s company’s office got the short end of the stick – that’s the only explanation I can think of). In any event, I agree with AAM that the best approach is to just ask the manager what to do when the conference room is occupied. Hopefully that will trigger him to think about it and figure out a viable solution. In my old office, there was an in-suite office as well as an office down the hall so this didn’t come up but it would be an issue for me as well — when I need to go, I need to go!

      1. Penny

        This is so weird. What if you were in the bathroom doing some business and a group walked in to use the conference room while you’re in there. You could not know only to walk out to awkward stares or surprise a group who had no idea you were in there (or do you hide out til there gone?). What if you’re overhearing confidential info? Just bad.

  6. CatB

    #4: I guess your drive to change your father’s business is mainly linked to love. In that scenario, logical as Alison’s advice might be, it might not be exactly what you were looking for.

    If, as I suppose, you will continue to look for ways to get the business running more efficiently then remember that change is *not* something people usually welcome. In fact, since about 40% of our every day’s activities are on auto-pilot (perhaps even more so at work), changing the way these employees work will most probably be seen as threatening to them.

    I am as enthusiastic about implementing change as the next guy – as long as it is *my* change. And I resist change, if it is someone else’s. Those people have probably been doing things in their particular ways for years (and even if they’re new to the firm, office culture has a way of transmitting itself from generation to generation).

    So, three things to remember:

    1: change will affect your dad, too. He will have to change some of his ways. In this respect he is your client, not your dad. You need his buy-in before anything gets changed. Treat him as you would any other client hiring you as a consultant (you can hug him at home, if you so wish. Office space is for office behavior)

    2. implement change in baby steps and present it as incremental improvements rather that a total makeover. Let the new behavior seep in, before taking the next step. Praise a lot when you see new behavior performed, correct without criticizing when needed.

    3. make this a team effort. Your ways are perfect – for you. Not so much for them. So, before anything gets done in a different way, request their input and listen to it without snap judgments. Sometimes they will be wrong, but merely listening will decrease resistance; sometimes you’ll discover a patch of middle ground; and sometimes you will find that they are doing “that” for a reason. But get everybody’s input before implementing the smallest change. This way they will feel less that you shove the process down their throats (that elicits resistance) and more like a common enterprise (that brings buy-in).

    It’s a daunting task, usually. If you commit to it, I keep my fingers crossed.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      While I don’t disagree with this advice for change in general, I don’t see any way a ~22-year-old right out of school with limited work experience is going to have the standing/credibility to implement it, which is a huge part of the issue here, I think!

      1. CatB

        Yes, that’s true. But if they are determined to do something, anything (which was the scenario I commented in), at least they can (a) do it the right / effective way and (b) make it a learning moment both for them and the company. All in all, “there’s no failure, only feedback”, as they say.

        I personally avoid mixing business with family / friends, I know your advice is the right one. But at ~22 the OP might very well believe that task achievable in spite of the sensible advice here, so s/he might use some ideas in that circumstance, also.

      2. Annie The Mouse

        While I see AAM’s point, this is not an average 22 year old. This is the next owner of the agency. If her parents are pushing her so hard to work there, it’s likely that her father is in the early stages of planning to retire. If she can establish her authority now, all the transitions down the line will much be easier on everyone. If she fails to establish her authority now, there will be massive pushback on every decision she makes once she takes over. I worked for a small family business that went under after existing for 50 years over just these issues.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          If that’s the case, she’d do so much better to go out and work somewhere else for a while — both in order to learn about the work world without the weird dynamics of a family business and in order to get some of her learning done without all her mistakes being in front of the people she might later end up managing.

          1. Jamie

            ITA. I don’t care how brilliant someone is or how wonderfully run a family business, getting some experience under the belt working for other people is invaluable. If I owned a business I would require my kids to work elsewhere first before taking a desk down the hall.

            In working for another company you learn different methods and have new experiences and POV to bring to the table. You also learn how to be an employee…where your manager isn’t biologically programmed to love you beyond reason. You will be doing your future employees a huge service by just learning that and having a job where you weren’t always the boss in waiting is the only way to learn that.

            It’s great to want to pass along a business you’ve built to your kids…but if they don’t experience some of the outside world before taking over their experience is very insular and that can make for a stagnant business.

            Because no matter what you learn in school – theory and practice are two wildly different things. There’s a huge difference between implementing new ways of doing things because you’ve seen it work and seen the pitfalls and doing it because you read it in a book.

            1. Annie The mouse

              Point well made, Jamie, and in general I agree, but every business needs to evaluated according to its own specific needs. The family business I was speaking of went through this. The eldest son moved to California for about 10 years, worked in a related industry, and came back when his parents’ health began to fail and they wanted to retire. The staff had pretty high turnover, and only two of them remembered him at all. He was always seen as the Johnny-come-lately who displaced older, more experienced employees. He knew his stuff, but the staff never gave him a minute’s credit for having worked someplace else- and when he put his foot down on some issues, performance dropped drastically. Customers bailed because they never got their orders on time. The last two years were really painful, and we all wound up on the street.

              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                But if he’d tried all that right out of school with no experience? It sure wouldn’t go any better, believe me — it would be worse.

          2. Kelly O

            And, should that company ever wind up being purchased by a larger company or merging with another company, having a non-familial experience in the working world would help the OP.

            (Believe me, I’m looking at a business that started off small and family owned, and as time has gone by they’ve been acquired by larger companies. Now the corporate structure in place is being replaced by the acquiring company and everyone is losing their jobs. It’s a bit scary for the “family” to realize they’ve got to now go out and compete with people for positions.)

            1. OP #4

              Thanks CatB, Annie, & Jamie for the constructive criticism. I appreciate it beyond words that people actually took time to give their 2 cents on the situation.

              Well I’m not 22, I am actually 25. During my bachelors. I paused school and I went to work abroad for an outsourced management position for a family friend’s business. I was not really the traditional student, but I gained credit for an internship through that experience. I helped increase profits by 7% it’s not much, but I felt so motivated and thankful to exercise my skills.

              So this is where my motivation to profit my dad before anyone else came. Annie hit the reasoning behind me coming to our office. My dad complains that he wants to retire. If I do not learn the business we may lose his company. His employees are taking advantage of his niceness because he just does not have the management personality at all. 80/20 rule absolutely applies here which is why I wanted to set some standards for the workplace. He’s a pushover especially with women. I felt as a woman I could better communicate to them politely yet directly. He doesn’t really specify each employees job design which is a problem. I found it works better to implement my ideas through my Dad’s voice to the employees. We are getting there!

              It’s just difficult sometimes because although I act professional with my dad he will always see me as that little girl and not a professional even though he sees results! Thanks again to everyone’s responses I really appreciate it.

  7. Anonymously Anonymous

    #4 While you may have good ideas, your approach is off to me. If you really want to help your dad, you should first be willing to learn before you go in with ideas to implement. IMHO this is a common mistake of recent graduates. And while you may know what it takes to run the business it doesn’t seem like you understand how the 3 of them work together. Your suggestions make sense in the big picture but it may not be the help he’s looking for right now from you.

    I also agree with Allison’s advice: look for work somewhere else

  8. Anonymously Anonymous

    #3 there are sometimes where you have to clue your manager in and Allison advice is spot on. It will take a burden off your shoulder as well as relieving stress your manager might be sensing about your performance. But don’t use it an excuse, because your manager will still expect you to meet your deadlines while you’re dealing with this. Use those appt times with your Dr to cry it out and sort out what you’re going through and focus on tasks at work. Usually when im in a funk, I become more productive and conscious of deadlines and etc.
    Wishing you the best with this!

