contacting people who had my job before me, am I overqualified, under-qualified, or just right, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My controlling coworker wants us to have weekly update meetings, and I don’t want to

I have a colleague who does basically the same work that I do – we’re in the same unit, have essentially the same job functions, the same bosses, and we share an assistant. More importantly, we’re in the same pay grade. I have been in this job longer, but she is older and therefore has more work experience in general.

We have several progress meetings with our various bosses, but she wants us (the two of us and our assistant) to meet once a week to give each other status updates. She generally likes to be the one in charge, and I cannot shake the feeling that this is another attempt by her to exert control and set herself up to be in a position of “authority” over me. These meetings may very well be useful, but I don’t want to be a part of them. Am I being paranoid?

I don’t know if you’re being paranoid, but why not just be straightforward with her and say that you’re not sure the weekly meetings are necessary and ask what problem she’s trying to solve with them? If she can make a reasonable case that the meetings will be useful, then you really should go ahead and try having them. But you can preempt any attempts by her to use them to exert control over you by exerting some control from the outset yourself — for instance, send around an agenda beforehand, start off by leading the discussion, and/or take the lead on wrapping up. In other words, act aggressively like an equal, not someone she can push around.

Alternately, if the meetings really won’t have value, it’s fine to just say something like, “I think everything is going smoothly, so rather than adding in another weekly meeting, let’s just plan to talk ad hoc when we need to.” But don’t resist them just on principle, or you risk appearing obstructionist or unhelpful.

2. Should I contact people who had my job before me to find out what happened to them?

I work in facilities. Most people have worked here for a very long time – some up to more than 40 years, mostly men. The women are vicious. I am the third admin for the landscaping group in so many years. I support a supervisor who is classical textbook passive-aggressive. My boss is a nice guy but is afraid of her. This supervisor hates me. My boss’s admin is a bully. She used to like me but now doesn’t because of the passive aggressive. My boss has been out of the office on and off for the past 5 months; his wife had cancer and died. While he was out, passive-aggressive made a power grab, collaborated with the bully, and together put me on a PIP, which my boss didn’t sign but is going along with.

The reason I am writing is that the admin before me and another admin got fired. They seem to have gotten another job at the college in another department, which they call the land of misfit admins. This department takes admins fired from facilties because, from what I hear, they know there are problems here. I want to contact the ex-admins secretly. I want to find out what happened, but most of all I want to get the hell out of here and I want to reach out to them for help. What do you think I should do? Do I contact them? If so, what should I say?

Noooo. Don’t do that. That’s inviting and creating drama. If you’re not happy there, and it sounds like you’re not, start looking for another job. But secret contacts with people who got fired before you is drama town, and it sounds like your situation needs less drama, not more.

3. How can I keep quick informational staff meetings from turning into debates?

I work as a manager in a retail environment. Each day, we have small group meetings to share information, whether it be new processes, upcoming events, expectations, or new products with the crew. The meetings are led by a supervisor or manager. I lead about 9 of these a week (for various shifts). I do a great job for the most part, but the problem I run into is that the crew loves to get on their soapbox and share their side of the story when I am introducing a new system or expectation. I want to be perceived as a good listener so I let them say their piece, but I feel like it puts me on the spot in front of everyone who is looking to hear my response. Honestly, sometimes I just don’t have a response to what they are saying. I’d like some tips on how to respond when this happens.

Also, these meetings are only about 5-10 minutes long because of the fast-paced environment of the store, so when someone does get on their soapbox it takes up valuable time that I could be sharing other information. Again, it is an expectation from my boss that my people see me as a great listener so I need a way to quiet them down when I have other issues I need to get the crew up to speed on.

Well, keep in mind that you don’t just want people to see you as a good listener; you want to actually be a good listener, because that’s part of managing — as well as retaining good employees. Plus, you’ll make better decisions when you truly hear people’s input (which means not just tolerating their input, but actively seeking it), and your staff will be more likely to support those decisions when they feel their input has been heard and genuinely considered (even if the ultimate decision goes a different way).

All that said, it’s reasonable that sometimes you just need to relay information quickly. So I’d say something like, “If you have thoughts about this policy or a suggestion for improving it, please talk to me separately so that we can stay on track here and finish quickly.” But then you really need to hear people out when they come to you outside of these meetings and not make it impossible for them to talk with you.

4. Am I overqualified, under-qualified, or just right?

I’m a recent college grad who is having an extremely hard time finding a job and I was wondering if it might have something to do with my qualifications or lack thereof. I received my BS with a double major, then did a year with AmeriCorps in my field of study, and then got my MPA from Columbia University, graduating May 2013. I’m only 24. All told, I have about 2-1/2 years of combined experience (the 1 year of AmeriCorps, a 5-month client project for a non-profit which was part of my graduation requirement, a 6-month internship at the UN, and another 5-month internship at a nonprofit).

I still feel like an entry level candidate, so I’ve been applying to entry level jobs–some that ask for the masters, most that just ask for a bachelor’s degree–and I don’t know if I’m under/overqualified. On the one had, I don’t have years of salaried, full-time job experience so I don’t feel qualified to apply for a position asking for 3-5 years experience. On the other hand, I have a masters degree and I worry employers won’t hire me for something entry level based on that. Would you say that I’m over/under/just-right qualified for entry level nonprofit jobs that want 0-2 years experience? Any advice on how to downplay (or play up) the MPA? I feel like it’s more of a hindrance than a help.

On a related note, I’m applying to secretarial and clerical work (office receptionist, bank teller, etc.) because I desperately need a job, and again, I’m worried that even with a functional resume, I won’t be hired because I either don’t have enough experience in those fields or I have too much education. What would be your take on that?

Applying for jobs that ask for 0-2 years experience sounds about right, but it’s going to depend on the job. If it’s a receptionist job, I’d leave your masters off, since it’s going to hurt you more than help with those jobs. There’s no requirement that you list every qualification that you have, and listing a masters when applying to receptionist jobs is like announcing “This job isn’t what I want to do and I’ll be waiting for something better to come along” (whether or not that’s true).

When you leave it on (and actually the rest of the time too), make sure you’re explaining in your cover letter why you’re applying for the job you’re applying for — what excites you about it and why you’d be great at it. Otherwise, if the job doesn’t match up with your background, employers will assume you’re not be thoughtful and are just resume-bombing, and that’ll get you quickly discarded. Thoughtful, truly customized cover letters are going to be your friend here.

(And don’t use a functional resume at all; those are annoying and red-flaggy to employers.)

