I want to give my rude manager a reality check, hanging out with coworkers outside of work, and more

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

1. Should I give my rude internship managers a reality check?

I’ve been interning at an nonprofit for over three months now. I have three months left in my agreement, but I’ve decided to end my internship. I have two bosses, one an executive director and the other the associate director. The executive director has yelled at me, badmouthed my writing, and brought up past mistakes when I express feelings of confidence in my work. The associate director is much of the same; she is vindictive and gives vague instructions and then always blames me for not following through exactly as she feels she expressed. All great reasons for me to move on.

However, I know that when I leave they are going to just hire another intern. This person could be far more vulnerable than me, and the next person and the next. My question is, should I inform the directors exactly why I’m leaving so that they have the knowledge and can at least try to do better? Or should I merely say that it wasn’t a good match? I don’t want to burn bridges, but they took advantage of me and I feel I should speak up.

I’d love to tell you to share your feedback because otherwise they won’t know there’s a problem, but (a) if they’re really that vindictive, it’s unlikely they’ll change anything as a result, and (b) it’s likely that you’ll just sour the relationship (which you might not care about at this point, of course, but you never know when you’ll run into people again). This type of feedback usually has the most impact when (a) it goes to someone truly open to hearing it and/or to someone in a position of authority over the person being complained about, and (b) it comes from someone with a lot of credibility and/or value to the organization. Unfortunately, as an intern (and a three-month intern, at that), you’re probably not going to have a lot of sway.

That said, there’s a polite way to convey a little of this. You could say, for example, that you felt their expectations weren’t well-matched with an intern’s experience level, and that it was tough for you to face such regular criticism when part of the point of an internship is learn the things you were being criticized for not knowing. You’d want to say this in a tone of “this was tough for me,” rather than “you are a jerk” (even though you might secretly mean the latter).

2. How much hanging out with coworkers is appropriate outside of work?

What is appropriate when it comes to hanging out with coworkers after business hours? My husband works in the medical field, three men and about 15 women. I find the lack of boundaries from these people appalling (sharing their sex lives, affairs, etc.). They also get together outside of work. This weekend they will be hosting a poker party, including drinking. There are pictures of them at bars on the staff bulletin board. We have been invited to join, but I have told my husband I am not comfortable. He thinks there is nothing wrong with this picture. From a management view, I feel he should avoid being associated with this.

Some workplaces have cultures like this and some don’t. Your husband’s apparently does. It’s not unusual for coworkers to have drinks together outside of work, although the discussion of their sex lives is potentially problematic, because if someone is uncomfortable with it (and they won’t necessarily know that someone is), that can create harassment issues if it goes far enough. But aside from the sex life discussions, it sounds like this is simply a group of coworkers who enjoy socializing with each other, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Your husband will need to decide if he’s interested in being part of this element of the culture or not. (However, if he’s a manager, he absolutely needs to preserve professional boundaries. In that case, he could still go to the occasional happy hour but should leave after a drink or two, and definitely shouldn’t be discussing sex with any of them.)

3. Sending condolences for a former manager’s death

I recently learned that my first “real” boss died a few months ago, quite suddenly and with no warning. This is a complete shock to me, as she always seemed happy and healthy and I learned some good worklife lessons from her as a graduate and I was recently intending to get back in touch on LinkedIn.

Some of my ex-colleagues were very close friends with her and were quite a close-knit team. Is it a bad idea to send my condolences so many months after? I don’t want to upset anyone further, I just want to express my shock and sadness. Is there a typically professional/ethical thing to do in this sort of situation?

You should absolutely write to them and share your condolences! Too often, people worry it’s too late to express sympathy when someone dies, but it’s pretty much never too late. (My father died 12 years ago, and I’m still always grateful when someone expresses sympathy — and excited when someone wants to talk about him/share stories/etc.) One of the worst parts about having someone close to you die is that you don’t get any more of them — and talking about them (whether it’s just acknowledging the death or talking about your memories of them) is a way to still feel them in your life. Most people really appreciate that. (And yes, I know I just gave you a personal answer more than a professional one, but I don’t think there’s much difference when it comes to death.)

4. Should I offer references if an employer doesn’t request them?

Should I offer my references to the interviewer if they did not ask for them? Such as at the end of the interview? Or if I forget to ask at the interview, should I offer to send them a list of my references in the thank-you email I send them that night? I feel that my references might boost their confidence in considering me, but I also heard that offering it without being asked sounds too desperate.

There’s nothing wrong with offering references if you haven’t been asked for them, and no sane hiring manager will think it looks desperate. That said, if an employer wants to check references, they’re going to ask you for them at some point, and they’re certainly not going penalize you for not proactively offering some — so there’s nothing wrong with waiting until they request them.

5. Explaining to my manager why I need a tool box

I have to give 5 reasons to the manager why I need a tool box. Now all of my tools are in 2 different file cabinets and I can’t find anything.

Five reasons? Your manager sounds like the tool here. Say, “I’ll give you one big reason: My job requires that I keep track of my tools and have easy access to them.”

6. Listing MOOCs on your resume

What’s your opinion on listing MOOCs (massively open online courses, like those found on Coursera or EdX) on a resume? I’ve come across advice that says you should list them because it shows initiative and interest, but I’ve also read that it looks naive to list them under education and might even hurt your resume since they are not comparable with a regular college education and have no human interaction component.

I’m taking a few courses out of general interest as they sometimes relate to my field, but I have no delusions about them being comparable to a full-time university education. I already have a degree, I just like learning! I will say, however, that I think a lot of people have the wrong idea about MOOCs. In a week I usually have 1 hour of video lecture material, the equivalent of 1 chapter of a textbook to read, 2 hours of posting on forums and interacting with classmates and professors, and a quiz or essay. While the course is open to everyone, you do need to achieve a 70% grade overall to pass. Harvard it is not, but it does require some effort.

It has always been my thinking that if you take the courses at face value and not pretend they are anything more than they are, then there’s no harm in adding them. But will recruiters and HR people react negatively to them, like I’m somehow trying to pass this off as higher education?

I wouldn’t list them if (a) your education section is already long-ish or (b) they’re not remotely related to the field you’re seeking work in. But otherwise, I say go ahead and list them. Just don’t give them more prominence or emphasis than your degrees.

7. How far back should your resume go?

I am 49 years old and looking for a new position. I have 20 years of middle to senior management experience on my resume. I eliminated the entry level positions that won’t make much difference. Is this appropriate? Should I eliminate more jobs when just sending through the Internet or email and elaborate on earlier positions if I get an interview?

