I was promised job benefits that I’m not getting, sending your LinkedIn profile instead of a resume, and more

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

1. I was promised benefits with my job that I’m not getting

I was promised non-monetary perks during my job interview process like working from home days, a cell phone and the ability to bring my dog to work a handful of days a week. I negotiated this stuff in lieu of a larger salary because my quality of life is important to me. Plus I have a real cute small dog that I’ve been able to bring with me to every other job I’ve ever had. He’s used to being in an office and is quiet and very friendly and I love spending time with him.

After a few months and some hassling, I received a cell phone, but shortly after my hiring our office inexplicably became strictly a no dog office, a randomly enforced company-wide policy (we have offices across the US). I requested to work from home one day a week to help alleviate the unexpected cost of the dog walker I was now forced to hire, and was told no, that it would disrupt the “collaborative nature” of the office, despite my managers and co-workers frequently working from home. Other than just “conveniently” being forced to work from home with some frequency due to other pretend reasons (which I really don’t want to do, I hate lying), I don’t really know what other bargaining chips I have. I felt I presented a reasonable solution, though it seems there was no negotiation on this issue, despite being promised this in my interview.

My dog walker costs $240 a month (and that’s only 3x a week!), plus a lot of added stress worrying about my pooch. It’s also difficult for my to stay at the office late because I need to get home to take care of him. I guess more frustrating than that, I feel disrespected and lied to, which makes working here a lot less fun than it should be. Other than just “getting over it,” is there any way to make myself feel better about this situation?

Well, it’s not all that typical to be able to bring a dog to work; you’ve been lucky to find employers who have been willing to allow it! But if they promised it to you, it’s crappy that they backtracked on that, as well as on the other stuff. I’d address the whole situation head-on, politely but assertively

For instance: “When were negotiating my job offer, the company agreed that I could work from home X days a week (or month) and bring my dog to work several days a week. I understand that the dog policy has since changed, but these were specific things that we included as part of my offer and I’d like to figure out what we can do about the telecommuting.”

2. Is it odd for an employer to ask why you’re withdrawing from a hiring process?

Thanks to your help with my resume, I did two phone interviews for two different positions at the same company. After one of them, I was asked to come in for a three-hour in-person interview with a bunch of the team members I’d be working with in that role. After agreeing to come in the next week, I did some research about the company the night I accepted the interview.

Wow. The reviews of executive management were terrible, and there were A LOT of them. As nice as the people were that I’d dealt with so far, I didn’t want to work for a company that clearly had issues and wasn’t addressing them. So the next day, I emailed the HR person I had been working with to let her know that upon further consideration, I didn’t think the position was the right fit for me.

She replied that she was surprised, and that she wanted to know why I didn’t want to proceed. I gave her an honest, concise answer–I had read the reviews about upper management, and I was concerned about taking a position with them. She wrote back and said that she wished I’d mentioned this earlier, and that she would have preferred to address this over the phone. She said she was aware that this was a concern, and that it wasn’t the first time she’d heard it before. I was kind of taken aback–I’ve never had someone ask me why I didn’t accept a job offer or why I wasn’t interested. Is this common?

There’s nothing wrong with an employer asking why you’re withdrawing or not accepting an offer — just like there’s nothing wrong with a candidate asking an employer for feedback. But both parties can’t do it in a demanding or accusatory way and have to be willing to take no for an answer. It’s hard for me to tell if this HR person met that standard or not — I could read this either way, but certainly if she was rude or demanding, she was out of line.

3. Haven’t heard from employer since accepting a job offer

I signed and returned a job offer to a company on Friday. The HR advisor acknowledged its receipt. Everything including salary and start date has been set. I start on July 2. I gave my notice to my current job and the ball for my resignation is now in play…the announcement of my leaving was made, etc.

I haven’t heard from the HR advisor from the new company….what should I do? The last contact we had was Monday morning, when I asked if I could bump my start date by 2 days. She acknowledged and accepted. Just a quick email. The irrational, paranoid side of me is thinking things will fall through if I don’t keep in constant contact. What do you think? Should I wait for the HR advisor to contact me? Should I wait a week and contact her if I don’t hear from her?

Sounds like you’re all set. Being in constant contact afterwards isn’t typical. I’d just email the hiring manager a few days before your start date to confirm and say you’re excited about starting on the 2nd!

4. Can I refuse to train my replacement?

Can I be fired for insubordination for refusing to train my replacement?

Yes.

5. Don’t do this

Just opened an application – this was what I found on the page where the resumé is supposed to be uploaded:

“This seems weird but instead of the resume, I’m gonna include a link to my LinkedIn account as it pretty much acts as my resume.
https://www.linkedin.com/profile/xxxxxxxxx
I tried applying via linked in but was receiving errors.

Thanks,
Candidate Name”

Aiyee.

Yeah, this is not a good idea.

{ 161 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous

    I accidentally posted first on the old answer for number 4, but am posting here as well in hopes that someone might have some advice.

    I have a similar situation. Part of me wants to leave my job, but every time someone leaves at my company there’s a last minute rush to train a new person in 1-2 days for someone’s entire job and it makes me nervous. We use specialized software that took me more than a year to learn and I still sometimes have to contact the company’s support team for in-depth questions (management always seems to want to push the limits of the system). While I have created some general guides per my supervisors request it seems impossible to document every possibly scenario when I’m just trying to cram it in with my regular duties. My company never makes an effort to hire people with experience in the software (too expensive). I’m worried that if I do leave (they always take it personally when an employee leaves) they will continue to call and email me with extensive questions (they’ve done this before to others). Once the ex-employee stops responding our HR director starts giving negative reviews of the employee to anyone that will listen (official reference requests and contacting people in our industry that she knows). Anyone been in a similar situation? I’m worried I can’t ever leave this job without damaging my professional reputation.

    1. Koko

      If they new employee needs bits of information, like passwords, that only you have, you give them. If the new employee needs training on suing the software or what the procedure is at Company for processing particular tasks, you don’t.

      If you’re concerned about the HR reference when you’re looking for a future job after you leave the job in between, the best ways to address it/counter it are:
      -When you get to the reference-checking stage, give a nonchalant heads-up to the interviewer: “Although I gave 2 weeks’ notice to my employer, created and left manuals behind for much of my work, and they were able to hire someone quickly enough for me to have a couple of days to train that person, the relationship soured when my former employer expected me to continue training my replacement after I’d already started work with Current Employer and needed to be focusing on learning my new role.”
      -Try to find someone else from that job who can give you a positive reference. Preferably a manager or someone above you in the hierarchy, but a peer or two as a last-ditch effort. You follow the above heads-up sentence with, “I’ve also provided on my reference list the names of supervisors/colleagues from OldJob who can speak to my performance while in the role.”
      -Try to collect concrete evidence of your performance at your current job. Awards, bonuses, performance reviews, promotions, accomplishments tied to common and factually concrete metrics (increased sales by X%, cut costs by X%, brought projects in an average of X days ahead of schedule), extracurriculars, etc. So even if HR says you were a loser, you can point to your successes and offer up other folks in the company who will vouch for them/you.
      -If your industry is close-knit enough your HR director is contacting people in it to give unsolicited references, then you need to be as good at networking your industry as she is. Attend events, make connections, and then semi-regularly, meet some of these people for coffee to share ideas, ask for advice on problems you’re stuck on, talk about what’s working for you if they’re stuck on a problem, and chat about industry news you’ve seen and new things you’re considering trying. Become known in your industry as someone who is knowledgeable and willing to help others. That will go a long way if your industry is a small one.
      -Have other good references on your resume if possible.

