a company I want to work for blocked me on social media, my mentor declined to be a reference for me, and more

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

1. A company I want to work for blocked me on social media

I became interested in a different industry a few years ago and have been trying to get in ever since. However, sometimes I have issues balancing my patience with my eagerness to make something happen. In one of my weaker moments, I wrote a blog post about my interest in the industry. Although I mentioned no specific companies in the blog, I posted the blog link on Twitter. The post title was “Why I Have a Crush on X Industry.” The whole thing was basically an analogy between a crush and my how X Industry had caught my attention. There are parallels, like unexpected attraction to something you have no personal experience with yet, etc. And when I posted it to Twitter, I tagged two prominent local companies in it.

I went to check one of those two companies and saw that their page no longer had an indication that I was following them (which I had been for awhile). Thinking there was a technical error or something, I clicked the Follow button, only to get a popup notifying me that I had been blocked from following them. Embarrassed, I quickly deleted the Twitter post and the blog post before something worse could happen.

After that, this company posted some other openings from time to time, but I didn’t apply, thinking it would be too soon. I didn’t want to become a nuisance or embarrass myself further. This company recently posted another opening. The position is low-level; it would definitely be entry level. But, it would also be an “in” into the industry. However, I’m wondering if I should apply, considering the past situation (which happened over a year ago). If I do apply and make it to the interview stage, do I need to address the issue or have a response prepared? Or do you think nobody would remember?

“Why I Have a Crush on X Industry” doesn’t sound like a terrible faux paus that should get you blocked — assuming your dating analogy didn’t cross lines into anything, uh, adult. So either someone over there just has really odd judgment, or it was a mistake (it’s actually pretty easy to mistakenly block someone on Twitter, so I wouldn’t discount that). In any case, I highly, highly doubt that they remember it (again, unless that blog post was truly inappropriate, but it doesn’t sound like it was), and you certainly don’t need to address it until directly asked about it. I’d go ahead and apply and not worry too much about this.

2. My mentor declined to be a reference for me

I am planning to apply for a couple of positions and recently contacted a former supervisor to ask if I could list her as a reference. She was my direct supervisor for a year and instrumental in getting me promoted to my current position. After my promotion, she served as my mentor until her retirement several years ago. Since then, she has worked part-time in our profession and we have stayed in touch. Much to my surprise, she turned me down. She felt that she’s not qualified to be a reference for me because of how long she’s been retired, and thinks that I should use more current references.

The thing is, I DO have more current references and plan to use them. The reason I want to include her is that she has always spoken very highly of me and is someone whose opinion I have always valued. Also, I do not want to use my current supervisor for a number of reasons and she is the only other recent supervisor I could use. Although we have not worked together for the past few years, I think she can certainly speak to my strengths and weaknesses. Besides, she has always indicated that she would be happy to help me with my future endeavors and this certainly qualifies.

I am surprisingly upset by her rejection, and have not yet responded to her message. Would I be out of line to ask her to reconsider? Or should I just thank her for her honesty and leave it at that?

It’s not out of line if you make the request nicely, explain a little more of your thinking, and make it clear that you understand if she’d still prefer not to. And it’s possible that she thinks she’s doing you a favor by declining; she might think you’ll be better served by using other, more recent references, so giving her some context might change the way she’s looking at this. So, for instance, you could say something like, “I absolutely respect your decision either way, but in case your concern is simply recentness, you’re actually the most recent manager I’d feel comfortable using (I don’t plan to ask Jane for a reference while I’m currently working for her). Any other references I offer won’t be as recent as you are — so I’d still love for you to be one if you’re willing to, knowing that. But if not, that’s of course fine, and I really value our relationship either way.”

3. How much time should we let employees make up when they’re late?

We are a family-owned business and have around 70 employees. We are wondering if you have any information about allowing non-exempt/hourly employees to make up their time lost in the same week? This is referring to employees who leave early or come in late for appointments or personal obligations and even arriving late to work due to traffic, car trouble, etc.

