my old manager won’t hire someone to replace me, is my manager undermining me, and more

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

1. My old manager won’t hire someone to replace me

I have been very lucky to get a great job in a different department at my current company. Right now, I am in the transition period where I am still working in my old department and am training people to learn my job when I leave. The problem is that my old supervisor doesn’t think that he should hire someone new to do my job. I am training two existing employees, who both have full-time jobs in other departments, to do my job. I strongly feel that my old job requires a full person to do and shouldn’t be split up and pushed off onto two people who already have full-time responsibilities.

I haven’t voiced my opinion with the old supervisor because I feel it’s not my place since I am leaving. Also, my old supervisor has not asked me at all about my job duties or anything to do with the transition, so I haven’t felt like volunteering my opinion. Should I bother talking with my old supervisor about this or should I just bide my time until I am out?

That’s really your call, since your manager hasn’t even bothered to check in with you. If you would feel better saying something, then do — ask to meet with your manager to discuss the transition, update him on where your projects stand and what you’ve trained your coworkers in, and mention your concerns about the feasibility of getting everything covered by people who already have full-time jobs. And then after that let it go — you’ll have fulfilled your obligations by speaking up, and then it’s up to your manager to decide how to handle it. (It’s also possible that your manager has other plans that you don’t know about, such as pulling back on some of the work or eliminating large chunks of the role, or of hiring someone down the road. It’s also possible that he doesn’t, of course — but again, your obligation ends once you’ve pointed out the concern.)

2. Is my manager undermining me?

I am the youngest VP in my group and one of five reporting to a single manager. I have been at the company for 4 years. In the past year, I’ve had 4 different bosses. The most recent is permanent and started five months ago. Five months before he joined, I got my first chance at managing when two new associates were assigned to me.

I have taken my responsibilities as a manager very seriously and did my homework before they joined, so I was prepared. It has been an incredible learning experience, and I think I have grown as a professional successfully. My team has been very strong since the beginning. We’ve been responsible for large projects which my reports have been directly involved in. Essentially, I think I do a great job managing them.

My new boss has recently started giving them independent high-profile projects. In both cases he “asked” if I was ok with him assigning them and agrees I should be optional on calls for the topics, but it is a red, or at least yellow, flag to me. I generally have pretty good business intuition so I don’t think I am being paranoid. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m 27 or the only woman reporting to him, but he hasn’t done it to others and I feel that this is a bad sign and going to undermine my ability to manage my team successfully, or at least undermine their respect for my authority (which I’m cautious with anyway being the same age). I don’t want to seem alarmist, and since there’s nothing REALLY crossing the line, I don’t feel comfortable bringing it up with him directly. Any advice what he may be doing and how I can regain control?

Well, there’s nothing inherently wrong with your manager talking directly to your staff members about work, as long as you’re basically in the loop about it. It doesn’t always make sense to have the person in your shoes be the middleman; sometimes it makes more sense to do what he’s doing. Or, other times, yes, it could be problematic. I don’t know which is it is here, but why not ask him about it? You could say something like, “I wanted to ask you about the projects you’re assigning to Jane and Bob directly. Do you have concerns about having me manage them directly on those, or is there anything else you want me to be doing differently? I wasn’t sure if that indicated any concerns about my management of them.”

Also, keep in mind that unless you are different from every other manager ever to walk the earth, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re doing a “great” job managing yet — you’re five months in, and it usually takes people years to get good at managing. The first year or two is usually pretty iffy. That doesn’t mean you’re a disaster or that it has anything to do what what’s going on with your boss — but be very aware that this isn’t something you’re going to master in five months. Most of us are still working on it, even many years in. I’m not saying this to nitpick, but because (a) you’ll do a better job if you’re aware of this, and (b) it’s worth getting feedback from your boss on what you could be doing better, both in the context of your concern here and more broadly.

3. Do I have to be paid when I’m on-call?

At my place of employment, each person in Customer Service is required to carry an emergency phone. Between 7pm and 7am M-F and on weekends during off season, any calls go to voicemail, where our customers are advised that if they leave a message they will be charged $100. If a message is left, we call them back and place their order.

During peak season on Sundays between 10am – 3pm, we are required to be dedicated to the phone and answer it when it rings just as we do on Saturdays. However on Saturdays we are in the office and get paid for the five hours of work. The only difference between the two days is one is at work and the other at home.

Can my employer not pay me for the five hours I have to be dedicated to the phone and computer on Sunday? There reasoning for not paying an hourly wage is that you may not even get a call. My answer to that is, if I was in the office and I don’t get a call, I still get paid.

Yes, they can do this, because of the difference between “waiting to be engaged” time and “engaged to wait” time. When you’re in the office, you’re “engaged to wait,” meaning that you’re required to stay at your workplace and can’t use your time freely. When you’re at home on Sundays, you’re “waiting to be engaged,” meaning that you can use your time relatively freely and are off-duty (until a call comes in, at which point you’re engaged and need to be paid for the time spent on the call).

4. I’m being penalized for things I have no control over

I work for a very large repair service. They provide my van, and they stock it with repair parts that they decide I should have. If I do not have a specific part on my van that is needed to complete a “first time solution” and have to order the part, and then return a week or so later to complete the job, I am penalized with this as “not providing the customer with a first time solution (FTS).” This is a rated score in my annual performance review. All these parts that I ordered to complete the task lower my performance score. There is also a statement attached with this performance score that if I do not reach and maintain a FTS of at least 75-80%, I will be disciplined, including possible termination, if I do not correct the poor performance score.

I feel that this is not ethical or legal that I am graded on a task that I have no control of. I was denied a pay raise only because of this one low score and may even get fired for it in the future.

While this is certainly unfair and ridiculous, it’s not illegal. Employers are allowed to have unfair rules and set you up to fail as much as they want. But I’d ask your employer specifically how they want you to provide “first time solutions” in cases where they haven’t chosen to stock the needed repair parts on your van. And if their answer isn’t helpful, I’d consider whether you’d rather work somewhere that doesn’t penalize you for weird things entirely outside your control.

5. Should I mention I don’t have kids or pets when applying for a job that requires a lot of travel?

I’m applying for a job at a large investment firm that requires a lot of travel. The job description estimates that 50-75% of the time, the person in this position will be on the road visiting various branches. Is it a good idea to mention in my cover letter that I’m not married and don’t have kids or pets to illustrate that I don’t have responsibilities at home that would prevent me from traveling regularly? I’m sure this job will have a lot of applicants so I’m considering every angle to make myself a more attractive candidate.

