my manager’s boss wants us to complain about my manager to his face, inconsiderate meeting times, and more

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

1. My manager’s boss wants us to complain about my manager to his face

Next week, my coworkers, my supervisor, and my supervisor’s boss are going to have a meeting to discuss any complaints we have about my supervisor. I feel that this is inappropriate. I feel that if anything, his boss should ask us privately if we have any concerns about his performance, and then she could give him feedback in private. It feels odd that he is going to be put on the spot in front of the group, and if I were in his shoes, I would be embarrassed.

That said, he has not been a very good supervisor, and he is the reason I put in my resignation for the end of May. (He blamed me for a mistake that he made, which was write-up worthy. After explaining my case, I did not get the write-up.) He has a habit of lying and blaming others for his mistakes, and just not showing up for his work hours.

I am just wondering if I am overreacting, and if this is a normal business practice. I am an advocate of feedback, but not in front of an audience. Should I even speak up in this meeting about issues I have, or just say nothing? I am at a loss on how to handle this situation.

No, this isn’t reasonable. It’s good that your manager’s boss wants to gather feedback about how your manager is doing, but it’s absurd to think that people will give candid feedback in front of said manager. It’s unreasonable for her to put the burden of that kind of tough confrontation onto people with less power in this situation. Rather, she should talk with each of you privately, synthesize the feedback, and relay it to your boss one-on-one … along with making it clear that he’s not to penalize anyone who spoke with her (followed by checking back with each of you to make sure that hasn’t happened).

If you’d rather not participate in this, I encourage you to say to your manager’s boss: “I’m not comfortable talking candidly about my concerns about Bob in front of Bob. I’m concerned about the tension it will cause in our relationship, and I’m relying on him for a good reference in the future. I’d be glad to talk with you one-on-one, but I don’t think you’ll get truly candid feedback if he’s part of the conversation.”

2. Manager won’t check if meeting times work for other people

I’m the marketing director at a not-for-profit with about 20 employees. Right now, if there’s an internal meeting to be scheduled that involves more than one department, the head of the company picks a date and time about a week before and circulates it to the staff. Notifications are really haphazard – she almost never asks key staff about availability beforehand, and emails don’t always go to the right people.

For example, yesterday she mentioned an upcoming marketing/launch meeting. I though the date was still up for grabs and said I’d go back to my desk to check my calendar. She told me that the meeting had already been set, and that we had received an email about it. Turns out nobody in marketing was on the email, which is tough because the whole department needed to be there. Some of us had conflicts or long-arranged outside meetings. One of us, who commutes and normally works a half-day from home that day, had a medical appointment scheduled outside the city. This is pretty typical. Most times we’re able to make the meetings work without too much fuss. But these aren’t super time-sensitive meetings and the chaos (and the boss’s irritation if we try to flag conflicts) is discouraging.

Is it normal to set meetings on 5 days’ notice without checking staff availability first? (Especially if some staff aren’t normally working, or are working from home on the day in question?) Any guidance on how to address the chaos of the current system? The head of the company takes discussions about process very personally, and escalates quickly, so nobody wants to make themselves a target by talking to her about it.

No, that’s not normal or reasonable. But you won’t be able to solve it if no one is willing to talk to her about it — there’s no magic elixir that you could give her or anything like that. So if you want to resolve it, someone needs to speak up.

That person should say this: “Could we start checking people’s availability before solidifying dates for meetings? We’ve had some situations recently where people had conflicts with existing appointments that were tough to change, were scheduled to be out that day, or otherwise had trouble making the meeting time work.” That person should then also suggest a logical person to handle that coordination, so that it’s not falling to the head of the organization. If she has an assistant or there’s someone who does admin work for your team or the organization, suggest that that person be in charge of finding meeting times that will work for everyone’s schedules.

I get that she hasn’t made herself easy to talk to, but this is pretty straightforward to speak up about and propose a solution to. (And if no one will bring themselves to do it because she’s that awful, that fact is the bigger problem.)

3. Charging my employer extra to create a special tool

I recently realized that I could create a tool for the small company I work for that would save a lot of time and potentially money. If I tell my employer about this, should I ask to be paid for the creation of this tool? I work in retail so this is not something that would be in the normal scope of my responsibilities.

If I should charge, should I just be paid at my normal rate for the amount of time it takes to create or should I approach this as a freelancer and say my rate is X? I have never done anything like this before so would appreciate any advice you could give

If it’s wildly, wildly outside the scope of your job, possibly. In many jobs, “other duties as assigned” is part of the gig, and it wouldn’t be realistic to ask for extra pay for taking on something outside your normal responsibilities. But there’s a point where it becomes reasonable, but it has to really be wildly outside the normal scope of your job, and even then it doesn’t always make sense.

But in retail, the scope of your job is probably clearly enough not tool creation that you probably could make the offer. Approach it as a freelancer; don’t use your normal pay rate, because this is a different type of work.

4. Company wants to verify my current salary with pay stubs

My current employer has a strict policy against verifying salary information for current employees.

I have accepted a contingent job offer, and they have verified over ten years employment history, education and salary. They are now asking for my pay stubs to verify salary information for current employer. In all of years I worked, I have never been asked to provide my pay stubs nor has anyone I have spoken to. Is this a normal request?

Yep, a lot of employers do this. It’s silly, because they shouldn’t be asking about your salary at all — but places that (wrongly) base your salary offer off of your salary history want to be sure that you’re giving them accurate information.

The good news for you: Your employer has a strict policy against disclosing this information. So I’d say, “My employer has a strict policy against disclosing salaries outside of the company, and it’s covered under my confidentiality agreement with them.”

5. Interviewing for a position that could be based in one of two cities

My question is probably less fascinating than, say, the one about the guy who pooped in a plant, but here I go. I currently live in New York, and I’m planning to move to Los Angeles with my partner in September. I’ve started to look at jobs out there, and I’ve been pleased to see a number of postings for positions that could be based in either New York or L.A. (The ads are specifically saying things like, “we’re looking for someone to work full-time out of our NY or LA offices.”) I actually have a phone screen for one tomorrow!