  9. Anonymous

    A regular poster going anon for #3.

    Yes, tell your manager. I have a mild form of narcolepsy, and it has really helped to quietly let my whole team know about it (you of course don’t have to tell everyone about depression, but do tell your manager). I think being informed helps people understand and want to help. With me and the narcolepsy, I used to have a certain manager (not my boss) calling for my head on a platter because I kept falling asleep in important meetings. Now I have medication and I have the condition mostly under control, but sometimes I will still nod off and not be able to do anything about it — but because everyone knows it’s a medical condition and not boredom or laziness on my part, I am treated very differently than I would be if nobody knew what was going on.

    Since you have an understanding manager, if I were you I’d tell her but not necessarily the rest of my coworkers. She will then be able to assess your work from a place of understanding (“OP is doing the best she can given a medical issue”) rather than “What’s wrong with OP? She can’t keep it together these days!” Your manager can then deal with any comments from coworkers without revealing your condition, and she’ll know when evaluating you that a) there’s a reason you’re not performing at your best and b) you’re getting treated, so eventually the situation won’t be as bad as it is now.

    1. Anon

      just curious – why do people feel the need to state that they’re a regular poster who’s now opted to remain anonymous? what purpose does that serve?

      1. some1

        When I have gone anonymous to comment here it was because I was discussing something of a sensitive nature and didn’t want to be identified. I can certainly understand why someone wouldn’t want people to know s/he has narcolepsy.

      2. Not So NewReader

        If someone put 2 and 2 together they might figure out who is writing.
        This presumes that someone has tremendous amounts of time and nothing better to do, because one would have to follow the details of the posts over a period of time.

        Personally, I have worked with people who were intuitive to the point of scary. “OH you think XYZ!” I feel like my mind is an open book. Then I thank them for dragging XYZ out into the light of day so we can discuss it. The conversations are never fun. But usually we feel better afterward.

      3. fposte

        As was recently discussed, it’s a way of identifying the fact that you’re familiar with the blog and have been involved in discussions here, as opposed to being somebody who just happened on the place.

        1. Ash

          So? Who cares if they are a regular poster? That doesn’t make them special and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t a regular either. It seems like they want to cause unnecessary drama or intrigue on here. “Oh no, a regular commenter has a medical condition?!” “A regular commenter has an opinion that goes against the majority and wants to hide their identity?!” *yawn*

          Either post as anon or don’t, no one cares who you are or why you’re posting as anon.

          1. fposte

            I kind of do care, actually, and I don’t see it as a drama thing myself. I agree that going anon for a dissenting opinion seems unnecessary, but for personal stuff that people don’t want to have tracked, I can totally understand it. And I suspect it feels fake and weird to talk to people you regularly discuss things with without acknowledging that somehow, so I can see why people want to note that they’re regulars.

            1. Christine

              Exactly. I occasionally go anonymous when I don’t want to be connected to a particular comment, particularly when I’m describing any sensitive job-related situations from my past. I don’t know for a fact that anyone I know IRL reads this column, but I don’t ever want to take the chance that someone could figure out my identity. It’s also why I dropped my last initial in my username here.

          2. LSG

            If someone wants to indicate that they’re familiar with the discussions at AAM but doesn’t want to identify themselves…how does that hurt anyone? Why does it matter to you?

            It sounds like you think people are doing it for special attention or self-aggrandizement; I think it goes more to show that even in a semi-anonymous forum, there are conditions that are stigmatized enough that people feel embarrassed to reveal them. In my opinion, it shows a need for more acceptance, rather than snarkiness.

          3. Rana

            I see it as a courtesy, because I do care about the people who post here, and – to be blunt – I don’t really care that much about people who do “drive-bys” where they post one comment and disappear.

            So, for me, it does matter that they are a regular, because it means I probably know them already, have had conversations with them, and will again, and it’s good to keep this information in the back of my mind for future discussions should this topic come up again.

            What I don’t understand is why you’ve decided to read this in the most uncharitable light possible, instead of having sympathy for someone who normally is part of the group but is having to protect themselves somewhat in order to participate this time, and who is doing us the courtesy of letting us know what’s going on, instead of just hiding behind the pseudonym.

  10. Katie the Fed

    #3 – Definitely tell your boss, especially since you think she’ll be understanding.

    You might be surprised as she might have gone through it herself, or had a close friend or family member. Either way – it’s affecting your work and you should talk to her. I’m a boss and I would want to know if one of my employees were dealing with this.

    It’s no more shameful than, say, a bout with mono or another long-term illness, even if some people do attach a stigma to it. Personally, I wish the world were such that discussing mental illness was no more strange than discussing the flu.

    I went through it myself a few years ago and I don’t know that I could have really appreciated what it feels like if I hadn’t been there myself.

    Be prepared in that conversation in case she asks what you need (you may want to consider asking anyway if she doesn’t bring it up). Maybe you need a little flexibility on your start time if it’s not critical to the job (I know some mornings I just could not get out of bed). Or some time off (talk to your doctor first before you do that – isolation might make things worse). Maybe going out for a walk during your lunch break, etc (fresh air and exercise can help).

    Good luck, and good on you for seeking treatment. Living through depression/anxiety was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through but you can and will get through it. And you’ll feel a lot better talking to your boss.

    1. Not So NewReader

      This. There is something about dragging stuff out into the light of day. The monsters in our nightmares get smaller somehow.

      I have been blessed with some really good bosses. Once I decided to confide in them, they offered me valuable tips that helped me along. For example- your boss knows that you are working on your life. Unrelatedly, you come into work with a car that is acting up. The boss takes an extra minute to offer a couple suggestions on the car problem. One of the suggestions works for you.
      Notice how the car problem has nothing to do with life events. But the boss’ suggestions helped to lighten my load for a moment. And the boss knew this, too. Can’t fix the big stuff but we can help out here and there. Sometimes having just one less concern is a relief.
      I have had bosses offer tidbits on computers, dogs, plumbing etc. Over time these tidbits made a difference in my day to day life.

  11. Anonymously Anonymous

    On the bathroom access issue is there a ratio for bathroom requirements and size of space. We have 1:35 (which I think is high) in our small corridor. Also there is no sink in our breakroom. And the two spaces are not close and there are locked entry point between the two. It’s a pain in the *** be on your break and not have access to wash your hand or use the bathroom except going back down the hall,ringing the buzzer, wait until someone let you in and etc.
    We can access other bathrooms and another breakroom upstairs but it’s really cumbersome because of locked entry point that way as well. The whole process just eats away at what should be your break. Of course we make do by using the bathroom and washing hands before going to the breakroom but I have noticed that break times are being prolonged sometimes as much as 10 extra min because of wait time at the locked door or line at the bathroom….

      1. Jamie

        If it means one bathroom for 35 people that’s crazy. We have 6 women sharing one bathroom and at least twice a day I’m aggravated because its in use. 35? That’s ridiculous!

        1. Anonymous

          We’re on something like 90:2 now… and there’s always a line for the toilets, especially before/after lunch and before 6 pm. Even an extra toilet would make a really big difference.

          1. Anonymously Anonymous

            The size of the space plus the number of people who use the facility day to day *should* determine how many bathrooms are reasonable and accessible. Maybe I’m thinking along the lines of building codes. There are just too many people in this corridor. Before we were dumped here– errr moved here there were only 6 staff members down here –now it’s 35.
            The planning and restructuring for this corridor was poorly thought out.

