my coworker flipped out, did my smile hurt my interview chances, and more

It’s seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. Company wants me to submit a photo with my job application

I know you’ve discouraged readers from submitting their photos in a job application. But what happens if a prospective employer asks you to submit a photo in addition to a resume and cover letter?

I’m applying for a social media manager position for a company that creates content and manages social media channels for clients who are seeking self-promotion and better search results, and they’ve asked for a photo with applications. It just doesn’t sit right with me. Should I run for the hills? Such an action seems to be a form of discrimination and a risk not worth taking.

There’s no possible reason that they should need a photo of you for that position — unlike the fairly small number of positions where your appearance is relevant (like acting and other professions where sending head shots is common). So yes, I’d be pretty wary of this company’s priorities and hiring practices. (And this is a good time for a reminder that this is a U.S.-based blog. While it’s common in some other countries to send a photo with your resume, it’s very much Not Done here.)

2. Is my gummy smile holding me back from getting hired?

During a recent interview with a search committee for an academic library position, something amusing was said and everyone laughed. I noticed that when I smiled, the director seemed to look at my teeth and grimace. (I have a gummy smile that is more obvious when I smile big. Aside from that, my teeth are straight and white. I was also dressed appropriately and had my hair done.)

I didn’t get the job and I know it is probably because I wasn’t qualified in certain areas — they seemed to want someone with more teaching experience. But I can’t help dwelling on my teeth now. I know it’s probably a self-confidence issue, but I don’t want to gross people out or anything. Should I be more careful next time when I smile?

No. First, is a gummy smile even considered a problem? I’m not sure it is — but let’s say for the sake of argument that it is. Even if that were so, your smile is your smile, and you should smile the way you normally do. People get hired with all kinds of physical imperfections (again, if this even qualifies as one). Take a look around you at all the people you see employed and the many, many ways that they differ from a mainstream physical ideal.

You have an obvious explanation of why you didn’t get hired — they wanted someone with different experience. It doesn’t sound like it’s about your smile at all.

3. Employer asked me to bring a copy of my background check to a first interview

I was wondering what your thoughts are about having a prospective employer request that I bring in (and pay for, etc.) a copy of my background certification. I realize why one would be needed for this particular role; however I don’t have one and always assumed something like that would be the employer’s responsibility. They did suggest an online company who conducts them fairly “quickly and reasonably”. This seems odd to me – especially to the first interview. I also don’t like the idea of having to pay for it myself. Is this common? I’d love to know what you think.

No, it’s not normal, and it’s generally the sign of a scam. In fact, there’s no such thing as a standard “background certification” that you bring in, as far as I know, so this is very sketchy.

4. My coworker flipped out on us

Today at work, I was minding my own business as I was helping a coworker, Andrew, with something when another coworker, Ryan, came into the room and totally freaked out on Andrew. He started throwing all kinds of insults and verbally attacked Andrew’s personal life. I almost thought Ryan was on some kind of drug because I have never seen him do something to quite this extent. Andrew did not fire back with insults, but just tried to brush him off. I, on the other hand, was trying to defend Andrew. Perhaps I should have just minded my own business, but then Ryan started verbally attacking me, saying that I should have stayed out of the conversation even though he was yelling at the person right next to me. Both Andrew and I were totally taken aback over the whole incident and Ryan did not talk to either of us the rest of the night.

Later, I was in the room by myself and Ryan came in and said, “Hey, can you help me with a math problem?” I could tell right away that he was going to get mad again, but I just said, “Sure.” Ryan goes on to say, “If you took the number of friends you had and multiplied them by two, how many would you have? That’s right, ZERO.” All I said in return was, “Ok, Ryan, you got me.” I just tried to forget it, but I don’t know how to handle the next few days at work with him. Like most places, if there is poor team work, it will be hard to accomplish anything. What can I do (or should not do) in order to let this incident pass? There are some nights where only Ryan and I will get scheduled together.

This dude is an ass, and the burden is really on him to make this incident pass, not you. He’s the one who freaked out and then followed up with a laughably childish insult. I’d just write him off as immature, deal with him professionally to whatever extent you need to get your work done, and let him stew in his own immaturity. It’s not your problem to fix. (I might, however, give him an ever-changing variety of hard-hitting math problems and see how that goes.)

5. Company will try to manipulate my husband when he resigns

My husband recently received a job offer for his dream job. His current employer is … not great. He was one of three IT guys for a company of several thousand in Silicon Valley. The other two guys he worked with are really close friends (we’ll call them Jon and Dave) and have been close friends for years.

The most senior admin, Jon, received a job offer and gave his two weeks about a few weeks ago. Today my husband confided in Dave that he was leaving the company, and Dave told him what happened to Jon to warn him. Turns out after Jon turned in his two weeks, he got a counteroffer from the company…but it wasn’t a appropriate counteroffer. They told him if he stayed, they would give both Jon and Dave a raise to bring their pay up to fair market value, but if he left they would not give Dave the raise to fair market value nor any raise this year at all (not even the typical one with his yearly eval). So they used his close friendship to try and blackmail him into staying.

Knowing that they might pull a stunt like this on my tender hearted husband, is there any recourse we have? We’re in CA and I know they have very good labor laws for the employee, but I feel like something like this goes beyond labor laws.

Well, yes. Your husband can refuse to take a counter-offer. There’s no “blackmail” unless he’s swayed by their offer. But no, there aren’t labor laws that prevent companies from offering enticements to an employee to stay; your husband is expected to make his own decisions there. And so is Dave, who really should start looking to leave a company that plays games with his salary like this.

6. Resumes when you don’t have a college degree

What is your position on resumes when you do not have a college degree? I feel silly at 47 years old mentioning high school. But should I leave the education section off the resume completely if my resume shows that I’ve been with my last two companies for a long period of time (current job 16 years; previous 9; and so forth)? In my senior year of high school, I opted to participate in a program where you went to school until noon and then worked (as part of your educational experience). That particular company offered me a job immediately upon my graduation and I’ve been in the working world ever since. I did take some classes at a local community college, but felt overwhelmed at that time because I was working full-time at one job, and evenings and weekends at another, while trying to find time to study in between.

Definitely don’t mention high school; that has no place on a resume, ever. If you don’t have anything else to put in an education section (like classes or certifications), then simply leave the education section off and let your work experience speak for itself. The only sections you’re absolutely required to have on a resume are work experience and contact information; everything else is optional, and you add them only if they help you.