Currently, it is up to supervisors if they want to allow their employees to make up time they lost (versus simply not earning wages for that time). However, we realize this is not fair if some allow time to be made up, while other supervisors do not. Should we only allow time to be made up for appointments or prescheduled absences? Should we allow employees to make up time if they are late due to traffic? Should we set a limit like 15 minutes late or less can be made up?

It’s really up to you, and it’s not inherently bad to have some managers allow it while others don’t; after all, different teams are working within different contexts, and managers should be the best judges of how that plays out on their teams. However, as a general principle, I’d say that you should allow people to make up time up to whatever point that will become disruptive. For instance, it might be perfectly feasible for someone to make up a hour by staying late on Thursday, but not possible for them to make up four hours that way because their work requires other people to be around, and the office will be empty at that point (or whatever). Or maybe you want to put limits on it because you’ve found that otherwise people won’t take their start times as seriously, and it’s important to you that they do. Or maybe none of this is true and you can give people a lot of freedom in this area — and maybe even some more than others, depending on what their particular job is.

Basically, don’t have rules for rules’ sake, but rather because it’s directly tied to a business need.

4. I can’t get the money my old employer owes me

I was on maternity leave and received a check from FMLA. The check was lost and payroll reissued the check as a direct deposit. The problem is when they reissued the check they put the gross amount as the net amount from the previous check. For instance original check Gross = $100, Net =$50. Reissued check Gross = $50, Net = $25. I was shorted over $700 in my case.

I have since stopped working for the company and trying to get the difference paid to me is impossible — I’m being bounced between payroll and benefits department and both are arguing that the other owes me the money, not them. Then it was escalated and I was told, “We owe you no money.” However they will NOT provide any sound reasoning. This is from a HUGE corporation. What do I do?

Contact your state labor agency and pursue it as a wage complaint. Your company is required to pay you the money they owe you, and they’re required to pay it within a specific time period (for most states, no later than the next scheduled payday, and for some either earlier then that), and some states also will impose penalties for late payments. You could also hire an attorney to handle this for you. I suspect a letter clearly spelling out the law and how they’re in violation of it — from either your state labor agency or your own attorney — will get this cleared up pretty quickly.

5. Can I ask my interviewer about their strengths and weaknesses?

My interviewer asked what is my greatest strength and weakness. Can I ask my interviewer the same question?

Sure, if you (a) ask it during the part of the interview when you’re asking your own questions, not as a comeback right after they ask it of you, (b) couch it in terms of asking about their management style specifically, and (c) are the type of person who ask this in a friendly, non-adversarial way that isn’t likely to alienate a reasonable person.

{ 62 comments… read them below }

  1. A Bug!

    #1
    In addition to AAM’s advice, depending on the size of the company it’s likely enough that the person who manages the Twitter account has nothing to do with the hiring process for a given position, even if that person would remember your name to see it out of context. Good luck!

    1. Senses

      Exactly. In my experience, unless the company is really small, there’s usually a marketing or social media person responsible for managing the company’s online presence, so there’s a good chance you won’t even run into them.

    2. Jessie

      I was just about to write the same exact thing. I work for a large employer, and while yes, there is a Director of Social Media, the people who really run the Twitter/Facebook for company are entry-level to just above entry level 21-25 year olds, who are Social Media Analysts. They monitor Twitter and reply to different tweets from our software users, etc, while also building public brand awareness. They probably thought maybe it would hurt the brand? Who knows – regardless – unless this was for a small company – I wouldn’t worry about it… So go apply for jobs at the company!!!!!

    3. Anonathon

      I was just about to say that too. The policy for managing social media accounts likely comes from higher up, but it’s quite unlikely that the person who actually does the following & blocking also runs the hiring process. (On a side note: it’s possible that they meant to follow you back or add you to a list, but blocked you by mistake. Those two options are right near one another in the drop-down menu.)

      1. OP #1

        Anonathon, I don’t know if this changes anything, but they were already following me. I had even been direct messaging a few times with whoever runs their Twitter. (The other company didn’t follow me.)

