we accidentally left a new employee behind when we went to lunch, too-fast interview invitations, and more

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

1. Is it a red flag if an employer offers a job interview right away?

I recently offered a part-time employee a promotion (still a part-time position, but with more work, more hours, and of course higher pay), which I was expecting him to accept. But he has several projects going on right now and declined in order to keep his schedule as open as possible, which I completely understand (and he will not be penalized for it in any way).

But that’s left me in a bit of a lurch – I need a shift manager sooner rather than later. Two of my current manager-level employees are moving on in early August, and it takes while to get a new employee trained as a manager. I posted a job listing earlier this week and already have a handful of good candidates that I would like to invite for an interview. But how long should I wait? I know many job searchers expect it to be 3-4 weeks weeks before they hear anything. Would it be strange to get an interview invitation in 3-4 days? Would I be sending up any red flags, when all I want to do is get this done quickly? Or is it just a breath of fresh air for applicants?

Breath of fresh air. If they’re truly strong candidates (and not just the best you have so far), go ahead and invite them to interview; there’s no need to impose artificial waiting times. But do make sure they’re truly strong candidates; often the strongest candidates don’t apply instantly because they’re not constantly looking and might only occasionally check job ads, and you don’t want to hire people simply because they’re the first to show up.

2. We accidentally left our new employee behind when we went to a staff lunch

We have quarterly staff lunches, but due to the size and our work we have to split the lunch into two sets. My new employee, who started a few weeks ago, was put into the second group. While the staff left, my colleague went to the bathroom and in the rush of getting taxis, etc., she was left behind. My employee is furious.

I am her direct supervisor but was not part of the planning committee. What can I do, as I don’t think this was intentional? I am also new to this organization and I feel terrible. Our manger only said, “Why didn’t she just get her own taxi to join?” I am not sure this an appropriate response and would like to tell people to just apologize to her. But everyone is taking the lead of the manager and no one has said anything to her.

While that was absolutely an oversight that shouldn’t have happened, she’s furious? That’s a bit of an overreaction. I agree that she should have just gotten a taxi herself, but even if she didn’t think to do that (or for some reason thought it wasn’t an option), fury isn’t really warranted here. I would tell her that you’re very sorry that this happened, that it was obviously not intentional, and that you assume that in the rush to get into taxis, each group assumed she was with the other. Maybe add that you’d like to take her out to lunch (or take her and rest of your team, if it’s a small one) to make up for it. And you can also make a point of showing her that she’s valued in other ways, and go out of your way to include her in group discussions and anything else that comes up. But I don’t think this requires a major to-do beyond that.

3. Talking to my boss about career development when I don’t want to stay here long-term

I am a relatively recent college graduate, and I am still figuring out my career. In the meantime, I’m ironically working in a career services-related job (which is how I came across your blog). My boss is a great manager and checks up on me pretty regularly. Often he’ll ask me how I’m liking my job, what I’d like to do more of, where I see myself going, etc. He even brings up multiple times that he hopes I won’t leave anytime soon. The problem is I don’t see myself long-term in this position. It’s a decent temporary position until I figure things out. I don’t particularly enjoy the work, which is basically an entry-level assistant position, and I’m often bored. There aren’t really ways to create new projects because the job and department are very structured (and I honestly just don’t care). And there aren’t other positions within the organizations I’m interested in.

When he asks me these questions, I’m never sure how to tactfully answer them. I know he wants me to respond with answers that show that I’m invested in this job and company, but I’m honestly not. What responses can I give him that makes these conversations and my performance evaluations constructive (without giving away that I intend to stay only for a little while longer)? I really respect my boss and want to make a good impression while I’m here. I do want to gain more higher level skills (project management, etc.), although I have no idea what that would practically look like in my position and department.

“This is a great place to work for someone who’s still thinking about long-term career goals! One thing I’d love to get more exposure to is X and Y — would there ever be opportunities for me to do a little bit of work in those areas or even just talk with people who do?”

But also — while it’s totally reasonable not to see yourself staying long-term, you probably should try to stay at least a year, if not two — for your resume’s sake, for the sake of your future reference, and for your reputation overall. (You can get away with one short-term stay, but it means that you’ll really need to stay at your next job for a good solid period, or you’ll start looking like you have a pattern of job-hopping.)

4. How can I coach my employee to interview well for a promotion?

I have an employee who has worked for my company for 10+ years in various roles. She has been in her current role for about 2.5 years and is ready to move up to the next level or stage within the career path of our department. She has previously interviewed twice for the next level role, but has not been chosen. I just started managing this employee about 4 months ago, and my impression of her that she is a solid and dependable person who is confident in her role. Much to my surprise, I just learned that she was passed over for a promotion the last two times because she didn’t interview well when asked basic questions about handling work situations and lacked confidence.

What can I do to help coach this employee so that she is seriously considered for the next level when another opening becomes available? As her manager, should I be helping guide her through what interviewers are looking for, and even going so far as to do role playing with me as the hiring manager and her as the interviewee? Are there resources or websites I could direct her to that might help her prepare and practice for an interview?

Well, this website is one! You might direct her to my (free) guide to preparing for an interview.

But more generally, it would be a really kind thing if you helped her prepare for an interview, even role playing an interview if she wants to do that. And there’s something else you can do, which might even have a bigger impact on her chances: The next time she’s applying for a promotion, speak to the hiring manager for that job and let them know how great she is. Hearing accolades from her current manager can be very persuasive.

5. Can HR tell me if I’m rehireable?

I was recently terminated from my job. Is HR allowed to tell me if I am re-hireable?

That’s up to them. There’s no law on this; employers can handle it however they want. That said, if you were fired for cause, you are probably not re-hireable there. If you were laid off (meaning that your position was eliminated), you probably are, although they might have a waiting period before they will do that.

{ 137 comments… read them below }

  1. blu*

    I wonder if number 2 is furious because she does think it was deliberate. It still seems like an overreaction, but it sounds like they left her and no one has said anything to her about it. It’s weird to me that no one in the group has acknowledged it at all.

    1. Ann O'Nemity*

      I’m going to guess that this company doesn’t have the warmest culture. The only person who seemed apologetic and sympathetic is the LW, who is also new. The manager’s attitude of “she should have fended for herself if she got left behind” may even speak directly of how this company treats employees.

      1. Clinical Social Worker*

        Yeah, her fury might have more to do with everyone being so cold and unwelcoming on top of the slight of not being included. It’s a recipe for feeling ostracized from the team for sure.