    2. Angora

      Be sure to block her from viewing your FB page and your LinkedIn Profile; and block anyone that you know has taken action for her in the past or may. Like yesterday. If you have any co-workers on FB .. limit what they can view. If they catch on say you’ve gotten off it temporarily. Than start job searching.

      Not sure of the legalities, but after you resign the position you may want to follow through with a visit to HR. Inform them of her punitive actions against others after they have left. That if she does anything along this line in regards to your work performance, etc … that you will file a lawsuit.

      Then when they contact you wanting assistance, even if it’s not true inform them that you have signed a no competition clause in your employment contract and must cease supplying them with support. Not sure of the wording; others will have to help with this one… another opportunity is tell them that you can serve as a professional consultant (emphasis on payment expected her) through 30 days, require a retainer of $$, for say 5 calls for under 30 minutes; than up the rate, etc. Have a contract drawn up before you leave the organization and present it to them. Then when they call, inform them you when you receive your retainer.

      They are getting free labor with threat of hurting prior employees reputation. I have seen this behavior before, where they will totally trash you so you can’t leave. But you’ll see the reverse when they want to get rid of someone. They will give them a glowing reference if they truly, want to get rid of a problem employee.

      1. Angora

        I have a ? after thinking about this more. Do employers and employees read the reviews etc. on http://www.glassdoor? Can the employee post a comment now stating that the “organization has a practice of expecting employees to supply training months after they leave the job without compensation? If said training is not supplied that an individual (include role .. in HR, a MGR without using exact title) than gives bad references and harasses individuals in the former employees social network.”

        Does things like that get reviewed by the company in question? Does future employers look at glassdoor to view info about job applications prior company if they are not familiar with them? I looked when I was job hunting. Just curious about how the ratings & info gathered at said site or other ones that rate employers play a role in situation’s like this.

        One time I declined an interview about a company because of the reviews on glassdoor. But I had an odd feeling after talking to the interviewer on the phone.

    3. Sidney

      Anonymous, I think the original writer was asking whether or not they could refuse to do something… while still employed at the company. Your question has more pieces: will they call you up after your last day? will you get good references?

      From what you’ve said, you shouldn’t let the fear of training your replacement keep you from quitting.

    4. neverjaunty

      I would bet that people in your industry already know that this is a horrible, dysfunctional company that trashes ex-employees. Anyone can have one bad apple, but when every single person who leaves was incompetent and lazy and a bad employee….that reflects badly on the employer.

      Dysfunctional workplaces will get inside your head like this and make you afraid to leave because you lose track of what is and isn’t appropriate. (Like, calling people who have quit and asking for free work, or giving them negative references.) Quit with a clear conscience and maintain firm boundaries.

        1. Lee

          Did you just say your money’s on a millennial in the same sentence that you yourself used ‘lol’ ? :-)

          1. GrumpyBoss

            My 95 year old Grandmother uses “lol”. However, I’ve never met someone born before 1980 who would use “gonna” in writing in a professional setting.

            1. Colleen

              I’ve never met someone born after 1980 would would write “gonna” in a professional setting. It’s not a common thing amongst any age group, so let’s drop the generational stereotypes.

              1. Felicia

                +1. I don’t know anyone born after 1980 who would write gonna either. It’s something that unprofessional people of all age groups would do, it’s not a generational thing

                1. Julie

                  I don’t write “gonna,” but apparently I say it. I’ve recently started recording a “tip of the week” for my company’s intranet and when I was editing the recordings before posting them, I heard myself say, “In this week’s tip, we’re gonna…” I am now working on eradicating that from my speaking vocabulary. And I’m not even close to millennial.

              1. Cautionary tail

                Everyone knows that LOL stands for Land O’Lakes. As in butter, cheese and other deli items. Next time you get a pound of cheese look at the label the counter person slapped on it. Chances are it says “LOL CHEESE.”

                Who’s laughing now?

          1. FiveNine

            I don’t know that it has to be totally negative. During the World Cup USA-Ghana game a whole young crowd at a bar/restaurant was chanting “Not Gha-na Happen. Not Gha-na Happen.” I mean, “gonna” *is* kind of generational. ;)

        2. Anon

          Only a 20-something could ever be rude or unprofessional. As this site has taught us, older people are the image of professionalism. Ugh.

    1. Nina

      Did they actually say “I’m gonna include a link?” Really? You’re trying to get a job, not send a text.

      No. Just no.

      1. NoPantsFridays

        I was laughing at the “gonna”, it really stood out to me. To the point where I hit Control + F (Find) and searched “gonna” because I just knew someone would have commented on it. :)

  2. Anon

    I can completely understand a dog for medical purpose but just because? That seems incredibly odd. Perhaps management found out about an allergy or fear and had to enforce a “no dog” policy. I would imagine my line of thinking for pets would be the same as children in the office. Perhaps in an emergency but not “just because”.

    1. Amber

      Its also that management discovered that allowing dogs in the building is against their lease.

      1. Michele

        +1 this happened with my old company. A lot of us would bring our dogs in (me included)and then it was announced that it was against our lease and our company could be fined so even though it was a bummer no more dogs. While it does suck that you were promised to be able to bring your dog in you need to drop it. Companies are allowed to change their policies. It is also a huge liability for the company if your dog bites someone while on premises. I have seen the sweetest dogs bite or snap out of no where.

    2. Sarahnova

      Some offices do have a culture where people bring their dogs to work and it’s accepted and enjoyed. It’s fairly rare, but certainly happens – I’ve known a few and I, personally, would love it.

    3. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

      I allow dogs (on the promise that the dog has never bitten anyone) and as long as no one has allergies or fears because it makes people happy…..and it does. Frankly, I hear more positive comments form the non dog owners than the owners about how pleasant it is. But if it bothered someone, I would stop it immediately. We have a small office, though, and one where people know that its okay to speak up. If there where hundreds of people it’s pretty likely that somebody would be allergic or afraid, so I would probably not do it in that atmosphere. Sometimes I take my cats, just not on the same day as a dog.

      1. Calla

        My job is currently working on a dog policy (that includes an area of the office you can’t take them because someone has allergies; and I think people have brought them in before–I’ve only been here 2 weeks) and as a non-dog owner I am so thrilled! Just because I own cats doesn’t mean I won’t want to pet other people’s dogs.

        1. danr

          And the person with allergies is never going to have to go to the area with the dogs??? I’m allergic to dogs, cats, feathers (on and off the the bird), horses, etc. If I’m in an enclosed space, I have reactions within 10 minutes. I certainly would not enjoy constant pets at work.

          1. Zillah

            I think that depends a lot on how serious the allergy is. I have a slight cat allergy, and going into an area with cats wouldn’t bother me as long as I didn’t have to be there for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

            1. Sophia

              Heh I’m allergic to cats and I sleep with a cat next to me every night. I wash stuff a lot and take my allergy/nose medication religiously. I’m even more allergic to dogs but if my housing arrangement would allow one, I’d get one in a second.

              I’d rather be sneezy, snifaly and itchy than go without an animal companion. But I grew up always having at least 4 cats or dogs in the house.

          2. annie

            Yeah, my fear would be the opposite of this scenario – that I started working at a company that suddenly started allowing pets to come in. I love animals, I don’t want to be the bad guy, but I would be miserably allergic in an office with cats or dogs.

    4. Ruffingit

      Whether it’s odd or not, it’s something that was promised to the OP as part of her job offer. I think we can argue whether dogs at work are good/bad/something in-between forever, but that is not the issue. She was promised it and other things as perks and is now not getting them. That is an issue and definitely needs to be addressed. It’s a bait and switch situation. She accepted the job offer based on certain things that were yanked once she started. That is just not OK.

