interviewing a friend, lazy bosses, and more

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

1. Interviewing a friend

Do you have any advice on interviewing and possibly working with a good friend? One of my best friends is a contender for a job exactly opposite me.

I don’t want to unfairly sway the decision since I’ve never worked with her before, but I’m really not so sure about working so closely with someone I’m close with outside of work. I try to keep those things very separate. That said – if she’s right for the job then she’s right for the job and that’s a good thing. I will have to interview her though. Do you have any advice?

If at all possible, I’d recuse yourself from the interview on the grounds that you can’t be objective. Even if you think you can be objective, you may or not may be able to be — and either way, others are likely to assume that you can’t be. Surely someone else can interview her (like the manager for the position!).

2. My boss won’t put a monitor in a friggin’ box for me

My external monitor died in May and I have been badly in need of a replacement since (I work with a ton of spreadsheets and my laptop has a tiny screen). When it originally died, my boss said that our organization could not afford to replace it. If it makes any difference, we are a nonprofit.

In August, a coworker who left mailed my boss her external monitor and a printer in a single box (we all work remotely from different states). At my inquiry, my boss said that she would mail me the external monitor, but was also going to mail me the printer as all—which I don’t need or want—so that she didn’t have to repackage the monitor into a new box. I found her reluctance to perform such an easy tax on my behalf pretty demoralizing, especially since she is a particularly needy manager, and thus, I am frequently required to go above and beyond in order to support her.

As I have been with this nonprofit for over 4 years and have received nothing but glowing reviews, I do not question my value to the organization. Am I being unreasonable to expect my boss to take the time to put the monitor into a new box and arrange for a FedEx pickup? As a telecommuting Office Manager, I am already storing a room’s worth of records and equipment for the nonprofit in my home and I just don’t have space for an additional printer.

No, you’re not being unreasonable in expecting her to do that, but you might be being a little unreasonable in being so bothered that she won’t. It’s silly that she won’t, but apparently she won’t. Why not just mail the printer back to her once it and the monitor get to you?

3. Do I have to point out that I’m scheduled for a day I can’t work?

I was scheduled for vacation this week, Sunday thru Saturday. But Monday, they have me working. The rest I have off. Can I get in trouble for not showing up and not saying anything? I have a copy of my schedule in case they raise a stink about it.

Why would you not say something about it? People make mistakes on schedules; this is normal. It’s expected that you’ll speak up and say, “Hey, remember that I’m off on Monday, but you have me scheduled then.” But if you just look at, decide it’s not your problem, and don’t say anything, then yeah, you can get in trouble, whether or not you believe you should.

4. Phone calls when I have a voice disorder

About 10 years ago, I started losing my voice. After spending thousands of dollars on various doctors and medications, I found out that I have spasmodic dysphonia. I am not in a financial position to get treatment at this time.

When I have an interview or speak with someone on the phone for the first time, do I tell them about my disorder? I am constantly being asked if I am sick, or if I am crying or okay. I avoid the phone as much as possible, but it is hard. How would you suggest I go about conducting business on the phone with people who I have not ever met?

I’d just briefly explain it at the start of the conversation — “I’m dealing with some voice issues; please excuse my voice” or any other wording that you’re comfortable with. Let people know so that they don’t wonder or ask about it, and then just proceed like you normally would. Most people won’t be alarmed once you tell them what’s going on.

5. Taking a personal day when you’re in the red on vacation days

I’m asking this for a friend. An employee has overdrawn his vacation days for the year, which was approved by the manager. The idea was that we accrue our days off, but he wanted to use 100% of his early in the year. Now, he “owes” vacation time because we still have 2 months left for the year, but he has 2 sick/personal days left.

I’m not understanding the idea of personal days works in general. He resigned and wants to use a personal day tomorrow. He’s never going to make up the vacation time, but the 2 sick/personal days balance out the PTO. Would most companies allow the use of a personal day even though he “owes” vacation days and is leaving?

I doubt it, although it would depend on the company. Many places won’t let you take vacation or personal days at all once you give notice, and there’s really no argument for letting him takes days off when he’s already in the red on them. But it’ll depend on the specific company and manager.

6. Can my employer overpay me and then take the difference out of my next check?

I have been working for a job agency for the last 4 weeks. I was paid more than I should have been last week. They have said they will take it from my next paycheck. Can they do that?

Yes. They overpaid you; that’s not your money. Think of it as an accidental advance on your next check.

7. How do hiring managers typically deliver rejections?

I have a question about how hiring managers typically deliver rejection calls/information. In your experience (for jobs involving more than one round of interviews), do hiring managers typically schedule a call with candidates (i.e. “Are you available tomorrow? I’d like to chat with your briefly”), do they call the candidate randomly without giving them a heads up, do they email, etc.?

Most email, some call, and some don’t get in touch at all. Calls are much less common than emails, though.

{ 130 comments… read them below }

  1. thenoiseinspace

    #3 – It’s worth pointing out that, if you’re an hourly employee (like a restaurant employee), your employer can technically refuse your time off. You put in a request, and the employer tries to work with it, but it could very well be that they can’t find anyone else to work that shift. In that case, it’s your responsibility to find someone to switch shifts with you.

    1. Anonymous

      I wanted to add a few little tweaks to your comment. Your employer can refuse your request for time of off whether or not you’re an hourly employee – exempt workers can be told that they are needed at the office and cannot take vacation.

      Also, it is not automatically your responsibility to find someone to switch shifts with you. This is actually typically a management function in a properly run business – the manager is responsible for ensuring that each shift is adequately staffed.

      I understand that it is not uncommon in a few industries for managers to avoid this responsibility by telling employees that they have to work it out themselves, but it is not the way things are typically handled in the broader business world and should not be the default assumption.

      1. TBoT

        It also should not be the default assumption that a business that requires employees to find their own coverage when they want to be off is not being properly run. It’s really not about a manager avoiding responsibility. Often, having people find their own coverage and then presenting their proposed shift trade to the manager is far, far more efficient than the manager attempting to handle it from scratch. Plus it eliminates the possibility of scheduling someone who is not actually available at that time to cover somebody else’s shift when they want to be off.

        1. Anonymous

          Whoever is running the business is responsible for – well – the business. That includes getting space, supplies, and staff, managing product lines, payroll, and services, handling the marketing, getting the taxes paid – I should probably stop because it’s a pretty big list. While I’m sure there are exceptions, companies that delegate managing the staffing tend – unfortunately – to be service businesses (like restaurants) where the staffing is a major part of the “product” offering.