When in the interviewing/hiring process should I disclose to a potential employer that I’m planning on moving? At the in-person interview? The offer stage? Also, do you think this approach would hurt my chances of getting a job? I can understand that it might not be ideal for a company to have someone get started with a team in one city and then move three months later, but I’m not sure if it’s inconvenient enough to delay my job search until I move.

Tell them early on, so that they’re not proceeding in the process with incorrect information about you. After all, it’s possible that they could be thinking, “Ugh, she’d be great for LA, but not quite right for what we want in NY.” (Or, of course, the opposite.)

During the phone interview, I’d just ask about it by saying something like, “I noticed in your ad that you’re looking for someone either in New York or LA. Although I’m currently in New York, I’m actually planning to move to LA in September and thought I should mention that in case it impacts how we proceed.”

{ 148 comments… read them below }

  1. Sparkly Librarian*

    #4 sounded to me like the company refuses to verify salary information when contacted by a third party. However, the employee may not have any such restriction on her OWN disclosure (for example, by providing copies of paystubs). If there’s no such mention in her NDA, then it would be up to her to choose whether to provide paystubs to the hiring company. Personally, I would. (I haven’t had to do it for a new job, but I certainly provided many paystubs AND okayed a discussion between my lender and HR when I was applying for a mortgage.)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      There’s a good chance that it’s covered under her company’s standard confidentiality agreement; it often is, if you check your employee handbook.

      Frankly, the time to head this off is earlier in the process, when they’re trying to get your salary history, which ideally you wouldn’t provide anyway, thus making the whole pay stub thing irrelevant.

      “My employer’s salary structure is covered by my confidentiality agreement with them, but I’m looking for $X to $Y.”

      1. neverjaunty*

        Though the legality of “policy” about keeping salaries secret is questionable, no?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Not in this context! They can’t prohibit you from sharing your salary internally with coworkers, but they can indeed legally prohibit you from sharing it outside the company. (That’s because the law that covers this is intended to protect workers’ ability to unionize, collectively bargain, and discuss wages and working conditions with each other.)

          1. TeapotCounsel*

            Sorry, I’m going to disagree with you on #4. I think #4 should absolutely provide the paystubs.
            Let me start by saying I disagree with you with reluctance, because you’re almost always right. But in this case, I think too much credence is being placed on what *might* be in the employee handbook.
            1. The employee handbook may not have the confidentiality clause you’re thinking about. I’ve seen many employers that don’t have that in the handbook.
            2. More importantly, the employee handbook is almost certainly not a binding contract. Employers go out of their way to say words to that effect in the handbook itself so that an employment contract is not created. If the handbook doesn’t create an employment contract, then its alleged restrictions on providing paystubs is not contractually required either.
            It may be the case that there’s a separate document previously signed by #4 and OldJob that’s a confidentiality agreement. And maybe the document swears employee to secrecy on the pay rate — but I doubt it. Pay stubs are needed for taxes, child support, other court proceedings, etc. I’ve just never seen pay stubs be part of a secrecy agreement.
            Finally, even if the pay stubs are supposedly to be kept secret by the command of OldJob, my thoughts are that #4 should still reveal the paystubs. OldJob is unreasonable in its limited disclosure, and #4 ought not have his/her career impeded by that unreasonableness. What’s OldJob going to do? Sue for damages? OldJob would have no damages. I think any attempt by OldJob to restrict distribution of paystubs would go nowhere.
            #4: fwiw, I think you should do what you need to do to satisfy NewJob’s due diligence.

            1. Pete*

              “…should absolutely provide the paystubs.” Spoken like a true employer that demands proof of prior salary. She should do it only if she wants to. She should do it only if she really, really, really wants that job. However, it’s an unreasonable request regardless of how many other companies do it. I would guess this is only the first of many unreasonable requests and expectations from that company’s management. She should definitely say “I have a policy that limits the sharing of paystubs only to entities loaning me more than $20,000.”

            2. Apollo Warbucks*

              It seems to me that Alison’s reluctance to sharing pays slips is not based on an NDA or contact but rather on a point of principle (as she has said many times she doesn’t think that salary history is at all relevant to the hiring process) In this case the NDA is just a helpful thing to hid behind.

            3. LBK*

              I think you’re reading this entirely from a legal perspective and not a practical one; the OP isn’t obligated to share paystubs because it reveals salary information that’s not pertinent to the hiring company. If the purpose is “due diligence,” there are other ways to verify employment without requiring paystubs (and I’d argue that verifying employment is pretty much useless when it comes to hiring practices anyway when what you really want is a conversation with a manager who can provide a reference). The potential rules about not revealing salary are just a convenient crutch for the OP to rely on so she can blame her lack of sharing paystubs on that rather than having to say she just doesn’t want to share them.

              1. TeapotCounsel*

                I’ll agree that I’m seeing this from a different perspective than Pete, Apollo, and LBK are… I’ve never placed any “privacy” value on salary, i.e., I’ve never thought it’s the sort of thing to be kept a secret. Maybe some of that has to do with the fact that my first job out of college was in the military, and in the military your pay is published in the paper. Later, as a lawyer in private practice, I had occasion to see people’s financial data all the time, so I became even more numb to the notion that there’s something special about a person’s pay.
                I recognize that other people view this topic differently; I’ve never understood why, though.

                1. Apollo Warbucks*

                  I’m numb to the data as well, I’ve had unfetter access to a number of HR systems that contain all sorts of information about salary, performance reviews and disciplinary information as well.

                  It’s not about the information being private, its about the reason the information is being asked for. The hiring company should do its own salary setting not rely on other firms to determine the value of their staff.