7. Am I even being considered for this internal position?

I work for a small aerospace manufacturing company. In May, a coworker left. Her main duties were delegated to others. An ad was placed online and interviews were held for outside candidates. After I found this out, I requested several times for an interview for this position and even had to ask if the manager wanted me to send my resume. I had my interview and it seemed very awkward. At the beginning of July, nobody had been hired yet. I inquired twice during that time period about the status of the position. Each time I was told that management couldn’t decide the “role” of the position and what specific duties the position would take on. On July 30, another ad was placed online for the same position as advertised previously.

I’m conflicted on what I should do. I am confident that I will excel if given this position. I would like to request where I stand and/or if I am even being considered for the position anymore. How do I go about this the right way? My feeling is that they should tell me that I’m not being considered for the position, but this company has a very bad habit of not communicating internally.

As much as I hate to admit it, I feel stuck in a rut. I was told when I took my current position that there were many opportunities for advancement within the company. I was passed up once for being “too good at what I do” and I feel like it’s happening again. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Based just on the limited information I have here, it doesn’t sound like the manager really wants to hire you. And yes, she should tell you that directly, but since she’s not, I’d assume that you aren’t getting the job and plan accordingly.

You can certainly ask for an update on your candidacy and the likely timeline for making a decision, and you can also ask your manager what you’d need to do to earn a promotion, but it sounds like you might be better served by putting your energy into job-searching outside the company.

{ 144 comments… read them below }

  1. KarenT

    #2
    There’s nothing wrong with a gummy smile! I would be completely and utterly shocked if a manager didn’t hire someone due to their smile.

    1. Lanya

      Maybe you had food or lipstick on your teeth? Or maybe he was looking at something just or behind you? Or maybe he was having some painful gas at that very moment? I don’t think you should worry about this one too much. And frankly, if the smile you were born with really bothered him that much, would you want to work for him anyway?

      1. Andie

        That happened to me once. I checked my teeth in my mirror before I went into an interview applied lipstick and somehow got lipstick on my teeth during the interview. When I got out of the interview I looked in the mirror again and had lipstick on mmy teeth! I was mortified the interviewer didnt act like anything was wrong and didnt tell me I had lipstick on my teeth. Never heard anything from her after that. I don’t know if it was that or something else but I thought the interview went well until I saw my teeth after it was over.

        1. Chinook

          It won’t help after the fact, but I have been taught a trick to make sure you don’t get lipstick on your teeth. Take your pointy finger, put it in your mouth, wrap your lips around it and pull the finer out (of course, you may want to do this in private). This takes the lipstick off that isn’t at the front of your mouth.

          1. Elizabeth West

            Ha! I learned that from watching Jane Fonda do it in a movie (can’t remember which one).

            1. Editor

              I wrap a tissue around the finger or use a folded tissue. It seems to work and as long as I don’t lick the tissue, it’s cleaner, and it really does prevent the problem.

    2. Not So NewReader

      I agree with Karen T. If this is true, the employer did not hire you because of your smile, you dodged a bullet. You WON!

      There is a lot written on the subject- but often times people put blame for lack of success on some incidental thing that they really cannot do much about. We could spent hours discussing this…
      However, punchline: I would practice smiling graciously and sincerely in front to the mirror – until you are satisfied that your gums do not show. Do it a couple times after you brush your teeth each day.
      Next- I would tell myself that this train of thought “I did not get the job because of my deficient smile…” does NOT help me. It a train of thought that goes NO where. It does not benefit you, it does not encourage you to think sharper or be on the ball at your next interview. Matter of fact, if you are thinking about gums, you are losing precious time that could be spent on figuring out how to be an outstanding job applicant. And you are draining down your own energy on something that is not productive.

      I am a gummy smiler, too. My beloved family member points this out to me OFTEN. (sigh) A good employer appreciates employees that smile- they don’t care if they can see your gums.
      Yeah, I practice in front of the mirror and I make more effort to close my mouth while smiling. But for the most part, people are just happy to see you smiling.

  2. jesicka309

    #7 I really feel for you in this situation.

    To me, it seems clear that the internal candidates that they would like to hire for the role are the ones they delegated the departing worker’s tasks – and that wasn’t you. I have a feeling you will come to see that the person they eventually hire has been ‘earmarked’ by management for a long time, and they’re just trying to sort things out in admin.

    I myself was passed over a role last Friday for a promotion…and the candidate they did hire had already been given secret training in the role 2 months earlier. I talked to a friend who also applied, and we both lamented how the interview questions seemed like they expected us to already know how to do the job, and were weirdly specific on processes we couldn’t possibly know without training…it really made us question the integrity of the whole process.

    OP, if you’re not feeling too bitter towards your company, perhaps talk to your supervisor about other roles that you’re interested in for the future. If you can get a bit of training in other roles, the next time someone leaves, you will be that employee that is ‘earmarked’ for the role.

    1. MM

      Hi Jesicka-OP here. Thanks for the comment. I have been cross-trained in several different areas, just not the one that the position is open for. A co-worker with a similar position sits next to me and we work closely together. I also ask her a lot of questions regarding the process and “How do you…?” type questions. I don’t think they have anyone picked out within the company for the position specifically. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have spoken to my manager about open positions and even gave him a heads up I was applying for the other position. He didn’t seem to thrilled about it.

  3. Gene

    #2 While it’s not likely it was your smile, decisions do get made on things like this.

    We’ll take me for an example; the first time I interviewed for my current job, I came in second. About 18 months later they added another position and I applied and got hired. Later my supervisor let it “slip” that the first time around I was his first choice. He was overruled by his manager based on three things; I didn’t have local experience (I was moving from another state, even though it’s a Federal program), he didn’t like my tie tack (3-D sterling frog), and I had “weird hair (it was the late 80s and I had a perm.)

    Yeah, I didn’t get hired partially because I wore the tie tack Mom gave me and I was a fashion victim (in hindsight it really wasn’t a good look.) Worse, the woman he wanted over me turned out to be a nightmare to manage and got fired from a civil service position in about three years. The stories I could tell…

      1. Gene

        Yep, and still here. Not the Plant Manager anymore, he got moved to a disaster managemnet role – sort of a lateral move.

  4. Jen in RO

    I’m in a country where it’s common for resumes to include photos, but I’d still be wary of an employer that requested it.

  5. Jessa

    Regarding the person that they asked for the photo – I could understand wanting one after they hire (they might put them on their website) but doesn’t asking for one upfront smack of the potential for discriminatory exclusion?