        2. Elizabeth West

          At ExJob we had two girl bathrooms and at one point, only three women. Was awesome. Now there are a lot more women at NewJob, but the bathroom is huge and I’m spoiled by automatic faucets. :)
          It’s sad when your work bathroom is better than your bathroom at home!

          1. Chinook

            I agree. Automatic faucets are a great invention and every so often I find myself at home, waving my hand under my very low tech facuet, wondering why it won’t turn on or forgetting to turn it off when I walk away.

            1. Heather

              Haha – we also have automatic flushing toilets. I’ve been known to stand there at home wondering why the hell the toilet hasn’t flushed itself yet.

            2. fposte

              I usually have to go through several airports when I travel, and they vary on the level of automatic-ness in their bathrooms. There’s nothing like realizing people have been watching you wave your hands like some failed magician in front of a manual paper-towel dispenser.

    1. Cassie

      We are really lucky because we have 2 sets of bathrooms with 3 stalls each for both men and women on 4 floors. I’ll admit that I sometimes go to the restrooms upstairs because there are fewer females on that floor so not only will there not be a line (I honestly can’t remember the last time there was a line anyway), but also so I don’t have to chat awkwardly with coworkers in the restroom. While in the stalls.

      If/when I look for a new job, the bathroom situation will be a factor in where I end up ;)

  12. Anonymously Anonymous

    #5 my typing speed when I first started out was around 65 leaving high school. I still remember Mrs Bess my typing instructor with ruler in hand rhythmically tapping her desk and saying “aaa space sss space ddd..”.

    I rarely ever put my typing speed (which has greatly improved)on my resume. When I did data entry work I sometimes left it off because it was common for them to test the skill. Now it doesn’t make sense for me to put it on my resume. I would guess putting it on if its relevant would be a good thing.

    1. Kelly O

      Confession time – I had to take keyboarding in high school on those old 80’s style IBM typewriters, and I was just awful.

      When I started using computer labs in college, it took me forever to get it figured out, and now I can easily type 70 wpm, although I’m working on improving that.

      Coming from the girl who dropped keyboarding and picked up another elective just so I could avoid having to type 30 wpm, that is saying something. I play all sorts of typing games when I can (although since my daughter was born, that’s curbed noticeably.)

  13. Penny

    In reference to #5, anyone know where you can go to find out your typing speed? I would like to know what mine is for my own job searching.

    1. Anonymous

      Just google “typing test” — there’s a ton. I do a few different ones and then average the results for my speed.

      1. Alicia

        I am now in a loop of beating my previous “score”… why can’t 83 wpm be good enough for me?!

  14. Brooke

    As the hiring manager for administrative assistant positions, I appreciate it when someone has put their typing speed on their resume. With as much typing as is required in these positions, it is a deal-breaker when someone can only type 20-some wpm. If it is not listed on the resume, I do ask when I’m doing phone interviews. It has come to the point that if the applicant says they do not know how many wpm they type (which is so frustrating since they are applying for administrative assistant position), I have had to resort to asking if they are at least able to type with both hands. About two years ago, I made the mistake of just accepting someone telling me she could type well even though she didn’t know the wpm and when I hired her, she only typed with 3 fingers from her right hand…that was it…

    1. Chinook

      How on earth do you learn to type one handed when you have 2 hands? Did she grow up with a coffee cup in her left hand? I would hope that this atleast meant she was a wiz on the numeric keypad.

      1. fposte

        I did that for years–it’s how I taught myself as a kid on a typewriter (though the shift key was usually a left-hand move). It wasn’t till a protracted bout of flu and a typing manual came together in adulthood that I learned two-handed typing.

        1. Chinook

          Learning ona typewriter, especially the old manual ones, makes one handed typing make sense. The one at a library I once worked at (where we still had only card catalogues) had keys so stiff and heavy that I found myself one finger typing for the first time in my life.

          1. Rana

            Yup. My first typewriter was my mother’s old manual from college, and only the first two fingers had enough strength to hit the keys hard enough to make an imprint. It wasn’t until I got to the electrics in high school in typing class that the other fingers got to participate.

            (And even now, I think I got screwed in that class, because I can only hit the space with my right thumb; all of my keyboards have a groove worn there…)

        2. Elizabeth West

          Me too. I didn’t take typing in school (back in the olden times when they had actual typewriters). It was hunt and peck for a long time, until I took an office skills course in an adult program at the high school and learned from Mavis Beacon.

          You know what improved my speed? Online chatting. :)

          1. Jen in RO

            I’m younger, so I never used a typewriter (except as a game), but chatting online in my teens is definitely how I learnt to type.

      2. Your Mileage May Vary

        There was something on CBS Sunday Morning* this week about how typing/keyboarding is getting harder to teach due to the prevalence of touch screens that most people only use a couple of fingers to type on. Also, predictive typing — where the phone/tablet suggests the word you wanted — has cut down on having to learn where the keys are located on the keyboard. They interviewed a typing teacher who said that the newer generation of high school kids is much more difficult to teach touch typing to than kids of even 10 years ago.

        *I tried to find a link to the show video but couldn’t which makes me wonder if it wasn’t on that show. It was definitely on Sunday morning, though. I’ll try to find the show.

        1. Chinook

          That is is actually sad to hear. I knew that technology was making handwriting a skill that seemed less necessary, but to lose typing skills too just seems wrong. Suddenly, that scene from Star Trek where Scotty is back in the 20th Century, confused about why the desktop computer wouldn’t take his verbal commands is not so funny.

      3. Jessa

        Well I do it all the time, but then I don’t always have two working hands, so I practise it. It’s a heckuva lot easier with modern computer keyboards and sticky keys and other adaptive keyboard stuff. It was really NOT fun with old Selectrics or my old manual typewriter. But yes I can use both a calculator pad AND a phone style pad like crazy.

    2. Ellie H.

      Out of curiosity, what kind of work do these positions do where they need to type fast? I kind of thought that the world had shifted away from that being necessary due to our shift to moving things onto computers instead of on paper. I have an administrative type job and I’ve never needed to type things up besides, occasionally, my own notes from meetings.

      I don’t type the right way, but I type pretty fast. My one weird quirk is that I caps-lock on and off instead of using the shift key to capitalize letters. I didn’t realize that not everyone does this until I was in college, I was typing on a friend’s laptop, and he commented it on it when he noticed the caps-lock light was flashing on and off. Now I sometimes shift-capitalize just for fun, but my instinct is to caps lock.

      1. Jamie

        I also type wrong, but fast and error free. Last time I tested for fun it was 90 wpm.

        The only time I was asked or it mattered was when as a temp I had a data entry job and that was for 10 key speed.

        I really can’t remember the last time it would matter – just quicker to type up email, comments, etc.

      2. Chinook

        The only time I have noticed a good and accurate typing speed beign important is when I am doing data entry. I don’t think it would make a difference to my employer if I was slower, but it allows me to work through mind-numbing repetition that much more quickly.

        I do know, though, that having a fast numeric keypad speed also means that I can “feel” when I mistype a number. I guess my muscle memory for those 12 keys has gotten so good that I can tell when I have hit “4” instead of “1” regardless of which keyboard or adding machine I am on. It does make telephones, with the reverse order of numbers, a pain, though.

        1. Jamie

          YES! I hate when they mess with the order of the numbers! My remote did this so I refuse to do a netflix search – it just offends me.