5. My manager makes me pick up my paycheck from her house

Is it appropriate to have to pick up my paycheck from my manager’s house? She lives in a sketchy part of town with her boyfriend that is really out of the way for me to have to drive to, and sometimes it’s her BOYFRIEND–who I don’t even know and is not connected with the company in any way–who gives the check to me instead of her. She is the CEO of her own branch of a company that sells Direct TV. She also has an office in town that she could use instead of her house, but chooses not to.

I’m the new guy and am afraid to say any thing, but I really am uncomfortable going to her house to pick up the check, and even more uncomfortable with her boyfriend giving it to me sometimes.

No, it’s not appropriate. But there’s no federal law governing precisely how your paychecks are distributed to you, and I don’t know of any state with a law addressing that either. However, why not ask her to either provide direct deposit or to hold your check at work for you? You don’t need to explain that it’s because of her sketchy location or her sketchy boyfriend; you can simply point out that it’s more convenient. (If it’s because she’s cutting the checks from home on her day off or something, then you could tell her you don’t mind waiting a few days until you’re both in the same location.)

{ 135 comments… read them below }

  1. JustMe*

    #4–I think this actually may be the first I’ve ever heard of not including everything on a resume. I always thought if you don’t list everything and that information becomes known later, it could reflect poorly on you. I know my master’s degree has nothing to do with the jobs I’ve applied for in the past, but I figured even if it only served as a point of interest, it’s something that could make me stand out from the crowd a little more.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      A resume is really a marketing document, not an exhaustive account of every qualification you might have, so it’s okay to pick and choose what you do and don’t include. It would be very odd to get into trouble later for not including a job or a degree; you get to decide which details will best support your candidacy. A related discussion here:

      Graduate degrees can actually hurt you in your search in some cases, if you’re applying for a job outside the field you recently got the degree in. Employers often will think you don’t really want the job you’re applying for, since it’s not in “your field,” and that you’ll move on when you find something better, and that can end up being a reason not to hire you. (Obviously this is not always the case. But it’s the case enough of the time that it’s a concern.)

      1. RubyRoo*

        But if a resume is “really a marketing document, not an exhaustive account of every qualification you might have, so it’s okay to pick and choose what you do and don’t include”, why are you so against functional CVs? Why should someone whose life has not run as smoothly as others’ be penalised for not having a career path that matches some ideal? If someone can identify their strongest skills, and convince you in an interview of their suitability for a role, why the prejudice…?

        1. Anne 3*

          I don’t think it’s prejudice as much as the knowledge that a functional resume, to a hiring manager, always kind of comes across as if the candidate has something to hide. If this particular hiring manager doesn’t like functional resumes (and I think there’s many of them), the candidate doesn’t even make it to the interview in order to convince the manager of their skills.

        2. Anonybod*

          Because a functional CV is, for want of a better term, “not normal.”. And employers will assume it’s because you’re trying to hide something, whether you are or not. It takes more time and effort for an employer to piece together what experience you’ve got from a functional CV, where that experience was gained – and it’s something that a lot of employers just won’t bother to do when they’ve got 50 traditional resumes they can scan and easily identify the information they’re looking for.

          Employers aren’t just looking for skills – they’re looking for relevant experience and accomplishments. This is so much easier to see on a traditional CV/resume. Even if your life hasn’t followed a smooth, predictable path (and really, who’s has?) this can and should be addressed in the cover letter, rather than obfuscating details in a functional CV. The CV and cover letter should work together – the CV easily displaying to employers where you’ve been and your story so far, and the cover letter detailing why you want your story to continue with that particular organisation in that particular job.

        3. fposte*

          People whose lives haven’t run as smoothly as others can use traditional resume format too–it’s not like it’s available only to the special.

          The problem is that a functional resume doesn’t tell me the story in the order I need to understand it, so I have to reassemble the thing mentally (and maybe even physically) to grasp the narrative I’m looking for. And if it’s functional because “not run as smoothly” means that there are gaps in employment history (which is the main time I hear the functional format touted), a functional resume risks looking like you’re trying to hide those rather than being open about them, and that’s a bad foot to start off on.

          1. Jaimie*

            I agree with fposte. I received a resume recently which was organized by function, and the problem was that I couldn’t tell which tasks had been done in which context. So I got that the person had experience with a certain sort of task, and I need that skill on my team, but I couldn’t tell if that happened at one of the companies on the CV which was technology-based, or if it was only at another sort of company.

            1. Elizabeth West*

              Yeah, they’re hard to read because you can’t tell what skill goes with what job. I redid mine that way and ended up discarding it. When I went back and read it after not looking at it for a while, even I had trouble deciphering it.

          2. Artemesia*

            Short answer — because it is a marketing tool, you use what sells and functional resumes don’t.

      2. Tina*

        Alison, given that so many applications these days are done through application tracking systems and they often ask for highest educational degree attained, what would you recommend? Leave it off the resume, but answer it in the application process? Include it on the resume since you’re going to have to provide it anyway? I often tell students they can leave things off their resume, but if they’re asked the question directly, such as in the application, they need to answer it honestly.

        1. The IT Manager*

          I’m not in HR or a HM, but I think this is an occasion where you don’t leave it off because then it is lying to list something different than what they ask for and that can come back a bite you in the future.

          1. KellyK*

            Yeah, I agree. Don’t lie if you’re asked directly (e.g., what’s your highest degree, list your complete work history), but don’t list things that aren’t helpful unless you’re asked.

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yep. This isn’t about lying or hiding anything; it’s just about what you choose to include on your resume. So if asked directly, you state your highest degree. But it still doesn’t need to be on your resume, and if asked why, you can explain that it’s not directly relevant to what you’re seeking to do now.

          1. Dang*

            What about if much of your experience is tied to your MA? I had an internship (would look odd to have an internship 3 years out of undergraduate, I’d think) and 2 years of employment at the university I attended. Should I just list the latter without the degree?

          2. Ruffingit*

            #3 – Might help to set up a meeting that is specifically for airing the ideas/grievances/”my” side of the story for your employees. You don’t have to do this constantly of course, but a once a month meeting for that purpose might be helpful. Limit it to 30 minutes max, bring some doughnuts, talk and move on. If employees know they will get a chance to air stuff at that meeting, it may make your daily meetings easier in terms of keeping on track.

    2. Anonymousdr*

      I understand why you’re asking this question. I’ve also operated from the belief that I need to be comprehensive (but precise) on my CV to avoid any concerns later on that I could have been hiding something.

