giving feedback to an unprofessional job candidate, staying in a two-bedroom suite with a colleague, and more

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

1. Should I give feedback to this unprofessional internship candidate?

I was interviewing for interns this past week and I found a candidate who had decent experience and decided to bring her in for an interview. Once I Googled her, I found that her Twitter feed was full of complaints about how no one would hire her and she couldn’t get any experience. I completely sympathize and I know how hard it can be, which is another reason I wanted to bring her in. Once I did, it became very clear why no one would hire her. She had a very unprofessional and casual vibe during the interview and the phrase “the ultimate goal is to have someone to pay me to lay in my pajamas all day and watch sports” came out of her mouth.

I believe in providing constructive feedback because I know I would have wanted someone to help me when I was feeling helpless but I’m curious what your thoughts are on feedback that isn’t an error like a bad objective. I feel like it might be impossible to properly word my advice which consists mostly of “try acting more professional.” Is it worth giving the feedback?

I don’t think so. “Be more professional” isn’t that helpful; you’d need to go into specifics about exactly what she should be doing differently, and she hasn’t shown any signs that she’ll handle that feedback maturely. If she asked you for feedback, I’d be more inclined to give some, but proactively offering it to someone who doesn’t seem to have done any basic research into how to interview successfully? I don’t think it’s a good use of your time, and I think it’s likely to go unappreciated.

By the way, the Twitter comments were the first sign of unprofessionalism. I’m sympathetic to people who are struggling to get hired too, but good candidates don’t typically fill up PUBLIC social media accounts with that kind of thing.

2. I’m worried I’m getting treated unfairly in an internal hiring process

My boss is leaving and I was encouraged to apply for her position. Our CIO, who is a fairly recent hire himself (about 4 months), has referred someone from his previous company to apply for this position as well. We both interviewed, along with five other candidates. No decisions have been made.

The hiring manager is my director, who has been under very close supervision by our new CIO due to some performance concerns. So my director is leaving it up to the CIO to decide whom to hire. The CIO did not participate in the interview process in any capacity with any candidate. Although this may be subjective, people who interviewed CIO’s referral did not consider her a good fit.

I know our company has a policy not allowing us to hire direct reports in such manner, but I am not sure of the details when it’s an indirect report. I find this incredibly unfair for the CIO to make a choice and for my director to hand it off like that. However I really enjoy my work here and don’t want to be placed in the “unhappy” employee category. What do I do?

Well, there might not be much you can do here. If the CIO doesn’t trust your director’s judgment (which wouldn’t be crazy if she’s having serious performance issues), I can see why he wants to make the hiring decision himself — although then yes, he certainly should have been involved in all the interviews. In any case, why not ask the CIO if you can meet with him to talk about how you’d approach the role and why you think you’d be a good fit for it? If he’s determined to hire the person from his old company (and he might be), this might not make much difference, but it probably gives you the best shot in this situation.

3. Staying in a two-bedroom suite with an opposite-sex colleague

I’m wondering if it’s appropriate for my boyfriend’s female boss who works for a huge law firm to book a two-bedroom hotel room for them both to stay in while on a company trip? I work in corporate healthcare and feel that this would never be acceptable behavior. Am I crazy?

They have separate bedrooms and are sharing the common areas of a suite, like a living room? Doesn’t send up any red flags for me, but if your boyfriend is uncomfortable, he should speak up. (But only if he’s uncomfortable.)

4. Can my employer lower my pay?

I am a lead/managing server at my company. A couple weeks ago, they lowered my pay and still have me doing the same job. Is this legal?

They can’t lower your pay retroactively, but they can lower it going forward as long as they alert you beforehand. At that point, you have the choice of agreeing to the new rate of pay or declining to continue the work under those conditions.

5. Manager is clocking people out for standing around

I work at McDonald’s as a crew member and I know of a manager who has been clocking employees out on time, even though they have left later than what they were scheduled. The manager’s excuse was that the employee shouldn’t be getting paid for just standing there, and he brags about clocking us out. Since then, I’ve kept a close eye on my hours and noticed they’ll take a minute here and there. Is this illegal? And if so, what can I do about it?

The manager absolutely can’t clock people out just because they’re standing around rather than actively working, unless their shift is over and they’re free to go and they’re remaining there by choice. But someone who’s been asked to stay later? They need to be paid for all of that time.

Your state department of labor is in charge of enforcing this, so you could contact them. But with a large corporation like McDonalds, it might be easier/faster to bring it to the attention of whatever regional management structure oversees your particular location.

{ 216 comments… read them below }

  1. Dan*


    This is going to sound a bit blunt, but the main goal of a hiring process is about finding the best candidate for the job, not ensuring that everybody is treated fairly.
    So you may very well have been treated unfairly, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. If they’ve made up their mind, they made up their mind.

    1. Wasted Donuts*

      I think the issue is that OP thinks they might not be choosing the right person for the job though, based on the CIOs former relationship with the other candidate and the fact that he didn’t even interview any candidates at all and is still making the decision. I don’t think its the “unfair” part that is the actual complaint here. Or maybe it is and OP is looking at it like that, but either way, choosing the right person for the job doesn’t sound like its on this CIO’s radar at the moment either.

      1. MK*

        Actually, the impression that the CIO isn’t concerned with choosing the right person for the job is given only due to the OP’s bias. The CIO hasn’t made a decision, there isn’t even an indication that they are leaning towards their referal; they could well choose the OP or even a third candidate. I suppose the problem is that, be the time the OP will be able to tell whether the CIO is favoring their referal, it will be too late. And even then, it would be an assumption that the referal wasn’t the best candidate (that people who interviewed the referral did not consider her a good fit, or rather, told the OP, their long-time coworker who is also interviewing for the job, so, isn’t much of an indication).

        1. Wasted Donuts*

          I agree. I meant to imply that this was the perception of the OP, not the actual situation, which is why I said “OP thinks they might not be choosing the right person for the job, based on” given evidence. I could have been more clear though.

    2. Rebecca*

      At least if they’ve already chosen this other person, they made it look like they were interested in other people, if only for appearances sake. That’s more than I can say for some companies.

      1. Bea W*

        I’d rather if a company is going to be biased, that they not attempt to cover it up. That pisses me off more than the bias itself. My feeling is don’t waste other people’s time by lying to them so that you look like something you aren’t.

    3. MissM*

      I think when you are talking about qualified, internal candidates, aiming for fairness and transparency should also be a goal. It is in the company’s best interests that good employees feel they are treated fairly and will have genuine opportunities to move up in their career. That doesn’t mean they automatically get the job over external candidates, but if the person making the decision doesn’t even interview someone who is well-qualified and positioned to do the job, the company risks alienating not just this employee, but others in the work group who are aware of what is happening.

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        I agree with this, but my hopes are not high for OP because the CIO is new, too. He may have been brought in as a change agent and even if he wasn’t specifically brought in to make changes, he probably sees at least some things he wants to do differently. Part of that is probably going to be bringing in people he likes. (It also sounds like he might be trying to get rid of people he doesn’t like, given the fact that OP’s boss is on some kind of probation.)

        To the OP, I’m sorry. I’ve been there — that is, in a position where things were going great, then someone at the top is brought in and suddenly there’s a shakeup. Good luck.

      2. Dan*

        I do agree with this. But honestly, when a “change agent” has been brought in, I don’t think there’s a good way to make existing employees feel like they’ve been treated fairly and that they will have genuine opportunities to move up the ladder.

        We get several comments/letters from people who are irritated that they had to go through the dog and pony show (dust off the suit, study up, whatever) only to find out that there was some sort of “preferred” candidate and it was all for nothing. They’re livid.

        So what’s fair and transparent? To tell the internal folk that they’re got a preferred candidate and won’t be interviewing internally? To have them interview, but tell them it’s a long shot?

        The other thing that happens is that the further one moves up the food chain (in general), the more getting those jobs relies on “knowing someone.” That’s rather true at the C-suite, and probably for the C-suite’s direct reports.

        Because if I’m at or near the top, and I know a guy who can do the job well, interviewing is a waste. For one thing, if I’m already established at the company, I either know the underlings or know enough people who know them that I can trust. And I’m simply going to ask those managers (or decide for myself) who would or would not be a good fit. Asking 5 people questions for an hour when I know their work history? Big waste. If I’m knew, and don’t know who I can trust, but I’ve got an outside guy that I do? Asking 5 people questions for an hour isn’t going to overcome the potential years of experience I’ve got with an outside candidate.

        In short: When the top brass has an outside guy, there’s no way to do it that would have the internal candidates felt like they were being treated fairly. A bunch will think they were treated unfairly because they weren’t interviewed, the others will be pissed that they were subjected to a dog and pony show when they had no real chance. (And perhaps even went and bought a new suit for the occasion.)

        1. Bea W*

          The level of piss makes a difference. People will be pissed if they don’t feel like they are getting a fair shake whether or not they get interviewed, but as you mentioned, they’ll be livid if the unfairness involves the dog and pony show. The former is perceived as unfair, the latter is perceived as both unfair and disrespecting of all of the people had to jump through the hoops with no hope of a favorable outcome. People might get past the unfairness, especially if it turns out the new hire was a good choice, but it’s a lot harder to get past the feeling disrespected and possibly even used.

        2. JB*

          I’m not sure I understand your comment, but are you saying that if you know someone you think can do the job well, it’s a waste to interview anyone else? Because there’s no chance that you might find someone even better? That does sound like how some managers work, which is one reason why it’s so hard for women and POC to break into top ranks. But it doesn’t sound like a good system to stick up for.

      3. AggrAV8ed Tech*

        This sounds like what happened to me recently as an internal candidate… Director was very excited to interview me because he felt the job was practically written specifically for my skill set, then some months down the road, I find out they hired outside and didn’t even interview me.