      2. Courtney*

        That’s how I took it also. She felt it was deliberate and that no other employee besides the LW seemed apologetic about this, especially due to the manager’s reaction of her fending for herself.

        I don’t know. If we had left a new employee behind when we had a staff lunch even we were just coworkers I’d have felt the need to say “hey Cindy we didn’t intend to overlook you. We assumed you had caught another taxi.”

        1. sunny-dee*

          I have to admit, if it were me, I’d have texted her once everyone got to the restaurant or brought back something (a dessert, coffee) just as a gesture.

          If everyone left without a word, came back and didn’t acknowledge her, and the manager says suck it up? I’d be offended. Especially if she told someone she was running to the restroom first, and they all left anyway. (I don’t know that she did; I’m just saying if.)

          1. Jessa*

            Also, a new employee may be too low on money to actually pay for a taxi back, feeling abandoned makes one kind of tetchy. And if you add in a feeling of being snubbed like has been suggested, that can range pretty high up.

            Also if they’re new in town, they might not have the office address to hand immediately. So they’re also frustrated because even if they could afford a solo cab, where do they say to go? Or they have to figure out how to get a bus in that town and may not have change or a bus card.

            If they ended up taking a cab or bus, someone should offer to reimburse whatever extra they had to pay (if the company paid all the cabs, they should be paid back, if everyone put in a share, they should be paid back the equivalent of everyone’s share.) Strike that, error like this pay for the cab shouldn’t nickle and dime the employee.

        2. Brandy*

          Well we’re a large group and a similar situation came up the other day for a work meeting luncheon but there was a look around and a “wheres Vanessa” and the manager got up and went to look for and found her. Ours was a walk over so not as bad. But No one noticed. Not one person noticed the missing new girl. That’s just sad.

    2. Clinical Social Worker*

      Yeah, I assume that because no one has said anything about it there’s salt in the wound there. It’s an easy fix, apologize and take her out to lunch, show her she’s valued as Alison said.

      If this happened to me I would be really hurt. And if no one said anything about it, especially coming from my current situation, I might think it was a message that I’m not considered part of the fold. Taking steps to send the opposite message is important.

      Did she know where the restaurant was? She might not have taken a taxi because she could only afford a split fare instead of her own. Or maybe she didn’t know where it was, or which side of town if there’s more than one of that restaurant. Or maybe she spent so much time trying to find people she figured she’d be late and didn’t bother.

      1. Ruffingit*

        Exactly, those were my thoughts as well. And also, how long would it take the taxi to get to her work site, how long is the ride over, etc. At some point it may have just seemed like “Well, by the time the taxi gets here and gets me there, everyone else will have ordered and have their lunch. Not worth bothering.”

      2. blu*

        Yeah that’s what’s so weird to me. This is such an easy thing to remedy with a quick acknowledgement and maybe a joke about using the buddy system or something. Even if you think her rage is dumb, how hard is it to just acknowledge the mistake.

        1. Clinical Social Worker*

          Yeah I mean I can see someone being hurt/angry and even though the intensity seems unwarranted the fasted way to defuse that, especially if someoen IS in the wrong, is to just own up to it and make it right.

          1. Brandy*

            Her fury is probably fury and angry. I’d be hot at least. That no one noticed me. Its hard not to turn that in hurt.

        2. Sepha*

          Person who asked for advice…

          I agree with all the comments. I think it is partly an unwelcoming culture. I really like the advice of taking the person to lunch with smaller team. That seems like the best way to try and help them feel appreciated.

      3. Anonymint*

        It’s also so weird that no one noticed she wasn’t there. Even if she was a new-hire, you’d think someone would, at some point during lunch say “Hey, has anyone seen Jane? Was she in the taxi with Group 2?” and when they realized she wasn’t there, gone back to retrieve her even if it was late!

      4. Mimmy*

        I can see the same thing happening to me *shudder* and would’ve just missed the lunch rather than get myself all frazzled trying to find people and/or trying to figure out where the place is.

      5. AFI*

        “Did she know where the restaurant was? She might not have taken a taxi because she could only afford a split fare instead of her own. Or maybe she didn’t know where it was, or which side of town if there’s more than one of that restaurant. Or maybe she spent so much time trying to find people she figured she’d be late and didn’t bother.” Exactly what I was thinking.

        1. Jessa*

          Oh I totally misread this, I thought they meant they left her at the restaurant, not at the office. Okay that kinda makes it a little worse, nobody counted heads?

      6. NoPantsFridays*

        Good thoughts. Also, if she felt she was left out intentionally she would be less inclined to take a taxi and join the group at the restaurant– she’d think they don’t want her there.

      7. MissDisplaced*

        I agree. When you’re new to a place you don’t always know the “unwritten” rules about things, and she may have really felt snubbed and hurt, especially if no one came back and acknowledged they had missed including her. I don’t think being furious is a good response to all this either, but yeah this incident doesn’t say much for the culture.

    3. Ruffingit*

      I think that’s likely where the fury is coming from. It’s not so much what happened, it’s the lack of reaction to it. It was a crappy thing to have happen and when no one acknowledges that, it can make someone feel like no one cares, it was no big deal, etc. It was a big deal (perhaps not a HUGE deal, but big nonetheless in its own way) and an apology could go a long way rather than saying “Whatever, it’s no big thing, get over it.”

      1. LBK*

        Seriously, that’s so weird…not acknowledging it makes it look intentional. Like, “We’re not apologizing to you because leaving you behind was our desired outcome, so we do not recognize that there is a reason to apologize.” Bizarre.

        1. De Minimis*

          I don’t know if I’d be “furious,” but it would definitely give me a bad impression that might take a while to overcome.

      2. the_scientist*

        I would be (internally) furious, but that fury would be masking some serious humiliation. A deliberate snub like that is a pretty big F U to a new employee and when the rest of the team doesn’t even MENTION it? Not one single “Oh, no I am SO SORRY”? Nothing, really?

        As to why the employee couldn’t “fend for herself”:
        – maybe she didn’t know where the restaurant was, and didn’t know the name of it
        – maybe she didn’t have any cash for a cab, and couldn’t get any
        – maybe she didn’t know where spare taxi chits are stored and wasn’t sure how to fill them out even if she found them
        – maybe she couldn’t afford the cab fare
        – maybe she didn’t know how long it was going to take to get there, and worried about coming in late
        – maybe she thought they deliberately forgot her and she was too embarrassed to show up late

        1. Jen RO*

          In a cold office culture, I would absolutely believe or was intentional and I would not even try to get to the restaurant. I’d go home and feel like crap.