      What I realized, however, is that this is probably THE way to approach your CV/resume for government positions, which have illogical, ungodly, and ridiculously bureaucratic standards and processes for hiring. I’ve worked for the government as a phd level employee – so maybe this is only a concern for certain occupations – but during the credentialing process (i.e., final steps to take before officially hiring someone and approving them to work at the facility) , I must account for every single month of my life since graduating from high school and explain any 30 day or more gaps in work history from that time until now. If I had left information off my CV and it showed up in that process – or, god forbid, I left it off then as well but it showed up in background checks – I would be immediately disqualified from being hired. It would look like I was trying to hide something.

      From my, albeit limited, experience, this cluster bomb of information on my CV has been exclusively tied to government jobs. I could be wrong. But does that make sense?

        1. Fiona*

          …and healthcare. Not necessarily re: getting hired, but you have to go through a similar process (also called credentialing) in order to get “in network” with the insurance companies (and thus in order to get paid). Fortunately medical providers only need to account for their entire life from completion of their highest degree – although filling out credentialing paperwork for someone who earned their MD in 1965 is kind of a trip. :)

          1. Anonymousdr*

            Ughhhh. That is my world. I did NOT sign up for this monstrosity (thanks for the validation, Alison). And I only got my highest degree 4 years ago!

  2. academic HR*

    #2 I couldn’t even keep track of who’s who in that scenario. So, I’m going to suggest you pay attention to whatever is in your PIP.

      1. Jen in RO*

        It’s pretty clear to me. There are three people involved outside of OP:
        * The boss (male), who is out of the office a lot because his wife died.
        * The boss’s admin (female) who bullies OP.
        * The supervisor whom OP supports and is passive-aggresive.

        The admin and the supervisor put the OP on a PIP and the boss didn’t object.

        1. Emily K*

          I was able to grasp that but couldn’t really understand the org chart. How is it that either the boss’s admin and/or the OP’s supervisor both have power over the boss? Is the boss also an admin (who has an admin of his own to support him)? Why isn’t the supervisor who OP supports also her boss, unless her boss manages all admins, in which case, once again, how is the admin who supports the boss and the supervisor getting to put the OP on a PIP if it’s boss’s job to manage the admins? I just couldn’t figure out an org chart that made sense based on the information provided.

          1. Loose Seal*

            Perhaps it’s a small business with a standard organization (boss –> supervisor –> OP, with admin directly under boss) but since boss is distracted by grief, the supervisor and admin have stepped out of their usual roles.

          2. A Nonny*

            Yeah, I was getting tangled up with the supervisor and the boss and how they fitted into the hierarchy. But the explanations others have given make sense – thanks, folks!

      2. Anonymous*

        OPs supervisor is passive-agressive, and the boss’s admin is the bully. The admin used to like OP, but OP feels that the supervisor has somehow turned the admin against her and now the admin is bullying OP. Whilst the boss was in/out of the office due to his personal circumstances, the supervisor and admin together put the OP on a PIP, which the boss is implicitly going along with.

        I am left wondering why the admin had any input into a PIP at all if she is not in a position of authority over the OP, but then I can imagine a situation where the supervisor and admin are ganging up on the OP. Maybe that’s what’s happening here. However, as someone noted below, the fact the boss hasn’t dismissed it out of hand means there must be some truth to it. The Op is also coming across rather judgemental too, so I wonder if her attitude has played a part in all this.

        OP – the best thing you can do here is look for a new job. Either the supervisor and admin are bullying you and the boss is letting it happen, or you’re feeling victimised for no reason. Either way, staying in this office is not going to make you happy. Start looking and applying now – if that means a jobs open in the admin misfit department and that’s a job you’d like, then be professional and font gossip or badmouth your current coworkers. What you say here may all be true, maybe the facilities department is dysfunctional and has a reputation for being vicious – but that doesn’t mean you have to sink to their level and keep the rumour mill going.

  3. Grace*

    #5 Also she could mail your check to your home (should take 1-day). Check your state’s labor department to see how pay must be issued.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Interestingly, I don’t know of any state laws that require an employer to mail a paycheck if requested. Rather, most state laws I’ve seen “allow” an employer to do this, but don’t require it. (With the exception of the final paycheck, where some states do require the employer to mail it if the employee requests it.)

      (Caveat: There could be some states that handle this differently that I don’t know about.)

      1. Graciosa*

        There is a law in Arizona prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee to agree to direct deposit of a paycheck. Reading some other portions of the statute, I wonder if it was designed to keep employers from knowing your banking information.

        I’ve never seen anything about U.S. mail, but I’m not sure I’m convinced it would be more secure.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yeah, there are a bunch of state laws that say you can’t require direct deposit, but I’ve never seen one that says you must send it through the mail (versus supplying it in person).

        2. Ann O'Nemity*

          I always thought that the laws prohibiting employers from requiring direct deposit were more about (1) preventing a disparate effect on minorities, and to a lesser extent (2) ensuring that mandatory bank fees do not reduce the pay below minimum wage.

  4. Anne 3*

    #2 Honestly, it sounds like you’re a bit of a dramatic element in this situation yourself. You seem to have a judgement ready for everyone, particularly the women (I find it strange that all of them would qualify as “vicious”).
    Rather than completely rejecting the PIP because it was created by “passive agressive & the bully”, maybe try and see if there isn’t anything in there that you could improve on? You said your boss is going along with it, so it can’t all be lies.

    #4 IA that leaving your MA off might be better for clerical/secretarial work, etc. Maybe you could also look at your cover letters again – depending on how you talk about things like your Americorps and UN experience, it might be hard for a hiring manager to relate that to, say, a position for a bank teller. Good luck!

    1. Chinook*

      Anne3, I can understand how OP#2’s situation may seem like an exaggeration but, having worked in a similar environment, I can say that it is possible that the only thing she did wrong was be competent and not willing to be manipulated. I have seen a nasty admin be sweet to her boss, who thought she could do no wrong, and then undermine every other admin and even the office manager and HR director who wouldn’t bow to her commands. While I do agree that she should follow the PIP while looking for another job, it can also be aggravating to be punished because you wouldn’t fly in the wake of a Queen Bee.

      1. Anne 3*

        Yeah, I’m not ruling out that it could happen, and I feel sorry for the OP if that is their case. Just saying that if you feel like everyone hates you for seemingly no good reason – it’s worth doing some introspection and seeing if the problem isn’t you or the way YOU are (unconciously) coming across in the situation. (And I say this as someone who’s had to come to the uncomfortable conclusion that the problem was me, before).