    1. Elise

      Yeah, it seems like it is opening them up for trouble to ask for a pic from the start. Companies who post pics on their website usually take them in-house so they have a consistent look, so I doubt it’s that.

      If they wanted someone attractive in the role, it would have been smarter to just screen for that when you are interviewing qualified candidates. Asking for a pic upfront implies that appearance is their main concern.

      I wouldn’t just worry about prejudice at this company. They also seem stupid. Stupidity + prejudice is a bad mix.

      1. Confused

        I’ve seen this in entertainment positions. People confuse Entourage with real life and try to cast insead of hire.

      2. long time lurker!

        Re: #1: for some reason this sort of thing seems to happen a fair bit in marketing/PR, and particularly in social media. I do a lot of work in social media and it’s unfortunately rare to see someone in an agency role, at least, who doesn’t at least nominally conform to beauty norms.

        It’s never made much sense to me; I think it’s hilarious how many people think social media is this super glamorous field, but most of your time is spent sitting on your butt in front of a computer watching the screen and typing. You need to be smart and perceptive a lot more than you need to be physically attractive in social media.

      3. Marmite

        It’s a very common request in nanny positions (both in UK and US), but they also tend to ask for written references up front so it’s generally just an odd hiring process. I’ve always assumed it’s because it’s ultimately an individual doing the hiring (even if an agency plays middle man) rather than an organization with HR.

    2. Mike C.

      They can take one during company time, which is what most companies do. This way the pictures display a consistent style and look.

  6. TheSnarkyB

    One caveat about the high school thing- know your audience and be sure that you’re customizing that part of your résumé accordingly. There are some circles and networks within which it would be odd to leave off your high school, and in which it might cause you to miss out on a good opportunity, job, internship, etc. In general, if this is the case you’d be likely to know it or to know if the hiring manager is also an alum. This situation isn’t common but it sometimes applies. (And if you’re in this situation- when in doubt, leave it off.)

    1. Liz in a library

      Wow…I had no idea there were fields that cared about high school. Which ones do this?

      I’ve never been bothered by applicants including high school info, but I always considered it completely irrelevant…except when I’ve hired student workers who are right out of high school.

        1. dejavu2

          In certain, snobbier circles, I could see it giving a candidate a boost to include high school info if they went to a very prestigious place like Exeter or Madeira. Alternatively, if they live in the sort of city (in my experience, typically southern) where jobs are doled out based on things like where you went to high school, who your daddy is, and which college football team you root for.

          1. TheSnarkyB

            Exactly – it’s things like this, schools like Exeter, etc.
            It’s not so much about the field as the geographical location (NYC is packed with schools like this and I know of others in Boston, Chicago, DC, LA), but in some fields it makes more of a difference. For instance, I went to a school like this in NYC and if I were applying to healthcare jobs and didn’t know of an alum connection, I might leave it off but if I were applying to a high level position in publishing, banking, or museum work, I’d leave it in because I know that my school’s alums roll deep in those fields and connections really help. I know that for other schools (esp. the boys’ schools), they would never dare apply to jobs in NYC and leave it off because everyone in finance knows the name and reputation.

            1. some1

              I went to a prestigious high school as well, and people either are impressed or think I’m a snob, and always ask if I know famous alumni. But I still live in the town where I went to high school, this probably isn’t a universal experience.

      1. Another Anonymous

        I attempted to apply once for a position as a training manager at a home health provider. Their application asked for high school name and location, high school “major”, GPA, etc. It was weirdly detailed the amount of information they wanted on an applicant’s high school experience. Their system would not allow me to bypass that section to get to the higher ed. I actually made up a couple of answers (my HS did not have a “major”????) just to get past it. Two hours later I gave up on completing the application. It was a nightmare of detail they requested and seemed to be targeted toward recent HS graduates who did not have much work history. So, some employers do inexplicably want that information.

        1. dejavu2

          I’ve been asked that high school stuff on applications before. I always just put in “n/a” or “college prep” for major.

          1. Liz

            I don’t do it any more since I’m out of state from my high school now. But my high school was well known for attracting students from around the city and creating a very close knit community. It and was on my resume until I was 25. First job I got out of college my coworkers son went to school there and that created an immediate bond when I was interviewing. It’s also a high school that has a lot of history around it so people often had a connection onniece/neighbor/etc. who went there. I’d say local interviews 50% of people brought it up. Everyone remembers the plaid skirts :)

          2. Lynn

            Yeah, I think that is a good rule in general for application forms if a question doesn’t apply. Just put in anything halfway sensible. Seriously, *nobody* at the company is going to be like “hmmm, she didn’t give us her major in high school, I wonder what that’s all about?” Nor are you under penalty of perjury, unless maybe you are applying to a federal government job requiring a clearance. (If you are, use the comment field for any situation where your life doesn’t fit neatly in the little boxes.)

            Probably their application software just requires a “major” field for any “school”, and nobody has bothered to set it up not to require one for high schools.

        2. Brton3

          I was asked for my high school major once too. So bizarre! It’s like they outsourced the creation of the application form to a different country.

    2. Elizabeth West

      Yeah, but the OP said she is 47; putting your high school on there at that age is way past anyone caring, unless they want to know the year and use it for ageism.

      I only ever put it on government apps, and then I left off the year.

    3. Anonymously Anonymous

      agreeing. This just sought of fell in my lap because ex hubby decided to relocate us here. Most people I work with –live here. work here, went to school here, sent their kids to school here…small community –big network on the inside.

  7. fposte

    #2–is this something you’ve been self-conscious about before this incident? I ask because it’s pretty tough to tell what part of your face somebody is looking at, but you went right to your smile, which seems an unusual place to assume out of the blue. I’m wondering if this isn’t a reflection of your self-consciousness more than anything else. (Oh, and Queen Victoria apparently was sensitive about her gummy smile, so you’re in good company if so.)

    1. Liz in a library

      I thought that, too. I think we all have a tendency to view ourselves far more critically than others do. Most likely, they didn’t even notice anything except that you were smiling.

  8. LK

    #3 background check

    What kind of position is it? I work in education & in my state it’s the responsibility of the applicant to get all the necessary background checks. Some employers want proof of them included with the application. Unfortunately, applicants/employees are on the hook for the cost (between $100 & $200). However, the state only uses 1 specific company to do the background checks and it’s very clearly stated on the state’s website so that you can be sure it’s not a scam. When I worked in the private sector I never heard of an employee having to complete a background check (& pay for it!) on their own.