        1. A Reader

          I’m going to go against the grain here. As a social media manager myself, I know that at some point I’d probably make a connection and note it to my managers. I don’t know why you were blocked (I love any time our company is mentioned on the internet- SEO boost!!), but the smm made a decision and it may hurt you. That being said, go ahead and apply. Just change your expectations, because it’s totally possible your fears were correct.

  2. Christine

    #4 – how is this a wage complaint? She was on maternity leave, so not working. The OPs letter says the money was from FMLA, which is a misunderstanding, I think, FMLA is a law that requires companies to offer unpaid medical leave to employees who meet certain requirements. If an employee is paid at all on FMLA, the money usually comes from a short term disability policy, not regular payroll, I think, right? Isn’t it most likely that she’s getting the runaround because the error was actually made by the insurance company and no one at her employer knows how to get a correction?

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I was assuming she was using paid vacation time for part (or all) or her leave, since some employers have people use their accrued leave for some or all of the FMLA leave period, and that that’s what the payment was from. But maybe the OP can clarify?

      1. Nel

        At my job we got 6 weeks of paid maternity leave. It is separate from our paid vacation. The original check was issued by Gates McDonald’s . Payroll reissued the check as a direct deposit. They took out federal income tax, social security tax, Medicare tax and union dues out twice because of the mix up with the gross and net amounts.

        1. Nel

          Also I found the original check. That’s what started the whole thing. I was going thru papers and located it. Thinking I hadn’t cashed it at all I tried to double check and payroll was the one who figured out the gross net amount mix up when we compared the deposit amounts into my account.

          This check was originally issued at the end of 2008. The reissued direct deposit happened the beginning of 2009. I tried 3 years ago to get the money and got frustrated and took a break. Further complicating matters is after 2009 they switched benefit companies. It’s no longer Gates McDonald’s .

          1. Elysian

            It sounds like the check/incident is over 3 years old. I think you’re going to be out of luck on this one because too much time has passed.

          2. Ilf

            If you submit federal and state income tax returns, if you submitted them correctly, and if the W2s and 1099s were correct. you have gotten your tax money back or they got deducted from what you owed.
            For Social Security and Medicare taxes the company should reimburse you and they should submit some paperwork to SSA to get reimbursed in return.
            Situation is more complicated because the second check was issued by payroll. There’s a lot of opportunity for error there, they could have added it to your W2, and you may have gotten a 1099 from your benefits company. Then you actually paid taxes twice, so you need get a corrected W2.
            Good luck getting all this sorted out!

            1. Brett

              I think they would not have received the money back because the original gross was reduced too rather than the taxes just being deducted twice. The extra taxation would have gone straight back into the company rather than into the OP’s withholdings, and not been listed on the w-2/1099.

  3. Puffle

    #2 When I was applying for my first full-time job, a professor turned me down when I asked for a reference because it had been over a year since he’d last taught me.

    My response was something along the lines of, “I understand your reservations and I appreciate that you might not want to give me a reference because of that. The reason I’m asking you is xyz.” He did give me a reference, once I’d made it clear that I understood his concerns and explained why I was asking him (and I did make it clear that I understood if he didn’t want to give a reference). Context and communication definitely helped.

    (I would have asked my former boss, but she was peculiar to say the least, and deeply paranoid about… well, everyone, despite the fact that she herself was more slippery than a grease-coated eel on ice)

    1. AdjunctForNow

      I recently got an email from a student I taught last semester asking if I’d be willing to write a recommendation letter for grad programs she’s applying to for fall of 2015. She won’t need it for maybe nine more months, but she wanted me to have the option of writing it now (while I remember her clearly) and tucking it away until she needs it. At first I thought it was weird, but the more I think about it, the more I realize this is really the easier way for me to do it.

      1. College Career Counselor

        I have advised students to ask their professors to write grad school letters of recommendation in advance (often the career center will hold the letters for the student, or there are other online services that are used), while the student’s performance is still fresh in the professor’s mind.

        Even in the case where the student is not sure which program s/he is applying to, it’s better/easier to ask the professor to make minor future revisions when the grad program/field is identified rather than craft the whole thing X years after having taught the student.