        1. Poe*

          Uh…I once worked at a place where people kept saying our coworker was a “CA” which really confused me because while he was a financial kind of guy, I was 99% sure he was not, in fact, a chartered accountant. Turns out it stood for “Crusading A$$hole”, which is what I have called the male equivalent of the Queen Bee ever since.

          1. AVP*

            Ha! I like CA. My first thought was Alpha Male, which is worrisome because that can often be seen as a positive whereas the female correlation is a perceived negative.

            1. Chuchundra*

              I think queen bee can be neutral or even positive, depending on the circumstances. I think it’s comparable to “Alpha dog” for a man, which can have a whole range of meaning.

        2. hilde*

          I really love this author and thinks she has some great stuff to say. At least in the young adult world, she calls the males the Mastermind and Wingmen (the girls are Queen Bees & Wannabes).

          This is a great resource for parents, too.

      2. Loose Seal*

        I actually agree with Anne3 that OP should at least consider whether there is merit in the PIP. Has this sort of thing — bullying behavior, viciousness — happened at other jobs? Does the OP see those things everywhere and, if so, are they really there or is a just the OP’s perception?

        Certainly the OP could be seeing the supervisor and admin with clear eyes and they could be everything that was said but the letter is written with a tone that leads me to believe that some (all?) of the fault rests on OP.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      #2’s boss is afraid of the supervisor. Why would he object? He’s too chicken to stand up to PA Mean Lady. Perhaps she should take it seriously (or appear to), but this sounds like they’re using it to jerk her around.

      She needs to leave. It’s not worth working for a boss who won’t stand up for you. That will never ever get any better. I hope she can find something better soon.

      1. Loose Seal*

        His wife died after a long illness. Perhaps it’s grief that’s got him so distracted and relying on the supervisor, not the fact that he’s scared of her.

  5. Anonymous*

    #4: I’m in the same boat as you. Applying to admin/clerical jobs with a master’s degree. I’ve been putting my master’s degree on my resume for the past few months and not getting anywhere even though I tailored most of my cover letters to describe why I thought my experience/skills made me qualified for the jobs and why I was interested in the jobs. I took my master’s degree off my resume over the weekend when I was job hunting and got asked to set up an interview already, so I think I’m going to leave it off for any jobs that only require a high school diploma.

    For the one job I applied to over the weekend that required a bachelor’s degree, I actually mentioned in the first line of my cover letter that “I’m interested in [position/company] because I’m a recent [degree name] graduate and hope to find work doing [task related to my field of study].” Got asked to interview for that too. So I suppose bachelor’s degree jobs might not be too much of a stretch as long as you explain why you’re interested in the context of your degree.

    1. #4 OP*

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely try both of those. After poring over AAM’s cover letter examples yesterday, I realize mine is similar… but a whole lot more formal in tone, and I want to revamp it to show my genuine interest in my field of study, so hopefully that will help, too.

      Thanks again and good luck with your interviews!

      1. ADE*

        #4 – since you’ve had relevant internships, have you been in touch with past supervisors about the status of your search and whether they have thoughts for you?

        For example, I think “admin” is too low to aim for, but some kind of program manager title within a nonprofit may be your speed.

        Have you also been making use of Columbia’s network and career services? (Also a Columbia alum.)

        1. #4 OP*

          My current internship supervisor knows I’m looking and so occasionally I’ll ask her if she knows someone at X non-profit because ours tends to work with others in the field.

          Other have pointed out to me that I chronically underestimate my abilities and skill sets, so I’ll keep the program manager title in mind as I try to broaden my search.

          I’m… not great at networking so it’s slow going, but I’m trying. Thanks for the tips, they’re sure to help in the search! :)

          1. anon*

            I also think admin jobs are too far a step down. You have a lot of great internship experience — and this alone should help qualify you for entry level jobs. I know it’s hard when you’ve never had a full-time job, and you feel desperate for work, but I think you could probably land something much better. You’ll probably have to go outside your comfort zone to do it. Keep reading this blog to learn how to make your resume and cover letter really stand out — that’s the most important thing. But don’t assume you should be pursuing things at the bottom of the barrel right off the bat. What employers want is someone who really fits the position, so find out a way to show that your experience, interest, and education really lines up. I’d also talk more to your classmates, professors, and contacts from internships (meet them for coffee, or ask for a quick phone call) and ask them about their career path and if they have any advice for you. People are willing to help, but you have to reach out first.

      1. Julie*

        I have a weekly phone meeting with my manager, and I don’t really talk with her outside of that (we’re in different states), so when we meet, I make sure we go over all agenda items I need to talk with her about, but then we chat about what’s going on in the office and other relevant topics and sometimes personal topics. It feels somehow “wrong” to not stick to specific, work-related topics only and to just have a casual conversation, but it works for us, so I try to ignore my inner “meeting minder” voice during these phone calls.

        1. gretenov*

          It would be nice to talk with the boss about non-work related topics but they should be limited to lunch break or watercooler and not on meetings, but then I am not sure what would be the equivalent of lunch break and watercooler if your boss and colleagues are at different location(s).

  6. Brett*

    #2 Looking for a new job might not be the best option here. Admins at a university are often unionized and the transfer rules, particularly with terminated employees, get very complicated. So talk to a union rep first or someone in HR about the transfer rules.

    I worked as a temp clerk for two years at a university. I was doing Clerk III/IV work, and every time my department tried to hire me full time at Clerk II/III, I was dropped for an employee that had been terminated in another department. That department was always university hospital billing which was run by a trio of a passive-aggressive boss and two bullies. That unit churned through a string of people who would do six months, get fired, and then move elsewhere in the university as a priority hire. Do less than six months, and they could block you leaving and boot you without earning enough time to be a priority hire elsewhere.
    Do more than six months (I think it was 12?) and you could transfer freely, but of course that required six more months with them. Do six months and get fired and you could sign on elsewhere at priority in the bare minimum time.

    All depends on the union contract, and that is why you talk to the union rep first.

    1. Joey*

      And that is a classic example of why unions are still around, but frequently aren’t the long term answer.

    2. Poe*

      I am going to say that if you are in a union environment at a university/college/other government place, take a look at the internal postings. I got out of an awful PIP/awful boss situation by applying for internal posts until I got one, and it ended up changing my career direction and I wound up with a job I really liked. Don’t wait until they fire you–that will be too late. Jump before you are pushed. Internal job postings can help with that.

    3. Artemesia*

      In some university settings, people may not transfer if they are under PIP so the window may have been lost.