      1. Anna K

        I agree that this seems like a scam to me. When I was apartment hunting in the DC area, several apartment listings asked for background checks upfront, and recommended a company to do it, and it was always a scam by that company just to generate revenue.

    1. JNYC

      A few years ago I volunteered to tutor young people at a high school in NYC, and we had to have our fingerprints taken, and a background check was done. This is required by state law, and I don’t know who paid for it. Because it was a volunteer program, the circumstances might be different than a paid job in education. Also, the program was coordinated jointly by the school and my employer, so my employer may have paid for the background check.

      Now I occasionally tutor through a web-based agency, and they give you the option of requesting a background check on yourself, and I think it costs around $8. You can also opt to allow a potential client to request one, but then that person pays (still $8).

      1. Judy

        We have to have a background check to enter the school during school hours except for programs. So if we want to help the students or teacher or go on a field trip, we have to be approved. Apparently, it’s a different list than for teachers or subs, because one year there was a clarification that teachers from other buildings need to at least fill out the form to be put on this school’s list.

        Similarly, you can’t be a girl scout or cub scout leader without one. Or teach a kids Sunday School class at church.

        So I’ve had background checks to volunteer for the school, for girl scouts, for cub scouts, and for church.

      2. Chinook

        In Canada, it is quite common to ask for a criminal background check if you are working with vulnerable people (i.e. children, elderly, mentally handicapped) and the person being checked has to go to the local police station where they live to have it done. If it is for a job, you pay a fee but, if it is for volunteer purposes, teh fee is often waived. And, if you want it sent directly to a third party, you have to fill out a form to waive your privacy rights.

        If you happen to be of the same gender and birthdate of a flagged individual, you then will be asked to be fingerprinted to establish your identity. This doesn’t cost extra and the fingerprints are destroyed after 90 days, but it can take time if you are unlucky enough to have a local detachment that doesn’t do fingerprints electronically because they have to be sent off to be processed.

        As for anything non-criminal, those sort of background checks are the responsibility of the potential employer but you have to give them written permission to contact the various agencies. As it turns out, our privacy laws are quite strict.

        1. Elizabeth West

          This needs to be a thing here in the U.S. It really does. I’d be more worried about the person in my relative’s nursing home than a bunch of stupid terrorists.

          1. Chinook

            I am honestly surprised that the US doesn’t have a national database for running criminal background checks (which, granted, only catches the people who have already been caught) that can be accessed by law enforcement. From TV (which I admit is a bad place to learn anything about a culture), I got the impression that there was something that can be used to check if you have a record. Maybe it can’t be used for non-law enforcement reasons? Maybe the civil rights people don’t like the idea of “big brother” having all the information in one place (which is why there are strict laws around who can access this information here – DH can’t look up his neighbours info, for example, unless he is actively investigating them and, even then, for optics, he should have a colleague do it instead).

            It does make one feel more confident in caregivers. The one thign that shocks me, though, is that RN’s aren’t required to have this check done unless they specifically work with vulnerable people. So, your regular RN in the doctor’s office actually could be a convicted criminal, not tell her employer or the registration body and they would have no way of checking that.

            1. bob

              They do and have for a long time. It’s called NCIC and most states have one also but that’s what the PD officer is checking when you get pulled over.

              When you turn in fingerprint cards those get run through a program called AFIS that will flag you also if you’ve ever been fingerprinted.

              I’m surprised that RN’s don’t have to get a background search done in your state. I had to get a background check done just to get into an EMT class at the local college.

            2. Anonymously Anonymous

              I’m not sure if this is entirely accurate. I know some profession are required to have this done before they are certified in a field (so people usually get this done while they are in graduate school) So while their potential employer may not require it, they have already been cleared beforehand once they register with whatever certifying board.

              1. Anonymously Anonymous

                nevermind. I thought you were referencing the US. Most agencies do require background checks and fingerprints on any individual working with vulnerable people (directly or indirectly). Whether you’re a custodian, food service worker, bus driver to clinician…

            3. Anonymous

              The US does not have a comprehensive federal database. Each state maintains their own databases, and they vary dramatically from state to state. A typical “background check” for someone in the US might only check the database of the current state you live in – sometimes it doesn’t do even that. Then again, high-end background checks might check every state you’ve lived in for the last 10+ years.

              Part of why we don’t have a database – it would be so vast as to be effectively useless. The US imprisons a vast number of people for varying crimes. At any given moment in time, about 0.5% of our population is actively in prison and about 3% are under active parole.

              Other part of why we don’t have a database – it doesn’t matter whether people are former criminals. It’s not supposed to matter, anyway. They did their time, and after their punishment is up, they are supposed to rejoin society. Does it really matter if your RN dealt drugs two years ago? If your RN stole a car 10 years ago? If your RN killed someone 15 years ago? How does that have any bearing over how she treats your elderly mother in the nursing home?

              If what you really, really want is to keep people incarcerated forever, then you’ll have to adjust the laws of the country and you’ll have to be willing to pay a lot more in taxes to support that prison population. If you want to let them rejoin society after a finite imprisonment, then you have to actually make good on that and let it go after they get out of prison.

              1. Lily

                “Does it really matter if your RN dealt drugs two years ago? If your RN stole a car 10 years ago? If your RN killed someone 15 years ago? How does that have any bearing over how she treats your elderly mother in the nursing home?”

                Yes, yes, and yes!

                Yes, it would matter very much to me if an RN treating my elderly mother in her nursing home dealt drugs two years ago and especially if they ever killed anyone! Of course, it would matter!

                1. KellyK

                  Yes, I agree. Of course it would matter. I have *no* problem with saying that anyone who has violently assaulted another human being, let alone murdered them, should never EVER be entrusted with the care and safety of vulnerable people, like children, elders, or disabled people.

                  And someone with a history of drug-dealing is probably the last person I’d give access to prescription meds. (An RN has less access than a doctor or a pharmacist, but the potential for abuse/theft is certainly there.)

                  If the RN shoplifted and smoked some pot as a teenager, no, that doesn’t matter. If the RN stole a car, I’d say it might matter. If it was years and years ago and they’ve definitely matured, maybe not. But no matter how long ago something happened, it does still tell you something about that person’s character.

                  I totally agree that if we’re not going to lock people up for life, there needs to be a path for them to rejoin society. Any background check for any position should focus on what’s actually relevant to that position. *But* that doesn’t mean organizations should be expected to ignore relevant information in order to give someone a second chance.

                2. Chinook

                  “Does it really matter if your RN dealt drugs two years ago? If your RN stole a car 10 years ago? If your RN killed someone 15 years ago? How does that have any bearing over how she treats your elderly mother in the nursing home?”