          1. Jamie*

            I would have assumed it was unintentional, but even then no way would I have grabbed a cab and go on my own.

            Too awkward, too unfamiliar, what if I walk in and they’re all served and I hadn’t ordered? It would never occur to me.

            I really would assume it was an oversight unless I had other reasons to think it was personal.

            I can easily see in the chaos of getting a bunch of people somewhere by cab someone could be missed.

            I think it’s nice if the OP acknowledged it and let her know it wasn’t intentional – if it were me left behind I’d make some dorky Home Alone joke and everything would be cool.

            A special lunch to make it up to me would make me uncomfortable, as if they felt I was fragile and needed soothing …but that could just be me. I don’t like a fuss being made over me.

            1. Jen RO*

              Oh, I’d probably know (intellectually) that it wasn’t on purpose, but my low self esteem would be there saying ‘what if they really wanted you left behind?’, ‘of course they left you, you are utterly forgettable and boring’, and so on.

              (A special lunch would make me uncomfortable too.)

        2. Skippy Larou*

          If the employee has been there “a few weeks” she might not have been paid yet, and might not be able to afford her own taxi to the group lunch or to buy herself lunch, if the group lunch was on the company or manager. This might have left her hungry and hurt.

          Initially I misread that she was left behind at the restaurant, which somehow seems a little bit worse; she’d have to get herself back to work. Although she would have eaten…

          1. some1*

            Yeah, and if she was planning on going out to lunch, she almost certainly didn’t bring one from home and had to go buy food or skip lunch. That would annoy me especially if I just started a new job and was on a tight budget.

        3. Not So NewReader*

          I’m with you, the scientist. It’s a big FU. It would have played out differently if someone just took a second to say “Gosh, we really screwed up, we are so sorry.”

          I don’t understand what is so hard about that sentence. It costs nothing to say it.

    4. Lida*

      I would be furious, if I didn’t know where everyone was going and missed it because I couldn’t find out. Was it a secret location or just not communicated? Did she try to find out where it was by calling or texting people, but couldn’t get ahold of anyone making it impossible to follow?

        1. Jessa*

          Yeh it usually takes me a few days at a new place to start to get all the relevant numbers into my phone, mostly because I have to figure out A: what numbers are relevant to my needs, and B: exactly what those numbers are. Also some people don’t immediately give out their phone numbers if they’re personal ones. Once I get settled, I make a numbers list and within a few days everyone seems to want a copy of my notes. It’s like nobody ever thought of this before me, which has to be weird. People must need the numbers, I guess they don’t think that they should offer them to other people?

          But coworker numbers would be a low level priority. Supervisor contacts, how to call in, etc. That’d be the big things I’d look for first day. Now though next job I’ll make it a point if everyone is going somewhere to get at least one number from the group, just in case.

          1. Bea W*

            I’ve never had personal co-worker cell info unless there was some reason for it. My current job sometimes people work from home, but even then not everyone has saved those numbers to their personal cell because we don’t call each other off hours. We’ve been waiting on people and someone will ask if anyone has that person’s cell # and usually only one person might have it handy. I would not expect a new employee to have anyone’s cell # or anyone to have the new employee’s cell #. Heck 2 of my co-workers have company cell phones and if you never call them that way, you won’t usually have it saved.

  2. Sunflower*

    #2- I have to admit I’d be pretty hurt but I wouldn’t be furious. I don’t think anyone has apologized, not because anyone is cold, but maybe they assumed she didn’t want to come or couldn’t come for some other reason.

    Sometimes when you’ve been at a job or somewhere for a while, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to be the new, nervous person with no idea what’s going on. I don’t think it occurred to anyone that she might be too nervous to come alone or she wouldn’t feel comfortable coming at her own time. I would apologize and say it was completely unintentional.

    1. Laura*

      It’s also possible that if she planned on that lunch, she had (of course!) not brought food, and if she doesn’t have a car there (implied by the statement that she could have taken a taxi) and the office is not near food, she may not have had much to eat that day. That’s also not something that would make me very happy at all in the moment – low blood sugar doesn’t help my mood and would definitely further color my impression of the event.

      There’s a fairly large series of “ifs” in here – I think the first two are pretty likely, but whether or not the office is near food is a total unknown – but if she’d been anticipating that and didn’t have an alternative, that would be another part of the issue I think.

      1. OhNo*

        I was wondering about this as well. It would have at least been a nice gesture to call offer to bring something back, even if the rest of the group didn’t realize she had been left behind, but just assumed she didn’t want to come or something.

        I’m seriously weirded out by the other people’s reactions to it though. I mean, a group reaction of “just suck it up”, with NO acknowledgement whatsoever that they forgot about her? How terribly rude.

        1. Bea W*

          I can’t ever imagine this happening with any outings I’ve had with co-workers over the years and definitely not in my current group. People were always aware of the missing and someone always pipes up. I can’t imagine a new person not making into a cab would go unnoticed. People get pretty concerned if we’ve lost someone. We’d have likely sent one cab ahead and held the other until we had everyone, or something. I’ve never been a situation where someone went missing and people went on about their business like they didn’t exist and didn’t seem to care enough to even acknowledge an honest mistake and apologize. The response from the manager and co-workers backing that up was just the extra boot in the butt.

          1. Not So NewReader*

            Usually someone makes sure the newbie is on the same page as everyone else.
            No one in the group could do that?

            I would hope I would keep my anger under control but I KNOW I would remember this “incident” and the group response for years to come. I would have difficulty trusting the group.

  3. PEBCAK*

    #4 — I’m going to be yelled at for reading a lot into this, but the “lacks confidence” set off my spidey sense. Please take a look around your organization and see if there is a gender gap in promotion decisions. If there is, I hope you consider raising the issue with your peers or with more senior management.

    1. Meemz*

      PEBCAK – it’s funny you mentioned that because this employee has already complained to HR about this exact thing. Promotion of more males versus females. HR investigated and found no wrong-doing. I just received more feedback that the hiring managers don’t feel like she has the product knowledge either which seems odd to me since she’s been here for 10+ years and knows a lot. This employee is so bored in her current role that I’m worried we’re going to lose her to another company.

      1. LBK*

        What does she do to make her product knowledge visible? Is she the go-to person for questions about any aspect of it? Does she train new hires on it? Maybe she needs to focus on those aspects to make it known that she does know the product (assuming she actually does – you can use something for a long time without becoming a power user).