        1. Stephanie

          Yes, push the dossier service! I really wish my professors/career counselors pushed this more when I was in college. It’s fairly awkward to ask for a rec letter five years after you’ve graduated and you’ll get a much better letter when the professor has more than a vague recollection of your performance.

          1. OriginalEmma

            +1. I’m looking at going for a master’s, and while I’ve kept in touch with one professor on social media, it is still going to be awkward to request a recommendation 5 years after I’ve graduated.

  4. 2 cents

    #1

    I work at a company where we have hired a lot of former users of our pruduct. Some have posted unprofessional things in their pre-employment days. It happens. Makes for funny lunchroom conversations sometimes.

    Regardless of whether the interviewing panel is aware of this incident (which seems unlikely), your response should be the same — be professional and mature throughout the interview process. If they see that, it’ll put any concerns they have about an isolated past social media to rest. And again, they probably don’t have any concerns, because they probably don’t remember or weren’t ever aware of your post. There’s no need for you to proactively bring it up. Good luck landing a job in your dream industry :)

  5. NW Cat Lady

    #3 – making up time: I would be in favor of a policy that allows makeup time, unless there is a business need otherwise. As Alison pointed out, it may be feasible to make up an hour, but not 4. Or make the expectation clear to the supervisors that this is a generally accepted practice in your company. I’ve worked for companies where not only did it vary from department to department, but also varied depending on whether or not the supervisor liked the person who was late.

    1. Del

      Agreed. I’m obsessively early for work, but there have been circumstances beyond my control a couple times that got me in late despite getting on the road very early, and it meant the world to me when my boss let me make up the time at the end of the day instead of debiting my PTO.

      1. Mariette

        Our company lets us make up up to 3 hours of missed work per day. So if I miss 4 hours, I can make up 3 but will be docked for 1.

        1. Lisa

          I agree that there does need to be some sort of guidelines/boundaries for late employees, otherwise the flexibility could be abused.

    2. LCL

      Look at each department and decide if they can make up time or not, and make the decision known to all.

      In my group making up time is not allowed because of the nature of the work. It doesn’t stop some employees from trying, though. The way I explain it to them is to be unemotional and nonparental in tone. “I don’t care why you are late 15 minutes every day. If you need the extra time, use your own leave, vacation or sick leave. I won’t argue with you about it, or ask questions. But if you are gone for 15 minutes, that is on your own time.”

      When an employee comes in late, I ask them in a matter of fact way if that was vacation or sick time. The employee always gets to decide. That allows everyone to maintain their dignity and be professional.

      When I started enforcing this, I did have a few arguments because some people have a need to frame the punctuality issue in a very adolescent way. I would always correct them when they said I was docking their pay. The employee would decide if they wanted to use leave, I wasn’t docking anyone. Our worst offender told me later he thought about going to the union, but realized the union wouldn’t back him. Our labor agreement clearly states shift start and end times.

      TL:DR clarify your policy and start enforcing it. Don’t make policies you can’t enforce. I can’t fire anyone, or I would have fired the chronic late workers because their lateness directly affects their coworkers.

  6. James M

    I’m wondering if #5 is a tongue-in-cheek question because of the implication of turnabout in response to a trite situation.

    Regardless, I’d try to keep any interview questions relevant to the position I’m applying to. Instead of using the “strengths and weaknesses” terminology, I’d ask for an A B and C that the company/team struggles with, and how they leverage X Y and Z to overcome that.

    Although I wouldn’t have high hopes for a useful answer from someone who asks what my “greatest strengths and weaknesses” are. [mini-rant redacted]

    1. Not So NewReader

      Good point- really good point. The question can be made in the context of “how can I help your company? Where do you feel you need reinforcements?” [Not exact wording, just the overall direction of the question.]

      A really good question because if the interviewer says “We need help with X” and the interviewee does NOT have background in X this becomes a critical piece of information for both parties.

    2. Bryan

      I like your way of phrasing it a lot. Asking the interviewer back the same questions to me partially sounds like someone who is trying to assert more control over the hiring process since it’s usually so one sided. But I don’t think this is the way to do it.