I work in fundraising/communications/nonprofit where experience is usually an asset. But I am also getting a sense of age discrimination (even though it is illegal, it happens) and I am a very youthful, positive, athletic and fit yogi/ instructor in training (as a hobby now and for my retirement career). At this age benchmark, what should we be adding or eliminating to get our foot in the door with a first interview? How much experience is too much? 20 years? 15? 10?

Generally your resume should go 15-20 years back. If you had lots of jobs during that time, maybe only 15. If you only had a couple of jobs during that time, go to 20 years. The early stuff really isn’t relevant after a certain point (and you probably won’t even get asked about early jobs in interviews, whether they’re on your resume or not). Interviewers mainly care about what you’ve done in more recent years.

{ 119 comments… read them below }

  1. EngineerGirl*

    #5 – Although I agree in theory with Alison’s answer, I suspect that giving it will not be good for the relationship.

    I’d give these reasons:
    1) Limit liability – Having a locking toolbox prevents theft and misuse of tools
    2) Efficiency – Time is saved if there is a good location for tools. More time is spent working instead of looking for tools
    3) Safety – Having a tool box prevents others from taking the tools and leaving them in the wrong place – where they become a hazard to others
    4) Morale – A visible demonstration that the employer cares enough for employees that he/she is willing to invest in the equipment needed for the job.
    5) Corporate Image – Good housekeeping shows visitors that the company cares about quality, production, and safety

      1. EngineerGirl*

        I agree absolutely. I think that falls under efficiency though. I don’t know if you noticed, but all of my reasons were spun in such a way as to benefit the company. If you want something you need to find a way to make it be benefit the person granting the request.

        So perhaps we can spin it as “greater availability yo other work sites”

  2. EngineerGirl*

    #1 – While the situation could truly be bad, I’m concerned with the OP’s use of soft descriptions of her management. “Yelled” could be truly yelling, or it could be an intense voice. “Vindictive” doesn’t tell me anything – is it vindictive or is it someone enforcing consequences for undesirable behavior? “Badmouths” – is it truly that or is it giving correction where needed? “Bringing up past mistakes when expressing confidence in work” – is it that, or does the manager see a huge gap where the intern is Vs where the intern needs to be? Perhaps the intern thinks she’s doing just fine and the boss thinks that she has a long way to go?

    OP, it is really hard to tell from your letter where the problem is. You end your letter saying “they took advantage of me” but I don’t see any evidence of that. Also, it appears that you are only raising discussion as you walk out the door in a huff. Have you first tried to bring this up with your management?

    1. Observer*

      The other thing is that walking out half way through a commitment doesn’t say much for the OP, either, unless they were truly abusive rather than rather unpleasant people who are also bad managers, which is what it sounds like.

      Certainly, there is not enough credibility there for your “heads up” to go very far.

      1. Stevie*

        I’m curious if this is a grad or undergrad internship. The first time receiving constructive criticism can be really hard. And if the OP doesn’t have work experience or was always a good student, hearing this stuff might be taken as “vindictive.”
        That said, 3 months isn’t that long. Can you absolutely not tolerate the work? If it’s just annoying instead of abusive, it might be best to finish out the contract and then move on.

    2. Lily*

      I share your reservations. Descriptions would have been more convincing than the judgements. OP can you describe how you came to your judgements?

      1. Jessa*

        Exactly. This could be just a mismatch of communications styles. And honestly as an intern I might have said – “You know boss, I get that I make mistakes, I’m an intern I’m supposed to be learning here, but when I’m getting something right, that’s not the time to keep reminding me of last week or the week before when I did something that you’ve already shown me how not to do again. Could we please have a talk about what’s working, and if nothing is actually working, can we talk about how we can resolve that.”

        Because they’re keeping me. Even after all the negativity, they’re not letting me go. That means something.

        I did have one boss who was totally not a communicator and I did finally say to her (because we were temps we didn’t get the same feedback statistics that the full timers got) “You know, me not hearing from you that I’m making mistakes, is not the same as you telling me I’m doing okay here. How am I doing?” And I sat back ready to hear either way. I was also instrumental in making them produce those stats for us. Since they had them (It was part of their systems,) they just never thought to GIVE them to us.

        But you have to be really low key and not accusatory about it. You have to be very calm and ready to hear them say “Yeh but we harp on x because well you’re lousy you know?” And kind of nudge them into a plan to fix that with you. Because you’re an intern and if they’re not teaching you, you have to manage your own learning.

      2. ExhaustedIntern*

        As an intern, its really difficult to know what to do in this situation. I understand that I’m not going to make any major changes to this company. However, the company does hire one intern after another and I thought I could share with the directors why this role didn’t work for me. I appreciate all of your comments and will take them into my next position. I do have things to improve upon, but this is not the position to do it in.

        I really wanted to grit my teeth and finish up this agreement. There was talk about me staying past my agreement and getting a promotion, but about a month ago I determined that all I had in me was to finish the six months. At this point, I’m so exhausted and feel used. Its obvious nothing is going to get better and if they were at least receptive to listening to me, I could stick it out. But I’ve brought up giving constructive feedback many times before and it doesn’t seem to be received by someone with a light on. As it is, I don’t want to be putting in ten extra hours a week from my own time and then come in and never feel like I have time to get everything done. They literally have no infrastructure in marketing, no plan to draw in people. The company is on the edge. The ED told me that if things don’t get better over the next year, they might decide to retire. Not a great decision on my part, to try to work with people who have almost given up.

        An example of this is last Wednesday when ED and I were discussing when to have a draft of a letter due. I first said that I would have it due Friday morning, ED countered that it needed to be done Thursday at noon. I said this was impossible, I needed time to unwind that evening and had plans for Thursday. I was volunteering extra time while at home to complete some extra tasks for a marketing effort we were launching. I said 5pm and then ED proceeded to yell at me, saying that this would take 10 minutes for him to finish this task. AD pointed out that I don’t work Thursday and ED’s volume returned to normal (this had been my schedule for three months at this point). “Friday morning will be fine.” Friday morning came, both were on a phone call and when I connected with ED he asked when he could see the draft. I pointed out that I had already sent it, as agreed.

        Following this event, I was on the edge. When AD came in to talk with me on Friday, I was happy to have the chance to sit down with her. She started the conversation with acknowledging that I expressed the feeling of stress. I was juggling tracking, admin and marketing. AD brought in the certificates that were incorrectly done by me. She acknowledged that this might have been the result of me being too busy, and asked me to have my work checked by another employee when she was gone. I asked if she could give me an example of other things that had been done incorrectly. She said that she could not. She acknowledged that things had been going better when implementing the task system. So I asked, do you think that I’ve improved since our August meeting? She looked me in the eye and said, “no I can’t say there has been any improvement,” contradicting her previous statement. She didn’t expand on that, and I asked her if she had looked over my operations work as I’m the only one doing it and it has to be done right (as someone will be stranded at an airport). She said she hadn’t looked over this work for quite some time.

