my coworker is married to a con man, warning an employer about bad credit, and more

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

1. Should I warn this employer about my bad credit?

Today I got a conditional job offer. The offer was made in person, and that point I was told that the background check I need to pass includes a credit report. This wasn’t a huge surprise, given that the position is with an insurance agency, but it was the first time that had been explicitly stated. I didn’t want to bring my credit problems up early in the process and torpedo myself before I had the chance to impress them. The other wrinkle is that it’s not the agent running the credit check but the insurer for which he sells exclusively. This agency does their own hiring, but the mama company gets to sign off on all the new producers.

Should I let the agent know ahead of time? The criminal part of the background check will be fine. And I don’t have a bankuptcy, but I do have a considerable amount of accurate, negative and current information on my report. I can honestly point to an external cause (loss of income), as well as some poor youthful decisions on my part. I can also share a number of steps we’ve made in the right financial direction if given the opportunity to do so. Some mistakes do take a long time to fix. I’m just wondering whether I should be preemptive or wait for the phone call.

Yes, I’d tell them preemptively, because otherwise you might not get a chance to explain at all. I’d say something like, “Since I know you’re checking credit as part of your background check, I want to let you know that mine isn’t perfect right now, due to some bad decisions when I was much younger and, more recently, loss of income. I’ve been actively working on cleaning it up and am committed to keeping it strong once I do, but I didn’t want you to be surprised by it.”

2. Why is my supervisor hesitating to let me manage staff until I can attend a training?

I am a young professional in the library field who started my first full-time position in April. My probationary period will be ending in early October, and I had a mini-meeting with my supervisor this morning to see where I am with accomplishing the goals I had set for myself. All appears to be in order, and I have been working hard my first few months to feel out the office culture, policies and procdures of the system, etc.

However, when I mentioned that I feel confident to begin my supervisory duties for two career staff members in October, my manager told me that we will “revisit that after the probationary period is completed.” I know she would like me complete a supervisory training course that is required for all supervisory staff (but not scheduled for the near future), and she is known for being conscientious about not piling everything on at once. I do not believe it is a prequisite to me taking on the supervisory duties outlined in my job description. As there are no performance issues I have been made aware of, she seems pleased with my progress, and I work hard to be seen as professional as possible (which is hard, since I am the youngest person here by far), is she just being cautious? I gave her ample opportunity to tell me if there are any concerns she might have, and she did not have any. She is generally good at communicating, so I am wondering if she is just waiting to get word about the additional training and for me to be out of the probationary period.

I have not managed in a formal capacity, so that may be part of her hesitation. I am currently supervising non-career staff (part-time hourly workers); judging by how the organization is (tons of in-house training), I feel that a large part of her reaction is the fact I’ve not had my scheduled training yet. Just wanted to know if I’m reading the situation right.

Managing people is a completely different skill than doing the work yourself, and even with extensive training, most managers take at least several years to get competent at it. (And some never do.) So your manager is absolutely doing the right thing by waiting until you can take a training course. After all, would you yourself want a brand-new manager who hadn’t even had any training? You would not. (Frankly, most people wouldn’t want a brand-new one with training, either, but there’s no way around that and training can at least help a bit.)

I do know that you’re currently managing part-time hourly non-career stuff, but my hunch is that they see that as much more low-risk than setting you loose on managing other staff.

3. How should I stay in touch with my new team during the 2-1/2 months before I start?

I have been offered a position which requires a somewhat lengthy clearance/on boarding process: around 2.5 months before I am cleared and actually start. (Many thanks to you and your blog — the advice on here has been priceless!).

I am kind of confused as to how to maintain contact with my team in the meanwhile. We had a great rapport during the interview process, and it feels kind of strange to cut off communication for 2.5 months and then jump on the scene. It also feels strange to just send emails saying “hi.” Should I ask what types of activities I can engage in while I wait to officially start? Or could I end up in trapping myself and working for no pay?

Yeah, you’d be inviting a situation where you could end up working without pay. You can certainly ask if there’s anything you can read in the meantime to prepare yourself, but I wouldn’t ask for more than that. As for how to stay in touch, two and a half months actually isn’t that long, so I don’t think you need to go way out of your way to stay in touch. You might send the email inquiring about reading material a month before you start, and another a week before your start date to tell them how much you’re looking forward to working with them all, and leave it at that.

4. Can I alert my boss that one of my coworkers is married to a con man?

I would like to know if I should or can legally inform a boss that one of her employees is married to a convicted felon. This employee is fully aware of the fact that her husband is a con man/crook who has been stealing from good people for his entire life. It is my feeling that he will at some point target the boss’s business as a potential source of revenue.

There’s no law stopping you from doing that, but you do risk coming across as simply spreading gossip rather than as looking out for your boss, unless there’s some real reason to suspect the husband truly has plans to scam her.

5. Should I quit my job so that I have more flexibility for jobs in my field through staffing agencies?

Currently, I have a full-time job, which I have had for a little over six months. This job is a low-paying position and has nothing to do with what I went to school for. I am trying to get an entry-level position in my field. It seems, however, that the only way to get an entry-level position or anything that I am remotely qualified for in my career field is to go through staffing agencies. Unfortunately, I have had two staffing agencies so far tell me that my being employed is a problem because they need someone right away for their clients and cannot wait two weeks for me to leave my current company.

I am strongly considering resigning from my current position just so that I would have the flexibility in my schedule to start whenever the staffing agency needs me to. Is that a really foolish idea? I don’t know how else to get an entry-level position in my field. Thank you in advance for your advice.

Well, first, are you sure that this is really the only way to get a position in your field? I’d be pretty skeptical of that, unless you’re hearing it repeatedly from people actually in your field who either do what you want to do or hire for those positions. So if you haven’t already, I’d start by reaching out to people in both those groups (try LinkedIn to locate them) and asking them for their opinion on this. If they confirm it, then I’d follow up by asking for recommendations of particularly good staffing agencies they like to work with. And then, talk to those staffing agencies to get a sense of how strong a candidate you are (and what you can do to become a stronger one if needed). I’d do all that before quitting your job for an agency that can’t even wait two weeks for you to give notice.

6. What should I expect from a day-long interview?

I had a phone screen a few weeks ago for what is basically my dream job at this early stage in my career. Earlier this week, I finally heard back from HR asking me to come in for an in-person interview (they have yet to respond to my email about my availability, but let’s hope they do). I talked to my friend who works there in a different office and she warned me that this company does one huge day of interviews with 12-15 people, but then no additional interviews after that. She also said it was really, really tiring when she did hers, but it’s a good sign because not very many people make it to that stage.

What should I expect and how should I prepare for something like this? Do you have any special advice for interviews that take this long and cover meetings with so many different people? If they don’t specify in advance, am I expected to bring my own lunch or go out somewhere on my own?