  7. Brett

    #1 You were most likely blocked because you tagged the company in a link to a blog post. This looks like spam to drive traffic to your site or to something more malicious. Whoever was managing social media saw you in their @mentions, saw multiple tags and a link, and blocked you for spam. It happens all the time and would reflect absolutely nothing on you or even the content of your blog.

    1. Sunflower

      That’s a good point and probably what happened here. I’ve seen people tweet some pretty bad stuff at company’s over and over again and they haven’t been blocked. You probably got noted as spam :(

    2. Emily K

      I was going to say the same thing. In a previous job I had the task of filtering out spam and you don’t spend a ton of time on every single post/comment/tweet…you just sort of learn to spot stuff that looks a lot like spam.

  8. AW

    #2 – Keep in mind that as a retiree, she may just not want to put too much on her plate. I’ve tutored kids on and off for years and more often, parents don’t want to be listed as a reference because they are “busy enough” and “don’t want their information even more.” Some references are never contacted, others get questionnaires and phone calls galore. She might just want to keep her free time, private and free.

    1. Ruffingit

      This is a very good possibility. Sometimes once someone has retired, they don’t want to bother with writing reference letters and other such things that were more a part of their job life. I can’t fault them for that as a good reference letter does take time and thought and perhaps she just doesn’t want to put in the effort. And again, can’t blame her if that’s the case, she’s earned the right to spend her retirement any way she chooses.

  9. apopculturalist

    #3: At my company, we have a handy guideline — if a personal matter consumes more than 2.5 hours (mostly applying to doctor’s appointments, shuttling kids around unexpectedly, getting the car from the mechanic, etc.), then we’re supposed to take a half day. I think some exceptions are made in extreme circumstances, like for the few of my co-workers who commute from at least an hour away. But in general, we tend to play by the 2.5 hour rule.

    But for me personally, it’s really nice to have a rule like that to follow — I’m the kind of person who worries she’s asking too much to go to get checked out by the doctor. (Because in my last position, this was NOT okay. I was forced to cancel a follow-up appointment at the doctor and got yelled at for making it in the first place. So you can understand why I’m cautious!)

    But props to you for offering flexibility — knowing I can take care of my personal matters as needed without undue work stress tacked on means a lot to me, and I’m sure your employees appreciate it as well.

    1. JMegan

      Everywhere I’ve worked has had a similar guideline. If you’re going to be out for about the same time as it would take to go to a meeting (2 hours or so), you can make up the time, any more than that needs to be PTO.

    2. Jen RO

      The (unwritten) rule is similar for my company. You can make up those hours at any point in the week, basically, as long as your total is 40 hours or more.

      1. Jamie

        We don’t have any kind of official rule on this. Without exception salaried people typically put in more than 40 so if you have an appointment or are late on occasion you don’t have to keep track and make it up. Because the debit side of the ledger is always in the companies favor and they appreciate us putting in extra time as needed so they don’t nickle and dime us about this kind of thing.

        The couple of times it’s been abused in the past where a few people were consistently putting in less than 40 hours were addressed individually.

        I did come from a place where you did have to make up time, despite working excessive unpaid OT (exempt) so when I was new here I would say I needed to leave and hour early and would stay an hour the next day and my boss bluntly told me to do what I want – no one cares. Sounds harsh in type but it was said with a smile and it was explained that they trust us to manage our own schedules.

        With non-exempt people we allow them to make up the time, because otherwise it affects their check. No official amount of time is allowed, it’s just never been abused to there hasn’t been a need to create a policy for that.

        1. Ruffingit

          No one cares said with a smile is one of the best things to hear in a job situation because what it translates to is “You’re an adult and we treat you like one. If you stop acting like one, we’ll stop treating you like one. Go forth and do what you need to do.” Love it when adults are treated as such in the work environment.

  10. TBoT

    I got a number of requests last year from former interns who were looking for references. All of them interned for me long enough ago that I couldn’t genuinely remember enough detail about it to really give a good or meaningful one. I encouraged them all to find people they’d worked with more recently (and for a longer period … most of our interns worked about 10 hours/week for a semester).