                  While I agree that not all criminal convictions mean the same thing, the two that you mentioned woudl be highly significant for an RN (especially since they have a professional code of conduct). RNs are foten the oens administering prescription drugs and there is now ay to confirm that what they were given from the pharmacy/drug lock up actually made it to the patient. Not only is this theft of a controlled substance but it will also directly harm the patient. If someone sold drugs in the past (which is very different from being addicted) then there should have to prove they won’t do that in the futre.

                  As for killing someone (whether accidentally or on purpose), RNs are often repsonsible for the day-to-day care of patients with doctors carrying a much larger patient load and not having the opportunity to monitor a nurse’s actions. RNs have a position of trust and, if they wanted to kill someone (angel of mercy/death) or were incompetent enough to kill someone (whether or at work or from poor choices in their personal life), then that trust has been violated.

                  Now, I am coming from the perspective of having worked at the Canadian Nurses Association, so maybe it is different in the US (but my boss worked with her American counterparts and from what I saw, I highly doubt it). RNs often try to say that they are smarter than doctors (ignoring that they have two different bodies of knowledge and patient workloads), so to me it would imply that they hold themselves, as a profession, to the same high standards of doctors. This is not the 1800s where a nurse’s job was limited to wiping bums and making beds. They do affect the survival rate of those they work with.

              2. Jamie

                Just because some crimes don’t warrant a life sentence doesn’t mean consequences cease once you’ve served your time.

                Criminal activity will change how people look at you and how much they feel they can trust you. Saying that people with a history of violence or abuse shouldn’t work in positions where they have control over vulnerable people (children, elderly, disabled, etc.) is perfectly reasonable. The stakes are just too high and the innocent party’s right to protection supersedes an ex-convicts right to work where they please.

                That doesn’t mean they can’t work anywhere or shouldn’t be able to support themselves, but not in areas where they have proven to be a danger.

                Like with anything else, trust can be earned…but it takes time and with some things you can’t wipe the slate clean. You can respect someone’s efforts and achievement in changing their life, but that doesn’t mean you ever have to give them the same level of trust as before the betrayal.

                Taking it out of the workplace, if a man had a criminal history of beating his girlfriends I would think it was great if he got help and never did it again. Doesn’t mean I’d ever want him dating my daughter.

                Some actions have lifelong social consequences.

        2. Natalie

          Criminal background checks are fairly common in the US for a variety of jobs, not just people working with vulnerable populations. What’s unknown is an employer having the prospective employee run the check themselves and bring the paperwork to the interview.

          I’ve had a couple of volunteer positions that asked me to pay for the background check, but that happened after I had discussed the position in person with someone and they did have some sort of waiver program if I truly couldn’t afford it.

          1. fposte

            And any reasonably careful organization is going to need to get the info straight from the actual background check agency–a place that claims it would be fine if you just brought them paper is either a scam, shady enough that it might as well be, or flaky enough that it might as well be.

            1. Anonymous

              When I got mine done. I paid but everything was sent directly to the employer. No hand delivery same as my college transcripts..

    2. Ed

      I used to work in K-12 education and applicants were responsible to pay for a background check as well. I don’t recall the cost but it was pretty cheap. I think the state check was $10, there was also a child abuse check and later they added an FBI check. Either way, you weren’t expected to get any of them until you were offered a job.

    3. Kat M

      My experience with very small employers with limited budgets has been that (after accepting a job offer) I’ll pay for my own background check, for which I will be reimbursed if I pass my 90 day probationary period. This keeps costs down for me, but also ensures that the organization isn’t throwing money away on folks who are just going to wash out right away. I’ve always thought this was a fair arrangement.

    4. Anonymously Anonymous

      same here! I had to pay for my fingerprinting and background check myself for my school district. It’s pretty common in certain fields. Some places pay—the schools generally don’t pay for them though.

  9. straws

    For #1 – Is it possible they want confirmation that the candidates can present themselves well prior to an interview? I don’t think this qualifies as a good reason to ask, by any stretch, but I could see a good idea become twisted into something like this. I know that in the course of hiring, I’ve come across more than a few candidates that presented well via email but had no clue when it came to dressing & behaving appropriately at the interview. Asking for a photo with a resume would never have crossed my mind, but wishing I’d had a way to know in advance certainly has.

    1. Stevie

      See, I was thinking it was to allow the company to search the candidate’s personal social media. Depending on her name, there could be 100 people with a google search and a photo would let them know that this Jane Smith is the one they want. I would think that if you are applying to be a social media manager, it makes perfect sense for a company to want to see what you’ve already done.
      Err…unless you have experience with social media at other companies. I guess it would depend on how much experience is necessary.

      1. BCW

        Social media searching does make a lot of sense, based on the job. Going along with that, I’m seeing more and more places that are asking you to attach your LinkedIn profile, or even to apply with that. Most people I know have pictures on their LinkedIn anyway, so any of these jobs you they would see your picture anyway. I don’t necessarily think its always done for discriminatory reasons.

        1. Felicia

          I’ve applied for a lot of positions like that and they do often ask for links to your social media profiles (particularly your twitter account which it’s assumed you have,, or any professional pages you manage on Facebook) . Which may or may not have a picture but makes total sense. But it makes absolutely no sense to ask for a picture when they can just ask your profile. You might have privacy settings that don’t allow your personal profile to be googled, which shows a level of social media knowledge, and if you have experience you’d have professional profiles to send them anyways . But if they really want to see your profile it’d make way more sense that that’s what they ask you for.

      2. Liz in the City

        This would make sense, EXCEPT most social media platforms give you a unique URL (Facebook), user ID (Pinterest, Instagram, etc.), or handle (Twitter), so a picture is unnecessary. The applicant can provide those account names upon request. I think the company is trying to hire a Millennial or younger and thinks this is the nondiscriminatory way to do so. Why they don’t just do simple math from the person’s college graduation or HS (some who have little work experience sometimes include it), I don’t know.

        1. Cat

          It’s certainly a bad idea to ask for a picture, but not everyone has a personalized URL on Facebook and, moreover, you might not want to alert someone that they should sanitize their Facebook profile.

          1. Felicia

            I’d think if someone would want to work in social media than they’d have those things. (doesn’t everyone have a personalized URL on Facebook? I don’t know how you’d not have one if you have Facebook). But i you want to work in social media you know to have a professional presence on social media already, so they could easily ask for that. Not everyones going to have a Twitter account, but everyone who’s a serious candidate for a social media position will so no need for a picture.

