my friend lied to my boss, asking candidates to apply for a different role, and more

It’s fast answer Friday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. Suggesting to job candidates that they apply for a different role

My company often has applications that come in for one role, but we think are better for another. After contacting the candidate and explaining about the better fit, there are times that the proposed role is turned down – wrong location, too junior, etc. These candidates are then asking to be reconsidered for the spot they originally applied for – but we’ve already marked them off as unsuitable for that position. Whats the right way to respond to this? I think I’m being pretty clear about it – I start the initial email conversation along the lines of “we don’t think you’re the right fit for Chocolate Teapot Painter, but Chocolate Cup Designer would be a more appropriate role for you here”.

Is there a better way to communicate this idea – that they aren’t good for role A, but can be considered for role B or nothing?

It sounds like you are being clear about it initially, but for whatever reason it’s not registering with them. So if they ask about it again, just be straightforward: “I don’t think you’re the right fit for Chocolate Teapot Painter, but we really appreciate your interest in working with us. If you do decide the Designer role might be right for you, let me know. Otherwise, best of luck in your search!”

2. My employer is sharing everyone’s performance statistics, with names attached

I have a question about sharing employee performance information. I work as a contractor, and we have a quota of materials we need to inventory every week to reach a yearly goal and get our contract renewed. Every week our statistics are collected and then handed out the following week with our full names and the amount of work we did. I am wondering if this is legal for our company to do. I am guessing they have found a loophole or something in the law but I have been thinking that sharing employee performance with all of the company employees might be slightly unethical.

No need for a loophole in the law — it’s perfectly legal to share employee performance information. As for ethics, there’s not really anything wrong with being transparent about how everyone is doing. I can see why it might make some people uncomfortable, but it’s not classified information.

3. Should I reach out to an old employer about a job I’m interested in or assume they’ll reach out to me?

I had a temporary admin assistant contract earlier this year that I got through a personal contact. I replaced the usual admin assistant for 4 months while she was assigned to a different project, and my job ended when the project was completed (I knew all of this going in).

That was a couple months ago and I’m still looking for a new job. Yesterday, I met up with the person who is currently the admin assistant because we have a common interest outside of work. She told me that she is leaving the job in July to go back to school.

I don’t know how they will go about finding someone to replace her, but I would hope that I would have a good chance since I have already worked there. But I haven’t heard from them and the current person is leaving before the end of July. How should I go about letting them know that I am interested? Should I wait for someone to contact me (it’s not certain that they will), or wait til I see a job posting? Or, should I send an email right away? If I do send the email, should I send it to the HR person, or my previous boss (who didn’t know me very well because he was very busy at the time), or another senior member of the staff who knows me better?

Do not wait for them to contact you. It’s highly likely that they never will — not due to any slight toward you, but just because that’s how this stuff often works. Reach out to them right now, with your resume and a letter of interest. Send it to HR, and cc the contact there who knows you best.

4. My acquaintance misrepresented me to get an in with my boss

I have an acquaintance who works in the same city as me but she works in a different field. (I am in fashion, and she’s in finance.) She’s very involved in auctions and charitable organizations that charge fees to attend these events. I started my job not 2 months ago. We sell high-end leather outerwear for men and women, and I am in the purchasing and sales department. When I first started this job, my acquaintance asked me in passing where it was located and what my company did, so I told her without giving it much thought.

A few days ago, I found out that she decided to contact my boss directly to tell her that maybe she could donate some pieces from her collection to her auction, and that I thought it was a great idea and that it would be great exposure because of all the “high end” people who will attend this event. My boss very excitedly approached me today and told me that we really need to get the items ready for the auction and that this will be a great opportunity for her line and thank you very much for having my friend get in touch with her. I NEVER and would never have done this, I have no idea what my acquaintance (now former) was thinking approaching my boss directly without my permission. I’ve been to these type of events before, the people are NOT “high end,” and are not the type of segment my boss would want. For the time I’ve been working there, I have a pretty good idea of where she wants to take her line and this type of event is not it.

I hate that this acquaintance used my name to get an “in” with my boss. I didn’t say anything to my boss about what I really think of this event and about me not being involved. At this point I have no idea how to explain this to her. I’ve been here for a short time and I don’t want to be involved in all this drama. How do I get her to pull out from this commitment? Also I texted my acquaintance and she claims she didn’t have time to tell me she was going to contact my boss.

It doesn’t need to be a big drama unless you treat it that way. Just say to your boss, “By the way, I was surprised to hear that Jane told you that I thought it was a great idea. I actually didn’t know anything about it until you mentioned it to me. I’m actually not convinced it’s the right way to go — I’ve been to her events and it doesn’t seem like our target audience.” But from there, it’s up to your boss whether to participate or not; don’t keep pushing the issue if she pursues it, since at that point you’ve explained your position and it’s her call.

5. Should my employer pay me for time I’m driving their vehicle to and from work?

I am required to be at my job-site from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm but I drive a company vehicle to and from work, from home. Should my employer have to pay me for the time outside of the scheduled work day that I am driving their vehicle?

I’d guess no, because they wouldn’t pay you for your commuting time if you were driving your own vehicle. (But that’s just a guess and it’s possibly there’s some context to this that I’m not considering.)

6. Am I being passed over at work?

I am currently in a weird position at work. I was originally hired to cover two positions. Another employee and I were going to switch every month. Two weeks into my job, my boss decides I am going to remain at the lower position but informs me there was room for advancement.

Now 3 months later, two people are leaving at the end of the month. At this organization, people are promoted based on seniority most of the time. My coworker who I was originally going to switch off with is being promoted to one of the vacant positions. Her position was opened but my manager decided to hire someone new. There is one remaining open position, but someone else is going to take that position and my boss hired a new person for the position she is vacating. It seems as though I am being passed over for every promotion. What do you recommend me doing? I am not sure if I should be looking for a new job.

Well, usually people aren’t promoted after three months — that’s a very short period of time. It generally takes at least a year, and usually more.

If people at your job are really getting promoted after only three months (which would be unusual, but possible), then talk to your boss. There may be some reason that you’re being passed over, or it may be bad luck. Tell her that you’re interested in advancing and ask what you can work on to be a strong candidate for that. But again, unless you’re seeing multiple other people getting promoted after less than a year, this isn’t about you and is just about tenure.

7. Should I say I have an associate’s degree or that I’ve completed “some college”?

I am actively applying for jobs now that I’m laid off. On many online job profiles, it asks what my highest level of education is. I’ve got an AA but I’m a senior in college and am close to earning my bachelor’s. What is better to put, “Associates,” or “some college”?

To me, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other — neither is better, and they’re both about the same. I suppose an associate’s says that you have at least two years, whereas “some college” could mean one semester, but I don’t think one is notably better than the other. Anyone feel differently?

{ 192 comments… read them below }

  1. LT

    2. This technique is often used to generate competition within a company/department to reach a goal, whether it’s a general shared goal or an individual goal (e.g. a bonus). I don’t see it as unethical – it’s designed to push everyone to meet the yearly quota that gets the contract renewed. I think it’s pretty smart!

      1. HarryV

        Nothing dumb about this. I do this also and I think it is perfectly fair. Would you want to know your performance and stats or be surprised during your monthly / quarter review? With that said, I never rate individuals based solely on volume. I also take into consideration individual projects, how helpful they are, and so forth. So I may have a team member that had 200 as metric vs. another employee who had 50. But the one with 50 may have done complex projects.