                2. LBK*

                  In general I agree that I don’t really understand the sensitivity about pay; it’s just sort of been social convention that it’s not appropriate to talk about, which has the lovely side effect of make pay discrimination nearly impossible to detect and/or prove. But I think in the particular case of a potential employer asking about it, there’s good cause to be protective because too many companies base salary offers on what you’re currently making instead of what you’re worth based on market value.

                  If you’re being wildly underpaid (which could be the reason you’re job searching in the first place) it’s not worth risking that they’ll lowball you because they can still give you a cheap offer for them that’s above what you’re currently making. The reserve scenario could also occur, where you’re making above market rate and would be fine with a pay cut for the right job, but potential employers disqualify you because they can’t afford what you’re making now and assume you wouldn’t want to work for them unless they were able to match or beat that amount.

            4. neverjaunty*

              What TeapotCounsel said re the employee handbook. And even if the OP did sign a confidentiality agreement, those things are not ironclad for a number of reasons. (I’d like to see the employer try and enforce this against an employee who sued for discrimination. “You aren’t allowed to tell anyone that you got paid less than your male co-workers!”)

              Whether the OP should share it is a different issue.

              1. LBK*

                Right, but in this case the purpose of it is just to give the candidate an easy out when the interviewer asks. Most interviewers probably aren’t going to push back if you say “My employer doesn’t allow me to share that information” by questioning the legality of that policy.

                I’d also think raising a discrimination case would overrule the confidentiality contract breach, but I don’t see any reason that would prevent it from being enforceable in other situations, ie sharing that info with competitors.

            5. Ask a Manager* Post author

              I’m not arguing that she should provide pay stubs because of her company’s confidentiality policy. I’m arguing that she shouldn’t provide them because it’s no one’s F’ing business but her own and her accountant’s.

              1. Jamie*

                I’m not arguing that she should provide pay stubs because of her company’s confidentiality policy. I’m arguing that she shouldn’t provide them because it’s no one’s F’ing business but her own and her accountant’s.

                And this is why Alison should should be in charge of everything everywhere.

              2. Sherene*

                Update on #4,
                I was able to confirmed with the HR personnel that there were no discrepancies between my application and their verification and background check. I explained that I find her request unsettling as it conveyed a lack of trust and I don’t feel comfortable working within an organization that is distrustful of their employees. I explained that I understood if they recanted the offer. I received a formal offer from them after earlier today.

                1. Sherene*

                  PS. I had already disclosed my current salary information. In addition, my current employer informed the potential employer that policy is only for CURRENT employees. The new employer could resubmit their VOE and receive a full confirmation.

            6. Elsajeni*

              This seems like you’re answering a different question, though — OP#4’s question isn’t about whether her current employer’s policy is enforceable, it’s about whether the prospective new employer’s request to see her paystubs is reasonable. If she decides she doesn’t want to show the paystubs and cites the policy as a reason, she doesn’t need it to be enforceable; she just needs it to exist.

            7. Retail Lifer*

              I’ve never applied for a job that *didn’t* ask what my current salary was, although they didn’t always verify it. Just because an employer “shouldn’t” be asking for this info doesn’t mean they won’t, and I think you come off as difficult by not providing it. It’s a normal part of the process. I’ve applied to at least 50 jobs during the past year and every last one asked for salary info.

              Many companies won’t verify salary info, so providing paycheck stubs is a reasonable option. I’ve seen companies do that when they were asked not to contact the current employer during refernce checks. It’s an easy way to verify that someone works there and that they’re telling the truth about their salary.

            8. AW*

              None of this proves #4 should provide pay stubs. Maybe the old job can’t legally prevent them from disclosing but that doesn’t mean they ought to disclose it.

      2. Is This Legal*

        I’ve to disagree., you still have to disclose to file taxes, which in itself you can provide as evidence and your employer will have no say. I just don’t see how this will hold up.

        But yes probably your company refused to verify and at this point consider if you need the job and request IRS Transcripts or if it’s too intrusive decline the offer.

    2. Erik*

      One previous employer had such a crazy NDA for salaries that it literally forbid me from even telling my wife what I made! Talk about stupid. I just tell people that I’m looking between X and Y based on my experience.

        1. Jaydee*

          How does it work for having a joint bank account? Or filing taxes together? Or were you not allowed to disclose your salary to the IRS either?

          1. Jamie*

            Yeah – or even just a household budget. How do you plan for your life/retirement if you have no idea how much your spouse makes…that’s completely crazy and totally unenforceable.

            Most people are smart enough to be able to see how much hits the bank on payday and do some simple math.

      1. the gold digger*

        And how is that even enforceable? I can imagine it coming into play only in a bitter divorce, when the scorned wife says, “Oh YEAH? Well, I’m going to tell your boss that you shared your salary information with me AND THEN WE’LL SEE WHO’S IN TROUBLE, MISTER!”

        1. Erik*

          Nice one!

          We got a lot of good laughs out of it – completely unenforceable policies like this are just comical. Everyone saw through it. The folks responsible for this were a bunch of idiots in the first place.

      2. Leah*

        That sounds completely impossible both to adhere to and to enforce.

        “Sorry, honey, I can’t tell you what I make, but our grocery budget is X per week.”
        “Sorry, Bank, I can’t tell you what I make, but I promise I can totally afford to pay this mortgage.”
        “Sorry, Child’s college, can you just give him a scholarship? He totally needs it, though I can’t show you any documentation.”

  2. Ann Furthermore*

    #1: Yeah, that’s how to get a build a good relationship with your boss: tell him what you don’t like about him in front of an audience. Dear god, why on earth would anyone think that’s a good idea?

    1. Artemesia*

      I am cynical. I assume people set things up this way to suppress complaints. The boss is not interested in improving the supervisor’s performance; he just wants to cool out the employees. Great that the OP is leaving. The ‘big boss’ deserves to lose all of his competent employees.

      1. Oh anon*

        This actually happened at my last job and every employee (10+,some had been there for 7+ years) except the awful supervisor (supervisor was promoted to her position right before I left) has left. It’s been about a year.