      1. mirror

        +1. She took a lower salary because these perks made up for it. Now no perks and a low salary.

      2. KrisL

        Agreed. Bait and switch.

        I would understand about the dog if there was some reason given for it, but if they say she can telecommute, they should let her
        .

  3. Variation

    #2, I think you made a good choice, though I’m curious as to how they would’ve reacted if you had gone in and asked them about the reviews. “Tell me about the administrative culture here,” and then see if they flinch. Who knows- they may have had some recent turnover.

    That said, a three hour interview for something you’re likely going to turn down seems like a waste. If you have some flex time for social science experiments, maybe.

    1. Chinook

      I agree – I have worked in a toxic work environment that was slowly changing. The people at the centre of the toxicity have been let go and my friends that are there say things are better than they were and are getting better. If OP #2 had brought up the issue in the interview, she could judge if they a)acknowledge the problem b) are working to solve the problem and/or b) can show how it is no longer a problem and now unacceptable.

      1. EngineerGirl

        I’ve also been assigned to horrific dysfunctional places. Unfortunately, there is a huge gap between “getting better” and “a normal place to work”. The abused people truly are happy because the worst of the abuse has stopped. New people come in and still see a huge amount of residual dysfunction. They are very unhappy in the environment.

    2. Ruffingit

      Even if you had the flex time, I would not encourage anyone to just go to an interview when they know they won’t take the job. It’s as unfair in my view to do that as it is to have employers interview candidates when they already know they’re hiring internally. Wasting anyone’s time is not cool in my view. The interviewers can use that interview slot for someone who really wants the job.

      1. Variation

        If this is the dealbreaker, and if there’s a chance these issues have been resolved, I think it’s worthwhile to go in and ask. I guess this goes to show that one should do this kind of research before the initial interview, and bring it up there.

        I wouldn’t want to email the HR person my concerns- no chance to read body language, and there’s a weird paper trail.

        1. Ruffingit

          If you might take the job based on information you found out in the interview, then I’m all for going to it. I’m just saying as a general rule if one knows they won’t take a job, then they shouldn’t waste the interviewers’ time.

          1. John B Public

            Or your own. Your time is yours to guard, their time is theirs. The percentage of applicants they interview who they offer a job to is invariably low (they don’t hire everyone they interview, and even 10% might be high). I wouldn’t worry about their time. Worry about yours, and how you use it.

            1. Ruffingit

              Good point too. Might as well use that time to put out another job app or do an informational interview or whatever might be useful to you.

  4. Nina

    #1: I’m wondering if they reneged on those things because other employees found out and got upset that they weren’t getting the same perks, especially if they’ve been there a long time. Bringing your dog to work often (a handful of times during the week is at least 3-4, I’m assuming) and a cell phone are pretty nice perks. But it’s awkward because the OP took a reduced salary in order to get said perks, so it’s not like there isn’t a trade-off.

    Dogs are a big issue for people. Some are seriously allergic, others are terrified, etc. Plus, some owners take little to no control of their dogs and an office is the worst place for the dog to be. I’m not saying the OP’s dog is a bother, but that doesn’t mean the dog belongs in the office, no matter how well-behaved or cute he can be. It was presumptuous of the OP’s future boss to make that particular promise without knowing how that could affect others in the office, and it may have bitten them in the ass.

    That said, if they promised this stuff to you, then I would take Allison’s advice and calmly speak to them.

    1. Amber

      Yup, personally I find dogs in generally annoying and have no place in a work environment. If its a small or cute dog then even more so because the owner want to show it off and people stop to pet it, which just causes a distraction for everyone within earshot. Any company that I’m interested in that advertises that it is a dog-friendly company is one that will never get a resume from me.

      1. Monodon monoceros

        I can understand coworkers not wanting dogs at the office, or the policies on dogs changing, but for me this would be more of a principle thing, and it would have been better for the employer to recognize they were going back on their promises and make other accommodations (working from home more often, etc.). For example, it is like they promised someone they could leave at 4:30 each day to pick up their kid at daycare, then as soon as they started, said oops, no, you must stay here until 5.

        1. Jamie

          Yes, it’s not about the dog. It doesn’t matter why the policy changed or if dogs should be in an office. If it was part of the initial deal and that changed, which happens, she was owed a conversation about why and an acknowledgement whatever it was.

          If someone tomorrow decided to take away the reserved sign on my parking spot and make me scramble to find a place – it’s certainly their right but it would still be rude to do it without a conversation about it.

          Well, it would be more than rude, it would be nearly criminal cruelty so perhaps it was a bad example.

          It is also common for two people to come away with different conclusions for a conversation – both honest and in good faith. I’ve known people who felt promised things when it wasn’t offered as a firm part of the deal, and the employer being surprised because they didn’t feel they promised anything and were just talking about what could be in certain circumstances…I’m just saying that it a possible without anyone lying that one party thinks a promise is made and another has no idea they took it as a absolute.

          Or the employer could have totally promised this stuff and things changed – both situations happen all the time.

          1. The Cosmic Avenger

            Yep. It’s too late to help the OP, but for everyone else, let this be a cautionary tale about why you ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING.

      2. Artemesia

        People spend a lot of time distracted by dogs when dogs are in the workplace and the people who have annoying dogs rarely perceive this. People who don’t like having them around are loath to actually say this to co-workers. Just like ‘We did a dollar dance at our wedding and no one complained’ doesn’t mean people didn’t think it was tacky, ‘I take my dog and no one complains’ doesn’t mean others are happy.

        My favorite dog instance was the powerful person who brought her dog and expected the janitors to deal with the dog poop (she used those indoor puppy pad things in her office) It finally got banned when she let it pee during a meeting (again she had some sort of portable dog pee device) The look on the boss’s face when that steady stream sound began was priceless.

        1. Felicia

          I like dogs, but I get nervous around other peoples’ dogs unless they’re being walked on a leash, unless those people are my close friends or family. I’m particularly nervous around big dogs because I was bitten by one as a kid. I’d probably be hesitant to complain too even though a dog in the office, at least for the first month or so while I was getting used to it, would make me nervous and would negatively impact my ability to work

          1. some1

            At wedding reception dances people pay a dollar to dance with the bride or groom and they keep the $.

            1. Confused

              Wow. That’s not something I’ve ever heard of before. Is it something that comes from a particular culture or region? It sounds pretty tacky to me, but I assume there must be some tradition behind it if people still do it.

              1. Diet Coke Addict

                It’s a traditional Polish thing, I know, and I think it’s also possibly common among Hungarians? I know it’s also common among Filipinos.

                1. Twentymilehike

                  I’m in the US and I’ve seen this at just about every wedding I’ve been to.

                2. Laufey

                  Wow. I’m at the age when ALL of my friends are getting married, and I’ve never been to a US wedding where that’s happened. Maybe it’s regional (I’m in the south)?

                3. Meg

                  I’m at that point in my life where everyone is getting married as well, and I haven’t seen this! It seems a bit tacky IMO, but weddings, as I have found out, are full of weird traditions.

              2. Sidney

                German family here, and I’ve seen it at every wedding I’ve ever attended. To me it’s just normal, not tacky.