No, don’t mention that; mentions of kids and marital status make too many employers uncomfortable, since they’re not supposed to take it into account in the hiring process. However, you can certainly mention that you don’t have any commitments that would prevent you from traveling 75% of the time, and that in fact you’re excited about being on the road that much.

{ 152 comments… read them below }

  1. Chrl268*

    Hi Alison, I noticed in #1 that the supervisor is referred to as both he and her by you in your reply, I don’t know if thats something you want to fix up, I thought your stance was to call them “she” unless specified because your female. The OP refers to the supervisor as he in her letter though. Your section with her in it is: “update her on where your projects stand and what you’ve trained your coworkers in”

  2. Hunny*

    Many of the details in OP #2’s letter make me feel that she is very focused on the appearance of authority and set on proving herself. I have a friend who speaks similarly about her own role–she never wants to look “weak” or like she’s not 100% on top of things, and sometimes gets unnecessarily nervous when there’s something she has been asked to improve or that she doesn’t understand.

    1. Eva*

      I also got the vibe from OP #2 that she might be setting an unnecessarily high bar for herself which will make it harder for her to accept and digest the negative feedback that is her due without getting defensive. As Alison says, no new manager is doing such a great job that there is no room for improvement whatsoever, but if the OP thinks that it’s possible and she is giving out the vibe that she expects perfection from herself as a manager, and particularly if she gives others the impression that she will be upset over constructive criticism, they (particularly her associates) may be less inclined to give her the feedback she needs and as a result they may grow resentful and think of her as less-than-great. I hope the OP will take Alison’s advice to heart and revise her assumption that she is doing great only five months in and instead assume that there are things she is not mastering yet which she is currently oblivious to and that it is her task to be open to input about what those things might be and to work on improving in those areas. That way I’m sure that with her dedication she will *become* a great manager eventually.

      1. OP*

        Thank you Allison for the reply. I appreciate all the feedback and think I will take your advice (and wording suggestions – appreciate the tangible example!) and discuss with my manager directly.

        I WOULD like to make a correction that I have been managing them for a year. MY new manager started 5 months ago. Sometimes the details can get lost in too much detail ha.

        In response to this chain, you both are correct in your assumption that I am concerned about giving the perception that I am weak or not authoritative. I think this is a feeling many young women get in the workplace, and while I do appreciate the feedback, I think it would be a mistake not to be self-aware of how important that perception is. Especially as a young woman in finance, but for ANYONE, perception by your management, peers, and direct reports should not be understated. Certainly in my industry, but I would think it is the same for many other industries as well. Reputation, respect, and trust – which to earn requires you to PROVE yourself – is essential for career progression and I do think it is important to recognize and not undercut that value. So for any others reading this – it is generally good for your career to try to be 100% on top of things :)

  3. Eric*

    #3 On-call
    I think the answer to this depends a lot on facts that we don’t have. The engaged to be waiting vs waiting to be engaged distinction is a highly factual one. If the employee is required to be so available that they answer the phone without it going to voice mail, there is a good chance this will count as hours worked (how often people call is also relevant).
    The department of labor indicates that if the restrictions are so severe that they cannot mow the lawn or go to the movies, they likely would have to be compensated.

    1. Jerry Vandesic*

      I agree with Eric. Someone with a bit more knowledge of labor law needs to look at the details of this one.

    2. Transformer*

      Quick Question OP: you asked about on call time and said that you do not get an hourly rate. Do you get a stipend for being on call? Do you get paid if you do get a call? If yes, what is the duration of time that you get paid for?

      1. OP*

        The information we were given in a formal email about compensation only stated we would be given a gift card. Another associate said she thought we would get paid per call. I will have to look more into this.

        1. Bea W*

          A gift card for being on call? It’s a nice incentive to get people to volunteer to be on call, but you still need to be paid for time you actually work answering calls. Definitely get this clarified. Being on call is common amongst my IT friends. They don’t get paid to carry the phone around with them on off hours but they do get paid for time worked.

          1. Bea W*

            Except people on salary, that is. It’s just part of the job, but even they usually get comp time.

            1. Windchime*

              I wish. I’ve been in IT for 14 years and being on call has been part of that for most of the those years. Our call rotations last for a week and there is never any pay for it. One might get zero calls or 10 calls (all after hours and on weekends). There are duties such as logging in and checking the status of jobs. No comp time, no extra pay. They tell us that is built into our salary structure. I have a good team and my rotation only comes around once every 8-10 weeks, so it’s not a big deal.

                1. bea W*

                  That sucks! My IT friends must all work for either more sympathetic managers or companies with large amount of resources to be able to at least offer some comp time. Rotations seem to be one week every 4-6 weeks, and if anything comes up that is truly ridiculous, there is usually some comp time involved for salaried folks, not official, but the good managers, who can spare the time, seem to be sympathetic to the poor sap who was up all night fixing someone else’s problem. Overall I’ve gotten the impression that it sucks to be called at 2 AM and have to work, but at least they feel decently compensated for it. No one I know on call has to actually log in and check anything either. It’s strictly been “No news is good news.” They just carry company phones on them and go about their business until someone calls.

                  The people I know are all pretty high up the support ladder. So things have to be pretty badly broken before they get a call. Maybe that makes a difference.

              1. BeenThere*

                Ugh, I guess I’m lucky, while we I never got comped for the time spent dealing with issues while one call I did get a an call allowance of $50 a night. I was on rotation once every four weeks.

                1. Matthew Soffen*

                  I to did support.. Because we essentially were “tethered” into a small area (We had to be able to respond/get to work) with-in a certain amount of time, We received compensation for having to have our lives on hold when on-call.

                  We also received 1 hour pay if we were able to resolve a problem from home (vs. 3 hours minimum if we had to go intto work to fix it). In theory if you had 10 issues, and had to go to work 10 times, you would get 30 hours of pay (unless it was the same issue over and over).

          2. OP*

            Bea, the gift card is actually not an incentive, we are all required to have the emergency phone and cannot give it away. It does not even matter what your life situation at home is, no one can get out of having the phone.

            We had a girl that was in church when the director tested to see if the girl would pick it up, 10-3 on Sunday. The phone did not ring in the church and she got in trouble. They even knew the phone had issues with not ringing in places.

            We have a new phone now but not until several people got in trouble.

            1. Chinook*

              Hold it – your coworker got in trouble for not answering the phone during religious services? If she picked up the voicemail the moment she was available, how is that legal? After all, don’t the rules require an employer to make reasonable religious accomodations? Coming from a Canadian perspective, where religious accomodation is part of our Charter of Rights and more than likely influenced on the American Bill of Rights (since ours was only signedd in 1980), my gut reaction would be that your employer crossed a line, especially since you are not being paid to make yourself available for work.