        1. Cat

          #2 OP- The problem I have with it is mostly that we are working towards a yearly goal and they don’t ever tell us how close we are to that goal, it is just how much each of us did individually in a week. It is used to make us competitive against each other rather than working towards the actual goal we have which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

        2. Cat

          And also, we are all basically doing the same thing and the difficulty level varies for each project but that factor isn’t taken into account when evaluating our work.

        3. rw

          The problem with it is it flies in the face of modern total quality management. If you want to improve productivity, you promote cooperation among employees, not competition.

          1. Kate

            I will email this to all of our dpt managers on my last day in 2 months. We have one ridiculous competition after the next and they try to push us with prices like a “an amazing $5 Barnes and Noble gift card”. Remember the time someone asked about beim paid in pizza and beer? That was me! We also get scores on projects that are so subjective, that you could end up with x (the worst) from one person to z (the best) from another. Everyone lives and dies by these scores an every Monday they are openly presented to Every. Single. Person. in the department. I’ve seen people cry because of their scores. To clarify, I don’t work for an amazing cause… We sell household items on the internet..

      2. Forrest

        I notice (and appericate) that most commenters on this site explain why they disagree with someone or something rather than just outright dismissing it or shutting down the conversation.

    1. Lindsay J

      I like seeing objectively where I stack up against others. It helps me realize whether my perception of my skills is skewed too far negatively (I think I am awful but my stats are in the upper tier) or too far positively (I think I am awesome but my stats are in the lower tier).

      1. Rob Aught

        Unfortunately, most people are emotional, irrational beings who want to believe they are really awesome whether they have evidence to back that up or not.

        In a group setting I would never do this because it would be a great way to knock some enthusiasm out of my employees. A handful would agree with you, but the majority would be against it.

        The benefit does not outweigh the morale hit.

        1. Anonymous

          What about a top performers list or something like that?

          I’ve never really had a job that would work for something like this (my measures have either been way too subjective or simply no one else doing the same thing as me to measure against) so I’m only thinking in theory. I would think that it might create some friendly competition. Granted, I do think it would only really work if it were used to measure equal objective tasks and only if it were sincerely used as a motivational tool and not for punishment. If say you were competing for the closest parking spot for the week rather than a bonus (bragging rights vs high stakes) and a reward for high performers rather than punishment for low performers.

          1. Ariancita

            A top performers list reminds me too much of an ’employer of the month/week’ scheme. It has proven to create a terrible backlash, reduced morale, and reduce team work.

          2. Rob Aught

            We have done something like that in the spirit of competition. While some people may resent it, those are often your less ambitious or outright poor performers. Otherwise most people seem to enjoy a little competition.

            The focus on the top performers only then avoids the problem of making people whose performance may not have met goals or whatever not feel like they have had a giant spotlight shone on them.

            We’ve dealt with some performance issues recently and were able to turn around those problems. I hate to let employees go and would much rather give them a chance to improve. My concern though is anything that might be perceived as public shaming would almost guarantee those people would lose any motivation.

            1. Cat

              How much work we end up doing in a week varies a lot on how many problems come up well we are doing it but the amount of problems we have to resolve and how difficult they are is not taken into account. Someone may do less items but they are working just as hard. The people in charge have a misguided idea of how much work is reasonable to expect from us and no amount of concern raising (polite of course) has really changed anything.
              I like my co-workers, they are nice and hard-working people and the competitive feeling doesn’t sit well with any of us. It’s kind of implied by management a little, like we should be competing with each other and it just doesn’t make sense to me, if that explanation makes sense.

              1. Lindsay J

                Yeah, that does sound ridiculous, and I can see a lot of situations where it would not work well.

                We’re basically sales, and nobody has a territory or takes reservations – we just take whoever walks in the door. And the main number we use is basically a per-cap (money spent per group) rather than a gross number or anything subjective.

                I don’t really understand why somebody would try to assign numbers to qualitative rather than quantitative tasks.

                Of course every once in awhile one person gets lucky and gets a large group of big spenders, and somebody who has more hours on a weekend when tourists are around might fare better than somebody who has more hours on a weekday and is dealing with locals (who spend more overall, but less generally on each visit). However, we’re not cut-throat at all, the focus is on high-performers rather than low-performers, and the understanding is that it will all even out in the end – one day you’ll be the one lucky enough to grab the big group as they come in etc.

    2. Anonymous

      I dealt with this at my old job, and I hated it. Yes, people should be encouraged to do their best, but numbers only tell one part of the story. Unless everyone is working on the exact same projects with the exact same goal in mind, you can’t always compare numbers fairly because some people deal with certain challenges that others don’t.

      While it was a good way to praise people who were doing well, it also felt like a way to publicly shame people who had a bad week here or there.

  2. WWWONKA

    #2

    A previous employer of mine did this and it created nothing but havoc and animosity in the work force. Nothing more than a morale buster.

      1. De Minimis

        We had it at a former job, they measured the percentage of billable hours we had each week, based on a 40 hour week [so 60 hours was 150% utilization.]

        Ideally it should have been used as a tool to see who was available so they could be given opportunities for project time, but in reality it just labeled the employees with lower utilization—you’d have people who had well over 100% utilization during busy season, and some that would struggle to break 50%. Once you were in the “bad” group it was hard to break out of it.

        Very glad to no longer have to worry about that kind of stuff anymore.

  3. jesicka309

    #5 Depends on the vehicle I’d say. If you’re just driving a standard company car, then no, it doesn’t count.

    If it’s a promotional car with signage, it may be different. I used to drive a promo car, and there were many instances where I was allowed to take the car home, and was paid for some of the driving time.

    I’d say if they are asking you drive a specific route (eg. drive through the city at peak hour so everyone can see our signage!), or are asking you to stop and do work related things (pick up/drop off signage or packages, give out freebies, attend events etc.) then sure you should be paid.

    I used to work a set shift (eg. 7-11 am) but had to be on location by 7.30. That half an hour of ‘driving’ was paid, regardless of whether I was coming from home, a previous location, or the office, or if it took me 15 minutes, 20 minutes, or 45 minutes, as it all evened out in the end.

    So I guess it depends on what the car is for. Personal use? Nope. Marketing activities? I’d talk to your supervisor and see what they say.

    1. jesicka309

      Also a caveat there – if I was coming from home to the office to pick up the promo car, it was in my own time and I wasn’t paid, just as anyone commuting to work generally isn’t.

      1. WWWONKA

        I say your putting mileage on their car not yours so consider it a perk. Especially if they are paying for the gas. Otherwise you may end up having to drive to work to pick up the car and then to the site. I used to drive a company vehicle and was happy that all I had to do was put gas in it. The company covered insurance and maintenance.

        1. jesicka309

          That is very true. And often, they will let you upgrade the car after a certain amount of time. My Dad drives a company car, and he gets a certain amouont fo petrol paid by the company every year. And he gets the option of buying the used company car when they upgrade to new.
          A regular company car is a perk. But if the car is promotional, and the OP doesn’t get to drive it around in their own time, then possibly they might need to be paid.

    2. Loose Seal

      Another reason it might be paid is if OP was given the company car because they now have to go to the remote office and the company recognizes the mileage difference. I had to do this once to fill in at a branch until someone was hired and trained and had to commute an extra 90 minutes each way. They didn’t give me a company car but they reimbursed me for mileage and put me on the clock for the drive time beyond my regular commute, which meant I almost always had overtime pay because I had to be at the site from 8am – 4pm.

      But this was something we negotiated when they were having a hard time getting a volunteer to do this. I’d say ask your manager what they expect but if you’ve got a regular commute and you’re not expected to represent the company in any way on your drive, then you should probably assume the answer is going to be no.

