where are they now: 5 reader updates

I’m starting the updates a little early, because I have so many of them!  There are more than 50 coming…

1. The reader whose manager was excluding her from important conversations

I have actually moved on — I left the company in June and relocated 8,000 miles away to East Africa.

During my exit interview, my manager basically said that she felt that at times there were things I wanted to tell her, and that I chose not to say anything. That was true — I knew I was getting ready to leave the company, and she’d been a supporter of my goals all along (having written me glowing recommendations and praising the work I’d done in the past year), and I did not want to jeopardize that with a “confrontation.”

When the exit interview happened and I received her feedback, I felt frustrated– frustrated that I essentially appeared like a doormat and did not address with my manager the times when she “checked out” of work or behaved as though she did not value my work. It made me wonder whether I should have done differently, but I’d decided at the time that a painful conversation might have done more harm than good: she’s quite sensitive; I was managing my final projects and coordinating my move, etc. So, I let it all go. In the future, though, I am not sure that I will take the same course of action.

2. The reader whose mentor was going to get fired

Your advice was great! And I took it. But as it turned out, the program we were working on at the time ended up being cancelled for reasons far beyond any of our control, so the issue didn’t really come to a head. However, the whole situation made me rethink how much I wanted to stay at that company, and as it happens, I’m now working elsewhere for a well-respected company in my field, with a boss who I don’t think would put me in the position I was in before.

3. The reader applying to a job that wanted letters, not phone calls, from references (#5 at the link)

Thanks to your answer and the very thoughtful answers in the comments section, I decided to use a reference from another job in place of the reference who didn’t want to write a letter. The reference I ended up using was older but was from a job that better matched the responsibilities of the position. My other two references were really good about writing the letters and I ended up with three great references.

I got the job and have been in the position for three months now. The position is great and is a good match with my abilities, personality and ambitions. It took me over a year and several rejections, but looking back I am glad I didn’t get any of the other jobs. I never really understood the idea that interviewing is a 2-way street. I think my focus on both what I would bring to them and how the position would fit with me made me come across as a confident candidate, and might have made up for my lack of academia experience. Plus I worked up a great cover letter! I now work with a variety of students in their final year of school and I am going to recommend your website as a resource as they start to look for jobs. Thanks so much!

4. The reader wanting to repair a bad job history

I just wanted to say that I sincerely listened to your advice as well as the ones in the comments. Some of it was honestly really discouraging to hear, and I tried my best to go forward in my job search. I just wanted to thank you because I was able to find a well paying job in my field. I feel so lucky about it, like I am being given a second chance to try again. I had previous long-term volunteer experience so I used that to my advantage in my resume like others suggested. I think your advice really helped me land the job. So, thank you and please don’t ever stop blogging!

5. The reader wondering how to launch an employee performance tracker (#2 at the link)

We’ve rolled out various performance trackers since January. I don’t believe they’ve had much overall impact on employee performance because the follow-up after delivery is lacking and there isn’t accountability to achieve specific metrics on these trackers. The employees (and their managers) see them as more of a “here is where you’re at” rather than a “you must achieve this result,” which was part of my original concern. I believe without the buy in of front line managers, any type of accountability system will be flawed. 

{ 47 comments… read them below }

  1. urban adventurer*

    Yay! The first of the reader updates!

    Good job #4. Keep plugging away, and you’ll get where you want to be.

    1. Sascha*

      I read that as “the lady who puts cats on everyone,” which would be equally as interesting.

          1. jordan*

            This mini-thread absolutely made my morning (oops…afternoon now!) Thank you, amazing AAM commenters.

        1. Victoria Nonprofit*

          This is a true story:

          Years ago, when I was backpacking around the Mediterranean, I paid to sleep on the rooftop of a hotel in Morocco (the actual hotel? not in my extremely tiny budget). There were a bunch of cats with their litters of kittens living up there – like, 30 or more cats and kittens in all. I played with them for a while and then went to sleep.

          I woke up when the sun started to rise the next morning. I was super hot, which didn’t make sense, because the air was cold as hell. You can guess the punchline, right? I was literally covered in kittens. Kittens were snuggled up against and on top of every possible part of me: on my chest, in my armpits, under my knees, in my hair, etc. They had stuffed themselves into my sleeping bag overnight and snuggled up with me to keep warm.

          My husband hates when I say this (because he wasn’t involved), but it was seriously the greatest moment of my life.

          1. Sabrina*

            That sounds wonderful!!!

            On an old episode of Let’s Make a Deal they had a “Zonk” which was a bunch of cats. I turned to my husband and said “That’s not a Zonk, that’s the best prize EVAR!!!!”

          2. Windchime*

            Wow, that does sound amazing! My cat is so aloof that I have to pretend to notice that he’s not on the bed with me. If I acknowledge him in any way, he’ll jump off and find another place to sleep.

          3. khilde*

            That is a very cool story! We have a male and female cat. The male always sleeps on the couch at night, but the female comes into bed every night and she demands to sleep right on my chest, back, arms, head, etc. I read somewhere that the female cats in the wild snuggle together and the males apparently don’t. I don’t know if that’s fact, but anectodally it makes sense to me.

            So maybe it was a bunch of girl kitties that recognized your awesome girl power to go backpacking in the Mediterranean!

            1. Jen in RO*

              My tomcat is not very sociable during the day (he bits if I snuggle him), but he sleeps on me and he burrows in my hair. I think he thinks I’m his mummy.

              Victoria, I am so jealous!

          4. ThursdaysGeek*

            Wow, sunrise with a sleeping bag of kittens — that sounds totally cool! I do have a pillow pet, and she sleeps by my face, on top of me, or under the cover at my knee pits. And I’m happy imagining how wonderful a plethora of kittens could be.

  2. Arbynka*

    Was there an update yet about the former co-worker wanting company to sponsor her party and only selected group of people was invited (OP was invited) ?

    Also I am hoping to hear that things worked out for the OP with co-worked who took pictures of her and mocked her on Facebook and the OP with co-worker (ex-boyfriend) who shared her nude pictures with the office.

  3. Ex-Mrs Addams*

    I’m having an incredibly stressful week (new job, plus house move and splitting up with Mr Addams.. urgh) and these updates with the promise of more to come are just the distraction I need every so often! Looking forward to the rest!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! But yes, you will be getting updates daily starting now! (And three update posts a day starting next week.)

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I love them too! It was a LOT of work getting them all programmed in ahead of time, but now that it’s done I’m feeling very pleased with the whole plan.

          1. Ruffingit*

            For what it’s worth, I am very appreciative of all the work you do to run this site. Years ago, I managed a website that became rather popular (it was for a niche interest) and I remember how much work went into that. It wasn’t a money maker, it was something I did because I loved it, but still it was hard. So thanks. I have learned so much from this site and I find myself passing it on quite often to others too – “OMG, NO! Do not go to the HR manager’s office with doughnuts. Don’t move a muscle, here, let me show you AAM…” :)

          2. Elkay*

            I feel a bit like you’re trusting us to stay in your house while you’re gone, I hope we don’t break anything…

    2. Ruffingit*

      So sorry to hear of the breakup. It gets better though, I can promise you that. Marching through it is rough, but the other side is closer than you think!

  4. Jennifer O*

    Thank you so much for these (and the upcoming) updates. I’m so grateful for this site and am, as ever, impressed with you. You’re so thoughtful to consider and plan for us as you prepare for your wedding.

    May the wedding be everything you hope it will be. I wish you and your beloved a wonderfully happy life together. Mazzal tov!

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