        2. AMT*

          Wow, that’s not okay. You can’t pay people in gift cards! They are legally required to pay you for the time you spend on the call. Let us know what you find out.

          1. AMT*

            Addendum: This totally reminds me of that factory in “A Series of Unfortunate Events” in which the employees were paid in coupons.

          2. Celeste*

            That seems super shady to pay somebody in gift cards. Gifts are given; salary is earned. Besides, this is like telling you how you have to spend your paycheck.

        3. OP*

          Just found out that the gift card is soley for carrying the emergency phone and as far as having to be available on Sundays I was told that if I got a call from the dealer and out in OVER an hour of time I would be paid for the time worked.

          That is still not right. I cannot go anywhere or do anything that could cause me to miss a phone call from 10am to 3pm as the 800 customer service number rolls over to the emergency phone just like we are open for regular business. I feel I should be paid for the five hours I gave to this company.

          1. Chinook*

            OP on call, I have to agree with you – it isn’t right. If I am expected to have a call turn around time of an hour, then I can’t go to the movies, go grocery shopping or go to church. It would limit me to hanging around the house, doing tasks that aren’t noisy and can be interuppted. That is most definitely not a day off.

          2. KellyK*

            Legally, you should. I don’t know enough about the legal aspects to know if your on-call time meets the DOL’s definition of “engaged to wait” (though as restrictive as it is, I would think it would), but just not paying you for actual time worked that isn’t over an hour is very blatantly illegal. (Unless you’re exempt.)

    3. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Hmmm, that’s true. I read it originally as “if someone calls, we have to take care of it,” but actually the OP sounds like they’re expected to wait by the phone. That could indeed be a different situation.

      1. OP*

        Our customer service department is open from 10-3 on Sundays just like the are on Saturdays. When a customer calls our 800 # the line would roll over to the emergency phone where we answer as if we are in the office. There is only one person dedicated to this phone so you cannot really do or go anywhere since you need to be online to enter an order, call in the needed staff to pick and ship the order or wait for the customer to pick up their purchase.

      2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        Yeah, Alison, I think this is different.

        If you have a repair person who is going to make $100 on a service call (say), and she is carrying the emergency phone around doing her weekend business, gets the phone call, makes the service call and makes the $100 — that makes sense as “waiting to be engaged”.

        I think that this situation is not the same thing.

        #alsonotalawyer

      3. Eliza RC*

        Also, depending on what activities are normal actives for that time and day on their “off day” what if they would normally spend Sunday afternoons at church, or surfing, or visiting their parent in a nursing home… an employer requiring them to sit by a phone would radically impair a person’s ability to live a normal life. If they were getting paid, well… some people might choose the sacrifice. But to force someone to give up family, church, whatever and NOT get paid? It may be legal but it’s still bloody awful.

      4. AMT*

        Although your answer is probably right in the majority of situations, there are definitely circumstances in which an employee would be required to be compensated for being on-call even if there were no calls. Usually, it depends on how much control the employer has over the employees while they’re on-call. This is also one of those things that varies state-by-state, so I think the OP needs to look up the relevant laws and have a talk with his/her boss (and possibly the state labor department) if it’s not being handled correctly.

    4. OP*

      The number of calls can vary depending on the time of the year. Since there is only one person taking the call you really have no choice but to keep the phone with you at all times and have internet access to place orders. We have been given an ipad to take with us if we need to go anywhere but no real keyboard which makes entering an order very difficult. Those of us with Laptops just bring them home and connect to our personal networks to take orders but again, that restricts us from doing our normal routine.

      I do want to make this clear that I have no problem with being on the Weekend and Emergency Service I just want it to be fair for everyone. We all give so much to our job and a lot of us give more than we should so we just want to make sure we are not taken advantage of.

      1. OP*

        Also, between 10-3 on Sunday, you would not be able to do things like go to the movies or mow your lawn because you might miss a call. If you miss a call that would defeat the purpose of having someone available and you would get in trouble.

      2. The Cosmic Avenger*

        I agree with Eric that this sounds more like you are engaged to be waiting than waiting to be engaged. It’s probably worth consulting a labor lawyer or the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division to see what they think.

        Also, if you’re working for a company that treats you this poorly you may not be willing or able to spend your own money on this, but I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for $20 for my iPad, and typing is SO much faster and easier. Maybe you and the other on-call people can split the cost and share one, or all ask the company to provide them, since they’ve already purchased iPads? If you find you have to enter orders on the iPad frequently, I think it would be worth it.

    5. Elysian*

      I agree, this is a really fact-based question and it’s hard to get all the facts through a blog. I see the OP has responded below, but really if the OP is concerned, she should find a labor/employment lawyer who can sort out these things.

      Most people think that their on call time is the most onerous ever, but it really does depend on a lot of things (formal restrictions, requirements on response time, number of calls, etc, etc) and so I think the better answer here might be “It depends.”

      Though I’m a little concerned that the OP thinks she’s getting paid in gift cards. She doesn’t sound like an exempt employee and getting paid in gift cards is pretty clearly inappropriate, which makes me think that the on-call time stuff may be shady as well.

      1. OP*

        The associates who have the phone, just as I am, are paid an hourly wage and the gift card is the companies way of compensating us for the inconvenience.

        It has crossed my mind to find a labor/employment lawyer to look over this but wanted to check here first as it already makes me feel like I am the one doing something wrong because I do not believe my employer.

        1. Elysian*

          But when you actually take calls during the on-call time, are you paid your hourly wage? Is there a way to report “I was on the phone for 3 hours” and then they pay you for 3 hours?

          1. OP*

            No, we are not paid. I have not been asked to track any calls or length of time on that call at all at all. The only compensation my boss advised was a gift card. That is backed up by an email she sent to our team with absolutely no mention of being paid per call or to track our time. Another girl thought we were supposed to be paid per call but there is no documentation of that. I will ask about that today.

            1. Elysian*

              That’s illegal. You need to be paid (in cash or a cash equivalent, like a check) for the time that you work. And it makes me think that perhaps your on-call system is also illegal, but you’d need to consult an attorney to find out for sure.

              1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

                What about Cheese Puffs?

                Can you pay people in Cheese Puffs?

                This would solve a lot of my budget challenges.

                1. Elysian*

                  Would it really solve your budget challenges? You must be getting the discount store-brand cheese puffs.

                2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

                  White bag.
                  Black lettering.