      2. Ann O'Nemity*

        Meemz, were the previous people who landed the jobs internal or external hires?

        If they were all external hires, it may indicate that your company doesn’t have a good ladder to internal advancement. I’ve seen this in my own company, often when the job requires applicants to have years of experience in that exact role.

        If they were internal hires, are there common traits or experiences that your employee could emulate? Are there projects that she could work on in her current role that would better prepare her for the promotion?

      3. Observer*

        “No wrongdoing” does not mean there is not an issue. Women often find themselves in a catch 22. If they are confident and assertive, they are seen as “bitchy” or aggressive (and even when it doesn’t happen, it’s something they legitimately fear). If they are lower key, softer spoken, don’t assert themselves or try to encourage other opinions they are seen as lacking confidence.

        This may not be an issue, but given what you say, it’s definitely something that should be seriously looked at.

        1. Mike C.*

          I was thinking along similar lines.

          The other thing I was thinking is that just because people aren’t actively choosing men over women in their promotion decisions doesn’t mean there there is a flaw in the selection process, or cultural issues at play.

    2. LBK*

      I’m gonna agree with your self-assessment that you’re reading too much into it. Gender isn’t mentioned at all in the letter except the employee’s – the two managers that passed her over could’ve very well been female. People lack confidence all the time for many different reasons, I think it’s a huge leap to say it’s because she’s a woman in a male org without even a hint of that context in the letter.

      1. JC*

        Just want to point out that the tendency to judge women as lacking confidence in the workplace doesn’t necessarily have to happen in a male-dominated workplace, or by men.

      2. PEBCAK*

        I said it should be looked at, not that it was definitely the problem. Nobody is going to come out and say “we didn’t promote her because we don’t see women in management roles.” Heck, in a lot of cases, the halo effect is so strong that those making promotion decisions don’t even realize their own unconscious biases. But lots of times you hear certain “dog-whistles,” like “not assertive” or “lacks confidence” and so on.

    3. Meg Murry*

      Maybe – or maybe she’s just not good at thinking on her feet when hit with a “tell about a time when …” question. I’d suggest sending her to a list of typical behavioral interview questions and suggest she spend some time answering them on her own, then take her through a mock interview with them. And if she starts hedging her answers of being too modest about “oh, well, that wasn’t really all me …” give her some encouragement and confidence, and remind her of projects she did a good job on or took the lead on.
      Some people just aren’t good at tooting their own horn, and have to be reminded that in an interview its not only ok but required.
      Also, if you are both women, you could give her a copy of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office – prefaced by telling her which things you yourself had to work on over your career, and point out places that she could learn from (like if she tends to play down her accomplishments, act too humble, etc).
      You are her manager, but you can also be her mentor – my best managers were also great mentors to me and I really appreciate it to this day. I know there is a Boss’s day and an Adminstrative Professional’s Day, but I think Hallmark needs to get on a “Mentor’s Day” – because that’s a day I might actually shell out money for a thank you card.

    4. Matthew Soffen*

      The other thing I might thing (from my own experience – and I am male btw) is that the people interviewing have a “specific” view of her (and that they really think she’s best in her current role so she’s stuck in her current role).

  4. ExceptionToTheRule*

    I had something similar to #2 happen to me several months and I was furious. For me, it was a site survey and the management team forgetting that I was supposed to go caused me no end of problems during the live show we did from there because it was a logistical nightmare. I couldn’t just go when I realized I’d been forgotten because they’d left an hour early and it was a 30 minute drive to the site and I didn’t know where the place was. The team would have been on their way back by the time I arrived.

    Actions will always speak louder than words, so it’s very disheartening to realize that, no matter what they SAY, you’re ultimately a forgettable employee whose expertise isn’t valued.

    1. LBK*

      Eh, that doesn’t sound like quite the same situation. She was in the bathroom when the taxi left. It wasn’t like someone had planned it out in advance and forgot to add her to the guest list, it was just a Home Alone-esque mix up.

    2. Spinks*

      If it was me, I would really not want to go to the next joint company do. Once bitten, twice shy.

  5. GWJ*

    RE: #2, how junior or entry-level was the employee? I know for me, as a fresh-out-of-grad-school research assistant, it was hell any time anyone suggested drinks or a team lunch or anything like that. At that level we just have no disposable income! And I wonder if it has something to do with that – that going out to lunch was going to be hard enough as is, and with the added cost of a cab, just nigh-impossible.

    1. Samantha*

      I assumed the company would paying for it – sounds like a company organized event. If you want/require everyone to go, seems like the company would foot the bill.

      1. Liz*

        But if you’ve been left behind *and* you’re a new employee… I can imagine agonizing over whether I should make my own way there, then thinking public transport doesn’t work and what if they won’t reimburse me and I don’t have money for a taxi anyway even if I knew exactly where I was going, and won’t it be awkward …

      2. Bea W*

        The company may be reimbursing cash out of pocket or someone may have been using a corporate card. Neither of those things is of any use if you are the one left behind and you don’t have money to front your own cab fare, and as a new employee she may not have even known how that would work, and figured if she missed the group ride she was SOL. It’s also common that it’s not reimbursed, but employees agree to split the cost so they can do something nice for themselves. I didn’t assume either way. I just know the driver needs to get paid, and in all likely hood taking her own cab meant it was immediately coming out of her pocket.

        I think it’s important to remember this is a new employee, only on the job a few weeks. So she doesn’t know everyone that well and is likely not familiar with who pays for a business related cab ride. She may have not had the address of the restaurant or known the area well or not even remembered the name of the particular place since someone else was likely doing the organizing. I really disagree with the manager’s response of “Why didn’t she just get her own taxi to join?” That’s totally of out-of-touch with what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone who is either entry level or new or both, and I feel like that isn’t rocket science.

  6. TheExchequer*

    #1 – where did you say you were interviewing? :P

    #2 – I think I would be angry, but that anger would be masking embarrassment and hurt. As a new employee, you want to know you’re not being overlooked and this, plus the lack of response, signals the complete opposite.

    #3 – as another job seeker trying to figure things out, I feel your pain.