See this post and especially the comments on it for information about day-long interviews in general, but regarding lunch, assume that they’re going to take care of it. Generally with a day of interviews like this, they’ll take you out to lunch — and make sure you don’t forget that you’re still being assessed then, even if the conversation seems more casual. Keep it professional and don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say in a formal interview just because it’s over food. (And if for some reason they don’t provide you with lunch, take that as a flag that they’re fairly thoughtless — although you could always stick a granola bar in your bag in case that happens.)

7. How can I leverage support from my coworkers when applying for an internal position?

The position of manager over my current team is open. Unsolicited, a member of my own team and two people from the team under that position’s boss have encouraged me to go for it and said other supportive things. Is there a way to leverage that support appropriately in a cover letter and interview?

I don’t think I’d mention it in a cover letter because there’s no way in a letter to distinguish genuine support among your coworkers from the kind things people sometimes say in that situation, but you can certainly encourage those coworkers to recommend you. Go back to people, tell them that you decided to apply, and ask if they’d be willing to proactively reach out to the hiring manager and explain why they think you’d be a strong candidate.

{ 137 comments… read them below }

  1. Jessa*

    Regarding number 5, this just sounds very weird to me. I have no idea what field the OP is in, but I just cannot see any professional agency that does not understand the concept of 2 weeks notice, nor any professional company trying to hire someone who wants someone unemployed and just waiting for some agency job. Unless this is some very weird niche market, this just sounds strange. Every single decent bit of advice I’ve ever heard, is it’s easier to get a job when you have one. I would totally go with what Alison says. Ask people who actually hire in the industry if you can find some of them. Because really, an agency should take at least a week’s worth of background checks and things just to get you on board in the first place, so why can’t they let you give notice?

    1. jesicka309*

      Back in my uni days, I worked with a temp agency – I mostly got factory work, as that was where the money was back then, and I could easily fit a 6-2 shift around my regular McDonalds 4-8 shifts.
      When I signed up, I had to go through the whole references/hazards training shebang, but once that was done:
      -I’d ring the night before to let them know I was available the next day.
      -I’d then wait by my phone in the morning in case I got a phone call. If I got a call, it was “come in immediately to ADDRESS. Wear steel capped boots, shift is from whenever you get there until 2/3/4”
      -If they liked me, and still had work, I’d come in until the work ran out
      -If they didn’t like me, the work mysteriously dried up. :)

      Now, I don’t know what field the OP is in, but it could be a similar situation where a position has to be filled ASAP by a warm body, and if they like you, you work for them via the recruitment agency for a period of time until the work finishes or they decide to hire you on permanently. I’d never quit my job for something as unwieldy as that (just the stress of not knowing whether I was working that day sucks).
      I can’t think of a professional field where they’d need warm bodies asap that would also lead to a promising career path (telemarketing maybe, if that’s your calling?)

      1. Jessa*

        Yeh, but like you said most of those fields are shift work. Not usually office work any more. Most places are rare to have “must fill in now” office work.

        1. jesicka309*

          Hmmm maybe the OP means contract work – I’m trying to break back into marketing, and I see a whole heap of contract entry level jobs (marketing assistant, communications assistant, event coordinator etc.) that are hired to cover for a specific event, like a fun run. They want you to start asap, because the event is in one/two/six months, and there’s no point waiting for one candidate’s two week notice when you have ten that can start now. Kind of poor planning on the part of the companies, but it happens, and it makes me wonder whether that’s the only way to get events/communications/marketing on my CV, even as a contract role.

          1. OP 5*

            Yes. Contract work. And “there’s no point waiting for one candidate’s two week notice when you have ten that can start now” is the basically what they told me (not exactly of course).

        2. Ruffingit*

          Actually, that isn’t so rare. I worked through a staffing agency a few years back and did quite a bit of office work. In fact, the staffing agency I worked for was almost exclusively office work.

          And, not being able to wait for the two weeks notice thing is not at all unusual. Staffing agencies typically have several people who can go out to the job site immediately. That’s the whole point of a staffing agency – to have people available TODAY. They don’t need to wait for someone to give two weeks notice, they have several people on their books who can show up within the next 30 minutes, why would they want to wait for someone who has to give two weeks notice to a job?

          1. Hous*

            Yeah, agreed. I was lucky when I started temping–I was doing a part-time internship and had no trouble wrapping it up without affecting my temping availability. But it was just one week between signing on with the temping agency and starting a long-term office assignment (the same one I’ve now been hired at, in fact). And they advised that it was a good idea not to sign on until I was sure I would be able to work on short notice because, as you said, if I couldn’t, someone else could.

      2. Rana*

        Yeah, to me this sounds more like being an “on-call” sort of temp, rather than being placed in a long-term position. I did that sort of temping for a while – it was the initial incentive for me to get a cell phone, in fact – and they did indeed expect you to be able to accept the job on the spot, and be ready to work the next day.

        But this was because they assumed that you were otherwise unemployed, and not looking for anything long-term. I’d be very wary of leaving full-time work for this sort of gig.

        1. Rana*

          Oh, and these were all office jobs, with stays ranging from one day to three weeks. One did turn into a longer-term job, but it was a fluke, and the company was really dysfunctional.

          1. TychaBrahe*

            I signed up with Manpower in 1995. My first position was temp-to-hire, and I ended up working for that company for 13 years.

      3. Lindsay J*

        Yes, when I signed up for a staffing agency, the only calls I ever got were for: “This company needs people in their shipping warehouse. You would get there ASAP and work until 5PM today.”

        I never wound up going for any of the assignments because I was already working or already had plans.

    2. VictoriaHR*

      As a former staffing agency recruiter, I can confirm that clients put in an order and they want someone ASAP, not in 2 weeks. That said, if the staffing agency sends a candidate to interview with a client, and the client wants that person, the client is usually ok with a 2-week notice

    3. Anonymous*

      I had the same experience – no temp agency would talk to me unless I was available immediately. I wasn’t willing to quit my job to be available for work that might not exist, so I was SOL. (this was in the book publishing field)

  2. OP 5*

    I am OP 5. First, thank you to AAM for answering my question. I definitely need to do more research before doing something so drastic as quitting my job.

    To answer the comments, I am trying to find a job in accounting/tax. I was extremely surprised, too. I had a recruiter from one well-known staffing agencies tell me that they have a policy against hiring employed people because an employer could need someone the next morning, and that I would need to be available whenever they needed me.

    1. PEBCAK*

      Is there a way you could get some experience by volunteering while keeping your existing job?

    2. Anonymous*

      If this was for accounting, the only situation I could think of is “the receptionist/AP person in my tiny office is sick today, so I need a temp ASAP”. Professional accounting jobs don’t take people on that kind of notice.

      1. Ruffingit*

        Or, and I’ve seen this before, the company has someone going on maternity leave or long-term sick leave and they need a fill-in that they know is qualified and can start within the next few days. Not everyone plans well in advance for employee leave unfortunately.