  11. Char

    Hey #1, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE!! I have also written a blog post about my dream company (I stated the name too) and mentioned how much I want to work there and how I’m a suitable candidate for the position I was applying for. I also likened my liking for the company to an encounter with prince charming. Guess what, I got an interview opportunity. Previously, I’d applied but didn’t get anything. But this time round I got an interview and it made me wonder if it’s cos of my blog post. In fact, I wrote the blog post with the intent and hope that the company will see it (those seo marketing stuff, ya). I guess a company would be glad that you blog about them and want to work for them. Just apply for the post! You have nothing to lose. If your instinct is true (I.e. company blocked you), the worse they can do is reject your application. Try, because if you don’t, you never know!

    1. OP #1

      Thanks, Char! I was thinking maybe I was just a weirdo…

      I’m glad to hear someone else took a risk and that it paid off!

  12. LBK

    #3: policy for employees make up missed time

    This is one of my management pet peeves – a policy that treats different departments or employees differently is not (always) an unfair policy. There can certainly be a guideline in place for managers to work from, but if Jane is always on time and gets stuck in traffic once every 6 months, I’m fine letting her make that up. If Bob is half an hour late every day, he loses that privilege and probably gets fired. Good employees earn good treatment and leniency, and blanket policies with no room for manager discretion are one of the fastest ways to chase them away.

    1. OriginalYup

      My former job had an obsession with enacting perfectly uniform policies that permitted no variation by department or at a manager’s discretion. So because something had to be this way for the five people in Group A, the 50 people in Groups B through E had to follow the same path. I hated it.

      1. LBK

        It’s completely inane. To continue using the situation in the letter, if Dept A is a manufacturing assembly line, obviously they shouldn’t be able to make up time missed – not only would they be unable to produce anything without the rest of the department there, but their absence would’ve had a detrimental impact on the business. That doesn’t mean Dept B that handles data entry that can be done individually at any time shouldn’t be afforded the option. It just doesn’t make sense to treat them the same.

    2. Graciosa

      Thank you.

      People confuse treating everyone exactly identically with treating everyone fairly and go overboard on the former in pursuit of the latter.

      Different jobs have different requirements. The receptionist needs to be at her desk on time. Bob, our web design guru, is most productive in the evenings, so he can wander in around eleven as long as he responds promptly to pages if the system crashes before that.

      Different people in the same job work differently. Jane and Bob were a good example above, but I have people who are more effective telecommuting when they have a big project and others who need to be in the office close to a printer. Some people are willing to come in earlier so that they be finished in time to pick a kid up for music lessons, while others visit the gym every morning before work but are happy to stay later at night.

      Managers are responsible for getting the work done, and we have to manage human beings to do it. Non-identical ones.

      If anyone has read A Wrinkle In Time, this reminds me of the little boy who dropped his ball and was punished for it. I’m tempted to shout “Like and equal are not the same thing at all!”

      1. LBK

        “People confuse treating everyone exactly identically with treating everyone fairly.”

        I want to make a banner that says this and hang it over every manager’s office around the world.

  13. JMegan

    #5 – I recently asked an interviewer where he saw his unit in five years. :) He kind of laughed, but the answer I got was really informative!

    1. LBK

      I read this with the slang definition of unit and uh…yeah, that would have been a really different question.

      1. Lily in NYC

        LOL, I once said I was “anally prompt” during an interview and the two people interviewing me almost fell out of their chairs laughing at me. I can’t believe they hired me after that one.

        1. OriginalEmma

          In a training exercise, working as part of the logistics section (receiving and fulfilling requests for supplies, etc.), one worker said something to the effect of “anal is the best!” . This was in the context of being strict about asking specific questions to ensure we fulfilled the request correctly, but it made me LOL.

  14. MLHD

    I was in an interview where I was asked the “Strengths and weaknesses” question. I answered, then the interviewer replied “I always tell applicants my own strength and weakness too…my strength is that I’m a perfectionist. My weakness is that I’m a perfectionist.”

