5 more reader updates

Five more reader updates:

1. The reader whose paychecks were bouncing

I went to the labor board about the whole thing (you should’ve seen the look on the labor commissioner’s face when he figured out the company tried to pay their bounced check with a bounced checks – it was quite pained) – the gears ground slow but sure but they eventually made a judgment. The company responsible for employing me did not even bother appealing. Or showing up at all.

I am now, however, in the position of having to foot the bill to collect the stupid thing. (I have to cover court filing fees and a process server to carry out a writ of execution). The employer company is supposed to reimburse me for costs reasonable to collecting the debt, but 1. It’s not cheap and 2. If I can’t trust them to pay the first amount, I’m not sure what good tacking on more will do.

I just can’t afford the monetary, emotional, and time cost of pursuing this right now, but when I land a permanent job, I will reevaluate.

And I am now a happy member of a local credit union.

2. The reader who wanted to leave a job after six weeks (#3 at the link)

I ended up accepting a great offer that pays quite a bit more than the current position and when I went to give notice to my current manager he was already aware that I would be leaving, gave me a great reference, and wished me the best (instead of pushing me out the door, which is what I feared would happen!).

He also acknowledged that he didn’t have much time to sit down with me and to train me and he realized that this probably played a part in me leaving so quickly but that he would work on doing a better job going forward.

3. The reader who wanted to know why so many employers are rude and inconsiderate to job seekers

I wish I had good news. I finally got that tech test the following week, I spent a few hours on it, sent it in and was told I’d “hear back soon” – that was 6 weeks ago. Nothing has changed, I’m still struggling to have people get back to me – even about basic things like volunteering. I’ve definitely got a better attitude about it and far few things are being broken around the house. It’s still a shame that people can act like that and it still makes me angry but it’s no longer my focus, so thank you very much for your advice and support. I’m taking a class in a few weeks that will hopefully help me transition to a field where my skills will be more in demand. Best of luck to you all!

4. The reader who had resigned but was having trouble getting the new employer to set a start date

Well, I had to get more aggressive with this new company in getting them to commit to a firm start date. I did start in mid-July. After being out of work for 5 weeks. I did share with HR the reasons for my concerns and that yes, I was indeed upset about being pushed off for so long. They did apologize, saying that one of the managers on my “team” had resigned the same day their offer went out to me. So they had some issues to work out.

I am still with this company 2 months later. It’s not a horrible job, but not as great as I thought it would be. My major issue with the management here is the lack of communication between departments. I have asked about job expectations, sales goals, process procedures etc and can’t say I have a complete understanding on what my job function since it changes weekly or I never get a response.

In the meantime, I have been looking around to see if any new opportunities are available with another company. I am trying to make the best of my situation when I can.

5. The manager whose employee wanted to learn a new skill and wouldn’t take no for an answer

It’s a rather dull update. I’m afraid as things went exactly as planned and worked out quite alright. Your advice helped me a lot with how to approach the situation. I went to my employee and had a conversation with her about what her responsibilities were, how she fit into the company and how her job was important and deserved her full attention. I was firm with her and told her that I expected this to be that last time we had to discuss this matter and in fact, it was. She is still with the company, still doing the job she was hired to do and has been a loyal employee. Personally, I believe she still has some ill feelings towards me due to the situation but for the most part we work together just fine.

Thanks so much for the great advice. I love to read all of your advice in hopes that I can use some of it in the future when situations arise. I’m always learning and trying to be a great team player and manager.

{ 23 comments… read them below }

  1. Loose Seal*

    #5 — I don’t think that’s a dull update at all! Most updates, the problem went away on its own or the OP is no longer working at the horrible place (or the horrible coworker/boss left). Yours is one of the first ones (that I’m aware of) where you took the advice, implemented it and got the desired result. Best update yet, as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Bea W*

    #1 makes me wish the court/government could have seized the assets of the company and meted them out accordingly, It is so unfair the OP is on the hook for all the expenses and has to make all the effort to get the money back when her employer was the one being shady.

    1. MR*

      I’m guessing the payroll company is no longer in business and filed for bankruptcy. If they were bouncing so many checks to one person, chances are, they were bouncing checks to many, many others. Once that starts happening, the ship sinks quickly.

      1. Jessa*

        Very likely. On the other hand you may be able to file the judgement as some kind of lien of the business owns property. Might not get your money but they wouldn’t be able to sell assets.