        1. SB*

          In our office, it’s a struggle to get through all the red tape to get hiring a temp approved. It eats up any advance planning time, and by the time it’s approved, the temp was needed yesterday.

    3. Elise*

      Start reaching out to H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and any local CPA offices in town. They do their training and prep for tax season in the fall so they are ready to start work at the beginning of January. It might not be directly the type of work you want, but it at least gives you experience and references in the field.

      1. Ruffingit*

        Excellent advice. I would not quit a full-time job right now for temp work unless you either have a second source of income somewhere that can support you (spouse, parents) or you have saved enough money to support yourself for 6 months to a year. Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense.

      2. Anonymous Accountant*


        I began my accounting career by working at H&R Block during tax season. It helped me land my first accounting job so the training plus an accounting degree can really help you. Also, accounting firms appear to do most recruiting Sept-November, or so I’ve seen.

        1. Judy*

          If you can’t find a paid job in tax prep, there are organizations that do taxes for free. Around here that’s through the AARP. They go to the libraries around town on a schedule. They do tax training for them, also.

    4. Anon for this Q*

      Hi, OP 5. I just finished 3 years working in the HQ of one of the largest staffing firms in the world…and while there’s potential for temp work to boost your career, it also carries a lot of risk.

      Do you have benefits now? Because keep in mind that temp agency benefits are not the same as FTE benefits. They’ll often say they offer “full benefits” but that may mean you can pay $50 a week for insurance that only covers preventative care and not emergencies. It might mean you get paid holidays after 1800 hours (which is usually over 6 months, and often longer if you don’t have a steady schedule). You get no sick days. Most offer minimal to no vacation. And temp to hire doesn’t always play out…I was kept hanging on for three years while they kept telling me “As soon as ____ happens, we’ll convert you to perm.” I wasn’t the only one — out of dozens of temps I knew at the company (1/3 of their HQ workforce was temp), only 6 were converted — these were all more experienced (10+ years) people in senior-level positions. And the temps are the first people to get cut, regardless of position or quality of work, whenever there is was a bad quarter.

      If you’re doing short-term temp gigs trying to build up your resume, you risk having big lulls between jobs. Any you need to be extremely proactive about staying on the temp agencies radar. It’s not uncommon to do a job with them, have them say they’ll contact you with another opening, and then…crickets. You need to stay in regular contact, and that’s actually a lot of work. And you run the risk of annoying your recruiter when you call to see if they have anything.

      That said…I changed industries. Before I took that temp-to-“hire” position, I’d been looking for a while. They were more willing to take a risk on me, because they could let me go at any time (and the person I replaced was let go after good feedback with no notice or warning). I was definitely able to leverage that temp position into another role, and then into my current position, which I’m extremely happy with. But I spent years under constant stress, with no insurance, no sick time, no vacation, and less job security than most of my coworkers. I’ll never do it again.

      The people I know who’ve have the best experience with this route were in dual-income households — someone else had insurance and steady income they could rely on.

      It can work, but make sure you are going in with eyes open.

    5. Erika*

      My husband is a CPA and I have not heard him say anything like this — ie the companies he has worked for need to hire people to start immediately via staffing agencies.

      He has gotten all of his jobs through normal channels, giving appropriate notice to current positions. He did land his current job via a recruiter.

      That being said, you could volunteer during tax season with VITA — he did that one year and it was good experience.

  3. Amber*

    #6 Even though you will be nervous, make sure you eat enough lunch and bring a bottle of water and have it handy. Its easy to ruin a good interview by having your body betray you through hunger later in the day because you skimmed the lunch. Make sure your brain is at its peak by eating and drinking. And don’t be shy about asking to use the bathroom.

    1. Rana*


      Having a pocket snack or something just in case is not a bad idea. Also expect that people will want to talk with you over the lunch, so, if you’re a slow eater like me, pick things that are easy to eat quickly (and without mess), and look for opportunities to ask them questions. You’ll learn something, and get a chance to get some food into yourself as well.

      Also, be prepared to go over the same information repeatedly with different people; try to avoid sounding “canned” if you can help it (it’s a challenge, but worth doing).

    2. The IT Manager*

      I also thought that depending on the location and nearby restaurants that you may be given an hour on your own for lunch. That only really works at a place where the food is nearby. But I would not call that arrangement a red flag. If they let you starve or don’t arrange a truly viable option … that’s a red flag.

      But a snack in your bag is always a good idea.

      1. Judy*

        I’ve always had a lunch with a peer or two during a day long interview. And a facilities tour with another peer. Just some ways for more people to get their eyes on the interviewee.

        This has been for engineering jobs, so the facilities tour included manufacturing.

    3. Jubilance*

      Bring some water, multiple bottles if they will fit in your tote bag. With back to back interviews, your mouth will get dry and you’ll need something to wet your lips.

  4. Erik*

    For #6 – I’ve had several all day interviews with lunch. You should expect to be taken out for lunch, or at the minimum they provide a lunch at the interview room.

    I had one interview recently where they brought in lunch for the interview room. The interview itself made it very hard to eat since they were asking questions non-stop. I ended up finishing my lunch after the interview. When I’ve done such interviews over lunch, I’ll pace it so everyone can eat and have an intelligent conversation.

    1. Chriama*

      I’m sort of curious about the experience of a lunch time interview. Whenever I eat anything with anyone I’m the last to finish because I talk too much to eat! In an interview scenario, when the conversation is totally directed towards you and you can’t just drop out of it for a few minutes to wolf down a couple bites, how are you expected to actually eat? Seriously, do y’all just take a bite whenever someone asks you a question and try to chew quickly?

      1. Cat*

        Normally the lunch will be less of a “we are asking you questions” interview and more of a conversation about the company.

      2. Steve*

        I’ve had numerous business lunches that have been interrupted at restaurants by friends, co-workers, even employees of competitors “just stopping by the table to say hello.” Generally my lunch meetings are with vendors, so I’m kind of the one in control since they are trying to woo my business. But, I was wondering how would one handle interruptions like that if they were in the middle of a lunchtime interview? Do you simply say “Hi John, this is Mr. Smith whom I’m interviewing with, so I hope you don’t mind if we catch up later”?

        1. Steve*

          Or, something I hadn’t thought of, how to introduce (or NOT) introduce someone when you don’t want it known you’re interviewing?

          1. Jazzy Red*

            I guess you could say that the other person is your insurance agent. The interupter will undoubtedly move right along!

          1. LisaLyn*

            Yes, please!!! Or even not an interview, but a lunch time meeting about serious business things. I’ve had that happen to me and I really was taken aback!

        2. annie*

          My boss does our review conversations over breakfast at the local diner around the corner… where everyone knows everyone and the tables are like twelve inches away from each other! It’s so awkward.