        2. 22dncr

          I do the number pad on the Phone with my left hand. I’m about 60% ambidextrous anyway. Which is a whole ‘nother thing when people see me doing data entry. Some people it really bothers that I can use both hands at the same time doing 2 different tasks. This is also why my Mother wouldn’t teach me to cook – she is 100% right handed!

      3. Cat

        I’m at a law firm, and it’s a problem when our staff can’t type fast. Usually this isn’t because anybody is having them type long documents from dictation or handwritten documents,* where you’d think speed is especially critical. But when several people are working on different parts of a document on deadline (say, two partners, an associate, and a paralegal, which isn’t uncommon), often you avoid a lot of chaos when everyone gives handwritten edits to one person – usually the assistant – and has them entered in redlines. If you can’t do this quickly and accurately, it’s going to become a huge bottleneck.

        * Though this happens occasionally; I’ve had our admin assistants transcribe tapes of meetings; our paralegals sometimes attend meetings and do informal transcripts; and we have one lawyer who does hand write his drafts and have an assistant type them up (which infuriates me; it’s 2013 and we no longer staff at levels to meet those expectations, but he’s a partner and can do what he wants at this stage).

      4. Kelly O

        You might be surprised.

        I’ve seen most admin positions asking for a minimum of 50-60, which is why I’m trying to improve mine. I haven’t done a lot of actual typing, mostly data entry the last couple of years, and I know I’m rustier. (Although my keystrokes have dramatically improved, but I really don’t want to have to brag about that in an interview…)

      5. Brooke

        I work at a medical office. Yes, we are trying to shift from paper to computer which is the whole reason that people must be able to type fast – so that we can get the information into the computer and move on to the next item that needs to be put in. I usually do the hiring for the front office receptionists and it is vital that front office receptionists at a medical office be quick typers. Their main job is typing. They must input patient information into each electronic chart, they send numerous phone messages per day, and they must document patient’s symptoms, as well as any complaints or problems that we may have. If we had employees that typed slowly, they would never be able to keep up with the work load! (Imagine calling your doctor’s office, only to be told each time you call that you must wait until they finish the phone message from the call right before you because they were unable to type quickly.)

      6. Cassie

        This reminds me of my high school computer typing class – the teacher said that unless you typed 60 wpm, you could not get an A in the class. Except for the fact that most of the kids in the class goofed off so even if their timed-typing was >60 wpm, their assignments were sloppy. Meanwhile, I typed about 45 wpm (I have a tendency to correct errors), did my assignments, and still ended up with an A. I’m glad that despite the teacher’s statement at the beginning of the class, she didn’t actually grade lower because of a low wpm score.

    3. Jessa

      The best typist I knew was my grandfather on an old first generation electric Olympic typewriter. Two fingered typist. But man was he fast.

      1. Brooke

        Yes! I have seen ridiculously-fast typers who only use two fingers or so. It’s not common, but I have seen it. I was more so using the example above because it is not the “norm” to have someone who can type quickly with only a few fingers! ;)

        1. Rana

          Yeah, my dad’s pretty fast, and he’s a two-fingered typist. I can’t blame him, though; he has large hands and fingers, and I don’t think that they fit easily on most keyboards otherwise.

  15. B

    #4 That is a nice gesture you want to help your dad but you need much more work experience before you start implementing all of these changes. Because, yes you are nitpicking and will more than likely drive employees away because you are being very rigid.

    In an 8-hour workday you will make a personal call or text. Sometimes that can be done on your lunch break and sometimes not. While yes, they are working they are also human beings with an outside world.

    You implemented a clock in/clock out system for 2 employees (technically 3 since you are yourself an employee)…has there been an issue of people always arriving very late and leaving early? Or is it more of a big brother aspect of wanting to know everything going on?

    All of your implementations seem geared more towards this is what I learned in school rather than this is what I learned in the real world.

    1. some1

      All of this. It’s ridiculous and infantilizing to expect employees in most office positions only be allowed to text people or make personal phone calls on their lunch hour. If too much texting or talking on the phone is going on, deal with it on a case by case basis.

      1. some1

        Also, I have never had to literally clock in/clock out for any office job, even when I was hourly. I had to do a timesheet for Payroll, but not clocking in or out. IMO, clocking in and out is really only practical for retail shift work.

        1. Anonymous

          IMO, clocking in and out is really only practical for retail shift work.

          There are a lot of other instances where it’s done for good reason. In manufacturing IME everyone clocks in – whether you are on hourly shift work or the President and owner. It’s a safety feature – huge buildings and fire drills and god forbid there is actually a real fire or disaster I can pull up a list of people who were in the building remotely.

          Also everyone who works in a building with security swipes is in effect clocking in and out – it’s not always about micromanaging time.

            1. Jen in RO

              I was posting from my phone, from a boring meeting… which is a nice intro to saying that I would seriously consider quitting a job if I was suddenly told I can’t use my phone during the day. I am lucky to work in a company/department where results matter, not when you get there and how you spend every minute.

              1. OP #4

                I understand where you’re coming from Jen, but what if you were the CEO of a company and employees were doing that while you were paying them? Especially if they weren’t outputting results. Something has to change then in my humble opinion.

        2. Elizabeth West

          I have always had to clock in and out. I still have to–except now I do it on the computer.

        3. Kelly O

          I clock in and out, but we’re also a retailer by trade, so everyone has to use the same system. And, since we’re hourly, we have to clock in and out.

          I will say that our smokers have the hardest time, because our payclock rolls to the nearest fifteen minute increment. So theoretically you could clock out and back in the same time period, so it shows an in/out at say 11:30, but you were away from the office 15 minutes and just hit it right on the clock. (And I’m pretty sure that method is employed.)

          And, since we’re not “allowed” to have overtime these days, figuring out where the time clock is – because lord knows it’s never got the same time as your computer/phone, watch – adds a degree of difficulty. We have to clock in at one place, so we can’t even just do it on our own computers (which I’ve done in the past.)

          I will add it does feel a bit infantilizing, especially after years of either being salaried, or just having to enter all your time before the pay period ends (although one place I worked just input your expected work hours, and if it changed, that’s all you had to change.)

          1. E

            I know exactly where you’re coming from. I can clock in on my own computer, but that means that if I grab the phone while my computer’s booting up, that answered call is technically unpaid (5 minutes so I really don’t care). I’m also not supposed to clock out if I’m gone for less than 20 minutes (coffee break) and I often go through the same thing of guessing where the time sheet will round to to ensure that I don’t go over 40.

            I dream of becoming salaried. A promotion at my current workplace would do it and most jobs at my level in my field are.

      2. Emily K

        The need to account for every minute of how an employee spends their day and be rigid to clock-in/clock-0ut times and make sure absolutely nothing personal is happening during the workday…is exactly why call centers have such astronomically high turnover rates.

        I agree with some1–the issue here isn’t that the employees are making calls/texts perse, it’s that they aren’t completing their work as expected. It’s inefficient to try to increase their work output by systematically removing all possible distractions in the hope that there will be nothing left for them to do but work and thereby they will be more productive. Instead, you make it clear how much work you expect them to complete in a day. If their calling/texting is really the issue, they will likely self-regulate to get the job done…and if they don’t, the conversation you have with them is, “You are not doing the work I’ve asked you to do in what seemed to me like a reasonable amount of time to complete it. Is there something you can share with me that would help me understand why you aren’t able to complete the work in the allotted time?” Not, “You may not use your phone except on break or lunch.”