            1. Cat

              Sure, if they’re only asking applicants for their social media position this, and it’s not a blanket request. It’s thoughtless enough that I’d assume it to be the latter, but who knows.

              1. Worker Bee

                OP here for #1. Thank you very much, Alison, for publishing my question and sharing your expertise. And thank you, commenters, for your insight regarding #1. This is helping me prepare for a interview for this position later this week.
                I wanted to take a moment to address the comments above.
                @Stevie: While I’ve never worked as a “social media manager” or a job with core responsibilities in being a content creator and manager of social media platforms, I have experience and skills that could transfer to the position.
                @Felicia: All of my personal social media accounts are set on private mode.
                @Liz: I agree with your assessment of the company seeking a millennial. I am within that age range.
                @Cat: The company requested a photo in its application instructions.

                1. Liz in the City

                  Good luck, OP, and be aware that sometimes, even if you’re doing social media for a company/brand, your personal accounts may come into play during the interview process and after you’re hired. I do SM where I work and every employee’s personal Twitter feed appears on our company’s home page (clearly YMMV based on the company).

                2. Worker Bee

                  @Liz. Thanks! I exercise discretion when I post online. I err on the side of undersharing rather than oversharing. Whenever I’m about to post something online, I think, “is this something I wouldn’t mind my supervisor or future employers seeing?”

          2. Anon

            Everyone has an individual URL for Facebook. Some people chose to personalize them, some didn’t and just had one assigned randomly.

  10. PEBCAK

    #6 sounds like the OP is hearing all this third-hand through Dave. I wonder if something was lost in translation.

  11. Anonicorn

    #4 – are you sure this happened at work and not junior high school? Because Ryan seems like he belongs there.

    1. Megan

      Agreed. My knee-jerk response (meaning not at all professional and just as inappropriate) to the “ZERO.” insult would be to call him an assface and/or make a rude comment about his mother.

      In all seriousness, his behavior is beyond absurd.

      1. Andie

        +1! Ryan would have been “cut” deep if he said that to me. Some people need to watch their tongues because they never know when they are going to come up against someone with a quick wit or even quicker comebacks!

        It is crazy to think about what goes on in the workplace!

        1. mel

          I would have wondered aloud why he needed help with such an easy math problem. I mean, this is elementary school level math here.

        2. fposte

          I was actually really impressed with the OP’s unwillingness to get sucked into Ryan’s junior-high schtick and engage in a comeback battle, though; her response may not have been as narratively satisfying, but it was excellent. (I could hear the eyeroll from here :-).)

          1. Not So NewReader

            I was impressed, too, OP. You were totally neutral- you did not throw any fuel on the fire. Good for you.
            Whatever he does in the future just redirect the conversation to the work at hand. “Oh we have to take care of x,y and z before we go home. I will start x right now.” And just leave him standing there to figure out he is talking to no one- you have left him alone.

  12. Lily

    I agree! I also agree that the burden should lie with Ryan, but through the joke, he has already shown that he is not able to deal with it. He may be immature enough to let his performance suffer, as OP suspects. I would want to assure him that I understand how people can freak out occasionally and I would like to forget the incident. This is what I would say the first time, but not what I would say if it happened again!

    1. Allison (not AAM)

      Also, if it continues, he is harassing and creating a hostile work environment. If management is not already aware, they should be notified if the behavior doesn’t stop.

      1. RubyJackson

        Maybe under the initial context that perhaps he’s suffering a psychotic episode, or is being affected by medications?

      2. fposte

        Not in the employment law senses of those terms, though. He’s not bothering people for any reason forbidden by law, which is what makes a hostile work environment.

      3. Ask a Manager Post author

        Just to be clear, a hostile work environment in the legal sense needs to involve hostile conduct based on race, religion, sex, or other protected class. Just being hostile without that element isn’t an illegal work environment.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            It’s actually a good thing, if you really think about it. You don’t want the courts tied up with lawsuits from people who don’t like their manager or feel they weren’t treated nicely enough. After all, there are plenty of great, fair, tough managers who some lower performers don’t like because they’re being held to high standards, and it’s easy to imagine that turning into a legal mess if the law allowed you to sue because you felt your manager wasn’t nice to you.

    1. Liz in a library

      Maybe they planned for it to get back to him and create peer pressure to take the counteroffer? What crummy business practices…

    2. Andie

      I’m surprised that people who write to AAM are still using that term considering the countless times she has said there is no such thing as a dream job.

      Have to admit I am still looking for mine! LOL!

  13. nyxalinth

    #1 I had this happen. I sent them my resume with my cover letter letter (I applied anyway, without a photo, because it wasn’t even a public-facing position, much less in social media or entertainment) and the email I got back insisted on a photo.

    So as polite and friendly as I could, I said something to the effect of “I don’t know if you were that here in the US, unless it’s in the entertainment industry, it’s pretty unusual to ask for a photo up front.” and they replied with “Well, we just want to be able to put a face to the name. Also, we don’t think we’re asking for anything so unusual, especially in this economy.”

    That last line pretty much told me all that I needed to know. I thanked them politely and told them that I would be looking elsewhere. You can put a face with a name once they arrive for the interview. I think they were using the economy as a excuse to screen out anyone not their idea of young, hot, and trendy, but that’s just me.

    1. LisaLyn

      Ugh! I am as positive as I can be that you dodged the mother of all bullets on that one! “In this economy”. Right. We can treat people like crap because jobs are hard to come by — and we’re going to!

  14. Yup

    Alison — re #1, I wonder if there might be a precedent for resume photos in real estate too (in addition to international standards). I’m in the US and recently I’ve received several resumes from people currently in real estate but applying for sales-type positions in my field. They’ve all included photos, small ones like what agents include on a business card.

    I’ve never worked in real estate myself, so I don’t know if this is a thing or if I just happened to receive the resumes that were outliers.

    1. Anonymous

      I could see real estate doing this. There really is a lot of personal branding in that industry and the headshot is kind of the logo. Think how many real estate ads include the pic of the realtor.

      I wouldn’t look at them sending pics as a picture of what they look like, but more of a message like: “if you don’t recognize my name, maybe you have seen my face around town.”

      1. JNYC

        Because it was a volunteer program, the circumstances might be different than a paid job in education.

        I wonder if that’s how this got started. My partner is a real estate broker, and when she worked for someone else, they had cards with their photos on them. But when she went out on her own, she didn’t want her photo on her card, so it’s a regular business card.