      3. Evan (now graduated)*

        I’ve only had one lunchtime interview, with someone who was happy to take time to answer questions about the company. So, even though my mouth was busy for a while talking, I did have enough time to finish eating my sandwich.

      4. Rana*

        I always have this problem, because I’m a slow eater!

        What I find is helpful is to choose your food carefully – anything that is easy to eat quickly and without fuss will save you time (and usually is less likely to spill on you) – and don’t be worried about pausing to finish chewing a bite before speaking. The other trick is, whenever possible, to ask a question of them. If you can manage one that gets several people talking, even better. While they’re speaking, eat!

    2. Julie*

      Bringing lunch in is more difficult these days because a lot of people have allergies. I volunteer at a place that thought they were covering all of their bases by having a vegan option. It was considerate of them, but unfortunately, I’m allergic to wheat (and I don’t eat beef or pork), so in some situations the only thing I can eat is salad – if that’s an option that’s offered. So I always carry protein bars with me because I get light-headed if I don’t eat regularly. Having something to eat in my bag also precludes the necessity of having a conversation about what I can/can’t eat, which I really don’t like to do at work. I don’t want to call attention to my food limitations – I’d rather talk about the work-related topics that we need to discuss.

  5. Sophie*

    Regarding #6..Don’t mean to sound mean but you’re being a little niave. Managing people is harder than you think, and to expect to just ‘know’ how to manage people is showing your inexperience a little..
    Alison is always trying to home in the point of being a good manager, and that comes with time and experience..We read all the horror stories of AAM about bad managers and chances are that they’ve not been given the right training or have the right experience and that can make people’s lives a nightmare as we seen before..

    Be patient, always watch how managers manage their teams.. It’s about having a good mix of being personable but diplomatic at the same time. get your managing point across without being rude or upsetting the people you manage. You want them to work with you, not obeying orders just because you told them to..

    Be open to your managers suggestions of taking your time and going on the training course, and go into the course with an open mind with what you might learn.. not just thinking that your way is right, because there are lots of right ways of managing people.. but they can be different for everyone

  6. abc*

    sometimes I wish AAM would edit the questions a bit to make them shorter. I feel like the letter writers tend to ramble and wish they would just get to the point.

    1. Jazzy Red*

      Actually, I think it’s helpful to see what the OPs have written, even if they do ramble a bit. It gives a bit of insight into their personalities and/or stress level.

  7. OP#2*

    Thanks for posting my question, Alison! I realize managing will take some major adjustment, and that my boss is totally right about needing training prior to supervising career staff. The only reason I wrote in was to get a feel for whether I was reading the situation right, and that lack of training and or experience were her only hesitations. Oh, I am really not trying to go into this thinking I know anything at all, really…totally open to learning from the training/other people and don’t mind at all. The last thing I want is to be a bad manager who lords her position over everyone!

    1. The IT Manager*

      I think you asked a good question. I imagine the training must be a week or less so I am somewhat skeptical that this management training will prevent you or anyone being bad manager.

      I also thought the training might include some very specific information and training on local HR policy and rules, and that the library simply can’t allow anyone manage career staff without that training.

      But then I have to admit to being exposed to years of leadership and management training and I know it has made an improvement but also it also allowed me to internalize so much of it that it feels innate.

    2. LibraryLand Mgr*

      I think it’s a good question too! One thing that surprised me in my many years of working in academic libraries is how different it is to manage professionals vs. paraprofessionals/students. It’s nice to have a manager who doesn’t throw everything on you at once, and they probably just want to give you time to learn everything right. The great thing about the training is that it will give you some legitimacy, which could be great when you are starting out. Good luck!

      1. Oxford Comma*

        #2 You’ll probably face some resistance as it is with or without training. I can appreciate that you want to take this on, but going slow is probably in your best interests long-term. The training should help.

        1. anonymous*

          OP#2 – I don’t know if this is you – but:

          As a library manager, one thing I see a lot of is new professionals who come in with little professional experience becoming in charge of paraprofessionals who have being doing their jobs for many years. This generates untold resentment ultimately because the newer person does not know enough to make effective decisions despite having the degree. This is especially true in the technical services and access services.

          I think it is wise of your manager to hold you back so people can get to know you professionally before you have to manage them. On top of what others have said about observing how people are managed, I would spend this time really getting to know what everyone does – even if you are not their manager now, you can learn what your staff might do on a daily basis (not the generic “order books” for example, but the steps involved, and the challenges they face). You will be a better manager and also get respect from your crew.

          Take the opportunity to learn more about the systems and actual work the staff does so you can appreciate the challenges they might face and be an effective manager.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      OP, I have not read all the posts yet. Perhaps someone said this already. But some places what you to have training because of liability. They want to be sure you understand about protected classes, on site safety rules, etc. If they cut you loose with out that information then they could have a big problem if something went wrong.
      And yes, they will probably tell you a bunch of stuff you already know. It’s their CYA.

  8. EJ*

    #4 – something about the OP’s phrasing sounds vindictive.

    The OP should be very very sure that there is a direct risk to the company, and of the severity of their accusation, before bringing it to management.

    1. saro*

      I agree. If he’s a convicted felon, does this mean he’s currently in jail or recently released? I just don’t see how this is any of her business unless he’s dealing with the company, and even then, I would assume that the owner would do his due diligence.

        1. A Bug!*

          You’re right on “convict” and “ex-con”, as nouns, but “convicted” as an adjective doesn’t actually have the same implication. “Convicted” doesn’t mean “in prison”; it means “found guilty”, which persists after release.

          (To be pedantic, “convict” can also be used for released prisoners, because a person’s status as a convicted person doesn’t change on release, but the common usage is as you say.)

    2. VictoriaHR*

      I read #4 and was horrified that someone would try to get a woman fired because of her husband’s record. A person is not their spouse. And it could have happened 20+ years ago. This person sounds like a busybody.

    3. Ruffingit*

      Totally agreed. OP says: It is my feeling that he will at some point target the boss’s business as a potential source of revenue. Well sure, you should totally tell your boss that someone MIGHT steal from the company because that’s how the system works after all. We’ve got to watch out for all those people who MIGHT do something bad.

      Something about that just struck me the wrong way. Anyone might steal from the company. What is the boss supposed to say? “Oh yes, definitely, I need to be on alert for this person who doesn’t even work here who might steal from the company!” OK….

      1. Waerloga*

        Perhaps it is my POV, but I target my bosses business as MY source of revenue…Don’t we all do that?

        Take care


        1. BCW*

          But this isn’t necessarily a credible threat. This is 100% speculation of what the spouse, not the employee, may do. So even if it is your source of income, its not your business to tell, especially when it sounds like the only motivation is to essentially have the employee fired.