        1. Jessa

          This thank you. Unless and until an employee proves that you cannot treat them like an adult, you treat them like an adult.

          Particularly when management/ownership have been letting them act like this for years. You are CHANGING the expectations of what they do. You need to give them fair time to change.

          PLUS if the owner doesn’t think there’s a problem why do you? The company has been working like this for years. If there really is an issue and it’s really an issue to the owner (or it’s really costing the company and the owner does not see it through inertia,) what needs to be addressed is the lack of work.

          1. Lorrie

            Agree 100% about treating employees like adults until proven otherwise. But – in this case, the OP is coming to the office with a fresh pair of eyes, and may well be seeing things that her Dad is unaware of or has let slide for reasons that may or may not be good. Everyone says she should go work someplace else for a while, but what happens when she eventually comes back? She’s going to be facing all those same problems, set in stone for even longer. They aren’t going to respect her more because she’s older or be impressed that she was able to hold a job elsewhere; they have probably all been there and done that. She’ll be the one who wasn’t there, and so can’t possibly understand how to run the place. She’ll be the owner without a lot of experience in that office. How is that good?

      3. OP #4

        Clock in/out was to indirectly say “stop coming late, and stop overstaying your paid lunch hour when you have clients waiting for you”

        I think some assumptions have been made that I was trying to implement “hitler” rules :) not at all

        Of course you need to check up on car repairs, husband, kids, wives, whatever no problem. Yet when you are laughing obnoxiously and talking about things that do not pertain to the workplace with friends while clients are with another employee next to you, be more considerate of others. Also, employees are not here to get paid for 30-40 minutes conversations with friends when they aren’t finishing the small given to you. This is the real issue.

          1. OP #4

            I forgot to add in, with the clock in clock out software it’s to basically count up “pay” and encourage employees not to overstay lunches anymore because they want to come back and get that pay. It’s like giving options to the employees. If they want to take an hour and 30 minute lunch break go ahead, that’s more deducted from pay.

            However, if the employees start losing clients because they aren’t professional, we eventually will not be able to keep them. One client complained to me about one of the employee’s texting. That’s a punch to a stomach for an employer who cares about their employees as well as their clients!

            1. Rayner

              But then your father needs to actually address this stuff with his staff. Introducing something like clocking in, with all the negativity associated with it as others on here have pointed out, without fixing the underlying problem only leads to demotivation and employees feeling like they’re being nickle and dimed.

    1. some1

      When two (or more) people share the same position. At one job I had, two women had young children and wanted to be home with them part of the time. One worked Mondays, Wednesdays, and every other Friday. The other worked Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the Fridays the first one was off. They shared the same office, too.

      1. Anonymous

        What kind of job lends itself well to this? It sounds like regular desk-job kind of stuff, but I can’t imagine how that works without having both of them on call all the time in case the other has questions? The control freak in me is having a nervous breakdown at the thought of sharing my job…

        1. Cat

          I’ve known teachers to do that – they coordinate on lesson plans, of course, but then can split up responsibility for particular days/lessons.

        2. some1

          It’s obviously not going to be practical for every office position. But for some, it’s really not that different than having a counterpart in the same position in another location or working on different projects.

        3. Jessa

          It can work for internal customer support too. Also some shift manager type jobs can be shared out. Usually it’s the kind of job where the work gets done in a single day or it’s easy to coordinate multiple day work. For instance IT support where it’s not writing programmes but fixing things, the difference would be that if you park a ticket, you’d park it to your partner instead of yourself.

          Receptionists do it a lot too. Security jobs. Usually jobs without long term projects.

        4. Aussiegirl

          The receptionists at my workplace job share. One works Thurs & Fri one week, then Mon & Tues the following week. The 2nd receptionist works the next Wed, Thurs & Fri, then the following Mon, Tues & Wed, and so it goes from there as they job share. One works 4 days a fortnight, the other does 6 days a fortnight. They do the same work, which is only answering the switchboard, greeting clients and sending out mail. No major responsibilities that affect the other receptionist when she returns for her next shift. Works fine and there is a 2nd permanent receptionist that is the backup for the job share receptionists, so she knows what is happening all the time and tells the job share girls when they start their shift. I work in accounts and there is no way I could job share! Way too complicated and I’m too anal about my work!

    2. Coco

      A “job share” is when two or more people do the same job in order to get the coverage of one FTE. I’ve seen it where one person would come in from 8-12 and the other person came in from 1-5. They would sit at the same desk and handle the same book of business. They shared the one job. They also essentially share one salary.

  16. Lily in NYC

    No real comment, just sending virtual hugs to #3 in the hopes that he/she feels better soon.

  17. km

    #2 — I think there must be some available-but-infrequently-used resume template (like one of the Word templates) that has the column of quotes, because I see it occasionally as well! I feel bad if job seekers stumble across that template and scrounge up quotes from coworkers because they think that’s what resumes are supposed to have.

    The worst one I ever saw had quotes from two former coworkers and one quote from the job applicant herself. I guess she couldn’t find a total of three?

    1. PHM

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Whenever I see a resume with quotes, I’m just sort of mocking it in my head. There just isn’t enough room there to put quote that is actually meaningful or that will tell me something I can’t get from your references. So it just appears a little goofy to me. Also, those resumes looked kind of cluttered to me. I think it can make you stand out…but not necessarily in a good way.

      1. Liz T

        I just Googled “résumé quotes” and discovered that, tragically, there are people out there actually advising this. Ugh.

        1. Jessa

          This just sounds SILLY, I’m sorry, I just can’t see where anyone would think this is a good idea?

    2. Kelly O

      Yes, there are quite a few, in addition to the people who continue to insist that EVERYONE needs an infographic resume.

    3. Susan

      I’m going to play devils advocate because I use quotes on my own resume and have received good feedback on it. I wear two hats in the work world – one in corporate communications and one in client management – so I use one of these two quotes on my resume that were written for me as LinkedIn recommendations:

      “As an experienced business writer, Susan helped my firm develop clear, focused messaging that has allowed us to move into the marketplace with confidence.”

      “Susan has a fabulous track record of client retention and satisfaction — year after year, she has renewed and expanded some of our largest and most significant partnerships.”

      I’m open to the idea that it’s not for everyone, but it’s worked out great for me.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        I’ve seen it done well on rare occasions — maybe 5% of the time I’ve seen it. The key is that the quotes have to be really, really powerful — otherwise it actually does harm, because it makes it look like the person doesn’t know what a true high performance would be.

        I think your second quote here is a really good one to use — it makes you sound unusually good at what you do. The first one doesn’t grab me as much — it reads like a quote that could be said about a lot of people, whereas you want something that makes you sound unusual and extraordinary.

  18. Anonymous

    5. I work as an admin and I have my typing speed (90wpm on average) on my resume. In interviews, I’ve had folks comment on it and it’s always been a plus. So if you have a great typing speed (I would say 80+ unless they specifically request something higher), definitely put it on!

  19. Anonymous

    Spinoff of #3-

    On the other end, as a manager, where do reasonable accomodations to this kind of thing end? I have an employee that is struggling with this and some substance abuse, so I’m trying to be reasonable.. however lately it’s become a serious issue with meeting deadlines and paying attention. I don’t want to be heartless, but I still need to be able to manage.

    That being said.. I am glad she let me know of these issues, otherwise she might already be gone.