        I proceeded to start to express frustration as I had many times before over assumptions being made without looking over all the facts. Of complaints being made without any way for me to being able to improve upon them. Of this happening over and over, the above situation a prime example. After I finished, there was silence, and without acknowledging what it was that I had just said, AD changed the topic. “Do you want an example of you not following instructions? How about me telling you about a series of blog entries and never following up?”

        This was in reference to a conversation we had in June about the blogs. I brought AD over to the computer and showed her those that I had been using, from the folders labeled “2012” and “2013”. I had recently delved into the folder “2011” as that Friday I said hold the extra tasks you have, I need to catch up on marketing stuff and found the quotes that had been edited up to that year as opposed to the quotes from the earlier years. I brought up finding these entries when AD first came to the office on Friday. During our sit down, I pointed out to AD that in our conversation in June she never actually visually showed me the folder, merely referenced its existence and left me to find them. She had said that they were from a previous intern who spent last summer (2012) editing them. In preparing the blogs in August, I looked into the ’12 and ’13 folders, found quotes that had clearly been edited and used those. When confronted with these facts, Ad said, “In 2011? Really?” I never heard an apology or an “I’m wrong”. She then further criticized my work, making a list of things she didn’t like that I had done, such as failing to track changes on a doc that was in its third round, and making changes to the format of the blog to make it more engaging, but she didn’t like it. The last one was the first time it was brought to my attention. Some of the initial stuff they had pointed out to me in August was helpful, letting me know that numbers 1-9 were meant to be spelled out, 10+ in numeral form. They did have some good stuff to impart but increasingly, its geared towards putting me down. I had repeatedly told AD that I take feedback as an opportunity to do better but if that feedback is not well considered or obviously wrong, as in the case of the blog, I’m only left feeling disrespected.

        1. TL*

          So it sounds like you’re in a rough spot but maybe not handling it very well.

          For instance, if you’re telling the AD all of this “I take feedback as an opportunity to do better but if that feedback is not well considered or obviously wrong, as in the case of the blog, I’m only left feeling disrespected.” than I don’t think that’s helping you – it just comes off sound entitled or whiny or overemotional (never mind the reality of the situation.)

          I think you need to stick to fact statements, not feelings statements. For instance this “I proceeded to start to express frustration as I had many times before over assumptions being made without looking over all the facts. Of complaints being made without any way for me to being able to improve upon them. Of this happening over and over, the above situation a prime example.” sounds bad.

          But if you had said, “I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not sure how to improve on it. Would you point me towards a resource?” that would have been a much better way to handle it. Or, “I’m getting a lot of feedback that I’m not sure how to improve upon. Where/Whom do you suggest I go/talk to?” Or, “Okay, I would love to improve, so if you can think of other instances where I needed improvement, please let me know.” And if it doesn’t happen, accept that your AD is inconsistent and it’s not a good fit for you.

          If they ask, or if you want to, shape your feedback into something factual and neutral: “I think I needed a more supportive environment” would be general enough that they may be able to either change the type of intern they’re looking for or change their program.

          1. Oi*

            OP is also likely not being viewed as a go-getter. I can almost certainly guarantee that at the internship level, OP probably doesn’t understand the appropriate places to draw work/life boundaries.

            Many times I have “needed some time to unwind”, but if something has to get out the next day and it’s my job to do it. Generally, one should not be pushing back on deadlines when the boss has said “I need it by Y” at the internship level. You can credibly push back on deadlines when the employer and you have developed a relationship where you have already proven your skill, efficiency, and work ethic. And even then sometimes you have to go the extra mile to hit deadlines.

            Also, you’re being measured against previous interns. It’s worth perhaps giving their experience some credit–and the potentially icky realization that you just may not be among the best interns they’ve had. And attitude/boundaries issues are often a huge part of that. I managed 15 interns over the course of my first job–ranging from spectacular to “this isn’t working out”. But pretty much universally the problem was that the people who objectively weren’t very good thought that they were.

            1. JMegan*

              Also, there are good ways and bad ways to push back on deadlines…

              Bad way:
              Boss: I need this by Thursday at noon.
              Employee: That’s impossible. I need time to unwind after work!

              Good way:
              Boss: I need this by Thursday at noon.
              Employee: Did you remember that I’m not in the office on Thursdays? Would Friday noon be okay, or do you need it by end of day today?

              And if Boss says he really does need it by the end of the day, your response is:
              That’s fine. I am also working on X,Y, and Z projects at the moment, are there any of those that can wait until Friday so I can finish this up?

              It’s not unreasonable to push back a bit, even as an intern. But you need to do it in a way that says you’re willing to do the job, not that you are *not* willing to do it. Asking for help managing priorities is fine; telling your boss that what he is asking is “impossible” is really, really not.

        2. Oi*

          Also, pointing out a boss’s error is a touchy subject that involves some people-intelligence. Some people are fine with you saying “Um, I sent that to you yesterday at 4:23 p.m.” and some bosses you need to manage a bit. So, re-forwarding an email and saying “May have gotten lost in your in-box with all the e-mail traffic this morning!” or phrasing it as a question “Hm, are you editing version 3? [Reattach version 3] I thought I had already included those edits, but perhaps I did not.” The degree to which you can just point out your boss’s mistakes really depends on the boss and your relationship. And an apology from some people just isn’t going to happen. I’m always ready to apologize for my mistakes (and even take ownership for mistakes of others: “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, I should have checked over the copy center’s work.”) but rarely expect to hear an apology from others. So it’s a pleasant surprise when it happens but not particularly disappointing when it doesn’t.

          Also, be sure to “arrange your face” when receiving criticism. If you’re saying “Thanks so much for the feedback; I will really try to do better” but your face says “You’re an idiot.” you aren’t going to gain your bosses’ confidence that you’re internalizing their comments.

          A really good employee adapts to their manager’s style (same with a good manager, but control the things you can control…)

        3. EngineerGirl*

          I hate to say it OP, but all of these things are normal criticisms. Asking someone to check your work is **normal** for someone in your position. Making sure that blog entries follow basic grammar is normal. And one thing I noticed – all of these are fact based. I don’t see where that is “putting you down”.

          Now I admit that it sounds like they could be handling it better, but really – this is well within normal business behavior. You need to get used to it because that is how the working world is.