          In the example you gave, it was easier for the employees to do this job themselves and management was unnecessary. If this actually works, congratulations – but it is not the norm where management abdicates responsibility for ensuring that shifts are adequately staffed. The norm involves issues with finding coverage for busy weekend and holiday periods, employees who are stressed from calling around and begging other employees to help, and weird default systems where you are treated as a no-show if you were on the schedule and no one appears to work (even if another employee agreed to take your shift). The norm is that staffing was “delegated” to the employees because it’s a hassle that the manager doesn’t want to deal with – and that is bad management.

          Good managers don’t cause problems for their employees because they don’t want to step up to the plate to handle the occasionally difficult tasks of actually managing a business. Good managers of service businesses know exactly how much work they anticipate for a certain shift, and exactly who will be covering it. They also have contingency plans in place to deal with the unexpected. They are willing to be bothered to do this.

          So yes, a business that requires employees to find their own coverage when they want to be off is probably not being properly run. I am willing to concede that there may be exceptions – but a few exceptions will not convince me that having management give up on managing is either the norm or the ideal.

          1. anon

            Out of curiousity, how do you know what the norm is? In my experience in my industry (spa), employees finding their own coverage is absolutely the norm. Management approves and makes the manual changes to schedules, but it’s not more efficient for everyone to be bothered by a manager asking for coverage or assigning it when two people know they’d like to trade, switch, take on a shift, whatever. In the event that someone is ill, in crisis, etc, of course we take over and find coverage. This bit about this meaning that we’re bad managers because we don’t handle every single aspect of every single shift change request — silly. One of the things people in my industry love is the flexibility of their schedules. From a management perspective, we figure out what kind of coverage we need to run our business optimally. We hire people who are committed to a regular schedule, which allows them in many cases to have other regularly scheduled jobs, which is very much the norm in this industry. If they want to take a month long vacation to Thailand, they’re able to find coverage for all their shifts and do that, so long as the people covering their shifts are not accruing overtime, and as long as management approves it otherwise. If the employee is having trouble finding coverage, we help if their request for time off is feasible and warranted. End of story. This is all in writing and needs to be approved.

              1. anon

                Any critique for the way I manage? Again, a legitimate question. Or am I one of the few admitted exceptions?

            1. Carlotta

              I think this works if you know you’re swapping with someone who is of the same skill levels and training: I know fast food restaurants work like this so they can be flexible and they know they’ve all done the correct training. Similar perhaps to spa workers who can all deliver the treatments and have similar training. It wouldn’t work for my office job for example. So it’s not correct to say its appropriate to find your own cover – it completely depends on the industry and company. I do think though that expecting employees to find their own cover could be problematic if not thought through and properly supervised: but it sounds like you do this and have a system which works for you.

          2. TBoT

            The manager isn’t abdicating responsibility for ensuring that shifts are adequately staffed in my example, or giving up on managing. The manager is delegating one portion of one management task because it can be done faster and more efficiently by employees than by the manager. That does not mean management is not necessary in this scenario. It means that it can be more efficient for the people being managed to play a role in this one part of scheduling, rather than the manager having to handle every aspect of it from start to finish.

            In a well-run business, sure, a manager should step in and find someone to cover a shift when someone is out at the last minute for an illness or emergency. And I would agree that a manger who says “You need to work that out yourself” when someone is ill or at the scene of a car accident they had on the work or whatever is not doing a very good job of managing.

            But when it comes to people who are scheduling time off in advance, having employees do some of the legwork themselves can be a huge help and save tons of time for a manger, and that leaves the manager free to focus on tasks that only the manager can do. A good manager is not then spending that time having a nap or playing Candy Crush.

            A manager who manages scheduling for a large group could wind up spending hours down a rabbit hole of looking for alternate coverage, confirming that person is available, and confirming that person’s new schedule does not cause overtime for anybody. Or, employees could work that out with each other who is willing and available, and then come to the manager with the proposed swap, leaving the manager with the much quicker task of making sure what’s being proposed is OK. The manager is still playing an important role, just delegating one aspect of it. Writing off every manager who does this as a bad, lazy manager isn’t really fair or accurate.

      2. Amber

        I work in a grocery store, and we have to find someone to switch shifts with us, ourselves! The manager doesn’t take any part in that, and if you try to call in sick or whatever for a shift less than a few hours before you’re scheduled to work – sorry, you have to find someone else to cover it for you, or you’re coming in, unless, of course, you want to get fired. I learned this the hard way when I was very new… I had a shift at 11 one Sunday morning before a holiday, and I woke up at 8:30 feeling really, REALLY crappy. I waited an hour before trying to call in, only to be told my manager, “You can’t do that.” She said that if I wanted to call in, I should have done so at 7 that morning. As it turned out, they were severely understaffed that Sunday, otherwise it may possibly have been okay. I called around and no one was able to help, so I had to go in.

        Granted, I’m relatively young and it is my first job (I had only been in it for 3 weeks at the time) so I think I can be excused for not knowing that. But it’s a tough world out there. I saw my parents, who work in relatively cushy jobs, able to call out merely hours before their shift started and it was a bit of a shock to find out that I couldn’t do the same; I hadn’t realized that that was how it works. Now I know, and I’m just praying I don’t contract the flu or something at all this year (I’m only going to be here until the middle of August, as I’m moving away for university in the fall). :P But, yeah, that’s just how it works in retail.

        1. Twentymilehike

          I also am responsible for finding my own coverage when I’m off … And I work in a corporate office for a high end property management company. It’s not just retail. I think this is a normal and reasonable request. People who regularly work together communitcate with each other and often cover for each other as part of working as a team. My management team is great and this policy in no way reflects poorly on them; they have enough on their plate already.

          1. Judy

            In engineering, it’s more about making sure everyone knows who to ask questions about which projects. It doesn’t mean that Wakeen will be doing any work for me on the spout redesign mark 4, it means that he knows my status on the project, and can answer most of the questions. He’s the gatekeeper to keep everyone from calling me. So it’s not “coverage” in the way shift work has coverage.

    2. Jennifer

      From what I’ve been told about working at a retail job, asking for time off GUARANTEES that you will DEFINITELY be assigned to work on that day.

      1. Anonymous

        That is definitely true. Even more so in hospitality jobs. I had a week vacation approved months ahead of time, then they decided they needed me for one day in the middle of the week. In those industries it is definitely lazy management.