  3. Portia de Belmont*

    #1 – Please consider talking to an employment attorney, if you haven’t already; many will give you a free consultation, and depending on what state you live in, you may have more options than you think. If there is a law school in your area, check with them. Many offer free legal services, with the students working under the supervision of an attorney.

    1. Eric*

      Agreed. And some may be willing to pursue it on a contingency basis, so you may not have to pay out of pocket, particularly if there is a good chance of recovery.

  4. MiketheRecruiter*

    #3 – “far few things are being broken around the house” – Not saying this is definite, but this could be indicative of why you aren’t getting a lot of traction finding a job – if you are breaking stuff because you are frustrated not finding a job, this type of temper/attitude is probably a lot more prevalent/transparent then you may think when you are interviewing.


    1. Jamie*

      This. Long term anger is something people can feel, even if you’re not putting words to your feelings in interviews.

      After the skill requirement is met hiring is about a good fit and a lot of that is who do you want to spend 40, 50, 60 hours a week with. You don’t have to be BFF, but everyone wants pleasant co-workers and a vibe of resentment or anger is going to really hurt ones chances.

    2. Jean*

      Yes, this. It’s amazing how bent out of shape one’s attitude and outlook can become after a good long spell of job hunting. Anger, depression, lack of belief in oneself, sullenness, resentment…lots of happy choices here.

      After a long spell of most of the above, I fell into two short-term jobs with enjoyable tasks and interesting coworkers or supervisors. It’s been such a blessing to be able to display my skills, interact with others, and generally break the downhill slide into peevishness! I’m aware that everyone doesn’t have these opportunities, but I urge my fellow/sister job seekers to say yes (even if just for a short time) to any chances to absorb some positive energy. It’s amazing how even a brief period of feeling appreciated for ones’ presence and contributions translates into renewed vitality for and interest in resuming the search for employment.

        1. OP#3*

          See below, the “breaking things” comment was a joke. My sarcasm tone is fine tuned and I suppose a well placed :) would’ve helped the situation. I’m not an angry person although it’s very easy to see how job hunters – and humans in general – do become angry – we don’t listen to one another any more. (NOT referring to this situation, I appreciate you reading my update and taking the time to listen to me, it’s very validating) but companies want potential employees to listen to them but not the other way around. (we’re all just asking for basic kindness and respect) It is depressing. I spent a few hours on that tech test with no reply. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not like that and that maybe if I take the time to listen, someone will see how good it feels (even if it’s not the response they want) and take the time to listen to someone else.

  5. EngineerGirl*

    “I’ve definitely got a better attitude about it and far few things are being broken around the house”

    Um, I hope this doesn’t mean what I think it does. Nothing should be getting broken over this. OP, have you considered that you are sending out signals that makes it unsafe for people to say “NO” to you? Usually when people are feeling unsafe they will avoid the discussion and go toward the passive-agressive responce.

    1. Former Usher*

      I read this as he was using the time off to do home repairs, more like “far few things are still broken around the house,” but on a second reading I fear you may be right.

      1. anon anon*

        yeah, i’m fairly certain OP is saying they are breaking things out of frustration (just less often than before), which, unless we’re talking pencils and toothpicks here, is concerning.

        1. OP#3*

          I was JOKING about breaking things – I was trying to say that I was less frustrated because I’d changed my perspective a bit. It was supposed to be funny. Hearing that it wasn’t just me was a big help – as was venting in the first place. I just finished an amazing class that updated my skills to an in demand field – liked I’d hoped and while don’t expect people overall to change, hopefully I’ll find a good fit because not everyone is a schmuck. (especially not the people who replied to the original post, your support was invaluable :) )

  6. thenoiseinspace*

    OP #1 – I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. It’s such an unfair and vicious cycle of needed money before you can claim the money (that’s already rightfully yours!)

    Seriously, why isn’t there some sort of government fund that will loan out money for things like this? It’s impossible for people who have been wronged to fix it without large amounts of cash at their disposal. :(

    1. TheExchequer*

      It’s just one of those things that happens sometimes. I could spend time being frustrated about it if I wanted, but I’m spending all my frustration energy on finding a new job. I have no frustration energy left for this – so at this point, it’s mostly just funny to me. But yeah – you’d think there would be a cheaper and easier way to go about this.

  7. TheExchequer*

    OP #1 Here.

    I recently got a certified letter I sent them returned as undeliverable. Which is interesting since I have the signed receipt saying they did get it as well as proof from USPS it was delivered.

    I called a lawyer today. I’ll keep you apprised of any developments if I can.

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