    #4 – I wish interviews were not the end all of measuring someone’s competence. But I’m not sure what we would replace it with

    #5 – do you have any contacts still in the organization? They might be able to tell you what the policy is

    1. Labratnomore*

      I agree that I wish interviews were not the end all for measuring people. They have a very strict standard at my company that they need to focus their hiring decisions specifically on the interview, even for internal candidates. There have been times where one internal candidate is obviously superior to another based on performance and they are not interviewing any outside candidates but they end up going with the lower performer based on interview abilities. Some people are natural sales people and others are not, but I would hope the focus is on the content of the answers not the quality of the response (unless one had communication skills that obviously would not fit the job). For outside candidates or a mix of candidates I think it would be impossible to not to make the interview the key to hiring.

      As for the OP in # 4 Way to go for helping your employee with their development, there are so many managers how have a hard time with this!

      1. Mike C.*

        You’d think things like reviews, examples of previous work, and references from direct managers/supervisors would help make better decisions.

        1. Labratnomore*

          You would think so, and I think in most companies they do. For some reason my company seems to try to put everyone on equal ground by trying not to look at those factors. When there is a mix of internal and external candidates I think they are trying to make sure we focus on finding the best candidate, not just the accepting the internal one because their strength and weaknesses are known making them a smaller risk.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Yeah, this is something that sometimes happens when companies create overly rule rules in an effort to be “fair.” It ends up not being fair or useful at all.

  7. pizzagrl*

    Is 1 year considered a short term stay? It seems from AAM’s response to Q3 is saying 2 years is ideal, but is 1 okay too?

    1. Apollo Warbucks*

      I think one year is the bare minimum you should aim to stay in a role, two years would be better. what you don’t want is a whole string of short term jobs on your CV or the new hiring manager will think you wont stay with them for long, and would rather avoid having to fill the job in 6 months time when you’ve got board and moved on

    2. Bernadette*

      I wonder this too. I have one short term stay (less than a year) on my resume that was right after college and I could get away with removing from my resume altogether. My next role was an internship and the following was a contract position, both designed to be short term. I am finally in a salaried/full-time role and wonder if it would look bad to leave between 1 and 2 years, or if that would be long enough.

      1. YoungProfessional*

        I temped for two years before landing my first salaried job recently. I have no plans of leaving anytime soon but given how long I temped should I plan to stay for at least three years?

      2. Koko*

        Just don’t quit until you have a new job. Maybe someone you’re interested in will hire you even with only between 1 and 2 years as your longest tenure, and then there’s your answer. Or maybe you won’t be able to find a job that quickly, and you’ll have been there more than 2 years by the time you do.

        Just my personal opinion: Your case is borderline. 2-3 years at your current job wouldn’t even stand out to me. 1-2 years would be fine if there were another position you’d been at for 2 or more years. (And if you were further in a career I’d generally want to see that at least 50% of your jobs had 2+ year stays, with that percentage increasing the longer you’d been in the field, because I want to think that as you’ve gained experienced and started commanding a better salary that you’d use that power to choose your jobs more carefully.)

        1-2 years, when the only other full-time role is less than a year, is something I would definitely notice and while it probably wouldn’t take you out of the running for the kind of jobs that ask for 3-5 years experience, I would specifically ask you to address if I interviewed you, and I’d be looking for you to convince me that you understand the nature of the role and are excited about staying in it for at least a couple years.

    3. cat*

      I wonder about this as well. I stayed in my first job out of college for 6 years then I left to get my MBA. I stayed in the next job after grad school for 2-1/2 years, and I’ve been in my current job for 1-1/2 years and am contemplating leaving (but probably not before I hit the 2-year mark). When I start seriously job hunting, is it going to look like I’m only good for two years? How long will I need to stay in my next role?

      1. Koko*

        I would look at the people around you and what the average tenure in your field is. At one extreme end, I have friends with specialized IT skills who change jobs about as often as they change the tires on their car. It’s always for more money and the employers use recruiters to lure them away from their jobs. It’s clear that in their line of work, there’s no penalty for changing jobs every 2 years.

        If most people at your company and your last company had been hired in the last 2-3 years or a majority have been in the same role 5+ years, that tells you something.

    4. Sharm*

      I would consider it short, and I say that as someone who’s done it twice already. Urg. :-\

      I worry about this a lot. I was at my first employer for 5 years, but I actually left after two year for a 6 month stint elsewhere that fell apart (not me, but the company itself). I got hired back to the first place and was subsequently promoted twice, so it’s not like it was a black mark. I hope to drop the 6 month stint soon.

      Since having left there though, I’ve had two employers in two years. I moved to a totally different state where the culture is very different, so people advise me all the time not to worry about it. My problem has been lack of challenge, so I keep looking for that. I just have a hard time balancing the job-hopping thing with the realization that I’m wasting time by not developing stronger skills. The problem is, my immediate next employer might be cool with it, but what about down the line 5 years when I have all these one year stints? Ugh. Frustrating.

  8. Big Tom*

    #1 – I’ve had a couple of jobs (in retail and service-type places) where I was called for an interview the day after applying, or in one case several hours after applying. In my experience with such places, it’s not that unusual to go from application to job acceptance in a few days.
    Obviously that’s not as common in managerial positions, but it definitely happens.

    1. LBK*

      Agreed. Hiring in retail tends to go faster than the corporate world in my experience (generally fewer layers of review and approval required) so I wouldn’t find that weird at all.

    2. StarHopper*

      My very first “real” job post-college was at a newspaper. I was interviewed & hired the same day I applied. It’s okay to go fast!

    3. SevenSixOne*

      I applied for my current job on a Tuesday, got a call for an interview Wednesday, interviewed Thursday, got a job offer Friday, and started the following Monday. Some of my co-workers had a similar quick hiring turnaround.

      It’s an entry-level position (not retail), but still… it does happen.

  9. Mimmy*

    #2 – Accidentally left coworker behind

    Completely agree with everyone else. Okay, her fury might be a bit much, and maybe she could’ve taken some proactive steps (e.g. looked up exact address if restaurant name is known, grabbed her own cab), but the decent thing to do is apologize and make sure she feels welcome.

    OP, you are awesome for having that gut instinct for wanting to make it right.

    1. The Other Dawn*

      I agree. At least acknowledge that it happened, it was an oversight and apologize. I think that’s why she’s so upset; I’d be, too, if everyone was acting like nothing happened and I should have known to get my own taxi. I think what happened is the group simply forgot they had a new employee. I mean, she’s only been there a few weeks. I sometimes forget there’s a new employee in my department and have to remind myself he’s here now. Probably sounds weird, but it could happen.

      1. Mike C.*

        See, I’m the other way. I would be paying extra attention to the new person – making sure they were included in everything and knew what was going on and the cultural norms and so on.

