how to make your new boss regret hiring you

How you handle your first few weeks on the job can set the tone for your relationship with your boss throughout your entire stay at your new company. Handle yourself well, and you can quickly start to be seen as a valued new member of the team. But misstep, and your new boss might start wondering if she should have hired you in the first place.

Here are nine ways you can go wrong in your first weeks at a new job.

1. Start out with all the answers. Your first few weeks at a new job are about you learning how your new company works. If you come in sure that you know everything and already raring to make changes before you get to know the environment, the people, and how and why they do things, you risk looking both naïve and arrogant.

2. Come in late, leave early, or miss work in your first few weeks. When you first start a job, people don’t know much about you, so everything you do takes on more meaning. If you come in late, leave early, or take time off early on, you’re more likely to raise fears that you’re a slacker than if you do the same thing once you’ve established a track record as a strong and reliable worker. (Obviously, there are exceptions to this, such as if you have a legitimate medical need or early arranged time off as part of your offer negotiations.)

3. Ask to work from home right away. As with coming in late or leaving early, this can be okay to do once you’ve established a track record of good work. But if you ask for it too soon, you’re more likely to look like you’re more focused on ways not to be at work than on the work itself.

4. Get involved in office drama. While getting drawn into office drama never looks good, it will reflect even worse on you if you jump into while you’re new. Plus, at this stage, you don’t know enough to take sides in office politics, and you could be aligning yourself with the office complainers or slackers without realizing it. So be friendly to everyone, and stay neutral when it comes to any office factions.

5. Appear bored or disengaged. Managers want people around who are glad to be there and truly engaged in the work they’re doing. You might not always love your job, but if you already appear bored in your first few weeks, your new boss is going to wonder if you’re regretting taking the job – and if she should be regretting hiring you!

6. Ignore the culture. Cultural fit is hugely important and can hold you back just as much as a lack of skills can. If the culture is neurotically on time for meetings and you stroll in late, or if most people stay focused on their work while you’re chatting up a storm, you can quickly come across as tone-deaf.

7. Don’t pay attention while you’re being trained. Few people can remember everything they’re told in their first weeks on the job, so if you don’t appear to be engaged in your training, you’re likely to send off alarm bells for your boss and new coworkers. Make sure that you’re paying attention, taking notes, asking questions when something isn’t quite clear, and periodically checking to be sure your understanding is correct.

8. Appear overwhelmed. To be clear, feeling overwhelmed when you start a new job is normal. You’re having loads of new information thrown at you, and you won’t be able to retain it all. But if you appear to be knocked off balance or second-guessing your decision to take the job, you won’t inspire confidence in your new boss. Instead, show that you can handle new situations with a reasonable degree of calm.

9. Compare things to “how we did it at my old job.” It might feel like you have a better way of doing things, but if you jump in with comparisons before getting to know why your new workplace does things differently, you’re likely to miss reasons why those ideas wouldn’t work here or finding out that the ideas have been tried previously. And your new coworkers are likely to find constant remarks about “how we did it at my old job” irritating more quickly than you might think.

I originally published this at U.S. News & World Report.

{ 83 comments… read them below }

  1. Adam*

    #5 is the one I have trouble with, not so much starting out at a new job but after I’ve been in it long enough to have established routines and such. My office is infamous for having many long boring meetings as well as inviting people to meetings who probably don’t really need to be there. I had to start leaving my cell phone at my desk to break the the temptation of sneaking a peak at whatever was more interesting than what was going on in front of me. Since I’m basically entry-level I’m pretty much the last person who needs to be caught doing that.

  2. Celeste*

    #7 YES! Take notes. It is a gift to yourself as well as whoever is training you. I feel much differently trying to help somebody new when I can see that they’ve put some effort into trying to learn by taking notes as they go through training. I realize that no training module is perfect for every person, but taking notes shows you are listening and trying to get the knowledge. That goes a long way when you’re new.

    1. danr*

      And then go over the notes when you practice or use the new technique. I did training for awhile and emphasized this point. And pointed back to notes that a person had taken if there were problems or questions on the technique later in the training or during work. There was usually an “aha!” of understanding afterwards.

        1. Agile Phalanges*

          Wow, this is a PERFECT phrase! I’m going to borrow it for my work life (being laid off, so training others, as well as likely training in a new job soon).