        1. cuppa*

          I had something similar happen to me in a small office. Some drama went down with a co-worker and his boss. I don’t really remember what happened and I’m not even sure that I was really aware of it at the time. The whole office got pulled in to a meeting to discuss issues, but no one said anything. The manager who called the meeting then decided that since no one had anything to say in this weird meeting, no one could possibly have any issues and that was that.
          It was definitely one of those days where I was scratching my head big time.

      2. squids*

        Seen that. Anonymous employee satisfaction survey triggered that office as one of the unhappiest. People from head office came in to figure out why, by holding a meeting with all staff & supervisors all together. Hm, apparently everyone was quite content after all.

        1. NJ Anon*

          I will never understand why the “higher ups” don’t get this. How in the world do they expect people to say anything in this type of environment?

          1. Me*

            Yep, after our big firings the manager has always asked if anyone ‘has any issues or concerns’ in a sort of afterthought fashion at the end of a regular meeting. “How is everyone feeling?” “I’ll assume everyone’s feeling fine if you don’t say otherwise” (literally) Yeah, we all feel peachy. What do you think? smh

      3. Jamie*

        I’m cynical also – I thought the same thing. Get everyone in a room – no one complains about anything or it’s completely softballed and minimized. Then going forward no one listens because they had the chance to say something and ‘everything was fine then.’

        It’s so illogical I have to think there is an ulterior motive at play here.

      4. Me*

        Or maybe to “encourage” people to solve their own problems instead of offering confidential complaints and expecting someone else to fix their poor life? A combo of both I suspect. Boss’s boss’s typically don’t want to officiate these games.

    2. Cassie*

      Our incoming dept head will be implementing weekly staff meetings so everyone can address their issues with the administrative manager. Despite being told multiple times that line staff and middle managers don’t feel comfortable speaking up in front of the admin manager because she takes feedback VERY personally and hates all ideas that didn’t originate from her. No one will say anything for fear of retaliation.

      I don’t know what the dept head expects to accomplish with these meetings.

  3. Snoskred*

    #1 – You are leaving at the end of May. Do your coworkers a solid. If this meeting goes ahead even after you have said the thing to your supervisors boss, speak up and say all the things you would say if that supervisor was not there in the room. Be honest, be truthful, lay it all out on the table. Especially this bit –

    He has a habit of lying and blaming others for his mistakes, and just not showing up for his work hours

    Because I spoke up at one job I was leaving, the worst manager I ever worked for was shown the door not long after I left. A lot of the issues I spoke up about – with her in the room and with the business owner in the room – were things the business owner did not know about and when they found out about those things, their eyes were opened.

    It didn’t matter to me, speaking up – it didn’t make any difference to my decision about leaving – but it made an enormous difference to the people I left behind, many of whom I deeply respected and cared about.

    Stand up, speak up, walk out with your head held high and do those you are leaving behind this huge favour. :)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      But she wants a good reference from him, presumably. It’s not her job to solve these problems for her employer at personal cost to herself. But she could certainly tell the manager’s boss what’s going on, privately.

          1. Snoskred*

            It has been my experience that when people show you who they are, believe them. :)

            It is up to the LW of course, whether or not they want to speak up.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Sure, but as far as we know, the manager hasn’t demonstrated that he’s someone who will lie to harm others for no reason at all and at no benefit to himself.

              1. OP Question 1*

                I have actually secured a reference from the supervisor I had before my current one, along with references from two of my coworkers. From what I have read on this blog, reference-checkers can contact my current boss anyway, and I wouldn’t attempt to hide anything. My hope was just in case my boss’s reference was less than positive, I would have three positive ones that could cancel out his lukewarm reference.

            2. LBK*

              I think there’s a big difference between lying to cover your own ass and lying to sabotage people. Sure, it’s lying either way, but one is clearly born of a self-preserving instinct.

      1. Confused*

        I agree with Alison. It’s not worth burning a bridge and risking a reference especially since you’re leaving soon. What’s the upside for you? They fire Boss at, what will soon be, OldJob? You get to vent your
        frustrations? Reference aside, you never know if/when you’ll run into each other again. Not worth it.

        I wonder if BigBoss wants all parties in the room bc he wants a dialogue between employees and Boss. They can air their grievances and he can respond in real time. That’s COMPLETELY misguided of course, but I wonder if that’s the intention.

        Either way, BigBoss’ lack of good judgement for calling this meeting to begin with would keep me from saying anything negative about Boss, even in private, for fear he would go to Boss and explicitly say, “Jane thinks this, Bob thinks that…”

    2. MK*

      I am sceptical about how much influence the word of a departing employee will have, especially if it’s not backed by the rest of the team; it would be very easy for the boss to decided you were the problem or just a bad fit.

      1. LBK*

        Agreed. Rarely does someone who arranges this kind of bafflingly stupid feedback session take any of it seriously, especially from someone who’s leaving.

      2. Laurel Gray*

        I also agree MK.

        I think in general waiting for an employee to be a “departing employee” to solicit feedback is too late. Just like when HR or managers want to ask questions on specific negatives about a department during an exit interview.

    3. C Average*

      Sorry, but I’m with the rest of the naysayers on this one.

      Last month, as I was preparing to leave a job, I asked this community in one of the open threads whether I should be candid in my exit interview. Based on the huge volume of feedback I got saying “no, don’t do that!” I opted not to agree to an exit interview at all. So many people told me all I’d do was sabotage any chance I had of getting a good reference and leaving on decent terms with the possibility of returning someday. And so many people told me the odds of there being any consequences for my manager were vanishingly small.

      I feel like bad managers getting their comeuppance is something that only happens in the movies . . . and to you, apparently! It’s nice to hear that it does happen on occasion, but based on the voices in this community, you’re by far the exception.

      1. Snoskred*

        This might be another of those cultural things. In Australia we do tend to speak up when something is wrong. In fact there is a theory floating around that this culture of speaking up is why Qantas have never crashed.