              3. Bex

                It is very common at New Orleans area weddings – and it’s all done as a very lighthearted fun thing, absolutely no obligation, and usually everyone is too involved with watching the dancing and waiting their turn to pay attention to who is or is not participating. Everyone runs to get in line, dollar bill in hand, to get their few moments of dancing with the bride or groom – and frequently that is the only chance one really gets for a few minutes of one-on-one with the bride or groom at a busy reception .. it’s really not about the money, or certainly not supposed to be about the money – it’s just great fun! The bills used to be pinned onto the groom’s jacket and the bride’s veil or dress (most prefer not to do that now, and that’s certainly understandable .. I myself chose not to have straight pins stuck into the delicate lace of my own gown!) – but that did also add a lot to the fun, seeing the bride and groom becoming increasingly covered by dollar bills as the dance progressed.

          2. EngineerGirl

            It’s a wedding dance where people dance with the bride or groom and give them money. The DJ at the wedding makes a big deal about it. In other words, extortion.

            1. Confused

              Thanks for the explanation. It sounds like a very strange concept to me, but I assume there must be some cultural thing behind it. It’s not a tradition I’ve ever heard of before.

          3. Purple Jello

            Back a hundred years or so, when my ancestors were poor children of immigrants, they did this. The married women stood around the bride who was seated, and sang a song about being blessed by 12 angels. They took off her veil and put on an embroidered cap. It symbolized her leaving her single childhood and becoming a matron. Then anyone could dance a few steps with the bride for a dollar (or more!) which was placed in her veil, then they got a shot of brandy or whiskey or something. The money was supposed to help the young couple set up their household – or sometimes even paid for part of the reception.

            Then the groom would run in, carry off the bride and they’d go on their honeymoon while the rest of the people partied all night.

            My sister had a dollar dance, but I did not. It was definitely an “old country” tradition, because my great-uncle had translated the song from Polish to an very awkward English, but none of the great aunts would let us fix the translation.

            I remember being at a wedding around 1965 and being excited to dance with the bride (but I didn’t even notice the shot).

            1. Cautionary tail

              I got married in Canada and the guests couldn’t wait for the dollar dance to start. Some people got in line two or three times. In that part of Canada it was also normal to receive cash for wedding presents. So between the cash we got as presents and the cash we got from the dollar dance, we were able to pay for the wedding and reception. There wasn’t anything left over but at least we didn’t go into debt like other couples we heard of. Oh, and there was no parental help in paying for the wedding so we really really needed that money.

        2. CEMgr

          Yeah, agree, lol. (I’m 51.) I’m very anti dog-in-the-workplace (smells, hair, barking, canine staring, and wet dirty noses stuffed in my crotch shouldn’t be part of my workday) and I would not feel comfortable being the first to bring it up.

      3. Kelly

        I like animals but don’t feel they belong in the workplace unless they are a service animal or said work place is animal focused (vet, rescue group, humane society, pet store, etc). I’m more of a cat and large dog person myself and find small dogs to be irritating and annoying.

        Also, there are nuances to how accepted dogs are in public and semi-public spaces. Most offices that are dog friendly I assume to mean small dog friendly. The little bichon, chihuahua, or shitzu seems less threatening than a German shephard, pitbull, or Great Dane. I went to the local farmer’s market which officially doesn’t allow dogs. It was the large dog owners who were obeying that rule and walking their pets outside the boundaries. The small dog people were ignoring and disobeying it, potentially exposing their dog to being stepped on by another person. Same with the people who think that the rules allowing service dogs only don’t apply to them when they carry their little dog in a purse in a retail establishment. Any dog of any size can become aggressive when they are out of their home and comfort zone.

        1. Us, Too

          I’ll preface this by saying that I am a dog person. I love them and have them and probably always will. That said, one of my funniest and most awkward work moments involves a dog at work.

          I had scheduled a check in meeting with our CTO for a project that I was kicking off that he was very interested in. When I arrived I found that he had a VERY large dog (a puppy, actually) in his office. It was a 6 month old Newfoundland puppy. This is NOT a small dog. It was probably about 70 pounds even at only 6 months of age, had a TON of thick, longish black hair, and drooled a LOT. It was a humid day and despite the climate control, there was s decided “doggie” odor in the confines of his office with the door closed. Anyway, since I’m a dog person, we spent about 2-3 minutes chatting about the new canine addition to his family, I pet the puppy and made appropriate baby sounds, etc.

          Then we got down to business. Or, at least, I tried to. The problem was this puppy was SUPER friendly. He spent the majority of our meeting time with his head in my lap. Trying to get me to pet him, etc. It doesn’t sound so bad, but remember this is a very large dog. And his head was actually pretty large. And drooly. I somehow managed to get business done despite the distraction, but when I got up, I was covered in black dog hair and there were big wet patches right on my upper thighs/crotch from the drool. It looked liked I’d peed myself. Seriously.

          Every meeting I had after that I led off with a rushed “Oh, have you met CTO’s new canine baby who is in the office? He’s huge and so friendly and I just spent 20 minutes cuddling his extra drooly head in my lap and…” … All in the hopes that folks would surmise that I hadn’t wet my pants at work but, instead, had a drooling Newfie puppy’s head in my lap for 28 minutes.

    2. Sarah

      I had the same thought about #1. Or alternatively, perhaps the OP’s manager promised this in the interview because he or she was okay with it, but found later that it conflicts with company policy or someone over the manager’s head wasn’t okay with it, and instead of dealing with it in a straightforward manner is just pretending as though the original agreement never happened.

      In any case, it’s another lesson to get everything important to you on paper when negotiating a job offer! (Not blaming the OP for this happening – we shouldn’t have to go around expecting other people to renege on their words, but unfortunately it happens frequently. And of course the company could still change their minds and claim policies or the job requirements have changed, but I’m guessing that it might be a little easier to negotiate with these perks written into the offer letter. It seems like bait-and-switching of terms that are only promised verbally happens more often than not.)

    3. MissDisplaced

      Sometimes the dogs at the office policy have nothing to do with the company, but the owner of the building. I don’t know if that was the case here, but it has happened at a place I worked.
      My company and the employees loved the dog that came, but the building owners gave it a big NO or we could’ve been evicted.

  5. James M

    I’d love to hear more about the story behind #4 (as I wait with bated breath for my boss to find/hire/conjur my replacement). Tangentially, a cat whose breath smells of cheese has “baited breath”.

    #5: If nothing else, this clearly shows Applicant’s level of enthusiasm for the job.

    1. Al Lo

      +1

      My cat could have used some baited breath tonight. I think the mouse she was chasing got away.

  6. GrumpyBoss

    #1: I hate to go here, but how has your performance been? It seems like they are arbitrarily not letting you work from home but allow your coworkers to. Is it possible that your work hasn’t been meeting expectations? Telecommuting is very often a benefit that managers will take away if they feel the performance isn’t up to snuff. Of course, a good manager would tell you this and let you know what you need to do to improve to the point where they’d feel comfortable letting you work from home.

    1. Anonymous

      #1, I don’t want to jump on you as has happened with some posters in the past–especially because I think you do have a legitimate complaint. However, if I was in your position I would be a bit concerned that all of the recent “policy changes” were so closely targeted towards specific perks you negotiated and you’ve been told that you specifically can’t work from home bc it needs to be a “collaborative” environment. Are you getting any feedback that there is unhappiness/concern/issues with your relationships with fellow coworkers? The feeling I get as an uninvolved bystander is that your arrival has ruffled some feathers–I don’t know if it would be jealousy of the perks you were enjoying or just a personality mismatch. I’d be afraid to push too hard on the lost perks issues if there’s a bigger mess lying below the surface that no one has been direct enough to address with you. And if you do think there is an issue, you might want to set about clearing the air on that before revisiting the added costs you are now incurring bc of the revoked perks.