        4. Lily*

          When a company is disorganized, you have a good chance to make a difference and bring order into chaos and have your efforts appreciated. And you were being considered for promotion, right?

          But your bosses are not giving your feedback in the right way. This is very important to you and you keep on trying to get them to give you feedback correctly, but they don’t and you are very frustrated with this. Is there any way for you to reduce your expectations that feedback is given in the way you want? I am guessing that this is causing a lot of the conflict.

          You don’t want to take more than your proper share of blame for mistakes, but your managers are probably concerned that their feedback is followed by arguments about blame or the way the feedback is given which may be taking more time than it would have taken to just fix whatever the problem is.

          You wrote, “But I’ve brought up giving constructive feedback many times before and it doesn’t seem to be received by someone with a light on.” You make it sound awfully easy, but isn’t. I wouldn’t recommend trying to get your boss to change, but your feedback on their feedback does not sound like constructive criticism either.

    3. EJ*

      +1 – if you have a problem with all your bosses it’s worth looking inward to see if you might be part of the problem.

      1. Cruella Da Boss*

        Glad to know that I wasn’t alone.

        In my first professional experience, I felt this way too. When I was fresh out of college I thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread! Any criticism was viewed as a hostile attack of my performance in my efforts to be a “serious professional”. But as I matured, and began to take information shared with me to heart, (because people cared about me enough to take the time to help groom me) I saw these less as attacks and more as the learning experiences that they were.

        1. Jen*

          This is so true. I think of how I was at my first internship and how I really wasn’t willing to learn. I was trying to prove so hard to everyone that I wasn’t an idiot. Interns are in a tough spot because often people treat them like they’re stupid so you have to put on a protective shell and be a little overconfident – but at the same time you also have to be receptive to their input.

    4. Felicia*

      My first internship (ive done 3), i felt was like that, but really it was normal constructive criticism, a general personality clash with the boss and the expectations were a little high for a barely paid intern, but not totally unreasonable . i just didn’t know better at the time.

    5. Colette*

      One of the pieces that stood out at me was she is vindictive and gives vague instructions and then always blames me for not following through exactly as she feels she expressed.

      In the work world, if you don’t understand what she’s asking, you need to ask questions so that you do understand – especially if you’ve had communication problems in the past. Now, maybe this is truly someone who changes her mind on a whim, but it could also be that you’re not doing what you need to be doing.

      Questions for the OP to ask herself:
      – Has this sort of perceived mistreatment happened before (in classes, other internships, other jobs)?
      – Did you make an effort to move past the personality clashes?
      – Did you ask questions when you didn’t understand something, or assume you’d figure it out?
      – What were the good qualities of your bosses at the internship? What skills/knowledge do they have that you do not?
      – Thinking back on the issues your bosses raised, were there common complaints? What could you do to improve in those areas?

      I’m absolutely willing to believe that the intern managers weren’t the best managers in the world – but I’d also be willing to bet that the intern had things she could have done better. The danger with dismissing them as incompetent/abusive is that you lose the opportunity to learn how to improve yourself.

      1. some1*

        This is a great checklist. I know early on in my career I had to do a huge self-inventory about how I handled frustration on the job.

        1. Kate*

          Agreed with this. imho a major component and benefit of doing an internship is just learning how to operate in a professional setting.

      2. Jessa*

        As for the “vague instructions” clarify, clarify, email them to make sure you get it, and clarify some more. If they ask you why, tell them. Last time Madge said x, I thought I did x, but what she really wanted was x y and z and well that was not made clear at least to me. So when Madge gives me a list I want to make sure that I’m understanding the actual job she wants done, not what I think I hear her asking me to do.

        You have to play it like you didn’t get it more than Madge is seriously vague (give her space to save face here,) but still make an effort to KNOW what you’re being asked to do.

    6. Anonymous*

      The OP didn’t say ‘berated’, ‘belittled’, ‘demeaning’ – instead OP says ‘vindictive’ in the same sentence as ‘vague instructions’, how is that vindictive unless the manager is purposely giving vague instructions to ‘catch interns not doing their job’ or its a problem where FT staff can’t get clear instructions either

      The OP didn’t give examples of how the manager is having unrealistic expectations – I walk into work and was was talked down to by my manager for leaving an unsharpened pencil on my desk before going home the night before

      Past mistakes – is why they are yelling at you related to you not correcting your behavior from past mistakes that are repeating themselves? You screw up X 2-times, got spoken to about it, and screwed up X 3-times more after being told to correct it. You screwed up Y, got spoken about it, you continue to screw up Y. manager brings up X because you havent learned to correct behavior / work when given constructive feedback.

      1. Jessa*

        There are also managers who regrettably have it in their head that praise is a bad idea. And they just have to go “You did the Smithson project perfectly, huzzah, but OMG remember the Jones report?” It’s just their nature. At some point you can try and work at that. Unless you really ARE messing up the Jones report every week, you can probably get away with “Yes, I’m sorry about Jones, but Katniss over there showed me how to fix that and it won’t happen again. Now that I’m doing that right can we please stop bringing that one up? What do you want me to do next?”

  3. EngineerGirl*

    #3 – One of the greatest gifts you can give a grieving friend/relative is to share stories about the loved one that the grieving one may not know about. For example, when my Dad died both my aunt and uncle told me stories about his childhood that I didn’t know about! I was so grateful to see another aspect of someone I loved dearly.

    1. fposte*

      And it’s never too late to hear these things, so don’t feel like you shouldn’t do it at all if you don’t get it out immediately. It’s often very consoling to hear these things after the big condolence rush is over and everybody seems to have moved on.

      1. Ruffingit*

        YES! This is something very important to remember. So many people just vanish months after someone dies and that is the time when it might be most important to be there for the grieving person. I always tell people that yes, they should send meals, cards, etc. to the person in the midst of the grief, but when a few months have passed and things have settled, you should invite that person to coffee, out for a meal, whatever and send a card letting them know you’re thinking of them and you care. We’re all primed to deal with crises in the moment, but the time when things settle is sometimes when a person really needs someone to debrief with.

    2. Scott M*

      Just playing devils advocate here, not everyone feels this way. When my dad died, i reached a point fairly quickly where I just didn’t want to think about it anymore. So any time someone brought it up, it just hurt that much more.

      I didn’t mind the good intentions, but it helps if you know something about the person. A quick note is OK, but not a long story if you don’t know the person well.

      1. Ruffingit*

        Yes, it is important to be cognizant of the person’s needs. Some people like to keep things quiet and move forward. Nothing wrong with that at all, people grieve differently.