  4. Elise

    #7 – If you did all 4 years at once, then either looks fine because going straight from high school into a Bachelor program in traditional (in the US). But if there were and breaks, the Associate’s generally seems better, since it shows you planned and completed the requirements for something instead of just taking random electives.

    1. The IT Manager

      I’d show both if you are actually about to graduate within the year because as Alison said “some college” can be stretched to mean as little as 3 credits complete.

      AA, Business, 2010
      BA, Business, anticipated graduation May 2014

      1. Ann O'Nemity

        This is exactly what I came to recommend. Listing the AA shows that you completed a degree, which sounds better than “some college.” In addition, listing the BA with an anticipated graduation date conveys that you are still in school.

      2. Sam

        Absolutely. As a recent college grad, this is pretty much exactly how all of my classmates and I phrased it in our resumes. I might even go as far to say that you can take out “anticipated graduation” and simply leave it as:

        AA, Business, 2010
        BA, Business, May 2014

        This is how I did it. The future date (May 2014) already conveys a future expected graduation date.

        1. Ruffingit

          I think the problem here is not one of listing degrees, it’s of choosing from set parameters in an online application form. They only allow you to say “Some college, A.A., B.A., graduate degree, terminal degree…”

          There is no option for listing things, it’s one box, one choice. Personally, I’d say pick the B.A. if you’re close enough to complete it within the year and if you’re chosen to interview, you can explain that you have two credits to complete and are actively working on those.

          1. TheBurg

            I would go with AA instead of rounding up to the BA, but I agree — I think the OP was talking about applications where you can only make ONE CHOICE, without adding additional context (like future graduation dates).

          2. Bwmn

            Often it depends on what kind of application – sometimes they only allow you to put “highest degree attained” – but most allow you to list all of your education. So if you had a PhD, you’d be able to list your BA, MA, PhD – the same process could be used to list AA, some college.

            In my experience though, the kinds where they only want you to list “highest degree attained” – usually allow for greater explanation/expansion of education later. In this case, I would list the AA but then find a way to add working on a BA later. Either in the full resume and/or in an attached cover letter.

      3. #7 OP

        That’s a good idea. I like that it shows I’m goal-oriented and I accomplish said goals.

      4. Foam Chick

        #7 Be proud of what you have accomplished! I agree with everyone else on the expected graduation date. Stuctured fly-out menus on some websites don’t always let you explain yourself well on in-process education. Use your cover letter and resume to explain how close you are. Early congrats!

    2. T in Construction

      I work in Construction, and a lot of people we hire have an AA or less, depending on the job. If you have an AA and are working towards a BA, please put both! It shows that you successfully completed a goal (getting your AA) and now you’re working towards a new goal that directly builds on the first (getting your BA). It depends on the industry though — I have friends who work in industries that look down on AAs, so YMMV.

      Good luck!

      1. T in Construction

        Here’s how a recent applicant presented it on their resume in the “Education” section:

        “-Expected BS in Chocolate Teapot Marketing & Distribution, University of Chocolate Design, May 2014
        -AA in Chocolate Teapot Smelting, Chocolate Community College, 2010”

  5. Laurie

    #7 – I think that totally depends on what type of a job you are applying for. If you are applying for an entry level job that requires a bachelor’s degree, i’d suggest putting your expected graduation month/year. If you are looking to just do some sort of non-degree required admin work, I’d put the AA. I think that for a non-degree required admin type job, putting that you are close to earning a Bachelor’s will come across like you are going to jump ship the second you get that diploma.

    Also, depending on where you live, AA’s are typically looked down upon, like why couldn’t you have just gotten your BA/BS in the first place? Did you get an AA because you couldn’t get accepted into a real 4 year college? I live in the Boston area, and that is typically the attitude here towards AA’s. We are college snobs. (sadly, and i’m still paying for my elusive degree **sigh**).

    1. Elise

      I was just going to add the suggestion to use the expected graduation date if he/she wanted to highlight the Bachelor’s degree goal.

    2. Anon

      Agree that the way to treat this is to say something along the lines of “B.A. expected June 2014” or such.

    3. Anon

      I think the best and clearest way for #7 to treat this is to say something along the lines of “B.A. expected June 2014” or such.

    4. Jessa

      I do however, think there IS a difference between “some college,” and an actual degree even if it is a two year degree. One is nice the other shows a certain amount of commitment and the ability to work towards a goal.

      Regarding the promotion thing, I think this is different, and the OP needs to talk to the boss and find out WHY when they were hired to switch off on two positions they were suddenly relegated to only one of them. Did management decide they really weren’t SUITED to the second position? The issue here is not a promotion per se, unless I’m reading it wrong. The issue is that the OP was hired to do two tasks and the higher level task has been moved away from them. It COULD be that the task switching idea was to figure out which worker would be better in which area and then move them accordingly.

      So I think this needs a sit down that does not start with “why didn’t I get a promotion,” but “okay why do you think I should be doing teapot design instead of teapot marketing?” Or whatever the two tasks were.

    5. jennie

      I think the problem is this is an application form that asks for highest level of education completed, so there’s no room for explanations. The resume is the place to explain you’re graduating soon.

    6. Anonymously Anonymous

      My co-worker, who has an Ivy League degree, and I both do the same thing. And the minimum requirement is an AS.

  6. V

    #3… Has she already put in her notice? Just be sure that the employer is aware that she is leaving before reaching out to them.

    1. TheSnarkyB

      Yeah that’s what I came to say as well. AAM- they didn’t specify did they?
      OP- don’t burn a bridge with your friend! Make sure they know she’s leaving!

  7. Emily

    To me, “some college” better conveys that your education is in progress, BA anticipated MM/YY, whereas selecting Associates might imply that you earned the AA and stopped there.

    1. College Career Counselor

      I read this as an online application (and don’t we all love those!), which often ask for “highest level of education COMPLETED.” In that case, the OP should put “Associates” degree since that’s true. And, from the perspective of someone in higher education, it reads better than “some college,” as it indicates persistence to program completion. Now, if there is an option on this online application for a cover letter or additional explanation, the OP should certainly indicate that s/he is in a bachelor’s program presently, with expected graduation date of XYZ.

      1. Jessa

        This, I took an AA because of cost. Despite the fact that I bought a house and because of the former owner being behind, paid FIVE years of property taxes, I was not considered a Florida Resident for schooling purposes. I therefore was paying out of state tuition. I took the associates which I knew would get me directly into a two year bachelors programme because the AA cost the same per credit hour as the in state tuition for the bachelors. And I was not going to pay twice as much to get the general ed requirements for the BAE at the state uni.

        Also there are two year degrees that are decent degrees so it depends on what the degree is. When I was in school (now that’s over 30 years ago, so it may now be VERY different,) an LPN was a two year associates degree. My community college gave those.

  8. Rob Aught

    #7 – Associates vs. “Some College”
    I’d rather see someone has earned an Associates Degree. I assume that means they’ve completed at least two years of study and pursued an actual degree program.

    “Some college” could be some 7 year professional student whose switched majors so many times they don’t remember what they originally entered college to be. It could be some kid who tried it for a semester and decided it wasn’t for them. The term is just way too vague.

    An Associates isn’t a Bachelors and it may not be enough to qualify for some positions, but it still shows as an accomplishment.

    1. Anonymously Anonymous

      I’m in agreement here. As someone who switched majors 3 different times — from originally going to a 4 year university to major in architecture and coming out of school with a degree in BS Psychology. I definitely highlight my Associates degree I earned along the way. And I definitely put it because it meets the experience requirements for a lot of places in my field…where as my psychology degree can go either way.