      2. fposte*

        I think the OP also should think about the responses she’s getting here–her boss might well similarly think poorly of her for dragging in somebody’s private life and trying to make it a work issue (especially if it’s a colleague she already is known not to get along with). So while you can legally tell them that Jane’s husband has a prison record, they can legally reprimand you, become suspicious of you, and even fire you for doing so.

        If there’s something specific about his access or his stated plans that make this an emergent threat, that’s another matter, but right now it just sounds like stirring the pot. Just drop the spoon.

        1. A Bug!*

          If there’s something specific about his access or his stated plans that make this an emergent threat, that’s another matter,

          Yes. The circumstances under which it would be reasonable to bring it up to the boss are very specific, and likely outside the knowledge of the OP. If the coworker has the authority to approve expenditures without oversight, and the coworker is enough of a pushover when it comes to her husband that she’d break the law on his behalf, and the husband’s criminal behavior is recent enough to suggest he is not reformed, then maybe – maybe – I’d mention something to the boss.

          But I highly doubt I would be in a position to know all of those things if I were just that person’s coworker.

          1. fposte*

            And it sounds like this isn’t a new marriage or a new employee, so what makes the situation come up now? If it’s simply that the OP just found the information, odds are it’s not a pressing issue.

            1. A Bug!*

              Oh, for sure, sorry for giving the wrong impression. I agree that it doesn’t sound like any of the OP’s business here; if the business were genuinely at risk from this relationship I’d have expected to see concrete reasoning in the letter to AAM along the lines of my hypothetical above.

              Instead, it’s “my coworker’s husband is a felon, the end”.

      3. Another Emily*

        Another thing is how would the spouse actually scam the business? OP, do you have a reason to believe the company is vulnerable to scammers in general? If so address that, and leave your coworker out of it.

        And if the company is not vulnerable to scammers in some way, you need to chill about this. The owners and managers weren’t born yesterday.

        1. Ruffingit*

          Exactly. To me, saying the co-worker’s spouse might scam the business implies the co-worker would do so because, unless co-worker’s husband has a direct business connection, she would have to help him in some way. The OP may be implying that security is lax enough that the co-worker’s husband may get her company login, etc. from company equipment brought home, but that issue is easily solvable by tighter security measures for all.

      4. Flynn*

        I think the bit that really jarred me was the “GOOD people” bit. Implying that he was an evil minion of Satan who only targets the pure and virtuous. Pretty sure conmen out to make a buck wouldn’t care who you were, only if they could take you. And getting scammed doesn’t make you a Good Person either.

    4. Jazzy Red*

      I think that the OP should not say anything unless she hears that the husband has approached the boss about a business deal. At that point, the OP could say something to the boss along the lines of “you should be careful about this, because (husband’s name) was found guilty of swindling ABC company in 2002 (or whenever).”

      But that’s really ALL the OP should say, and the only time the OP should say it. Anything else would just sound like gossip, and would reflect badly on her.

    5. Elizabeth West*

      I thought the same–maybe she has something against the coworker. Who even cares about this? It sounds so junior-high mean girl. “I’m telling because your brother stole candy from the drugstore–guilt by association!” Really, it’s none of her business what the coworker’s husband did.

    6. Not So NewReader*

      I am just wondering why OP thinks there is cause for concern.

      There are many people out there with “past lives” that would never go back to that life style for any reason at all. That part of their lives is over. I say live and let live.

  9. Mike C.*

    OP #4: Why are you so interested in ruining any chance this individual has from learning the error of his ways and going legit? Are you also interested in pinning the letter “A” on anyone in the office having an affair as well?

    Also, how much time do you spend a week doing background checks on the family members of your coworkers?

      1. Mike C.*

        OH, I love this argument!

        There’s no actual content to further the discussion, just a snide remark insinuating that I either have a secret to hide or that I’m arguing “emotionally” and thus any point I have to make is invalidated.

        Come on, I’m sure you can do better than that!

          1. Mike C.*

            Sure, I frequently use sarcasm as a way to make my point, but this is somewhat different.

            Comments like “oh you’re defensive” or “oh you feel too strongly about that” or “don’t so emotional” are common ways to argue by discrediting the individual rather than the argument being made. Such a tactic questions the reliability of the speaker as a way to short circuit the discussion.

    1. Meg*

      You know, I know we frequently disagree on certain subjects on this blog, but I actually do agree with you here. The OP of #4 knows next to nothing about the employee or her convicted husband, and unless she’s omitting some significant evidence from her post, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that he hasn’t reformed his ways, or that he’s planning to target the OP’s business.

      OP #4: Please don’t meddle in business that really has nothing to do with you. Unless there is hard, factual evidence suggesting that this person is going to steal from your employer, the only thing you’re going to do is a) make the other employee’s life much harder, and b) come across as a petty gossip.

      1. Chinook*

        Add me as another voice saying OP#4 needs to MYOB about someone’s spouse. #1 – nobody can control their spouse’s actions so they shouldn’t be judged by them (especially since enough time has passed for said spouse to have been tried, convicted and serve their time) and #2 – if someone has served their time, they have been considered rehabilitated and deserve the opportunity to change. My guess is that one of the reasons for recidivism is that extra-cons are often not given a chance to go straight.

        And, as the spouse of a cop, I know what some of these consumer do and the after effects and I still feel this way.

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Well said.
          Alternatively, there are plenty of folks out there that SHOULD have done some time, and did not. However, they, too, have remedied their lives and become upstanding citizens.

  10. Joey*

    Mike C has a point, though. I think it says something that the op even feels she has enough credible evidence to conclude the guy is a convicted con man. And then, without anything more than what sounds like pure speculation, concludes this guy will target the wife’s employer. That sounds pretty meddling and gossipy and frankly I wonder if the op is so bored she has nothing better to do.

      1. Ruffingit*

        I would too. In any given office, you’re going to have people who are having affairs, people who are stealing pens from the supply closet, people who are doing drugs after work, people who are alcoholics…the list goes on. Basically, everyone has skeletons in their closets and some people have cemeteries. Regardless though, it’s no one else’s business if it’s not harming anyone else/the work environment as a whole.

    1. A Bug!*

      I would imagine that the husband’s crimes are available on Google, although I’m interested in how it came to the OP’s attention.

      But that would be all the more reason that the OP should MHOB: the boss is in a position to have all the same information without the OP’s involvement, and since the coworker doesn’t appear to be hiding it I wouldn’t be surprised if the boss were already aware.

      It’d be pretty awful of the OP to potentially sabotage the coworker’s ability to earn an income given the statistical likelihood that her husband is facing difficulty earning his own. If the OP is raising hackles over working with the spouse of a convicted person, it’s not hard to imagine the hurdles that the husband is facing, employment-wise.

  11. Kay*

    OP #4
    I feel like unless you have something definitive about this person trying to scam your employer, it really isn’t your call to discuss someone else’s private life with their coworkers.

    Beyond the fact that it may not be your business, you are basically setting yourself up as judge and jury over your coworker’s employment AND her husband.