      1. Angora

        Dear OP #1:

        Many employers do not allow employers to work from home until after their one year anniversary. It could be that want you there during the training process (3 – 6 months). It is extremely hard to train someone that is not on the premises.

        It’s possible they promised more than they can give in this particular incident. Many times employers / interviewers promise things like working from home (know people are doing it, but not that they have work for the company for 6 months to a year before that perk is granted); the dog policy .. same thing … other offices are doing it so they are comfortable offering it; than they find out that Lisa two doors down has a severe allergy or fear of dogs, or this particular building lease doesn’t allow dogs and they have to honor it.

        They may want you on hand for training purposes, etc. Were these items written in your employment contract? If they were, than you have the means to come back, inform them that if they are unable or unwilling to honor your contract, than you have the right to negotiate a higher salary. But watch the tone when you go back to them. You’re still in the new hire probation stage …. if you come across from has too difficult, or a high maintenance employee you can find yourself without a job. If the dog at work & working from home is that important to you and you’re not getting it there … start job searching.

        Stop the pretend reasons to work from home. They most likely see through it and you could find yourself without a job. They did you dirty, be it intentional or not.

        For your own peace of mind … just “assume that a mistake was made” and operate from there. If those perks are written into your offer of employment letter, etc. You can go back and ask for a salary increase.

        1. Mike C

          Why does it matter what other employers do? And agreement was made and it’s not being kept. That’s not “just a mistake”.

          Unless you’re playing the part of Shylock on stage, asking for an agreement to be upheld is never “high maitinence”.

          1. Jamie

            I think common practice for other employers is important information for the OP to consider.

            Because while I agree it doesn’t matter in that the deal is still not what she thought it was, she will end up having to decide if the current situation is something she can live with and it’s important to know that these perks are pretty uncommon right in the door for most jobs.

            1. Mike C

              But hearing that some other workplace doesn’t let people telecommute until 6 months on the job has no bearing on an agreement made between the employer and employee.

              1. Jamie

                True, but no one is saying it does, but even if they were dishonest and intentionally mislead her (which we don’t know) being morally right and getting angry about it does exactly nothing for her.

                It’s not illegal to change the terms after hire, so unless she left another job for this specifically because of these things and it’s in writing and it’s a short enough period of time she doesn’t have legal recourse to be made whole.

                So her only way forward is to speak with them about it and then decide if she can live with the current terms. Knowing what she’s likely to find out there in other jobs is helpful as she makes a decision.

                People need to work and rarely have the luxury of leaving because the employer was wrong or acted in bad faith without something lined up – and knowing that what you’re looking for maybe very hard to find is helpful.

                I guess I don’t understand being stuck on what is and isn’t right or fair when either way that doesn’t solve the problem. Sure – feel what you feel – but that has to be put aside to make a decision going forward.

                People can and do shoot themselves in the foot because they are so focused on how they were wronged they let it cloud their judgement about how to proceed. She can’t force her employers hand on this so getting mired in the right or wrong aspect of it won’t solve her problem.

          2. Colette

            It’s entirely possible that both sides were acting in good faith but had different expectations. For example, the business thought she’d want to bring in her dog when she has a vet appointment, but she expected to bring the dog in every day, or the manager thought “sure, we all telecommute on occasion” and the OP thought “great, I can work at home three days a week”.

            IMO, unless the expectations were clear on both sides, the first step is to have a conversation about what the employer’s view of the agreement is.

            1. Mike C

              But that’s an entirely different situation from being told “you can’t telecommute because we need everyone here” and then let everyone else telecommute.

              It’s dishonest and disrespectful.

              1. Colette

                This is an “eyes on your own paper” situation.

                The OP will get the best results by asking for clarification about the disconnect between what she expected and what is happening now. Her coworkers’ situation is irrelevant. (Maybe they have are finished training/working on a different project/are dealing with medical issues/are performing better.)

                1. Mike C.

                  The coworker’s situation is perfectly relevant because the boss told the OP that they needed a “collaborative environment”, and the boss is defining collaboration as “you need to come into work and you can’t telecommute because we need everyone here” then when coworkers who “need to be there” don’t actually need to be there, the boss has lied to the OP.

                  If it was a training issue, why was there talk about collaboration? If it’s about performance, why talk about collaboration? If it’s about collaboration, why aren’t all the other folks in the office?

                  Look, we can dance around the issue at hand by being passive and trying to imagine all the different reasons why A suddenly means B, but it’s pretty clear to me that the boss never really intended to take the employment agreement seriously. Being lied and patronized to is simply icing on the cake.

                2. Colette

                  You seem to have a lot of information about the situation that’s not evident in the letter, so I’m going to bow out.

                3. Mike C.

                  From the OP’s letter:

                  I requested to work from home one day a week to help alleviate the unexpected cost of the dog walker I was now forced to hire, and was told no, that it would disrupt the “collaborative nature” of the office, despite my managers and co-workers frequently working from home.

                  I don’t have any information “not evident” in the letter, it’s quite explicit.

          3. Angora

            The question is it a written or verbal agreement? It’s dirty pool as far as I am concerned be it an honest mistake or deliberately misleading.

            Regardless OP has a job; has to work within the guidelines set forth. If it’s not in the contract or the former job offer letter there is nothing to stand on.

            But if they have changed the policies on you after your hire date you’re stuck with it. But you know the type of people you are working for now be it dishonest or unknowledgeable about the organizational regulations & policies. I am leaning towards to fact that someone promised a lot of things, but didn’t have the authority to do so . I prefer the lesser evil .. that someone screw up versus deliberately mislead OP.

            OP is stuck with the situation and needs to go with the flow unless things are in writing. But the thing is … if you push too much, he/she may push themselves out of a job. The goal at this point in my mind, is keep a paycheck in and see how things pan out; but keep looking for an employer that is more dog friendly and willing to let you work at home part-time. It’s survival.

            1. Brett

              That’s not quite true on written versus verbal. Verbal agreements still have legal weight. They are harder to prove though. Of course, it would never be worthwhile to sue over a verbal agreement to telecommute and bring your dog to work, so even if the agreement was in writing there would not be much to do about the company breaking it.

            2. MissDisplaced

              It does suck. However, #1 really should not bring in the cost of the dog sitter/walker. It has NO bearing on making her case (same thing with kids or commutes), and the dog policy may actually not have anything to do with the company if the building owner determines it.

              As for the other items, well there does need to be a clarification going forward as to what the work from home policy is and the expectations around it.
              I honestly can’t tell in this case if the company was intentionally being dishonest or merely over-promised without thinking or clarifying the “perks.”

              1. Worker Bee

                I disagree. I’d use the cost to make clear why the OP negotiated for the work from home vs. higher Salary.

      2. neverjaunty

        If the employer is reneging on work terms and not having the backbone to tell OP why, that is a big mess, period, regardless of the reasons for it. There’s no reason for OP not to be calm and direct about this. That’s hardly “pushing too hard.”

  7. kas

    #1. As I’ve expressed before, I definitely don’t think dogs belong in an office. You may think it’s adorable but I think it’s inconsiderate. Not everyone is a dog lover. I’ve been the only anti-dog person in an office and had to suck it up, not fun. However, if they promised those perks to you, I’d also be annoyed that they’ve gone back on their word.

    #5. If you know it seems weird, why would you do it? Shows how lazy (couldn’t take the time to create a resume) and unprofessional they are. I’d be so tempted to respond and give my opinion.

    1. A Dispatcher

      Maybe they figure if the company lets them slack off during the hiring process they will do the same when one actually works there? Or they need to apply due to unemployment rules but have no interest. Then again, they could just be clueless…

      1. Angora

        Regards to #5. You know … I have the link to my LinkedIn profile in the header of my resume and include it in the body of the cover letter.