    4. Brett*

      And in some, once you get fired you get priority on transfer, or you get priority if laid off. It varies from organization to organization so you have to ask the union rep how it works.

    5. anony mouse*

      The hardest part of working at a public university, at least for external applicants, is getting in. Even with increased employee contributions for insurance and other benefits and stagnant pay levels, you still pay less and get a better benefit package than you would in the private sector.

      After you pass your probationary period, even in a non-union position, it’s very tough to get rid of an employee who isn’t meeting their position description and their goals. Where I work, it takes a lot to terminate an employee and you have managers who prefer to do the bare minimum of paperwork when it comes to evaluations and discpline. More than likely, the problem employee will be offered a transfer to another area or department.

      Academic environments can be heaven or hell depending on whom you work with. I consider myself lucky because I have a wonderful group of co-workers who create a positive work environment. I ride the bus to work and hear fellow employees be a bit too loose lipped when talking about their offices, including co-workers and spending. These two women were having a complaint session about how incompetent their colleagues were and how much money they wasted in spending on unused supplies. One was complaining about how they didn’t follow her instructions to the letter on a project and she had to spend her valuable time redoing it. The other was whining about how her colleague who takes extra long lunches was questioning her need for a more ergonomically friendly chair that was almost $200. The venting about co-workers is normal, but complaining publicly about wasted money in full hearing view of non-public employees was in bad form IMO. Public workers already have targets on their backs and their lack of discretion makes things worse from the tax payer POV.

  7. Chocolate Teapot*

    1. I think this might be one of those situations where there is no use in having the meetings. I can understand if it was a situation such as covering during an absence.

    Would it perhaps help if there was a regular whole team plus supervisors update meeting? Based on the letter, it sounds as if the updates are not taking place when everyone is present.

    1. fposte*

      My concern is that the OP seems to be opposed to the meetings not because they’re not useful but because somebody she didn’t like has suggested them (“These meetings may very well be useful, but I don’t want to be a part of them”). If they’re not useful, fine, but it actually sounds like it might be a good suggestion. You really don’t want to be the employee who balks at workflow improvements just because they came from people you dislike.

      You can also collaborate on this new possibility–it’s not just a yes or no. You can say that you’re concerned about carving out time to meet, but, say, that an email briefing might be helpful. But only do that if you genuinely see your suggestion as working better, not because you don’t want her suggestion to be accepted.

      1. Graciosa*

        I get the impression that OP believes that the co-worker is running these more as if they were regular status meetings from an employee (OP) reporting out to a manager (role improperly assumed by co-worker). I think the advice that Alison gave which included ways to combat the positioning was dead on – but you’re right that OP will be perceived as obstructionist if this isn’t handled properly.

        In fairness to the OP, though, I don’t think I would be enthusiastic about meeting regularly with a co-worker who was trying to act like my boss either.

      2. Laurel*

        Yes, I agree with fposte. The OP really just seems to be taking some oddly principled stance against being asked to join the meeting. As s/he said, “These meetings may very well be useful, but I don’t want to be a part of them.” Frankly, that sounds like insubordination without any cause. If someone reported to me and had a similar “Sure, what you’re suggesting might be beneficial but I want no part in it” attitude, I’d wouldn’t be too happy. I think OP needs to reflect on WHY s/he objects so vehemently to these meetings. I don’t know OP’s field of work, but in my line, weekly meetings with one’s supervisor are not at all out of the ordinary.

        1. Gjest*

          It’s not with her supervisor, it’s with a colleague that is at the same level.

          But I agree with everyone else that the OP needs to have a better reason than just “I don’t want to.”

        2. some1*

          But the LW *doesn’t* report to the co-worker, though. They are counterparts. It sounds like the problem is the LW *feels like* her co-worker is trying to make her to answer to her in general and this suggestion is a symprtom of that.

          1. fposte*

            Sure, but that’s not a reason to balk at a good idea that would help your workplace. Deal with the substance of the suggestion, not the person behind it. It’s also a lot more powerful to embrace a good idea even if it’s not yours than to dig your heels in at every suggestion.

            Sometimes people we don’t like have good ideas. It doesn’t commit you to accepting everything she says in the future.

            1. some1*

              I agree that she the LW should put her aside her annoyance and try the meeting with an open mind, I’m just saying I can understand where the LW’s resistance to this is coming from if her co-worker in general tries to assign work to her or act like the LW reports to her in any way.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I can imagine scenarios where it’s helpful — when you’re both working on different pieces of the same project, for instance. But if the OP doesn’t see any value in it, she can explain that.

          1. Judy*

            If you’re both doing the same work on similar projects, it’s helpful to have some sort of catchup meeting, I’ve seen it used most effectively monthly. It’s just a way to share best practices and problem solve.

            We have something similar here called “technology groups”, so in our matrixed organization, the handle designers meet monthly, from across the product categories, the chocolate teapots, the marzipan coffee pots, etc. Each similar functional group meets monthly to share ideas. We’re small enough those groups are maybe 20-30 people, and there is someone named as leader in addition to their job, that facilitates the meeting and handles the topic lists (everyone is encouraged to present lessons learned and best practices).

        2. some1*

          Maybe she’s one of those people who eaquates “the more meetings I can schedule for myself” = “how important I/my role is”. I had a previous co-worker who loved to tell everyone how busy she was because she had meetings all day, but at least a quarter of the meetings she called or attended were optional and/or unnecessary.

        3. fposte*

          But even the OP isn’t framing it as simply reporting to the co-worker once a week–what’s suggested is a periodic status meeting in the unit so people can be generally apprised of what the heck is going on. It may well be superfluous if people are already on top of this stuff, but that’s also a kind of meeting that can be really helpful for people to understand the moving parts and ongoing work in their unit and to collaborate more effectively. I’d be inclined to go with once a month rather than once a week myself, but that’s based on me.

          1. Mike C.*

            I see what you’re saying, but this is the sort of thing that should be driven by the manager, not a coworker.

            I’ve had to deal with folks like these before, and it’s not any specific action, but rather a collection of actions and attitudes. It’s like having a bossy sibling, but at work and with the power to potentially harm your career. It’s annoying as heck, and it gets in the way of getting actual work done.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              I’m going to disagree with making that statement across the board. It’s certainly true that it could be the case here, but there are plenty of situations where I’d expect peers to figure out when they need to meet with each other and do it, rather than looking to their manager to arrange that for them.

              1. Mike C.*

                I was speaking more to the idea of having everyone share what they’re doing to everyone else as an “FYI” being driven by management, not situations like what you’re speaking of where the communication is needed for the completion of a project.