    1. Katie the Fed

      Reasonable accommodations are worked through EO or HC. The employee submits the request with medical documentation and then there’s a discussion that takes place on what reasonable accommodations are possible which would let the employee do her job without adversely impacting the employer.

      It sounds like you have some kind of informal arrangement/understanding with your employee. I’d put a stop to that. Find out what specifically she needs, and then figure out what the company/employer can reasonably off that doesn’t constitute an undue hardship. Meeting deadlines is an integral part of the job responsibility – you can’t just allow deadlines to be missed as part of a reasonable accommodation.

      1. fposte

        What are EO and HC? (Whatever they are, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be involved in such discussions in my office.)

        Seconding the rest of it, though. Reasonable accommodation is about finding ways for the job to be done, not about accepting that it won’t.

        1. Katie the Fed

          Err I meant HR. EO is the equal employment office. I’m government, sorry. I forget sometimes the rest of the world doesn’t run the way we do.

          1. fposte

            Ah, okay. We actually have those somewhere (being state and all), but they don’t really come into play on individual cases.

            1. Natalie

              They really do. We have 8 federal government tenants and every single one of them is referred to by acronym.

      2. Anonymous

        I probably shouldn’t have used the exact term reasonable accomodations.. our RE are that she can take an hour out of her regular work schedule to go to appointments. I mean more of an understanding that we’re all human and have outside things going on. Is there something that I can do for her to make her understand that while I feel for her, we’re still a business and customers need to be served?

        1. fposte

          It sounds like your real question isn’t about accommodations but what to do about an employee who’s underperforming, and who also happens to be receiving accommodations. What about clear expectations with identified consequences if they’re not met? Just make sure they’re consequences you’re prepared to deliver.

          So it’s a slight variation on the usual come-to-whoever meeting with a sliding employee. The variation is that you do identify what you are prepared to accommodate (the appointment times and anything else you’ve decided on) and your understanding that it’s been a difficult time , but then you go the usual route of identifying problems that need to be addressed, stating when you need to see improvement by, and telling her what will happen if sufficient improvement doesn’t occur by then. She should also get documentation of the conversation. I wouldn’t insist on her signing it if you’re not in an organization that requires it; I’d be more inclined to email it.

          This doesn’t have to be done punitively and with the expectation that she’ll fail–you can make it clear you have every confidence that she’s going to be able to perform as needed and that you think clarity on what’s expected is good for both of you. But it’s time to do some real management here.

        2. Katie the Fed

          I think you need to have a come-to-Jesus with her (I hope other people use that expression too).

          You need you outline what you’ve noticed in terms of deficient performance, and discuss how the performance will improve moving forward. She might say “but I told you that I’m going through stuff” and you can say “I understand, and we’ve discussed this in the past, but I need to know if you’re capable of handling the expectations of this job.”

          If she says she is – great! Work through a plan to improve her performance. What does she need right now in order to get her performance up to standard? If she’s not ready, then you need to discuss transitioning her out of that job.

          1. fposte

            Heh. I went with “come-to-whoever” just to be ecumenical, but that’s what I was leaning on.

        3. Rana

          This sounds similar to some of what I was dealing with when I was teaching students with disabilities; the trick was providing reasonable accommodation so that they could participate fully in the class, but not assuming responsibility for their performance otherwise. So some students needed extra time, or an aide, or materials in alternate forms they could access (as in the case of a blind or deaf student), but they still had to do all the assignments, the grading expectations were the same, and their disability was treated as a concern, but not an excuse or a crutch.

          I would suspect that a similar approach, adjusted for your needs and her requirements, might be useful.

  20. evilintraining

    OP #7, this is not uncommon. In fact, I used to work with someone who was once an auditor for a large firm, and they had to log their time every 15 minutes! So I guess the moral of my story is, if this bothers you, don’t become an auditor.

    1. Kelly O

      Or work in an executive suites environment.

      Or pretty much anywhere that bills customers based on time spent on projects. (My husband has to log his support time as an IT guy for billing. Not all his time, mind you, but client related projects that are billable by the hour.)

  21. Anonymous

    3) I struggled with this at my last job as well. Nothing diagnosed, but I definitely had problems with anxiety and depression, and it often meant that I was really hard on myself, and fairly withdrawn. My manager called it an attitude problem and told me it needed to change, and I didn’t tell him what was going on until it was too late. I was mostly afraid he didn’t believe in mental health issues because he was always so upbeat, or that he would think I was just making excuses.

    7) Again, hit close to home. I was given a schedule breaking up the day and telling me how I was supposed to spend each hour. When I asked my manager why he felt it was necessary, he denied that there was any problem with my performance or productivity and he just thought it would help me grow as a professional if I was given more structure.

    1. Not So NewReader

      It sounds like he was looking for solutions without first understanding the problem he wanted addressed. This usually does not play out well.

      1. Anonymous

        He was a new(ish) manager, so it’s not surprising he didn’t handle things well. and I didn’t take to his management style well, so it was just a bad mix all around.

    2. Elizabeth West

      I did too, on #3, not telling before it was too late. I ended up losing that job. Well, it sucked, so it wasn’t much of a loss, but still. I would rather have left on my own terms.

    3. Anonymous

      RE: #3, two things:

      1) I am another person who didn’t tell someone, or even really accept the problem, until it was too late. It was college instead of work, but it stilled sucked. A lot. Because I had a major depressive episode hit in late fall semester, and I didn’t want to admit what it was, so I stayed in my dorm, and didn’t tell anyone why I was skipping my classes and missed my finals. I failed almost every class that semester. I haven’t gone back to school yet (but I am working full time) but I’m now receiving treatment and hope that if that happens in the future, I will let someone know what’s happening.

      2) I am always praised for being positive, upbeat, peppy, etc.; it’s something I take pride in and I’m also a big believer in positive thinking. I still have depression and believe others who do!

      (I’m not saying you don’t know that or that it’s something easy to realize when you’re deep in depression and facing someone who appears to be the exact opposite; but I just want to get that out there.)

      1. Andrew

        I lost a year of my life to depression and anxiety. It is so common that everyone knows someone who is struggling with it. OP #3, you have my best wishes.

  22. some1

    #7 happened suddenly at my old job, too. It was only to find out how much time people were spending on certain projects. For a business, it’s not cost-effective for a lot of hours to be spent on a project that brings in the least amount of money. It would be nice if the LW’s company was more transparent about it, though.

    1. LMW

      I once requested that everyone in my department do it for a month (I was not the boss…I was the most junior team member). As a team, we were missing all sorts of deadlines and a lot of our estimates (budgeting, how many projects we could handle at once, etc.) were way, way off. After a month of everyone giving it a half-hearted effort to record what they were doing every day (I was the only one who really did it regularly) I went around and talked to everyone about what they had noticed. Then we redid our budgets and schedules based on that info. And you know what? We hit 90% of our deadlines and budget in the quarter immediately following that (with a few people hitting 100% of both), and I think that in the years since they’ve improved further. I don’t know why you need to do record what you’re doing every day, but it can be a really helpful exercise.

  23. FiveNine

    #4, I get the sense the OP is excessively focused on the two employees the business depends on and the father is happy with them and wants to keep them and wanted a focus on how to attract more business. (And yes, this probably isn’t the best place for the OP to start.)

    #1, I know that the advice given sounds perfectly logical and reasonable in theory, but OP said boss is a control freak, which suggests a certain atmosphere. I’d be afraid OP could lose his/her job on the spot for interrupting the boss while in a meeting with anyone, regardless of the circumstances.