        If I received that e-mail … first response totally ignore it and hit the SPAM filter so any future correspondence from that individual goes right on past me. Would never consider them again for a thing because if they are too lazy to send a resume and cover letter; forget it.

        Than I would stew about it … a couple of days later I would respond …and it wouldn’t be polite … “I appreciate your interest in our company. But we are not willing to consider your “lack of resume, etc.” Than I would proceed and say .. “Normally I do not give advise to applicants, but feel that it’s required in this instance. Your e-mail comes across as lazy and unprofessional. Since you are unwilling to put any effort into preparing a resume and a former cover letter; I’m going make the assumption that the same lack of effort would apply to your work performance. I recommend that you follow my advise while continuing your job search.”

        Might be rude, but I feel that this applicant needs a lesson. But the SPAM filter will be in place after responding.

      2. Hiring Mgr

        On #5, the email certainly is strange and unprofessional but I could see how if applying via LinkedIn was one of the options and she was having difficulty with that, including your LinkedIn profile isn’t in itself that out of bounds.

        1. Angora

          I have had that happen before. what I have done send an e-mail with my resume & linked weblink and clearly state that I am having an issue with the application process and am concerned it didn’t go through.

        2. Verde

          I’m the one who sent this in. There is an option to apply using your LinkedIn profile on our system, but it doesn’t negate the required upload of a resume and a cover letter.

          In this case, the person made the effort to upload a document with the message quoted above in lieu of uploading their actual resume. I found that, and the terribly unprofessional writing, extremely odd in a job application setting.

  8. Jamie

    I know hindsight is 20/20 and too late for OP #1 but for future readers this is why everything promised (as a firm deal) needs to be in the offer letter.

    Get it in writing.

    If this is a job you wouldn’t have taken at this salary without those perks then you need to decide if you want to start looking. If not, you need to accept the job with the changes. If they knew from the interview this was in lieu of a higher salary for you, then it’s certainly a fair conversation to have – but the reality is the job is different that promised and you need to decide if you can live with it. That’s sucks, but unfortunately not uncommon.

    Before leaving though I’d just caution that you were super lucky in previous jobs being okay with the dog, and finding another might not be that easy. It’s pretty atypical to allow that. Working from home right off the bat before having a track record is not as unusual, but certainly not a given in most jobs. So if you can’t live with the situation as is I’d look, but keep in mind it will likely take you a lot longer to find something that meets the criteria.

    Frankly I’d be most concerned about why your coworkers can work from home but you cannot. That deserves a conversation with you boss about why there are issues with only you. Are there other issues involved?

    A word of advice if you have the conversation about money I’d do it after you talk to them about the working from home thing, to make sure there aren’t concerns about your work putting that on hold. You don’t want to ask for a raise if they aren’t happy with your work.

    Also, don’t mention to them how much a dog walker costs. If you have normal working hours this will seem odd to people and your personal expenses are never an employers problem. Now if you routinely work 12+ hour days and the dog thing was part of the deal due to that then yes, it’s an additional expense, but for a normal work days it’s your preference and even dog loving bosses will find it silly that it’s being mentioned.

    One last thing, finding reasons and emergencies to work from home won’t work. It’s good that you don’t want to lie, but even if you did that’s not a viable strategy. Sure, the first couple of times it will fly, but the pattern will become apparent soon enough and you’ll be creating a lot of mistrust and ill will. It’s not just wrong, it’s a strategically bad idea.

    1. OhNo

      For the “get it in writing” advice:

      Would it also be a good idea to get in writing what substitutions would be made if one of the perks becomes unavailable? Say, if you had it in writing that you could bring the dog in to work, but then the business moved into a building where the lease didn’t allow dogs. Should you have that in writing as well, or just suck it up if something like that changes?

      I agree, though, if OP #1 doesn’t have it in writing, then there’s not a lot they can do. Have the conversation with their manager, certainly, but they may have to just suck it up.

      1. Jamie

        Not in my experience. Stuff promised in the offer letter is one thing, but going into contingencies would be odd to me. I’ve never seen it and I wouldn’t do it. If things change then you have the conversation of what can be done if anything.

        Because they can’t foresee everything and change is one of the givens in life – but having firm promises in the offer letter gives you room to negotiate something else, if possible, without looking difficult.

        Or if it can’t be worked out it can be used for a cleaner exit. If it’s in my offer letter that i never have to work weekends and I have to quit when you put me on Saturdays I’m not relying on your memory that it was the deal – so possibly less adversarial as you aren’t being a pita for sport, the deal changed.

        People with actual employment contracts I’m sure have more specifics, but I don’t have experience with that.

        1. Angora

          When I was hired as a contractor doing payroll for a defense contractor (5 month assignment). They tried to change my work days. It was 5 days per work, 30 hours per week .. mandatory that I be there on Sunday & Monday.

          The first day I worked they told me I had to work six days a week including Saturday and Sunday. Called my recruiter at the staffing agency and he was totally blindsided. He wasn’t happy with them, but the contract they signed with them was for 5 days a week, not six.

          They than tried to get me to work that was not part of my job description and would normally require a higher salary. They probably hated me but I informed them that if they were going change my job description that they needed to contact the agency and revise my contract if I was going be given a higher level of responsibility. The HR director was like, that’s not happening. I was replacing a full-time employee and was working my rump off, and they wanted 40 hours of work out of me. I kept getting hints that I needed to work more hours (without pay) if I wanted to be permanent. Yea right … they lay off every time a contract ends, than turn around and bring the people back. It was their cycle … I grew up in this area; knew their reputation .

          1. Nichole

            Great example of how not keeping their word impacts employers just like employees. You may have been more trusting, and therefore more flexible to their needs in the interest of building a long term relationship, if their reputation didn’t proceed them.

    2. B

      I was going to ask OP #1 if these negotiations were in the offer letter – my company doesn’t have a section for benefits like the above, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve added something non-standard to someone’s offer letter.

      1. Jamie

        We don’t have a section either, but in my interview they promised me a 6 month compensation review and when it wasn’t in the offer letter I asked about it, they put it in – no problem.

    3. Brett

      Would a written offer even matter in this case?

      There is basically no monetary value to the perks, so the employer could still refuse to provide the perks with little risk. It would not be worthwhile at all to sue to enforce the contract.

      1. Jamie

        Nah, not lawsuit worthy just could make it easier to have the conversation since it would be spelled out. Like if the offer letter said can work from home x days per week/month it’s a different conversation than if it was all verbal and more ambiguous like can work from home sometimes. Maybe the employer meant during snow days or on rare occasions – but if it’s outlined then you have a stronger argument to have a right to know why it’s not happening.

        Same with the dog thing. Not like you can legally compel them since it changed after the fact, but proves there was a quantified perk that has been pulled so they might be more willing to move on something else instead of brushing it off as possible miscommunication.

        There are times when something in writing is legally enforceable, but not these instances IMO. Like when there is a structured bonus program that says if you hit x% on KPIs you get $x at year end. That’s part of your compensation package in a way a discretionary bonus is not and money is legally owed if metrics are there. Or if you leave a current job because of XYZ in the offer letter and it doesn’t materialize. I.e. I’m employed and you make me an offer I can’t refuse and once I work for you the salary is less than the offer letter, or scheduling is unworkable (as opposed to agreement), or suddenly has all kinds of overnight travel when one of the reasons I room the job was no overnight travel.