                I’m seeing the request for a regular meeting as the former, not the latter. If it is the latter, then you’re absolutely correct.

              2. Cheryl*

                #1 – I have the EXACT same issue at work – where a colleague who is my peer is acting like my boss – assigning me tasks, following up on my work, checking in constantly “to see how things are going on Project X.” She is my senior in both age and time on the job so I know she’s just trying to assert her authority. She would not let the idea of weekly meetings go. Our boss (who dealt with this very awesomely and met both our needs) suggested that she make a list of items that she wanted to discuss and I would respond via email once a week. And *I* would get to decide if there was more conversation that *I* needed to do my job. Otherwise, no extra meeting. I thought it was a great way to validate how we both feel (and create a record). And since she now has to write all her questions and check-ins down, it’s virtually eliminated those annoying “are you on task and doing what you are supposed to do” type questions.

            2. fposte*

              I guess our takes here depend a lot on our experience. We have a very flat organizational structure here with a lot of agency and little direct supervision, and our best developments come from colleagues. Balking here just because somebody wasn’t the boss of them would be a big “bad fit” flag.

              1. Mike C.*

                The difference I’m seeing here is that the meeting appears to me to be driven by a desire on the part of the co-worker to check in and micromanage, not to collaborate or solve problems. The latter is perfectly fine, but the former is annoying and wasteful.

                1. fposte*

                  That’s certainly the OP’s resistance, but she doesn’t give any facts to support that as the motivation for this particular suggestion and instead outright acknowledges that it might be a good idea. I’m responding to her statement that she doesn’t want to do it even if it is a good idea.

  8. some1*

    Honestly, I feel for #1. Meetings can be helpful, but it’s annoying to work with people who schedule meetings for unimportant things that don’t require a face-to-face check-in.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      But this is a peer, not a manager, so she can assess for herself whether they’d be useful and propose a different solution if they’re not. (It sounds like she thinks they might be though; she’s just wary of this particular coworker.)

    2. AB Normal*

      I must say that I have had peers suggest a weekly meeting before that turned out to be a great opportunity for us to coordinate our jobs, get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses better (which helped when we wanted to suggest a division of work to the boss), avoid duplicate work, and generally build a better relationship.

      I’m normally against meetings unless they have a clear purpose, but meeting with peers in situations like the OP describes is often valuable, having a distinct purpose and result than meeting with the boss. Perhaps once every other week, if weekly seems too much, but I’d at least give it a try before dismissing the idea.

  9. Rachel*

    Iunno, for OP #2, I feel like it might be not a terrible idea to contact other people who had formerly filled her position.

    OP does seem a little dramalicious, but if the same pattern has happened twice before with these supervisors… I would want to know what I was up against, anyway, or get a reality check from folks who had been through a similar issue.

    1. Jen in RO*

      I would be very tempted to do the same, if I could do it in a… friendly? way. I can’t think of a word, but I would ask if I met the ex-admin at the water cooler every day; I wouldn’t ask if it meant going to the other end of the building and talking to a person I’ve never even seen before. I’m afraid OP is in the second situation, though…

  10. Brett*

    #5 I find it odd there is no law on this. Otherwise a shady employer could simply say, “Here is your pay stub. Pick up your check at our branch office in Hawaii” and collect interest against the unclaimed funds.

    1. Brett*

      And I seem to recall this being one of the key issues in the payroll card lawsuits; the nearest branches for the cards were hundreds of miles away, preventing employees from withdrawing their paycheck funds from the EBT accounts.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I assume you that if you didn’t make them reasonably accessible to employees, it would be the same thing as not providing them in a timely manner.

      1. Anon*

        Would the employee be able to claim mileage and/or travel expenses for the trip to pick up their paycheck if it is not left at their normal work location? If so, that would be awesome if my boss sent my paycheck to the Hawaii satellite office…

  11. Del*

    #3 – If you’re regularly giving your employees new expectations or processes — in other words, constantly changing the bar for “this is how you do a good job” and/or “this is what your job entails” — then no wonder they want to speak up!

    I think you also need to take a long hard look at your attitude — it comes across pretty strongly that you don’t care what they have to say, and that’s not how you should be approaching managing people. I’m well aware of what a retail environment is like, but the people who are going to be implementing your change in procedure or who have to meet your changed expectations deserve to have some sort of voice in those procedures and expectations! If the changed procedure is going to snarl up the on-the-floor mechanics in some way, or if there’s a wrinkle that doesn’t seem obvious from where you are but jumps out at them, that’s something that legitimately needs to be taken into account.

    1. VintageLydia*

      FWIW, often these directives come straight from corporate and even if store management thinks its the stupidist thing in the world for legitimate reasons, they still have to implement them or risk their jobs. Not sure if that’s the case here, but big box stores especially take micromanagement at a very extreme level.

      1. Del*

        Oh, they certainly do — and I do have personal experience with that. But the correct answer in that case isn’t to shut down the employees when they raise issues with whatever boneheaded scheme Corporate’s come up with this week.

        Sometimes the answer really just is “Sorry, but the bigwigs say we have to” but a good SM or OM can and should offer suggestions when employees bring up issues with the schemes.

        Back when I worked retail, our corporate offices wanted us signing up X number of people every day for our mailers, and stores were supposed to track & reward the employees with the most signups. I worked stock, not cash, so my function meant I only very occasionally spoke to customers, usually if they approached me first; of course, my signup numbers were worse than the cashiers. I brought this up to the SM, and he made it official that people who weren’t directly interacting with customers should take a break from stock/recovery/etc every so often to do a round of the store and pester people for signups. That’s the kind of thing I mean. Yes, the requirement wasn’t changed, but the issue the requirement engendered was resolved and I got my fair shot at the rewards.

        1. VintageLydia*

          I agree, but huddle meetings are not the time and place. Letting the employees know they can approach management later once they had a chance to think about it and maybe see it in action–and actually allowing them to do that–is a better solution.

          (And I will say I cringed when you told me your story. I hate those policies, but at least at my store you were only scored if you rang people out and it was counted as a percentage so if you only did back up cashiering or only worked one or two cashier shifts it didn’t really negatively impact your scores.)

          1. ThursdaysGeek*

            I cringed too, because if I’m hounded by multiple employees to sign up for more junk mail, I’ll probably not come back. Don’t talk to me in your store unless I ask for help, but be visible in case I do need to ask for help.

            1. VintageLydia*

              Employees hate them. Customers hate them. Along with the stupid upselling of certain products at the register. If we want a crappy $2 flashlight, we’d buy one to begin with. If it’s not a food or beverage or doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m already buying, don’t make your poor cashier push it on everyone.