    1. fposte

      I think you can ask the boss about it when he’s not in a meeting first. And firing on the spot is pretty unlikely.

    2. Anon

      Making an announcement and strolling through a meeting, especially repeatedly, would probably get the point across, but might get you on your boss’s bad side. Also, it might raise thoughts of, “why did she start this all of a sudden?” I would consider asking the boss how he (assumed it’s a he) wants you to handle bathroom use in the office while there is a meeting in the conference room. If you phrase it in a non-confrontational way where you come across as voicing a legitimate concern and not like you are accusing him of blocking access to the bathroom, there is no reasonable way he could get upset. However, if there is a privacy concern using the bathroom with the conference room occupied I am not sure what can be done. If there are any nearby stores/shops or other friendly offices, I might consider a visit to one of those to be reasonable in extreme circumstances.

  24. Anonymous

    #1. If your boss is a male, he’s unlikely to pick up on any discomfort having to go to the toilet; men and women have vastly different view of the toilet, hence the many toilet jokes men are apt to tell.

    A male friend of mine is an architect who designed his own apartment in Zurich. It’s the penthouse unit encased in glass. The first morning I woke up there, I went looking for him. I couldn’t find him as the apartment is huge, so I called out to him. He responded and I followed his voice, stunned to find him causally sitting on the throne reading his paper. “Hey, what’s up?” he asked. “Ah, for one, there’s NO DOOR on this toilet and it’s partially incased in glass,” I responded. “Yeah, I know. Cool, uhh. It’s modern.” Sure.

    1. Windchime

      #1. If your boss is a male, he’s unlikely to pick up on any discomfort having to go to the toilet; men and women have vastly different view of the toilet, hence the many toilet jokes men are apt to tell.

      This. At a previous workplace, we had some training rooms that had previously been (cheaply built) apartments. So during training, you would walk straight from the training room/living room into the bathroom. The people in the training area could hear bathroom noises very clearly. Result? Women learned to just tough it out and wait, and men happily went to the restroom and tinkled loudly and unselfconsciously.

      I would find it very difficult to march though a room full of people, enter the bathroom, and do my business while wondering if they could all hear me.

      1. Jamie

        Women learned to just tough it out and wait, and men happily went to the restroom and tinkled loudly and unselfconsciously.

        Get a loud ceiling fan or run the water. No way would I sit in a meeting listening to that – that’s really disgusting.

        Pet peeve that ceiling fans are (seemingly) all silent now. Unless your walls are soundproof that white noise provides a function. Whose stupid idea was it to make them quiet?

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I recently replaced a couple of bathroom fans and had a really hard time finding any that produced sufficient noise — they’re all sold as “whisper quiet” now, which is the opposite of what I always thought people wanted in a bathroom fan.

        2. fposte

          A friend was renovating a bathroom recently and found that the code words were “acoustical privacy.”

        3. Chinook

          You could always do what some coworkers in Japan did and get one of those toilet paper roll holders that plays music whenever it is moved.

        4. Risa

          Fans are meant to provide ventilation to remove the excess moisture that is inherent in a bathroom environment, not to muffle noises. Many people don’t want to listen to the racket of a fan while they take their shower. These fans are required by building code in California specifically for bathrooms that have little to no natural ventilation through windows. (You can still use the noisy kind if you prefer them, but I think a lot of consumers don’t.)

          1. Jamie

            That may be their intended purpose but a collateral benefit has always been the noise.

            I cannot be the only person who was raised that if there isn’t a noisy fan you run the water full blast to drown out objectionable sounds. Now that we’re not supposed to waste water there needs to be an alternative.

            And personally a noisy fan while I’m taking a shower is nothing compared to what people would have to hear the rest of the time.

            1. Dulcinea

              It’s funny, I was raised kind of from the opposite perspective: you accept that bathroom-going, and thus noises, are natural human functions and you politely ignore them when they are done appropriately (ie, in the bathroom with the door shut). It may be why I don’t find toilet humor amusing AT ALL but at the same time am really not self conscious about toilet-going, provided I am in the appropriate place (bathroom). It was only when I got to college that I met adults who DID have self-consciousness about bathroom-going, but interestingly they were often the ones who seemed most amused by bathroom humor (showing again that humor is a way of dealing with discomfort I guess).

              1. Ellie H.

                I feel the exact same way – I really hate scatological humor and always have, but I don’t feel particularly self-conscious using the bathroom if others are in the same public restroom, etc. I am very capable of shutting off any awareness of whatever is going on in a bathroom that someone’s in, don’t feel embarrassed about it, and so forth.

              2. Rana

                Heh. I am neither embarrassed by bodily functions (lots of camping trips and family in the medical professions will do that for you) and I’m amused by jokes involving them… but I was also taught similar rules for behavior around people not in the immediate family.

                Thus bathroom stuff is fair game for jokes if it involves one’s husband or parent or child or sibling… but if it involves someone else, everyone pretends nothing is happening. For us it works.

          2. Ellie H.

            I too appreciate the use of a fan to drown out noise. Honestly, even if there are no embarrassing or objectionable noises, sometimes having the fan on is nice to draw a kind of psychological barrier between the inside of the bathroom and the outside.

            However, my parents got a new bathroom fan a while ago and it makes such an incredible racket that it’s actually aversive to have on. Noisiest bathroom fan I have ever heard.

            1. Jamie

              There is a thingie that the fan blades are attached to and if it’s loose it rattles. It’s just a matter of tightening a bolt or nut or something in there.

              That happened to the exhaust fan over my server cabinet and so I’m not an expert on loose thingies in fans. It’s on my resume now.

              1. Ellie H.

                Thank you! That is a good suggestion and I will try and look at it the next time I’m at their house. It never occurred to me it might not be supposed to make that much noise.

        5. Jazzy Red

          If privacy is an issue with you, perhaps you would prefer to use an outhouse. No one but the pigs would hear you, and do you really care what pigs think about you?

  25. Anonymous

    #7. I used to work as a Paralegal at a law firm. Every minute had to be logged and billed to a client. Every last one. And that’s the reality paralegals and lawyers live with each and every day.

  26. Elizabeth West

    #5–typing speed
    I’ve had to do typing tests for jobs and once I got hired, never did any typing again. My speed is around 65-70 wpm; that’s mostly because my hands get stiff if I type for long periods. But even when I’m writing and it’s going really well, I rarely sit and type solidly the entire time.

  27. Min

    #3. I have struggled with depression off and on my entire life, but I have never been brave enough to inform whoever my manager was at the time that I was going through it and I know in the past it has hurt my reputation. If I had let them know what was going on, they may have viewed my performance differently.

    Whatever you decide, I empathize with your struggle. Please carry on getting the help you need.

  28. Nodumbunny

    Re: #3, I don’t want to discourage you from telling your manager, because I agree you need to, even though it is hard, but I do want to brace you for the possible outcome that she won’t be as understanding as she should be. I was a high performer for three years at a health non-profit where they knew early on that I had depression but was in remission. After three years I fell out if remission due to huge stresses in the workplace. I told my boss and peers about it and that I was seeking help to get it in control again, but nevertheless I was put on disciplinary action due to difficulty meeting my previous high performance and a couple of instances of being unable to control my emotional responses to the workplace stress (I got reprimanded for closing my door for an hour when I could not stop crying.). I eventually quit when they refused to make accommodations for me (I asked for permission to close my door when I was upset.). I am again in remission and doing much better.

