my mom called my employer for my schedule, making people answer calls on their days off, and more

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

1. My mom called my employer to get my schedule

My mom decided to take it into her own hands to find out my schedule for the week, so she called the store I work at. I am a minor and have only been working there for about a month. What should I do? I don’t want to seem like a little kid to my manager and my peers. I am mortified that my mom did this!

First, talk to your mom and explain that she is undermining you at work by making calls on your behalf. Ask her to leave your dealings with your employer to you, and to talk with you if she has questions or concerns about your schedule or anything else. Then, say to your boss, “I’m sorry my mother called about my schedule the other day. You shouldn’t need to deal with anyone but me, and I’ve talked with her to make sure it won’t happen again.” And that’s it — no more than that is necessary.

The good news here is that if you behave maturely yourself and make it clear that you’re not sanctioning your mom’s actions, what she does won’t reflect on you — even if she does it again. (But at the same time, don’t make a huge deal of your opposition to it, because that looks like overreaction, which then looks less mature.)

2. My manager knows I connected with a recruiter on LinkedIn

Today, I had a call from a recruiter, asking me how my 4-month old new job was going. (New job that I did not get from them.) I called her back to say thank you, and told her I love my new job. The whole experience just reminded me how nice and professional she was and so I, very stupidly, linked up with her on LinkedIn.

My manager is very active on LinkedIn, so I panicked right after sending the invite. It popped up on his screen right away. He actually went and (nicely) questioned the other new addition about it. So I confessed, very rapid-fire and red-faced, that I had gone on an interview for her about six months prior and had turned down the offer. I then told him that she was very nice in the process so I had linked up with her.

Is there anything I can do to convince them that I’m not planning to leave? I’m really not. This is making me so nervous right now.

There’s nothing to confess here! This interview was before you had your current job. You didn’t do anything wrong at all.

If you’re worried, though, you can certainly go back to your manager and say, “Hey, this is probably silly, but I’m worried that you might think that my connecting to Jane Smith indicates I’m unhappy here or thinking of leaving. I want you to know that I’m quite happy here, thrilled to be doing this work, and hoping to stay for a long time.”

3. Can I make managers respond to my calls and texts on their days off?

I am the vice president of operations of a restaurant company in California. Can I insist that my managers that are on salary respond to my calls or texts on their days off?

Legally? Yes. But unless (a) these are real emergencies or (b) you are warning them before they take the job and compensating them accordingly, this will make you a jerk. You should respect people’s days off if you want to attract and retain good people.

Also, if they’re non-exempt (since someone could be salaried non-exempt), you need to pay them for any time they spend answering these calls or texts.

4. How to respond to ads that say “”women and minorities are encouraged to apply”

I have a question about identifying as woman or a minority when applying for jobs. At the end of job postings, I often see statements like “women and minorities are encouraged to apply.” So I’m wondering how and when should I mention that I am both a woman and a minority? Should I mention it in my cover letter, and if so what part? Also, if I’m applying through an online system that asks me to identify my gender and/or ethnic background, should I still mention it in my cover letter or is it safe to assume that info will be passed on to the people reviewing applications?

I work in a field that is predominantly white and conference discussions and articles abound about the importance of recruiting qualified minority candidates. However, I don’t want to seem pushy or present myself in a way that suggests I’m looking for a handout. I’m just trying to figure out how to strike the right balance.

Don’t mention it in your cover letter unless it’s somehow directly relevant (which would be rare). Statements like “women and minorities are encouraged to apply” are there because either (a) it’s true — they want you to know that women and minorities are welcomed there, or (b) they want to look like it’s true. Either way, they can’t legally consider race in hiring (as opposed to making an effort to recruit a diverse pool, a la the statement you saw). And so it’s not something for your cover letter, which should be focused on why you’d excel at the job.

5. My managers won’t promote me until I’m 18

I’m a minor (17) and I’ve worked for a year now. My bosses are extremely pleased with me and I’ve made good connections with the owner and corporate people. They really want me to be a manager, but they have to wait until I am an adult because of the liability issues involved with running shifts, being responsible for the safe, driving to pick up products and such.

I was looking up some info on emancipation, and it seems like emancipation would remove the liability issue because I would then assume the responsibilities of an adult.

Some other background on me: I attend college and transport myself, and I already have a partial waiver from child labor law. So the only thing holding me back is my birth date. Would emancipation actually be a feasible way to move me into management? This is a very unusual situation, but what do you think of an under-18 manager in general?

My guess is probably not, because emancipation is about allowing you to conduct business on your own behalf outside the influence of your parents — but liability issues are separate from that. (Just like how even if you were emancipated, you still probably couldn’t rent a car from a company that requires you to be 25 or older to rent one — it’s about age-related liability, not about your parents’ legal authority over you.)

But the age issue is going to go away in less than a year. I’d just keep on performing well at work, and revisit this when 18 rolls around — which is very soon. Good luck!

Read an update to this letter here.

6. My job isn’t included on my company’s new business model chart

My company’s new business model does not have my job position on the chart. How do I word an email to say that I need to know what the plan is for me; so that I can start looking for a new job, if needed?

This is important, so it isn’t an email conversation; this is a face-to-face conversation with your manager. Go talk to her and say, “My job isn’t included on the new organizational chart I saw. Can we talk about what’s likely for my position under this new model?”

7. After nine interviews, can I ask what the hell is going on?

I was recently “cold call” recruited from a company about an open position, which piqued my interest. While I appreciate the necessity of a company to vet a potential new hire, I’ve already completed interviews with six different individuals, and I am scheduled to speak with at least three more people. In fact, the list of people they are asking me to meet with grows the further along the interview process moves. Furthermore, it’s becoming more and more difficult to carve out private time from my current employer to accommodate the growing list of interview requests. I am certainly interested in the position and the potential for career advancement that it offers, but the rather extensive and ever expanding interview process is starting to create a concern.

Since they cold-call recruited me, and continue to expand the number of interviewers, is it either appropriate or necessary for me to request they rein in the process and/or give me a crystal clear indication of their thinking (i.e. they love me and therefore need to have me meet with several people to finalize an offer, or not)?

You can’t really ask them to make their process shorter, but you can certainly ask them to give you a sense of where things stand and the remaining steps before you invest further time. I’d say something like, “Can you give me a sense of the rest of your process, as far as the likely number of remaining interviews and your timeline for making a decision?” And depending on their answer, you might also decide to say, “Since I’ve interviewed with nine people now, I wonder if we can talk about what questions you still have about my candidacy that will help you make a decision” or “Having interviewed with nine people now, it’s becoming more difficult for me to carve out time from my current position, and I’d like to get a better understanding of what we need to do between here and when you expect to make a hiring decision.”

{ 239 comments… read them below }

  1. anita*

    Q5: I’m pretty sure you can’t get emancipated unless you can prove abuse or neglect by your parents. If you can prove this, by all means do so ASAP: otherwise, you will be forced to provide your parent’s financial information on your FAFSA and some schools make it very difficult to get a waiver on parental information even if you prove estrangement.

    1. fposte*

      Even those are much likelier to result in foster care than emancipation. It’s actually pretty uncommon.

    2. Marina*

      I don’t know what the technical rules are, but a friend of mine became an emancipated minor, with the support of her non-abusive parents, when she moved across the country without them at age 16.

      1. Lacey*

        I don’t think you have to prove abuse.

        Some actors become emancipated because they are more hirable when they’re not subject to child labour laws (Alicia Silverstone, for example, she nearly got the role in My So Called Life over Claire Danes because she was emancipated and it would have been way cheaper to film with her than a non-emancipated minor, because they could work much longer days, but in the end Claire Danes won out. I learned this in a New Yorker profile on Claire Danes, BTW, just in case I sound like a stalker).

    3. Loose Seal*

      You don’t need to be an abused or neglected child to be emancipated. But you do have to prove that you are making a living independent of your parents. So, OP, if you’re still living under their roof and not paying a reasonable (for the area) rent, then you’re probably out of luck right there. Are you taking money at all from your parents? Do they provide groceries? Your health insurance? You need to have a budget that shows that you can [i]completely[/i] fend for yourself.

      Also, court proceedings take a long time to get to — from the filing of the complaint to the actual hearing date. You don’t say how many months you have until you’re 18, but if you call the court clerk’s office you might find out how long it would be until your case is heard. Check the cost while you’re on the phone with them. If you end up being emancipated at 17 years, 10 months, for instance, it might not be worth the cost — in court fees and lost wages and missing classes while attending court.

    4. Ashlee*

      Actually, even if you were emancipated from your parents, you would still have to provide their tax information for FASFA until you’re either 24 years old, or married.*
      Dumb rule, I know. Not sure why 24 was the age selected,though.

      *I’m currently twenty years old and can’t apply for FASFA and receive grant/government help for paying for college because my parents make too much money, but not enough to help me afford schooling due to mother’s medical issues.

      This also only applies in the US.

      Back on topic, one year, like many (and AAM) have said, isn’t that long of a wait. It’s most likely an age-related liability (for example, in the State of Washington at least, no one under the age of 18 may handle meat slicing machinery in a deli)

      1. Schuyler Pierson*

        Actually, that’s not quite true; I’m a financial aid administrator so this is something I’m pretty familiar with. First let me say – all this information is very general. Emancipated minors, those who were foster youth after the age of 13, and a host of other students may be considered independent for FAFSA purposes. I expect the age of 24 is chosen because most grad rates and whatnot are based upon a 6 year graduation rate and traditional first-year students are around 18 when entering college.

        You can complete a FAFSA, and at the very least you’ll be given an unsubsidized loan. Financial situations can change from year to year, which is why you need to complete one yearly (aid eligibility can change from year to year). Also, if you have special circumstances (you mention your mother’s medical issues), I urge you to speak to a financial aid counselor to determine if there is any consideration that should be made for medical expenses. There’s no guarantee, but depending upon how high your out of pocket costs are in relation to the other information, sometimes adjustments can be made. But be sure to speak with them and ask any questions you have; financial aid is complicated and any little thing can change what’s possible.