      1. A Teacher*

        We were just told in a pd on assessment that you actually need to write or engage in a process 7 times before it sinks in…

    2. hayling*

      For sure. I had an assistant who never took notes when I was training her, and then later she would do something wrong and it was clear she hadn’t been paying attention or hadn’t absorbed the information. I get that I’m not a 100% perfect trainer and that nobody is going to pick up everything the first time, but taking notes is a huge step in the right direction.

    3. BCW*

      This is one of those playing the game things. I’m not very much of a note taker. Never have been. I know what I need to write down and what I don’t. However, I’ve learned that when you DON’T take notes, people assume things (which isn’t fair). I almost never actually need to refer back to these notes, but it makes others feel better apparently. So I usually bring a notebook to meetings even if I never write in them. Its like I have friends who get super angry when a server doesn’t write the order down. If they get your order right, why do you care? But sometimes you just gotta play along

      1. Stephanie*

        I’m the same way. During training at a previous job, we had PowerPoints with everything explained anyway, so I didn’t see the need for notes. But everyone else was taking copious amounts of notes, so I just started jotting things down as well, so I didn’t look uninterested. I don’t think I ever referred to those notepads ever again.

        1. Sanonymous*

          I wonder if the act of writing helps seal in comprehension. I am a pretty big note taker, but I rarely refer back to them. However, when I’m remembering the information (depending on the situation, part of my memory is the act of writing. Odd, huh?

  3. Aunt Vixen*

    #10 Yell at her that the reason your work may not have been up to snuff was because you were distracted by her phone conversations with her significant other, which she should know better than to have where your unhappily single self can hear them.

    1. Tiff*

      I am laughing so hard at this, because I partly expected to click the link and be directed back to that post.

  4. Just a Reader*

    I have a new colleague who must be taking this list seriously because she’s doing all of these things. She’s been here an incredibly short time and everyone hates her already.

    Wish I could send her this post!

      1. James M*

        And fire the first volley to start a passive-aggressive note war? That might be fun for us to read about, but a new hire who hits 9/9 points will probably escalate and do something regrettable.

          1. Tiff*

            Gotta admit, I rubbed my hands in glee when I read Kay’s comment. Then lurk around so you can be there when Bad Coworker gets around to reading it.

            If anyone needs me I’ll be in the corner trying to become a better me. For the rest of the day, and probably well into the evening.

  5. Del*

    Just seeing the subject line of this post compared with the last one seems pretty fitting, I have to say!

  6. Annie O*

    I have a tendency to do #9 (make comparisons) and #1 (start with all the answers), but I try to keep them in my head! If I’m really tempted to verbalize, I’ll say something like,”Why do we do X like this?” or “Has the company ever tried Y approach?” That way I can get more information and I don’t come off like an overly critical know-it-all.

  7. Thebe*

    Regarding #9: We had a new employee from our Dallas office a few years ago, and she was always saying “In Dallas we …” or “We didn’t …. in Dallas,” etc. When she resigned a few years later, we made a goodbye newspaper page that included a picture of our boss looking morose and the headline “We should’ve been more like Dallas.”

    1. De Minimis*

      I’ve never understood why people make these kind of comparisons, I assume they moved of their own free will. Of course, if it’s some kind of involuntary transfer that makes a little more sense, but behaving that way toward your new coworkers isn’t going to help anything.

      1. Annie O*

        I can’t speak for everyone else, but I think my tendency to make comparisons comes from the way I situate knowledge in my own head. My thought process might go something like,

        “Hmm, new company does XYZ, whereas I’m used to ABC. From what I know, ABC seems like a better solution. I wonder why they do XYZ? Have they tried ABC? What am I missing here?”

        I don’t think it’s a bad thought process per se, but it’s definitely not something to be said aloud as a new employee.

        1. De Minimis*

          I don’t see that the same way as the behavior of “We used to do it this way in Dallas…” that was mentioned above. I’ve indulged in that type of thing a few times, but it was usually a case where I didn’t really want to be in the new location and was more or less acting out.

          This sounds more like a genuine attempt to understand and compare workplace processes, and not really a negative behavior, but you’re probably right that it’s best to keep it to yourself when first starting a new job.

          1. Annie O*

            Yeah, I totally get what you mean about wanting to be somewhere else. In that case, “In Dallas we did…” starts to sound a lot like, “My old boyfriend used to….” Repeat this enough and you start pissing people off.

            I also think that some folks get into the excessive comparisons when they don’t have a ton of varied experience to draw on (Dallas is all they know), or they’ve been at the previous employer for a looooong time.