      2. OP #3*

        Thanks for all the messages and advice.

        This was my concern (Scott M), as I only really knew her in a work environment, although we did regularly go for post-work drinks and such.

        I have passed on my condolences via a mutual contact who can judge the situation and timing better than I.

    3. the gold digger*

      I saw a classmate at my high school reunion a few years after my dad had died. I hadn’t kept in touch with Eddie, but he had known my dad because my dad was the adult sponsor for our Sea Scout group.

      When he saw me, the first thing he asked was how my dad was. When I told him my dad had died, he expressed sympathy and then told me his good memories of my dad, including some stories about my dad I had never heard. You don’t get to have your loved one back, but it feels so good to have a little piece of him that you never knew existed.

  4. Erika Kerekes*

    #7 – I always have a hard time with this because my early years included a few big, impressive, groundbreaking positions at prominent companies at a crucial time in the development of my industry. Everything I’ve done for the past 25 years is related to what I do now. Plus I had an 8-year parenting break. I solved this by dividing my resume into “Here and Now,” “Yesteryear” and “Long Ago and Far Away.” Seriously.

    1. WWWONKA*

      Since my recent years are not related to my field that I apply to I go back 2 jobs which is about 20 years. I do this also to show longevity and the company which is well known.

      1. JM in England*

        Here in the UK, if your resume does not disclose your full employment history, there is a tendency for employers to assume that you’ve something to hide.

  5. Jeff*

    Re: #6

    I work as an instructional designer and have been following MOOCs pretty closely and taken a fair number of them. I’d say it’s fair to treat them like certificate programs or career-advancement courses. They do count for something and you’re typically learning from leaders in the field. It also depends on what field you’re applying for. Particularly if you’re looking in the IT field, your MOOCs will count for a lot more and will show initiative. But yeah, you’ll really only want to list the ones that really apply to your field. Just listing the courses you’ve taken out of general interest is probably not going to boost your resume, and for employers who aren’t sure what MOOCs are, you’re probably going to confuse them more than impress them. You could mention them in your cover letters in brief as an example to show that you enjoy learning.

    1. Jessa*

      Exactly, especially if you take something skills useful. Some kind of programming thing or tech thing, or other field related kind of knowledge. That I’d probably mention simply because knowing x can be useful in the field. Cover letter is a great place to put it in.

    2. shelfninja*

      I’ve put MOOCs in a professional development section, along with workshops, webinars, conference attendance, and the like. It shows that I’m keeping up on my skills and expanding my knowledge without looking like I think they’re the equivalent of a long-term, formal degree program.

    3. OP #6*

      Thanks Alison and commenters! Great answers, as always. I like either briefly mentioning it in the cover letter (when applicable) or the idea of a small professional development subsection under education- I am starting to reach the point where I have a enough experience that it might be worthwile to put all those things (relevant to the position!) in my resume. I also love what the commenters said below about simply listing “MOOC Enthusiast” as an interest. Thanks everyone!

  6. Angelina Retta*

    #1 – Speaking from experience, this is not a battle you want to fight and not just because you won’t win it. It’s noble to want to protect the next intern but the only way they are going to learn is with a high turnover, not from someone complaining who will probably be labelled as an entitled millennial who doesn’t know anything. They’ve already told you that they don’t value your opinion. Move on.

    1. fposte*

      If this is through a school or other program, though, you can report it to the program managers–they’ll want to know.

      1. Ruffingit*

        You should report it to the school, but I will caution the OP that sometimes they just don’t care. I had a practicum as part of my M.A. degree with a woman who was vying for world’s worst manager. She nearly caused me not to be able to graduate due to her inability to get anything done on time. I kept my professor apprised of the situation and thankfully, he was as helpful as he could be given the circumstances. At the time this was going on, I was well into my 30s with a good deal of work experience behind me so it’s not as though I was an ingenue who couldn’t recognize good vs. bad management.

        The woman who followed me in that internship was a friend of mine from the same program. She is in her late 50s and had the same problem with my manager. And my friend’s previous job was as an HR manager, one who knows her stuff I might add. So she too could recognize workplace issues.

        The last intern was someone my friend knew and the manager did not tell her about some requirement the manager had for her within the practicum. When the intern didn’t get it done (because she didn’t know about it), the manager actually suggested she take an incomplete for the semester, which would have put off her graduation by another semester. UM. NO!

        Point with this long story is that this was clearly an incompetent manager and yet, the school continues to place people at her site. I did have a small sense of satisfaction in that when she nearly caused me to miss my graduation date, I ripped into her…politely, but firmly and let her know that her lax management style was not acceptable when she was affecting people’s ability to graduate and therefore make money. Most of the people in the program are long since grown-ups with families to support and not graduating because she can’t get her paperwork done on time IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

        And yet, the school continues to place students there. So yeah. Tell them, but don’t be surprised if they don’t care.

          1. Ruffingit*

            Yup. The woman I reference was unbelievable in her inability to get things done. She was a Ph.D. psychologist and I often wondered how she was able to make it through school. She worked for the court system and the documents she submitted to the judge were horrific. Having been a lawyer in a former life, I was appalled at what she was passing off as professional work. I drove 60 miles one-way for that internship and she promised to have things in order for me to complete when I got there (there was a required number of hours to complete for the internship) and she never had things ready for me. Her answer to what I should do was to go sit in the mental health court hearings so I could “learn.” UM…yeah. I was a lawyer before going back to school, sitting in the courthouse is what I used to get PAID to do lady. That is not a learning activity for me. I used to participate in those hearings, it’s not helpful for me to watch them.

            I could go on and on. This woman was nuts. I really felt sorry for her assistant who actually told me that had she known how to get in touch with me, she would have called me to warn me NOT to take the internship with this woman. So there’s that. Crazy stuff out there in every area of the working world.

  7. D*

    #5 : Efficiency! If you have to waste time looking for tools, it cuts into your productivity. They should all be in one place and having to make the case for a toolbox is insane.

      1. TL*

        A good tool box can be quite pricey. If her tools are taking up two file cabinets, it’s probably a lot more than she wants or may be able to spend. Furthermore, your workplace should provide you with a toolbox if needed.

        1. Chinook*

          “Furthermore, your workplace should provide you with a toolbox if needed”

          Not necessarily. Some trades/jobs require you to provide your own tools and toolbox for storage. In such a place, people often have a toolbox that locks because those tools can get quite pricey.

  8. Anonymous*

    2. How much hanging out with coworkers is appropriate outside of work

    I don’t think it’s bad at all, the op might be insecure (justifiably so). How do you know about sex discussions? Does your husband tell you or do you hear from someone else? If he is telling you I wonder why?