        I’m sure a lot of this is based on group size and culture though.

        1. The Other Dawn*

          I think Alison’s answer is actually making too much of a fuss, personally. I wouldn’t make the extra effort to bring her out to a special lunch and all that to make it up to her. Just acknowledge, explain it was an error, and apologize. Then move on.

          1. SleepyJean*

            Yeah, I find it an overreaction as well. The OP should just apologize on behalf of the others (neither of them are waiting for individual apologies from everyone, are they? That would be bizarre.) and move on. I’m more disturbed by the fact that the employee is openly furious about what seems to be an inadvertent slight.

        2. Meg Murry*

          Yes, same here. If I was the boss, I would probably have either found an employee in group 2 to “buddy up” with her, or asked an employee from the group I was in to switch so the new person could be in the same group (and cab) with me. Its hard enough being the new person without someone looking out for you.

  10. Gwydion*

    5. I might be wrong, but it sounds like 5’s OP may be interested in what the company is going to say as a response to an employment verification. Whether fired or laid off, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the previous employer how they are going to answer employment verification reference calls.

    1. Anx*

      A very good portion of applications ask “are you eligible for rehire?”

      My last job that ended laid me off on our last day before a seasonal closing and by the time they reopened, I had moved on and didn’t think to call about things like that.

  11. Amanda*

    #2 – I used to work in at a big consulting firm. One of the my co-workers, when she was right out of college and brand-new to the firm, was staffed out of Texas but was put on a project in Puerto Rico. The whole team flew in on Monday mornings and out on Friday afternoons.

    When there were hurricanes, the team had a procedure in place to call everyone, coordinate, and get on a flight out before the hurricane hit. There was a hurricane in her first month and everyone forgot to call the new employee. They all left to go back to Texas, and she was stuck in Puerto Rico in a hurricane by herself (with no real idea what to do, though I’m sure the hotel helped her) because her co-workers forgot her.

    The senior manager got in big trouble. She was pissed at the time but it became a funny story.

    1. Clinical Social Worker*

      WOAH. That’s way bigger than being forgotten for lunch. She could’ve been seriously injured!

    2. Observer*

      As the others pointed out, this is a very different thing. I’m glad to hear that the senior manager got into trouble.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      I will be thinking of this story the next time my job gets a little tough. yikes.

  12. Ann Furthermore*

    #2: These things happen sometimes, and in my view “furious” is a bit overboard. In her place I’d have been disappointed to miss the lunch, but just written it off as a snafu/cluster/screw-up and move on. I wouldn’t get wrapped up in who apologized and who didn’t. It’s work, not high school.

    Now — if stuff like this happened all the time, then yeah, I’d be pretty steamed. But a one-time screw up? I’d let it go.

    #4 – Good for you for wanting to help your employee advance. Too often managers are short sighted and only care about keeping an employee where they are because they think it would be too disruptive to let them move into another role. One very smart, talented woman I worked with left my company because she wanted to apply for a role in another group, and her manager refused to let her because she was deemed to be “too critical” to the group. So she said “screw it” and quit. Her husband had a fantastic job offer in another city and they’d been trying to figure out how he could take it and not impact her career. Then her boss stifled her career growth and made it an easy decision.

    1. Temporarily anon*

      #2 Nowadays, that would be my reaction, too. With confidence in my welcome, money in my purse, experience in the world, and the assertiveness to check plans in advance, I’d have found my own way and laughed about it.

      At the start of my career, it would have been quite a different story. I was shy, insecure, and had been raised in a fairly authoritarian environment where the psychological contract said that I was not supposed to assert my needs and wishes, and in exchange, they would be met. “Wait until you’re offered,” was the watchphrase, So being left behind like that would have pushed all my buttons. Not that I’d have shown I cared, if they didn’t.

  13. NewGrad*

    Hi, I sent in question #3. Thank you so much for answering, Alison.

    I’ve been in my position for just over a year now, and I do plan to stay for at least another year for my resume, reputation, and reference’s sake.

    The problem is, if I’m going to tell my boss that I don’t enjoy the entry level tasks of X and Y, I should offer new project ideas and roles for myself. However, I have no suggestions (my department is very structured), and I’m not invested enough to really engage my heart and soul in the job. I dread each time he asks me what I’d like to do more of. I have no idea, and I don’t really care. I just don’t want him to know this.

    1. Mike C.*

      When he asks you “what you’d like to do more of”, tell him you want some stretch projects – something a little more risky, out of your comfort zone and so on. Raise the point that you’re unsure of what you could be working on because of your department structure, but there’s nothing stopping your boss from having you work with folks in different roles either. There are always things that are put on the back burner due to time, so maybe you can take one of those on.

      Even if you hate the place, letting your boss know the above and getting to work on something new will do a bunch of things for you:

      1. You’ll be happier at work since you won’t be bored. (I take it that boredom is a big part of it?)

      2. You’ll be gaining new skills and increased responsibility, which will help you a great deal in your job search.

      Good luck!

      1. Sharm*

        I am in a similar position, NewGrad, and Mike’s advice is good. I have really tried to make an effort at a place that bores me, and it’s made things much better — I’ve been selected to work on a special committee, and because no one is stepping up there, I’m volunteering myself for work there too. It’s given me facetime with our top management and executive staff — if nothing else, I use it as an exercise to calm my nerves when working with senior-level people. They’ve always made me nervous, but I am using this as a learning opportunity to grow. It’s not the ideal situation, but at least I feel like I’m not wasting my time, twiddling my thumbs.

        1. NewGrad*

          Hi Sharm,

          It’s really nice to hear from someone who was once in a similar position, twiddling thumbs and all. I just need to brainstorm practical ways I can create fun responsibilities and projects.

          Best of luck to you.

      2. NewGrad*

        Mike C., thanks for your help.

        Next time these conservations come along, I’ll mention that I’m open to working with people in different departments. I also need to take on a “fake it til you make it” attitude/perspective because I limit myself by staying in my comfort zone.

        Thanks again!

  14. Kathy-office*

    For #2- I wonder if they’re mad due to facing similar issues at their previous workplace. ( I’m also assuming that the LW wrote that they were “furious” due to noticing they were upset, but not in a work-inappropriate way.) if a person has been ostracized previously and left their old job for that reason, any sign of it in their new workplace may cause them extra worry that it may happen again. While you’d expect everyone in a work environment to act like adults, workplace bullying does happen, and it affects how people navigate workplaces. Especially if it intersects with racism, sexism, ableism, etc. We don’t really have enough info to know exactly what could be going through their head, but point being that their past experiences could be affecting how they perceive this, and explain why they’re upset.