        In my case, I’m almost positive that my current boss somehow inserted himself in the hiring process and blocked my interview. And the person they hired? Constantly needs assistance from my department (technical and IT) because she’s not qualified for the gig.

    4. Bea W*

      True, but there is some question of whether or not the CIO can be completely unbiased in making that decision when one of the candidate is someone from his previous job who he himself referred. Red flags went up for me when reading the actual hiring manager could not make the decision due to “under very close supervision by our new CIO due to some performance concerns.” The OP also mentions that the CIO did not participate in the hiring process. That would mean the CIO has not interviewed or possibly even met the other candidates. He knows the person he referred, and he has probably met the OP, though we don’t know how familar he is with the OPs work or how much they interact. So, a guy who hasn’t participated in the process at all is now making the decision? Something smells.

      It may very well be my own experience with observing ridiculous office politics that absolutely determine who gets hired and the kinds of BS managers will agree to in order to preserve their jobs and relationships with their bosses no matter how toxic they are, but I have to wonder what is really at play there, and why anyone, especially at a director level, would just hand over their hiring decision to someone who is fairly new and has a glaring conflict of interest even with “performance concerns”. The OP didn’t say the “performance concerns” were “serious” and doesn’t give any hint of whether these are legit issues, whether the hiring manager has any history of “performance concerns” prior to this person supervising.

      The CIO has been at the company 4 months. So he has very little history with the people he is managing and the people downstream or the department for that matter. If the hiring manager has legit performance issues which are serious enough (again, no way to tell from what the OP says), I can see having someone else in on the decision, but I really don’t think it should be the guy who has that much of a personal stake in the game. The OP may well be concerned about his own chances, but he could also be concerned about hiring the right person for the job. The OP doesn’t say anything that he thinks *he* should get the job, just that the CIO’s referral might not be the best fit, but due to the CIO making the decision the referral may have an unfair advantage despite that feedback, especially because the CIO didn’t participate in the hiring process before this point. How can you decide who the best candidate is without meeting and interviewing them?

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        There could be a few different things happening here, depending on context that we don’t have. But one scenario that’s pretty common (and maybe pretty likely here) is that — as AdAgencyChick says above — the CIO was hired as a change agent, which would mean that he could have very different ideas than the OP’s coworkers about what a great candidate looks like (and he could be totally right). It’s also not crazy for someone in that position to want to bring in someone they know and trust to carry out their vision (his own referral). That’s not unethical or shady at all; sometimes it makes an enormous amount of sense, and the company may even have hired him knowing that that was his plan (and it might have been a point in his favor).

        1. Bea W*

          I agree to a point, but I feel like in that case, don’t waste everyone else’s time and the company’s dime having an involved hiring process which you don’t participate in, and after the fact change who makes the hiring decision. I don’t think anyone intentionally meant it to go that way at the start, and read the OP’s letter that the process changed only after the referral and all of the interviews had taken place. It’s incredibly awful to have 6 other candidates and the people conducting the search and interviews waste so much time, effort, and company dime if the CIO’s intention is to bring in someone he’s already connected with. It’s not evident that is what will happen, but it’s a legit concern not just for the OP, the other candidates, and the team in general that things are no longer above board in this process. Wasting time and dime is a sure way to turn people off to any changes you want to make.

          That was the most concerning thing I read in that email from the OP is that the person making the decision has not participated in the search process at all. There are 7 candidates, not just the OP and the CIO’s referral. Any of the 5 other candidates could be the strongest candidate for what the CIO wants to accomplish, but he has no way of judging that. It may be not shady, but it’s a situation that can give the appearance of shadiness, especially if the new hire turns out to be bad.

          I admit I’m biased because I’m usually the person who cleans up the tech disasters that occur when people who are not involved in a process (hiring or otherwise) refuse to heed to the feedback of the people who are involved in the actual work and know things in and out, and sometimes because they do just want to give positions to a friend (or wife – true story and complete disaster). I also suck at office politics. :)

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Yep, I agree they definitely shouldn’t be wasting candidates’ time (although it sounds like they might not have realized that would be the situation at the start, and if that’s how it played out, well, sometimes shit happens and it’s not the worst thing in the world). I also think the CIO should interview the internal candidate, for morale’s sake if nothing else.

      2. The OP*

        Hi everyone! First thank you all so much for your feedback with this question! Here are the details that are missing:
        1. performance concerns for the director were medium to high, CIO is trying to implement a lot of changes.
        2. I do want the best person to be hired for the job and my concern here isnt that I am not getting this position, but that a person who have not met any other candidates is choosing their referal and ultimately making a unilateral decision. I present in front of cio about once a month, i am leading one of the largest projects in the organization.
        3. True that my coworkers may be inclined to tell me they like my candidacy best, but i also believe if they felt they found someone really good they would be sharing that with me. I would.
        I do really appreciate everyone’s feedback and i think my biggest dissapointment here is the lack of transparency. My director encouraged me to apply as soon as the position was posted and if it appears that all time spent was wasted thats too bad. I think the fact that i applied is still a good wayto show initiative and to notify higher management that i am looking for more of achallenge. Whether it comes at my current company or somewhere else. Thank you!

        1. Bea W*

          Lack of transparency is a source of a lot of frustration. It leaves people guessing and making assumptions to fill in the gaps, when if they had a little more information they might feel okay climbing on board with changes and decisions.

      3. MK*

        “that much of a personal stake in the game” is pretty strong wording. It’s a candidate he referred, not his significant other. Obviously, the CIO is biased in her favor on some level, but it’s not as if they have a personal reason to want them to get the job (I am assuming there isn’t a referal fee or something).

        I am also curious how the OP knows the hiring director will leave the decision to the CIO. Is that something the director told the OP?

        1. Bea W*

          Depends on the relationship they have. Maybe “personal stake” isn’t the best way to describe it, but there will be bias, particularly if this person remained a personal friend. Many companies do pay out a referral bonus, but I would think in this case if the CIO is the one who makes the choice, he wouldn’t be allowed to collect a bonus.

          That made me remember an experience I had and think though – it could be his wife for all we know. I don’t seriously think this is anything but a former co-worker and possibly a friend, but I am totally not kidding when I say I had one really terrible experience with a couple who did not disclose they were married, and when it was discovered and pointed out to people who would care about the obvious conflicts of interest, they didn’t react very well. I’m not sure what they thought they were getting out of hiding the fact they were married. It was really the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen in any paid or volunteer work environment. There are people who will openly favor friends or a spouse, but I hadn’t run into a case where they would hide that kind of a relationship to a candidate, and certainly not when there was no monetary gain involved.

          1. fposte*

            I think for me one reason why I’m not seeing much injustice here is that an internal candidate is one who depends on personal knowledge–on bias, if you will–already. I don’t see a hiring process that hires one person TPTB already knows–the OP–as hugely different from one that hires a different person TPTB already knows–the CIO’s former co-worker. I can’t come up with a philosophy that makes it a problem for the CIO’s candidate to have an advantage when it wasn’t a problem for the OP to have one.

            1. Emily*

              I actually agree here. Internal candidates generally have a competitive advantage over externals because the hiring manager has a wealth of fist-hand on-the-job observations to go on instead of just a resume, letter, and interview. This external candidate has the same competitive advantage because of recently working closely with the hiring manager.

              1. JB*

                Eh, I only sort of agree. With someone already there, you know how well they work with the other people already there. To me, that’s important. It’s not a deal breaker, it’s not the deciding factor, but it’s important. I would definitely give internal candidates a fair interview unless there are other factors going on, like a needed plan to make major changes to the company culture, way of doing things, etc.

                Although it’s never happened to me, I’ve seen people lose their jobs because a new hire wants to bring in someone he likes from the outside, when the person already in the job is doing good work and has no performance issues. It left me suspicious of people who favor their own people without giving any real consideration to people already in the organization. But that’s assuming that the new person wasn’t hired to change things up.

    5. jag*

      Any business process that leaves good employees feeling they’ve been treated unfairly is not a good process. Employee morale has a cost.

  2. Sourire*

    #3 – I agree with Alison here. If they both have separate bedrooms I don’t see much of an issue with it, assuming that her behavior toward him is otherwise normal. In my experience, a two-bedroom suite is more expensive than two separate rooms, therefore I am also guessing she specifically picked this type of room because of the living room/workspace area that it would have, as opposed to a small table or desk that two separate rooms would offer. She’s probably looking at it from a practical standpoint (this way we can just work in the room instead of having to find a conference room or business center type of thing).

    1. AnonyMouse*

      Yep, agreed. My first reaction was that she thought the common space would be useful for working together, or it has a large table or desks. If he’s truly uncomfortable he should still say something, but since they have separate bedrooms I personally wouldn’t see it as that different than having two rooms next door to each other.

      1. Bea W*

        It’s not like they would be sharing the bathroom at the same time though. No problem there unless the bathroom doesn’t have a door. :D

        1. fposte*

          There are those horrible “chic” hotel bathrooms with only glass walls, and only sometimes is it frosted. Those I would not want to share with a colleague.

          1. Bea W*

            I really don’t get the appeal of the glass bathroom. Please tell me the TOILET is not behind glass walls. Please tell me they only put showers and sinks behind glass walls. Please.

              1. Connie-Lynne*

                I recently stayed in a hotel for work where the toilet faced a glass door which then faced a floor-to-ceiling window.

                Absolutely stunning room, but that particular architectural choice made me a little uncomfortable, even though the window was tinted. If I can see into the windows of the skyscraper across the street, it certainly _feels_ like they can see me while I go about my business!

              1. Bea W*

                It’s the “facing the room” part that is the most disturbing. The room is where anyone sharing with you would have a clear line of sight to the door.