        Sorry to veer off-topic… in my office we work really hard to help students understand all this stuff and I know that’s not the case everywhere, so whenever I can possibly clarify, I like to.

        Oh – one last thing. Nerdscholar’s scholarship engine ( is my favorite place to send students to look for private scholarships. No ads, you don’t have to give your email. Just search.

  2. fposte*

    On #5– You sound closer than most minors who ask about emancipation to its purpose, but in addition to what Alison says–

    1) not all states even have law permitting emancipation of minors
    2) you’d likely be eighteen before you get a court ruling anyway just because of how long it takes
    3) this still isn’t what emancipation of minors is for. It’s for minors who are completely self -supporting and leading an adult life who need the legal authority to do stuff like rent apartments and sign contracts. A promotion would not likely to be anything that would justify emancipation to the court.

    1. Confused*

      I agree, it would take a while. Even if it = bypassing all the aforementioned issues, which is not the case, it’s a whole lot of trouble to go through (and probably court costs etc.) for a promotion, especially since it’ll work itself out in less than a year. Congrats on doing a great job and taking your work/job so seriously at a young age! Good luck.

  3. Kara*


    Emancipation discussion aside, I really don’t think one year is that long to wait for a promotion. Use that year to mature, observe, and gain some more experience that you can learn from and use as a manager when you turn 18. Really, it seems like a long time, but it isn’t. I worked for a company when I was 17-18 that had a rule regarding key-holding managers and the guideline that the managers had to be 21 years old. Well, my manager at the time told me that he wanted to promote me, but that because of company policy he couldn’t and if I could just wait three more years I’d be promoted. Three years was too long to wait for that low of salary increase, so I ended up leaving the company for much higher pay elsewhere, which is what I’d say to you if that were the case with your company. Trust me, one year is nothing.

  4. PEBCAK*

    #7: I think AAM’s advice is spot-on whether or not they cold-called you. Employers should not subject any candidate to an endless hiring process, no matter how the initial contact was made.

    1. Chocolate Teapot*

      9 interviews? Is this a record?

      I can only think that all the interviewers can’t coordinate to be in the same place at the same time.

      1. Judy*

        I’ve certainly talked to 9 or more people in an interview process, but that was 1 on phone screen, 6-8 over the course of a nearly day long interview (if you count the person conducting a facilities tour, the person taking me to lunch, and the people I had interviews with) and 2 phone interviews later. I’ve not ever been called back repeatedly for interviews. But I’ve also never interviewed for jobs within 30 miles of where I was working.

        1. College Career Counselor*

          53 people over the course of a 10 hour interview day is probably my personal record. This included a series of individual interviews, a number of group interviews, an open-campus session with 20 people in the room, and a meeting with the president. They did leave me alone to eat lunch, however, which I appreciated. I was pretty fried by the end of that day.

            1. College Career Counselor*

              While this was a particularly jam-packed schedule, it’s pretty standard in the higher ed administrative world when you work with students. They are bringing you in, so they want to get their money’s worth out of the in-person interview (this example above was after I’d done an hour phone screen with the search committee).

              EVERY potential audience/stakeholder gets an opportunity to see you in action, ask questions, weigh in/provide feedback to the committee, etc. That was the one-day record holder. I once had an interview with 2.5 DAYS of this. After awhile, you get kind of punchy and have trouble remembering which behavioral interview anecdotes you’ve used already. (Hint: it doesn’t matter–but you have to tell them with the same detail and energy as you did to the previous audience)

      2. AdAgencyChick*

        Srsly. And if they can’t, they should be trying to make the process easier on you — phone interviews, before- or after-hours interviews, etc.

      3. Anonymous*

        My friend is interviewing with a big, big name tech company (let’s call it “Banana”) and has already had 5 interviews (2 phone screens) with no end in sight. She hasn’t yet spoken to any management, but she’s expecting to speak to at least 3-4 higher ups…but she still has several store manager interviews and peer interviews first. So depending on the culture and the company, no, 9 interviews is not that crazy. But it gets very, very taxing.

    2. Lacey*

      OP – 9 interviews! You have my utmost sympathy. I’ve had some long recruitment experiences but that is pretty ridiculous. I hope they make a decision soon.

    3. Yup*

      Ditto. Nine separate interviews (which is how I’m reading this) is excessive, especially since there’s no end in sight. OP, in addition to Alison’s advice, if you decide to keep going with them, it’s not unreasonable for you to politely ask if any of the interviews can be scheduled back to back or for the same day, to consolidate.

      Also, I want to high-five your awesomely correct use of “pique” which made my inner grammar nerd so happy. :)

  5. PEBCAK*

    #4: The demographic data you enter in the online form is likely never seen by the hiring manager. That said, if you get an interview, they’ll figure this stuff out.

  6. Carrie in Scotland*

    #6 could it be that your job title has changed in the new business model? My org recently re-structured and the job title/role of secretary no longer exists but a very similar role with a new title does.

    1. AdminAnon*


      My organization recently re-structured as well and the Office Manager position no longer exists, but the responsibilities were split between 3 new positions (COO, Executive Assistant, and Logistics Specialist)

    2. Elizabeth West*

      That was my thought as well. It’s possible they changed the title of the missing position, but the OP still needs to have a discussion with her manager about this. If they’re releasing information that they know employees can see, the manager should have dealt with this beforehand.

      Of course, it’s always possible that whoever made the plan or chart just plain screwed up.

      1. Judy*

        My husband was once sent an org chart with a title for him, that implied he had received a promotion. Turned out his (3 month) boss assumed by the work he was doing, that he had that promotion.

    3. Jessa*

      It could also be that someone simply made an error and left you off, or changed your title like Carrie said. So before you go in going “what’s happening to my job,” it may be better to go in with “Hey, I’m not on here, did someone forget me, reclassify me and not tell me or…” and let the or hang off there for them to fill in the blank which may still not be anything to do with your job is gone.

    4. Lucy*


      Several years ago my previous company reorganized and laid off 90% of the staff at my small satellite location. I went through the worst week of limbo because my manager was laid off and the HR rep was trying to figure out if I still had a job based on the new org chart she had been provided with.

      It turned out I did have a job, but they thought I was the receptionist!!! I was actually the registrar and I answered the phone because almost all of the phone calls to our location were registration needs.

      I decided that that wasn’t a good sign and left several months later.

  7. Chocolate Teapot*

    6. A previous company I worked for comprised 2 companies which had been merged together, so there were various different titles for the same position. I think at some point, the intention was to harmonise the job titles, but some people did not want to lose the ones they currently had.

  8. Manda*

    #4: I’ve noticed this sort of thing is especially common with Canadian government jobs (whether federal or provincial), although I’ve seen a few private-sector ads with similar statements. A lot of these ads say something like, “persons with disabilities and visible minorities are encouraged to self-identify.” I’ve even seen ads that say something more like, “preference will be given to those with disabilities or of aboriginal descent.” Here’s an exact quote I found from a government posting:

    Employment Equity is a factor in selection. Applicants are requested to indicate in their covering letter or resumé if they are from any of the following groups: women, Aboriginal people, visible minorities and persons with a disability.

    Huh? I don’t get how they can preach employment equity when they know those things ahead of time. They could be subconsciously making judgements, either against those groups, or by selecting them because of whatever group they belong to. I’m all for giving everyone a fair chance, but I feel like this is swinging too far the other way. Sometimes it sounds like they’ll chose someone from some apparently disadvantaged group over someone better qualified, just to give them a chance.

    1. Rayner*

      Because if every person who happened to be disabled, neuro-a-typical, nonwhite, non gender binary or conforming were given the same rights and freedoms as able bodied, neurotypical, cis white men in reality as opposed to on paper, they wouldn’t need to be told that actually, yes, they are welcome to apply, and to have their application looked at with the same level of scrutiny, and no more or less.

      Discrimination exists. It’s very prevalent and it rears its ugly head a lot. This is one way (not necessarily the perfect way, not necessarily the best way) to try to change that.

      1. Jessa*

        And in some cases and in some countries (not as much in the US but still) they can be given preference in hiring because of all the past exercises of privilege that have had them significantly underemployed. Just like in the US Veterans get preference in some places, and you can actually specifically hire the disabled under some tax benefit training schemes.

    2. Jen in RO*

      This struck me as odd too. I’m not from North America, but it seems to go against all I’ve read – asking about minority status in an interview is not illegal, but frowned upon etc. Is it OK in this case because it’s positive discrimination? I would hate to be hired to be the “token woman” in a job… honestly this kind of ad would put me off because I wouldn’t know if I got the job because of my skills or because I was [insert minority]. I understand the rationale behind it, but still…

      1. Neeta*

        This actually reminds me of a job posting I keep seeing in a newsletter. It says something like “Hiring programmers (m/f)”. It sticks out because it’s the only one that feels the need to specify that they welcome both genders.

          1. Jen in RO*

            I was actually browsing Austrian job boards and most jobs specified “m/f” and/or “m/w” which definitely indicates “male/female”. I wasn’t sure, so I googled and this seems to be the norm for German-language jobs boards.

          2. Neeta*

            I don’t think so, there was no mention of anything aside technical requirements and responsibilities.

            Jen: I looked again, and indeed they’re ads for a German company.

            1. Anonymous*

              I read once that it’s because in German, titles end up being gendered (e.g. Male engineer vs female engineer) because of the language construct, so m/F is there to indicate that they don’t discriminate against whichever sex was left out of the title.

              1. Jen in RO*

                Yeah, that’s what i gathered too, that it was shorter than writing Inginer/Inginerin*.

                (*probably not actual German words)

      2. Jennifer*

        I would see something like this and if I wasn’t a woman or a minority, would take it as a “Don’t apply for this job” notice. Is that what employers are going for? I’m confused on that score.

        1. Neeta*

          As a woman, I never applied for a position like this. It makes me suspicious that this company feels the need to go out of their way to mention equality of genders. It should be a given.