      1. Rob Aught

        Good point, since many job applications want you to list all your degrees and it can easily go on a resume.

        I’m also facepalming myself this morning because what I should have added is that if the OP is a senior in college there is nothing wrong with letting employers know they are likely about to earn their Bachelors as well. I actually see it on resumes all the time.

        It doesn’t count. The Associates weighs more heavily than a degree that isn’t earned yet, but it’s a nice heads up. Especially if the position calls for a degree and I think the candidate has enough qualifications to be hired without it. I can blow that one past HR all day long.

        Of course if they fail to complete the coursework by the date they communicated that may lead to an uncomfortable conversation later. Circumstances will come into play. I’m not hung up on credentials if the individual can do the job, but corporate policies are not always flexible.

    2. Runon

      I agree. An AA shows some kind of completion. I’d say if you are on a really good track to graduate (financing, time, classes, etc) then put that date on.

  9. Sourire

    #2- It’s a bit Glengarry Glen Ross of the company, but other than potentially causing some animosity/competitiveness, I don’t see a real issue here. I am very curious, why do you think it might be illegal?

    1. -X-

      I had the same question, partially out of annoyance. Sometimes I’d like to ask the people asking most of the these “is this legal” questions where they heard it was illegal or why they believe that.

      1. Mike C.

        Given that basic labor law isn’t taught anywhere that a majority of people would be exposed to it, what else do you expect?

        1. -X-

          If I haven’t specifically that something is illegal, and it doesn’t seem particularly hurtful to some people, I assume it is legal.

          That is without any teaching in basic labor law. Everything is legal that we don’t really know is illegal or isn’t obviously dangerous to society. That’s how I approach the world and I wish more people would as well.

          1. Mike C.

            There are tons of things that are particularly harmful to people that are completely legal. That’s an incredibly bad shortcut to use.

            1. -X-

              My “shortcut” is logically unrelated to your first sentence.

              I’m not looking at things that are harmful or commenting on them at all. I’m saying if something is not harmful and is not known to be illegal, we shouldn’t assume it’s illegal.

      2. Ask a Manager Post author

        I’ve actually started writing back and asking that in some cases (nicely, I hope). Usually the answer is an explanation of why the thing in question isn’t fair, rather than why they thought it would be illegal, so I think there’s just an odd conflation of unfair and illegal going on.

        Although now that I think about it, it’s hard for me to think of other areas of life where there are a lot of unfair things going on that are also legal — work is the main arena where there’s someone in a position of authority over you doing things you might find unfair. Otherwise, the concept of unfairness really only pops up in … what? Friendships? Family life? And people know those things aren’t legislated (well, some parts of family life are — elements of marriage and child-rearing). So I think the answer is in there somewhere.

        1. Jessa

          I think also they may have worked in another company where they had to redact part of the personnel statistics because the workers were ID’ed by their Social Security Numbers which are a no go to publish around because of serious privacy concerns.

          So they may have been at other companies where they don’t bother to change their file systems and have been told by management “no it’s not allowed to post that,” when they really meant “it’s not allowed to post it the way WE gather this data, and we’re too lazy to reformat it.”

          1. JamieG

            Likewise where I work, we don’t use last names on anything besides paychecks. It’s considered a security issue I guess, and it’s just never done. I could see someone who works here and has never worked anywhere with a different policy thinking that it’s illegal, even if it seems silly to me.

            I’m having the opposite situation right now, myself, since I come from a state with basically nothing in the way of worker protection and I now live in a state where the law actually cares (mandatory breaks!?!?). I know some of the laws are different, but my coworkers seem to think that the laws are way more different than I’m sure they are (“They can’t fire you for not doing X! It’s not in the job description.”) so I’m not sure where exactly the line is.

          2. Jamie

            Yes. I know a lot of people who think things are required for ISO which have nothing to do with the standards themselves, but just how they’ve seen it implemented and assumed it was a universal rule.

            Same with the legality stuff. I was told at a temp job by HR that it was illegal to give a reference beyond employment verification. Absolutely not true, urban legend, but when someone who should know gives out misinformation it spreads.

        2. Cat

          One of my co-workers though it might be illegal and I became curious about it so I asked for them. Yeah, I agree that it is easy to confuse the two, especially when the company you work for treats you not so great in other ways.

          I read the article you posted about ten signs you have a bad boss and my boss had eight so I would say I am definitely confused xD

        3. fposte

          And people know there are areas where the law protects your privacy, and it’s not a hugely unreasonable guess that such laws might cover things people are particularly sensitive about. It’s just not an *accurate* guess.

          1. Ruffingit

            Agreed. I also think people sometimes hear about workplace issues in the news or other sources and they hear some buzzwords and think “illegal” when in fact there are several caveats attached that they don’t understand or know are part of the situation. For example, most people think discrimination as an entire category is illegal. Not so. It’s only if you’re being discriminated regarding certain things such as race, gender, etc. If an employer discriminates against people who don’t have smartphones vs. those who do, well, that’s OK in the eyes of the law.

            1. Jessa

              It MIGHT be okay. If it’s proven by a large enough amount of people that discriminating against people without smartphones tends to severely impact a protected class (for instance race or disability,) an issue can be made. The fact is a lot of stuff that discriminates based on economic status can be shown to have an adverse discriminatory effect on certain minorities. Because “discrimination = less income = no smartphone = no job,” a case could seriously be made if ENOUGH minority people were turned down on that (and the company didn’t just provide the phones.)

              So yes normally it’s NOT illegal, but if it significantly impacts a protected group it COULD be if someone wants to make a case of it. It’d likely have to be a class action though. ONE instance, would certainly not be proof.

              1. Ruffingit

                Yes, you’re talking about pattern or practice of discrimination which can lead to impact on a particular class. That’s possible. But my point is more about the fact that people often think discrimination as a whole concept is illegal when in fact it’s not.

                1. Ruffingit

                  Correcting myself, in your example the issue would likely be more one of disparate impact. Information from my employment law classes at law school are buried deeply. Takes a minute for it to come to the surface. I’m getting old ;)

      3. Chinook

        I actually can see understand why someone would wonder if it is legal to make performance reviews public because it is HR related. I don’t know about the laws down south, but in Canada we have specific privacy protection laws (i.e. can’t give out someone’s birthdate or home address without a business related reason or permission), so to me it would be a grey area that would have me checking the privacy acts. And since I had to do so yesterday regarding resumes, I don’t remember seeing anything about performance reviews being considered confidential (but I wasn’t looking for that info so it could have been in another section)

        1. ThursdaysGeek

          And in this state in the US, if you’ve voted, I can look that up online and find your birthdate and all but the last digit of the number in your address. From there I can jump over to the public property records, and find out what your house number probably is.

        2. NutellaNutterson

          It sounds like these aren’t reviews – there’s no qualitative judgement, just data. Which is actually part of the problem from the OP’s perspective – different projects require different resources, so it’s an apples to oranges metric.

    2. Cat

      #2 OP To be honest, I never really thought about it being illegal until someone pointed out that it might be and I told them I would ask because then I was curious. I just wish they would share how close we are to our overall goal rather than us as individuals.

      1. -X-

        It might be worth pushing back on that someone and asking them the same question “What makes you believe that?” or “Where did you hear that?” Get them to do some work or provide some backup.

        Your curiosity is great.

      2. Sourire

        Ah, you will run into a ton of misinformation about what is and is not legal in the workplace from sources that are often very uninformed. Urban legends and an incorrect belief that unfair = illegal tend to be the biggest culprits. Like -X- said, next time someone brings up that something may be illegal, ask them why. A lot of times the answer is something along the lines of “Well, it just doesn’t seem right”, which of course has no legal merit.