      2. Amber

        At my job, the manager really tries to accommodate requests for time off. :P I’ve had to ask for 4 days over the next three weeks because of university visits, and doctor’s appointments… but I have to double-check, because my manager scheduled me off for a day that I didn’t ask for. :P It’s generally possible to switch with someone if you can’t get it off: My dad asked me a few days ago if I had Sunday off, but I told him that I would not know until the next day. Turns out, I had to work it! And only about 5 people weren’t on the schedule, so it was tough to find someone to switch with, but I did. :D

    3. Anony1234

      Now I’ve been told that, as an hourly employee, if you want the day off, the employer can’t say no. But if you take off enough days, then they can turn around and call you “unreliable” and essentially let you go. This has recently changed when a coworker tried to take one of his shifts off, and since he has asked for this same shift off multiple times already in a short period of time, the manager did put his foot down. My coworker scrapped his plans. (On a side note, my money is on him calling out sick!)

      In my retail job, my manager expects me and my coworkers to get shift coverage for a random day off (on someone’s vacation, the others are expected to chip in more). Only one of my coworkers doesn’t do this; she just takes off and expects someone to pick up the slack without her asking.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Nope, they can absolutely say no if you want the day off. There’s no right to getting the schedule you want.

        They also don’t need a reason to fire you, so they don’t need to claim “unreliability.”

        1. Amber

          Now, granted, I’m in Canada; but my store’s union, so would it be different then? They can fire me without cause basically through my probation period (3 months, so I’m already about a third of the way through it), but I’m not sure how difficult it is to get fired afterwards.

          1. Felicia

            IIRC youre in Ontario, so after your probation period they need a reason to fire you. There are only certain reasons that are considered acceptable (performance issues being one of them). That’s one of the biggest differences between Canada and the US in terms of employment law.

            1. Felicia

              I dont know much about Canadian employment law, even though Im Canadian, but I do know that “at will employment” which is something I learned on this blog, is not a thing in Canada. Also after any is it legal questions ,rather than “…except in California” you should think “…except in Quebec”. Though I think other than the is it legal questions, and anything about health insurance, vacation, benefits etc, all the advice here applies well to Canada:)

          2. KarenT

            They could absolutely fire you for this in Canada (at least in Ontario, employment law is provincial). It would be for not showing up for work.
            However if you are in a union that’s different, your union protections are likely much greater.

            1. Felicia

              Yup not showing up for work is one of the acceptable reasons for firing someone – employers just cant fire people because they feel like it

      2. Amber

        They can refuse you the day off! If they can’t accommodate it in the schedule, then, well, there you go. I’m worried about appearing unreliable because when I was naive I tried to call out sick on a Sunday and also due to schoolwork reasons I switched a shift with somebody else, but I’m still going to be working on Monday, because that was the other person’s original shift.

  2. AdAgencyChick

    #2: Do you realize that what you want your boss to do is, in fact, a bit of a pain in the ass? Finding a new box for something as large as a monitor, plus packing material, and, more importantly, being able to feel confident that you packed it safely with non-manufacturer-issued materials, is not easy. Your boss probably just feels more secure sending it in the original packaging because, well, that was *designed* to keep the monitor and printer from breaking. And if your organization can’t afford to purchase you a new monitor, it can’t afford to break a functioning used one, either.

    I’d let it go.

    1. L McD

      This was my first thought, too. If the workplace isn’t one that has packing materials lying around, or if the boss also works out of her home, it could be a HUGE hassle. I nearly burst a blood vessel trying to find the right sized envelope to send back my license plates after I moved, and that was something that SHOULD have been simple. Space issues I understand, but does she literally not have room for something the size of a standard printer (I assume we’re not talking about a giant floor model here) in the corner of a closet or something? I’d be happy for the gift, because let’s face it, printers break constantly. It will come in handy someday.

      1. huh

        And it’s not a PITA using a room of your home to store work stuff ?
        This manager is a user, best to recognize it and accept they take an do not give. Just like friends who use you for your boat, access to a club for example- this boss objectifies workers as resources not people. There’s no need in his/her mind to consider the employee’s needs, ever.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          What? That seems extreme and unwarranted. Why can’t the employee just handle sending the printer back once she receives it? It’s not unreasonable or abnormal for a manager to delegate things like that, because her time is more valuable on other things. That’s hardly being a “user” in the sense that you mean.

          1. huh

            I always assume the letter writer complaint is one of many examples…usually folks don’t waste their time writing in over a one time inconvenience. The inability to be bothered smacks of disregarding the employee.

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              It’s smart for managers not to be “bothered” with a lot of things because their time is supposed to be spent on other things. They’re supposed to delegate.

              I’m not defending the manager here because this situation is silly, but it’s not really worth being terribly bothered over.

              1. huh

                It is demoralizing to not be extended common courtesy. I have been a manager and staff- I knew enough to show that I can “get my own coffee’ and “make copies” because my staff is busy too. Since most companies have downsized there’s little admin staff to go around, we all have to pitch in for “the team.” And in reality with no admin staff/ regular staff are often doing more work than managers.

                1. the gold digger

                  I am not referring to this specific situation, as OP noted that the financials of the whole deal were part of what was bothering her, but yes, in general, a manager should not be making copies if she has an admin. It’s not demeaning to ask someone to do the work that’s in her job description. And it is not a good use of the manger’s time – and the employer’s money – for a manager to be standing at the copy machine.

        2. External Monitor Girl

          You know, the fact that I need to store work stuff in my home generally doesn’t bother me. I see it as a small price to pay in order to be a full-time telecommuter. It’s just that I live in a small, 2-bedroom house, and the second “bedroom” is only slightly larger than a walk-in closet. This walk-in closet space is already taken up with a storage cabinet, a file cabinet, and a huge number of bankers boxes full of records. My desk and general workspace is actually in a corner of my living room. Thus, while I technically have room to accommodate another piece of equipment, I don’t want to.

            1. Andrea

              Yeah, I agree. And honestly, if she is truly storing lots of other things that she doesn’t need in her own home, I’d start shipping that stuff back, too…but then I’m perhaps more bothered by that than most people would be. It would really bug me to have stuff around that I don’t need and which isn’t mine.

              1. Andrea Also

                Hmm, I’ve been commenting under the name “Andrea” but I’m going to need to get more creative I guess since Andrea /= Cher, huh? :)

                If I’m the boss, I’m not going to be running around finding a box and reboxing the monitor, but monitors are not expensive. When you take into account the shipping costs to get the monitor/printer out to the employee and the cost to get the printer back, just authorize a moderately priced new monitor purchase.