        2. INTP*

          I wouldn’t be comfortable with that, personally, unless it was a very roomy bathroom. Most hotel bathrooms (and home bathrooms, for that matter) are not large enough to dry off and get completely dressed in. Even if you have the room, they are small enough that it gets humid enough that it is hard to dry off quickly and get dressed without hogging the bathroom for a long time. The choices are to walk back to your room in your robe with your opposite-sex colleague potentially hanging around, hog the bathroom long enough to let the steam be sucked out and dry off completely before putting your clothes on, or put on your clothes all damp. The first one is just not going to happen period. The latter two might be acceptable in a scenario where business travel on a shoestring budget is just part of the job but I’d be annoyed if it had to happen just because my boss wanted a suite with a couch instead of private rooms with tables or something.

          1. Fabulously Anonymous*

            Not to mention that I don’t want my boss knowing how much time I spend drying my hair and applying make up.

          2. Case of the Mondays*

            Couldn’t you put back on the lounge clothes you wore to the bathroom to walk back and put your work clothes on in your bedroom? My issue with the one bath would be stinking it up with a number 2 before my suitemate showered. I guess you could always run down to the lobby bathroom. I recently stayed in a hotel that in addition to the in room bathrooms had two tiny bathrooms with 1 toilet and sink each per hall. Seemed the perfect spot for a not in room number 2 or a solution for both roommates needing to go at once.

            1. ShitNShower*

              You’re misunderstanding the shit-n-shower. You’re supposed to #2 before your OWN shower, silly, while the water is running, so eavesdroppers just think you were showering the whole time.

      2. Cassie*

        I stayed in this posh resort-type hotel where the bathroom facilities were outdoors, in a covered section between the bedroom and the door to the outdoor walkway. The bathroom stall was on the left side and had frosted glass walls so you could see when someone is sitting on the toilet. The shower stall was on the right side and had opaque walls.

        I guess they were going with a whole “nature” vibe (outdoors and all) but at least they could have used opaque glass walls for the bathroom stall.

    2. Corporate Attorney*

      I see this not-infrequently, for exactly that reason. When we go to conferences as a team, for example, we often have 3-4 hours of conference calls that we need to do – on speakerphone. The living area of a suite is far easiest, quieter, and more comfortable for a group of 2-3 people to work in than a conference room elsewhere in the hotel. And you don’t have to pack up all your work materials each time you leave, either.

      1. April*

        You know, I like this idea (three bedroom suite, not two). I understand about what people are saying regarding the described scenario not being too much different than non-suite rooms that are next door or across-the-hall from each other. But somehow there’s a sense of intimacy in a suite that would be uncomfortable to me if I had to share one with someone whom I’m not in fact intimate with, not family, not friend, just a business relationship. Even with female colleague I wouldn’t really care for it. But with a male colleague in particular it would not be something I’d be comfortable doing at all. A third bedroom and person in the space would be less intimate feeling and more ‘public’ feeling and would make me much less uncomfortable. I’d have to think about whether I’d be okay with one of the other occupants being male, though. Maybe I would.

        Hm… thinking about it more, probably not. As I ponder it, I think I know some of what’s making me feel uncomfortable about it. From a safety standpoint, if I have a non-suite room and I am the only one with a key than I have some level of certainty of who to expect to be in my room when I step out of the public area (hallway) and into the private area of the room itself – surprises could happen, but odds are lower. On the other hand, if I have a suite, somebody else has key to that private area and they or anyone they’ve shared their key with could be in that private sitting area when I arrive (or could walk in at any time). Odds of my being surprised by an unwanted situation, are higher. I could find myself alone in a private space with someone I did not wish to be alone with (who perhaps got temporarily loaned the key by other suite occupant for one reason or another), or under a circumstance that I didn’t wish to be alone with them (suitemate could surprise me by returning from the hotel bar a bit tipsy or something like that). Not saying these scenarios are necessarily likely, but they’re *much* more likely than they would be if I had a private room.

    3. Koko*

      My last place we frequently booked suites because they were cheaper than two separate rooms and also because they generally came with a kitchen, so staff could buy a few groceries and eat in-room instead of dining out constantly, which was also cheaper! We were on a tight enough budget we also usually had 2 people in some rooms and 3-4 people per suite. That said, we always put the women in one suite and the men in another. It’s a gray area…the bedrooms are private and (to the point below about walking from shower to room) hotel robes are generally modest, if not exactly projecting an air of professionalism. But I think that for a lot of people, dropping professionalism with an opposite-sex coworker somehow feels more inappropriate than dropping professionalism with a same-sex coworker.

      I think some of it is bound up in the same kind of attitude that make some people say “men and women can’t be just friends.” So if two same-sex coworkers share a room and bond over it and grow closer, it’s just “yay.” But if it’s an opposite-sex coworker they’re worried that any bonding or growing closer could be tinged with romantic overtones that are inappropriate.

      1. Ann without an e*

        Honestly the situation this avoids is the situation in which you and opposite gender co-worker have to be on a conference call or need to collaborate and all the conference rooms have been booked and your choices become the lobby or one of the rooms. If quiet is needed or preferred that leaves you with one of the rooms. I would be uncomfortable in that situation, I would not appreciate being forced to be in an opposite gender co-workers hotel room. A suit with a shared living room prevents the potential for that happening and is completely worth the extra cost. It also provides a space to host clients and makes it convenient to prevent one of you being late. Although if the other person is prone to being inappropriate this does provide that person with more opportunity…..

  3. AnonyMouse*

    #1: I wouldn’t just email her a bunch of unsolicited feedback, but when you get in touch to let her know her application wasn’t successful I think it might be appropriate to offer to provide some, if she’s interested. I wouldn’t say this for most job candidates and you do need to decide if it’s how you want to spend your time, but part of the premise of internships are that they’re an educational/experience-building opportunity for the candidate, so it seems appropriate. Something along the lines of “I also wanted to let you know that I am willing to offer feedback on interviewing techniques, so do get in touch if you think that would be useful,” tacked onto the end of your standard rejection maybe? That way it doesn’t force her to hear the feedback if she’s not up for it, lessening your chances of getting a nasty or argumentative email back. And I do agree with Alison that if you do end up giving her feedback, ‘be professional’ won’t go over hugely well. I’d say something along the lines of “focus on your positive career aspirations and skills” or something like that.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I’d get even more specific than that, I think, because this candidate sounds like she might not know what that really means. If you’re going to do it, I think you have to be really blunt: “You came across as too informal for an interview when you did X and Y. And to be really candid, saying that your ultimate goal is to have someone to pay you to lay around in your pajamas all day is going to be a deal-breaker for most employers, who are looking for signs of work ethic. Of course most of us would love to be paid for that, but in an interview, it’s so far afield from a professional answer that it raises red flags.”

      And do it over the phone, not email, so tone is clear.

      1. AnonyMouse*

        Yeah, you’re totally right about being even more specific with the feedback! I kept the suggestion really general because I obviously wasn’t at the interview and didn’t see exactly what the candidate was doing, but (as usual!) your suggested script is really good.

    2. Mouse of Evil*

      I like the idea of *offering* to give feedback and seeing if she takes you up on it. Of course, that might be a good thing to just tack on to the general rejection letter, if you’re willing to do that for everyone. In certain fields (especially ones that require a particular degree that’s offered locally) the local candidates, especially recent graduates, might know each other, and if one gets an offer of feedback and the others don’t, they will talk.

  4. AMD*

    #1. I had the same dilemma recently interviewing a student. He obviously had no idea how to be interviewed, though I think he had held a fast food and on-campus job. He came into the room, did not introduce himself, didn’t smile, slumped in his seat with arms folded and answered my “Tell me about a time when…” questions in a monotone with as little information as possible. This is for a customer-facing retail pharmacy position.

    I am just aching to give him feedback, especially since the reason he applied was because he wants to apply to pharmacy school. But he hasn’t asked for it, and it just may not be my place.

    1. Kate*

      I think a student is different. Do you have a previous relationship with him? Also you could always ask him if he wants feedback.

    2. HR Generalist*

      I just had this issue with a coworker’s son. We interviewed him and he came in with dirty cargo pants on and work boots (for a customer service role in a retail environment). His answers were monotone and limited despite pushing to get more information out of him with prompts. He was the only internal applicant (a student), which his mom knew, and questioned me when I returned to the office. I didn’t know what to say, didn’t offer feedback. I notified him and his mom of the direct reason we didn’t choose him – compromised availability – but would be surprised if he picked up anything internally in the future, unfortunately.

    3. holly*

      I would be really tempted to ask during the interview if he was sure he wanted this job. Same with the guy below. Though with him I wonder if his parent pushed him to interview.

  5. Mister Pickle*

    #2: the entire process sounds like it’s in shambles (7 people were interviewed for, it turns out, no reason?) but it may be that the new CIO didn’t participate because he’s already made up his mind to hire the person from his previous company. I wonder if the CIO has brought in anyone else from his previous company? If the new CIO has plans to make substantial or even radical changes to the business – and really, nobody gets hired into a C-level job because they plan to run things exactly the same way they’ve been run for the past 10 years – he may be installing people he knows and trusts into any opening he can find, to support him if – or more likely *when* he encounters resistance.

    1. MK*

      Eh, did everybody miss the “no decisions have been made” part? It doesn’t turn out that 7 people were interviewed for no reason, one of them may well get the job.

      1. Bea W*

        True, but the person making the decision didn’t actually do any of the interviewing. Would you hire someone you never met or interviewed?

          1. Bea W*

            That was kind of my point – that he’ll naturally want to hire the only person he actually knows, which means 6 other people and the people involved in going through the initial candidate pool and interviewing everyone did it for no reason.