      3. Melissa*

        The assumption you, and other people ,make in these situations that they are hiring an unqualified minority over a qualified non-minority. But why assume that that’s the case? Far more often what’s happening is that equally qualified (or actually often, less qualified) white men are hired over women or people of color because of unconscious biases or preferences. Let’s also not forget that what is qualified enough for a white man often becomes “less qualified” or “unqualified” for a woman or a person of color, also because of implicit biases. There has been research showing that employers are more likely to get called for an interview a white man with a criminal record than a black man *without* a criminal record. The white guy is given the benefit of the doubt – “well, let’s call him in and see how he does.” The black man with a criminal record is just tossed in the trash.

        Policies like this typically don’t result in the hire of an unqualified or “less qualified” minority; they typically result in the hire of an equally qualified minority group member – or sometimes an even more qualified person, because there’s also research showing that minority group members have to achieve at higher levels to be perceived the same as white men.

    3. Daisy*

      But it seems unlikely they’re going to go, ‘Disabled indigenous woman? I like your moxy kid! You’re hired!’ just by looking at the application. Probably they want a range of people being *interviewed*, so they can show they’ve given an equal opportunity at the job. Which seems OK to me?

    4. JustSomeone*

      That’s just affirmative action though, isn’t it? What that means is that all other factors being equal, i.e. you have two equally qualified candidates, the woman/minority/disabled person will be given preference to balance out that they are so often discriminated against.

      1. Xay*

        Or they may be trying to attract highly qualified minorities and people living with disabilities to build a better applicant pool.

        1. Leslie Yep*

          Yes, this is how we use this data. Hiring managers never see their candidates’ self-identified race or ethnicity (we might guess when we meet them, but this can be slippery), but the data is used to make sure that we are building in the right plans to get a diverse applicant pool, and hiring in reasonable proportion to that diversity (e.g. we would want to know if 50% of our applicants are people of color but only 10% of our new hires are, which could suggest some failing of the system to locate and hire good applicants of color).

      2. Melissa*

        No, that’s not what affirmative action is. It just means that race and other group memberships are taken into account in a holistic hiring practice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that women or minorities are automatically given preference all other things being equal.

    5. fposte*

      Sometimes there’s relevant hiring funding available (or it could make a difference to where the funding came from) if there’s a hiring program, and sometimes organizations or governments are keeping demographic stats to document their success or lack thereof in fair hiring and attracting diverse candidates.

      It is tricky to on the one hand say it can’t be considered and on the other hand to request the information, but I understand why it happens

    6. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Just to be clear, while it sounds like that’s legal in Canada, in the U.S. it’s illegal to take race or ethnicity into consideration in hiring. You can make efforts to build a diverse pool of candidates, but race can’t be given preferential treatment in the actual hiring.

      1. KarenT*

        Yes, it’s legal in Canada. It’s called affirmative action, but there are more than a few conditions that need to be satisfied. In other words, it’s not always legal but legal in some cases.

      2. Victoria Nonprofit*

        (Of course, even in the U.S., it very often is – both as a result of active or subconscious racism and as a result of intentional efforts to diversify a company’s staff.)

        1. Victoria Nonprofit*

          Just realized that this was confusing: What I meant was that although it is illegal to consider race while hiring, it is very often a factor, whether subconsciously or intentionally.

      3. Marie*

        The data is not used by the hiring manager in Canada.

        it’s collected to compare the demographic pool of applicants with the demographics in the company. The difference between the two will determine if they need to put a plan in place.

      4. Anonymous*

        But then why are there all these optional disclosure forms about race and gender? I’ve never had to fill one out for a Canadian job application.

    7. Chinook*

      With Canadian jobs that ask you self identify, it is possible that there may grants available or that they are working with a specific group of people. Also, with how many resumes they may get, it may be hard to randomly get a multicultural group of interviewees without having to guess based on names, adresses nd education. Even though this means I wouldn’t even bother applying for the position (cuz I am white), it is good to see them actively pursuing employment for natives.

    8. Amber*

      It’s apparently actually a law. My mom told me that the federal government needs to be hiring more female than male employees, so I guess that that accounts for all of those other things, too. She said it’s only at the federal level, though, not at the municipal or provincial level.

      1. Jen in RO*

        I liked it better with Saturday & Sunday posts. And, since I’m in requests mode, I’d like the weekend posts to show up at the same time as weekday posts – I think it’s midnight-ish, your time? That way I could have my weekend breakfast with AAM, like I do during the week :)

      2. The Other Dawn*

        I really missed the usual Sunday post. I look forward to it on the weekends while the house is quiet and hubby and kitties are still snoozing.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Hmmm, maybe I could split the single Saturday post into two — 3 questions on one day and 4 on another. Same amount of work, but two posts. Would that be too short and merely a tease, however?

          1. VintageLydia*

            Considering it’s now the norm for short answer posts to have 100+ comments, I’d think splitting them up over the weekend would be fine.

              1. Chocolate Teapot*

                Sounds fine to me. I suppose you can never be sure which questions will produce the most comments.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Actually, in the last six month, I’ve been setting almost everything to auto-publish, and it’s pretty fantastic. I write almost everything in advance and then just have it publish on a set schedule. Then I can just go about my day knowing the posts are publishing on their own. It’s like having a child who has taken on some independence of its own.

          2. tcookson*

            I think it would be just right, considering that a lot of what we read AAM for is the commentary with other readers.

            1. Elise*

              Agreed. This is one of the few columns where the comments are as useful as the post. So many others crumble into “that’s because your political party is bad” silliness.

          3. Andrea Also*

            I think 3 and then4 would organize the conversation better.

            If there are more than a couple people are interested in discussing, the conversation becomes hard to follow.

          4. Jen M.*

            I think that sounds fine.

            It doesn’t matter to me if you skip Sundays, but every email from AAM is a bonus! ;)

          5. Melissa*

            No, that would be plenty, and less work for you! But I agree, I like seeing a post show up on Sunday, even if it’s shorter. Half the fun is reading the comments :D

        2. Anon with a name*

          Same here–for a moment I was actually worried! I thought “Hmm, is Alison okay?” Then “Nah, I ‘m sure she’s fine. Maybe the auto-publish settings got messed up or she was just busy.” :) I think the splitting-up idea is great! :)

      3. Confused*

        I enjoy this blog and at least one new post everyday. However, if you feel you need a break to clear your mind and not burn out on this blog, I prefer a happy AAM more!
        I 2nd Jen in RO’s request to post weekend posts at the same time as weekday. 3 questions on Sat and 4 on Sun sound good to me :)

  9. Kate*

    Re # 6: the first conversation should definitely be in-person and not through email. However, it may be worth sending a short follow-up email to your manager confirming your understanding of your discussions about what will happen to your position, just to make sure you’re definitely on the same page.

  10. Neeta*

    #2 : For future reference, there is a setting which hides your activity from your contacts.

    Click on your picture in the top right of the screen -> Privacy & Settings -> in the popup untick the “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies”.

    1. VictoriaHR*

      Is anyone else’s mind kinda blown that this OP’s manager saw that she’d connected to someone on LinkedIn, and then went and questioned the other person, who does not work for him, as to why she connected with the OP??

      I’d be all like, dude, none of your bidness! I have a lot of friends who work in the recruitment industry, so I have a lot of recruiters on my list. I’m always making connections, especially since I’m getting more involved in the local HR chapter of SHRM. I can see it being different with people not in the HR field, but come on.

      1. Fresh Hire*

        In theory, I would say yes… but in practice, I can totally see my ex-boss doing something like that.

      2. Ruffingit*

        I was confused as to who he questioned because the OP said “He actually went and (nicely) questioned the other new addition about it.” So is the “other new addition” the recruiter? I thought that is what she meant, but seems odd phrasing, why not just say he questioned the recruiter?

      3. AB*

        Exactly! I have several recruiters whom I help recommending students of my courses who are looking for a job, or colleagues looking for jobs. I’d find it ridiculous if anyone — including the CEO of the small consulting firm I work for, who is connected to me in LinkedIn — decided to take offense because I added a recruiter to my network.

      4. Vicki*

        MIne is. That was what stood out for me: “He actually went and (nicely) questioned the other new addition about it.”

        He didn’t even talk to the OP?!

        Manager: Mind your own business.

      5. Melissa*

        This is why I hate social networking in general. It makes it so much easier for people to be all in your business.

    2. jasmine*

      The best policy might be to not include your current manager in your contacts on LinkedIn (or Facebook, or any other social network).

      1. Vicki*


        Even worse is if it’s “expected” that you’ll connect with your current manager. That’s a line that doesn’t need crossing.

  11. Rayner*

    (repost, and wow, this is long)

    #5. I wouldn’t promote a seventeen year old person to management anyway.

    You may feel that you’re old enough to lead a team or to have authority but I don’t know that you will be.

    As a manager, you may have to make difficult decisions about performance, about wages, scheduling, and overtime that the people you manage desperately need or want but can’t have. Or vice versa – someone has to work the midnight shift, and you have only a limited pool to choose from.

    You have to balance the needs of your team with the orders from above. You have to be a leader even when it’s crappy news or you have to fire someone or lay them off or give a tough performance review. You may have to have difficult discussions with people over deadlines, or lack of respect, or missing items. You have to file reports, maybe, or mentally keep track of vast amounts of information.

    I mean, that’s all what could possibly happen (I say possibly. It depends where you are in the structure) – and even if you’re starting out as a junior manager, with someone to mentor you, you’d still be taking some of that on board, and it would only increase as time went on.

    As a seventeen year old, you might think you’re capable of taking that – and you might be – but I know from personal experience, I could not have lead a team of people at eighteen or nineteen with any true sense of authority and understanding of what I was doing.


    There’s a lot you can learn in that year until you’re eighteen – about dealing with people, and with the technical aspects of management, for example. I’d take that time to shadow your management, and see what they actually do rather than just what you think they do.

    Believe me, there’s often a huge gap between the two.