                You can buy a new monitor for like a $100 on New Egg with free shipping.

                I’m wary of people whose mental process (boss) is penny wise and pound foolish. You need to make sure your employees have the proper tools to do their jobs and make sure that you aren’t wasting everybody’s time on stupid stuff that can be solved with a few well placed budget dollars.

                1. AnonAnony

                  Totally agree – I had to send a printer across the country last year and shipping cost nearly as much as the printer itself.

                  It would likely cost well over the price of a new monitor and printer to send them both ways.

                  Absurdity, especially if it’s a nonprofit who needs to justify overhead costs.

                2. Jamie

                  That’s exactly what I was thinking. It would cost less to buy a monitor at NewEgg and ship from there than to ship a monitor and unneeded printer.

                  This sounds like a waste of money under the illusion of trying to appear frugal.

      2. Victoria Nonprofit

        What?

        I agree that it would be strange to complain (and that surely she can find space for the printer, or send it back or on to someone else who wants it). But… it’s not that big of a hassle. Take the box to FedEx or something and they’ll pack it for you. Or, just, you know – spend 40 minutes packing it, since it’s a part of your job. (The “you” I’m speaking to here is the manager.)

      3. Twentymilehike

        It’s also not that difficult to take it to the fedex store and have them pack it for you. Sometimes that’s the cost of doing business and they have all the packing supplies they need to get it there safely.

    2. External Monitor Girl

      Thanks for the reply! Just to clarify, my boss is not wanting to send the external monitor in the manufacturer-issued box. Rather, she wants to send it in the generic box in which in which she received it, which includes two pieces of equipment—the monitor as well as a printer. And yes, I realize that finding a new box and packing supplies will take effort, but from my perspective, it’s not unreasonable for a boss to occasionally expend effort to assist an employee, especially when said effort will result in increased productivity.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        But why this effort, specifically? Couldn’t you argue that it makes more sense for you to spend your time on it than her, on the assumption that her time is more valuable to the organization (in the literal sense, that her time costs more)?

        I wonder if you have other frustrations with her, and it’s getting channeled through this?

        1. External Monitor Girl

          Thanks for posting my question, Alison : )

          (1) Our non-profit already spent $80 shipping the monitor from my coworker to my boss. If she ships the same box to me that will another $80. If I ship the printer back to my boss, that will be about another $40 (the assumption being the return shipping charges will be half as much because I’d only be shipping half as much equipment). That’s $120 in shipping, when NEW monitors can be purchased for $150. Not to mention, there would be a duplication of shipping efforts.

          (2) Yes, I most definitely am frustrated with my boss in a more general sense as well! However, the majority of my frustrations pertain to (my perception of) her being a lazy, overly-delegating manager, at least when compared to my previous managers. I thought, though, it would be more useful to offer a concrete example of a concern, rather than just write in saying “help, my boss is lazy!” Although, I can see why my example of the external monitor might seem petty when removed from the larger picture.

          1. Ann Furthermore

            Normally, if the quickest way to get the monitor I needed was to box up the other stuff I didn’t need and send it back, I would suck it up and do it. It would be a hassle, but it would get me the end result I wanted. In a large corporate setting this wouldn’t be a big deal.

            But in a non-profit environment, I presume you want to watch every penny, and spending money to ship something to one place, and then back again, gets expensive. And it just seems wasteful. So yeah, it would stick in my craw too. I see where you’re coming from.

          2. Ask a Manager Post author

            On the subject of “overly delegating” … it’s impossible to comment without knowing more, but it might be useful to know that in general, managers should delegate everything they CAN delegate, so that they can focus their time on the stuff they only they can do (whether because of their skills or their role) or that they do significantly better than others. So delegating a lot is actually a good thing, presumably that she’s spending her time on higher impact stuff.

            1. huh

              I am confused, staff is supposed to do work that needs to be managed. But how do they work on projects if they’re doing admin work? And what is the manager managing if the staff is working on fixing the copier?

              There are managers out there that are great thought leaders, but there’s more staff with great ideas/thought (just by sheer number) and they are overwhelmed with work the company won’t pay an admin staff to handle.

              Seems to me the only way to promote overall productivity is to spread the admin work around.

              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                Presumably the admin work isn’t 100% of their job, or even the majority of it.

                Work should flow downward to the lowest level person who can do it sufficiently well, so that people at higher levels (whose time cost the company more) can spend their time on things where they’ll have more of an impact. It’s inefficient and a waste of resources to have someone paid 2 times what Bob makes to do work that Bob could do perfectly well.

                1. Anonymous

                  I am so glad you responded this way! One of my pet peeves is the disappearance of administrative support. Many companies eliminated these positions as (false) cost savings measures or when pressured to reduce headcount on the theory that everyone can just do their own copies, mailing, expense reports, etc. at no additional cost.

                  The result is that the work gets done by someone paid 2-5x per hour what the admin was paid – this is not a real cost savings, and takes people away from higher value tasks.

                  It also tends to take longer when you ask large numbers of people to perform tasks on an irregular basis. A good assistant does not have to waste half an hour and two phone calls trying to figure out how to order copier paper – only to have the order rejected because the paper ordered was non-standard or paper orders are only accepted on the second Thursday following a full moon.

                  The principle of delegating to the lowest level that can handle the task reasonably well doesn’t help with the issue of wasted time in this way, but it does at least keep the costs down where possible. I only wish I could convince my company to hire more admins!

                2. Julie

                  I wish I had an admin to help me! My manager has an admin who supports several people but is occasionally available for other work, so I can delegate certain things to her about three times a year. Otherwise, I have to do all of my admin work myself, and it drives my boss crazy that I can’t delegate to someone whose hourly rate is less. She delegates things to me all the time because she’s doing things that only she can do.

                  Regarding the OP’s situation, though – I can see both sides of this (partly because I work from home and don’t have room for everything, as it is). But I think the manager is going to “win” this fight because sometimes we have to do things just because the manager asks us to, even if it doesn’t seem fair/reasonable. I’m sure the manager is thinking that it doesn’t make sense for her to spend her (more expensive) time doing something that isn’t absolutely essential for her to do.