        If the job is fundamentally different than the offer in substance or benefits and you left another position based on that offer there is a case to be made for financial damages. Whether you’d win or not would depend on the circumstances and the judge – but it wouldn’t be frivolous to bring suit.

        So in this case if she left a job specifically because she was promised she could work from home or bring her dog and then from the start she could not – and this was in writing the court may decide she was duped and give her something. But maybe not – and those aren’t dice I’d be willing to roll, especially as she’s been there months now. And if not in writing I can’t imagine any court taking this seriously.

      2. Juli G.

        Probably not suit worthy but if OP chose to quit without other employment, it could help them collect unemployment.

      3. neverjaunty

        Written offers are mostly useful for negotiating in the workplace, and avoiding We Never Said That, You Must Have Misunderstood, Oh The Manager Who Promised That No Longer Works Here, and all the other games bad employers play to pretend that their agreements with employees don’t count.

  9. misspiggy

    I’d agree that the cost of the dog walker is not a helpful bargaining tool. Many people walk their dogs before and after work, particularly if they’re small dogs.

    Focusing on the specific things offered in the negotiating process, and making sure HR and senior managers are aware those things were offered, seems more useful. Could the manager not be wanting to admit to higher-ups that they made offers which couldn’t be realistically met?

    I’m not familiar with American hiring practices, but is it common to negotiate benefits in lieu of salary without specifying in writing how much money those benefits equate to? I’d have thought this would be necessary for safe negotiation.

    1. BRR

      If you are negotiating other benefits I am not sure if people ever write how much they are worth. Just using the LW above, the dog walker is a defined expense but the LW is nervous about their dog being alone all day. It would be difficult to equate that to a dollar amount. For working at home, you save time not having to commute which means you might be able to also wake up later and for me it would be nice not having to shave or put on dress clothes. Since that’s not something that can really be assigned a monetary value (and might be worth more to some than others) it is not written out.

    2. Eric

      I agree, but the issue isn’t the dog walker, it’s the fact that she negotiated it as part of her employment and now they’ve reneged and aren’t letting her work from home, which was also negotiated.

      Also, I leave my apartment at 8AM and don’t get home until 6PM at the earliest… and I have a dog walker. Sure, my dog could hold it for 10 hours, but I wouldn’t want him to. And if I have to work a little late, no big deal, because I know he was taken out around noon-1PM.

    3. CAA

      In my experience, it’s not usual to equate negotiated benefits to money, or at least the equivalence is not put it in writing. It is usual to put the benefits themselves in the offer letter, e.g. if the company offers new hires 3 weeks vacation and you’ve negotiated for 4, then the offer letter should say something like “annual salary of $x, 4 weeks vacation, plus other standard benefits”.

      1. EngineerGirl

        Many employers call this the “total compensation package”. That’s the terminology the OP needs to use. In other words, since they took away one part of the compensation package they need to compensate for it. The OP knows the costs for the dog, so that could be used as a fair exchange number.

  10. Phyllis

    #5: Rule one for job applicants–follow the instructions.

    Actually, that should be rule 1a. Rule 1 should be: Actually read the job announcement.

    /end rant.

  11. Jamie

    If OP #1 is reading – did you have an agreement of how much working from home would be allowed? Are you coworkers (not your boss) doing this on a specific schedule or just ad hoc?

    The reason I ask is that if you’d be allowed to work from home for certain reasons, as you’ve stated, maybe that’s what they meant when they offered it? That it’s a case by case basis either on what’s going on at home or work projects – it’s possible they are honoring what they feel they agreed to, and if you thought it would be a more regular thing it could be a miscommunication.

    If your coworkers do it every week or on a set schedule then this point is moot – and I’m not nitpicking because it’s totally understandable that “working from home” could mean different things to different people if the parameters aren’t spelled out.

  12. Maddy

    I have recently realized (duh on my part) many “benefits” are imaginary. Like OP#1 we are offered work-from-home options, but only certain people get it every week, no one else does.
    Every job I had offered graduate education reimbursement, but courses had to match your job/workplace…..so…..being a flat organization no one could prove they had need for more education given there was no where to be promoted to. And at another place, had I sought education it would have looked as if I was trying to take my bosses’ job.

    1. Not So NewReader

      Employers wonder why they have difficulty with their employees.

      I will add one to your list: Don’t say you offer elder care insurance for the employee’s parents and then the employee figures out it is available for a mere $800 per month. The employee then realizes she was a gullible fool.

      It’s so simple: Check to see if the employees actually benefit from their benefits.

    1. Maddy

      Why? Employees aren’t due what they are promised? I admit, I thought “you are shocked” they lied? I expect employers to renegotiate once they have you employed. Save salary and health insurance, I’d let the rest go. Making a big deal of this will hurt employee- not fair, but true.

      1. MR

        She may have been promised certain things, yes, but things change, much as they have in this situation. Now the OP is resorting to lying to do her own thing and get her way. This will eventually catch up to the OP and may result in the OP not having a job….

        1. Jamie

          She didn’t say that – she said she didn’t want to resort to it as she hates lying. I read that as something that crossed her mind but nothing she’s done as of yet.

          We all think about scenarios we wouldn’t act on.

          1. MR

            I interpreted the OPs statement as that she had already begun doing this, but upon reading it again, I can see how it could be interpreted either way.

        2. neverjaunty

          I don’t understand this comment. Would it be OK if the employer cut her promised salary in half because “things change”?

        3. Mike C.

          Just try unilaterally changing the terms of any other agreement you make in life, and see how that turns out for you.

  13. Mike

    Re #3: I accepted a position where my start date was more than 5 weeks out and the hiring manager was out of vacation for two weeks starting the day after I accepted. No problems happened. About midway through I got a quick email from him and then another a few days before confirming details and first day information.

  14. BKW

    My current job is field service for a large medical device company. Company headquarters is located over 1000 miles away and my boss when I was hired was located about 200 miles away. Prior to starting there had been a long delay from interview to offer (4 months) and very sporadic communication. On my first day I didn’t get a phone call and didn’t get any work to do other than a email full of documents to read. I read the documents and asked what next and was told to sit tight.

    A few days later my cell phone showed up and my company car, but still no real work. The work eventually came, but first there was training and more training and going along with other people to customer sites. My nearest co-worker is 75 miles away and I never see him. It was a strange transition for someone who was used to going to an office every day.

    My point is that every job is different and some have very different expectations for what happens when you start.

  15. Jen RO

    #5 – A while ago, I recommended a co-worker for a job with a friend’s company. I didn’t read the resume, just sent it along. Next day, my friend asks me wtf did I send, the resume had zero details! I went back to the co-worker and asked about it… the answer: ‘well, all the details are on LinkedIn and I have my profile link in my resume, I assumed they would look there!’ Facepalm.

    Last week, I was helping the team lead screen resumes and why oh why do people add their job titles and dates and *nothing* else?!

    1. Neeta

      I still did this while interviewing for my second job. I was just so unsure about what I could/couldn’t include about the projects in my CV. So basically, my resume read like (from – till company name – developed web application using languages X, Y and Z). Of course I was later asked about the type of work I did, during the interview… and I always started with “I can’t tell you a lot”. Made me sound like I was working for some top secret organization, heh.

      The I was asked (ironically, AFTER I accepted a job offer) to send a more detailed description of the type of work I did. I liked the end result so much (plus I received compliments for it), that I decided to add it to my CV.

      Heh, even now I still worry whether or not I am not revealing too much about the type of projects I worked on… despite detailing only the very basics.

  16. some1

    #4 is pretty standard. Honestly, if you are resigning, I guess I really don’t see the objection on your part. Even if it’s a pain, it’s worth it to suck it up, do as much training as you can, and leave the replacement with a training guide to leave a last good impression.