    I’d also consider thinking about whether you want to pursue management positions at your age, or whether you want to do other things, and what effect it would have on you. For example, do you think you could move to go to university without it having negative effects on your reputation with this company e.g. will they invest time and money into you only for you to leave six months later? Or whether it fits in with your long term goals for your career – e.g. this is management in a grocery chain, and you want to go into heavy industry management.

    It’s not to say that it’s a bad idea to become management – some people are just born to that kind of career, and it was always on the cards, other people learn and make their own way into it.

    I just think at seventeen, it’s a lot to think about seriously, and maybe it’s not the right time to insist on it.

    1. KarenT*

      We don’t know the details of the OPs line of work.
      I agree in some cases the OP might not have enough work experience, but in food service/retail and a few other industries most managers are very young and inexperienced.

      1. VintageLydia*


        Super young lower level managers are the norm because most for most career retailers by the time they’re in their late twenties-early 30’s they’re general/assistant store managers or moved out of the industry entirely. And the level of responsibility for lower/department managers more closely resembles that of supervisors in most industries. You rarely have hire/fire power, raises and such are normally dictated by corporate based on really rigid guidelines, etc. You can tell your reports what tasks to work on and (sometimes–though this has changed in the last decade with automated scheduling software) write schedules and manage break times.

        Honestly the biggest different I saw, other than a paltry raise, was the “right” to get yelled at by customers more often with only incrementally more power than the front line employees to bend the rules to make them happy.

      2. Lindsay J*

        Yeah, I agree. And I feel as though if the OP didn’t have enough work (or life) experience, his manager wouldn’t be talking to him about promoting him.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      There’s a lot you can learn in that year until you’re eighteen – about dealing with people, and with the technical aspects of management, for example. I’d take that time to shadow your management, and see what they actually do rather than just what you think they do.

      This is a good point, but I think it could apply to anyone considering management, not just a 17-year-old. And we don’t know the OP’s experience or the job requirements, or how she is handling things now (according to her boss, who obviously thinks she is worthy of promotion–it’s just the age that is the sticking point).

      I know someone who at 17 became a minor celebrity and is more mature about some things and dealing with more pressure than I am at 48. Of course, she does have a very hands-on parent backing her up, but my point is that not all 17-year-olds are completely inexperienced.

    3. Lindsay J*

      I was thinking that waiting until 18 might not be an issue with just legal age, but them seeing potential in the OP but wanting to gain more maturity. I know from working with kids – and having kids in leadership positions – that one year age difference at that time period can mean a great deal of difference in maturity.

      That being said – I’ve been in leadership roles since I was 19. It’s common in the amusements business to promote teenagers even younger than that, but my department only employed people over the age of 18 due to the need to do background checks etc.

      All my employees at the time were old enough to be my parents, for the most part. However, I had a good mentor, and good instincts, and I performed very well. In my first year I cut employee turnover by 50%, I cut seasonal labor spending significantly, I increased employee engagement, and for the most part people respected me despite the difference in my age in theirs.

      In the amusement business it’s not uncommon to have 16, 17, and 18 year olds responsible for upwards of 5o employees and millions of dollars in revenue. Do they do it as well as a professional manager in a company who has 20 years of experience? No. But the majority manage to do it in ways that balance the needs of the company with the needs of their employees and deal with everyone with respect.

      And being that he is likely in the retail, restaurant, or other similar businesses, I wouldn’t worry too much if I were him on the impact of the rest of his life. Most companies understand that the vast majority of their young workers will move on eventually and hold no ill-will against them. I was trained that we wanted to be able to develop employees to move up or out – that we wanted to give them the opportunity to develop their skills and their work ethic, and coach them to where they needed to be so that if they so desired they would eventually have the skill-set to advance within our company if they so desired, and if they didn’t want to do that that they would still have the skills and experience to go on to have a successful career elsewhere.

      I also don’t think that most people at 17 are too concerned whether the job they have fits into the rest of their career path. At 17 there are probably not too many jobs at all in heavy industry (or whatever field the OP wants to go into) that are accessible to them. Most of us start out working in retail, etc. It so happens that I’ve made my career in the retail, amusements, etc industry, but most people who work it don’t, even managers. Any management experience looks good on a resume at that age, and would give the OP good talking points for behavioral interviews no matter what field they are going into – tell me about a time where you had to deal with a disagreement with a coworker, tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision, tell me about a time when you failed at something, etc.

      Again, I don’t think the OP should be insisting on the promotion right now either, because a year isn’t a huge wait, and the legal age thing may not be the only reason they want to wait a year. However, when he does turn 18 and is offered the promotion I don’t think he should hesitate to take it, and if I were him I certainly wouldn’t be concerned about it affecting the rest of his life path if he does.

      1. Rayner*

        Regarding the effect on the rest of his life, I know that when I was in retail, if you stepped onto the management training track, then you were supposed to remain on it for the first period of training at least, barring unforeseen circumstances around health etc. It was a lot of investment, so they wanted people to remain with it for at least a reasonable period of time.

        That was – when I left, at least – two years. If I had done it when I left retail, I would have had to put off going to university, dealing with raised tution fees (by 3x what I ended up paying) and having to retake exams. It could have been a significant choice and impacted at least my financial life, if not more.

        Not saying it’s impossible, and many jobs won’t have that level of commitment but since the OP doesn’t state which industry they’re in, it’s a possibility.

  12. Amy B.*

    OP #5. You sound like you are a very enterprising young person. You see something you want and you do what you can to make it happen. It won’t always be feasible; but I like your gumption. As someone who has had a job of one kind or another since third grade, I too would be chomping at the bit to prove myself. Be patient though. It will come in time.

    Best of luck to you in your career and educational endeavors!

  13. Ex-Mrs Addams*

    #5 – Having to wait can be a gift in disguise. You know the promotion is coming, so use the time to your advantage. Ask to shadow another manager for a day, read up on management techniques, read Alison’s book and above all else really have a think about what sort of manager you want to be. What have you liked/respected/responded well to in your own managers? I imagine you’ve not had much experience of different managers, so talk to other people in your industry – what do they like/respect in their managers?

    Transferring into management can be very difficult, especially for someone so young. It’s a massive learning curve for anyone, you will make mistakes and you will cock up. However, with the right preparation starting now, you can limit those mistakes and that learning curve.

    Good luck!

  14. Ann Furthermore*

    #3 – Please don’t be THAT boss, who assumes that all your direct reports live to work rather than work to live. It’s one thing to cycle through an on-call schedule, or expect people to respond during critical periods (end of the year, leading up to a project launch, etc). In many fields those types of ebbs and flows are just the nature of the beast and most people understand that. But to insist that your people must keep their phones on their person at all times, and always respond to emails and texts no matter what is completely unreasonable.

    #5 – I don’t know what legal hoops are required to jump through to get emancipation, but if it involves filing anything with the courts, hearings, or anything like that, the lead time is probably considerable. By the time everything was done you’d probably be pretty close to your 18th birthday anyway. May not be worth the aggravation.

    1. Leslie Yep*

      On #3, yes yes yes. Also don’t become that boss who inconveniences others because they can’t prioritize & plan. It’s one thing if something truly urgent comes up on a Saturday. It’s another if you fail to anticipate something you could have, or fail to plan well enough to get your people on it during the work week.

  15. josh*

    Regarding #1

    If you are in an industry that uses a lot of younger workers, I am sure your mother wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to call regarding scheduling. I have been on the receiving end of those calls and as long as they are restricted to things like finding out scheduling (so maybe a 14 year old doesn’t have to walk home in the dark in the middle of winter).

    1. A Hiring Manager*

      I got a call from an associates parents once just after she got the job (she was 18) because it was 10 pm and we were late closing. It was past her curfew and they chewed me out. I couldn’t believe it.

      1. Anonymous*

        Well, I work with 20 and 30-somethings and I’ve had quite a few of them (men, usually) say, “I don’t know, I have to call my mom” in response to routine questions about past education and work experience. The first time, I stood mouth agape, but since then it no longer fazes me.

        1. josh*

          That’s a little different than issues of personal safety, but maybe its just part and parcel of the fact that the way people work is changing. The lines blur between personal and professional.

          Just a thought.

        2. Eric*

          I volunteer in our town’s voter registration office. The number of teenagers who don’t know their social security number amazes me. Something everyone should memorize sometime in the first 18 years of their life.

          1. HumbleOnion*

            Why? I can’t think of many reasons I needed to report my SSN when I was a kid. For me, it was the kind of thing I memorized after the repetition of filling out financial aid forms & such, which all happened when I was over 18.

            1. Melissa*

              Sometimes you need it before then – when I was applying to college you needed it, although a law has been passed that requires colleges to use other kinds of identification numbers instead. I did need it to file FAFSA and apply for jobs, though. I think kids should memorize it earlier than 18 – maybe between 14 and 16 – so that when they do need it they already remember it.

          2. LadyTL*

            Some people don’t get a social security number until they are almost 18 though. You don’t need to get one until you have a bank account/job so some people don’t. Not every parent is proactive about getting their kids one either.

            1. Eric*

              I find that hard to believe, since your children need SSNs to be eligible to be claimed for a deduction on a tax return.

              1. Wren*

                That was true when I was young, but it isn’t anymore. I want to say the IRS started requiring them to claim your kids on your taxes. People were claiming pets and whatnot before!

            2. Lucy*

              This used to be the case, but now the IRS requires a SSN for any child you want to claim as a dependent. Very few families are waiting now.

          3. class factotum*

            I didn’t need my own but I needed to know my dad’s. He’s been dead 16 years but I still know it.

    2. Terra*

      This is an interesting issue. I don’t have children yet, and of course from a professional/business standpoint it seems ridiculous that an employee’s parent would actually call their workplace to speak with their boss, etc. But now… I’m trying to imagine from a parent’s side and frankly, when it comes to a *minor* child… I find myself mystified that this would not be the NORM.

      To explain, if an employee is a minor, they are legally a child and their parents are absolutely responsible for them in every way. The fact that parents are willing to let their minor children spend hours each day with a bunch of adult strangers at a job—which completely lacks the kinds of regulations a school would have, in terms of boundaries between and behaviors among staff and students… it would almost seem to be ASKING for trouble. It should be a parents right AND responsibility to not only know but also pre-approve every aspect of a job for a child. This might fly in the face of business norms, but it surely is aligned with smart parenting, no?