    2. Joey*

      That might be true, but sometimes employees just complain. If that’s happening a good response is something like, “thanks for pointing that out Jeremy. What’s your solution given our limitations? Can I count on you to take the lead or to assist with implementation.” Cue the complainers fading into the background.

      1. Joey*

        The other thing he could do if he wants to avoid long rants and interruptions is pass out an agenda at each meeting and schedule a block of time for employee “feedback”. I’ve do be agendas as simple as:

        1. Topic x – 10 min
        2. Topic y- 5 min
        3. Topic z – 5 min
        4. Feedback or discussion – 15 min

        1. VintageLydia*

          I generally agree for more standard type meetings, but these are usually <5 minute huddle meetings happening right as the shift starts and customers are walking into the door.

    3. LV*

      I agree – my first question when I read #3 was “Jeez, they have so many ‘new processes, upcoming events, expectations, or new products’ that they need at least one meeting a DAY to keep on top of it?” It sounds like it would be an exhausting working environment (moreso than retail usually is – or at least was in my experience). Combine that with a manager who appears to the employees to be unconcerned with their questions and ideas…

    4. Elizabeth West*

      See, I didn’t read it that way; I read it as the OP wanted to listen to their suggestions, but the suggestions were becoming argumentative and were hijacking the meetings. We had those at the deli I worked at in CA and they had to be fast, because our butts had to be out at the counter and on the floor when customers started coming in. I think, depending on how much time is allotted, the OP can either save feedback for the end or invite it after the meeting is over, as both Alison and other commenters suggested. As long as the OP actually does listen and consider the feedback, the other employees shouldn’t feel dismissed.

      And, as VintageLydia points out, sometimes the meetings are just to inform people “We have to do this now; Corporate says so,” and there really isn’t any room for adjustments.

      1. fposte*

        That’s what I was thinking–that there are long recitations of why it’s difficult to follow corporate policy 237 and whether it would count if they only did it on Tuesday standing on one leg. If that’s the situation, other attendees probably don’t want to sit through that either.

        However, I agree that the OP should give employees opportunities where they can give some feedback, and I also think that framing it the way you and VL say might help too, so that it’s clear this is a briefing and not a discussion.

        1. KLH*

          When I worked retail, we had a quick (10-15 minute) meeting in the am where we showed off new stock, went over our numbers, got reminded of important things, had a little encouragement, and maybe had a game or a contest or practiced a skill. I loved those meetings and they were really helpful.

  12. David*

    #5 – I’ve had DirecTV for years and a few opportunities to chat with technicians whenever they come out to my house (I’m assuming that’s similar to the service you provide). A few years back one of them shared with me that there was a point in time when many of the contracted technician services/companies fell on the shady side. This often meant that the quality of technicians or service wasn’t up to DirecTV’s expectations, paychecks regularly bounced and a whole slurry of other issues. Regardless of the specific issues with each contractor, it resulted in a perception that DirecTV’s level of service was pretty poor, even if the contractors weren’t direct employees. In the end, many of them were cut free and since then the level of on-site technical service increased tremendously (at least in my experience).

    Now, I’m a big fan of DirecTV because while I seem to be a target for poor customer service, they’ve always been on their A game with me. This leads me to believe that it’s something they value and want to ensure all the tools and processes are in place to keep that up. A contractor who makes her employees come to her house to pick up paychecks makes me think there are other issues with the service she provides (just because that’s such an out there thing to do). So, if this is a big issue for you, you may want to contact DirecTV and see if they’ve established any standards for their contractors. This may very well be a case where they don’t want to see their contracted technicians mis-treated because that will carry over to the level of service provided.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      This. And their installation and service techs are all subcontracted. You get good ones and you get bad ones. This supervisor sounds lazy, and I would wonder what else is going on there.

      *also a big fan of DTV; they let me suspend my service while I was unemployed–twice, which cost me NOTHING. When I got back on, I upgraded. :)

    2. aebhel*

      This. My husband worked as an installer for one of DirecTV’s contractors a couple of years back, and the workplace conditions were so appalling that’s actually hilarious (with five years hindsight, anyway!)

      They would refuse to pay their techs if an install didn’t work (which could happen for all kinds of reasons totally unrelated to the installer–a bad signal, etc.). Techs doing service calls would only be paid if they billed it out of the original installer’s income. They were expected to use their own vehicles and equipment with no compensation–no mileage, no payment for drive time. Ridiculous stuff. There was a class-action lawsuit that the workers won, but the $150 or so that he got out of it didn’t even come close to making up for eight months of misery.

      (/off-topic :P)

  13. Mena*

    #2: you are a bit over-involved in the drama of the office. Better to focus on your job and excel in delivering on your commitments and responsibilities.

    #4: you are an entry-level employee with some internship-type experience that may differentiate you from the next recent college grad.

  14. Elle D*

    OP #3 – I’m not sure what kind of environment you work in so this may not be appropriate, but here’s an idea. My former store managers kept a tape recorder in the back room. Each morning the manager on duty would record the day’s goals, priorities, reminders, etc. and employees were required to listen to it immediately after they clocked in. Perhaps you could move to an automated system like this. You could close your recording with “Please feel free to see me if you have any comments or questions about today’s goals.” This would prevent having daily meetings that get derailed by complaining employees while still showing that you are willing to listen to their opinions. The traditional meetings can then be switched to a monthly or bi-monthly format, with a focus on new products and processes that require a more detailed explanation. You could even leave 10 minutes of the meeting blocked out for Q&A/discussion.

    1. Joey*

      Wow. You got your daily assignments from a tape recorder? Weird. Retail lives in another world. I’ve heard of group interviews, no interviews, pointless interviews, and all sorts of other crazy practices in retail, but getting your daily assignments from a tape recorder is just out there.

      1. KLH*

        I would have LOVED that when I worked retail. My store never wrote anything down, so going to morning rally was the best place to learn anything. Closing rally less so.

        1. Elsajeni*

          Yes! When I worked retail, the morning huddle was the only time that sort of information got reliably passed on — if you weren’t on the opening shift on a day when there was important news (like “Today’s Special Event coupons are being processed differently than normal coupons” or “We’ve put today’s special doorbuster item in a display on the Aisle 8 endcap” or whatever), you just had to hope that the manager unlocking the back office to give you a headset would happen to remember and mention it. A recorded or written version of the morning huddle announcements would have been awesome.