    I generally don’t tell my spouse about things that might make her feel insecure (sex discussions) but hanging out is okay. Unless otherwise.

    1. EE*

      In my old job there were sometimes (voluntary!) weekends away and I literally had a co-worker talk to me, with no encouragement whatsoever, about how she preferred vibrators without penislike attachments because they were nicer and less scary. Thank Christ I was able to manufacture a distraction before I was prompted for a reponse.

      And this was from the studious, overworked type, not the loudmouth devil-may-care type.

      1. IronMaiden*

        What you do in these situations is shout “TMI” at the top of your voice, stick your fingers in your ears and go “lalalalala”. It’s not subtle but it works.

      2. Jean*

        Yikes! How about aggressively changing the subject? Simply pick the (clean) topic of your choice and have at it. If your coworker looks puzzled pretend you’re answering the comment that they SHOULD have made instead of oversharing.
        Coworker: Blah blah blah vibrators!
        You: Yeah, I agree, the Buzzards (insert sports team of your choice) defense was lousy last weekend. (Now give detailed recommendations for their defense for the rest of the season. Include potential trades of players and firings of coaches.)
        My husband decided to repaint our woodwork. It looks gorgeous but I wish he had consulted me because we’re expecting company in 2 days and everything is still covered in drop cloths. (Next you ask your coworker what she/he knows about low-volatility organic emissions wood stains.) He swears he’ll be finished tomorrow evening but … (Describe how he sands everything by hand. Ask if steel wool really works better than pot scrubbers on vintage wood trim.)
        Last night I realized that if we add a new column to the spreadsheet tracking our shipping expenses we could also gather data about how much more it costs us when marketing doesn’t get us the conference brochures until two days before the event. (Fill out the entire scenario of how to help marketing plan ahead and what you could do for the business with the money saved.)

    2. SJ*

      That’s the feeling I got as well. The OP called out that her husband worked with 3 men and about 15 women. To me, it sounded like the OP wanted to highlight the gender ratio in the group.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Well, frankly, I would be uncomfortable with my husband hanging out with a bunch of women I didn’t know and talking about sex. Especially if he’s in management–there’s a whole other potential can of worms right there.

  9. Lee*

    Re #3 and the post about your dad- beautiful. I shed a tear at the last line. Thank you for including that link.

  10. Meghan*

    Alison, I just wanted to say that the post you linked about your dad really touched me (I’m trying to not leak a couple of tears in my cube).

    My dad died 12 years ago this year and I always thought it would get easier, but it doesn’t because every year I wish there was something he had been there to see. You dad sounds like he was an incredible man and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  11. Cruella Da Boss*

    #2 These are not the OP’s coworkers. They are her husband’s. How comfortable HE is should determine how much time he spends hanging out with them. He should take her feelings into consideration, of course, but I think that the root of the problem is outlined in this sentence :”My husband works in the medical field, three men and about 15 women.”

  12. BCW*

    Wow, #2 you seem a bit prudish. Oh no, a poker night with booze? Call the morality police! And there are pictures of adults at a bar? This madness must end! In all seriousness though, if you don’t want to hang out with your co-workers socially, drink with them, or have those types of conversations, thats a perfectly fine decision. However, its not your place to say what is inappropriate for someone else’s workplace. I don’t know the age range of the people in this job (you said medical field, but it could be doctors, medical sales people, or anything in between), but if they are all around the same age and get along well, it makes perfect sense that they would hang out together outside of work. That hanging out lends itself to a certain familiarity with each other, and more personal conversations, such as sex, will probably come up.

    Aside from that, your not letting your husband go out and be social is fairly controlling, plus its really not doing him any favors as far as work goes. Fair or not, when everyone tends to hang out socially and there is one person who chooses to not do it, then that person starts to be seen as an outcast, and it can definitely impact them at work. Not in the sense they’ll get fired or anything, but smaller things like being left out of conversations, etc

    1. Caffeine Queen*

      Hey…………..I think that’s a bit much. Yes, there are some people who have different definitions of morality and yes, there are folks who are more conservative than others. Like it or not, there are people who feel that sex conversations have absolutely no place in the work place. If you know your spouse wouldn’t like it or feels uncomfortable with it, you have to respect their feelings. Not wanting your life partner to do something you feel crosses your boundaries is a far cry from being controlling.

      It’s one thing if it’s your friends-you have no say. However, it’s different when it’s your spouse or your partner. If you truly love and respect them, don’t do something that makes them feel uncomfortable and insecure. If their “prudish” behavior is a problem for you, then maybe you shouldn’t have married them. End of story.

      1. Calla*

        I agree. If your spouse were demanding you never see co-workers you’re friends with outside of work, that would be one thing. But telling your spouse you are uncomfortable with them regularly hanging out and discussing sex and affairs… that’s different and merits the other party at least hearing them out about it.

      2. BCW*

        I think you are making a different argument than I am. As I said, if SHE doesn’t like that stuff its fine. If they decide as a couple that its not the type of environment they want to be in, no problem. But I don’t think its her place to say what is not appropriate in general, just because its not her preference.

        But yes, I do think its controlling to not let your spouse go to a social event because sex may be discussed and alcohol is present. Her husband is an adult, and either she trusts him to not cross any lines or she doesn’t. Just because he is present for a conversation, doesn’t mean he has to participate. Trust me, I’ve done it plenty of times (I’m far less of a kiss and tell person than my friends). But I stand by my statement that it can negatively impact his work relationships if he never goes to the outings.

          1. BCW*

            The whole “I have told my husband I am not comfortable” thing makes me think she is strongly insinuating that she doesn’t want him to go even if she has not expressly forbidden him. I know from experience that if my gf tells me that “she isn’t comfortable” with something I’m doing that if I do it, I’ll be dealing with her anger later. Now yes, its still my choice, but I’m choosing to deal with certain consequences if I go through with it;.

              1. some1*

                I am a woman, and that question read to me like a person who was looking for a validation that the husband’s workplace is Creepytimes and she should absolutely discourage him from socializing with these people outside of work.

                1. Calla*

                  Discouraging is not controlling (unless there will be consequences from her if he doesn’t listen, which I don’t get from the OP but either way none of us can know for sure), especially IMO given that there’s something out of the norm happening.

                  I agree that she’s looking for agreement she could discourage him from going. I disagree that being uncomfortable with your spouse hanging out with coworkers to talk about sex and affairs is prudish and controlling.