    1. Kay*

      Just thinking about it further, her husband isn’t employed by your employer right? It seems extreme to start expecting family members to go through background checks or the equivalent of.

      This whole topic makes me uncomfortable, I’d like to err on the side of giving people chances rather than judging them prematurely.

  12. Del*

    #4, I’m a little curious what the source and extent of your knowledge about this guy is. It sounds like you’re pretty familiar with his history and his victims, and that might provide some nuance that your question, as brief as it is, doesn’t really cover. When you say he’s been doing this all his life, how extensive are we really talking about? If this guy is a genuine career criminal, that is a different matter than running a single scam and getting caught/tried/convicted for it. “Felon” covers a lot of ground.

    You mention he is a convicted felon, and presumably he isn’t currently in jail, but did he spend time behind bars? (I would assume so, but that assumption isn’t always correct, especially for nonviolent crimes.) If so, are you aware of any recidivism?

    What I’m getting at with these questions is a more general one — how much do you actually know? Not opinions or value judgments, but how many data points do you have with regard to this man’s criminal behavior, from a risk management standpoint. Keep in mind that it isn’t like your boss hired him. He doesn’t have any direct contact with your work.

    Additionally, what is the source of your information? Is it firsthand experience? Second-hand? Reputation only? All of this is important information.

    Think of it this way — in one scenario, you go in to your boss and say, “Look, Jane is married to Bob. I’ve known Bob all my life, and this guy is a career criminal. I know of at least four occasions when he has used his connections with people to embezzle funds from their workplaces. He went to jail after the second one, but since he got out he’s done it twice more, and nothing seems to stop him. I think we ought to be really careful about this guy.”

    In a different scenario, you go in to your boss and say, “Look, Jane is married to Bob, and I heard from Nancy who heard it from Mike who heard from Steve that Bob went to jail this one time because he’d scammed someone out of their savings. He’s out of jail now but I bet he’s going to do it again!”

    One of these is obviously going to be (and should be!) taken much more seriously than the other. Ultimately, though, what kind of response are you expecting? Considering that it isn’t actually Bob who works for the company, and getting Jane fired or demoted to a low-trust position based on whom she’s married to is a pretty low move. The best your boss is likely to be able to do is institute a general “no visitors beyond the lobby/front desk/reception area” rule, and how much will that really accomplish?

    1. Del*

      I should add, as a postscript, that my industry is EXTREMELY risk-sensitive in terms of potential fraud, embezzlement, or theft; I’m probably the most sympathetic you’re going to find here, since that’s the office culture I’ve been working in, and in our industry an employee’s spouse with a history of theft would be a very real concern.

      1. Ruffingit*

        I’ve worked in industries as well where sensitivity to theft is higher than average due to the nature of the work. Still though, I love the way you put this because it’s exactly what’s at issue – it’s one thing if you have first-hand knowledge of this guy and his crimes and can tie that to a legitimate business concern. It’s quite another if you heard it from someone else/Googled this guy.

        It’s also concerning the general revenge quality that seemed to come through in the question. It makes no sense at all that someone would want to warn their boss about a co-worker’s spouse unless the spouse also worked at the company because, in so doing, you’re basically trying to implicate your co-worker since she would have to help the husband with stealing from her company.

        The OP sounds like an office busybody who needs a hobby that does not involve Googling criminal records.

        1. Del*

          I’ve been choosing to give the OP the benefit of the doubt regarding the tone of the question, and assume that the tone of the letter is coming from a place more of alarm than of vindictiveness. Which doesn’t mean I think it definitely ISN’T vindictive, but it is a brief question with little detail.

          But yes, the brevity leaves enormous holes to be filled with regard to the certainty of this information and the scope of this guy’s bad behavior. And these are very, very important factors to consider.

      2. Joey*

        What industry do you work in?

        The only time I’ve ever heard of an employer giving two rats asses about a spouse’s history are in the FBI and jobs that require some sort of military clearance.

        1. Forrest*

          And those jobs have already done their own background checks on an employee’s family members.

          I remember when my dad got to that level and I had to submit to a background check and answer some questions.

          1. Chinook*

            Yes – employers who need to be able to trust family members do their own background check on them. For DH’s military clearance, they even checked out my parents.

            The point is that, unless the family member is in direct contact with the business, they shouldn’t be a threat.

        2. some1*

          “The only time I’ve ever heard of an employer giving two rats asses about a spouse’s history are in the FBI and jobs that require some sort of military clearance.”

          Or the clergy or political office. Otherwise it should be a non-issue.

          1. Mike C.*

            Even for political office it’s more of an issue of “how to deal with the black sheep of the family” rather than disqualification For folks who don’t know, it’s called “opposition research”, where you basically dig up all the skeletons of the candidate you’re working for to plan out what to do if/when those skeletons come up light.

            1. Sophia*

              Although there is a difference between chosen (husband/wife/partner) family members and other relatives. And I would argue that a chosen partner’s criminal behavior does reflect to some extent, the coworker except in cases of abuse etc. If OP was working with highly sensitive financial info, then I would agree with Del’s assessment of when and how to bring it up or not. If not, then the OP should stay out of it.

              1. Mike C.*

                I don’t believe it’s ethical to explore that difference, nor do the past actions of one individual reflect on anyone else. Human beings have agency, and it’s not fair to take that away from them because of the independent actions of another individual.

            2. some1*

              Right, but without getting into details, I know people who wouldn’t vote for certain candidates because they don’t like something the candidate’s spouse said publicly, they considered the spouse to be in an objectionable occupation, or because of something the spouse did in their youth.

              Fair or unfair, there are some jobs like public office or a clergyperson where the employee and his/her spouse kind of come as package deal, and the spouse is expected to hold certain standards.

        3. Del*

          In a specific subset of the financial industry (I would prefer not to be more specific than that) which means that many jobs in my office are directly handling the movement of very large amounts of money on a daily basis, as well as access on all levels to a lot of confidential information, the kind that would easily enable identity theft.

          And yes, we do pretty serious background checks for hiring. All I’m saying is that my position makes me sympathetic, because I can imagine cases where an employee’s spouse with a history of repeated financial crime (eg the first situation I laid out above) would be a major concern at the office.

          1. Joey*

            But your employer is basically telling you its not relevant if they don’t do family member background checks, right?

    2. Jessa*

      Actually the conversation you need to have is with JANE. If she knows her husband is this, she needs to NOT bring company devices home without strong security on them. The actual issue is Jane’s security practises. If she brings a company phone or laptop home and he knows her password is always Smidgen, then the company has a problem.

      The biggest issue here IF and only IF the information is accurate is to prevent him from social engineering information from Jane or her co-workers. And THAT training should happen ANYWAY.