        “I just wish they would share how close we are to our overall goal rather than us as individuals.”

        Why not suggest this? They may not take away the individual bit, but it would still probably be helpful to have the goal information as well.

        1. Cat

          Sadly, our boss doesn’t take any suggestions we make. We have made this one and others before.

          1. Joey

            It might be a little embarrassing except for those towards the top, but I generally think its a good practice to make public especially when those metrics are so important. It certainly instills some competitiveness and literally shows how individual contributions affect the goals of the organization. I’ve seen it in action in a major grocery store warehouse and while its not for everyone it certainly pushes people to do more when there are rewards tied to it while at the same time making it really easy to deal with underperformers.

            1. Cat

              Yes, I see what you are saying but it is not working to our advantage at my job. It doesn’t really motivate anyone except to not get fired and even then because it is a contract, it mostly depends on budget issues whether we get renewed or not.

        2. bearing

          I still think AAM could get a few columns out of the theme, “Is it Legal?” Coupled with a loooooooong list of “yes it’s legal,” a short list of “no, it’s not,” and something in the middle along the lines of “it depends what state you’re in.”

          1. periwinkle

            There are five categories in play:

            1. Yes, it’s legal.
            2. Yes, it’s legal except in California.
            3. It may or may not be legal depending on the state.
            4. No, it’s not legal.
            5. Holy crap, can you get this on video for us?

            1. Laura L

              6. This may or may not be legal depending on the country.

              Or you could just add that to #3.

          2. Cat

            I was going to suggest a “Is It Legal?” FAQ on this website so AAM can stop answering all of this legal questions over and over.

            1. Julie

              I think you can actually search the AAM site for this. I think “legal” is one if the article categories.

            2. Anonymously Anonymous

              You beat me too it! I was thinking the same thing. I found this blog that way. I had a legit question, at least what I felt at the time. Now I see the err of my ways.

    3. SerfinUSA

      Union contracts can muddy the waters a bit too. Not that they are enforced when it benefits someone up the food chain not to enforce certain things.
      But yeah, there are tons of little rules & conditions from what you can do on your break to what kind of chair you can request/require.

      1. Sourire

        I think this was discussed yesterday as well. Contracts (not just union) cause legality to come into play, but in a different way. You can sue based on breach of contract, where the breach itself is illegal, but not the action it is covering. It does not mean whatever action or inaction caused the breach is necessarily illegal in and of itself.

  10. Tinker

    Re: #2, the job I had where metrics like this were gone over at each monthly meeting was also the job that I crashed and burned at. That was a barrel of laughs, let me tell you. But I actually thought it was a good technique for the sort of company (like that one) that lives or dies on such metrics — in my case, it contributed substantially to my choosing to pursue other opportunities, and if I’d been successful I imagine it would have evolved into a fun game.

    Of course, part of the reason it worked out was that everyone acted like adults — including myself, when I observed the substantial and persistent gap between me and, uhm, everyone else and said to myself “So, about that grad school idea…”

    1. Lindsay J

      Yes, I think everybody acting like adults is the important thing. In my current job we use all kinds of metrics, and sometimes specific ones are read out at our monthly meetings. However, everyone is civil about them – we are not so competitive that we infringe on other people’s sales in order to make ourselves look better or poach them for ourselves, and nobody makes snotty comments about the high or low performers. I can see how in some environments making the information public could create animosity, but in a tight knit group of adults it serves as a motivator and a chance for recognition in front of your peers instead.

    2. Anonymous

      Yeah, I worked somewhere like this that you had to make so many phone calls and spend a certain percentage of your day on the phone or explain yourself.

      The people around me were not being adults and when they claimed that the required level of stats were impossible and yet I was outstripping them by at least double they didn’t like it as it showed them up. Correspondingly my other stats such as success rates etc were also higher so they couldn’t claim they were dealing with more complex stuff but doing a better job of it either.

      Not a nice environment. Even if the metrics were necessary.

  11. Tina

    #7. List the AA and also the Bachelor’s with the expected graduation date (make sure you say “expected Oct. 2013” or “ex. Oct. 2013” or something like that, not just a future date). If you’re a senior, and you’re expecting to graduate soon, this should be fine.

    1. EJ

      +1. As long as you’re not just casually taking college courses, put the expected graduation date just like any student. And also list the Associates degree.

    2. Steph

      Agreed. Someone earlier mentioned that if they’re asking for the highest level you have completed, then you’ll want to list your Associate’s degree. A completed Associate’s says to me that you started and finished something, while “some college” does not indicate that you are on a path to complete a degree. And even if you can’t say on the online part of the application that you are nearly done with your Bachelor’s degree, I presume you would list both your Associate’s (with completion date) and Bachelor’s (with expected completion date) on your resume. Not listing the Associate’s as your highest completed could raise some eyebrows.

  12. Dan

    #7

    I have a BS, AS, and MS, in that order. If you’re applying for a job as a traditional college student, check the box “BS” and list your graduation date. I guess you’ll have problems if an ATS won’t accept your date too far out, but oh well.

    “Some college” indicates you dropped out, which is pretty useless. Some jobs, like health care, do require an AS/AA, so I’d make sure to put that.

    1. Sarah

      I read “some college” as that you’re possibly still in school – like the OP as a college senior.

    2. Sunchine DC

      You’re so right, Dan. This kind of thing should be incentive for employers to tweak their online application slightly to include a check box for “currently pursuing degree” with a place to list “anticipated graduation date.” That’s definitely perceived differently than “some college” (which sort of conveys the feeling the applicant took some random classes or dropped out.)

      If the applicant’s applying for a white collar position, in a field in which noone earns or accepts an Associates Degree, it will NOT reflect well to list that degree. Whereas… people understand that, especially when one is also working fulltime, it can take years to finish a BA. During an interview, one can say “I’ve been working my way through school, in the field I’m pursuing. I’ve got 18 credits to go.” Something like that shows that the person is goal oriented, sticks to a task, and if hired for a permanent position (related to what they are getting a degree in) is earning exactly the qualification required.

  13. anon for this comment

    This is somewhat related to #2, but I’d really appreciate some real-time advice. It’s my last day at my company, and while updating documentation on the server before I leave, I found a spreadsheet containing everyone’s salaries in our (80-person) department, including salary histories for the past three years (bonuses, raises, etc). It’s public, not password protected and titled ‘FY13Salaries.xls’.

    What do you think is the best way to deal with this?

    1. Lindsay J

      If you can figure out who created it I would send a quick email letting them know that it is public. If you can’t figure it out I would let whoever might be using the information (department manager?) know.

      But, having a list of salaries visible to other employees isn’t legally or ethically problematic either. Most managers just choose not to make this information easily accessible because usually it only leads to bad feeling and drama (“Why is so-and-so making more money than me when we do the same job?” etc).

      1. Rob Aught

        Agreed. While it may not be unethical or illegal, it may be against your corporate policy to share salary information. Best to let the author know or a department head.

        Or if you’re gone by now it may not be your problem anymore.

        1. Mike C.

          Speaking of things that aren’t legal, companies aren’t allowed to prohibit people covered under the FLSA from discussing their salary with others.

          1. Joey

            But they are allowed to prohibit employees from sharing a spreadsheet of everyone’s compensation info.

            1. Chinook

              If I had found that spreadsheet unlocked, I would definitely put in a call to HR to verify if that information should be available. If they confirm that it is public knowledge, I would still recommend that they write protect it or recommend they put it in PDF form so nobody can go in and change any numbers (either accidentally or on purpose). If I read a sheet liek that and the number next to my name did not match what I currently made, I would be wondering what was going on.