        1. JNYC

          Wrong quote! This is what I meant to reference:

          …message like: “if you don’t recognize my name, maybe you have seen my face around town.”

      2. Chinook

        “There really is a lot of personal branding in that industry and the headshot is kind of the logo.”

        This can backfire though. We should have taken it as a hug, red flag when the real estate agent we used in a city we were house hunting in looked nothing like her photo because it was 30 years old (not the woman but the photo)!

    2. Ruffingit

      I could see the photo thing in a job for a gym or fitness center as well. They want to be sure you’re in shape and projecting the image they want to project for their club. I’m on the fence about how I feel about that, but I lean toward understanding it more in certain professions than in others.

      1. T (formerly in Construction)

        I worked in a couple of gyms/athletic facilities all throughout school, and none of my coworkers ever had to submit a photo. We did have a really strict dress code, though. I could see at fancier gyms requiring a certain “fit” image, but I’m not sure if any gyms require photos when hiring.

    3. Mike C.

      Just about anything can be marked up as needing “a personal brand”, and that still doesn’t excuse a company looking to deny employment by race, older age or lack of sexual attractiveness.

  15. StillSnarky...

    I read this earlier (before coffee) and again and I think my initial response might work. If a photo is requested, send “A” photo. It doesn’t have to be yours, does it? I mean who’s going to know until/unless there’s a F2F interview?

      1. StillSnarky...

        I could be your sequel :) I was actually thinking that since my first thought was to send any picture and then after I was caffeinated and still liked my first thought – snarky as it is. I figured I was Still Snarky, hence the name. I don’t post very often so don’t have a regular name.

        How about including a picture of the CEO or other exec from the company’s web site?

    1. Anonicorn

      Or it could be of you but be one of those artsy black-and-white silhouettes, so they still can’t see your face/distinguishing characteristics.

  16. Anonymous

    Regarding #7, you really need to think both about your employer and how you’re positioning yourself for promotion. The “too good at what you do comment” set off a bit of a warning bell for me.

    There are a couple possibilities. First, have you made yourself easily replaceable at work? If you haven’t, you should. It may sound counter-intuitive, but companies really do avoid promoting people whose absence from their current position would cause too much disruption. You may need to take steps to show that you are replaceable (everyone is). If you’re an individual contributor, this probably means preparing a good desk manual, cross-training others to pick up your work (I presume you do get vacation), and other steps to make sure your work can be taken care of when you’re not available to do it.

    Your company could have genuinely decided that you’re too valuable where you are to ever let you move. This is a bad strategy on their part – most people want to progress in their careers and this requires anyone with talent to progress right out the door – but some companies are short sighted enough to employ it. If this is the case, you need to look outside the company for real opportunities.

    Another possibility is that the decision makers don’t think you have what it takes to move to another position but are afraid to tell you. This backhanded praise for your current performance may be a “nice” (read weak, poor management) way to avoid hurting your feelings by discussing your shortcomings for other positions. For example (nothing personally directed at you), there are individuals with outstanding technical skills who lack the softer skills (communication, working with others, etc.) needed for management roles. Leadership presence is another area where people don’t necessarily see the gaps in their own abilities that prevent them from rising in an organization.

    I don’t have any way to assess whether or not your current management perceives you to lack some quality needed for this other position, but the approaches Alison mentioned have a decent chance of getting you that information – if they are willing to give it. This is one more reminder of the importance of strong management, including the willingness to have difficult conversations. If you can’t get a clear answer from your management on your future potential with this employer, you may, again, need to look elsewhere – however do make sure you’re making your best effort to get an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses from any source you can (mentors, co-workers you trust, etc. if your manager isn’t stepping up).

    Finally, don’t dismiss or justify anything you hear. The human tendency is to protect the ego, and you need to get past that to really address any issues you may have. For example, most people hearing feedback that they are “too direct and this can have a negative impact on professional relationships” will immediately tell themselves that “honesty is a good thing and there’s no point in worrying about anyone who can’t take it” whether they say this out loud or not. It’s very rare to get someone who hears this kind of feedback and makes an honest effort to adjust their style – but the ones who do get promoted.

    I realize that was a rather long comment that may not have anything to do with your situation (which may just be bad management), but I did want to raise the potential issue just in case.

    1. MM

      Hi Anon, OP here. Thanks for the insight. I am the only person that does my job and while others can “get by” when I’m gone, there are a lot of specifics that only I know because I basically reinvented the entire system when I started. I’ll look into cross-training others.

      I have asked several co-workers about my skills and abilities, strengths and weaknesses and most seem positive. My reviews have always been positive, that I do my job and I get things done and my boss doesn’t receive complaints about me. I have always told my co-workers that if they find a mistake I made to let me know so I don’t keep making the same mistake.

  17. Chandra

    After reading number 2, I had to google “gummy smile”. I had no idea that was even a thing or that people would object to it.

    What I object to dentally? When actors are in a period movie and yet still have super-bright, even, perfect, shiny teeth. It takes me right out of a movie set in 1450 or 1850, to see perfect chompers, especially when they are otherwise garbed in an appropriate period costume.

    1. VintageLydia

      I was watching the special features of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice and that’s apparently the reason Donald Sutherland was awkwardly covering his mouth in one of the final scenes. They didn’t realize until too late that his teeth were BRIGHT white.

      /end tangent

      1. Elizabeth West

        All they had to do was have him swish a little yellow food coloring around in his mouth before they shot. That’s an old monster movie makeup trick. Voila–instant crappy teeth.

        I wonder if that’s what Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight; his teeth were ATROCIOUS, as befitted his skanky, probably smelly Joker. :)

      1. JessB

        Great teeth, yes, but there was a moment during a post-coital scene when a female character reclined and showed her (gasp) hairy armpits! It was pretty cool.

    2. Elizabeth West

      I hate that too; also, when they have a hairstyle that is inappropriate, such as a young adult female wearing her hair loose and a shoulder-baring dress during the day in Victorian England. Um, not unless she were an actress or a courtesan. Or when the hairstyle is obviously modern (like in some of the old Hammer Edgar Allen Poe horror flicks).

      1. Kerr

        This is an easy way to figure out which decade the movie was filmed in: look at the lead actress’s hair and makeup! The clothing may be perfectly accurate, especially on the extras; even the hair, depending on the production. But almost *always*, the makeup will fit the current aesthetic.

  18. Jane Doe

    #1 – I’d be wary of a job where they requested a head shot because it would make me think they are more concerned with appearances rather than experience, professionalism, and skills. It would also make me concerned about their attitude toward things like sexual harassment.