                  CHEESE FLAVORED PUFFS

                  * compare to Cheesey Poofs

              2. Schnauz*

                Op is saying gift card, but could mean a visa gift card that is a cash equivalent. I read recently that some businesses, like McDonald’s, are doing this. I assume they offer this option for employees who do not have a checking account, but the articles were about how the myriad fees those cards charge were effectively bringing worker’s pay below minimum wage.

                So, Op, is it a cash type gift card or a gift card to a particular retailer or restaurant?

                1. Elysian*

                  McDonalds was sued for doing this, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says you can’t force employees to accept gift cards as payment. Those cards carry fees if you don’t use them soon enough, or if you try to make a cash withdrawal, etc. They’re not a cash equivalent.

              3. AMT*

                Your employer seems really flaky. How did they not make it clear how much you’re getting paid?!

                1. OP*

                  They only mentioned the gift card this year and when ot was brought to to their attention they said it was legal.

            2. Bea W*

              Definitely clarify. If you are paid hourly, you need to track that time and be paid for it. Pretty sure anything other than that is illegal, but I’m not a lawyer.

              1. OP*

                I am now asking for a formal document of our responsibilities on the emergency phone and extended service to include how we are to be paid. It appears our management team is not on the same page as each person has their own version and even a different version was given to HR.

                1. Loose Seal*

                  Also find out if they withholding taxes from the gift card. If they actually are allowed to pay you for 5 hours worked on the weekend on a gift card (which I doubt), then payroll taxes need to come out of it.

    6. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      You think I can get away with this?

      We’re trying to figure out how to staff weekend phones now (B to B but people do work 24/7 nowadays so we’d like to offer more coverage). We’ve bought the phone system and the remote phone equipment but are stuck at budgeting the people expense and the logistics of removing people from M – F in order to staff S/S.

      Not once did it occur to me not to pay them, or to only pay them for their stopwatch time on the phone, or to pay in gift cards.

      FFS. It was so obvious.

    7. OP*

      After looking at Waiting to be Engaged or Engaged to Wait examples online the time spent between 10-3 on Sunday is clearly Waiting to be Engaged and the time spent form 7pm to 7am is Engaged to Wait. If needed, I will present this information to my employer. The HR department is looking into this so I want to give them the chance to determine this on their own. Fingers crossed and I will post how this turns our.

    8. OP*

      Well, HR will not acknowledge the time between 10-3 on a Sunday as work time. They stated that if we are in a movie when the phone rings we answer it like we should and tell the customer to hold until we can get up, leave the theater, find internet access, log on and place the order. They believe there is internet access everywhere so this should not be a problem.

      I used other examples as well and all they had were excuses after excuses.

      We did finally end up with saying that if the call goes to voice mail just call the customer right back. However, they refuse to document this or let anyone else know because it might get abused.

      Seriously?

  4. Stephanie*

    #5

    This reminds me of the advice I got once about relocating: “Oh, just say you have no issues relocating since you’re living with your parents.” Er, ok. Yes, true, but slightly TMI and doesn’t exactly make me sound like a with-it adult.

    Same idea applies here. Just confidently say you’re ok with the amount of travel and excited about the site visit aspects of the role.

    1. Arbynka*

      Yep. And while certain life circumstances can make it easier for some work situations, it is not really about those circumstances, it is about how you deal with them. I have three kids and five pets and I travel (mostly internationally) quite a bit with no problems because I have created a background that allows for it. Had a colleague once with no kids and no pets who had to be removed from travel responsibilities because he could not make it work. He missed flights, missed meetings… It is how you make it work.

  5. On My Phone*

    $100 if they leave a voice mail? What industry are you in and is the ordering process time consuming?

    1. OP*

      The $100 charge is between only for when the office is closed. For Sunday between 10-3 there is no additional charge as our office is open.

      1. Judy*

        The travel agency we use for work is that way. After hours calls (after 9pm, or before 7am, and outside smaller windows on Saturday and Sunday) have a message to call back during business hours, or pay $X fee if you press 1 to be connected to someone.

      2. A Bug!*

        Is the office physically open in terms of having people actually there? Or is it just “open” in terms of you guys answering the phone from home?

        If it’s the former, whoever works Sundays should be trained to take these sporadic calls.

        1. OP*

          The office is not physically open but our phone line is just like M-F so there is no difference to tje customer. If an order is placed then we have to call somone in from the warehouse to pick and ship the order. They are all salary.

    2. Bea W*

      I bet the fee is meant to be more of a deterrent than anything, otherwise you’d have people calling at all hours expecting service even when you are closed.

  6. quix*

    #4

    Either you’re a job where they want to burn through employees before they get comfortable, or there’s a between-the-lines deal you’re missing. If there are people who’ve been there longer than you without being fired for dings on their performance, watch them and figure out the tricks.

    Maybe they manage to squirrel away a stock of parts on their truck they use to complete jobs in one go. Maybe they stick a patch job on it and call it done so someone else gets stuck with the problem when it happens again. Maybe they tell the client it’s unfixable and sell them a new appliance.

    Generally if following the policy as written means you’re going to get punished/fired, it either means the company is aiming to get rid of some employees or wants you to do something it won’t admit in policy and wants to be able to fire you for if it ever bites you in the butt.

    1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      That was my feeling, that there is a game in the works where the most successful repair guys have a deal with their buddies in the warehouse to have extras stocked on their trucks, etc.

      And pretty much everything else you said.

      If the OP can’t get a straight answer from management, he might get a straight answer from a long term repair person about how the reindeer games work.

    2. LBK*

      Yeah, this definitely sounds shady. Presumably the entire workforce isn’t in danger of being fired for this, so there’s some system that OP isn’t aware of, whether official or unofficial. Might be worth asking around to see how other people manage to get their van stocked appropriately.

    3. Ann Furthermore*

      Yep, I agree. If there are co-workers who have been there for awhile, they’ve figured out a way around the idiotic rules. Now the trick for the OP is to figure out what those are.

    4. Elizabeth West*

      It’s a ridiculous policy, IMO. I wouldn’t do the patch job and unfixable tricks; those sound unethical. I would be sneaking the parts I need onto the truck while I’m looking for another job, however!

    5. Scott M*

      Yeah, I agree too. Somehow, other employees are probably getting around this problem. In fact, management may not even be aware it IS a problem because it’s hidden by the ‘workaround’ that the other employees have figured out. Talk to everyone else and figure out what they do.

    6. annie*

      I just wanted to say I feel for the OP. I have had problems with my home phone/internet as well as cable, repeatedly, and after finally just getting to know the repair guy for my area, it seems this type of attitude is extremely common from the corporations. The good employees do indeed hoard/hide parts to fix issues. The bad employees do indeed put a temporary band aid on the problem and let someone else deal with it down the road. It’s really a shame because these are good jobs for workers who did not go to college, and it seems like a lot of these guys are just set up to fail.