      The leak possible area is less likely to be him walking into the building but in his getting access from Jane’s ability to get work product to or from her house. Also the fact that if people just talk around him he can find out information. It’s all about normal, decent, strong information security.

      So you may not even have to parse it as guy is a con artist. But as “let’s upgrade our security cause well ‘bad people in the world.'”

      1. Jessa*

        And in response to myself the way you approach your friend Jane is that, if her husband’s thing is potentially public knowledge, someone ultimately WILL find out, and her response is going to be what either keeps or loses her the job. If her response is, “I know, I use strong passwords, do not let him near my computer, make sure he cannot ever get those passwords, etc. Do not let him near any work product, etc.” IE that she has taken strong efforts to make sure he cannot engineer his way into the information she has. That she does not discuss private work information with him. Etc.

        Otherwise she’s going to probably end up losing the job as being a potential information leak as a good con artist is pretty well used to pulling information out of people.

        1. Del*

          To be honest, if the situation is closer to #1 that I described above, I would not be entirely confident that Jane’s description of her own security practices would be accurate.

          In a perfect world, of course, Jane would have enough autonomy in her own marriage and enough wariness regarding her husband’s past behavior that she would maintain perfect security practices with any work-related technology she takes home, makes sure he’s never alone with the devices, etc. However, just being her husband gives him decent access to a lot of her identifying information, and if the situation at home is anything less than really ideal (ie, she may see him as more trustworthy than he is, she may be blind to some of his activity, she may simply not know what red flags to look for, or worst case scenario, there may be a manipulative or abusive relationship going on) then there is a lot of possibility for leakage.

          So while Jane is a good first step, a situation comparable to what I outlined as #1 would still want some caution on the part of management. #2, not so much.

          Again, it all boils down to what the OP’s actual hard knowledge of the situation looks like. The brief question was not nearly enough to determine if the situation is potentially this bad, or if it’s a lot of alarm over nothing.

    3. Jazzy Red*

      ‘In a different scenario, you go in to your boss and say, “Look, Jane is married to Bob, and I heard from Nancy who heard it from Mike who heard from Steve that Bob went to jail this one time because he’d scammed someone out of their savings. He’s out of jail now but I bet he’s going to do it again!”

      Even Wakeen knows this!

  13. BCW*

    People like OP #4 are ridiculous. Even if you have a document history of every single scam the guy has ever pulled, he doesn’t work for the company, his wife does – so how is it anyone’s business what her husband has done in the past? I’m also curious how you are so knowledgeable about her husbands prior transgressions, since I assume this didn’t just come up at the water cooler. Did you just go snooping into her entire past? Your are the epitome of a busybody who needs to mind her own business.

    I really love people who justify their meddling in some way. Its absurd. I’m sure you or someone in your family has something you don’t want getting out. Maybe your co-workers should do some “research” and then tell the boss.

    1. Jessa*

      The point is if you work in an industry prone to people trying to get information FROM it and you have an employee with a sketchy family member and the employee brings work home, or brings their computer home there is a very easy possibility for that person to get access. What if they’re used to giving their passwords to their spouse “I know we have security but it’s my spouse, they’d never cheat the company and I don’t feel good, they’re just downloading my pay stub for me.” Oh, they’re standing behind me I can’t ask them to not watch while I access this payroll database to update these numbers. It’d be RUDE. Oh, I can go to the bathroom in my own house and NOT sign out of my computer. It’s only my family here.

      It’d be pitifully easy. Many people work from home or take work or work computers home with them. They usually do not think of using strict security methods at their homes.

      My family laughs at me because I’ve set our general household systems to what they call “raging paranoia,” and the most I have access on them to is our bank account which on the BEST day has a couple of thousand dollars in it and on the worst actually had 92 cents. Most people treat data security far more cavalierly than I do, even when the data is NOT THEIRS.

      What I set the systems to when I was working from home? They used to call Fort Knox. I signed out even if I went from my desk to the bathroom. Nobody in the house was allowed to be between my computer screen and the wall behind me (IE no reading over my shoulder,) when the system was active. I had access to enough customer information to commit identity fraud on some fairly wealthy people. I was not going to let even people I TRUSTED with my life come anywhere even “near the occasion of sin,” as they say. I wanted to be able to say there was zero chance that any leak could possibly have happened in my house.

      I doubt this particular coworker is so careful with company data. And I’m sure if her husband IS a con artist, he knows this.

      1. Mike C.*

        Proprietary information is proprietary information, regardless of who you are married to. The security you’re speaking of would apply to everyone employed there.

      2. BCW*

        Thats fine, but you shouldn’t single her out because the OP dug up info on the husband. What if someone’s kid is a computer hacker? Or someone’s wife is a compulsive gambler? Point being that if you want to tell the entire office that your information needs to have X,Y,and Z security measures while at home, thats fine. But it sounds like this person is specifically targeting this woman because of her husband.

  14. Another Reader*

    #2 I wondered if you were concerned there was another reason for your manager’s tack on this besides waiting for training, but it sounds like you talked to her and she didn’t give you reason to think there was. While you are waiting for the class, you could do much worse :) than to read Alison’s book on managing which has a boatload of good information. You can also be thinking about what you want to do as a manager — once you get started, it isn’t always easy to find time for strategic thinking and goal setting. I’d add that if you are in a city/county/etc type library, there are probably specific procedures and policies for leave, performance management, etc. that you will need to know as a manager of library staff.

  15. AnonyMouse28*


    I can’t even begin to parse out what’s going on in that question. There’s some serious vindictiveness going on there. For goodness sake, that isn’t any of your business, OP. What possible reason could you have for ruining your colleague’s professional life without any proof of bad behavior at ALL?

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Didn’t the employer handle all that background check stuff before she was hired? OP is going to sound like she does not trust the screening process for hiring…. and the people who use that process… whoops. I don’t think OP intends to cast a cloud over the hiring folks…

  16. Seal*

    #2. As an academic librarian who manages a sizable branch library with both full-time and part-time staff, I can assure you that your supervisor is doing you a huge favor by easing you into a supervisory role, particularly since you say you have “not managed in a formal capacity.” Far too many libraries throw their new supervisors off the deep end and let them fend for themselves; that is why you hear so many horror stories about bad library managers. It sound like there is no rush for you to take on supervisory responsibilities, so make sure you take advantage of this time to continue to settle into your position and career.

    Also, are you sure there aren’t institutional/organizational requirements for supervisors at your library? It is entirely possible that you are not allowed to supervise anyone until you complete specific training sessions or pass your probation.

    Finally, please remember that possessing an MLIS has no relation whatsoever to being a good manager or even a good librarian; it simply means that you finished library school. Over my career in libraries in both paraprofessional and professional positions, I have worked with far too many librarians who think that little piece of paper entitles them to preferential treatment or offers a shortcut to managerial positions. At this point, the “career staff members” you will eventually supervise most likely know far more about your library and its operations than you do. Think about the message you are sending to your eventual subordinates, whose success or failure ultimately reflects on you as their supervisor. A fresh-out-of-library-school, wet-behind-the-ears, eager-beaver librarian who is too impatient or important to attend training sessions has no business being a supervisor.