  19. Doy

    #4 “I almost thought Ryan was on some kind of drug because I have never seen him do something to quite this extent. ”

    This could be the sign of a physical or mental illness. You need to bring this up with your manager- “Ryan was so completely out of character that I’m concerned…”

    Escalating verbal violence, from whatever cause, is a safety issue and needs to be addressed.

    1. TheSnarkyB

      Or he could have been on some kind of drug.

      Either way- run it up the chain or the flagpole or whatever the phrase is.

  20. Ruffingit

    #4: I tend to think Ryan may have some kind of mental illness or is suffering from the side effects of medications/illicit drugs. That assumes he hasn’t acted this way before, which it sounds like he hasn’t or the OP would have mentioned it.

    Many years ago, I had a co-worker completely flip out on me in much the same way. He got in my face and was nearly physical with me (that is, I feared he was going to punch me). I am female and he was much bigger and larger than me so that made it even scarier, not that it makes it right to do this to men or women.

    This guy had some kind of major psychiatric issue, that much was clear. We had a conversation the day before this happened with another co-worker (so there were was me, him, and another person in the room). Somehow, he managed to turn things I said in that conversation into something completely out there. He accused me of insulting him, saying nasty things about him, etc. None of that was true and the third person who was there could verify that.

    It was crazy, really crazy. Thankfully, I only had two weeks left at that job as I had given notice and was leaving to go to grad school. Still, it made me realize that some people in this world are just unbalanced and there’s nothing you can do in that instance.

  21. happycat

    @ #7
    This sucks on many levels. I am in the same spot in my job. Some of the pitfalls of staying, IMHO:
    1. not being paid what you could be earning if you ‘moved’
    2. feeling unfilled and not valued.
    3. getting fixated on moving out of your current role and losing sight of your goals.
    4. lowered self esteem.

    Of coure, there are benefits of staying, if they really do value you in your current role. Just take a few moments to gather yourself and not try to fight this to win, as you cannot ‘make’ them move you, nor should you have to. I decided to stay, the benefits of working for this company are awesome. If you do decide to stay in your role, try to keep ‘bettering’ the role, yourself, and don’t relax too much, as that is easy to do. Apart from that, the only real option is to look outside your company, sadly.
    I do hope this works out for you, and that this is a small glitch, and that you are given the same opportunities as your co-workers. Like a few others, I would not be surprised if they already had a person ‘marked’ for the role and are just adverting to appear to be doing the right thing. Nearly all of our internal roles are ‘marked’ ahead of time to some degree. It is just the way it seems to work.

  22. Mike C.

    OP #5: Since your husband is leaving, you make sure that he lets everyone know what the company’s policy is regarding people who leave and the consequences if they stay. Make sure *everyone* knows that the management tries to play emotional blackmail games.

    One other thing: if management wanted to pay “market prices” for their labor, it could have been done yesterday. It’s an incredibly messed up thing to do, and I hope everyone involved with this bargain takes a long walk off of a short pier.

  23. Darling Clementine

    Regarding #7: I work for an institution of higher learning. Believe it or not, they make you put down your high school GPA on their online application system.
    Sigh.

    1. Elizabeth West

      I have no freaking clue what my high school GPA is. I’m sure it’s not good; I had an undiagnosed learning disability and flunked math every single year.

      I’d rather they take my most recent college GPA instead. I made the Dean’s list twice and graduated cum laude. So there!

    2. dejavu2

      Not only do I have no idea what my high school GPA was, but I graduated so long ago that I have to wonder whether there’s any easily accessible record of it anywhere. Beyond that, high school GPAs can vary so wildly across the board, what is even the point of asking?

      1. Ruffingit

        Same here. Once you’ve graduated college, it shouldn’t matter how you did in high school and anyone who asks about it just looks stupid in my opinion.

  24. NutellaNutterson

    #4, I assume there’s a manager somewhere? HR? Because that is so far outside the bounds of okay that, like the others above me, I’m worried for this guy’s physical and mental health, as well as your safety.

    1. LCL

      #4, I would mention this to your manager. Not really asking for a solution, just to let him know what Ryan did. Because Ryan is showing signs of being unstable. The next thing that could happen is, if Ryan gets mad when you two are working together, he will walk out and leave you to handle all the work.

      I would want to know if someone in my work group is being this immature.

  25. AJ

    I hate gummy smiles. It’s superficial of me and I know it. Most people have one or more such irrational dislikes.

    That being said, I’ve done lots of hiring in my life and it would never occur to me to make gumminess a disqualifier. Please believe that most managers dont care about such details, and any manager who does is a jerk and isn’t worth working for.

  26. Elizabeth West

    #2–smile

    Maybe this is just the way the director laughs. I know some people who look like they’re in pain when they laugh, or they wrinkle their noses in a weird way. And I look at people’s mouths a lot when I talk to them (don’t know why).

    #4–freaking coworker

    Wow, what the hell? I’m not sure what to say here, except try not to rise to Ryan’s bait.

    If he keeps doing this, or if you feel unsafe around him, you could do Alison’s trick of alerting your manager by asking what to do and say, “Ryan seems a bit on edge lately; he’s been raising his voice to me and to Andrew, et. al. I’m concerned; how do you want me to handle this if it should happen again?” Of course, if you feel unsafe, say so.

    #6–no college on resume

    I wouldn’t not hire someone because they don’t have a college degree; many admins, for example, are perfectly able to do their jobs without one (except for accounting or things like that). But at Oldjob, they passed on a perfectly good applicant because she didn’t have a high school diploma. I’m not even sure how they found out about it. I think that is required in most places.

  27. Kerr

    #2: A gummy smile doesn’t look bad! It’s theoretically possible that the director didn’t like it, just like someone could dislike a non-gummy smile, but it’s much more likely that they were unwittingly making a weird expression when they laughed. (Or tried to stifle a laugh. My face does very weird things when that happens.)

  28. snuck

    Re #5…. so two out of three have left, leaving Dave to hold the fort down…. he’ll get a pay rise on his own merits & the company’s desperation or he won’t. And if he doesn’t get a pay rise that’s not your problem, it’s Dave’s… who will then go job hunting. Leaving the company with an entirely new IT dept in less than six months – a recipe for disaster.

    Tell you hubby not to sweat it – Dave can negotiate pretty brutally after he goes, and if that doesn’t work then your hubby should support Dave in his job hunt to go somewhere fair and where he’ll be appreciated – that’s what mates do.

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