  7. Artemesia*

    For the first OP, the red flag I see is that once you are full time in the new position you are vulnerable to being pulled back in constantly to deal with unmet needs in the old position since they haven’t hired someone. AND because it is the same company, it might be the case that you would be required to ‘help out’ indefinitely in addition to your new role. I would be pre-emptive about this. Sit down and discuss with your new boss that you are concerned about the failure to staff up and your concern that it not interfere with what the new boss is going to need you to be doing. (and presumably you have some training that needs done to bring you up to speed on the new job.)

    1. Ann Furthermore*

      I agree. I hired someone once who had been temping in another department for almost a year. I had a permanent position open iny group, so she applied and I hired her.

      I worked out a transition plan with the manager of the old group, but neither he nor his staff respected it. They all kept coming to my employee for help with “just a quick question” or “just five minutes” well after the transition period should have ended.

      I had a talk with the other manager and told him my employee would need to focus on her work first, and would only be able to help his team as time permitted. He was pissed, and grumbled about how we were all supposed to be a team, and that his people really weren’t imposing that much, but I stood firm and the situation did improve.

      1. Chinook*

        I was there person who changed positions but still ended up getting pulled into the old one because the agency we were using kept sending people who couldn’t handle being a receptionist (ex: one of them was not fluent in English for a job that averaged 80 phone calls a day). It was frustrating for both positions and made it very difficult for me to focus on my new position and I truly didn’t become successful until someone competent was found.

        1. Ann Furthermore*

          It’s so frustrating when this happens. Of course, you want to be helpful and not tell your old manager/co-workers, “Tough — not my job anymore!” but then so often you end up getting taken advantage of.

          That’s why I think telling the new manager what’s going on is a good idea, so he/she knows about it. If the OP didn’t say anything, and then struggled to keep up with the responsibilities of the new job, then the manager might think the OP is not a good fit for the new role.

      2. BW*

        Good for you for standing up for your employee to the other manager. I suspect that that manager and OP’s manager were probably thinking, “now why do I need a new hire when she’s still going to be in the company? “

  8. Char*

    I have a relatively encounter with #1. A colleague left and there’s only one staff under the manager and the only staff had to take over the responsibilities (originally the work of two people – specialist level). Till now they didn’t hire anyone due to budget issues. So one possible concerns of not hiring someone to replace you might be budget concern.

    1. Jen*

      That’s what I thought. The economy isn’t at 100% yet for a lot of businesses. They could very much want to replace you but can’t. We had someone leave in December and I know we didn’t replace her because of budget.

    2. Jennifer*

      Yeah, virtually nobody gets replaced any more and god knows they aren’t fast about it even when they know they have to do it. My office frequently just doesn’t hire someone (they figure it saves people from being laid off) and shift the load around just like this. They have to learn the hard way for six months that they have to rehire.

    3. Bea W*

      There’s been a lot of that at my work recently. We’ve lost a manager, whom we have been unable to replace. We also lost another perm worker, whom we replaced but with a temp since there was a hiring freeze, and we weren’t allowed to hire any m0re regular employees. It’s so bad, there are now only 2 regulars left plus the Big Boss, and now the temps out number us. There is no lack of work, just lack of people who have the power to allow us to hire again getting that replying alomost exclusively on temp resources doesn’t cut it in this department. :(

      1. Char*

        At least your company has temp staff. My company doesn’t. It’s a large corporation but the manager of my division just kept saying there’s no head count. My manager is hiring an intern (cheaper wage) to help out the colleague I mentioned. But there are other people who left and didn’t get replaced and people are so unhappy about it since it means more work for them. I think not hiring also avoid the need to fire them during bad times (which would portray the company badly). But I guess people just gonna leave, no matter how great a company is, if they don’t feel valued.

        1. Bea W*

          I feel your pain. We’re lucky we’ve been able to at least get sign off on temps. Otherwise it would be 3 people doing the work of 8. Relying on temps get to be a problem because the work is highly specialized and not short term. It’s near impossible to find people in that pool who are not just willing but also able to do the job. Someone in management did suggest interns, but there’s no way we could manage that on our timelines right now. It’s hard enough getting experienced workers up to speed on our projects. They are not only complex but unique for this industry. It’s a pretty steep learning curve.

          I’d actually love to have an intern in here. That’s really how I found my niche, having to do an internship to graduate, and picking an areas I had no experience in (and assumed I wouldn’t like, but I wanted a different experience). There is so much someone could learn here, and it’s a job you really learn by working in the role. It’s not like you can get a degree in Teapot Making anywhere, and I can’t imagine classroom experience would prepare people for Teapot Making in the real world.

          1. Artemesia*

            This is a classic example of the fact that ‘internships’ which were once a great way for undergrads to get experience are now ways businesses cheat on paying labor. I would love to see strict internship regulations that would deny the ability to substitute intern slave labor for a paid position.

            When you couple the fact that often only well connected rich kids get the most desirable internships and can afford to take them and they often spin out long after graduation, it is clear that these are no longer part of education and now part of building in privilege and avoiding paying workers.

    4. Jen RO*

      My former company has a policy that they only hire juniors (P1), regardless of the position of the person being replaced. It doesn’t make much sense… (At least some managers realize it is a bad idea, so my ex-boss is creating a senior position for me to return to. Guess what, the 3 juniors they just hired need someone experienced to help them!)

  9. Vice President of the Universe*

    Is it just me, or is the wide application of the title “Vice President” (#2) getting a little out of control? I work adjacent to an industry that applies the title to just about anyone who is a year or two out of college. And then there are layers of Assistant VPs, Associate VPs and Senior VPs (and yet I’ve never met an actual “President”). LW says she manages two people and has done so for five months. That doesn’t seem very Vice-Presidential to me. As an outsider, I would expect a VP of a company to be one of the top 5 individuals in the firm… not one of many rising managers.

    This isn’t intended as any sort of slight to the LW (who yes, should wait a few years before she starts advertising that she is a good manager. It’s easy to be a good manager when nothing goes wrong. You don’t really earn the title until you prove you’re just as good when things go awry–and even then…)

    The VP title thing is just a personal button-pusher for me, and I wonder if it strikes anyone else the same.

    1. LBK*

      Yep, it bothers me, too. It often has absolutely nothing to do with seniority or authority, it’s just a pay grade title. I also agree that I find it very weird that OP would be a VP with only 5 months of managing anyone. How do you end up being a VP without being some kind of manager first? Unless this is a tiny company where there isn’t anything between individual contributer and VP?