        Well, ok, they had a plane visit a golf course as a surprise to itself once, and an oxygen bottle exploded in flight, but zero fatalities in the jet age is a pretty astonishing safety record.

        Re your last point, she was going to get her comeuppance eventually, because her terribleness would have come to light at some point, plus she was losing too many staff. But she is certainly far from the only manager who has received the karma due to them that I know of. Just off the top of my head, there was one team leader, one mobile phone store manager, *two* electronics store managers who both ended up losing their jobs..

        On top of that, one company was taken to court and fined lots of $$ for underpaying people, and another company was taken to court for a clause they had in their contract that said salespeople did not get their commission until they completed their probation, and nobody ever completed their probation, so they were keeping all the commissions.

        Oh, and my sister took her manager to court for firing her when she was pregnant, and won. ;)

        Perhaps it is more that I have experienced a lot of shady people in my working life. There will be no more of them, I work for myself now. :)

      2. Retail Lifer*

        Any time I can provide feedback when I’m leaving a job, I do that. The chances of it being acted upon are really slim. but if I left because the place sucked, someone needs to hear that.

  4. hbc*

    #1: Did the big boss actually use the word “complaints” when setting up this meeting? I’m guessing that she has gotten an indication that there’s some frustration on both sides and thinks she can facilitate a discussion about these minor issues. That she has no idea that the issues are “He’s a lying liar who throws people under buses on the rare occasions he bothers to put in a full day.”

    Definitely go to her and say that there’s no way you can voice your complaints in that meeting (assuming you’re worried about early termination or a good recommendation), but that you’re willing to talk offline.

  5. Marzipan*

    #2, does your workplace have any sort of shareable calendar system that would enable the boss to see whether meeting invitees were free at that time? (I’m guessing not, since you mentioned needing to go back to your desk to check if you were free, vs the boss just being able to look at your calendar?) Because I can sort of see why she wouldn’t want to spend time asking about availability and getting a bunch of responses back with variations of ‘I can’t do Tuesday morning but I can do Wednesday afternoon between one and three, or after four’ and having to unpick that. So, if that’s not a setup you currently have, maybe lobby for getting one?

    Also, honestly, I’d just send my apologies for meetings I couldn’t go to. If everyone scrabbles around ensuring they go to the meeting no matter what, the boss isn’t likely to see any real reason to change her approach (because hey, it’s working for her!), whereas if she starts getting ‘Sorry Lucinda, I’m going to have to send my apologies for the spout design meeting as I have a preexisting diary clash, but please do send me the minutes so I can take care of any actions’ to the point that it’s having an impact, she’ll be more motivated to explore changes.

    1. MK*

      Another aspect of this is that, if the meetings involve a lot of busy people, it won’t be possible to find a date that suits everyone every single time. I always ask for input when scheduling something like this, but it’s rarely possible to accommodate everyone. After a certain point, I have to say “the date is X”, tell the people who absolutely need to be there that they need to do whatever is necessary to be there and let the rest decide if they want to rearrange their schedules, sent a replacement, if possible, or just miss the meeting.

      1. MT*

        Agreed. I have meetings with people at other facilities and who work different shifts. There are some required meetings that happen and everyone must attend, atleast by phone. Trying to find a time for 5 to 10 people to meet is hard, but impossible if there are 20+ people. Sometimes you have to do the unpopular thing and schedule the meeting and let everyone else figure out how to attend it.

        1. Alex*

          This! It’s nearly impossible for me to find open times on people’s calendars in my position when there are 4 or more people. Plus, many people block off time on their calendars that is flexible, but to me, it just shows that they’re busy. I have taken the habit of proposing 3 time slot options and sending it out to everyone in a thread to agree on one we can make work. Even that is tedious though. If I had the power I’d just do what this manager does and send out one date/time and be done with it.

        2. Witty Nickname*

          I have to schedule meetings for anywhere from 80-several hundred people at times (and those 80 will often forward it to 2 or 3 others who they want to attend as well; since I don’t know who those people will be, I can’t check their calendars). I pick a time that works for the key people involved (presenters and people in key leadership roles) and the majority of other attendees. If it’s really crucial that everyone hear the info, I may schedule two sessions so they can attend whichever works best. And I will often record the meeting so they can listen to it later if they can’t attend either session. I don’t reach out to ask anyone what time works though – I can see their availability on their calendars, and if they don’t keep their calendars updated, that’s on them.

    2. Evergreen*

      Was coming in to say this too. Microsoft Outlook has the ‘scheduling assistant’ feature which means I can see availability of everyone in my (5000 people +) organisation. Maybe the OP could see if that is or could be set up for their organisation?

      1. LBK*

        Yes, even Lotus Notes, the worst email system in the universe, has something like this. You hit “Check Available Times” and it shows you everyone’s calendars with their unavailable times colored in so you can drag your meeting time to fit when everyone is free.

          1. LBK*

            It was probably average not too long ago, but it hasn’t really kept up with a lot of modern email standards. The searching and sorting features in particular are seriously lacking, especially compared with robust services like Gmail.

            1. Apollo Warbucks*

              my old firm scrapped notes and started using outlook because the development was lacking IBM really dropped the ball with the program.

              I hate g-mail with a passion it is horrible to use. that said the hangouts are really good but the email functionality is shocking

      2. NickelandDime*

        Yes. This is a wonderful function. And add a note that if the person invited can’t come, and it’s really important, they can send someone in their place?

      1. A Kate*

        I was going to suggest Doodle too. It makes it really easy for the person doing the scheduling. Perfect if the problem is that the person doing the scheduling thinks checking everyone’s availability is too time-intensive.

      2. nona*

        +1 for Doodle. Used it for student organization meetings in college, so we could get together during exam weeks/huge events/complicated class schedules.

    3. SanguineAspect*

      This is what I wanted to say too! Get a shared calendar system. Even if your company (because it’s small) doesn’t want to shell out for Outlook, something like Google Calendars is a good free alternative.