    As someone who’s dealing with similar issues in my workplace, I know I’d be upset I something like that happened at a new job (which I hope I get ASAP!). And funny enough, I had something similar happen to me at my current workplace when I first started . It didn’t bother me at all at the time, but it was one incident in a larger chain of events that made me feel unwelcome.

    That all said, it does seem weird that no one else expressed any concern about it, or even mention or notice it. Even just a quick “sorry we left you that last time, we’ll make sure to look out for you next month.” would make sense. Good on the LW for wanting to do something. I think the suggestion of offering to have lunch together would go a really long way, but a quick “sorry about that, I’ll look out for you next month” would work, too.

    1. Clinical Social Worker*

      Agreed with all of it. I too currently feel ostracized from my workplace (may even need to formally file a hostile work complaint) and if I ran into this at a new work place I think that I’d still be a bit raw from it happening here and get really distressed about it.

    2. some1*

      Agreed. I think it’s key to remember that she’s new so she has little to go on regarding how much she is welcomed and valued.

  15. No such thing as a free lunch*

    The name is a bit of a joke– I was once accidently left behind from a team lunch. It was almost the exact same situation! We had a large group and we had to split up into three vehicles. There was a carpool SNAFU and I was left at the office.

    It was during my first few weeks at work and I wasn’t hurt, I was MORTIFIED. This was to be a meet and greet/working lunch and I didn’t have a way of getting there. (We are a one car family and my husband needed the car that day)

    I ended up calling my husband and asking him to drop me off at the restaurant that they went to. I was late, but I made it, and my manager apologized profusely after complimenting me for making it to the lunch on my own. (He knew that I often did not have a car during the day)

    I understand why she may be upset, it is more than being left out of a lunch, it is being left -at work- around new people. I felt confused and worried and I did not like feeling even a bit panicked in front of brand new coworkers. I hope that she calms down though and can make light of it in the future. If I were her I would make a joke the next time, or offer to drive :)

    1. Al Lo*

      Your capitalized SNAFU just reminded me that I just learned that the word is an acronym! I hadn’t known that little tidbit before.

  16. Lynn*

    #2 – I got the impression that the lack of apology/compassion was in response to her fury, not the cause of it. Anyone else get that vibe? That doesn’t excuse an apology when it’s clearly warranted, but I think it’s important to be sure exactly why she’s angry… If she’s furious because she was left behind, that’s a little much, considering she’s new and not familiar with the whole system yet. But if she was upset and is now furious because of the lack of understanding, it makes a bit more sense.

    1. Amy*

      When you mess up like this, the first thing out of your mouth when you see them should be an apology. Heck, you should seek the person out in order to apologise, not just hope they never bring it up and still refuse to apologise when they do based on how you think they’re ‘overreacting’. The idea that people are refusing to apologise because she overreacted is unfair- she should have received an apology before she had the chance to make any kind of reaction.

  17. Phoenix*

    Regarding the advice given in #3, but somewhat off-topic…is there any leniency toward early “job-hopping” if the job was clearly “below” your degree? I say “below” not because I think the work was beneath me, just because it could have been (and should have been) performed by an intern partway through my degree, and I was working there after graduation. The pay was in line with that level of experience, which contributed to making the job not a good fit for me in the long term.

    (The place was also jaw-droppingly dysfunctional – a manager assaulted an employee on company grounds, in front of the owner, and was not punished in any way, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg – but luckily for me, the low pay and poor career alignment gives me good enough reason to never discuss the work environment with an interviewer.)

    Anyway, I was only there for nine months before moving on to a position that fit much better with my background and career goals. I’ve been here for eight months now and have NO plans of leaving soon…but I’m wondering if that early short stint would still hurt me if it was clearly so ill-suited.

    1. Sharm*

      My guess is you get one. More than one, and then it starts to reflect poorly on you and less on one bad fit.

      1. Phoenix*

        That makes sense, and was my thinking as well – one short stint followed by a five-year stay with good performance would certainly look quite different than a short stay followed by only a year or two.

  18. Mints*

    #2 I almost forgot a staff member when I worked childcare. Losing a kid is a crisis, and we double triple quadruple count them (face counts and roll call) to make sure they’re all on the bus. And one time a staff member went on lunch and was due to be back right when the bus was also due to leave. And I forgot. I was getting everyone on the bus and was about to leave when he came back like “Hey don’t forget me.” I felt really bad but also thought it was funny. I was like I’M SO SORRY HAHAHA I SWEAR I DIDN’T MEAN TO LEAVE YOU
    He was quiet, and I didn’t know him that well. But he was not furious. I made an effort to be friendly to him later

    I think it’s much more about the response than the actual mistake

  19. NavyLT*

    #2 – You know, if she disappeared to the restroom while everyone was getting taxis, it’s completely understandable that she got left behind, and I don’t think that’s the issue. OP, as her direct supervisor, you should have gotten in touch with her once it was obvious that she hadn’t shown up (and yes, it should have been obvious to you that she wasn’t there). You need to be aware of where your people are, and if they’re not where you expect them to be, you need to get in touch with them. Sure, she should have gotten her own taxi, but that doesn’t let you off the hook for not getting in touch with her–if for nothing else than to tell her to catch a cab and join the team.

    1. some1*

      Thank you! I don’t understand why the LW didn’t notice her employee’s absence — 2 cabs full of people is not a big enough group to not notice.

      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        It’s not clear from the original post whether OP was in the first or second group for the lunch – if in the first they might not have noticed that Employee wasn’t around for the second lunch.

  20. Erin*

    #2 – I’d be hurt, but furious wouldn’t come into play unless there was a lack of apology and if everyone acted as if nothing happened. Maybe that’s why she is so mad?

    1. Windchime*

      I’m actually interested to know how she is displaying that she is “furious”. How is that being manifested?

      1. Koko*

        Yeah, I would take any secondhand description of another person’s emotional state with a grain of salt. Before calling her fury unwarranted I’d want to see evidence that she’s actually inappropriately angry, and not just upset and the manager calls it “furious” because he has either 1) a limited vocabulary for describing emotions (very common among men) or 2) an incorrect perception of her true emotional state.

      2. anon*

        Absolutely agreed. I think when the desired response from the office (though not the OP, thankfully!) was for the new employee to shut up and be totally cool with being left behind, “furious” could very well mean “reasonably assertive about not wanting to be left behind in the future.”