            2. External Monitor Girl

              I know that the old “overly delegating” criticism is kind of a touchy one. I totally understand that delegation is not only expected, but is an essential indication of a productive manager. To be clear, I don’t mind doing low level tasks. What bothers me is that my boss tends to delegate as a knee-jerk reaction, without considering if a particular piece of delegation would even save her time. Just because something CAN be delegated doesn’t mean it should. To me, it doesn’t make sense for a manager to delegate a 2-minute, one-off task if communicating/explaining the task to someone else will take 10 minutes. Of course, this logic doesn’t apply to recurring tasks on which an employee could be trained to takeover indefinitely. Alison (or others too!), I know you do not necessarily agree with my conclusion that my boss overly-delegates, but in your opinion, can over-delegation be a sign that a manager is overwhelmed? My boss only works part-time and there are 10 employees including myself for her oversee. Sometimes, I get the sense that she is overwhelmed.

              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                Sure, and in that case it would make sense that she’s looking for things to delegate so that she can focus on the things that are most important to the organization for her to get done.

                I agree, though, that if a 2-minute task will take 10 minutes to delegate, it doesn’t make sense to delegate i t unless it will be recurring.

    3. fposte

      It also sounds like the OP is thinking that the same task she views as a major PITA would somehow not be that for the manager.

      I think the whole situation’s weird on both sides, but the quickest way out of it is just to accept the parcel and ship the surplus back.

      1. External Monitor Girl

        My manager also happens to be the founder of the nonprofit. So, yes, I think she should be more willing to store work equipment at her home than the rest of the employees.

        1. fposte

          But your initial complaint was that you didn’t want to do the reboxing and sending (and seriously, the printer can be out of your house on the same day, so that’s a bit of a red herring). So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that she feels the same way. You’re ticked that she won’t take on the task to make your job easier; she’s ticked that you won’t take on the task to make her job easier. I think you two might just be the North-Going Zax and the South-Going Zax.

          I get how annoying managers can be, and it sounds like you have found her irritating for a long time. But at this point, the question isn’t what should you have to do but what are you going to do? Take “make my manager do what I want” off the list, because that’s not going to happen. Do you want to quit over this? Would you be willing to be fired over it? Do you have an overall reason to present to future employers that isn’t a tiff about FedEx?

          Basically, it doesn’t matter whether people think she should or not–she’s not going to. What do you want to do now?

          1. FreeThinkerTX

            Adding to the “the printer can be out of your house on the same day” train of thought: Why not have her ship it to one of those packaging offices (like some FedEx and UPS store fronts)? You could pull out the monitor, then have the folks behind the counter help you pack up the printer and send it back to her. Then you just carry the monitor out to your car and take it home. Easy-peasy. If she would rather spend her money than her time on this, take her up on it.

          2. External Monitor Girl

            What? I’d have no problem boxing and shipping equipment if the equipment was at my house and was needed by someone else. What I take issue with that my boss would rather pay double the cost of shipping—and double the cost in staff time—in order to avoid having to perform a relatively easy task that would result in increased productivity on my behalf. If I quit, it will not be over this particular FedEx instance, but rather due to her pattern of balking at doing anything, large or small, that is helpful to the staff. I do know better, though, than to cite my boss as my reason for quitting to future employers : )

            You asked what I’m going to do next given the situation at hand. I’m leaning towards buckling down and finding a used external monitor to solve the immediate problem, and then having a “state of the union” talk with my boss.

            1. Great monitor

              Try thrift stores. I found an external monitor to use with my laptop for less than $20. I love the extra screen space! And I love that I did not have to spend $150.

            2. Ask a Manager Post author

              The thing is, though, that you asked about the FedEx situation. And it has a pretty easy solution and one that doesn’t warrant so much angst. Yeah, it’s annoying that she’s handling it this way, but it’s not such a big deal.

              I think you (and the organization) would be better served by not focusing so much on this — which is really not such a big deal in the scheme of things — and instead thinking about what the bigger issues are and what, if anything, you want to do about them: talk to your boss, look for another job, or decide that you want to stay and try to be reasonably content despite the issues you see.

        2. Ask a Manager Post author

          But if you can’t store it anymore or don’t want to, have you told her that? If not, it’s not crazy that she assumes you’re fine with it, while you’re stewing silently about it. That’s not really fair of you to do (if in fact you are).

          1. External Monitor Girl

            I’ve actually asked her if I could ship some of the bankers boxes that I’m currently storing to her house due to my lack of space (she has a large suburban house). I sent that email several week ago but have not received a reply …

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              Then I’d let her know that since you need to get them out of your house, you’re planning to ship them to her on DATE and to let you know before then if she prefers a different date or would rather have you rent a storage unit to put them in. Make sure the date you give is at least a week away so she has a reasonable amount of time to respond. If she hasn’t responded by then, proceed with doing what you laid out for her.

              Or, alternately, call her up and discuss it rather than waiting for a reply by email.

    4. FiveNine

      It’s been nearly half a year. I don’t know, it just seems at the least by now the boss should have made arrangements for the monitor to be replaced if it’s just too much to ship this box or an alternate box. (And really, OP indicated this place uses FedEx pickup, and so not only is this not an issue of trekking down personally to a post office but they almost certainly already have packing materials and boxes right. there.)

  3. Is.it.Legal

    1. Interviewing a friend

    It’s’ not a big deal but I wouldn’t do it over again. Your friend will know all kind of problems you will be having at work. Sometimes you can’t help when you see your friend being ripped apart by management. I will not refer a friend again

  4. Carrie in Scotland

    #6 what I’m pretty sure they can’t or shouldn’t do is take it out of your bank account (at least in the UK – but I have had that happen to me before) but sadly yes they can deduct from your next paycheck.

    1. EngineerGirl

      I’m flummoxed. The money belongs to the company, so why do people think that they can keep it? Since it is overage you should have just put the money in the savings account and it is waiting for the next week. It works out over the 2 pay periods.

      1. Carrie in Scotland

        Sadly because even though you are correct in that it’s an advance on the next pay check it is never fun being short of money. And yes, I realise that you shouldn’t be spending it if you knew that! But sometimes you get rebates or backdated pay or similar and the OP may have thought something like that had happened to her. (going to have to go onto another comment as am on phone)

        1. Carrie in Scotland

          A few years ago when I worked in retail I took a holiday of 3 weeks (to go around Luxemburg, Belgium, Amsterdam and Paris) and I agreed with my manager that I would take so many paid and unpaid holidays for this trip. When I got back and got my payslip I had been paid for 3 weeks holidays (a mix up with Finance apparently) anyway for the next 3 months my pay was so short that I just about stayed afloat.