      Even then, there can be issues if people don’t USE their calendars or don’t block off time when they won’t be available. So when you’re rolling it out, make sure to let everyone know: if your calendar looks blank, it’s fair game for scheduling meetings. So if people take lunch at a certain time, have a Dr. appointment, will be traveling to a client’s office, will be on vacation–ALL that should be blocked off.

      1. the gold digger*

        My philosophy is that unless the time is blocked off on my calendar, I am available. Even if it’s my gym time and I forgot to block it, that’s on me, not the person scheduling.

        So I get super ticked off when I finally find a time when all four people can meet and my request is declined. With no reason. Or with a, “Oh I will be on a plane then.” THEN BLOCK YOUR CALENDAR!!!!

        1. MT*

          I do the same thing. I block out any time I’m not available on my calendar, esp personal time. Days I am planning on leaving early, I def block out my night in advance.

        2. SanguineAspect*

          YES. Me too. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. I have this issue with one particular C-Level manager and it drives me insane. We work with a lot of client and we’re all very busy; I need to be able to reliably schedule meetings without having to ask them about it every time. And if I have to reschedule a client meeting 3 times because your calendar is unreliable, it makes us look like we don’t have our shit together.

          1. Judy*

            We are having the issue with conference rooms locally. We have 3 in the building, and the company is growing.

            “Hey, there’s someone in the room you’ve scheduled.” “Oh, yes, Bob’s weekly meeting is in there, don’t you know he has one every Wednesday at 10?” “Why isn’t it in the calendar then?”

            Say what you may about Lotus Notes, but at least it was obvious whether someone wrote text in a location field vs signed up for a room. If you put the room name in text, the people invited can’t tell the difference in Outlook, at least how ours are set up.

            1. Vanishing Girl*

              In our Outlook, we have the room finder option and when we click a room selection it adds that room to the invitation list and puts it on the room’s calendar. The meeting organizer then gets an email that the room accepted the request (which always makes me laugh). If you don’t have a meeting in the calendar, then you don’t get the room. We can look at all our room’s calendars and I love it.

              1. Judy*

                Right. We have that also. But if you just type in “Conference Room Name” exactly as it is in the room finder into the location box, the people invited can’t tell it’s not a reserved room. So there’s no way besides checking the room’s calendars to know enough to say “Hey Bob, you didn’t actually book a room, did you know that?”

                So at least 2 or 3 people around here just type in room names, and assume they have them. Including the company president.

                1. Judy*

                  And, in fact, I just tested. The location box has a drop down, populated in the past when you actually reserve a room that has room names. This doesn’t reserve the room, it just puts the text name of the room into the location field.

                  If you don’t open the scheduling assistant part of it, you might think you’ve reserved a room.

      2. NJ Anon*

        Getting a shared calendar system could be met with negativity by the boss. Once worked for a guy who refused to let us set up a shared calendar. Guess he didn’t want us to know his schedule.

    4. dawbs*

      Besides the useful tech tools, there’s also just the ‘standard date’.

      I know the first Friday of every month has certain meetings. And that the last Saturday in March is bookd in perpituity, forever and ever and ever, until I die. Inconvenient as heck in some ways, but at least I know when I should/shouldn’t schedule my appointments

    5. Cupcake*

      These kinds of features in Outlook & Lotus Notes are great if people actually *use* them.

      It sounds like this manager is just scheduling meetings for a time that SHE likes, regardless of whether or not it works for anyone else, and too bad if you don’t like it.

      Our office regularly has staff meetings and town halls at 5 pm on Fridays, even on holiday long weekends. This is so inconsiderate and drives me up the wall!

    6. OP #2*

      All reasonable, right? There is a shared calendar, but my boss and a few other senior staff people don’t use it or communicate to their assistants in a way that would make that possible. And the boss’s response to “Sorry, I can’t make it bc I have another meeting” is “who’s the meeting with?” and then, inevitably, “I’d like you to try to change it.”

      I agree with the posters who say that it’s a pain to get everyone to meetings. Not everybody can (or should) be expected to make meetings. In our case it’s an issue because everyone IS expected to go, and the heads of key departments (which would only ever be 4 people max) aren’t being consulted.

    7. Retail Lifer*

      Management here used to just schedule meeetings when they felt like it. 50% of the time my job keeps me out of the office and, unless I can find someone else to cover me, unavailable for last-minute meetings. I just kept declining invivation after invitation until it finally dawned on them to check with us first.

  6. OP Question 1*

    I am the sender of the first question, and I have a mini-update on what has happened this past week.

    Also, Thank you, Alison, and thank you to the commenters for the advice.

    My supervisor ended up deciding to step down, so as a result the meeting was canceled. He is acting as our boss for about one more week, and then we will have a new supervisor. He told us he has mentally checked out, and puts in even less effort than before. I am relieved the meeting didn’t happen, and I’m relieved we are getting a new boss, but I am still leaving. I feel that I need to go because it can only get worse. I feel bad that this isn’t a happier outcome.

    The reason I gave a longer notice is because we are understaffed, (residential care) and while I don’t feel responsible for that, I do feel an obligation to make sure our clients get to experience the summer activities they wanted to do, such as fishing and sports games.

    1. Cheesecake*

      Oh well, i am happy this meeting did not happen because frankly what was the desired output? Everyone singing kumbaya at the end of the meeting?

      I had a case you described before with a bad bad bad manager. So what our directors did is first gathered honest feedback from the team, not involving the manager. Then they talked to him, sharing feedback and concerns. Funny enough he was defensive and said “my team would never say this”! So we had one meeting with him us and directors so he has no room to back himself. And he was fired. I can’t imagine us all sitting and “giving feedback” to him as was planned by your manager. It sounds like an awkward intervention and not a serious factual conversation.

    2. Apollo Warbucks*

      That’s really good of you to put yourself out for the benefit of your residents.