      1. fposte*

        I’m going with “No.” Preapprove “every aspect of a job”? For a seventeen-year-old? That’s going to avoid teaching the teen the exact responsibility that one hopes a job would be teaching her. Youth is an on-ramp to adulthood, and part of the process is building up speed for successful entry into the mainstream.

        That doesn’t mean remaining placidly ignoring of where your kid is and what she’s supposed to be doing, but there’s a middle ground, and as the young person grows closer to adulthood, the parental involvement should decrease.

        1. KellyK*

          Yeah, I totally agree. By 17, you’re almost finished preparing the kid to be an adult–if they can’t function more or less autonomously at a job, that’s a problem.

          I also think that whatever requirements the parent has for the child are between the parent and the child, not the parent and the employer. If Wakeen, Jr. can’t work the closing shift because he has a midnight curfew, it’s up to him, not Wakeen, Sr., to tell his boss that.

      2. some1*

        “It should be a parents right AND responsibility to not only know but also pre-approve every aspect of a job for a child. This might fly in the face of business norms, but it surely is aligned with smart parenting, no?”

        I’m not a parent, but I say it’s all about the approach. If I think my kid is being scheduled too late, or being treated unfairly (i.e. her manager says if her register comes up short the money comes out of her check), or her grades won’t allow for her to work right now, you are dang right that I’m going to want my child to advocate for herself and quit the job if necessary. But I would never call her boss personally unless she had an emergency and couldn’t speak for herself.

        1. Lindsay J*

          I think I would call the boss if the manager was deducting shortages from my kid’s paycheck, considering that is illegal. (However I would encourage the kid to speak up first and would only call if that didn’t work.)

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Interesting. I don’t think I’d even call then. I’d coach the kid on how to handle it and what to do if that didn’t work, but I’d want them to learn the skills to use if it happened to them once they were an adult.

            1. Sydney*

              That’s how I’d handle it as well. I would only step in as the parent if the workplace did something truly heinous to my minor child.

              Shorting a paycheck? Something Kid should be able to handle with your coaching. Worst case? You help Kid file a complaint with the labor board.

            2. Andrea Also*

              My 19 year old son just got a part time job at my company, in a separate division from the one I run.

              When he was starting, people kept ccing me into the plans for him (his hours, his company email address), etc. The job offer was even made to me, not him. Oh, and, I got ccs on informal performance reports for his first two weeks.

              We’re a somewhat small company (200 employees) and I’m high up the food chain, so I understand why people were impulsed to cc me…but….not my job, not my employee. I gently beat it all back and told people to communicate only with him.

              Mother hat on, I’ve given him some tips at home, when he’s asked for advice, but that’s the limit of that.

              Time to fly little bird.

      3. some1*

        Also, your kids can run into adults at the mall or at Starbuck’s that you haven’t pre-approved of. If you plan to make your child go the mall with only you until her 18th birthday than you are not doing her any favors socialization-wise.

      4. jennie*

        I strongly disagree that that’s good parenting. A parent’s job is to eventually create a functioning adult. That’s done by giving bits and pieces of freedom and responsibility as the child matures at a level they can handle. Your proposal would have the parent essentially supervising and vetting the child’s every interaction until he turns 18 and the parent no longer has legal authority. Then where will he be? Either on his own with out the ability to handle anything or completely dependent on his parents because he never learned to handle things on his own.

      5. Jamie*

        No – that’s not smart parenting, imo. If they were toddlers or elementary school age kids then yes, but who wants a 4 or 8 year old folding clothes at the Gap?

        By the time a teenager is old enough and responsible enough to get a job they need to deal with their own workplace issues with interference. I used to get annoyed when my son was in high school and didn’t tell me his schedule ahead of time – but that was a problem between my son and I.

        Now, that does not mean I refrained from giving advice about workplace stuff to my kid – I am always happy to share an opinion (how happy they are to hear it is another matter.) And if there were serious issues such as I thought they were being harassed or asked to do illegal acts and if I didn’t think they could handle it on their own I’d have insisted they quit.

        My daughter’s manager is the worst scheduler on the planet and every weekend has her closing at 2:00 and scheduled for 6:00 -7:00 am the next day. It makes me crazy and I so want to go in and show her how to properly operate a calendar…but I don’t.

        At a certain point you cannot vet everyone in your teenagers life. I knew their friends by name and face as the people who sat on my couch and ate my food…but I didn’t run background checks on their parents before they went over to watch a movie. And I met their teachers, but could I vouch for the moral fortitude of every one of them? No, people don’t put their creepier aspects on display.

        You will go crazy trying to make the world safe for your kids – because you desperately want to and you just can’t. You cannot control the behavior of other people. So when they are little you know where they are every second and protect them. As they grow up you give more and more age appropriate freedom as their judgement matures. So your 2 year old is in your line of sight at all times, your 11 year old can go to the park after school and be home by dinner, and your 17 year old can get a job and go out with friends.

        Since you cannot child proof the world and all people in it all you can do is try to danger proof your child as much as possible. Talk to kids, explain the dangers and necessary precautions, give them room to grow and pull it back if they are in over their heads. Be their safety net when they make mistakes and keep the lines of communication way open so hopefully the mistakes they make won’t be life altering.

        You can’t keep them in helmets, knee and elbow pads, wrapped in bubble wrap in a gilded cage. Believe me, it would be a lot easier than the worrying…but they need to learn to navigate the world themselves.

        1. Brittany*

          Right on! For teenagers, a job is about independence and responsibility. You don’t get that if Mom and Dad are checking up on your boss constantly. If there were tots working retail or food service, that would be one thing. But at 16+year-old should be able to handle most job aspects themselves, report back to parents when necessary.

          1. Michele*

            I agree with you 100% Jamie. Plus how would the employer know that it was actually Suzy or Johnnies parents calling for the schedule. I used to handle employee schedules (not for teeenagers) and if someone ever called to ask for a specific employee’s schedule for the week there is no way I would give out the entire weeks schedule over the phone. I would usually offer to take a message and 9 times out of 10 the person would tell me they would just call them on their cell or at home.

      6. annie*

        This is helicopter parenting. If you can’t trust your kid to tell you what their schedule is, then your job is to tell them they are not allowed to work, not bother their manager. Also keep in mind there are literally hundreds of other teenagers who exist without their mommy calling their manager, so your kid will probably be let go.

        1. Lindsay J*

          I doubt the kid would be let go. When you employ minors you kind of expect to deal with this sometimes. Calling and asking for a schedule, or asking what the process is for requesting a day off was barely a blip on my radar.

          Now, if Mom calls irate about the schedule or about a write-up, or similar, that reflected poorly on the parents and usually the kid, too.

          And once you’re 18 (or close to it) I shouldn’t be hearing from mom or dad anymore, but if you’re 15 and it’s your first job and mom just wants to make sure you requested off properly for your great aunt wanda’s 75th birthday I don’t really have a problem with it.

      7. Ruffingit*

        No, it’s not good parenting to do that. Good parenting is instilling in your child the values and abilities to handle these things for themselves on the job site. If you feel the need to pre-approve every aspect of a job, then I’d have to wonder what kind of job your kid has because I just can’t see that level of involvement from a parent ever being appropriate.

    3. some1*

      I still don’t think safety is a big enough issue for a mom to call her child’s boss. When I had jobs as a teen and my parents didn’t want me walking home at certain times, they picked me up or gave me bus fare.

      If your kid is old enough to work, she’s old enough to tell her boss that she’s allowed to work past X time.

      1. Jessa*

        Plus a lot of states have laws for this. At certain ages you can only work certain hours. A good parent will find out these rules and make sure the job is adhering to them certainly. At which point they explain to their child what the rules are and how to properly stand up for themselves. They don’t unless there’s something seriously dangerous that the child CANNOT handle themselves do it for them.

      2. Tasha*

        I agree. Speaking as someone who’s recently worked as a minor, my parents wouldn’t have called work under any normal circumstances. If I was really late and they couldn’t reach me, then yes. Otherwise, my job was my responsibility. (One time I was working with a group on another continent and *work* called *home* at 2 am because my boss was confused about the schedule I’d laid out verbally, but that’s another story.)

        And on the handful of occasions I was wanted when the buses weren’t running, I arranged for a relative to pick me up or negotiated a different schedule. Despite my shyness, I learned to speak up for myself respectfully and clearly; that ability has come in handy many times since.

    4. VictoriaHR*

      I hire a lot of high schoolers and we’ve had parents come storming in to rant about their kid’s schedule. It kinda comes with the territory. Unfortunately those certain helicopter parents can cause employers to stop hiring kids under 18 (we put a ban on it for a good 8 months due to one incident).

      I wouldn’t mind a parent calling me to confirm a minor’s schedule.

      1. Lucy*

        I work with a lot of teen interns (who get a very small stipend). I sometimes get calls about scheduling from parents which I tolerate but I am pretty clear to parents who want to get more involved that this is a JOB and if their kid does not have the maturity to understand and handle the basic communications between themselves and their employer than they are not mature enough to work for me.

    5. Lindsay J*

      Yes. One of my jobs actually started doing orientations that included both the parents and workers, because the workers were so young and because we knew the parents had a lot of questions about work assignments and schedules, time off requests, the disciplinary process, etc. We wanted to be able to disseminate the information to the parents directly, rather than having to deal with irate parents after the fact when the kids relayed information incorrectly (whether intentionally or not).

      I have no problem with a parent calling and asking for the schedule, or whatever. When you’re dealing with minors you kind of expect to wind up having some interaction with parents. After all mom and dad sometimes need to coordinate rides, family vacations, doctor’s appointments, and all kinds of stuff like that, and they (rightfully) don’t always trust their kids to ensure that these are coordinated correctly. And I’d rather have a phone-call from Ms. White finding out what Jesse has to do to take off a week for vacation, than find myself unexpectedly short staffed for a week when Jesse disappears on vacation without asking for time off because he didn’t know how or didn’t think it was important.