    1. Joey*

      I have a different theory about library managers. In my experience in libraries it was mind blowingly hard to find good managers with an MLS. Good librarians- like a kid in a candy store, but good managers with an MLS- like finding a needle in a haystack. Why? I have a couple of theories with nothing to back it up:

      1. Librarians have a hard time operating in the grey- they’re used to finding the “right” answer or information. In managing, there’s rarely one “right” answer or one means to an end.
      2. The librarian profession attracts people who like operating in pleasantries, not difficult conversations- their job is essentially to make people happy by finding information.
      3. Its easy to hide bad management in a library. Because of the retail like schedule or being in somewhat isolated in a branch or hiring and working with nerd types you can get away with crappy management for a long time relatively easy in a library.
      4. Funding- most libraries I know suffer from funding issues and as a result appropriate staffing levels both at the front lines all the way up through management.

      I’m saying this as a nerd who’s favorite job was as a manager in a public library. If you can’t tell, while its relatively hard to find a job as a librarian, it gets progressively easier to find a library management job if you’re a great manager with an MLS.

      1. Ann O'Nymous*

        Joey: Your post sheds a lot of light on some of the situations I’ve been observing during my past year as a library tech. I’m in a dept. with bad management at the moment, and considering leaving (see my other posts). If you’d like to talk further/off the blog, let me know. I would love to get others’ take on what I consider to be my very odd situation. Thanks!

  17. Ann O'Nymous*

    Re: #2–I’m on the other side of the desk. I just interviewed for a position where I’d be working with two of our youngest librarians, and I’m not sure either of them have supervisory experience.
    Alison, or anyone else, do you have any advice for me? I am twice their age, BTW. (I hope your advice isn’t “run, as fast as you can.”)

      1. Ann O'Nymous*

        fposte: I’m a library technician. The position is split between two different depts. in the library. I’d be spending half the time with one librarian, and half the time with the other.
        The concern is something Alison said: “After all, would you yourself want a brand-new manager who hadn’t even had any training? You would not.” I don’t want to be someone’s guinea pig, if that makes sense.
        BTW, my current manager doesn’t have any “formal management training.” However, she’s been here 20 years and knows this place like the back of her hand.

        1. Joey*

          The best thing you can do is challenge what doesn’t sound right. I’m not talking get defensive, but ask why, read and interpret policies yourself, don’t be afraid to go over their heads, don’t hesitate to research answers on your own, and look for opportunities to offer up alternative solutions.

          1. OP#2*

            Prior to getting this position, I was a library technician for 4 years, so I understand where you’re coming from Ann! I have seen lots of examples of bad management, and some examples of good as well. In my opinion, one of the biggest differences between the two is 1. Having the ability to have difficult conversations before a minor issue becomes a serious problem and 2. Being flexible. You have to realize things will not always go the way you want, and just roll with the punches. And yes, formal training is not always the answer. I agree with Joey: don’t be afraid to ask questions or interpret policy.

  18. OP#2*

    Hi Seal,

    I completely understand where you are coming from, and have been trying to come across in an approachable way that implies I feel I am no better than anyone else because of my M.L.S (which I only got because it’s practically a requirement if you want to advance in the library world at some point). I work with a lot of paraprofessionals who are MUCH more knowledgeable than myself, and have been very open with their disdain of the arrogant young professional librarians who lord their degree over others, so being the exact opposite is my goal. I would feel terrible if someone did that to me! I have worked in several systems before, but I realize that no matter how many other positions you have had, there is still a massive learning curve to overcome. Thanks for your input! I do feel my boss is doing me a favor, and I plan to take full advantage of easing into the supervisory role :).

    1. OP#2*

      P.S. They only mentioned those arrogant young librarians they have dealt with in the context of people to avoid, and have no way implied I act that way.

      1. Seal*

        I am genuinely thrilled to read this! Sounds like you are absolutely on the right track. Working hard and treating ALL of your colleagues with courtesy and respect will serve you well, regardless of your position. Best of luck to you!

  19. Sourire*

    #4 – If anyone brought this up and I missed it I apologize, but OP, do you somehow know this man and/or did he somehow “scam” you or someone you know?

    “This employee is fully aware of the fact that her husband is a con man/crook who has been stealing from good people for his entire life.”

    Something about the phrasing of this (probably the good people part) makes me feel like this has a personal connection for the OP, versus just something they found out while snooping around or what not. Not that the personal connection makes it any more relevant or worthy of bringing up to the boss…

  20. Ed*

    Regarding #5, I have had staffing companies tell me their ultimate employee is one without a current job, BUT it really matters why they don’t have one. The best situation I’ve been in is when a contract gracefully ended (because the project ended) so I was immediately available. That moved me to the top of everyone’s list: well qualified, great references (including the last contract job) and available now. But needing to give two weeks notice has never negatively affected me to the best of my knowledge.

    1. Anon for this Q*

      You know, thinking back at when I started as a temp…they actually offered me a job the first week of December, then let me give notice after the holidays so I wouldn’t miss paid holidays or bonuses. I started mid-January. So, for longer-term contracts or contract-to-hire positions, you don’t always need to start immediately.

  21. Sarah*

    OP #6 here. Thank you Alison and to those of you who responded! I’ll definitely remember to take lots of water to the interview and practice the questions I’m sure I’ll have to repeat a lot.

  22. Bystander*

    #1 keep in mind that some employers say they are doing back ground checks but never do them – some say this to see if you panic and what you will say to tell on yourself. Your personal business is personal, although I do agree with AAM on what you could say, I would keep it brief and no details, it will make you sound conscientious about paying your bills but who does’t have bills.

  23. Bystander*

    #2 I think it’s great that your manager wants to give you training/education – take all you can get. Don’t take it as an insult, take it and learn with it. Managing people in this day and age takes much knowledge – do you know what you would do with the office bully, office conflicts, the office etc, etc.. It’s not all nice aspects of the job all the time. Maybe this manager has seen bad management and wants to ensure that doesn’t happen to you since you are under their supervision as it will make her look bad if you don’t do well too. This site if great for management advise etc., read all you can (you do work with books, lol).

  24. OP #1*

    Hi Alison,

    Thanks for answering my question. Your advice lined up with the advice I got from a family member over the weekend who happens to be a hiring manager with 30 years in the same field.

    I got in touch with the employer and gave him a heads up about my poor credit report. He told me that’s the one negative result from the background check where he is allowed to exercise discretion, and that given everything else I have demonstrated over the course of the hiring process he has no problem hiring me with bad credit. So I’ll check back in when the paperwork is final, but it looks as though I still have the job.

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