            1. fposte*

              That seems less certain to me. I think this process bothers me less than you because it actually aligns with our required hiring practice–the hiring committee interviews but ultimately can only recommend to the supervisor doing the actual hiring. The supervisor does meet the candidates (and I don’t think we know that the CIO hasn’t met them here), but they’re not allowed to be in the interviews.

              And sure, internal/networked candidates tend to have an edge–which is presumably what the OP was also hoping for before another candidate had a different edge. I don’t think that means that other interviews are just pro forma when there’s an internal candidate.

              1. Bea W*

                I took “The CIO did not participate in the interview process in any capacity with any candidate.” (emphasis mine) to mean that the CIO hasn’t even met with them to have even a brief conversation about the position, and possibly has not met some of them at all.

                At least in your process the supervisor is actually involved in the process even if he is not the one conducting interviews, and people know what the process is from the get-go. It’s the supervisor who makes the decision rather than someone who is not the supervisor. So I don’t really see it as that similar.

                1. fposte*

                  As I said, I’m seeing it through my lens, where we should also be able to say that our supervisors “don’t participate in the interview process in any capacity with any candidate” or else we’ll get into serious trouble. I don’t see that as meaning they can’t have met with them or are completely outside of the *hiring* process, just that the interview decisions don’t involve the CIO.

                  I don’t know that it does work like my job at the OP’s, but it’s too standard around here for me to see it as an injustice even if it’s unusual there.

      2. Mister Pickle*

        It sounds like *one* decision was made:

        So my director is leaving it up to the CIO to decide whom to hire.

        Since the CIO’s friend from his previous company was one of the seven, yeah, it seems likely to me that one of them will get the job.

  6. nep*

    #3 – Doesn’t feel right to me at all. If I had to stay at a hotel with my opposite-gender boss, I’d much prefer separate rooms.

    1. MK*

      It’s not unreasonable to feel like that; a shared living room does create a level of intimacy that some people would be uncomfortable with. But it’s not automatically inappropriate either, as the OP seems to think; many people wouldn’t be bothered.

      1. notmymonkeys*

        I’ve (female) stayed in an apartment for a week at a time with a male boss and co-worker. It was fine, but they are both decent people. I got the master bedroom (with ensuite), as they felt I shouldn’t have to share the bathroom with them.

    2. SR*

      Totally agree, nep. And OP #3, if this bothers you, you can and should speak up about it (to your BF, not his boss).

      1. Graciosa*

        I think the key here is whether the BF is uncomfortable – not the OP.

        The BF’s comfort level is at the core of the situation – this is his job, his career, and his boss. He should be in charge of managing all of these.

        If the OP is uncomfortable (with no more basis than this) and the BF is, the issue is insecurity. This is understandable and human – but should not be allowed to impact how the BF handles himself professionally.

        “Speaking up about it” in terms of sharing feelings with a partner is fine. “Speaking up about it” with the stated or unstated goal of getting the BF to take action would be a step in the wrong direction.

        1. nep*

          Absolutely. It is about what the employee feels — the one who’s to share a hotel room with opposite-gender boss. Not about how that person’s SO feels. Agreed.

          1. SR*

            Well, obviously. But the OP should feel free to express HER personal feelings about boundaries, etc. If they’re completely incompatible with his, they can part ways. If they’re both little flexible/willing to discuss their feelings about the topic, that’s great for them and for their relationship, and they can come to a resolution/agreement of some kind (re. boundaries). To keep mum when you have concerns is to invite resentment.

            1. nep*

              Right. Was referring more to the workplace-relations side of things here — the importance of a good, functional workplace environment and whether for the employee here this would be problematic.

        2. Raine*


          Also, these types of hotel rooms with separate bedrooms and a shared living room really can be considered major perks — people above have noted that it’s a major professional convenience, but usually they’re also rooms with better views, etc. And if the company is willing to do this for the boss and the OP’s husband, OP can actually start causing issues with the husband if he’s excited and thinks this is a Wow, congratulations! type of thing to be proud about but OP instead is turning it into something entirely different.

          1. Bea W*

            Suites like this typically have a kitchenette as well as a working area. It may also be less expensive than paying for two single rooms.

        3. Zillah*

          Ehh – I think it’s okay for a person’s significant other to express discomfort with something and for them to make a decision accordingly, even when it’s professional.

          For example, if someone with small children was routinely working until 8pm, I don’t think it’s out of line for their spouse to express that it was a problem. How and whether that problem was dealt with would depend on the person, but I don’t think that bringing it up would be terrible for the spouse to do. It’s all about degrees, IMO, and how reasonable the request is in the first place.

          Refusing to work with women on projects? Huge problem. It’s not a reasonable request coming from anyone. Completely separate rooms, though? The suite isn’t something I’d have a problem with, but if the OP’s partner decided to request separate rooms (which I don’t think he’s obligated to do!), I don’t think it would be so absurd and outside the realms of reasonable, and there’d be no reason to bring her into it at all.

          1. MK*

            I don’t think there is any way for an employee to say “My significant other objects to this” without sounding unprofessional. In the scenario you mention, it would be one thing for the employee to say “My work schedule is conflicting with my family commitments” or “As a family person, I need more work-life balance” and another to say “My spouse has a problem with me working late”.

            It’s even worse in the OP’s case, because it’s already going to be awkward enough for the boyfriend to say to his female boss “I am uncomfortable sharing a hotel suite with you”. He could, however, stress that it is a privacy issue, that he is uncomfortable sharing space with a relative stranger/coworker/boss. Saying his girlfriend objects puts it right into sexual territory.

            1. AnonyMouse*

              I 100% agree with all of this. Yes, people can mention their opinions on/objections to their significant others’ work situation, but when it comes to actually raising the objection to your manager, bringing up your partner or significant other’s problem with it just feels unprofessional to me. And in all these examples, the employee should be able to make their case without passing the responsibility onto their SO (i.e. “I’m going to aim to leave work on time to spend time with my family,” rather than “my wife said I should leave on time so I have to”).

              Plus, if I was the female manager of the male employee in this scenario and he told me his girlfriend didn’t want us sharing a suite with separate bedrooms, I would be a little uncomfortable with the implications. I highly doubt the boss in this question booked the suite for any inappropriate reason – it probably seemed cheaper or more convenient or just plain nicer – and bringing up the girlfriend’s objection takes it somewhere it doesn’t really need to go. I do think if he’s really uncomfortable he should speak up, but it’s likely to go over better if he just says he really values his privacy/time to unwind at night/thinks it’s awkward to share a room with someone he doesn’t know very well.

              1. fposte*

                I don’t think Zillah was suggesting the OP tell his boss that he’s backing out because of his girlfriend, though–I’d agree that that’s a bad workplace *and* relationship move, in that it’s bringing your personal life into the office while simultaneously wimpily making your partner take the blame for your decision. But you can make a decision that within your relationship you’re prepared to consider your partner’s concerns about a workplace situation, and then own it as your own stand to your boss.

                I wouldn’t bother on something like this myself, but relationships make their own deals.

                1. AnonyMouse*

                  Oh yeah, I wasn’t actually disagreeing with Zillah! Just adding another voice of agreement that I think it’s okay to take a significant other’s feedback on board about something like this, if and only if you present it as your own. But I do think in this case it’s a minor enough issue that it probably wouldn’t be worth bringing up.

                2. Zillah*

                  Yes, exactly. You can let your partner’s feelings inform your decision making without bringing them up to your boss. I’d absolutely advise against mentioning them at all – just cite your own privacy concerns or whatever – but I don’t think it’s indicative of anything sinister or inappropriate to make a request like this because of your partner’s feelings.

    3. Felicia*

      I would feel uncomfortable with it, but with a boss or coworker of any gender. I think it’s just a level of intimacy that i wouldnt’ be comfortable with with any coworker. But it’s not inherently inappropriate, and it only matters if teh BF is comfortable or not. If the OP is uncomfortable but not the BF, that shouldn’t affect the BFs professional life though of course they can talk about those insecurities as a couple. If the BF is uncomfortable with it i think it would be understandable.

    4. Ludo*

      I think this is one of those things that everyone has to feel out on their own. For me, I would be fine with it as long as I had my own bedroom. For others, they would also need their own bathroom and for some even that wouldn’t be enough.

      As long as the actual people being asked to share the suite are ok with it, nothing else matters (except company policy, naturally).

    5. HAnon*

      I wouldn’t even want to stay in the same room with someone who was my same gender…aside from the enforced intimacy of having to share a potential bathroom, sleeping, or lounge space with a co-worker, I very much need my time at night to refocus and recharge for the next day without having to be “on” 24/7 around someone I work with. I’ve already been “on” all day, and have been “on” during dinner and drinks afterwards…going back to the same space as a boss or coworker for my rest/rejuvenation time just sounds like torture to me. How expensive is it really to just spring for a normal, non-fancy room for each person?

  7. Trisha Baker*

    #5 when it was time for the employees to clock out we would be finishing up our duties like stocking making sure everything is straightened up for the next shift member that comes in, while doing that we would go over our time that we were scheduled. We’re often told if we don’t stock we cant leave. In my opinion I a should get paid for those extra minutes but the manager would go back in the computer and reclock us out ON time.

    1. Mochafrap512*

      Make sure to report this. Even if you don’t care about the money, it’s the principle and it’s wrong. Plus, someone else that’s happening to may really use the extra money they’re forced to work for.

    2. Sunshine*

      Not just your opinion. It’s the law. You have to be paid for any time you are performing work duties.

    3. CAA*

      How many minutes of waiting time are we talking about? If it’s 7 or fewer, then per the FLSA, your employer is allowed to round down to the nearest quarter hour. Your state may have different laws.

    4. anon ashamed*

      I was fired from my very first job in high school because I clocked out when I was done working for the night. That’s right. The owners thought I should clock out at, say, 9:00pm when the store closed, even though I spent up to 30 minutes cleaning and stocking after the store closed. Their rationale was that I wasn’t busy working the entire time I was there … Oh, if only I knew then what I know now. And why were my parents okay with that? Guess they didn’t know, either.