      I do mind having mom call me up and chew me out for not giving her precious off when her precious never turned in a time off request, or changing the schedule at the last minute when I did no such thing, or arguing over a write-up because her kid would never do such a thing, or demanding that I always keep her kid at work until the end of her scheduled shift because otherwise instead of going home like she should she went off and hung out with older boys. Any of those things reflected poorly on the employee and/or their family.

      Calling and asking about the schedule or about a time off request or whatever was barely a blip on my radar.

      Now, once you’re 18 I don’t want to hear from parents anymore. And I never want to hear from boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, wives, etc.

  16. LivelyDiscussion*

    There is a company in my city that interviews people between 10-15 times (yes, you read that right) for a job. They do this to make sure the person is a good fit for their company and vice versa. They even interview your spouse. I totally understand about wanting to get the “right” kind of people in their organization, but it’s borderline ridiculous in my humble opinion.

    1. Mike C.*

      They interview the spouse?!

      How in the hell are people able to take time off of work 10-15 times for a job?

      1. LivelyDiscussion*

        Yup – they interview your spouse if you get far enough in the process. From what I’ve heard, the company feels like if your spouse “isn’t on board” with the company, it’s only a matter of time before the person being interviewed won’t be on board either. It’s definitely a committment to work there.

        A lot of people will travel in from across the country for these interviews, sometimes on their own dime (not always, but sometimes).

        I can totally respect that they want to find people who are good fits, but the whole spousal thing really turned me off. What if you’re not married – would that “hurt” your chances of getting hired? Maybe, maybe not.

        1. De Minimis*

          When I hear about spousal interviews I always think it’s probably a company with some kind of conservative and/or religious orientation.

          1. Colette*

            I can see it if, for example, it is a job that requires you and your spouse/family to relocate to a remote area, or if it requires you to be gone for months at a time. I still think that it’s the applicant’s responsibility to make sure the spouse is on board, but I can see the logic from the company’s side – they don’t want to hire someone who will be gone in 2 months.

          2. StellaMaris*

            I think you’re probably right about companies insisting on spousal interviews tending to be more conservative in nature. My father worked for a very conservative engineering firm, and wives or husbands of applicants were expected to do a “dinner with the directors” thing. If that went well, the company usually extended the offer at the end of the evening.

            1. Expat Tax Guru*

              I usually recommend that companies interview spouses before an international relocation, or at least give them some kind of international-readiness questionnaire. But that’s because a spouse who has never left their home state and hangs out with their parents every week is probably going to have some problems adjusting that will affect the employee. It will be even worse if the location is remote or doesn’t have that many other expats. If the employee ends up coming home early because their spouse is unhappy, the costs can be catastrophic. Even so, this level of making sure the spouse is up for it doesn’t come up until the final candidate has been identified.

    2. JMegan*


      On the plus side, knowing all that would certainly allow me to self-select out of the applicant pool! Hopefully the process is transparent enough ahead of time, that the only applicants they get are ones that already know their spouses will be interviewed, and are okay with working in that kind of a culture.

      1. Tina*

        I would so not be ok with interviewing my spouse, or being interviewed on behalf of my spouse. I could see including the spouse is a visit to a different geographic region, to see if it works for the family, but not to “interview” them. Or if it’s something like the President and First Lady type of situation where there was a lot of politics, events, etc (not just of the country, but I’ve seen it at universities as well). But other than that, I just can’t see going along with that. After all, only one of the spouses is actually working there.

      2. Melissa*

        Yup. That’s insulting to me as a candidate, and I would choose to take my labor elsewhere if I could afford to.

    3. Lindsay J*

      Eew, and what if you don’t have a spouse? Or what if you’re gay and don’t feel comfortable disclosing that during the interview process?

      I wouldn’t be down with that at all.

      My fiance and I are two very different people. I am more of a social butterfly while he is not. And he’s more of a practical money-maker while I’m more on the “love what you do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” side. He’s not thrilled with my current job because he feels like I could be doing something else where I would be making more money. I, on the other hand, love my current job and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, and know I make enough money to live on here. His reservations aren’t my reservations, he and I are a couple, not one unit, and I would sooner leave him than I would allow him to pressure me to give up (or not take) a job I love just because he’s not on board with it. So how is it fair to judge me using him as a proxy?

    4. Ruffingit*

      That is totally insane. I don’t know anyone who would have that kind of time. You would have to be unemployed and live in the town the company is in to make that work and even then you still might not have the time for this if you’re going on other interviews. 10-15 interviews speaks to really bad hiring practices in my view.

  17. Mike C.*

    For OP#3, what part of “day off of work” do you not quite understand? What is so damn important that it either cannot wait a day or you cannot have another manager cover?

    1. Cat*

      Well, to be fair, he is talking about managers. And there are some industries where things do come up on the weekends that have to be dealt with.

      1. Mike C.*

        I work in such an industry, and we do this crazy thing called “making sure we have enough staff to cover people when they are sick or gone” and “cross-training”. If someone has a vacation, they get to have a vacation and same for sick days.

        If it’s so important that it needs to be done, take the measures to properly staff your company so that you can get it done!

        1. Cat*

          Well, it depends, right? Where I work, it wouldn’t make sense to pay someone to sit around every weekend to deal with an occasional ten minute emergency that they’re not well versed on anyway because someone else normally covers it. It makes a lot more sense to pay everyone else slightly more, make it clear that they’re responsible for coverage on their stuff, and then have them occasionally check in when they’re not in the office (and we’re talking once a day occasionally not every ten minutes; people also arrange coverage for times when they’re sick or off the grid; it works out fine).

          Certainly, that expectation should be made clear before anyone accepts the job, and it should be based on real necessity, not abused, but I don’t see it as a per se terrible thing.

          1. Cat*

            (And personally, I’d much rather check my e-mail once a day on the weekends and occasionally have to spend 10 minutes answering some of it then I would to sometimes have to be the official “on call” person for everyone’s stuff on a Saturday. The former is much less miserable to me and, I think, to the people I work with based on the realities of our business. It’s not always a stupid arrangement.)

              1. Cat*

                I should note that we certainly don’t ask anyone who is non-exempt to regularly check in on the weekend.

            1. doreen*

              Right now I’m essentially on call 24/7 for my own staff. ( This does not apply to sick leave or vacations – others cover for me then) . I’ve gotten one after hours call in 3.5 months. I much prefer this system to the alternative I see coming- which is being on call 24/7 for a week at a time for all 40 offices, which often have different policies/procedures based on local conditions. In that situation , I fully expect if there is an emergency in my office during the week the Buffalo manager is covering, he will end up calling me anyway as he has no idea about how things work in NYC. And someone has to be on call during off hours – there aren’t enough emergencies to be worth scheduling managers to work nights and weekends but if an officer is involved in a shooting Saturday night someone had better be reachable.

              1. Mike C.*

                And yet no leads (or anyone else who would already be there) could be temporarily designated to handle these issues?

                1. doreen*

                  There usually isn’t anyone else who would already be there nights and weekends who has the authority/ability to handle these issues. That’s why we’re on call – which I greatly prefer to being told that I have to work midnight to eight next Saturday just in case there’s an emergency . Even if I can take Friday off instead.

                2. Mike C.*

                  doreen –

                  Then you train someone or give someone temporary authority. A team lead becomes a temporary manager – not someone who’s going to be hiring, dealing with wages or other long term negotiations, but someone who knows the job and can handle the emergencies.

                  Not only does this system allow folks the ability to get some rest, it gives good employees some on the job practice with being a manager for when it’s time for promotions or replacing folks who have left.

          2. VintageLydia*

            I think the difference is restaurants are usually 7 days a week operations, so they SHOULD be run with enough staff to cover all 7 days including back up.

            Other than a sizable percentage of staff calling in with the flu, there are rarely emergencies that can’t be better prepared for by better scheduling. If the OP is finding he’s having to call in his managers so frequently that he wants them all to be on call 24/7, then he probably has bigger issues to work out.

            1. Cat*

              I don’t disagree, though if he’s talking about office staff managers of a large company rather than front line restaurant managers, it might be different. We also don’t know how often he wants them to check texts/e-mail or how often he’s calling on them or about what or how quickly he expects a response. There’s a lot of unknowns here.

            2. Lindsay J*

              It didn’t sound like he wanted to be able to call them in. Just call or text to ask a simple question that only they might have the answer to.

              Like asking where the key to the trash compactor is because it wasn’t put back where it’s supposed to at the end of last night or something similar to that.

          3. Mike C.*

            At the end of the day, if there is something worth doing, it’s worth doing right. The idea that people need to respond to multiple calls/texts (as the OP states) on their days off is incredibly silly. I may not be an expert at everything other people do, but they can certainly prep me and put me in touch with other people who will be there.

            Look, I’m a reasonable person and the occasional phone call here or there isn’t a big deal. I get that. What I’m really arguing against is this attitude that people have to make themselves available 24/7 even during periods of time that are designated as sick or vacation time. I hate this attitude so much when it usually stems from the inability to cross train or “cutting out the fat” so much that you end up cutting muscle and bone as well.

            These are terrible policies for both the company and the employee in the long term. Folks wonder why they have turnover or poor quality? This is a major factor.

            1. Cat*

              I don’t disagree. I just think for those of us who are in fields where overtime and weekend work is a reality,* it’s valuable to spend some time thinking about the ways to structure it as humanely as possible. And I think there are ways – decent compensation, general flexibility, giving people ownership over their work, doing work that truly is valuable, covering for co-workers when they’re on vacation or sick even if it’s a pain to you, etc. I don’t know if the person who asked this question is in that position or not.

              * I’m a lawyer; if a client needs a Temporary Restraining Order on a Sunday, the client needs a Temporary Restraining order on a Sunday.

              1. VintageLydia*

                I also imagine you are well compensated for that, though. It’s also the norm for your industry and like the medical field, has been since nearly the dawn of time.