              As a side note, if the company did decide to make that info public, I would also hope that they would include info on the other benefits available to each employee as salary is not always reflective of someone’s complete compensation package.

            2. Mike C.

              Why is your consent needed? It’s not private information like your SSN and many places have either published lists of salaries for specific individuals or internally publish specific pay bands based on title/experience/etc.

              What harm do you suffer if your cube mate suddenly knows how much you make? And you know how much they make?

              1. Jamie

                I have come around to understanding the value in transparency in salaries…but in cultures where its not yet done the transition can be tough for people.

                Logical or not some people consider what they make to be as personal and private as what they weigh or how much they paid for their house, or ow often they have sex. For some of us who have a big privacy thing with money there is harm in publishing that – at least emotionally.

                In cultures where its regularly known or published its not an issue, but you have to be sensitive if transitioning from a culture where this is private.

      2. RubyJackson

        This is exactly what happened where I worked (our manager left the salary and merit increase information on a shared server and someone found it and shared it) and why an unqualified person was promoted to a senior position, because he had been at the company longer than the new(er) hire who had more education, training, and experience. “I should be making more money, I’ve been here longer.” Qualifications were never a consideration for the promotion, only tenure.

        My suggestion to anyone who finds a document like this is to contact HR to make them aware, but do not share this information with anyone. It will only cause problems.

        1. Mike C.

          Again, the information didn’t cause problems. The problems were caused by your employer choosing to value tenure over other qualities for promotion and likely not bothering to inform anyone. The fact that you were made aware meant that you and your coworkers could either accept this new truth or find a new place to work.

          Isn’t that better than wasting your time doing things you think will land you a promotion but end up getting you nowhere?

    2. Mike C.

      Personally I’d be curious to see if any statistical tests showed differences in pay between protected groups when things like experience and skill set are taken into account.

      In my world such things would be published openly and justified with objective criteria anyway, but that’s because I don’t make the assumption that my coworkers are complete children.

      1. Cat

        Sharing salary details with people that work on generally the same level for the same amount of time seems like asking for trouble but then again, if companies are reasonable in their pay scale, this wouldn’t be a big deal.

          1. Cat

            Truthfully, if I had salary information I would not share it. There is really no reason to. Some places share salary ranges for job classifications on their websites but other than that, it just seems unhelpful and an opportunity for resentment, in my opinion.

            1. Jessa

              Actually the reason that women and minorities are paid a % of the value of others doing the work is because we have this complete “salary must be private” mentality. It’d be very hard to keep paying women less than 80% of what men make if everyone knows what everyone else makes.

              The truth is this is what makes salary discrimination possible.

                1. Cat

                  OK, that makes sense. It’s just a lot of the places I have worked at in my very limited experience have not been the best environments so sharing salary information among employees would cause drama but admittedly many of those places already were suffering from bad management anyway.

              1. -X-

                +1 to Jessa. Though lack of info on salary is not the sole reason. In government employment, where salaries are often public, there are still gaps by gender and, I think, by race, though smaller than in the private sector.

            2. Mike C.

              There is no reason to share it? Really? You don’t find it useful to know what other jobs within your company tend to pay if you’re looking to move around?

              Does the name Lilly Ledbetter mean anything to you?

              Like I said before, if there is resentment, it is because the employees are children who don’t understand that some people make more than others or it is because the employer is being dishonest in some fashion.

              Taking the passive “oh gosh it’ll just cause drama route” road is so much worse.

    3. Poe

      Ugh, this is awful. I had something similar happen when I started a new job and asked for the contractor info for our department, and they sent me the contracts and pay history and a big ol’ spreadsheet about the contractors I was supposed to manage…and my boss, because he was also on contract. I contacted everyone and their dog trying to tell them that I should not have been sent this info, should I send the contract copy back to them, destroy it, etc. They said send it back, I sent it back, they sent it back to me. I shredded it.

      1. A-a-a-nonymous

        Why is it so terrible that you were sent the salaries of the people you supervised? That’s pretty common information to know.

  14. Anonymous

    #2- My job is the same and I hate it. its supposed to motivate people but I don’t know anyone who actually feels that way. One of the stats my boss posts is how many minutes we spend in the bathroom (its a call centre, obviously).

    1. Lizzie B

      That’s horrible. I don’t see how posting bathroom minutes does anything more than call numbers, aside from humiliating and dehumanizing employees.

    2. Heather

      Sometimes I think call centers are really just a twisted psych experiment to see just how badly you can treat people before they run.

      1. Anon

        I think so too. And what is it with bathroom micromanaging? The one I worked at had the bathroom keys get accidentally lost and threatened to never replace them, so no one would ever have been able to go to the john at work again. They didn’t go through with it, but the fact that it even crossed their mind kind of disturbed me.

        1. Ruffingit

          Amazing what people will threaten at work. I was in one workplace with a boss/owner who had major mental health issues. She admitted to being on medication for them and that was a day when I was particularly fed up with her crazy antics and I said to her “Get new medication, what you’re on now is obviously not working.” She spent the rest of the day trying to convince me that the medication was working and that she was getting better with it. If that is true, I’d hate to see what she was like previously because she was insane at the present moment.

          I wouldn’t suggest saying something as I did to the boss in general, but this woman had major issues and was extremely abusive. I got fed up that day and quit about six months into the job with no other job to go to. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wasn’t alone. In two years, she’d gone through 7 people in my position.

    3. Ellie H.

      Wow, that sounds sitcom worthy (and unbelievably horrible).

      For some reason the first thing I thought of would be spending weird numerical patterns of time in the bathroom over a course of days (e.g. Fibonacci sequence) to see if anyone notices. But that really sucks and I agree that it sounds totally demotivating.

      1. Chinook

        A Fibonacci sequence of time spent in the bathroom would be awesome but could lead to some awkward conversations with yoru boss after about day 12 because even an understanding supervisor would have to question the need to spend 89 minutes in there.

    4. Tina Career Counselor

      Wow, that seems like it would open to the door to some rather embarrassing and awkward moments!

  15. Debbie

    #5

    Where I work whenever we are in a company vehicle we are on the clock. We are also covered by the company’s insurance if we were to be involved in an accident. I think this is why we are considered to be on the clock. It cause problems between the employer and it’s insurance company if we were involved in an accident when we weren’t considered to be working.

  16. Hannah

    I agree with what most people here are saying.
    An Associates showed you started something and you finished it.
    Some college reads like you started something and didn’t finish it.
    The former looks better on a resume but make sure you also include any other training, workshops, conferences, etc you’ve participated in to get ahead in your field.

  17. Sarah

    #7 – I would put some college and be sure to put your expected graduation date if there is a fill-in field or on your resume. Otherwise, it seems like you just stopped with your AA, which I think is worse than applying for jobs before you graduate.

    1. Meg

      Some college makes it look like you didn’t even complete a program though, or else you’d list it.

    2. TheBurg

      I’m interested to know how/why an AA is considered worse than applying for jobs before you graduate or looked down upon. Sure, there are plenty of fields that require MORE than an AA, but just as a matter of course what’s wrong with stopping after one?

  18. Jason

    #5 – I’m an employment lawyer. Absent rare circumstances, you are not entitled to be compensated for your commute between home and work, regardless of whether or not you are driving a company-provided car. Your pay “clock” only starts running when you actually start performing work of some kind. There are a handful of rare and oddball exceptions that sometimes crop up, but in the vast majority of situations, and assuming that your workday didn’t already start by virtue of your working from home (which sometimes happens), commuting to and from work is not compensable time no matter whose car you’re driving.