      Second job, I don’t remember if I quit or was fired. The day person constantly called in sick and the owners would call my high school and tell me I had to come in to work to cover for her. I barely graduated due to missing so much time (was an honor student prior to that). One day I finally refused, but very passively- I just didn’t take the call. Again, why were my parents okay with that? Why did the school even pull me out of class to take those calls?

      1. SevenSixOne*

        I think what happens in a lot of McJobs is either the managers deliberately play fast and loose with labor laws because they know their mostly young and inexperienced staff doesn’t know any better and wouldn’t know how to report a violation if they did… or the managers aren’t much older or experienced than the rest of the staff and don’t know any better either!

  8. Lush*

    #5. Report her to hr at the regional office. I used to work at a Mcd’ s while in college. It was my sole source of income, I was entirely self supporting. Had a manager clock us out early one night at end of month to make labor stats look good. We were told it would be added on to our hours next day. Never was. 3 days later, still wasn’t showing on my time card, so I refused to work my shift. Walked off, called regional office, and filed a complaint. They started an investigation, which opened a whole can of worms for other unethical stuff the manager was doing. She ended up getting fired. When they asked to see her time run for that night, she lied and said it fell on the floor while one of us was mopping, and it got all wet. How convenient.
    Report them either to regional HQ or state labor board.

    1. Helena*

      This is a good point, too – if he’s clocking you out and proud of it, there is a good chance there are other things he’s doing that you might not be aware of. Report it.

    2. Winnie*

      I used to work for Peet’s Coffee and at least 3 of the managers in my district were fired for clipping vacation time from staff to make labor hours come in on or under budget (which was always impossible to do, thanks “Kronos” algorithm!). Anyway, check your paystub carefully and be sure to report it to the district/regional manager. It’s illegal and though part of a bigger problem (pressure to shave labor hours to meet budget) you deserve to be paid for time worked. And the “rounding to quarter hour” must vary by state … our time-clock divided time into 100-unit increments so they really paid us to the closest second! Managers were NOT allowed to edit time unless someone forgot to clock out.

      1. Koko*

        I think you *can* pay to the minute, but federally only increments of .25 hours are strictly required. I remember being paid like this when I was in high school working at a Pizza Hut. Everyone tried their best to game that system. We weren’t allowed to clock in more than 8 minutes before our shift officially began, because that’d put the company on the hook for 15 minutes’ pay, but since we often clocked in 5-6 minutes early and worked those minutes for free, everyone was trying to clock out 8 minutes after their shift to get the extra 7 minutes’ pay on the back end when the clock rounded up to 15.

  9. BritCred*

    1- Ok, I can see a “joke” on twitter of “why can’t someone hire me to watch tv in pajamas all day…” but in the actual interview? damn….

    (And I’m not saying the twitter joke is sensible either – but it is more understandable that someone wouldn’t think it through!)

    1. nep*

      Right — trying to envision someone saying that in an interview. Wow. Were I the interviewer I’d pretty much shut down the exchange right there.

      1. Graciosa*

        I think this is actually a great suggestion.

        When the sports-watching comment came out, the OP could have stood up and ended the interview with a firm, but polite, statement along the lines of “Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to be a good fit for this position, and I don’t want to waste your time by continuing the process any further. Thank you for your interest in our organization, and good luck in your search.”

        This is actually feedback – clear and immediate feedback rather than a post-mortem discussion long after the candidate has left the building. If the candidate can’t make the connection from seeing the reaction to her behavior, I doubt she would be helped by a tactful debrief afterwards.

        1. nep*

          Yes — I cannot imagine being the least bit inclined to continue the conversation. Time’s precious. We’re done here.

        2. nep*

          Great point, by the way. If interviewee does not pick up that connection between the asinine remark and the good-bye, no form of feedback later is likely to be of any use. (I don’t think interviewer owes feedback, in any case.)

      2. Ashley*

        I had this happen to me during an interview. It was for a PT concession stand attendant – the candidate was a 17 year old high schooler who we interviewed because of his recommendation (his grandparents gave 6 figures plus annually to the non-profit I hired for). He was also wearing a shirt that said “get riches get b*tches”. He told me his goal was to “do nothing and get paid”. It was…an entertaining…interview experience, to say the least.

    2. Isabelle*

      I initially had a reading comprehension fail moment, I thought they meant she gave the vibe of someone who wants to laze around in pajamas all day every day.

      Now I understand she had actually said that during the interview. Wow.

      I understand no-one owes this girl feedback but I sincerely hope for her sake she will get some before she sabotages herself any further. Maybe an anonymous comment on her twitter would help? Then again, can someone with that attitude be helped? I’m not entirely sure.

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        Me too! When I actually understood what was written, I thought, “How did this person have ‘decent experience’ beforehand? How could she have gotten work ANYWHERE before this?”

        1. BRR*

          Well the comment was obviously a joke but it was hugely unprofessional especially during an interview when you’re supposed to be on your best behavior and show why you should be offered the position. There’s nothing that says she isn’t a hard worker (I would also like to get paid to watch tv), she just lacks professionalism which isn’t out of the ordinary.

          I will say it’s a little weird that her twitter looks like that because one of the most common (and accurate) pieces of job search advice is to clean up your social media pre scene.

          1. fposte*

            The problem is that when I’m interviewing I need proof you *are* a hard worker–I can’t just assume you are absent proof to the contrary. This is an indication that an interviewee might not be a hard worker from somebody with other signs of noncomprehension and possibly even entitlement. You need to have a serious track record to be able to counter that.

            1. BRR*

              Oh yeah it was stupid of this person to do that in an interview when the interviewer doesn’t know you at all. I just meant that that line doesn’t make it impossible for them to have decent experience in their past.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      I read that and thought, this is a person who does not want feedback. I think I wish them the best on that endeavor and close the interview.

      He thinks he is in his living room talking to his buddies and totally misses the idea of what an interview is for. By interviewing he is agreeing to do work, which entails getting out of the pjs.

      I’d let it go, OP. I understand the drive to want to help this person, but they don’t want help. Wait a year. They will email AAM and say, “I can’t find a job. I have been looking for over a year. I think I should be able to work in my pjs and no one will hire me.”

      1. Reix*

        This. I understand the drive to help young, inexperienced people but I think it will come back to bite you if you get feedback. Search the archives of this site for the story of the intern from hell. Next time you kniw this person will be smearing your reputation on Twitter.

        I may be wrong. But they do say no good deed goes unpunished.

        (Possible exception: did this person strike you as someone who might have Aspergers?)

        1. Canadamber*

          Re: exception, I have a friend with Asperger’s and, having Tourette’s myself, I also show symptoms. I could totally see myself making a comment like this without realizing how inappropriate it is, and of course I would be mortified to realize that it wasn’t appropriate.

    4. INTP*

      Yep. I find it hard to imagine that this person hasn’t been told at some point how to behave more professionally – at the very least, to not say things like that – and hasn’t chosen not to listen. If I were the OP, I wouldn’t waste my breath. This person probably has received the same advice and just chooses not to believe it or has an idealistic view that the right employer won’t care about the trappings of professionalism, only her abilities.

      That said though, I can’t help but think about past threads where people have described having to learn “white collar” behavior because their backgrounds never exposed them to it. Could that even possibly be the case here? It seems too extreme but given my own background (parents and most other adults in my world all had higher education and white collar jobs), I want to be conscious of the fact that I’m benefiting from privilege and not just decide for other people what is reasonable or unreasonable for them to not know.

      1. Katriona*

        I’m one of those people who was never exposed to white collar norms until I entered the workforce, and I don’t think a comment like that would have gone over any better in a blue-collar interview. This actually reminded me of an intern I had last summer, who was from a *very* privileged background and still made a lot of attitude-related unprofessional blunders. I think this has more to do with inexperience in general than any specific background.

    5. Mouse of Evil*

      I suspect it was actually a joke that failed so badly it didn’t even register as a joke. People get really nervous in interviews, and some people react by making incredibly awful attempts at humor (I speak from experience–although for me, it’s not job interviews, but social events that make me go into the Death Spiral of Unfunny Jokes).

      That said, it sounds like this particular candidate needs a lot of work on her interview skills in general.

  10. Rebecca*

    #1 – I think people use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media so much, it’s become ubiquitous and they don’t realize that a casual, snarky comment can be searched out and really come back to bite them later. But what got me is she actually said this out loud in an interview, regarding being paid to watch TV in her PJ’s! Yikes!

    For the record, I have never tweeted or followed anyone on Twitter, and my Facebook page is terribly boring. A potential employer who reviewed it would see that I get a lot of coupons from companies for free or cheap stuff. That’s about it.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Interestingly, if the candidate were otherwise professional and had great skills and experience, I could imagine someone pulling off a joke like that — after all, most of us would probably enjoy being paid to lay around in our pajamas. A strong candidate with good rapport with the interviewer could pull off that line in a joking way. It’s when you put it in the context the OP lays out that it becomes wildly wrong.

        1. Bea W*

          I think one of the key things that helped that candidate was that the interviewer could see the candidate immediately realized her misstep and reacted with some visible horror. I think if she had appeared to be totally oblivious, it might have not have been as easy to overlook.

      1. Mike*

        As someone who was paid to sit around and babysit servers while at home, it is terrible. Sure the first couple of months it was fun but I soon got bored. I had done too good of a job and the servers were stable and took maybe 4 hours a week. I needed the challenge of work and some of the social interactions that comes with it.

        Was actually glad when that ended.