                That’s not true in a lot of industries. I’d wager it’s not true in most industries. There was a time, in our very lifetimes even, that most jobs were not 24/7 that are now. What would have the OP expected back then? That his employees just sit by their phone all day on their days off? No, he would’ve scheduled accordingly.

              2. Annie Laurie*

                I used to work in television. Before I started, they made sure I understood that broadcasting isn’t a job, or even a career: it was a lifestyle choice. They were not lying to me. It takes what it takes to do the job. But if you need to contact employees away from the office on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to look at your processes and procedures and get an understanding of why it’s happening, and how it can be avoided.

                1. Cat*

                  My dad is a newspaper reporter – similar thing. There was never any doubt growing up that if there was a blizzard or an emergency, he’d be doing what it took to get downtown instead of home. It’s not for everyone, but we all benefit for having people who are willing to take that one.

                2. Cat*

                  (But at the same time, we absolutely do need to remember that it’s not an excuse for abusing one’s employees or unnecessarily calling on them ever.)

              3. Mike C.*

                I work in aerospace, and yes we have overtime too. You work in a profession that is notorious for expecting 3000 billable hours in a year and insane amounts of burnout from interns all the way to the top. I don’t care if it’s an industry norm, it’s incredibly backwards and unhealthy.

                If there’s a need for legal help on a Sunday night then there can be someone who has the phone Sunday night. My doctors are somehow able to take vacation, and when they’re on vacation, they refer you to another doctor. It’s really that simple.

                1. Cat*

                  Expecting 3,000 hours a year is insane and those places are toxic. (Actually I think billable hours targets are toxic regardless of the number.) That doesn’t mean you necessarily throw the baby out with the bathwater – I don’t work in a large law firm with crazy billable hours targets. I work in a small place where I have cases and clients I’m invested in. We have to figure out a way to get the coverage we need without (a) burning people out or (b) shorting the clients. We’re not perfect but I think we do a reasonably good job of balancing it.

                  For me and for my firm, it makes more sense to have us cover our own clients on the weekend and to work the odd hour than it does to have a regular coverage/on-call system. As I said above, I’d much rather check my e-mail once a day on Saturday and Sunday and deal with it occasionally then I would have a permanent on-call rotation. This is both because I think it makes no sense for me to be jumping in on other people’s cases because it happens to be my “on-call” day and because I think it makes no sense for them to be jumping in on my cases because it happens to be their on-call day. That doesn’t mean it’s the right arrangement for every firm or legal practice, but I don’t think you can say that the way we do it is inherently bad just because many places abuse a similar (but not the same) system.

                  And, of course, this is just the general case. If someone is sick or out of town or otherwise available, of course we make other arrangements with our colleagues to cover things.

                2. Cat*

                  And because I think my point is not getting across – you can set up different systems for the regular Saturday and for vacation. People at my firm take vacation and they can, if they wish, completely hand over matters to colleagues when they’re on vacation. I am totally off the grid for at least one decent-sized vacation each year, sometimes more than one, and most people I work with are the same. I view that as a different issue than whether people occasionally monitor e-mail during out-of-office hours when they’re not on vacation.

              4. Dulcinea*

                I’m a lawyer too and I was goin to comment to say the same thing. In response to the commentor who suggested that lawyers are well compensated for that…well, I work in legal aid and I make a livable salary and have health insurance. My “compensation” personally is my job satisfaction. And, my union would never let me be punished for refusing to come in and deal with an emergency on a sunday, but I couldn’t live with it myself if it was a true emergency.

            2. doreen*


              This is in reply to your post above. I understand that what you describe may work for your job/industry, but please understand that it doesn’t work that way everywhere. There are no supervisors in my agency regularly scheduled to work nights or weekends . But that doesn’t mean emergencies don’t happen nights and weekends and some emergencies require legal authority that can’t be delegated. We don’t want to work nights and weekends and prefer to get a phone call here and there. I’m sure no one stays at your office 24/7 to avoid someone getting a phone call when an alarm goes off at 3 am , but I’m also pretty sure someone is supposed to answer that call when it happens.

            3. Lindsay J*

              I don’t see where it says anything about multiple calls or texts. It just says “My calls or texts”.

              I agree that it shouldn’t happen often (and if it is then that indicates that there is some sort of dysfunction occurring), but I don’t see a problem with saying that a salaried manager has to be available to answer the occasional question within 3 hours of receiving a text or phone call even on their days off.

              I’m also envisioning questions like, “Hey, do you know why no bread dough was put out to be defrosted when you closed last night?” not “OMG the freezer isn’t working, what do we do?” Questions that only that manager can answer, not processes that there should be multiple people trained to handle.

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                I don’t see a problem with saying that a salaried manager has to be available to answer the occasional question within 3 hours of receiving a text or phone call even on their days off.

                One problem is that not every is available within 3 hours of a call on their days off. They could be at the beach or in a really long movie or napping or at the park or so forth. If it’s going to be required, you’ve got to warn people about that before they’re hired and compensate them more.

    2. Lindsay J*

      I’m assuming it might just be simple questions – “hey, did Wakeen say anything to you about being late today, because they’re not here for their shift?” or “Do you know where the key to the trash compactor is?”

  18. Lily in NYC*

    #3 – would you please elaborate why you need to hear back from managers on their off days? If it’s truly not urgent, then leave them alone. That is, if you want to be a decent manager and not someone making a power play.

  19. nyxalinth*

    #7 is just extreme, if OP means they met on 9 separate occasions with 9 separate people. As for that other thing, with 10-15 interviews? Unless it’s to work at the flipping White House, no one needs to interview you that many times, and meet your spouse, too! Even then, I’m not sure you need to go through that sort of 3 ring circus.

  20. Jubilance*

    5 – by any chance do you work at a fast food restaurant? I worked at McDonald’s as a teen, at a corporate store and I remember how I had some coworkers who couldn’t get promoted to manager until they were 18. However, my friend who worked at a franchise store was able to be promoted to assistant manager at 17 & it struck me as unfair. Anyway, I wouldn’t try for emancipation – that year will go by before you know it and you can use the time to prepare for a management position.

  21. Brett*

    #7 I sometimes wonder if companies are trying to engage in the old time investment sales strategy. Make you spend hours (days) on the interview process so that you feel invested in getting the job and lose track of your incentive to make sure the job fits you.
    Then, after you have made it through 9 (or 10 or 15) interviews, you either take their offer or lose all the time you have invested and start all over again.

    1. Tasha*

      I see the logic, for lack of a better word, but that’s a horrible business plan! Those 10 or 15 interviews take up 10 or 15 hours of staff time (if not more, should multiple people sit in). It would be more efficient to find a candidate through phone screens plus one or two rounds of in-person interviews. And someone who takes the job simply because they want to recoup sunk costs may well not be the happiest employee a year afterwards.

  22. Anonymous*

    #1. For some reason, some companies feel compelled to involve some employees’ parents in work related matters, otherwise they would lose ‘desirable’ candidates. First, one must wonder who these ‘desirable’ candidates are and why are they so desirable that such an heretofore aberration is now under serious consideration. In any event, expect to hear of these things on a more regular basis on all areas of work. I get they feeling, some of these desirables will soon ask to have their former nannies and babysitters on hand too.

      1. Anonymous*

        Perhaps the most desirable candidates and best employees are those who might need the option of having mommy or daddy helicopter in at a moment’s notice to smooth things out. If they are the best and most desirable and they need this sort of perk to be at their best, then what can the companies do?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          It’s not my understanding or experience that that’s the case. Rather, I suspect it’s companies being sold a load of BS by consultants who purport to specialize in what millenials want in the workplace.

          1. VintageLydia*


            Most people I know would be absolutely mortified for mom and dad to deal with work issues (and I’m a millennial.) It’s just consultants trying to make a buck.

          2. Mike C.*

            THANK YOU!

            Holy crap, as someone born in 1982, I’m so sick and tired of hearing all these experts talking about “how to deal with people like me” when they’re nothing more than con artists and snakeoil salespeople.

          3. Melissa*

            This. These articles never identify who these “researchers who study Millennials” are. I’m a Millennial myself and I don’t have a single friend who would bring a parent to a work function. I would definitely not bring my parents for “Bring Your Parents to Work Day.” I always wonder who tf is coming up with these crazy notions about 20somethings and early 30somethings these days.

        2. Omne*

          If someone needed their parents involvement I wouldn’t consider them the best or most desirable. Period.

          1. Lucy*

            THIS! I need staff who can make decisions on their own, not have to call their mom (or their manager) for every little challenge.

        3. Anonymous*

          All other things being equal, autonomous employees are more valuable than non-autonomous employees. Therefore the most desirable candidates and best employees are *NOT* those who need Mommy and Daddy to swoop in and take care of them at a moment’s notice.

          Q.E.F@#$ing D.

          1. Anonymous*

            Many have opined that parental involvement is important for development of a child’s native talents, but I fear that parental involvement might rise to the level of a sort of Performance Enhancing Drug, typically associated with sports, such that it gives the appearance that the child is more talented than he/she actually is. This is why I believe we should be endeavoring to identity and quantify such involvement and take it into account in evaluating talent. Likewise, we should force families to divulge whether their child makes use of tutors and the breadth and depth of such use. This would give us a better gauge of talent, not only in employment but also in college admission.

            This is a working idea so criticism is welcomed.

            I know of so many helicopter parents who are not only so inextricably bound up in their children’s schooling that one is unable to distinguish where the child’s talents and efforts begin and end, but also provide tutorial in almost every subject from pre-kindergarten through medical and law school.

            1. Elizabeth West*

              Likewise, we should force families to divulge whether their child makes use of tutors and the breadth and depth of such use. This would give us a better gauge of talent, not only in employment but also in college admission.

              With all due respect, HELL no.

              I don’t want to share with a future employer whether a child of mine needed tutoring in high school to get through whatever. Past the teacher of the class the kid is being tutored for and other relevant school personnel, it’s nobody else’s business. If this had been done to me, I would have been livid. I have a learning disability in math and I can self-select out of a job or school program that is math-intensive, by myself, thank you very much. I expect my future kid will be able to do the same. Not only that, but if there IS a learning disability involved, then you’re opening up a giant can of perceived discrimination worms.