          1. the gold digger

            But you got the extra holiday pay that you weren’t anticipating. So even if they docked your paycheck, your total pay for the 3 weeks vacation plus 3 months work should have been the same. Am I missing something?

            1. A Bug!

              I don’t think you’ve missed anything; I think Carrie was just expressing sympathy and explaining how it might happen that getting an unexpected advance would cause problems for someone if it wasn’t caught and dealt with appropriately, particularly someone who lives paycheck-to-paycheck.

              I can see how it could happen. The way I do my finances, I transfer enough out of my main account to my joint account to cover my share of monthly expenses. Then, if I have a not-insignificant amount left, I’ll move some against debts if I have them, or a locked savings account. This keeps me from overspending on things I don’t need.

              If this pay error happened to me, and I wasn’t paying attention, I might “commit” money to one thing that should be earmarked for another. It wouldn’t mean it’s not my fault when my finances are stretched the next pay period, but it would still be a hardship and I think that’s what Carrie is commiserating over.

      2. abby

        My husband’s employer uses ADP to process its payroll and direct deposit. Employees are paid weekly, on Friday. ADP accidently deposited pay for two weeks in every employee’s bank account. We knew it wasn’t ours, but weren’t certain if the money would be removed or if the next week’s deposit would be skipped. Those second deposits were gone by Monday.

          1. Jessa

            Possibly, but every company I ever worked for that had direct deposit made it very clear that an overpayment error would be withdrawn asap. It’s in the paperwork you usually have to sign to begin direct deposit in the first place.

            ADP has huge ginormous issues of screw ups, but taking the money back immediately is not one of them. The screwup that caused it on the other hand…I hate ADP.

            1. Anony1234

              My company just started having us log in to ADP to see our statements so they can go paperless. I’m guessing they’ve been using it for quite some time. The only screw up I’ve seen is for the direct deposits to be sent to everyone’s banks a day late – which really screwed some people over on bills. What else does it mess up on?

            2. Audiophile

              My company just went to an internal system, which made me miss ADP terribly. The new system is inefficient, both with work schedules and paycheck history. I had no issues with ADP, I could login in easily, see my pay stub early, download stubs for the last three years. The new system is severely lacking in those areas.

          2. ExceptionToTheRule

            Paychex is the worser. My part-time job has 3 employees. We get paid once a month. They’ve screwed up our payroll 8 times this year.

  5. Female sam

    #7 – if you’re asking because you’re having to reject folks, please please please use email. Being told you’ve not got a job over the phone is horrible – your having to react professionally and gracefully to the news in the heat of the moment which can be difficult. Also, as the rejecter, a phone call also opens you up to having to deal with upset/angry candidates and fielding requests for feedback, “why didn’t you pick me?”, and “what can I fforde to change your mind?” questions which you may not be prepared/equipped to deal with on the spot. Email makes things a lot easier for both parties.

      1. huh

        I once had an idiot from a business school (one of the most prominent around) put me through a ridiculous interview process and then call to reject me. Luckily, it went to voicemail. If you want to give feedback, offer that in an EMAIL don’t cold call someone with bad news. I recall how my spirit lifted when I hear her voice and then plummeted.

        1. WWWONKA

          When I just send a resume and get no response that’s ok, which is the norm. But companies that do not respond to a face to face are just wrong in every way. I would rather get an e mail than a phone call. I received a call from an employer that I was really excited about just to hear I did not get the job. That one killed me for at least a week and hearing it over the phone just made it worse.

  6. Ruffingit

    #2: This is not a big deal and I find it rather over the top that you use the word “demoralizing” that she won’t repackage this. That is not demoralizing and if that is your definition, I wonder if you’ve ever really experienced demoralizing behavior in the workplace. I have and I can guarantee it goes far beyond this.

    Also, you’re storing a room’s worth of records and equipment for the nonprofit in your home? Might be time to ask your manager/higher-ups about renting some storage space. That seems like a lot of stuff and it may be time for them to begin thinking of expanding their storage idea from “employee’s home” to “actual storage space” unless for some reason you need to access all that stuff on a near daily basis.

    1. Sarah

      I don’t know if I can pass judgement on the monitor affair, but demoralizing is not the same for each and every person. What is demoralizing for one person is business as usual for someone else. Context matters too; if things have been going south for a long time the little things can start to get to you.

      As an example, with a former boss I used to be incredibly frustrated when I would see her “pitching in” and doing the work of someone about three levels below her position. The people whose work she was helping out with were thrilled to have a manager pitching in like that. But when I saw it I knew it meant that once again she was declining to do her own work, the work that no one else could do, which was causing us major problems. What was demoralizing for me was the exact opposite of demoralizing for other employees. Context is everything.

    2. External Monitor Girl

      By “demoralizing” I don’t mean that the situation is coloring my entire work experience or anything. Rather, it just feels like a “Really?!! Come on!!!” type situation. As it happens, though, I do believe I have been spoiled as far as work environments go, starting with my very first job after college. And I’m so thankful for it because I have now set a high bar for employers (I like to think I set a high bar for myself as well). Granted, the pool of places at which I would want to work is likely smaller than average, but I’m OK with that.

      I wish paying for actual storage space was an option! As it is, we are a relatively small nonprofit (~$500,000 operating budget) and we are currently going through a financial rough patch. Perhaps if we get that large grant we just applied for …

      1. Ruffingit

        I do get the “really, come on!” thing. I can definitely sympathize on that, there have been many employers I’ve had where you just have to wonder where there head is at and/or they need such hand holding, but will refuse to do anything that is helpful to others. So I do understand where you’re coming from with those feelings. I hope your organization gets that grant!

      2. tesyaa

        Isn’t rented storage space safer? Such space may have safeguards against fire/flood/theft that a private home lacks.

      3. Jazzy Red

        It sounds like your manager has more important things on her mind then repackaging your monitor. Welcome to the real world! Just do what Alison suggests and let it go.

        Think about it – do you really want to be a trouble maker at this time? If I was your manager, and you pulled this cr@p with me, I’d move your name to the top of the “lay off at the first opportunity” list.

  7. Anon

    Our company policy is to use email for rejections after initial applications and phone screens. We call rejected finalists who have interviewed with us in person.

    I generally prefer email to phone for rejections. That said, I was rejected for two internal promotions before I applied for and got a third at my org, and I appreciated the calls. They were encouraging and professional, and the hiring manager made them feel like a courtesy rather than a brush-off.