    It took everything in me not to roll my eyes right in front of him.

    1. Sarahnova

      Why? I think it’s a good gesture to the interview as reciprocal process for the interviewer to also mention his (especially if he’s the hiring manager), and someone smart and self-aware would know that perfectionism is a double-edged sword.

      Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how this is inherently an eye-roll-worthy answer.

      1. Karen

        Because interviewees are told not to say their greatest weakness is being a perfectionist or workaholic.

      2. Stephanie

        It’s a cliché at this point that doesn’t give any real insight. Everyone has (professional) weaknesses, so it just seems disingenuous if you can’t tactfully cite any. Plus, in the latter case, it’s not even a weakness–it’s a strength disguised as a weakness.

        1. Emily K

          Or if it truly is your weakness, it’s more than a bit deceptive to say “my weakness is that I’m a perfectionist” when what you really mean is “my weakness is that I miss deadlines because I get too down in the weeds on my assignments” or “my weakness is that I’m difficult to work with or for because I can’t relinquish control of project details to others.”

          You can produce high-quality work without being a control freak or chronically late on assignments, so disguising those flaws by calling it “perfectionism,” even if a need to produce high-quality work is in fact what’s driving them, is still disingenuous.

  15. TotesMaGoats

    #3-I usually let my hourly staff make up the time (if they so choose), if it’s not more than an hour or two. They have to make it up within the pay period and at a time that helps us out staffing-wise. So, not coming in super early when we don’t need anyone but staying later during evening rush hours. We used it when someone got caught in major traffic issues or long lines when voting or unexpected delays at the doctor. When you have good staff, you try to be flexible.

  16. Just Me

    #1, I do social media for our company. It would be rare that I would talk to HR about anything happening on twitter and I have a personal relationship with our HR manager. Unless what you wrote was really off, I wouldn’t worry.

  17. lifes a beach

    # 3, make up time. What gets tricky, is when it falls into overtime- like California, where everything over 8 hrs in a day is overtime. So if you miss 2 hrs on monday, but make up the 2 hrs on tues, you then get paid overtime for Tuesday. So it becomes a balancing act of figuring out if they are making up time for lost production or lost pay.

  18. Cassie

    #3: If I was a manager/supervisor, I wouldn’t have a problem with letting people make up time as long as it was “reasonable”. So 15 mins to an hour, fine. Anything longer than that might be kind of iffy. Since we’re a public institution, we aren’t subject to the anything-over-8-hours-a-day rule for overtime in California. As long as it’s not over 40 hours a week, it’s just base pay.

  19. LP

    I’m catching up on this post late, but #1 jumped out at me and I thought it’s still worth replying in case anyone ever reads back here in the future.

    I work in the music industry, and one of my responsibilities is hiring interns. It’s a big thing for me to determine whether each candidate has a serious interest in the music industry and this is the start of his career path, or if he’s just a big fan of one of the musicians we work with and thinks this is a way to meet them, get free concert tickets, etc.

    I definitely try to check out whether the candidate has any social media/blog to get a sense of that. In an industry like ours, a post with “Crush” in the title would certainly raise my eyebrow, though of course I’d read it and give the benefit of the doubt. Again, the huge difference is whether the context of the “crush” is on the actual work we do, or the glamour and status of it. (All perceived, for sure. It’s never as glamorous as they think!!)

    That said, if a candidate had been blocked on twitter for any reason, that would not have been done by me (I do not run our company’s account), and it’s a toss-up on whether I’d even be aware. It’s more likely that if there was something legitimately block-worthy in the candidate’s twitter feed, I might notice it myself and see a red-flag, independently of a colleague who had previously blocked. If that makes sense.

    The #1 OP letter gives no indication of the industry, and I’m not sure if this kind of concern has any translation in other industries. (“Oh no, is she too big a fan of our teapots?!”) But in music, entertainment, sports, that kind of thing… There may be a fine line between enthusiasm and over-enthusiasm. Nobody wants to hire someone to sell football tickets and find out they’re more concerned with getting some good employee seats and a picture with the quarterback. You know?

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