        2. LJL*

          Agreed, and I’ve done that myself. We as humans like to frame new information within our existing info. , so we are always going to compare. We just don’t always need to vocalize it. :-)

    2. Jen*

      Yes! I worked with someone who came from Detroit and every day it was “At Detroit, we’d do __” or “This is very different from home things are done in Detroit” – after a while just hearing the word “detroit” made me want to choke people. While it’s true that some of the things done at her previous job would have worked well in our office, not everything worked. But she refused to acknowledge we had anything worth saving.

  8. Katie the Fed*

    The worst I’ve ever seen was someone who started acting…how shall we say…overtly sexual…on her first day. I guess that goes to office culture, but we’re here to work, not hook up. We don’t flirt in the workplace.

    And I had to send a new hire home once to change clothes her first day. Clubwear = not office wear. Spangly halter tops – no. Just no.

    1. Jen*

      I once took an intern out for lunch on her first day and even said “I like to take all of the new hires in our group out for lunch so we can chat a bit more.” When we got to the restaurant she kept overtly flirting with the waiter. Like he’d say “Can I get anything else?” and she batted her eyes and said “I don’t know? CAN you? What did you have in mind?” and kept touching him. I think even he was creeped out by this.

      1. Katie the Fed*

        I don’t know where young women are getting the idea this is ok. Maybe I’m more sensitive to noticing it because I’m a woman and I want to help others professionally too, but I’ve seen it a lot.

        The one who rolled in with the skimpy halter top – oy. She didn’t even work for me – she was on someone else’s team but her manager was out and our boss asked me to do something. I first offered her a blazer of mine to wear and she didn’t take the hint, so I finally had to tell her she wasn’t dressed appropriately and needed to go home and change.


        The start of intern season on Capitol Hill is also notorious for this.

        1. some1*

          Can’t speak for all women but when I started my first office job I had the mistaken idea that being *dressed up* was more important than covering sufficiently. I also equated women’s professional wear as matronly at the time.

          1. Katie the Fed*

            Yeah and I don’t think the office wear section of the Victoria’s Secret catalogue is helping!

          2. ArtsNerd*

            I’d like to blame Ally McBeal, because it’s been forever since I’ve had an excuse to bring up Ally McBeal.

            But really, I was in the same place as some1. “This is a nice top!” I had to be told by my boss that my bra straps should not be showing at the office. And then I tried to defend them. Oy!

            1. Kelly L.*

              It’s even older than that, I think. I read some about this in Susan Faludi’s Backlash. When women started working more in the corporate world, there wasn’t really an established standard of what to wear, and then Dress for Success came along and set some guidelines for how to look professional without being either too sexy or looking “masculine.”

              Buuuuuut, then the fashion designers and retailers got upset, because women were just buying a few classic items and wearing them for years, which would be a major hit to the fashion industry. So designers and magazines started coming up with other things to wear to the office just to keep the planned obsolescence wheel turning. This year, lingerie at the office! Next year, tutus at the office! It had a lot more to do with selling clothes than with what was practical or professional to actually wear to work.

              1. Anonna Miss*

                Ahh yes. I vaguely remember that they really did try to get “lingerie at the office” as a thing at some point in the late 80s. (I think the idea was a lace-trimmed camisole under a blazer. But maybe that was just an L.A. Law episode.) I also think The Gap also attempted to sell leather pants as business casual sometime around 2000. Obviously it never took off. But young women trying to figure out what to wear to work look to the television shows about work, or the stores they shop at, or the magazines that they read for guidance… and that’s not always helpful, obviously.

              2. Cath in Canada*

                When I was a grad student, my roommate and I once wandered into the “Ladies Career Wear” section of a local department store. I worked in a lab, and she worked in the stables of the vet school, and there we were surrounded by nice expensive suits. My friend said “you can’t have a career wear section without lab coats and wellies! This is ridiculous!” a little too loudly… we got some odd looks!

            2. BadPlanning*

              Whenever I watch an episode of Project Runway (fashion design reality show competition) and the challenge includes office wear, I’m always amused/appalled by what both the designers and judges think is appropriate office wear. Maybe these things are okay/expected in a fashion related field, but would not be okay at my office. Or even if they were okay in that they covered everything appropriately, you would certainly look like an oddball. But then, I work in IT….so I’m probably fashion backwards.

              1. Stephanie*

                Nah, the office wear is always like way too tight pencil skirts and low-cut tops. It looks interesting on the models, but it’d be out of place on an average body in an average office.

                Any of their “practical” challenges are bad. PR had a workout gear challenge where none of the workout gear looked like anything you could workout in.