    1. Anonymous

      As a relatively new hiring manager at my large company, I was told we were expected to speak to internal candidates we were rejecting (by phone or in person).

      The first time I did this, the candidate was unexpectedly pleased – apparently I was the first manager he had encountered who followed through and spoke with him. It was a lovely conversation for both of us.

      In retrospect, I hope it was as good for him as it was for me. ;-)

    2. Nichole

      I think internal is different than external, though. Even as someone who would rather do just about everything by e-mail than phone, if I were an internal candidate, I would almost be insulted to be rejected with a form e-mail, which would be perfectly acceptable to me as an external candidate.

  8. EM

    #7 – I interviewed for a position once with an organization where everyone worked remotely from their home, so the interview was over Skype. After the Skype interview, I had a few more follow-up email contact with the hiring manager and then never heard from her again. Using advice from this blog, I followed up with her via email once after about two weeks of not hearing anything, she never responded, I moved on.

    MONTHS later — I had already found another job & started working — my cell phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. I usually let those type of calls go to VM, but for some reason, I answered this time. It was the hiring manager for the above position, calling to let me know I had been rejected.

    It was SO WEIRD. I was really tempted to say something like, “Uh, yeah, I figured that out about 2 months ago.” I have no idea why she decided it would be a good idea to call to reject candidates after so much time had passed.

    Anyway, I would recommend rejection by email IN A TIMELY FASHION, lol.

    1. Jessa

      Exactly. Email, please. And waiting that long? No, sensible people unless told your decision is going to take forever, are going to give up way sooner than that.

      1. voluptuousfire

        Just went through the same thing myself, minus the phone call months later. I found out I didn’t get the job because I looked at the company’s employees and LinkedIn and saw the newly hired person in the position I applied for. :( That sucked. I was so excited about the position and was truly expecting a better outcome than just radio silence.

        Actually, in all my job hunting years, I’ve never actually run into this until now. I’m rather surprised!

    2. JMegan

      Yeah, I had one of those too. Interviewd for the job in March, didn’t hear anything, accepted another job in May. Got the phone call in June, that I had not been accepted for Job #1.

      It’s a little weird to have someone give the “lots of qualified candidates, very difficult decision” speech three months after the interview, when you’re sitting at your desk at your new job! Email is definitely better, and timely emails even better than that. :)

  9. Sourire

    #5 – Now this has me curious about what happened to me when I was young and left my first full-time position. I had borrowed paid vacation time and left before it accrued, so I actually had to pay that time back via my last paycheck. I believe I was in the red 3 days, so while I worked a full 10 days my last pay period, I was paid for 7. I didn’t question it at all at the time and actually haven’t thought of it again until this question reminded me, but now I’m wondering if that’s acceptable business practice (just for curiosity’s sake)..?

    1. EngineerGirl

      Why wouldn’t it be? The employee to a “loan” on vacation. On leaving the company it needs to be paid back.

    2. The Other Dawn

      It was standard in my company. If someone was in the red when they left, those days were deducted from the last paycheck.

    3. Cathy G

      It’s common, but whether it’s legal depends on if you’re exempt or hourly, which state you live in (assuming you’re in the U.S.), and whether the deduction would cause your final paycheck to take you below minimum wage.

      1. Jessa

        I’m not sure on that, I mean if you’re overpaid, that’s not the same as some kind of penalty thing where you’re deducted for spoilage or damage. The company paid you for three days you didn’t have. I think you owe them that, and I bet they have a policy somewhere that says so. I don’t think minimum wage has anything to do with overpayments. If you’re still working there they might be required to take them out a little at a time due to min wage, but the last cheque? I think that’s fair game for settling accounts that are known about in advance.

        1. Cathy G

          Sorry, but I am very sure on this. I just dealt with this issue yesterday*.

          If you google “deducting negative vacation final paycheck” without the quotes, you’ll find that Federal law prohibits the deduction if it would put the employee’s earnings for the final pay period below minimum wage (or minimum weekly salary for exempt); as well as only permitting employers to deduct from exempt employees for vacation that was borrowed in full-day increments. So, if you gave an exempt employee two half-days off, you can’t recover that full 8 hours from their final paycheck. In addition, there are several states that prohibit reclaiming advanced vacation at all. You can see California’s official FAQ here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Vacation.htm, where #9 addresses this exact question, but there are other states with similar laws that show up in a google search.

          * This part is just an aside because I am still a little bitter about the whole situation. This particular case is one of the ongoing costs of the U.S. government shutdown. We were ordered to stop work on our government contracts on a Tuesday, but Federal law requires us to pay our exempt employees for that entire week since they worked 2 days during the week. (The government exempts itself from this requirement when it furloughs its own employees, though in this case they’re all getting back pay anyway.) My employer can’t afford to pay people for 3 days of not working, so we required them to use vacation to fill out that week and we ran a negative balance for those who didn’t have 3 days on the books. The one who resigned yesterday was a new hire when the shutdown started, and he had no accrued vacation. He had applied for unemployment during the other two furlough weeks when he wasn’t getting a paycheck, and he had to look for other work to get it. One of those interviews resulted in an offer, and since he’s concerned that the government will shutdown again, he decided to accept; so we are losing a good employee, the government is going to get it’s software a little bit later than it wanted, and to add insult to injury, we lose more money on the vacation time we were legally required to lend him.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            California may be different (as it often is), but generally speaking, when an employee is granted vacation pay earlier than they’ve earned it, with the understanding that the pay constitutes an advance on pay, if the employee leaves before they’ve “paid it back,” the employer can recoup it in the final check, even where doing so recoupment will put that check below minimum wage. As always, some states may differ.

      2. janelle f.

        If the employee insists on taking the personal day because he has them in his PTO bank, can the company withhold pay for that day?

        If the particular day is not approved and he is taking it anyway… and then he’s leaving the company in a few weeks… And is never going to “pay back” his vacation time? But still has 2 personal/sick days left?

        What can the company do in this situation? Is it legal to withhold the pay on the day that is not approved that he’s taking anyway?

  10. Rebecca

    #2 – I’m more worried about you storing records at your home than I am about the monitor. Just pick up a cheap one at a thrift store or look for ads in the paper. I have several spares, didn’t pay more than $5 for any of them. Maybe you could find one on the cheap, buy it, and get reimbursed (?) Shipping charges are expensive, and you’d probably be able to find a decent used monitor cheaper than your boss could ship one to you.