  7. James M*

    #3: it sounds like you’re an amateur programmer working in retail to pay the bills. If so, and you do approach it as a freelancer (it’s normal for freelancers to proactively look for work, btw), study up on the process of putting together a proposal. Have a document drafted before you give your “elevator pitch” to your boss. That way you can highlight the benefits of the project and have a reasonable idea of both the time and money costs.

    #4: I’m interested to hear how this plays out.

  8. ground control*

    #5 Also be sure to consider what you’ll do if made an offer to start in LA before your planned move date. Are you willing to spend a few months out there on your own? That might give you more options than trying to plan for a transfer in 3 months, but you’ll want to weigh it against how solid your plans for moving to LA together really are (because I’ve literally seen planned moves, even with an expected home and job on the otherside, fall apart in the 11th hour)

    1. MK*

      In any case, I think the OP should bring the matter up to be certain what they mean when they say “NY or LA”. It could mean that they don’t care where you will be based, or that they are looking for people for both locations, but it could also men’s they haven’t decided yet where to base the new person.

      1. Holly Olly Oxen Free*

        This for sure! My current position was listed as having the option to be based out of any one of 3 different cities. What it didn’t say was that my manager was hoping to get someone to come work with her locally in one of the listed cities. The other two were fall backs in case she was unable to find a good candidate for the ideal location. So definitely find out early on exactly what they are looking for.

  9. ground control*

    #5 Also be sure to consider what you’ll do if made an offer to start in LA before your planned move date. Are you willing to spend a few months out there on your own? That might give you more options than trying to plan for a transfer in 3 months

  10. Purr purr purr*

    OP#3, just to be certain, does your contract have a clause about the company owning anything you might produce as a result of your work there? It seems unlikely given that it’s retail but it would suck to put in all that work and then have your employer say that they own it as a result of the contract. I’ve seen it happen a few times. Also, how much potential is there in this tool? I mean, could it be used at other retail locations too? If so, perhaps you should patent the idea before sharing it.

    1. Alter_ego*

      I know it’s 100% the case if you work for apple, which probably does have a higher ratio of programming students and programming hobbyists working there than, say, the gap.

    2. Dynamic Beige*

      Listen to Purr purr purr! OP#3, if you’ve got something that you think could save that company a lot of time and money, think about how many retail stores there are in your city that probably have the same problem or frustration. Now think about retail worldwide. You don’t say if this is a piece of software or a physical object but IMO, don’t share it with anyone, work on it in your own time and see if it’s viable. There may already be something out there that is what you have in mind but your store is too small to be able to afford it or they don’t know about it, a few hours on Google should be all you need to research it. If it already exists, then you won’t be wasting your time or anyone else’s developing it and you can just go to your manager/the store owner and ask if they’ve ever heard of it, etc. If what you’ve thought up doesn’t exist… well… do you want to work in retail for the rest of your life? If not, this could become your new career, look at that woman who started Spanx. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank — it all starts with an idea to improve something.

      Oh, and JWT has a contract clause like that. Someone I know works there and if they have the best. idea. ever. while on vacation in Bora Bora, doesn’t matter, it’s considered company property. How that is enforceable, I have no idea, it’s not like we live in Minority Report. Maybe there’s some sort of time limit after quitting that if you quit one day and next week launch the next Facebook, it’ll be obvious to the Powers That Be what you were doing in your spare time.

      1. the gold digger*

        My aunt’s brother worked at a window manufacturer. He figured out an algorithm that would improve manufacturing. Offered it to the company. They didn’t want it. Their way of doing it by hand and having to do re-work was better. Whatever.

        So he started his own company. This was in northern Wisconsin, which is not exactly Silicon Valley. My aunt quit her job to be office manager. They worked out of her house. She is still shocked at what software guys wanted when they were recruiting – she is used to blue collar people who are happy to have a factory job, not programmers! But they built this company and he sold it for I suspect millions and my aunt (and uncle) retired when she was 58!

        So go for it. It can happen anywhere if your idea is good.

      2. Retail Lifer*

        I was also thinking about the company property aspect – make sure they can’t claim it if it’s something that is viable outside of your particular store or company. You definitelty need to be able to get all the credit for it!

        1. OP#3*

          Many thanks for all the advice, there’s nothing in my contract that would impact this but it would be fairly specific to my store so unfortunately I don’t think it would have much marketability.

  11. Not Today Satan*

    I really can’t think of any scenario that would justify a prospective employer requiring my pay stubs. It pisses me off enough when they ask (and when I demure and they insist that I give it, it REALLY turns me off). I can’t really think of any reason for needing this information other than “If your previous employer underpaid you, we’re going to screw you too,” slash, “we want you to feel as insecure and vulnerable as possible during this whole process.”

    And then if I *do* give it, that’s not enough and they need proof? At this point they’ve already done a credit check, background check, and often have my address history. Where does it end?

    1. Laurel Gray*

      I so agree! There really is no need for an employer to know what you previously made. I think your work and references and whatever comes back in the urine sample should be sufficient. The few times I have ever been asked for pay stubs in the last few years has been from a private day care, bank for an auto loan, and a landlord (who did not run a background check).

    2. Mpls*

      Scenario – Proof of employment, when a previous employer is unreasonable about employment confirmation.

    3. Case of the Mondays*

      I have seen it used to prove that an applicant is honest. Many people lie about their prior salary hoping to get a higher one. While old salary should not impact new salary, I don’t fault an employer for not wanting to hire someone that lies.

  12. Holly Olly Oxen Free*

    #4 – my company asked for my (at-the-time) current jobs pay stubs but my new salary wasn’t based on it at all. I make significantly more in the new job and was offered $4k of the high end of my asking range. I hate that employers ask for salary history but I’ve never actually had my new job base what they pay me on it. I really thought they did this as an honesty check.