            3. Anon for this*

              I had to laugh, cause at my last job, the BOSS was the one with the bra straps showing on a regular basis. And I don’t mean they slipped into view occasionally, I mean she wore a summer dress that didn’t even attempt to cover up the straps – in front of a group of peers in town for a professional conference.

          3. Mallory*

            ” I also equated women’s professional wear as matronly at the time.”

            I wonder if this is what is going on with my younger admin counterpart. We have a business casual environment, and most people lean more toward the “casual” end than the “business” end. But it’s still mainly slacks and nice blouses; khakis are the most casual thing I’ve seen most people wear.

            Except this one admin who only wears tight-ish skinny jeans (with really, really casual sandals now that the weather is warmer). One of the other admins got called out awhile back about her clothes, and she wasn’t dressed as casually as this admin does (she did, however, have a bit of a problem with the fit of the clothes).

            I can’t help but think that nobody says anything to admin 1 because she is young and good-looking, but they did to admin 2 because she is heavy. It does bother me a little that, because admin 1 looks pretty good in whatever she wears, even if it isn’t quite up to the standard of “business casual”, she gets more of a free pass than anyone else would.

            1. Annie O*

              Reminds me of my previous co-worker. She was gorgeous with a great figure. That, combined with a good sense of style, meant that she could always get away with clothing that skirted the line of the dress code. The individual pieces of her outfits *were* too casual, but the all together look was always well put together.

            2. Stephanie*

              At OldJob, one of the other analysts wore pretty inappropriate things–really short skirts (but with tights), really tight dresses, really tight jeans, etc. Tight was a trend. I think she got a pass because she was very, very slender.

              I’m pretty sure if I wore her outfits (I’m heavier with a large bust and hips), someone would have said something. Not saying this to sound bitter (I had no desire to dress sexily for my coworkers…), but revealing clothing would have been way more conspicuous on my figure than hers.

              1. LAI*

                You all are making me question my outfit today! I’m wearing pretty tight black pants made of stretchy material – not leggings, which I see people do in public, but actual pants with seams. I wear pants like these probably 2-3 times per week – they’re so comfortable!! I would wear them everyday if I could. My workplace is overall pretty casual and jeans are definitely ok – do you think jeans are ok but not skinny jeans? I only own skinny jeans. I also frequently wear tights with a skirt or dress, but that’s because my legs are cold not because my skirt is short. I’m just wondering if other people think tight clothing is unprofessional even in a casual environment?

                1. Stephanie*

                  I think skinny jeans and tights are fine, assuming the skinny jeans aren’t so tight that you can see how much change is in your pockets. This particular coworker was just wearing conspicuously tight or short clothing (think really tight cocktail dresses with shoulder cutouts, skirts that barely hit the tops of her thighs paired with tights, etc). I’m guessing no one said anything (that I know of) because of an almost nonexistent dress code and her super slender frame (her waist couldn’t have been more than 22″).

                2. Mallory*

                  This admin wears faded, sometimes holey skinny jeans. We are an office that only wears jeans at all on Friday, and these skinny jeans are not even dark rinse nor is there any attempt by the admin to give even the slightest nod to what the dress code is for everyone else. Her clothes are not inappropriate as far as being too revealing; they are just so casual that one can tell she didn’t even attempt the dress code whatsoever, because she’s decided that it doesn’t suit her sense of style.

                  I guess what aggravates me about it is that I don’t really want to dress in “office-y” clothes either, but I’ve spent my good money and subordinated my personal sense of style somewhat to wear the prescribed type of clothing. Don’t get me wrong, I buy things that I like within the “office-wear” formula; I’m just not wearing what I’d necessarily choose to wear if the choice were purely personal. Admin 1 is just wearing whatever the hell she wants to wear, despite the fact that she HAS to see that she’s the only one.

                3. Kelly L.*

                  @Mallory, yeah, I wear to work what I call my “grown-up costume.” My work clothes are more boring, less flattering, and “older” than what I would wear if left completely to my own devices, but I just see it as part of the game.

                4. Mallory*

                  @Kelly L “Grown-up costume”: yep, that pretty much sums it up. Like you said, it’s a little older and less comfortable (yep, matronly, even) than what I really want to be wearing. And we have to pay to dress that way. Le sigh. :-)

        2. Just a Reader*

          Interns are typically pretty professional where I work now. At my last job…yikes. We had one take a nap under her desk, one vomit in front of the copy machine because she was hung over, lots of cleavage, calling in tired, one VERY MEMORABLE EMAIL YELLING AT EVERYONE FOR PUTTING FISH IN THE MICROWAVE, ALL CAPS AND HOT PINK COMIC SANS FONT…the list goes on.