    If you’re being let go, I can definitely understand where the anger would come from in being asked to do this, but the above still applies. Also, it’s not your replacement’s fault and they shouldn’t be punished.

  17. Kerr

    OP #1: Regarding working from home, are you currently using excuses to work from home frequently, or is that just hypothetical? If you are, I wonder if your manager is concerned about your reliability or performance, if “emergencies” are always popping up and (in their view) you can’t be relied on to be in the office.

    I’d be frustrated too if I negotiated telecommuting and they reneged on it. But creating made-up reasons to work from home could backfire, as your managers think “Wow, if she takes this many telecommuting days when we don’t allow it, what would happen if we did?”

  18. Befuddled Squirrel

    #1 – It all depends on whether or not she got it in writing. If she can show her current manager that she was promised certain benefits that have since disappeared, she has a case for a raise or reinstatement of the benefits. If not, “I deserve a raise because I can’t work from home or bring my dog to the office,” isn’t going to go over well.

  19. The Bookworm

    #1 – Not the OP’s fault – but I wonder if the negotiation was with her manager or with HR. I’ve worked places where managers would tell employees about benefits or work practices that weren’t allowed (i.e. a manager told a non-exempt employee that she wouldn’t get paid for overtime, but would get comp time in lieu of overtime.).

    This leads to a question – If you negotiate different benefits with a manager, how can you (tactfully) confirm the benefits with HR – without potentially throwing the manager ‘under the bus’ if the benefits aren’t allowed?

  20. Chris

    OP #1
    If they reneged, that’s bad faith, and I’m on your side there (assuming things are as you say; I would contact them and directly ask why they have done so, as it may be a misunderstanding or miscommunication).

    But please, please, PLEASE rethink having a dog in the office. Several things:
    1. Allergies. I don’t have them, but many do
    2. Don’t assume that it isn’t causing problems for other people because no one has ever complained. There may be people who don’t say a word, but resent the hell out of you having your pet sitting in your office/cubicle all the time. Also, “cute” “quiet” and “well-behaved” dogs are often anything but, if seen by an unbiased observer. Cute is irrelevant, incidentally. A cute dog doing an annoying thing doesn’t make the thing less annoying
    3. How does this affect your productivity? Do you take the dog outside every hour? Do you pet the dog frequently at work? Do you feed it? When? You “love spending time with him”. That’s great, but unless you work for a dog-petting corporation, that’s not why you’re at work.
    4. The vast, VAST majority of dogs are just fine with 8 hours in a crate during the day. Or even loose in the apartment, if they aren’t destructive. This is hardly ideal, but if you work full time and get a dog, that’s part of it. I have a cat for that exact reason. A dogwalker is just sometimes the cost of city living.

    Again, if they reneged, that’s on them. But do not expect this to be the norm, unless you work in a vet office.

  21. ItsMe

    #1 If someone brought a dog to the office, I would complain. Pets are not people. They’re animals and don’t belong in the workplace. If pets are allowed in the office, this would have to be something potential employees would need to know before accepting an offer.

    Many people are allergic and/or just afraid of dogs and other animals.

  22. soitgoes

    I have to admit that the tone of email #1 leaves a bad taste in my mouth. She’s basically saying that she wants her job to alleviate the costs of an optional responsibility (owning a pet) that she chose to take on in her private life. I don’t expect my salary to be adjusted to accommodate my student loan payments or the cost of the gas that’s sucked up during my commute. The cost of the dog walker is immaterial to her argument, which is the principle of having a promised perk taken away.

    1. hayling

      I disagree. If a company put me in a different office than I was told during an interview and I had to spend more time or money on my commute, I’d be angry that I hadn’t negotiated that into my salary/benefits.

      Taking pets out of it, what if the perk she was promised was certain working hours (say, 7-3 instead of the normal 9-5) so she could pick her kid up from school? If the company reneged on that perk and she had to start paying for daycare, that would be a huge cost increase that has nothing to do with an “optional” responsibility.

      1. Princess Porcupine

        Having kids is a choice just as much as having a dog is. (barring some truly awful situations, of course).

      2. soitgoes

        I think everyone’s sort of wondering why this one person is having trouble managing things that other adults manage without needing special workplace accommodations. Most working adults eventually have children. Many have dogs. It’s not about the “choice” debate so much as it’s about the reality that having dependents isn’t zero-sum. Don’t get a dog and act surprised that it costs money.

      3. Sidney

        I think soitgoes and you (hayling) are on the same page about the real issue: that something was offered and isn’t being provided. Hayling, the principle is the same whether it’s bring your dog to the office, or a reasonable commute, or having daycare. When discussing it with your manager, don’t make it all about your personal budget and expenses… put it in terms of the original negotiation.

        1. soitgoes

          Exactly. It’s a personal peeve of mine when someone goes on about loving her lifestyle and needing to maintain it, as if I (and everyone else) is some slob who doesn’t care about enjoying her free time. The reasons given for wanting the perks are weak and sort of make other people feel bad. The OP’s hobbies and interests aren’t any more precious or valuable than mine, and she doesn’t deserve to have her employer grant her special privileges on that basis.

          1. Mike C.

            The reason for wanting the perks is because it was part of the benefits package negotiated in good faith before the job was accepted.

    2. brighidg

      You need to re-read then. It’s about what was agreed upon stop projecting your feelings about pet ownership onto this.

  23. Ann Furthermore

    #2: I presume you ran across those reviews on a website like Glass Door or something similar. Those are pretty helpful, and can give you some insight into what the company is like. The thing is though, people with something bad to say are more likely to post reviews. I always take stuff like that with a grain of salt.

    If it happens again, I would still go to the interview and ask questions about what you’ve read. And don’t just listen to what the interviewer says, listen to what he/she doesn’t say as well.

  24. Neeta

    #3: At my last job, I had a really long notice period, and went through something similar. I basically signed everything right around the time I resigned… and then for the next couple of months, there was no news from them.

    A few weeks before my start day, I sent HR an email asking about anything else I needed to do before I started. I got an immediate reply assuring me that everything was set.

    So, what Alison said: just send an email telling them how excited you are to start working there. :)

  25. anon-2

    #4 – yes, it’s insubordination.

    In certain circumstances, such as training an offshore replacement, knowing you’re going to be terminated — well, folks, that’s different – under such conditions a resignation might be appropriate.

    Individuals have to weigh over whether it’s worth sticking around for a severance package or not.

    I was once asked by a co-worker – who had been told he’s being replaced. He was offered one severance package if he left within the month, another one (with a little boost) if he stayed three months and trained his offshore replacement. He asked what I’d do. I told him –

    “I would be out the door within two weeks. You have made a decision that I am not a part of this company’s future. That’s your option. BUT – this company isn’t going to be part of MY future, either — so as far as futures go, I am far more concerned about mine, than I am about YOURS.” But I wasn’t him. I have no kids, no mortgages, no debts, and more than “a few” dollars in the bank.

    I’d rather use the time worrying about MY career than the company that has told me that they don’t want me around anymore.

  26. JenTheNiceHRGirl

    #2) I am just offering another perspective. Sure, maybe the management team there is horrible, in that case I don’t blame you for cancelling however, on the flip side, often times employees who were let go will be upset and will blast the company and their former managers online. We had that issue here with one of our most well respected and tenured managers. He had a problem employee who was eventually released after being performance-managed and given several chances to improve. That former employee blasted him all over GlassDoor.com and even though this was years ago, that stuff is still up there and I do get questions from candidates from time to time who have seen the posting.

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