      2. VintageLydia*

        The way retail works is so counter-intuitive in the wider working world, but a lot of that is necessary. When the shifts are erratic and no one is working the same times and everything across the board is inconsistent, these sorts of weird solutions are the norm. At our store we had a giant bulletin board in the room with the time clock and had notices up there we were supposed to review, but things like daily goals never really were communicated well except to maybe the cashiers (since they were in a centralized location and ultimately responsible for making sure those goals were met–if you think about it you’ll realize why that’s stupid but I digress.)

        1. Joey*

          I think its more that retail doesn’t do a good job of teaching managers how to manage or providing them tools more than anything else. There are lots of businesses that face similar hurdles that don’t do the crazy stuff retail does. And from what I’ve seen corporate retail offices know this and don’t think its worth the investment.

          1. VintageLydia*

            Yes and no. I will be the first to say that I was a terrible manager and so were most of my peers, but sometimes we just had to work around the weirdness corporate sent down. The tape recordings and multiple-times-a-day-every-day huddle meetings and constantly changing goals and, in my store, down to the store schedule itself was all a result of corporate decisions. The things customers complained about most (lack of employees on the floor, lack of product knowledge when you can get someone to help you, not having certain products on the shelves, long lines at the register, etc) were all things corporate, and only corporate, had the authority to change.

      3. Loose Seal*

        “Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to dress the mannequins in the new Spring line. This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck.”

  15. Reaching Out*

    #2 – Look for another job. If there’s an opening in the DMA (Dept. of Misfit Admins), put in your resume immediately.

    On contacting people who formerly worked in your position – while I understand the idea of this creating drama, I have done it myself once. I worked in a very small office where I was the 4th person in as many years to do the job. The receptionist had been replaced 7 times in just under two years. The owner of the business was a tyrant with major psychological issues.

    I contacted via Facebook the person who had worked in the job before I did. I was desperate for help and just someone who could understand the pain. He was incredibly helpful. He’d moved on to another job entirely and told me some things that ended up being helpful in terms of surviving where I currently was and getting out.

    So there’s that. I wouldn’t recommend doing this as a general rule because it’s very dependent on the office, the circumstances, etc. But it did help me to reach out.

  16. ChristineSW*

    #4 – I can completely empathize with this!

    I looked at the post from 2012 that Alison linked to towards the beginning of the comments, and ohhh yeah was I dead-set on not leaving off my Masters on my resume! But looking back at the subsequent comments, I think maybe I was being inflexible. I really wish I could’ve found a way to make it work, but I was so caught up in not getting trapped in the “overqualified” dilemma.

  17. KM*

    #3 — just wanted to say I completely agree with the advice on this one. I once had a manager who clearly believed that “listening” meant sitting still while other people said words, and that was it. He was the worst supervisor I’ve ever had, but the environment we worked in was also completely toxic, so I don’t know that it would have made that much difference if he had been awesome.

    Anyway, we could all tell that, even if he sat there indulgently, he didn’t actually care what anybody had to say and just wanted us to STFU and get on with it. The worst thing he ever did was promise us a team meeting so that we could discuss the many, many, many problems in our department — when the day finally came, after months of requests and reminders (from us), it was a ten minute meeting where he presented a flow-chart he made explaining how to get fired.

    1. Editor*

      I got the impression the person running the meeting was willing to listen to comments and analysis at other times, but was worried because people who complained at the meetings triggered debates that took a five-minute meeting to 25 minutes.

      When employees complain and the complainers all pile on and feed off each other, it’s natural for a manager to want to cut the debate short. When employees just raise an issue or suggest alternatives, and a problem can be resolved, that debate shouldn’t be cut short.

  18. Editor*

    #2 — You wonder if contacting former workers in your position will be useful. Take Alison’s advice about not being pulled further into the drama. If you find out you are being screwed and they also were, it will make you angrier, but it won’t get you out of the PIP. If you are on a PIP, whether or not it is unjust is not so much the issue — dealing with the PIP is the issue.

    In addition to meeting the terms of the PIP, document for yourself how you are meeting the terms of the PIP and keep the documentation on paper at home. You could also document incidents that interfere with meeting the terms of the PIP as long as they are factual. You do not want to be the person who goes to HR to appeal a decision to extend the PIP with a notebook full of “A whispered to B three times in the morning and A and B giggled at the copier together for 6 minutes at 4 p.m.” You want to be able to have a notebook that says, “email to A followed up on meeting to confirm report was due by 5 p.m. on day 3. A never replied by email but stopped by desk to confirm deadline. At noon on day 3, A said B was asking for report. B said report was late and had always been due by 5 p.m. day 2. Copies of email printouts attached.”

    Use any time you have left at home to hunt for a new job instead of contacting the former people in your position, as others suggest.

  19. Mike B. (@epenthesis)*

    #1 sets off my Spidey-sense. “These meetings may very well be useful, but I don’t want to be a part of them.” Um, what?

    If the colleague’s efforts to be proactive and facilitate the exchange of important information are being met with resistance just because the OP doesn’t like being bossed around, maybe she SHOULD be the senior one. OP can try to characterize this as a power play that doesn’t reflect a superior work ethic or better organizational ability, but I don’t see their manager being particularly impressed with that explanation.

  20. Prickly Pear*

    3- as someone that works in retail (god have mercy on my soul) I sympathize with having to deal with meeting derailers. (we actually ‘threatened’ a coworker once over her uncanny ability to stretch a 20 minute session into hour-long torture.) Maybe once a week one of the meetings can be all about feedback, or you can have a suggestion box that you read out loud at regular intervals. That way you can hear concerns and with the suggestion box, prescreen and have your prepared answer in advance.
    Sometimes, all we want is an acknowledgement that something is stupid. A little ‘we’re in this together’ goes a long way.

  21. LP*

    As far as #4 is it a hindrance to put even a bachelor’s degree on a bank teller application? I was trying to get into banking before I found the job I am currently temping at, but couldn’t even get a teller position. I wanted to get into banking because there are so many jobs I could move into (I have a BBA in management with only legal secretary experience, which I don’t want to do ever again), but I was always disqualified at the application stage. I wondered if it was my degree.

  22. Tara T.*

    In answer to LP (Jan. 22, 2014, at 1:01 pm), the ads I have seen for bank tellers often say they want someone with at least 6 months of retail cash handling experience. You might want to include in the cover letter that you did not like the legal secretary job and it was not your cup of tea, and you are interested in a banking career or management, or like math. The B.A. in Business Administration is great for banking – you should definitely include it. I have seen banking ads that ask for that.

Comments are closed.