          1. jmkenrick*

            Just curious…do you attribute this to a difference in hiring practices, or management/training once the interns are onboard?

            1. Just a Reader*

              All of the above. Plus overall culture. The culture at my current company wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior. The last company was startuppy and liked to think of itself as quirky, so people got away with absolute murder in the “professional conduct” arena.

        3. Book Lover*

          If you think interns are bad, try having an over 35 boss that wears spandex to work. Literally. All the managers are male and never say anything. Go figure.

    2. Sascha*

      This is why I like to volunteer for mock interview days at colleges. So we can catch the clubbers before they go to the real interviews. Sadly most of the people who desperately need a mock interview day don’t attend.

      1. Anon for this*

        I work in a college, and almost had a heart attack when I saw one of our students show up for an interview in a bright yellow sundress – with a very conspicuous black bra underneath. C’mon, you don’t do that by accident! I didn’t know the student and by the time I saw her, she was already with the employer.

    3. Tiff*

      I have suffered from Club Gear Gone Wrong. Someone finally told me that adding a blazer and tights does NOT make it work-ready. Especially if “it” is a low cut mini dress.

      1. Annie O*

        OMG, that reminds me of this intern who used to work here. She was so sweet (I swear!) but had no clue about appropriate workplace attire. One Friday she showed up in what she thought was a “day-to-night” dress. Sadly, it was more of “night-to-day” walk-of-shame dress, if you know what I mean.

        Anyway, myself and another employee desperately tried to loan her clothes to cover herself. In the end, she looked like she had raided the lost and found.

        Yeah, “club gear gone wrong” is the perfect way to put it.

      2. Stephanie*

        At some Dress for Success type presentation, we got a lecture about not wearing “club jeans” on Casual Friday.

        “Ok, not all jeans are appropriate for the office. If you can barely sit in them, that might be a clue…”

    4. Sanonymous*

      OK today I have nice slacks and top…. with crappy flip flops. In my defense, I hurt my foot at work and it’s still healing. Flips are the only shoes I can wear without pain!

      But it’s bad. I actually pointed to my feet to show “unprofessional” to my staff. At least I live in my office….

  9. Mike B.*

    One of our newest hires was guilty of #2 and #3 for a while before it finally sunk in that our relaxed punctuality/on-site attendance policy actually had limits (and that they were somewhat stricter for him as a new and very junior employee).

    A slightly newer hire was doing her own variation on #7 with a bit of #2: she had trouble mastering a couple of our daily tasks, and compounded that minor problem by repeatedly leaving for the day at five sharp, before those tasks had been done to our satisfaction. She eventually got the hang of it, but I still don’t understand why a brand-new (exempt) employee would think it was OK to just walk out at the end of the day when she still had work for the day that hadn’t been approved.

    1. Artemesia*

      Because lots of people really don’t know what workplace norms are and are used to having spring break and being able to sleep in and barely meet requirements for class. It comes as a shock that you have to get the job done no matter how long it takes.

      The first impressions is such a good point. I think I mangled that on my first major job because I was overwhelmed and tense and didn’t hide it very well although I was working my socks off. Later I calculatively did thing things to create the impression I wanted when started in a new division or business. The things you do the first month cement an impression that will see you through a bit of slacking later. Or at least you will build up a store of expectations that will stand you in good stead if you louse something up — because it will be unlike you or and understandable mistake by a competent person.

      It is like integrity — if you are very honest consistently, the one or two times you need to lie will be a lot easier.

      1. Mike B.*

        Very well said about the store of expectations. It can take a very long track record of professionalism and competence to erase a fairly brief initial period of less-than-stellar behavior–it’s hard to convince people that the other shoe isn’t about to drop. I’ve seen it done, but it takes maturity as well as hard work to recognize and address your own shortcomings.

    2. BadPlanning*

      Perhaps from too much work in retail where you might get yelled at for working past your scheduled time and not making the mental transition to the world of exempt/salaried?

      1. De Minimis*

        Could totally be that or else just a workplace where it’s expected that people go home at a regular time each day, regardless.

      2. Mike B.*

        That would certainly make sense, but it’s not true of either of my staffers. They both came from professional environments in other industries, one related and one not. (The first one comes from a field where punctuality is more critical than in mine, so he doesn’t even have that excuse.)