        1. Bea W*

          That makes me wonder if there’s not some bored server babysitters working for one of our vendors who felt the need to make things more interesting for themselves. :D

      2. INTP*

        This is true. I’ve also worked with employers who asked “What is your dream job?” in the interview. While I imagine that the “right” answer was something in that field and wildly ambitious, I don’t think it should mark someone as unemployable to admit that they would prefer to just lay around in their pajamas all day. If anything, it would show that they’re actually being at least somewhat honest in the interview! So there are at least some contexts in which it would be an okay thing to say.

        1. danr*

          While I was not asked this at my job interview, if I had been and given the answer “To sit and read all day” , it would have fit the job perfectly.

      3. Mike B.*

        Whew! I was hesitant to make a similar comment; I feel better knowing Alison feels the same way. It’s definitely a master-level interview technique, though, and a candidate will have to know she’s playing with fire by doing it. (And it would only work for a candidate who had also proven her worth in the workplace many times over, not a wannabe intern.)

      4. LBK*

        I could see that actually not being THAT hard a joke to pull off (assuming you get the right vibe from the interviewer) if you immediately followed it up with a killer serious answer. I imagine the person riffing in a fast-paced, Shonda Rhimes-esque way and complementing it with clear smarts and determination in the rest of the response. I would be able to appreciate that as an interviewer. It sounds like the interviewee in question gave that as her complete answer without a genuine follow up, though, which…uh, yeah, can’t find the logic there.

    2. AnonyMouse*

      I was thinking it might have been a horribly botched attempt at humour too, just because I can’t figure out why someone would say that seriously in an interview! I have a friend who’s really funny, but her jokes are definitely on the self-deprecating side and I’m almost certain she’s made comments like this before – but she’s actually very hardworking and in quite a competitive field, so I can’t imagine she’d ever do it in an initial interview. But I didn’t consider the relationship to social media, that’s interesting.

  11. Brett*

    #5 A manager willing to do this to make their labor look better (the only real motivation to do it) is often trying to avoid scrutiny on other unethical or illegal practices. It also raises the specter that they may alter hours to make employees appear to have clocked in late or other habits that undermine other employees. I saw this twice while I was working fast food; the first time the manager was also sexually harassing young female employees, the second time the manager was actually stealing thousands of dollars and framing crew leaders for it.

    One thing to be careful of with McDonalds in particular is that often the regional management is directly employed by the largest franchiser in the area. You think you are complaining to corporate, but instead you are complaining to employees of the store owner. That just means you have to be extra careful about framing the illegal activity in hhellers manner AAM always prescribes.

    1. Raine*

      Yep I worked at McDs decades ago, first job. There were several stores in the area owned by the one franchise owner, and his son went around to all the stores as sort of a Super Manager, he might decide to work a shift one day, do the books another, go off to another store the next day. ANYWAY. He was stealing money directly out of the cash registers. It’s so stupid in hindsight; he was set for life, would have owned the entire franchise operation when his father died, already was loaded. But all the 16 year olds (usually girls) would just out of the blue be told that her register was short by $20 that day, or $50, or something insane, and the girls would always fret and fear for their jobs and never have been off before. And of course to people this young it doesn’t even occur to them that someone that high might be doing this. I can’t recall how he was discovered, but even learning THAT was a shocker.

  12. TW*


    As long as there are separate are bathrooms it may not be as big of a deal (though I would personally prefer 2 rooms). If they’re having to share one, its not as appropriate (IMO). If OP is uncomfortable, certainly speak up. But the BF is the one that must raise any objection to his boss. I would hope his boss would be understanding and accommodating with anything brought forward.

      1. Fabulously Anonymous*

        When I was 23 years old and in my first professional position my 67 year old male boss (I am female) suggested we share a suite. I said no. He said okay. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I didn’t feel awkward about it at all. I just stated that I felt uncomfortable and did not want to share a suite.

        Of course, the difference is that I was the one who felt uncomfortable, not a SO or my parents or anyone else.

        1. MK*

          However, in your situation your boss had already acknowledged that there might be an issue; that’s why he was asking your opinion. In this case, the OP’s boyfriend will have to bring it up himself and explain to his boss, who apparently hasn’t thought of the implications, why he objects to sharing a suite. Sure, she might shrug it off, but it’s also possible that she will be embarrassed for unthinkingly crossing a boundary or offended that the boyfriend is implying that what she did was inappropriate. It does call for carful handling.

          1. Elsie*

            I have to say, I take more issue with the fact that this is a boss than it’s someone of the opposite gender. If the OP’s BF *does* feel uncomfortable with it (which to me is legit particularly if bathrooms would be shared), he may feel even doubly uncomfortable saying so because she’s in a position of seniority. It really bugs me when management makes decisions like this without taking into account that staff may be reluctant to object if they have a problem with something.

            1. JMegan*

              I agree. I’d be really uncomfortable sharing living space with my boss, regardless of gender. I am sloooooooooow to get moving in the morning, and I like to have lots of time to wander around in my pj’s, shower for ages, and drink my coffee. Plus, I’m not so good at making friendly conversation until most of those things have happened – I can do it, but I don’t like it.

              Which is not a side of myself that I would like my boss to see. I want her to see me at my friendly, professional, wide-awake best – not at my groggy, walking-around-in-a-stupor, monosyllabic worst.

              *Although if the arrangements were made without consulting me, I would suck it up, because better that than explaining to my boss why I don’t want to share a room with her.

    1. Persephone Mulberry*

      I am curious about your perspective (and similar above) that sharing a suite is okay, but bathroom is somehow inappropriate. I get the one situation above where the lone female coworker was granted her own bathroom when it was available (’cause boys are gross, lol), but I find it unlikely that placing toothbrushes on the same counter is more likely to inspire sexy shenanigans than sharing a coffeemaker. Life so rarely imitates porn.

      1. BRR*

        I think the thought is if the bathrooms are both en suite to the bedrooms then you can shower and change without a problem. With each of them having private space it’s similar to having two rooms but if they shared a bathroom then their personal grooming is more intertwined.

        1. Persephone Mulberry*

          Which, I believe we would agree, would be awkward, and possibly even uncomfortable – but I think not necessarily inappropriate.

          1. Persephone Mulberry*

            Unless of course one of the room occupants acts inappropriately, but that’s not the bathroom’s fault.

          2. BRR*

            I agree completely. Awkward and possibly uncomfortable but only inappropriate if someone acts inappropriate.

        2. Valar M.*

          This is what I was thinking. More grooming things than pornesque moments. Errant hairs, feminine products, etc. It could all be rather awkward if your grooming habits aren’t up to the same par. This would probably be a thing for me regardless of gender or power dynamic, but I do think those things up the ante a little.

      2. fposte*

        Yeah, I’m not seeing the shared bathroom as any particular kind of obstacle either. I can see that as a user I would prefer not to share a bathroom, but that’s not the same thing as its being a problem.

        1. Marcy*

          I would find it very awkward. Do you bring all of your clothes in there with you so you can be completely dressed to walk back to your bedroom after your shower? How about drying your hair, putting on makeup, etc.? I wouldn’t want my boss to see me in a towel with wet hair and no makeup even for the brief walk from the shower to the bedroom. Nor would I want to tie up the only bathroom that long if I had to share it with a boss. And that goes for either gender.

          1. fposte*

            I guess that seems more to me like a preference than an obstacle. These are all things that can be worked out pretty straightforwardly.

      3. Bea W*

        “What a long toothbrush you have! It must be easy to reach all the way to back of your mouth. Do you mind if I try it?”

      4. INTP*

        For me it’s not a sexual thing. I don’t like getting dressed in the hotel bathroom – it’s too humid, and you’re presumably on the same schedule so it would be a pain for both of you to hog the bathroom long enough to shower, dry completely, and get fully dressed. Either you’re both spending forever in the shared bathroom, adding extra time to what’s probably already a demanding schedule (at least that’s my experience with business travel), or you’re putting on your clothes while you’re still damp, or you have to walk from the bathroom to the bedroom in a robe/towel in front of your boss. I also need alone time after work and also at breakfast to prepare for the day, and it could be awkward to just go into my bedroom and shut the door. And I don’t want to wear my pajamas in front of my boss, frankly.

        So I guess it’s less of an inappropriate gender situation and more that it causes all sorts of discomforts and awkward situations. I would absolutely hate having to do it, though, and the manager being opposite sex would be a convenient way to get out of it.

      5. Hlyssande*

        It could also be a problem when one of the people sharing has digestive issues like IBS which generally lead to them spending a lot more time in the bathroom when they flare up.

        I wouldn’t want to be sharing a bathroom both out of sheer embarrassment but also because it would be incredibly awkward to tie up the shared bathroom for a significant amount of time.

  13. Episkey*

    #3, I could be wrong here, but it’s been my experience that those kind of room types are set up so that there is also a shared bathroom. That’s the main thing I’d have an issue with if I was in that situation. For the record, I’d prefer not having to share a bathroom with anyone, opposite or same sex lol.

    1. MK*

      I have known adjoining rooms to sometimes, not always, have a shared bathroom, but a two-bedroom suite never.

      1. Episkey*

        Then maybe you are right. I have had experience with them where (I imagine) they are available more for families, so the parents can have 1 bedroom and the kids can have the 2nd, but then the entire suite has 1 bathroom. I just did some Googling and it appears that they can be set up either way (1 shared bath or 2 private bathrooms), so maybe if this is a hotel that caters to business they would have their suites with 2 private baths.

        1. Artemesia*

          Conference hotels often have two bedroom suites and in my experience these always have a bathroom per bedroom — and because sometimes the living room is actually rented separately as a Parlor Room (i.e. you sleep on a pull out bed), there is usually also a third bathroom that goes with the living room. Some family motel on the road might not have the bathroom per bedroom, but business hotels always do.

    2. nep*

      Digressing here but — No matter same or opposite gender, on business travel I would for a million reasons want a hotel room of my own.