      1. CAA*

        She has 10 months of management experience (5 before the new boss arrived and 5 since he arrived).

        The title inflation is pretty common in start-ups and consulting firms. Every time I’ve been through an acquisition that involved a start-up, there’s been a “title adjustment” for the acquired company within a year and all the Directors get retitled Manager, VPs get retitled Director, etc. In consulting and other client-facing roles, it’s to make the client feel important — we get a VP assigned to our account.

        1. Piper*

          Yeah, in advertising and in startups this type of title inflation is super common. No offense to the OP whatsoever, but a 27 year old VP with only a few months of management experience isn’t what most of the world considers a VP. This simply sounds like a manager job, which is fine and the person’s problem still stands, however, I think some of what was mentioned upstream about realizing that even though you have a VP title, you simply don’t have the VP experience, so understanding that you’re new to management and being open to constructive criticism will be key to success here.

          But title inflation drives me batty as well.

        2. Joey*

          I wonder if they ever catch on. I’d feel sort of bamboozled if I found out. It reminds me when I saw someone yell at a young sales associate at the mall “get me your manager.” The sales associate literally spun around and with a sarcastic smile said “you’re speaking to the manager.” The look on both of their faces was hilarious.

        3. OP*

          Yes, thank you CAA for noticing that detail, it’s been about a year at this point.

          For others since there seems to be a lot of interest on the topic… I work in finance, at a very large firm, and VP is officer level. It does not have to do with being THE vice president of the company, it’s a title. The tragectory is Analyst, Associate, Manager (which does not nec. mean managing people, more in terms of projects), Assistant Vice President, Vice President, Executive Director, Managing Director, and then of course top management. So there is still a long way to go! I was just trying to give context to my position within the group. But this structure is pretty much standard across the board in finance.

    2. Anonymous Analyst*

      When I worked in advertising, the VP title was very common because so many clients stipulated that their account be handled by someone at the VP-level.

        1. MmeMarie*

          At the banking institution I work for, VP means you also then have “officer” status and signing authority on behalf of the bank. They don’t hand those around unless they needed to to act as an officer in your role.

      1. LBK*

        That is so obnoxious and, frankly, stupid. A true VP shouldn’t have the time to be a day-to-day contact for a client and probably shouldn’t have the knowledge, either. I wouldn’t expect any of our VPs to be as familiar with all the systems required to service a client as I am – in fact I’d kind of be annoyed because that seems like a waste of their time.

        This reminds me of when I worked in retail as a phone operator and people would refuse to speak to anyone but a manager…only to ask if a certain product was in stock. At which point the manager would say I have no clue, but let me transfer you back to the person you just spoke to and they can look it up.

        1. Stephanie*

          Ugh, retail. I remember customers would get upset when I told them the coupon didn’t work on their purchase. Then they would demand to see a manager…who would come and tell them the exact same thing.

          1. BeenThere*

            When I worked in a retail department store a few off us owned matching suit jackets for our pants we wore in store. Sometime when customers asked for manager we grab a co-worker from the back and had them throw on the suit jacket. Then repeat the same thing to our customer. It was very effective.

            1. The Cosmic Avenger*

              At my very first consulting job there were only two of us answering the phones and one director. The other staff member was there when I got there, so she was the senior person. Whenever anyone asked for a supervisor, I put her on. When someone asked her for a supervisor…she put me on.

              (It helped that we got along very well, and we also shared an office, so we could easily predict when this was coming by overhearing the one side of the call.)

          2. Pennalynn Lott*

            I agree with your “Ugh, retail” sentiment, but for the opposite reason. A customer would get upset because a promotion had ended or they had a coupon for a different (but similar) product and so it wouldn’t work on their purchase. They would demand to see a manager…who would come and and give them the discount anyway — thereby completely negating my (little) authority and encouraging customers everywhere to disregard the sales associate and ask to speak to a manager.

            It got to a point whereupon seeing an expired/useless coupon, I would immediately offer to call a manager for them. (“Oh, look, your coupon is expired; let me call a manager to see if s/he will let you use it anyway.”)

            1. Stephanie*

              I hated that, too! It just made you feel powerless and encouraged bad customer behavior.

          3. Artemesia*

            One reason customers do this is that MANY businesses will reward obnoxious behavior by customers but not reward polite behavior when there is a problem. Some computerized telephone systems will give you a real person to talk to if you swear into the phone at the mechanical system; others have policies of only compensating people who are extremely aggressive about demanding it — so that polite people get brushed off and those who throw a tantrum get free stuff, or just compensation for damages.

    3. Pip*

      I hear you! I’m a translator from English to Swedish, and I run into this VP inflation thing all the time. You’ll see amazing titles like “VP of Chocolate Teapot Quality Assessment EMEA” in press releases and translate it into something that reflects the actual position and duties, like “head of …” or “manager of …”.
      And then the client changes it back into the English title in the Swedish text, because “somebody” didn’t like how the title looked like in proper Swedish.

      1. Ann Furthermore*

        I have a completely unrelated question for you, regarding Swedish. Is the f-bomb a common adjective in Swedish? I’ve been back and forth to Sweden quite a few times in the last year, and I was just there last week. At the airport I started chatting with a Swedish couple, and they started talking to me in Swedish. I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Swedish,” and they started speaking in English.

        When I said I was from the US, the guy said that was f-ing awesome. Then asked what the f I was doing in Sweden. I said I was there for work, and gave him a high-level description of my company, which he said was f-ing cool. Then I asked if they were off on vacation and they said no, they were moving to Spain on the spur of the moment. They were hoping to find f-ing jobs, had sold all their f-ing stuff, and had been at the airport all night because they’d sold their f-ing car the day before and were only able to get a ride last night.

        It was hilarious. They were quite nice, but it was seriously an f-bomb every 4th or 5th word. So then I wondered if it’s a common adjective in Swedish, or if it’s not considered a curse word.

        1. Jen RO*

          No idea about Swedish, but I’ve heard this comment related to other ESL speakers. I’ve had to tone down my f-words too – to me, as ESL, it doesn’t sound so harsh as (I guess) it does to native speakers, so I do tend to use it more than I would use curse words in Romanian (then again, I do swear a lot in general :P).

          1. Ann Furthermore*

            It’s not that it sounds so harsh, but at least in the US, you don’t normally speak that way with someone you don’t know, or in a formal/professional setting. Usually, you try to get an overall feel for someone to determine if they’re offended by cursing or not. Then, you can let the f-bombs fly! Hee.