    1. Ann Furthermore

      This was my thought too — look on craigslist or something for a used one you can get on the cheap, and be done with it.

    2. External Monitor Girl

      You know, I looked at Value Village while I was doing some personal shopping (not sure if that’s a national chain—VV is a thrift store) but didn’t find anything. I should probably redouble my efforts and try the Goodwill and Salvation Army. Part of me wants to dig my heels in on principle, but I’d likely just be shooting myself in the foot.

      1. Ann Furthermore

        We may have been separated at birth. I too am very stubborn when it comes to taking a stand on principle, even when it would be easier to just let it go.

      2. Zahra

        Another option, since you explain upthread that the cost of sending back and forth is pretty much the cost of a new monitor is to make your case on exactly those arguments. Provide a link to an online vendor (with a good return/warranty policy and free shipping) that can ship the new monitor to your place so the task is as easy to do as possible.

      3. Jessa

        If you find one for less than $20 you might be able to have them pay for it, since it would cost FAR less than shipping the one they have to you. I think if you’re significantly lower than the shipping cost you have a good case for a reimbursement.

  11. PEBCAK

    #5) It also depends on the reason, I think. I’ve worked a few places that handled bereavement days differently from other personal days.

  12. ArtsNerd

    #4 – I get that it can be hard and awkward to explain what’s going on, but don’t feel ashamed! Diane Rehm, who hosts a major national NPR program – yup, on the radio, also has spasmodic dysphonia.

    If you act matter-of-fact and not self-conscious, most reasonable people will follow suit and not bring it up.

    I don’t have anything that affects my professional life but I do have an impulse control disorder. After YEARS of trying to hide it, I decided to just be open and casual about it in my personal life. As soon as I stopped being embarrassed (which I had to fake at first, in a big way) it became a non-issue in that sense.

    1. the gold digger

      Diane Rehm, who hosts a major national NPR program – yup, on the radio, also has spasmodic dysphonia.

      Which leads to the obvious question of how can someone with a speech impediment keep a job in radio? It would seem to me that the ability to speak clearly would be one of the major job requirements for a broadcasting position.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        She speaks clearly, just slowly. Apparently a number of her listeners have told her that they actually find her show more relaxing — she takes her time and people aren’t interrupting each other and rushing to speak over each other. I find it kind of soothing too — I enjoy listening to her!

        1. VintageLydia

          Helps that she is whip smart, too, and you can tell when people she’s interviewing underestimate her because of her age and the way she talks.

      2. The IT Manager

        She had the job first and then began to suffer from the disability after having her own radio show for 14 years. She managed to overcome it and continue at her job, but she probably would have been unable to break into radio after the illness manifested.

        To my my ear, she sounds simply elderly with very slow rate of speeech and somewhat quavering. Which is somewhat surprising for a radio host, but she speaks slowly and you can always understand her.

  13. Brett

    #6 This situation is not so clear cut and depends on the OP’s state.
    Many states (not just California) consider an overpayment of wages to be a payday loan; and that means that it is illegal for the employer to withhold future wages for repayment without the employee’s written consent.

    Even more complicated, some states do not consider the overpayment to be a payday loan, but consider the withhold for overpayment to be a n illegal wage garnishment and thus make it extremely difficult for an employer to recover overpaid wages.

    Which is not all rosy from the employee end. Odds are taxes were withheld from those overpaid wages (even though technically they were a loan, not wages). The repayment of wages is not tax deductible or pre-tax! That means the employee could end up overpaying taxes and not be able to recover that overpayment until they file their taxes. This is one very significant incentive for the employee to refuse to repay the overpaid wages without a formal loan agreement.

    1. Vicki

      I don’t understand. What’s a “payday loan”? Especially if it was accidental. Obviously, they do expect this money to be repaid, so how do these states handle that?

      I was surprised to read this because my initial thought for #6 was “What did you expect? Of course they will balance the difference in the next paycheck.”

      Brett – do you have references for what you say? The idea of treating a payroll error as a “loan” (with the incentive on the employee to keep the money???) seems totally insane (not to mention illegal in terms of keeping the money.)

      1. Brett

        I know in my state the employer has to present the employee with a letter describing the overpayment and the employee gets a legal right to contest and appeal the overpayment before it can be deducted from their paycheck (e.g. make the claim that the overpayment was not an overpayment).

        Here’s an example of the complications for Texas.
        http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/deduction_problems_under_tpl.html

        And a brief discussion from the Houston Chronicle on procedures in other states
        http://smallbusiness.chron.com/overpayment-employee-wages-13327.html

        There are some very expensive and lengthy state by state legal guides of how to handle overpayment, so I am thinking that some states make the issue very complicated.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      Federally, the labor department views overpayments as wage advances. The employer is free to recoup the overpayment through future checks and has the discretion to decide whether to recoup it all in the next check or as a percentage of each check until it’s repaid. They may make those deductions even when the deduction would cut into minimum wage.

      Of course, some states, such as California, handle this differently.

  14. BW

    Re: #7. Any time I’ve had a hiring manager reach out to me to actually SCHEDULE a call in the way that you describe, i.e. “Are you available tomorrow? I’d like to chat with you briefly”, it’s because they’re going to make me an offer. Or at least, that’s the way it always panned out with me: Email rejections; Calls to schedule another call and make me an offer in the scheduled call. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’d be a special kind of cruel to call a candidate to schedule a call, knowing that they’d be antsy during all the time leading up to the call, just to say “nope not you.”

    1. NBB

      That just happened to my husband. It was…awful. They scheduled a call for the next day, only to deliver bad news. In fairness, they were trying to be nice, as it seems he was a top choice, and they felt that an email was too impersonal after the long and involved interview process. But still. It was really hard to get the news that way.

      1. SS

        THIS. I was rejected via phone just last week. It was an incredibly difficult way to get the news after a very consuming process. It was even harder to hear I was choice #2 because I didn’t have a master’s degree, and it came down to that to make the decision between me and the person who got the position. (Everyone else, 3 other candidates, had a master’s or a law degree. I am a new BA graduate, though very accomplished.) I don’t think that would have been divulged to me in an email. We ended up discussing that I’m in an odd place for a new grad: nontraditional age with just a BA, but have significant accomplishments over many folks with a master’s in field, even for DC. It was definitely a downer.

  15. Mena

    #5: I would assume that the company will dock his the ‘red’ vacation days, decreasing his final check. Why wouldn’t they? He owes the company and didn’t work long enough to accrue the vacation time that he took.

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