                2. some1*

                  “I disagree that being uncomfortable with your spouse hanging out with coworkers to talk about sex and affairs is prudish and controlling.”

                  But do we know that’s what is happening? In my career I have found out stuff like this and on the same caliber that I didn’t want to know. Just because someone told me something about themselves or one of our co-workers that I disapproved of & never wanted to know, doesn’t mean it got discussed at every Happy Hour.

                3. Calla*

                  @some1 – true. My thought is that if it only happened once it wouldn’t even warrant a mention in the letter, but I don’t know that for certain… just like no one here knows that OP is a controlling overreacting wife.

                4. some1*

                  @Calla – I don’t think the LW is overreacting about the personal stuff her husband knows about these people, but imo she is overreacting about the the female to male ratio, the socializing in and of itself, the bulletin board pic, and getting invited to a poker party with alcohol. Unless there’s something I don’t know, like some of these people aren’t of drinking age or everone belongs to a religion where gambling & drinking is taboo.

                5. Ellie H.*

                  Yeah, I agree – it seems like she wants someone to agree it’s inappropriate because it bothers her. I definitely read “I told him that I am not comfortable” as that she has attempted to get him not to participate, and that she’s writing in to AAM as an attempt to validate her position.

                  If someone you have a close friendship with (coworker or no) wants to talk about sex and relationships when you’re out at a bar, having drinks, in a social context, I really don’t get what the problem with that is, even if you are coworkers as well as friends (though of course, Alison’s point that it can be harder to tell if everyone is on the same page re. being comfortable with these subjects, when you’re all coworkers, is important). It’s one of those subjects that grownups tend to talk about when they’re hanging out and/or drinking.

                6. Chinook*

                  I get the same vibe. If DH had an issue with me hanging out at happy hour as one of 3 women in a group of 20, I would ask what his particular concern was. If he is worried about me getting home safe after, that is one thing. But if it is only that I am hanging out with the opposite sex, he would then get an earful of how he needs to trust me to know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in public. And then I would point out that I would expect the same from him if the role was reversed.

                  As an aside, this sounds like OP’s hubby may be a nurse or work with a lot of nurses. My experience working with them is that they treat the men as “one of the girls” and that nurses in general, because they deal with all manners of things deemed disgusting by “polite” society, they often forget where the line is. Think discussing explosive bowel movements while eating stew at the kitchen table. Discussing sex could fall into that area, especially if their job deals with sexual issues.

              2. BCW*

                You are right, but I’d say the majority of women do this is some way, shape or form. As do men. When you are in a relationship, you can’t force someone to do things, but you can strongly suggest things. If you do those things anyway, you know they will get mad. But thats your choice. To act like that doesn’t happen in relationships isn’t realistic.

            1. Del*

              I think it’s pretty worth pointing out that the OP’s “I am not comfortable” statement is regarding them BOTH being invited to join in — ie, that she is not comfortable going (for that matter, we are assuming the OP is a she – same-sex marriage *is* legal in some places).

              1. Calla*

                Good point! Though OP does also say that they feel the husband should avoid going. But again, that’s a vast difference from “I demand you don’t go and if you do it anyway I’m going to make you pay” like some seem to be inferring.

            2. Broke Philosopher*

              Some people have adult relationships in which they can express their emotions and have discussions. Just because you don’t have one doesn’t mean OP doesn’t.

        1. Oi*

          I think she should also be concerned for him from a liability standpoint. There are lots of people who think sex discussions have no place in the workplace (like most states annnnnd most workplaces). If you’re

          Lots of booze and sextalk is a risky position to place yourself in as a male manager of numerous female employees. If just one of the 12 women there feels uncomfortable with the context (but feels that they’ll miss out on work opportunities or be treated unfairly if they don’t participate in these outings), you have a serious problem. In these contexts where nobody knows where “The Line” is, you often don’t find out until a problem is already occurring (i.e., someone has Crossed The Line). And everyone may think at the time this is all fine and dandy, but then later have issues arising from it. (The most revealing SexTalk Lady gets the promotion; everyone else wonders if it’s because she’s always engaging in racy conversations….)

          Apart from OP’s personal discomfort with the situation, she also could (and should be) legitimately uncomfortable by the potential liabilities and personal risks her husband could be exposing himself to.

          1. Bobby Digital*

            “There are lots of people who think sex discussions have no place in the workplace (like most states annnnnd most workplaces)”


            The drinking picture? Whatever, fine. The sex talk? Yeah, I’m gonna disagree with the idea that most/many adults end up talking about sex while hanging out with coworkers. Especially in a group of 10-20 people. That’s so…unusual, amongst other things.

      3. Jessa*

        There are also future jobs who find this stuff a problem and if some of the people in those pictures are putting them on social media, it might not be this job that is an issue but the NEXT one where they decide they don’t want “title husband would have gotten promoted to,” acting like that, and decide not to hire him.

        I don’t think “poker night, drinking amongst adults, etc.” is on the face of it bad stuff. I don’t care to do it (it’s hard to play poker friendly like when your father made a lot of money back in the day playing it semi-pro, and I don’t drink.) My issue is if there are pictures I don’t want to be in them. I don’t want my future judged by some group like the ones that fire teachers for being in a legal bar with a legal drink (not drunk or disorderly,) because someone put their picture up somewhere.

        1. TL*

          I don’t want to work for someone who would fire me for having a non-drunk picture of legal me with a legal drink. Especially a group picture, fercryinoutloud. It works both ways.

          1. Jessa*

            I agree with this, the problem is, if they haul you in with no notice and decide they have a problem you end up suddenly unemployed. If you know going IN that they’re going to be stupid about adults acting properly you don’t take that job.

            1. TL*

              I just think it’s silly to live your life as if everyone is that crazy, rather than assuming most people are normal.

              If you’re in a particularly conservative field or if you live/work somewhere notorious for doing things like that, sure. But otherwise, best to that harmless photos of you with an alcoholic drink are actually harmless.

          2. Jane Doe*

            And if they’d fire you for a picture of you having a drink, they’d probably fire you for a lot of other things people do on their personal time that aren’t illegal or for the friends and acquaintances you have that they disapprove of.

  13. Sara*

    For #6 — I start my education section with my degrees, and then use a “Further Training” subheading to list off some professional skills workshops, distance education, and a leadership development program. The next iteration will include a relevant MOOC.

    I’m really conscious about which things I put in that list and which I don’t — if I started including 1-hour webinars and “advanced Excel tips & tricks” it would lose a lot of credibility.

