the least popular posts of 2013

As part of our best-of lists for the end of the year, I decided to take a look at the posts that garnered the least discussion in 2013 (excluding updates, housekeeping-type posts, and posts that just linked to my articles somewhere else).

(This is no reflection on the question-askers! All of these questions are actually quite interesting, at least to me, and hopefully this will get them back on people’s radars.)

10. Recruiter flipped out when I asked about the company’s recent struggles

9. Can I include the value of my benefits when I talk about my current salary?

8. Short answer Saturday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

7. Why is it bad to sound naive when applying for jobs?

6. What to do when your employer illegally treats you as a contractor

5. Am I ready to move on from my first job?

4. How to figure out how well you’re doing in your job and talk about it in a performance evaluation

3. If an interviewer invites me to contact them with questions, does it look bad if I don’t?

2. Can I ask about flexible hours in a job interview?

1. Where’s the travel reimbursement I was promised for interviewing?

{ 17 comments… read them below }

  1. Dang

    I’ve actually referenced the first one more than one, as I’ve been awaiting reimbursement for 2 months!

  2. Ruffingit

    #7 where Alison talked about an intern who called her Ms. Green made me think of a guy we had in my office. He insisted on calling everyone sir or ma’am even to people who were younger than him. There was a computerized system of notes on projects that was shared and everyone contributed to and he even did it there in writing. It was weird and awkward and definitely signaled that he had no idea about professional norms.

    1. Not So NewReader

      Military? I just met a new recruit getting ready to ship out. He used the words sir and ma’am like punctuation. I was impressed by his commitment to his service.

      1. Ruffingit

        He had previously been in the military for maybe a year, but no longer was. He was still quite young, I think 25 or so. We kept telling him that it wasn’t necessary to use those titles in the office, but he kept doing so, which was the problem. I come from a military family and I have no issue with the way service members address people, but when you’re just in a regular office and you’ve been asked to stop, it’s weird for it to continue.

        1. Jake

          I have both a military background and come from a part of the country where that is not uncommon.

          That being said, I’d never do it in writing, and I’ve had a couple people ask me not to call them “sir,” so I don’t call them sir any more.

          I would find it incredibly odd (and annoying eventually) if somebody were asked to stop and they did not too.

          1. Ruffingit

            Yeah, that was the issue with it – not that he said it to begin with, but that he was asked to stop and didn’t.

    2. Steve G

      I agree. I had things to say on these posts that were not worth typing and being read because they were what everyone else was thinking. For example, when I saw #9 I thought “I hope no job applicant ever pulls that on me!” But that wasn’t worth typing.

    3. Noah

      Writing it seems over the top, but I do say sir and ma’am. It’s pretty common in the part of the country I’m from. Not every sentence, but if my boss comes in to my office I’ll probably look up and say “what can I do for you, ma’am.”.

      1. Ruffingit

        If she asked you to stop calling her that though, I’m assuming you would. That was the issue with the guy I referenced – he wouldn’t stop even after being asked to do so. Our office was super casual and calling anyone sir or ma’am just sounded stilted and weird and when he was asked to stop, he didn’t. So that was the real issue there, not that he said it to start with, but being asked to stop and not stopping.

    4. Kelly O

      The one that kills me is being called “Miss Kelly” at work.

      One, I’m not a “Miss” if you want to get truthful about the title. And two, seriously, this is not Sunday School. Just call me “Kelly” – it’s okay, you’re not offending me.

      (To be clear, Kelly is my first name, not my last. No one who doesn’t have to takes a go at “Onomatopoeia.”)

  3. PEBCAK

    I bet some of these were just timed on days that a lot of regular commenters were out of office (holidays or something), or they came just before/after one of the really *sexy* posts, because I don’t see anything about the questions themselves that makes them uninteresting.

  4. Not So NewReader

    Even now, not drawing a lot of comments. I think these are good straight-forward questions. Some questions tend to be more for observing and noting as opposed to commenting and discussing.

    1. Jamie

      That’s what I was thinking. It’s not that they aren’t interesting and helpful, because they are…but the answers Alison gave were complete and the topics didn’t trigger emotional responses or nuances for different scenarios they didn’t generate a lot of response.

      Still valuable info for those OPs and future people searching the archives for answers to those questions.

      1. KarenT

        This! I came to post the same thing when I saw the heading if this post.
        Sometimes I read a post and comment because of an emotional reaction (such as sympathy for the OP), sometimes to share a similar experience I’ve had, sometimes to provide my opinion if I disagree with Alison or other commenters (or agree and have something to add), or to contribute when the discussion veers into a debate.
        Sometimes posts are straightforward and there’s just nothing to add. Or sometimes I’m out of my realm and can’t say anything useful. That doesn’t mean that I found the questions and answers less interesting or enjoyable than others. I liked these posts :)

  5. Chris80

    I personally found #4 very helpful & bookmarked it when I first read it. I didn’t have anything to add in the comments, but definitely will refer back to it when my next evaluation is due.

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