  10. FiveNine*

    #9 — I’ve had employers react almost shockingly poorly to new employees who raise the issue of a former employer AT ALL. Even if the new employee isn’t really making a comparison of the way things work. (Sometimes I think new employees are even just raising the differences as conversation as much as anything, they are new and nervous and don’t know anything but one thing they can talk confidently about is what they did used to know extremely well, etc.).

    I’ve just had two tracks of jobs all my life — one has been in a white-collar field, the other has been service-type or restaurant or call center jobs especially in my teens and as I went through college, or as supplemental income at various stages, or in between jobs. And like I said, it’s just taken me aback — I’ve seen several managers snap or cut short or just really take in the wrong way a new employee’s mention of procedures at another job. Of course this is anecdotal but it seems a trigger hot-button thing (and I can see why, I mean, the new job is your new job) so I would just advise DON’T EVEN MENTION another employer’s way of doing things when you’re being paid by a new employer who wants you to learn their way.

  11. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

    Oy, #9. In my last job, we had a new manager who CONSTANTLY did the “why do you do this/we did it this way in my last job” shtick.

    The problem? His last job was in a different country (England, while we are in New Zealand) and I work in Payroll, which is heavily guided by, you know, legislation about what we pay and how we pay it. Legislation which, surprisingly, is very different in New Zealand than how it is in England. And he was arguing over legislative issues, not process (e.g. how much we pay for different leave types).

    It was super frustrating.

    1. Tax Nerd*

      That would be super frustrating, MJ!

      I have clients from other countries that come to the U.S. and will sometimes do things like sell their house, take a large severance payment, etc. without consulting me first on how the U.S. will treat it. Then they’ll say something like “Well, it’s tax free in {home country}, so I assumed it would be here”. Only to have me tell them that no, it’s not tax free here, and now they owe a big pile of money to the U.S. government. Why on earth would they assume that this kind of legislation crosses borders??

      1. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

        I… what? Surely, if nothing else, you should understand that tax is different in different countries? Wow.

        Yeah, it probably didn’t help that he had a terrible habit of referring to New Zealand as “the colonies” – things like “I’m not sure how you do it in the colonies, but in Britain…”

        Just before I left I started interrupting with “We’re not in the UK, we’re in New Zealand” every time he started in on this theme. Probably not the most professional response, but it sure as hell made me feel better…

        1. anonintheuk*

          It happens in the UK too. I had to come down and help one of my staff who had an American client who would not be told that we could not file a joint UK tax return for him and his wife. We don’t do joint tax returns. They do not exist in UK law.

  12. Molly*

    They forgot number 10: tell your boss how to do their job correctly and make sure you run in their office at least three times a day to do so. And make sure you openly play your internet games in front of them. Always hand in your first report with food stains all over it.

  13. Jamie*

    This is great. The stuff on this list won’t only make your boss regret hiring you, but make your co-workers resent your boss for bringing you on board.

    I am amazed at how common this all is, ime.

  14. anon all the way*

    Also on the flip side of the coin, here are things to make a new employee feel unwelcome:

    1. Not have a desk/chair/proper clean equipment to work with. New employees are already nervous about starting at a new company. Having a desk or a chair to sit at, a workstation with proper and clean equipment can go a long way to making a new employee feeling comfortable.

    2. Having long-term employees start talking about their drama to a new employee on the very first day and making harassing comments about how they don’t know anything.

    3. Not showing them where basic things may be, like a closet, or the break room. Answering basic questions as a manager, such as how long are lunch breaks?

    4. Expecting them to work overtime right away, without them having any knowledge of the work ahead. Expecting them to jump right in and contribute within the first five minutes of sitting down and being properly trained.

    5. Having a trainer/mentor actually curse at them for not getting it right from the first day and having constant bickering between said teams.

    Believe it or not, these are things that happened to me. I’ve worked a long time and this is one reason I’m looking for a new job after I thought this might be my “dream job.” Had I known the problems I do now when I started, I never would have left my OldJob. Unfortunately OldJob is toxic, so I’m not going back there.

  15. Cath in Canada*

    #2: I got food poisoning bad enough to land me in hospital less than three weeks into my last job. I was off work for four days (and probably should have taken more). I was super paranoid about how it made me look, even though I managed to keep on top of most emails and came in to pick up some work to take home while I still had my hospital admission bracelet on. So much fun… but I survived, medically and reputation-wise!

  16. Clinical Social Worker*

    I make comparisons, but I do it *because* I want to learn. It probably is annoying. I want someone to explain the difference to me and help me understand. I’ll make an effort to stop doing it.

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