    1. Lindsay J

      I’m curious and since you’re an employment lawyer you sound like a good person to ask.

      Say an hourly, non-exempt worker is scheduled to begin their shift at 9AM. However, the employer tells all their employees they are required to be at work 30 minutes before their shift begins, and if they are not they will face consequences (attendance points, progressive disciplinary action, whatever).

      Does the employer then have to begin paying the employee at 8:30AM when the employee is required to arrive, or can they begin paying the employee at 9AM when they begin doing actual work?

  19. Lisa

    #5 – I took job site to mean that OP has a different job site per project or time period. If the job site changes regularly and is further than the main office, wouldn’t OP be given travel money ? Mostly it would be mileage if it was her own car, but at the very least they should provide gas money.

    1. Chinook

      I woudl think that you would get mileage/time paid for the commute if the difference between home and the regular worksite is smaller than that between home and the temporary worksite.

      The only exception I have ever seen for this is those working out in the field for oil & gas where the worksite is in the middle of nowhere (i.e. they sometimes have to build the roads to get there) and the company vehicle is also used as an office. If the OP has a regular 9-5 job, then I don’t see that being the case.

    2. twentymilehike

      #5 – I took job site to mean that OP has a different job site per project or time period

      I was wondering this, also. I used to have a roommate that worked at different sites all the time–sometimes several hours away and he would have to stay overnight in a hotel. He had to be there at a certain time, but because his commute would vary, and he had a company vehicle, he would be paid for his commute time, but it was a different rate than his actual rate for his time on the job. He had a smart phone that he would use to “clock in” on when he left the house.

  20. Sabrina

    Related to #7 – I’m due to finish school in 7.5 weeks (not that I’m counting down, or anything!) and I’ve been filling out applications. Most require a Bachelor’s and on some I’ve noticed the online form asks for highest level of school COMPLETED. So I haven’t completed it yet but I’m nearly done. It seems dishonest to put down that it’s completed, but I don’t want to be excluded over a matter of less than 2 months worth of homework & exams.

    1. Cathy

      If you’re definitely graduating in 7.5 weeks and you’re looking for a job that you will start after you’ve completed all the course work for the degree, then you can select Bachelors when you see a list on an online applications. Put the actual future dates in the spot where they ask what school you went to and when you graduated.

    2. MJ

      I personally see this as situational. If you’re beginning your search now in hopes of starting a new job upon completion of your degree, I think it is fair to select “bachelors degree” on the application. You should still denote your graduation date as expected on your resume though. There may be some employers who find this “dishonest”, but I think this is probably a common way of handling this situation especially since hiring processes can take awhile – depending on the company, you might even be done with your degree by the time you’re called in for an interview. This also assumes you’d be ok with the offer being contingent upon completion of your degree.

      On the other hand, if you’re looking for immediate employment while you finish up your coursework, then I think it is more appropriate to select “some college”, put your anticipated graduation date in your resume and explain that you’re completing your degree in your cover letter/during interviews.

      1. Judy

        Right. If you’re looking for jobs in your field for after you graduate, put Bachelors and date it for graduation. If you’re looking for jobs for now, put something else.

  21. A teacher

    When I was applying for jobs(after both BS and MS) I would put

    BS: Exercise Science, Chocolate University, anticipated May 2013

    Employers seemed to like that…

  22. Sabrina

    Re #5 I think the only time you might get paid for this time is if you’re union and get called in on a day off. For instance, my dad was a IBEW member (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and it was in their contract that if he got called in on a Saturday or a holiday or any other day that he wasn’t scheduled to work, that he got paid OT as soon as they called him. But I think you could probably put in the caveat of “Union or other contracts may change things” to a lot of answers here.

    1. Natalie

      We do the same thing for our maintenance people – if they answer an after-hours call they’re paid for travel time. At that point it’s also typically OT so it’s a nice bit of money. In our case, it’s just company policy as the maintenance people aren’t unionized.

  23. Joey

    #5. Be happy you’re getting a company car to commute. Lots of employers are starting to require employees with take home cars to leave their car at a secure work facility.

  24. Cathy

    #7 — if you are filling out an online application or profile, and you’re selecting from a list, then choose the list item that has a higher ranking. If the list is constructed as “high school diploma, some college, associates, bachelors, …” then choose “associates”. If it’s setup with “some college” having a higher rank, choose that instead. It will be different on different systems — don’t worry about that, just always choose the highest one that applies to you.

    What you’re doing when you select the list item is creating data that will be used for computer based filtering and searching. If I search our candidate tracking system for people who have a Bachelors degree, I also get all the candidates with Masters and PhD degrees. So to give yourself the best chance of turning up in as many searches as possible, select the highest value that applies to you, whatever that is.

    There will either be another space to enter your schools and graduation dates, or there will be a place to upload your resume that has that info. Other people have given you good advice about how to list your actual education there.

  25. mollsbot

    #4: Wealth comes in all shapes and forms. I heard this story about a guy that went into a high-end suite store in a Hawaiian t-shirt and cutoff shorts. The salesman dismissed him and wouldn’t sell to him. So the guy left the store, got into his Rolls Royce and waved to the salesman as he drove by. Now, I don’t know what kind of events your acquaintance is throwing so that may not be relevant, but! it’s good to remember anyway; especially if you are trying to push your boss’s wares to ‘high end’ customers.

    1. Ruffingit

      Agreed. I know a woman who was out jogging one day and decided to go ahead and purchase the high-end Cadillac she’d been wanting to buy. She jogged to the dealership in her pink sweatsuit and the salesman dismissed her saying she couldn’t possibly afford that car. She left and went to another dealership, purchased the car for cash and then drove to the first dealership where she relayed the story to the salesman’s manager.

      Don’t judge a book by its cover is an old saying for a reason…

      1. Jessa

        Yeh, the Rockefeller daughters used to go to high end stores in their ripped jeans…and I’ve seen stories about a guy who does his own landscaping on a multimillion dollar home who gets ignored when he comes in his grungy work clothes.

        GOOD customer service people know this. And that’s a real metric for high end stores and how good they really are.

  26. The IT Manager

    I super curious about LW#6’s office/job. I was originally hired to cover two positions. Another employee and I were going to switch every month. Two weeks into my job, my boss decides I am going to remain at the lower position but informs me there was room for advancement.

    What kinds of jobs is it that you would switch off monthly especially between positions described as lower/junior and senior? Odd, but here’s the thing #6 you were going to switch and then your boss decided you would stay at the junior position? Is this a sign that you are not ready for the more senior position? That could be why you’re not being considered for the open more senior positions at this time which is only 3 months after you started. Maybe there will be room for advancement once you gain experience.

    Other option … was the swithing off idea some kind of bait and switch to entice applicants when it was never intended to be implemented? Becuase the person you were going to switch off is clearly considered more senior than you.

    Whatever, it is worth talking to you boss about things to understand especially as Alison what can you do to make yourself promotable in the future.

  27. Meg

    #7 – I’d probably put “Associate’s Degree”, as it shows you accomplished something. “Some college” could mean you showed up for one semester and flunked out, but putting a specific degree, even a two-year one, shows you at least got a diploma. And on your resume you can put both degrees, with a note next to your Bachelor’s degree saying something like “Expected graduation 2013”.

  28. Ann Onymous

    #7. Since it’s an online application, and since your AA is official, I would put that your highest level of education is associate’s. If there is anywhere where you can add notes, I’d mention that you’re expecting to earn your bachelor’s by whatever date. I agree with the poster above (Meg), who said you can put both degrees on your resume.