  14. Persephone Mulberry*

    #2 – I’m with MK above – everyone is treating this like the CIO choosing his favored candidate is a done deal. Has the CIO otherwise demonstrated a habit of putting his personal preferences over what’s best for the company? If yes and no one seems to have an issue with this, your company has got bigger issues and you should be looking for your next position externally rather than internally. If not, why wouldn’t the interview committee give him honest feedback about how his referral performed relative to the other candidates?

    Personally, I’m more curious about the hiring manager deferring the choice to the CIO. (Alison, I think your impression of the situation is a little off here – it doesn’t sound like it’s the CIO’s choice to take the decision out of the hiring managers hands. Curious what you think of that and if it changes your answer at all). But if anything, I’d be glad it’s not the hiring manager making this decision – whose to say that he/she wouldn’t choose the CIO’s candidate in order to try and curry favor?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Ah, I’ll explain more about my assumptions there (which could be off, who knows). The OP wrote: “The hiring manager is my director, who has been under very close supervision by our new CIO due to some performance concerns. So my director is leaving it up to the CIO to decide whom to hire.”

      My read of that is either:

      A. The CIO made it clear he wanted to make the final decision (or at least final sign-off), but the director is implying to others that she’s choosing to defer to him in order to save face. Few people will say to their coworkers, “I’m doing so poorly that I’m not even trusted to hire my own team members right now.”

      B. The director is aware that the CIO has major issues with her performance, and thinks that deferring to him on this decision is a smart move, given how shaky things are with her job right now.

      1. Artemesia*

        Absolutely my read; the manager on the way out didn’t ‘defer’, he had this taken away from him. And new guy comes in and wants to bring in reliable people he knows from his own company is just such a routine thing, I don’t doubt that he has already chosen his referral. How odd would it be to refer someone to the search and then choose someone else — especially someone from the ‘old regime’ he has been hired to replace.

        I have been in organizations where terrific new initiatives are dumped when the new guy comes in ONLY because he wants only new things with his own personal stamp. This tends to be enforced by underlings who zealously weed out anything that isn’t specifically directed by new guy at the top.

        Yeah the decision hasn’t been announced here, but I would as the OP assume that this ship has sailed and be surprised and pleased if proven wrong. And I would also assume their own job is at risk especially if they go around fussing about the ‘unfairness’ of this decision. Alas fairness is not how the new boss sees it.

      2. MK*

        Alison, I confess I was thinking the exact opposite of point A. In both cases that you mention, I would think a person wanting to save face would just conceal as best they could that the decision wasn’t theirs and present it as their own. So, I was wondering if maybe the hiring director doesn’t want to hire the OP (because the OP isn’t the best candidate or because the hiring director knows the CIO doesn’t favor the OP and doesn’t want to cross him or the hiring director thinks hiring the CIO’s referal will grant them points with the CIO) and tried to shift the blame by saying the CIO will make the final decision. I can see a wimpy manager trying to avoid having a disgruntled internal candidate do something like this, especially if they have a long-standing relationship with the OP.

    2. Bea W*

      That was my impression. It does put the hiring manager in an awkward position, having to choose from a pool of candidates where one of those candidates is his own boss’ referral. It may have just been easier to hand the decision over, especially if the hiring manager doesn’t think the boss’ referral is the best person for the job. It’s really a bit of a mess – a hiring manager who is already under close scrutiny by the guy who referred one of the candidates, and the guy who referred that candidate.

  15. R2D2*


    I can understand why this person isn’t getting hired, but it’s regrettable that hiring practices exclude in this way. If someone were to tell me in a job interview that their ultimate goal was to be paid to work in their pajamas, I’d see someone who was probably honest enough to not abuse a work-from-home system. If I saw the same candidate complaining about the experience paradox on Twitter, I’d see someone who would be a huge asset to any business process improvement team, as they are willing to engage in public dialog about uncomfortable problems — really one of the hardest things to find when trying to improve business practices in an office with a CYA culture.

    I would position it like this: people want to hire you, but hiring is a stressful experience; people are only human, and when their own anxieties mix with the conflicting pressures coming at them from other parts of the company, things can be rough. So you have to make it easy for them. Hiring someone who doesn’t appear professional puts their anxiety levels through the roof. Even if you are a good candidate, expecting them to go above and beyond is maybe asking too much. So if they ask you something like, “What is your long term goal?”, the Plain English version, which is most concise, most useful, may indeed be “the ultimate goal is to have someone to pay me to lay in my pajamas all day and watch sports”, but that’s going to make them very stressed. On the other hand, if you say, “I would like a sports analyst position, ideally one with options for work-from-home and a flexible dress code.”, you’ve said more-or-less the same thing, yet in a way that is not so stressful. As long as you remember what you really mean, and are willing to say it plain when it is necessary, there is no shame in rephrasing it to make it easier on others when the full impact is not necessary.

    1. matcha123*

      You said that a lot better than I could.

      If someone said that their ultimate goal was to be paid for sitting around in their PJs, I’d take it as the joke they most likely meant it as.

      Perhaps this isn’t the case in this letter, but I think there is a huge range of things that someone might pick out as “unprofessional” behavior. And it can be confusing when you go interviewing at different places, where one interviewer might consider slouching unprofessional, another might think that smiling too much is unprofessional and another might go in the opposite direction and feel that someone that can’t make a joke is too stuffy.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Hmmm, we have a very different read on this.

      We’re talking about an intern candidate, so it’s someone with very little work experience. That means that she really needs to prove herself in other ways, like professionalism, work ethic, attitude, and general smarts and common sense. In my experience, the behaviors the OP describes aren’t done by candidates who are great at improving business practices — they’re done by candidates who don’t understand professional decorum and will end up being a pain in the ass and require a massive amount of supervision and hand-holding.

      1. Artemesia*

        Exactly. This is a joke that can be made by someone being hired for a high level position and has a brilliant track record of achievement. It is not a joke that works for a person new to the work world who has no such record. I too have worked with entitled newbies who need heavy supervision to get anything done. It is not fun.

      2. L McD*

        Yes, this. As the movie Liar Liar demonstrated pretty well, there’s a difference between someone who conducts themselves in a forthright manner, and someone who is literally honest about all things at all times. The former is what you want in an employee, the latter is usually an indication of someone who is pretty tone-deaf to the accepted methods of social interaction. (Or someone who’s been on the receiving end of some crazy birthday wish curse.)

      3. Raine*

        This, or they’re self-sabotaging. I know when I was very young and new to the professional world and going through a string of rejections, for some reason my attitude for a while became one of … irreverence? Defiance? Thank God it didn’t last too long, but frankly, on some level I know exactly what I was doing (almost daring someone to see through to me talent, or something), and there’s really not much anyone could have said to me to make me behave differently.

      4. Sourire*

        Agree with Alison here. At my interview for my first 9-5 type job I was asked about my ideal job and answered that I basically wanted to be Anthony Bourdain (get paid to travel, eat and make witty remarks about it all). I said this not as a joke, but because I truly had no idea about the interview norms surrounding this question what he was actually asking. I did end up being hired, and he ended up speaking to me about my interview and giving me very helpful career guidance which I will forever be appreciative of. However, I was most certainty hired despite my poor interviewing skills, not because I was honest enough to point out in my interview that customer service was not my life-long goal or any other positive spin you might try to put on that.

        1. Omne*

          I honestly don’t see why that answer is a problem. It does sound like an ideal job and a legitimate one as well. It’s not any worse than saying you’d like to be a restaurant reviewer or a Michelin inspector. I’d love Bourdain’s job too but I’m just not as entertaining apparently. The point for me is that Bourdain is earning his money, the intern’s answer basically says they won’t be.

      5. OP #1*

        Thank you Alison for this comment. +1000 As the OP I will say, I am not a harsh interviewer and I can definitely understand humor. As for this particular comment, it was 1 of many that demonstrated a general lack of interview experience and professionalism. I chose this example over others for the sake of keeping the email short. She is younger but a college graduate and I believe thats old enough to do some research on how to interview. It ultimately came down to exactly what Alison said, I felt that she was going to require an extensive amount of hand-holding and supervision and I am not in a place where that was going to be a possibility. Thank you for your advice, in an attempt not to just give unsolicited advice I am going to mention something at the bottom of the email that says I am willing to give feedback and hope that she asks! (And then I plan on being very honest like Alison mentioned above in another comment!) Thank you everyone for your suggestions and opinions. This community rocks at helping people!

    3. fposte*

      I can’t read it as generously as that, and I’m getting a bit lost in what seems like a theory that the interviewer made her too nervous to expect her to behave professionally.

      I hire young people a lot. They are quite capable of behaving professionally throughout an interview. At least in my field, it’s really not common to have an ultimate goal to sit at home all day and veg out; saying that wouldn’t mean she’s saying the truth that nobody dares say, it would mean she’s indicating a constitutional unsuitability for the field. And the problem with the context as the OP provided is that it sounds like it might not really be a joke, and that jobs that require her to be professional in public workplaces aren’t something she’s ready for.

      1. R2D2*

        >I’m getting a bit lost in what seems like a theory that the interviewer made her too nervous to expect her to behave professionally.

        Sorry about that — I guess I used “they” in an ambiguous way. In that particular sentence, the interviewer is the nervous one, not the interviewee, although in practice both parties are at least somewhat nervous for different reasons.

        For any serious hire, there’s a lot riding on selection of the appropriate candidate; if the interviewer becomes unnerved by the way the candidate speaks, they’re probably going to pass, even if the candidate is well-qualified. A lot of people take this very badly — they think to themselves, “I’m objectively qualified, yet here is this person dithering over the way I talk!” Applicants forget that everyone involved in the hiring process is a human being who can at best strive for perfection and meet half-way. Job interviews aren’t performed by sadists; the person on the other end of the table wants to hire you, but it’s hard for them — the same way that people strive to be industrious but are still often lazy, strive to be honest but still often lie, strive to meet any ideal and yet inevitably only make it most of the way there.