            1. Pip*

              Exactly. Using different styles of speaking and degrees of formality in different social situations is something we all do almost without thinking in our native languages, but it’s actually one of the most difficult things to master in a foreign language, since it has more to do with culture and social norms than with grammar and stuff like that. So chances are you either come across as too stiff or too casual. Fortunately, people tend to be pretty patient and forgiving with foreign language speakers.

        2. Annie O*

          Years ago I did a semester of study abroad in Sweden. Much of their pop culture is from America, and they love the English language. I think some Swedes like to emulate what they heard in American movies and music. And that usually meant a lot of f-bombing and “sheet!” exclamations. Because these phrases are abundant in pop culture, I think there’s a misconception that American swear words can be used very casually.

        3. Pip*

          Ah, this is a classic! A bunch of contributing factors:

          * Generally, it’s really hard to get the feel of how offensive curses in foreign languages are. So the pro tip is to never curse when you speak another language than your native language. ;)

          * Eddie Murphy movies were really popular in Sweden in the 80’s and 90’s (as in *everyone* saw them), and so a lot of Swedes got the impression that all the cool people in the US cluster-f-bomb.

          * The f-word is actually used verbatim as a curse word in colloquial Swedish, but it doesn’t pack much of a punch.

          * Last but not least, what your mama said is true: cursing is a sign of a small vocabulary. Sure, Swedes are pretty good at basic English, but when it comes to expressing nuances and colloquialisms, not so much. So we tend to default to the f-word because it’s easy.

          1. Pip*

            Wait a minute. They were moving from Sweden (unemployment rate: 8%) to Spain (unemployment rate: 26%) to try and find jobs?

            1. Ann Furthermore*

              Heh. That’s what they said. They had 2 small duffel bags between the 2 of them, and that’s all they were taking. Very adventurous!

              Thanks for answering my question. I was by no means offended, because I curse quite a bit myself so it’s no big deal. I was just not expecting it so it took me by surprise.

    4. Graciosa*

      Those who indicated that many customers want a VP on their account should read the VP’s business card.

      At OldJob, we had a separate company created to give VP titles to salespeople. Those that I considered real VPs were VPs of Chocolate Teapots, Inc. The senior salespeople were VPs of Chocolate Teapot Sales, Inc.

      This was an interesting balance of making sure that none of the VPs-for-sales-purposes-only had any actual authority in the operating company (which they would have given away for anything that hit their commissions) while still giving customers what they wanted. I doubt any of the customers ever figured this out – but I learned to really pay attention to business cards.

      1. De Minimis*

        I knew of one accounting firm in my area that gave all managers a “VP” title, I think just to be different.

        It never seemed that wise to me, it was too far out of the norm for the industry and I would think it would be confusing both for clients and for potential employers later on down the road when the employees left for other jobs.

      2. Judy*

        I know of some companies that certain levels of US employees, especially that deal with customers and clients in Asia, have two business cards. One with their “real” title for use in the US and Europe, and the other with the “inflated” title for use in Asia.

        I get the impression, especially within procurement circles, that titles strengthen your negotiating position.

    5. Sharm*

      I wish title inflation existed in my life! I feel like I see the opposite happening more and more — job descriptions that ask for years and years of specialized experience, bachelor’s degree required, master’s a plus — and the job title is an Associate. Or an Assistant. No offense to those roles, because I had them — when I started working 8 years ago. To me it just smacks of asking for more and more while paying less and less.

      I’m clearly in the wrong industry. And for the record, I actually worked at a bank at one point, a place notorious for inflated titles. I saw none of that in my department.

  10. kdizzle*

    My old boss used to advise, “you should go to the company Christmas party…they’re giving out VP titles as door prizes.”

      1. TotesMaGoats*

        Snarf. We say that “Go to (main HQ location) if you want a promotion, they’ll make anyone a VP there.”

          1. the_scientist*

            I visited the coke museum (as a tourist in Atlanta)……and maybe it’s just me, but that place is weird as hell. I really got the sense that it was all subliminal messaging and brainwashing.

  11. TotesMaGoats*

    #2-I guess I see both sides of what you are saying. Having worked with bosses who routinely directly given projects to staff who report to me without going through me, it can be pretty irritating. It probably doesn’t make you feel any better but I doubt they are doing it because they are questioning your management skills. They probably aren’t thinking about you at all. All you can do is establish a rapport with your staff that they tell you about those projects so your boss doesn’t have to keep you in the loop.

    I had my first management position at 25. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing for at least a solid year and continue to still make mistakes years later. Managing is not something you can test your way out of it. It’s a constantly evolving thing. So, while you may, in fact, be doing a good job, don’t rest on your laurels too quickly.

    1. OP*

      Thank you – if not that it makes me feel better, it’s relieving to know this irritates others ha.

  12. Joie de Vivre*

    # 2 –

    It’s also worth considering that your boss working with your team members directly could have more to do with their career paths than your management skills. It’s been my experience as team members work their way up the ladder, one of those steps is managing work on their own, directly with senior management. Even more so where they are known as members of a strong team with a history of successful projects.

    Either way, it’s worth having a conversation with your boss to get on the same page.

    1. Koko*

      Yes. As I begun to prove myself more at work, my boss’s boss and his boss and his boss all began to occasionally communicate with me directly instead of through my bosses. But we do have a fairly non-hierarchical/collaborative structure…even people further down the food chain are often more expert in their area of specialization than the folks above them, who have more experience but their detailed skills aren’t as current because their jobs are focused more on broad strokes and strategies than nitty-gritty. If boss’s boss’s boss is making big strategic decisions he consults boss and boss’s boss. If he has already made the strategic decision and wants to discuss implementation specifics, he’ll come directly to me for my professional opinion as someone who works with the product more closely and someone who is more plugged in to industry innovations and best practices for my narrow area of specialization.

      It took about a year of doing well at my job for the higher-ups to start coming directly to me, and it was pretty clear that it was reflecting their interest in grooming and developing me professionally and not any sort of referendum on my manager’s abilities (who as far as I know continues to get positive reviews etc).

    1. KellyK*

      Whether to say something is the OP’s call (that was the question). What actually gets done is not.

    2. Dang*

      Maybe it hurts the ego a bit? I know when I left my last job they filled it at a lower level to save money.. but it was a bit of a blow to my ego.

    3. AdAgencyChick*

      Although it isn’t OP’s call — what is OP’s call is to make sure she herself (and OP, sorry for my pronouns if you’re a man) doesn’t get screwed in the transition. Someone above noted that, since OP is staying in the same company, it’s entirely possible that the old boss will try to get OP to continue doing some of that work as long as possible so as not to have to hire someone.