  29. OP #4

    The point I was trying to make is that my boss’s target market is wealthy upper middle class people not early 20s-mid 30s people as the audience for this event is going to be. Also, this is a very casual event which I know is not the type of place my boss would want her designs displayed as I don’t think anyone will place a bid. (I wouldn’t bid for her stuff if I was in this event, not because her stuff isn’t nice, I just can’t afford it) that’s the whole point on why it irks me that my (now former) acquaintance approached my boss without asking my thoughts first, and why she used MY name!

    1. mollsbot

      I completely understand. I hate when my name is thrown onto something without my consent. If it were me, I would tell my boss exactly what AAM said.

      If your boss does end up going I hope it works out better than expected! Good luck :)

    2. Nichole

      I agree that it was not ok that your acquaintance put words in your mouth. “OP 4 has told me about your designs, and they sound just perfect for my event” would be fine. “OP 4 told me that my event is a great place to showcase your designs” is a recommendation, and now you’re on the hook for the results of something you didn’t say. I do think it sounds like you were a little hard on your acquaintance, though. I could be wrong-maybe she was blase’ about your concerns or has a history of this type of thing-but in your letter, you seem more angry than this situation merits on the surface. Just an observation. Either way, you’re completely justified in telling your boss that Acquaintance was incorrect in her assumption that you endorse her event as a venue for Boss, and you have XYZ concerns. From there, she can decide for herself if this is an opportunity or a hassle.

      1. Layla

        I don’t know , I’d be very angry. My credibility would be on the line here.
        I feel the level of anger is justified vs the expose your interviewer thread – ha !

        I do think AAM’s answer is perfect tho !

        1. OP#4

          Exactly! That was my main concern I’ve only been here for 2 + months and I don’t want them to think I will just endorse anything or go for anything a friend proposes to me. Credibility is very important especially in the fashion industry.

        2. Lindsay J

          Yeah, I’d definitely be annoyed and worried about taking a hit to my credibility. I wouldn’t want the boss to turn around after the event and think, “Wow, what was she thinking? She doesn’t seem to know my target audience at all?”

          I agree Alison’s script is spot on, though.

  30. Wilton Businessman

    1. AAM gives you the perfect response (except maybe no exclamation point)
    2. It’s only a bad thing if you’re the one on the bottom. (disclaimer; I use a similar benchmark and publish it weekly)
    3. You can either wait for things to happen or make things happen. Which type of person would you hire?
    4. Lets assume boss is smart enough to make her own decisions. I think your friend went way overboard, but your boss likes the idea and make the choice before talking with you.
    5. depends, are you working on your drive?
    6. No, you’re not being passed over.
    7. I’d put Bachelors and the anticipated graduation date if they ask for it.

    1. JamieG

      re #4

      The boss is making decisions based on inaccurate information, though. OP’s friend told her that OP thought it was an awesome idea, and her boss is trusting that judgement. There’s nothing wrong with clarifying first and letting her make up her mind from there.

      1. Wilton Businessman

        Don’t you think that if boss was on the fence she would have sat down with OP and want her thoughts on it? I’m not saying what the friend did was right, but why cook trouble?

        1. Esra

          I don’t think it has to be a big thing. Regardless of how it works out, I wouldn’t want my manager being told I said something that I actually didn’t.

  31. Anon

    #7, please, please list both the AA and the anticipated grad date with the BS.

    You worked hard for the AA, it’s a valid accepted degree. Providing you got it from an accredited institution. Don’t knock what you’ve done. An AA degree and some college are not remotely equivalent.

    From someone who works in higher ed and with transfer students.

  32. Bonnie

    #5 Compensation of time spent driving is not generally related to whose vehicle you are driving but the amount of time you spend driving. If you are driving to the same place every day, spending the entire day in that location and driving home at night then you are most likely not going to be compensated for drive time.

    I noticed that you used the phrase job-site in your post. If you drive to the office each morning and to a job site from there, you should be paid for the time spent getting to the site but not getting to the office. If the job sites are all around town and you are driving directly there each morning then that is considered your commute and you would not generally get compensated for it. But if you job sites are outside of town, it is possible that you could be compensated for drive but only for the time difference between the normal commute and job site commute.

    On the other hand, keep in mind that personal use of a company car can be considered compensation and show up on your W-2. The company probably either has a rule against driving the car for personal use or has you keep a mileage log.

  33. EM

    Re #1: I work for a consulting firm, and we post employee performance indicators. We track revenue generated on a monthly basis. We each have a revenue goal (rather than percent billable), and it shows how we’re doing as a percent of our revenue goal. I’m sure it helps that the vast majority of my company are high performers. (Really, we are!) I think the lowest percent of goal I saw last time I checked was 86%. The person who was at 25% of their revenue goal doesn’t work for us any longer.

    I’m definitely a type A personality, and I like seeing how I’m doing, and seeing it relative to my coworkers. I’m not ashamed to admit it makes me feel good to see that my revenue is comparable to some full-time people, even though I typically work 25 chargeable hours a week. Last I checked, I was at 145% of my goal. :)

  34. Mike B.

    #6: I think you need to seriously consider whether there are some deficiencies, or perceived deficiencies, in your job performance. Not being promoted in a short time frame is one thing, but not being allowed to assume a position you were originally hired to cover? Even though they’ll need to hire externally otherwise? Alarm bells.

    1. OP 6

      I spoke to my boss when I was given the junior position. He informed me that there wasn’t anything wrong in my performance and the decision was made to maintain stability in both positions. I wasn’t given the senior position because my coworker started working there a couple months before me.

  35. KM

    #1 — A lot of people will hear “I don’t think…” as “I’m undecided about it — I haven’t made up my mind yet” followed by what is, from their persepctive, an inquiry as to wether they would PREFER to interview for position Y (because it might be a better fit). If you don’t mind sending the second emial, it’s not a terrible misunderstanding to deal with, but if you want to avoid it all together, one solution would be to lead with a stronger rejection — “Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you position X, but, in reviewing your resume, we thought you might be a fit for position Y…”

    #6 — in this case, I’m not sure that the explanation is just that three months is too fast to get promoted, since you say you were originally hired to cover one of these jobs. I totally agree that it seems like the natural thing would be to move you into that job, once it’s vacated, rather than hiring someone from outside. I want to second the advice from other commenters that you should talk to your boss and try to find out why they didn’t let you cover that job in the first place, even though that’s what you’d been hired to do, and why it seems that you weren’t considered this time. It could be an oversight, or they could think you’re not qualified, or it could be a lot of things, but you won’t know unless you talk to someone.

    1. Ruffingit

      “Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you position X, but, in reviewing your resume, we thought you might be a fit for position Y…”

      That is perfect! Completely cuts off even the possibility of position X for all but the most persistent people who want to argue about it and you don’t want those people as employees anyway.

  36. Anonymous

    7. When I was in my final year of uni, especially towards the end of it, I put my uni degree on my CV, noting I was in my final year and said what date I would graduate. I also put that I was expecting to get a 2.1, which is what I got (I put this when applying for graduate positions that required a 2.1 in my degree).

    A lot of people I know put their expected result down, but if you do that, make sure it’s what you are realistically actually expecting.

  37. Anonycat

    Hey, it’s not illegal why doesn’t the company post the reviews online with names attached….hmmmm…. Only in the USA. Reviews are a joke in most companies unless you are selling a product and can track x number of widgets sold and then, you know, they get a commission and to keep their job. Public reviews would only stoke resentment and hey, maybe more workplace violence.

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