        I almost wonder if other people have told the OP that the new hire is furious or the OP used the word casually, really meaning to convey displeasure of any intensity.

        I am starting a new job week after next, so I am very sympathetic to the new hire, and pretty horrified that she was left behind. My own worry, which might be different from hers, wouldn’t be that I wasn’t valued, but rather that I was seen as the flake or had somehow screwed up and that I had missed a lunch meeting.

        I don’t know if she is experiencing that at all, but it might be worth saying something like “I am really embarrassed that this happened” or whatever is true for you and takes ownership of the mistake. I would also give her any work related information she missed.

        I’m sorry you have to work with people who don’t see how rude it is to not even acknowledge that you forgot someone, let alone try to go back for them. I hope that it’s a one off and that you can resolve this and have a good relationship with your new employee and the manager.

  21. Bea W*

    #2 – If she told other people she was running to the bathroom and would be right back, I can understand why she would be furious. If she thought other people understood she had run to the bathroom and then come back to find everyone gone, that’s comes across as incredibly rude. Taking a cab on her own may have meant she would have had to pay a full cab fare on her own as well vs. sharing the expense with others, which just adds insult to injury. Since she was new, if she was unsure where to even direct the cab to meet up with her co-workers, she was SOL. If she planned on going out to this lunch, she may have not bothered to bring lunch and now is on her own, and if you work in an area without a lot of options, that just makes it suck even more. Yeh, that’s all worth being pretty pissed about. I wouldn’t automatically say her level of anger was not appropriate without hearing the other side of the story.

    1. NavyLT*

      Yeah, from her perspective her supervisor essentially told her, “We don’t actually notice or care if you’re around. Welcome aboard!” That’s… not really the kind of first impression you want to give, at least if you care about/are interested in retaining your people.

  22. HR “Gumption”*

    Furious? C’mon, this shouldn’t even make it to “livid” (which I see overused here). Hurt, perturbed, annoyed, pissed off, I can accept.

    Leave the “furious” to Old Testament level injustices and move on.

    As I type this I’m hearing Samual L Jackson in Pulp Fiction- Awesome!

    1. HR “Gumption”*

      Re-reading #2 I take it her supervisor (the OP) has apologized. I have to wonder how many others need to as well before excepted?

      1. Windchime*

        There was no mention of anyone apologizing, including the supervisor. The LW mentions feeling terrible, but I didn’t see any mention of an apology by anyone.

      2. Jamie*

        Yeah – I’m not sure why this is an issue either. The OP should certainly apologize and that should be enough – one is representative.

        It would be overkill to have everyone do it, so not sure the OPs boss is even involved – the OP should just say she’s sorry and explain it was an accident.

        1. Nina*

          I agree. The coworker definitely deserves an apology, but beyond that, what else is necessary? It was an honest mistake, and making a slew of apologies is going too far.

  23. bkanon*

    #2 – The employee’s reaction may also be connected to something outside of work. I have a minor fear of being left behind or abandoned, due to it having happened several times in my life. Most of the time it was accidental (librarians forgot I was reading quietly in the corner and closed up, fell asleep in a movie theater, etc.) but on a couple of occasions it was deliberate (you’re invited to the party and we’ll pick you up HAHAH not really; oh we ditched you because we didn’t feel like waiting – yes, said to my face). So if my new coworkers all disappeared while I was in the bathroom, I’d have a huge flood of all those memories. I don’t know if I’d openly display anger, but I would definitely be inwardly furious and humiliated. Please apologize to her, privately, and make certain that the next staff lunch gets her there without making a public point of it. (No jokes and teasing about leaving her behind again.) An apology, especially from a direct supervisor, would have gone a long way with me.

    1. Cassie*

      Thanks to Punky Brewster, I had this fear of getting left behind at supermarkets/stores (still bugs me out for a split second when I get separated from the people I’m with – although nowadays we all have cellphones).

    2. ArtsNerd*

      Yeah I don’t handle being overlooked/forgotten very well due to some stuff with my childhood, probably. It didn’t even occur to me that not everyone would find this experience thoroughly upsetting.

  24. EvilQueenRegina*

    #2 – Something on a smaller scale happened to me once – I was on a training course in a building I didn’t normally work in and which had fob access through the doors for all its daily employees, but anyone visiting had to borrow one. One spare fob had been provided for our training course and when it was time for the break that fob had been given to one person and we’d been told to stick together. Some of us had gone to the Ladies and when I came out I found they’d all gone, including the person with the fob, which left me stuck on the corridor. When they all came back, my coworker asked me where I’d been and when I explained she just started going on about how wonderful the food and drink in the cafe had been. I chose to let it drop, but in the initial moment I did feel tempted to say something to her.

  25. Iain Clarke (UK, no, SE, erm...)*

    #2 No employee left behind

    Plenty of folk have addressed the actual complaint. I too am curious whether your employee is furious more about being left behind, or the lack of reaction to it. But that’s been expressed at length. I really came to share an anecdote.

    I mostly work from home, two hours train ride from the office. I go two or three times a month, and set my own schedule the rest of the time. I don’t know if it’s a dream job, but it’s pretty darn close.

    But one and a half years ago, I got a call on the Friday afternoon, saying they were going out for the company Christmas dinner after work, and they’d forgotten to invite me! As an apology, I got to expense a Christmas meal out for me, my wife. I mentioned we had dinner plans with friends that weekend, so was told to throw them in too. I think I won that one!

    I sorta won that one

  26. Paula*

    #2 I realize this is a bit old, but I do not understand why no one is telling the OP this was his or her responsibility. You may be brand new at the company (surely more than a few days), but you stated you were her direct supervisor. As a direct supervisor, I would especially make sure new employee had a buddy system, if you were not in the second group of people. It is not the responsibility of her boss’s boss to worry about, which may explain your manager’s cavalier response. As far as I can tell, the only one that should apologize is you. You don’t need to ask others to do it for you.

    I can tell you a cold corporate culture is very demoralizing. At one job, my “buddy” the first day showed me the office cafeteria but declined to join me. After gathering my food, I sat down…by myself, as I recognized no one (office of 1000+). In 18 months there, I only had one invitation to join others for lunch. Yes, I did reach out and ask others if they were going/leaving for lunch or want to go with me, as I am very social, but was always declined. It really colored my view of my office negatively. Was hard to work and communicate effectively with others that I knew (or thought) might disdain me. It felt very much like junior high.

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