      This may be unavoidable if the company decides that’s the best use of OP’s time, but it’s important to get those expectations spelled out, and to negotiate (involving the soon-to-be supervisor if necessary) so that the solution isn’t “OP works a bunch of extra hours to get both jobs done.”

      For example, OP can ask her current boss to lay out a timeline for the transition. E.g., “Until April 20, I will be responsible for teapot production reports; from April 20 to May 1, Wakeen will handle the reports but I will be available to answer his questions; after May 1, teapot production reports will be Wakeen’s sole responsibility and I will have fully transitioned into chocolate analysis.”

      If current boss won’t do this, and simply says something like “We’ll need you to keep helping out for a while,” going to the soon-to-be boss can help. She probably has plenty for OP to do, and may not be thrilled about sharing.

      In my experience (and I have had plenty of experience with teams that don’t want to let go), you have to protect yourself — no one else is going to do it for you — and the best way to do that is to get everyone’s expectations out in the open. It’s much easier for your supervisors to have unrealistic expectations if they’re not forced to say them out loud or if they don’t have conflicts laid out in front of them.

      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        In a restructure I moved from the Chocolate Teapots admin team to the Chocolate Kettles admin team, however while my post technically sits within Kettles it does have a lot of contact with Teapots. In fact, of my two main responsibilities, one actually sat with Teapots initially and then came to me in Kettles when someone left.

        With that one, it wasn’t ever really a problem – I just took over when Jane left and I didn’t need training on it. With the other half of my job, the arrangement was like you described – my predecessor Wakeen was covering the work until X date, then until Y date I was taking over with Wakeen’s help, then on Z date I took over totally. Wakeen by that time had moved on to a different job but was still contactable if needed – I did try not to bother him but he was always nice about it and told me I could if I needed and not to worry about it. One person did keep bothering him despite being asked not to but that’s now resolved.

        However, I’m getting the impression that Teapots don’t want to let go – I still get asked about things that Teapot admin can and technically should do, and people from the Teapot office have called me to ask who’s on duty for Teapots that day despite the fact that I lost access to that particular Outlook calendar weeks ago while Teapots should still have it. At the moment it’s not impacting on me very much and my current manager thinks a lot of it is due to teething troubles in Teapots where it sounds like things aren’t going well.

  13. Joey*

    #2. Is it me or is the VP title watered down in certain industries? When I hear VP (especially when there are 5) I think of an executive that oversees a large number of people and/ or a very large budget. This one sounds more like a lower level manager position, no?

    1. Annie O*

      I certainly agree. I’ve heard of companies doing it for customers, such as when the customer demands to work with a VP instead of a mere account manager. When this happens on a large scale, it’s probably easier to start slapping VP titles on the account managers instead of involving actual VPs or, um, managing customer expectations.

      I’ve also worked in a nonprofit that oversaw large federal grants. The federal government insisted that the program directors be high level executives. First, we tried calling them Senior Executive Program Directors, but that still wasn’t good enough. So we gave in and started calling them VPs. However, for the size of our org, it was ridiculous to have so many VPs running around. And the work these folks did was not really VP-level in terms of education or experience, and the salaries were certainly not up to market rates. The direction from the federal grant agency was to hire mid-level managers, pay them like mid-level managers, but call them VPs.

  14. barking*

    A relative worked at a bank, and their Junior Vice Presidents earned about what a clerical earned working for the Federal government-without the pleasant working conditions.

  15. Tiff*

    #1
    If you’re being promoted within the same company, be careful that the old boss doesn’t take advantage and rely on you to do old work in your new role. That happened recently here, and the 2 managers (old and new) had to sit down and hash out a reasonable time frame for the employee to still help the old boss out – but the new boss made sure to put a hard date on when that help would end. The employee (my pal) handled it beautifully by being completely upfront about her duties and time commitments to both bosses. Once management had what they needed she was able to wash her hands of the matter. If your old boss doesn’t want to hire a replacement she’ll have to deal with the consequences, and there’s nothing wrong with using the new manager as a shield if old manager becomes demanding.

  16. OP#1*

    Hi,
    Thanks for the advice. I am going to talk to my new manager and have him hash out the details of the transition with the old manager. I am also going to be firm with “helping out” after the transition period so I don’t get swamped.

    Most of the reason for not hiring someone is budget (of course). A lot also comes from my old manager not realizing how much I do and underestimating my work load (a major reason I am leaving). I have tried talking to him about it and he doesn’t seem to care.

    1. Artemesia*

      Exactly and since you don’t do much anyway, it is hardly an imposition to expect you to keep doing it for him as you move into your new role. You really really need a firm wall between the old and new job and a date when that wall is in place. And you need to make any ‘help’ offered to the old boss a low priority that gets done only after the new demands are met. Good luck.

      1. OP#1*

        Thanks to Alison for the advice. I will update my old manager on my projects and urge him to look for a replacement. Thanks to all the commenters for their concern about me getting stuck doing both jobs. I will be very firm about not working for my old department after my transition deadline.

        My question has been answered and I am looking forward to a new job with a new (and much more awesome!) manager.

  17. Mary*

    #5 – I don’t see why you would not mention that you have no children and are free to travel and work any hours. It is a definite plus (especially when there may be multiple candidates for one position). The last thing a manager wants to hear from a newly hired employee is that there are travel or time constrictions. I had a friend who thought her interviews went well; but she never seemed to hear back from the hiring manager. I asked her if she mentioned that she has four kids ages 6-13. She said she did mention that she had kids. I told her to stop doing that and after that, she no problems with getting hired. I was in shock a month ago, I was in an interview (Silicon Valley – Technology) and the female manager said “What about your kids” out of the blue. Well I never wear my wedding ring and certainly didn’t mention that I was married or had kids. Luckily, mine are in late teens early 20s and that is what I said; but a very uncomfortable question.

    1. Beti*

      I think the issue is that you shouldn’t say you are flexible specifically because you are childfree. I can see how saying “No kids – no problems!” could backfire in a couple of ways – particularly for a woman. 1. It could come across as critical of parents who work lots of hours and travel (and that interviewer could be a parent); and 2. it could put the idea in the interviewer’s mind “Oh, she has time now but what happens when she _does_ decide to have kids?”

      1. Beti*

        Sorry, that should read “IF she does decide to have kids”. I really hate the assumption that we all want to at some point or other.

  18. OP*

    From OP#3 I would like to sincerely thank everyone who assisted me with my concern. I would also like to thank Ask A Manager for posting this and helping me seek resolution.

    Thank you all!

Comments are closed.