    1. Anonymous

      Sadly I agree and have been in the same situation. My issue was a medical misdiagnosis and I still kept up my performance. In fact, I often stayed late and took on hours when others wanted a day off for a special occasion (our shifts ran till Midnight as we had clients from all over)

      Everyone was “understanding” till my manager randomly walked up to me and said we needed to talk. I walk in to 6 people, including HR.. asking me to resign or be fired.
      And that was one of my BEST months, and I hit my sales goal every single month and was going on a Presidents club trip! (so I thought) Plenty of people were on a performance plan and didn’t lose their job.

      I would strongly suggest you speak with HR about taking part-time disability to deal with this issue and protect your job. And possibly speak to an employment lawyer. Biggest mistake I ever made. Cost me my place to live, credit score.. almost my car..insurance and reputation.

      Do not trust HR or your manager… sorry to say

      1. fposte

        To be clear, in the US, “part time disability” would be an insurance policy to keep you getting paid; it’s not something all employers have, and it wouldn’t protect your job.

        FMLA doesn’t make sure you’re paid, but it would protect your job if you needed to take absences. You’ve already talked about changing your schedule for appointments, so it sounds like you haven’t need to take actual time off, but if you think you might need to, remember that FMLA can also cover intermittent absences. Those may require a doctor’s certification, but it sounds like there’s one in the picture.

        Additionally, there may be ADA accommodations that are relevant here, and that would be something that you would have to raise on your own–your office isn’t supposed to bring it up. (Nodumbunny, I can’t imagine why an occasional shut door on an office wouldn’t have been considered a reasonable accommodation–that really sucks.) While the office isn’t required to accept lessened productivity or attendance, it can open up possibilities (like a closed door, in a sane workplace) that might make things easier.

  29. Anonymous

    RE: Log

    I’m in sales and usually we have to turn in a basic log for the month, sometimes week if we are implementing something new etc. (but usually we as a sales team discuss this)

    It may be they are thinking of adding responsibilities and hence seeing how you manage your time to see if it’s feasible.. I would ask though.

    I would say anytime something like this would not be legal is if you are an independent contractor… I don’t think an employer can have those expectations (at least that is how we deal with independent reps)

  30. Nancy Boyd

    Is there a reason #3 needs to disclose the precise nature of their problems? I’ve struggled with depression in the past, and just told my boss at the time that I was dealing with, and undergoing treatment for, a chronic health issue. It seemed like providing my diagnosis had more potential to harm than to help, since there are still many people out there who believe clinical depression doesn’t exist or that people can simply snap out of it. And any illness could cause trouble concentrating, lower productivity, and so forth. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, but I don’t see the benefit in giving my employer more information about my health than they need. What is the benefit to being specific in this case?

    1. EnnVeeEl

      I agree. I don’t think you should tell people more than they need to know. Others here are pointing to possible ADVERSE ramifications…

    2. Rayner

      It may help the manager understand what the OP is going through and help the company to pinpoint accommodations that can be made. The solutions to issues with depression are very different for the accommodation needed for diabetes, for example.

  31. AngelaB

    I had a manager, a long time ago, ask me to do a log as well. I just went ahead and did it and turned it in… it turns out that they were having me to that because they felt that I didnt have enough work to do and it was basically their way of not being direct with me about what they wanted. When they saw how much work I was actually completing, my manager was surprised. Apparently they felt like my laid back demeanor and spotless desk was an indication that I was bored, lazy, or both!

    1. Melissa

      I’ve had the same kind of experience with logging. I had a new manager come in, and asked to be trained on what we all do. We went through an overview, and then we all spent a couple of months time-logging. Afterwards, that info helped this new manager be a better advocate for our department, and it gave her the info to back us up when we gave time estimates for new projects.

      Personally, my logging allowed me to see where I was beginning to get distracted, and multitasking too much. It forced me to think of how my log would look if I spent 15 minutes here and there, instead of scheduling a lock of time. For instance, I now block off a couple of hours a week to handle the troubleshooting that accumulates during the week. And I answer non-emergency emails in a couple of blocks a day.

      Rather than taking the direction to log as a “Why me?” I’m really glad I went with it, and learned a lot. And, my manager (same one) listens to me when express concerns about deadlines. She knows that I take time management seriously.

  32. SP

    Depression & Anxiety. Be careful. I was honest with a former manager about 3 years ago about my anxiety attacks & depression. When I applied & interviewed for a management position that I was over qualified for he told me his ex-wife suffered from my illness & he knew from experience that he couldn’t trust my judgment. Before my heart to heart I was perfect & the job was mine. I should have kept lying by letting him think I was going to a chiropractor every week instead of theray.

    1. jesicka309

      YES THIS. Be really careful with how you talk about your ongoing problems. I struggled with a bit of interoffice drama when I first began my working life, and broke down with my manager when I tried to explain the bullying that was going on, and my ongoing depression.
      It haunts me to this day – in my last performance review, I was told to work on interoffice relationships. I missed out on a promotion because they were concerned I wasn’t resilient enough for the job, and were scared it would give me a breakdown!
      It’s affected my reputation adversely in so many ways I can’t change – if I ever make a comment about a changing work process (eg. it seems like a backwards step, making mroe work for us and less for Coordinator, whose job it is to do that), my manager almost looks at me pityingly. “Oh, poor jesicka, can’t handle an increased workload, can’t handle other staff.” instead of actually absorbing what I’m saying.

      Be careful.

  33. ThinkI'veSeenItAll

    7. I work for a small business with 2 admins that report to me. All 3 of us fill out a daily time card by general task (admin, accounting, engineering support, etc.). However, occasionally when one person seems to have a lot of free time while the other gets bogged down, we have the admins fill out more specific time cards with details such as: spent 3 hours doing research for engineering, 2 hours accounts payable, etc.
    We do this to determine how much time is being spent on certain tasks and if work needs to be better distributed between the admins. It’s not meant to belittle anyone. It’s a tool to determine work distribution.

  34. Cassie

    #7: I’ve started keeping a log. I didn’t like feeling like I did absolutely nothing all day long so when I read that lawyers and sometimes accountants generally bill by minute/hour and thereby have to keep logs, I decided to try it out.

    Figuring out a system was a project all of its own, especially since I didn’t want to invest too much time keeping logs when I wasn’t required to. I’m using something like http://davidseah.com/blog/node/the-emergent-task-timer/ – but use tally marks for 6-minute increments instead of filling in the bubbles. It’s best to find an unobtrusive method (which may be different for different people). It’s also good because I work on a couple of different projects (and for different bosses) so being able to account for time spent per project is good.

    I think it would be good for my office to do a trial run of logging time – of course, the lady standing in another worker’s office for 2 hours straight chatting would probably log that time as something else.

  35. anonymous

    #7 Been there, done that. My employer also made me do it. For THREE YEARS. Day after day, I was writing down pretty much the same things. It didn’t change how they treated me or my performance. It was embarrassing. My colleagues were SHOCKED when they found out my bosses were making me do this.

    It’s ridiculous. I’m sorry you are being subjected to that.

    1. anonymous

      I need to add that the reason I feel so negatively about it is they never came back to me after they had me stop to tell me why they had done it, that they were thinking of adding other duties, etc. There was just no reason for it at all, and it served no purpose.

  36. Calibrachoa

    #7: my entire team got put on to something similar a few months bask because the upper management assumed that since we were working off hours, we spent all of our time goofing off. (this was explicitly stated, not just implied) now they have proof that we actually.. don’t. :D

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