              Anyway, you can’t guarantee someone you hire will be a good fit using this criteria. Each employee is an individual and there are too many variables. Someone with a 4.00 grade point average and perfect parents can still fail miserably in the wrong job.

              1. Colette*

                Totally agree that tutoring is irrelevant. Everybody needs extra help sometimes (in academic subjects or in other areas).

                The key is to make sure when hiring that you’re actually getting a good view of what the person you’re hiring can do. You might use writing tests or analysis tasks or behavioral questions, but it’s where they are that matters, not how much help they needed to get there.

                1. Jessa*

                  Not to mention there are cultures where cram schooling (extra tutoring) is normal. It’s expected of everyone to do extra lessons.

              2. Elise*

                I think I would actually view having a tutor as a positive for the person. They knew they would do better with additional training so they sought out that training. Much better than pretending to understand and skating by without actually absorbing any knowledge.

              3. Jessa*

                Oh no. What if the child is being tutored due to poor teachers. We had a drunkard of a physics teacher in High School just as we were going for Regent’s exams. My da got in one of his co-worker’s college science major son to come in and revise me up until I was able to pass the required state testing. I had no problems with science before (honours Bio, Chem, Earth Science, etc. Good grades in maths.) This was not a deficit in ME. It was the school’s fault they couldn’t/wouldn’t get rid of their version of Professor Binns (lectures were canned from scripts he wrote years ago, but no real TEACHING involved.)

                And yes I’ve processing problems (I killed myself to get A’s in maths because I can do the problems but I can’t do the arithmetic without my fingers – I passed through school pre ADA that would have required them to hand me a basic calculator.)

                Just because someone gets tutoring for any reason, doesn’t mean they’re not capable of learning or a poor fit for a university or company.

            2. Anonymous*

              “I believe we should be endeavoring to identity and quantify such involvement and take it into account in evaluating talent.”

              Oh, I absolutely agree that such involvement should be taken into account. Any resumes from candidates who need their parents to interfere on their behalf should be thrown away immediately and the candidate should be blacklisted.

            3. Elsajeni*

              Taking tutoring and similar involvement into account might give you a better idea of two people’s relative natural talent at, say, calculus, but how often is “purely natural talent” what you’re looking for? Suppose you have three students who all earned an A in a difficult course — one who breezed through it because they’re particularly gifted in that area, one who found it difficult and spent hours on the homework every week, and one who slogged through the homework and visited the campus tutoring center for extra help twice a week — and you’re choosing one of them to hire. I’m sure there are some positions where you’d be looking for “someone who intuitively understands [subject],” and in that case the naturally talented student is a good choice, but for most situations, isn’t “someone who has enough understanding of [subject] to make an A in the course” good enough, regardless of whether that understanding came naturally to them or was earned through hard work and/or seeking outside help?

              I can tell you that I’m coming at this as someone who has often been that first student — I breezed through a lot of classes in high school, and some in college, without having to do much work at all. But if it came down to a choice, I’d rather hire someone like the third student, who showed the ability to recognize their own weaknesses and the willingness to work harder to compensate for those weaknesses.

            4. TL*

              This is a little late, but I’ve tutored my fair share of students (in the sciences) and most of them weren’t unable to learn or seriously disadvantaged in the subject; they just needed extra time to process. They knew this about themselves, so they got a tutor. It’s definitely not a mark against their ability to learn; normally it’s just a learning styles thing.

            5. Melissa*

              No, it wouldn’t. Private tutoring can increase and develop talent. For example, I’ve tutored students in statistics one-on-one and it has increased their statistical talent. Just because they got one on one help whereas others couldn’t (for whatever reason) doesn’t mean that they don’t know R better than those others. There’s nothing wrong with tutoring; the problem with tutoring isn’t the use but the inequality of access to good tutors.

    1. Lindsay J*

      See, I think this is ridiculous. I can see and understand parental involvement to some degree at fast food and retail jobs where the employees are under 18. But even then I would never consider sending notes about their job performance home to their parents, etc.

      And once you hit 18, that parental involvement needs to be gone.

      I am a millenial and I would not want any of this, nor do I know anybody in my age group who would.

      Not being able to cut the cord would make a candidate for a professional job completely undesirable in my eyes. If you can’t handle your own life decisions without mommy and daddy, how can I trust you to make decisions for my company every day at work?

      1. Caffeine Queen*

        Add me to the millenials who would not approve of this. Besides, wouldn’t it call into question an employee’s ability to problem solve and work independently? Even as an entry-level employee, I have to do both things.

  23. B*

    #3 – Why oh why do you want people to respond to you on their day off? And why are you sending them a text?

    If it is of the utmost urgency sure. However, if it is just a regular type of thing that can wait…make it wait. Then again, if you want a very high turnover and unhappy employees feel free to make them check-in.

  24. Rich*

    OP3- Yes, you can. And if they’re salaried, you can justify it. But don’t abuse the privilege. When I worked retail, my boss constantly texted and called me on my days off, usually to berate me for something idiotic like leaving a piece of paper in the trash can. It established that he was an ass, I stopped answering him, and I eventually quit without notice and left him down 1/5 of his his staff. You may be the boss, and you may be free to do a lot by law, but you also set yourself up to be shafted royally because your employees don’t respect you.

    OP5- Most promotions won’t be given until you’re 18. If you read the job requirements of certain positions, they specify a specific age. Stick it out the year, but start the conversation that you are interested in advancement and would like to be promoted as soon as possible (which would be after your birthday).

    1. AVP*

      THIS. Calling/texting/emailing people on the weekends is one thing if there’s an emergency, or even something that just badly needs to be ironed out. (OP says he works in a restaurant situation, so I could see how its possible that a manager has a Monday off, but a large delivery of fish shows up on Monday, and maybe they forgot to leave a note and people are confused and need to know more about it…it could happen right?)

      But if you’re calling me to update something minor on the website because you just noticed it, and you want it done right now, or you want to complain about something that you can just as easily complain about on Monday…you are abusing those privileges.

  25. anon-2*

    #1 – when I was managing a gas station – I had the mother of an employee insist we make his paycheck out to HER! When I said I can’t do that, she asked if the check could be handed to her instead of her son. Sorry lady, no cigaro Cubano. We also encouraged employees to cash their checks in the station, because we didn’t like keeping a lot of cash around — so it became a weird ritual. He’d come in, with his Mom, show her the check, we’d cash it and he’d hand the money over to here. Odd.

    #7 – yes you should inquire as to what’s going on. Some clown in HR could be holding something up (had that happen once to me), a critical person in the hiring mechanism could be out, etc. But you are owed a status update. If they don’t give it to you, move on.

  26. A Teacher*

    #3–sure you can and sure I can think its rude for doing so unless its a dire emergency. Telling me something that will wait until I come isn’t an emergency. I had a boss that was notorious for calling us at 10 p.m. on a Friday night or on a Sunday evening because she ‘had a question.” Sadly, it was never a question that needed an answer. She’s still stuck at that level of management because she’s been pigeonholed into her position. They won’t get rid of her but they also won’t promote her.

  27. KellyK*

    #3 – If there are things that truly can’t wait, and you’re having problems with people not responding to urgent messages on their days off, you probably want to make sure that you’re *only* contacting them when it is urgent and that otherwise you respect their time off. People are way more willing to pitch in if you respect their time, rather than expecting them to be constantly available.

    Also, if you’re going to treat your salaried managers as essentially “on-call” 24/7, you should probably be providing a company cell phone or pager. It’s pretty invasive to expect free, instant access to someone when you’re not the one paying the phone bill.

    1. Jessa*

      This x steen million on the phone bill thing. Either give them a phone (best practise) or at least a set reimbursement per month toward their bill (not as great but still.) Besides depending on your industry if you’re doing a lot of calling/texting/phone based emailing, you would WANT a company phone because of security issues (no putting games on your company android/iFruit/berry,) as well as archiving issues depending on what your lawyers say you have to keep and for how long.

      But again, either have an on call rota where someone KNOWS they’re the go to person that day (in advance too,) if you have regular issues after hours, or keep it very, very rare.

  28. OP5*

    OP #5 here. I appreciate all of the comments very much and thank you Alison for your answer. (:
    I knew emancipation was a far-fetched idea but I just wanted to bounce it off everyone here since it was difficult to find much info from Google. I hadn’t considered how long a court ruling would take. I have nearly a year until my birthday and a few months ago I was fine with waiting, but now the dynamics of my store are shifting. My #1 mentor may be leaving to get his own store, which is why I suddenly didn’t want to wait anymore.
    Yes, I do work in fast food. The position I am in is just one step below management, so I have authority over employees and I oversee a lot of training projects. The owner had actually been trying to find a way to get around policy for me but the latest I’ve heard is that we’re still waiting for 18. Honestly I’m surprised that they like me so much, but this is literally all of the shift managers, the store manager, the owners, director of operations, and managers from *other* stores that are backing me.
    With going to college full-time and working 35+ hours a week, time is going to fly anyway, and I can take everyone’s suggestions and use any spare time to educate myself on management. Thanks again!

    1. Garrett*

      You sound like a very bright person that will have much success in your future. Good luck on everything!

  29. cncx*

    OP #7, i know in this economy it is hard to be picky, but nine interviews says something is majorly disorganized either with HR or management which would make me wary about it being a good place to work for. I agree you are owed an explanation or a timeline, but i would take that information-how good their explanation is- to decide if you really want to work for people who can’t get their act in order enough to streamline an interview process.

  30. Jen M.*

    RE: Q6-I think it’s definitely worth asking, but if you are an admin or something like that, it’s probably nothing to worry about.

    I work in a government contracting environment, for example. When we make proposals, support staff are nearly never listed on the org charts.

    If that is NOT the case, and you are somewhat higher on the ladder than admin staff would be, then you DEFINITELY should find out what’s happening.

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