  14. Kristen*

    #2 —
    My boyfriend also works in the medical field, and I don’t think this is terribly uncommon. He works in a hospital in a tough field (cancer care), and I think that there is some comfort for him to spend time with other people who see the same things that he does day in and day out. In a way, I think it helps our relationship for him to have people who really understand what he’s going through, since I don’t work in the field. I actually enjoy spending time with his colleagues as well — they are always very warm and welcoming, and they are sort of like a family to him. However, I will say that the sharing of sex lives is not something that is common in his group (he and his colleagues are all either married or in long-term committed relationships).

    Another commenter addressed your statement of the number of men vs. women in the group, and I definitely recognize some doubts that I had when my boyfriend first joined the medical community. There are also more women than men in his group, which again is becoming more and more typical of medicine. At first I was intimidated by this, especially because there is a certain connection between people who have a passion for something like cancer care. I came to realize that if your relationship is solid and the lines of communication are open between you and your partner, you really don’t have to worry. I hope this helps, and that maybe you’ll even find that you benefit from your husband’s community!

    1. TL*

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If it’s a tough medical field, or if it’s very specialized, there’s a good chance that the coworkers get things that other people just don’t.
      As for the sex and affairs – if it’s generic friend stuff, like mentioning when a relationship has moved to the next level or waggling your eyebrows and saying, “yup. in the movie theater. watching captain america”, or whatever, I wouldn’t care or worry about it too much.
      If it’s really specific stuff, like the vibrator example (TMI!) or really detailed stories, then I would probably be more concerned, especially if it’s a large group discussion rather than a one-on-one.

      1. Ruffingit*

        Yeah, large group discussion about sex lives (conversational orgy as I like to call it) is not a good idea. Personally, I find it disrespectful for anyone to discuss their sex life with their colleagues. I respect my husband and my privacy more than that. I also tend to think of this more as locker room talk and in my head, I’m always thinking “Grow up” whenever anyone is talking about how their sex life in a setting that wouldn’t invite that (work for example).

        1. Bobby Digital*

          Right?! I just said the same thing above. Maybe the one coworker I’m ever the most closest to in the whole world…maybe. But with, like, the whole office? That is so, so, uncommon that it would make me question my husband’s/brother’s/friend’s/neighbor’s workplace if I heard about it.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      Not too scathing, though. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I tend to dismiss reviews that are too happy (shill) or too angry (someone got in trouble and is venting). I think fposte’s suggestion above about letting the school program know is a sound one. They can make an inquiry and decide whether to continue sending interns to this place or not, based on what they learn.

    2. JustMe*

      That’s what I was going to say! I always check to see if a company’s on Glassdoor if I’m applying for a position. However, Elizabeth does have a point. There are also reviews on there that clearly did not value objectivity. If you can’t separate raw emotion from your experience enough to be able to write a fair review while still giving that warning, it may be best to just swallow your pride and move on.

      Besides that, if the nonprofit isn’t already listed on there and you add it and review it, particularly if it’s a small office, it’s going to be pretty obvious who left the critical review. Bridge burned…

  15. ChristineSW*

    Alison – Just re-read the tribute to your dad and all the wonderful messages in the comments (I was one of them…I’m the one with the redheaded niece :) )

    For OP#3 – I agree with Alison; I think your ex-colleagues would definitely appreciate a nice note from you. Sorry to hear about her passing.

  16. LCL*

    #5 I’d make this all about money.
    1. Tools walk away if not kept in a locked box. Replacing them is expensive.
    2. All of the time you spend trying to find your tools is time that you should be doing your job. If you get paid by the hour, would he rather you be trying to find things, or actually fixing things?
    3. If everybody has access to the tools, someone who is not qualified will try to fix something, and make it worse, costing more money to repair.
    4. Filing cabinets are for files. Having tools and other random items in filing cabinets disorganizes the filing system, which means more time/money spent looking for files.
    5. The biggie-equipment down time. Every minute something is waiting to be repaired holds up other jobs. The lack of a $10 tool can hold up a job that could bring in thousands in revenue, and the idle time of the crew waiting for the machine to get fixed is also money.

  17. Girasol*

    #7 The 49 year old’s resume:
    At 51 I listed ALL the jobs I had ever held on an application (lest it look like I couldn’t follow the specific instructions to do so.) The interview centered on my pre-career student jobs from 30+ years ago. I’d say to avoid listing anything so old that some job side track from your past side tracks the whole interview.

    1. Treece*

      I recently started a new job at 50 years old. My resume went back 13 years because that is all the room I had. I believe I got the interview because I tailored my resume to the job description and used some of their key words. And I also have AAM’s “How to Get a Job” guide. Excellent resource.

  18. Laur*

    #6 – I interviewed someone recently who listed “MOOC Enthusiast” under her “Other Data / Interests” session. It caught my attention and sent the exact message you want to send (“This person is curious and likes learning”) without presenting MOOCs as equivalent to other forms of education.

  19. Gene*

    Re: #7

    If I go back 20 years, I have one job to list. If I go back 30 years, I have 3 in my field, one tangentally related, and one part-time teaching sailing. If I go back to high school I can add two more jobs.

    I guess I can’t be accused of being a job hopper!

  20. Betsy*

    #7, This is funny timing for me, because I am reading this as I prepare to interview someone whose (5-page!) resume lists every one of the 16 jobs he’s held in the last 28 years, and I will tell you that I am not even pretending to give it my full attention. If you feel like you need or want to put some former roles on there (for prestige reasons, because the company requested it, or whatever), I would at least leave them content free, as in:

    June 2006-Present Teapot Quality Inspector
    * Checked Teapots
    * Fixed Teapots
    * 100% customer teapot satisfaction

    Feb 1997-June 2006 Chocolate Guru
    Dec 1992-Feb 1997 Teapot Painter
    Jan 1990-Dec 1990 Teapot Intern

  21. Anonymous*

    We have had so many questions lately about employees/applicants wanting to let people know their behavior is rude/unacceptable/creepy/whatever. Haven’t we? Geez Louise that’s rude in and of itself. That’s the only response I can come up with.

    1. Ruffingit*

      May not be rude in and of itself, it’s very dependent on the people you’re dealing with. I’ve worked for people who would never, ever take criticism constructively. They were THE BOSS and everyone better damn well know it and not say a word despite clear and continuing abuse to employees and even clients sometimes. And then there are the people who don’t realize they’re being continually critical and/or negative and they’re open to making a change in their behavior. So really, it is very dependent on the people you’re dealing with. Saying something is not always a bad thing.

  22. Nic*

    Finally, a confirmation that sending condolences no matter how late is fine. It doesn’t have to be just “I’m sorry” all the time.

Comments are closed.