        In my example above, all that the applicant is changing is the phrasing of what they said, not the content — that makes it a relatively painless change, as long as they understand the context — that they are helping the interviewer, rather than hurting themselves.

        1. fposte*

          There are some things where that’s true, but I don’t think the intern’s comment is one that can be rephrased into something that wouldn’t hurt her but had the same meaning. “I don’t want to work, I want to lie around in my pajamas” isn’t a spinnable sentiment, really.

    4. Persephone Mulberry*

      “If someone were to tell me in a job interview that their ultimate goal was to be paid to work in their pajamas, I’d see someone who was probably honest enough to not abuse a work-from-home system.”

      Except that in this instance the person didn’t say their goal was to work in their pajamas, it was to get paid to NOT work – with the added bonus of pajamas.

      1. Bea W*

        “the ultimate goal is to have someone to pay me to lay in my pajamas all day and watch sports”

        Not exactly someone who sounds like they wouldn’t abuse a work from home situation.

      2. R2D2*

        >Except that in this instance the person didn’t say their goal was to work in their pajamas, it was to get paid to NOT work – with the added bonus of pajamas.

        Maybe I mis-read it… In that case, the way to phrase it would be, “My ultimate goal is to reach a level of experience within the firm such that I qualify for a pension.”

        1. R2D2*

          (In some cases, it might be necessary to replace the word “pension” with the phrase “defined benefit plan”.)

          1. fposte*

            That would be a really bad thing to say in an interview–it says “I’m here to run out my time, not to contribute.”

            1. R2D2*

              Hmm… tough one, there. Maybe something like, ““My ultimate goal is to reach a level of experience within the firm such that I am able to earn a defined benefit plan.” Of course, they could always rephrase it as, “My ultimate goal is to prove my worth to the company, hopefully getting the opportunity to qualify for a defined benefit plan.”, but that’s crossing the middle-line of rephrasing and heading into changing the meaning.

              Maybe some context…

              A cartoonist known as The Oatmeal created a comic about interview questions ( that sees interviewing as essentially a form of hazing. According to metric software, this comic has been shared by over 845,000 people (; that’s a large enough sample size to suggest that this is a somewhat common opinion. However, that is not a good place to start from, and if there is a way to move away from that, both interviewers and interviewees will be happier. A way of moving away from that that I found helpful was the one outlined above, by seeing these sort of adjustments like re-phrasing things to sound more professional as a way of helping them with their own struggles, rather than hurting yourself for their benefit.

              1. R2D2*

                (“Them” being the interviewers, and “you” being the interviewee, again phrased as though you were talking to the person in question that needs advice.)

              2. fposte*

                It doesn’t matter. Just don’t include the goal of getting a pension in an answer to an interview question, period. Not only is it not a good answer because it makes you sound like a slacker, there’s a big risk of it being insulting, given that most DB plans these days are in the public sector and there’s a lot of trashing of lazy pensioned public employees; this makes it sound like the interviewee believes that.

                Yes, there are ways of rephrasing some things to make them acceptable. “I’m interested in money I get without working,” whether it’s a pension or watching sports in your pajamas, isn’t spinnable and shouldn’t be said in any form as an interview answer.

  16. Anx*


    If it’s illegal to clock people out for standing around, wouldn’t an employer just be allowed to adjust your schedule so that you’re pulled off the schedule as soon as you don’t have any work to do, then require you to return when work starts?

    I know in the past I’ve seen managers send people home for an hour and require them to come back if they get a phone call. Of course, most people just stand around in the parking lot to save gas money.

    1. Natalie*

      On the federal level, that would be completely ok, although the employees would have to be free to leave during the period they were clocked out.

      On the state level it probably varies, and depends on how long the not-working period is. If it’s short, it could be considered a paid break.

  17. Curious?*

    #4. “They can’t lower your pay retroactively, but they can lower it going forward as long as they alert you beforehand.” Of course, this makes perfect sense and would seem to be a no-brainer. But, can AAM cite a specific law or regulation that says your pay can’t be lowered retroactively? Maybe the OP can use that info (and others who need it :))

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s common law, as opposed to a specific statute. I tried to find something that explains this better than I can, and I found this:

      “Under the general common law, an employer must pay an employee according to the wage agreement that was in effect when the work was performed. This general rule finds expression to one degree or another in the Fair Labor Standards Act and in almost every state wage payment statute. If there is no written agreement, agencies and courts will use some variation of the “best evidence” rule to determine what the employer and employee “agreed” to when the employment relationship was formed. Whoever has the best evidence of the rate of pay and the method of pay will usually prevail on those points.”


  18. Zhook*

    I’ve shared apartments and bathrooms with my male colleagues many times (and once had to share a bed with a female colleague – poor nonprofits, oy!) Anyway, it went fine, I appreciated the chance to bond with them, and they mostly didn’t wander around in their underwear.

    1. Windchime*

      I had to share a hotel room with two female colleagues once (I am also a woman). The other two had to share the bed; I claimed the other bed for myself. I had known one of the women since Jr. High, so that wasn’t such a big deal but the other woman was my boss. It was very weird to sleep in the same room as my boss, and to see her wandering around in her slip the next morning.

      Thankfully, my current company allows employees to always have their own room. I would probably be OK with the suite setup mentioned by the OP as long as I had my own bathroom.

  19. RubyJackson*

    #3~ From my personal (bad) experiences, I always request separate floors from my male boss, and make sure he’s on a lower floor so that he gets off the elevator first. Once, I was unaware that my male boss had followed me to my room when I got out of the elevator, until his foot in the door prevented me from closing it. It was an ugly scene that required brute force to keep him off of me. There is absolutely no way I would ever share a common hotel suite with anyone, male or female, for fear of similar unwanted advances.

    1. Sourire*

      That’s horrible and I am so sorry it happened to you. How scary. I’ve not had any similar experiences, and would certainly hope yours are anomalies.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      What a nightmare. Please say you reported him or told him you were calling the police. I am sorry this happened to you.

  20. Puttering Around*

    Along the lines of #5, what if someone clocks out, but continues to putter around the office doing inconsequential things? This person also works through their lunch breaks. Say they’ve been told to stop but continue anyway, perhaps because they have some sort of unconfirmed disorder. Is the company liable even though they’re choosing to stay, and also, does it make the other employees (who clock out and leave and take our breaks) look bad? How do you STOP someone from working off the clock?

    1. fposte*

      Are they genuinely non-exempt? The company has to pay them for their work, period–if that’s what you mean by “liable,” then yes, they’re liable, and they have to pay for the worked lunch hour.

      If you’re the supervisor, you make the rules clear: allowing them to work additional hours isn’t an accommodation they can offer and that they are required to stick to working stated hours. If you’re not the supervisor, you don’t necessarily know what the arrangements are and there’s nothing to do about it anyway, so you let it go.

      1. Puttering Around*

        I’m not the supervisor. We, as in all the people who work the same position, know it’s a non-exempt position, but there could always be some kind of “arrangement” with the higher-ups we don’t know about, like being paid for her lunch period. (But she’d still have to take a short break, right?) The person in question most likely has OCD or something similar and is compelled to clean the office when she’s on “break.” There are other people whose job this actually is, but she doesn’t trust them to do it correctly. You’re right, there’s nothing we can do.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      Many retail places will just fire a person on the spot for that. If they have a disorder that causes them to work through lunch then they cannot fulfill the basic requirements of the job. It could end up that they could not work anywhere because they cannot do the basic requirements of a job. But that would take a while to be confirmed.
      Breaks are a rigid thing- there is not a lot of wiggle room.

      1. Puttering Around*

        It’s not retail. The person probably has OCD and she cleans the office on her breaks. It’s disruptive to many people and makes the people whose job it actually is to clean look bad. But I’m not a supervisor, there isn’t anything I can do, just hope that it doesn’t reflect badly on me. :/

  21. Cruciatus*

    This is a site question–at work (using Mozilla) I have no problem seeing the order of AAM links on the right side for November, October, September and so on. But lately at home it doesn’t show up. The only thing I can come up with is that my work computer has an older version of Mozilla. Has the site changed? Is that still an option? I really liked using that feature to easily revisit recent threads. And also at home, Alison’s comments don’t show up in blue. There is a thin blue line to the left of her posts but that’s it. Does anyone know what might be up?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s back now! There’s been some weird technical stuff going on this week, which is hopefully fixed (I think an attempted hacking, actually). Please let me know it disappears again.

      My comments though should be working normally. This one isn’t blue to you?

      1. Cruciatus*

        No, still just the thin blue line I mentioned previously. It was never blue after the site update on this computer. But it always is blue at work so I know what it should look like. I’ve tried Chrome to see if there’s any difference (there isn’t). It must be something on my end but I can’t begin to imagine what.

        1. UK Nerd*

          It’s a long shot, but I once had a monitor that couldn’t display one particular shade of blue. If you’re using a HannsG flat screen from around 2006 it might just be the same issue.

      2. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        Piggybacking on this to add that trying to view a post that has more than about 20 comments still makes my phone browser (default Android browser) crash. The main page doesn’t make it crash, just the comments. Also the italics don’t show up in the letters; it’s all the same font whether it’s the question or your reply. The letter “titles” are bold, though.

        I’m not complaining – I’ve kinda resigned myself to that being a price of continuing to use an older phone – but just thought I’d let you know.

  22. CAA*

    The Archives section in the right nav has been randomly disappearing this week. I use it all the time too, so I notice when it’s not there and I have to go back to the home page to find the previous post.

Comments are closed.