    1. Laurel Gray*

      I rather my employer leave a $20 bill under the table/desk in my plain sight during the interview and see what I do as an honesty check. If the $20 is gone after I am, they can say it only cost them $20 to figure out I am not honest. If I pick it up and hand it over, they know I’m honest. If I never see it and it is there when I left, they can conclude I give extreme eye contact, am blind as a bat, or not too aware of my surroundings – but not necessarily dishonest. This honesty test is also complete malarkey but at least it’s less invasive.

      1. Holly Olly Oxen Free*

        I agree with you. I’m not saying that asking for paystubs as an honesty check is a good way to go about it. It’s just what I thought they were doing.

    2. t*

      Sounds like OP already provided salary and the employer is now confirming. The “don’t reveal your salary” advice may be coming a bit late. If she now decides not to confirm her salary, it could be assumed that she was lying about that salary…

      1. Holly Olly Oxen Free*

        I wasn’t in any way suggesting that she shouldn’t provide the paystubs. I was just making a general statement about what I thought the purpose of it was and that in the end it never actually influenced what I was offered for salary in a new job.

  13. Cheesecake*

    #5. Are salaries similar in NY and LA (no idea – european!)? Because that would explain that they don’t mind where you sit. Because if, say, you start in NY and then move to LA where cost of living and salaries are way higher, as an employer i’d be conscious of the costs.

    Plus you need to take into consideration relocation costs. Noone wants to pay a relo package, so if this is a job not senior enough to come with package, i’d make it clear you will deal with costs yourself. Otherwise they might think “and now we will pay for his move???”

    1. CAA*

      It depends on the industry, but yes, NY and LA are more comparable in salary and cost of living than say, Kansas City and LA.

      1. nona*

        Just curious here – is the cost of living in LA generally lower than NYC or about the same?

        From RDU, they are both a little frightening.

  14. plain_jane*

    #3 – If you’re thinking of creating a tool & charging them for it as a freelancer, then you also need to make sure that you aren’t spending time during your regular hours working on it.

  15. Sunshine Brite*

    Maybe for the calendar there needs to be a company wide standing monthly meeting added with the understanding that if there’s nothing big happening/it’s not needed that it gets cancelled. My dept has something like that where we get together to discuss our region, updates, etc. but it gets cancelled if there are other trainings upcoming that everyone will be at or if there’s nothing that can’t be handled by email.

    1. Alex*

      Our company does this too, and the adoption has been really high, which is great. Fridays at 11!

  16. LBK*

    #3 I’d want more clarification on what kind of tool this is and how complex it would be. If it’s something relatively simple I’m not sure it would be that far outside the scope; making training or tracking materials is fairly standard for retail employees.

    1. Graciosa*

      There are two aspects of the original question that troubled me.

      The first is the documentation issue. It’s quite normal when working for large companies to sign over ownership of any IP created or conceived at work, using their time / tools / property, or relating to their line of business. If this great idea is the result of working at the employer and seeing the opportunity for X improvement to employer’s operations, it would likely be covered by such an agreement.

      The point of all of this is that you are expected to provide your time and talents to your employer in exchange for your agreed-upon compensation – not as a way to launch a separate business using the benefit of your insider information. Providing ideas for improvements in operational efficiency – or marketing, or inventory, or anything else related to your employer’s business – is part of that job. The reward for great ideas is generally kudos / bonuses / promotions (if significant enough) rather than trying to get your employer to pay you separately for “freelance” work.

      Which brings me to the second issue – how your employer will perceive this unless it is VERY far out of your normal scope of work. The OP cannot afford to overlook that part of Alison’s advice – the work needs to be wildly different. If this wonderful tool is something that would be used by people in the OP’s position – or closely related positions – then the employer may very well feel betrayed by an attempt to (as the employer perceives it) extort additional compensation for sharing improvements that are part of every employee’s job.

      1. For_Fun_and_efficiency_programmer*

        Yeah I was thinking the same thing.

        I do a ton of work *outside* of the scope of my job descriptions because I enjoy programming. I’ve built things like customized macros to automate processes/more easily track performance and I’ve also done huge process overhauls/redesigns. Mostly I leverage MS office and build custom “tools”from thos products based on the processes we have at work to save time. and improve accuracy (My record is saving 12 weeks of processing time / year for a $50K employee).

        My point? Even though I was the only employee doing this kind of thing, and it was technically outside of my job description, I would never dream of trying to sell it as a freelance tool that they pay extra for. I know it would not have gone overwell if I had tried either. I did, however, earn promotions because of it. I also worked in sales, and I did this work on the employers dime. If you developed this independently completely outside of work then you may have a case here. It just better be a new gui platform or something truly innovative like that because I am telling you now that if you go to your boss with a souped up excel workbook complete with Macros and then try to “sell” it to him on a freelance basis your boss would have the complete right to demand that you hand over the “product” free of charge or else be written up – especially if you are salary and this “independent project” uses knowledge of their processes or applications. Even if you worked in the evenings on this, as a salaried employee, it could still be considered company owned depending on the product and their employee contract.

        If you are hourly you may have a better case if it was “off the clock”.

      2. Michele*

        I was going to post something similar. Most employers have clauses saying that if you produce anything on company time, it belongs to the company. For example, if a chef creates a new recipe, it belongs to the restaurant, and the chef can’t use it at another job. If OP#3 created the tool on company time, it probably belongs to the company. He may be able to work out something where they help him get a patent and split any money that is made from it in that case, but if I really thought the tool was good, I would invest in a lawyer before letting the company know it existed.

  17. Ann O'Nemity*

    Alison, the ads on the homepage are getting crazy again. Two of the videos had noise competing with each other. And for some reason one ad was acting like an anchor, so every time I tried to scroll the page it would automatically bring me back to the ad. Crazy.

    1. dawbs*

      the ad anchor has been a problem for me recently too–which is frustrating because I’ll be in the middle of the comments and loose my spot because I’m back at the top)

      1. TFS*

        I’m only assuming it’s the ads, but this site reliably crashes my browsers (Chrome and whatever my phone uses) and is slow to load/scroll. Very disappointing since I’m always interested in what I’m reading! :)

        1. VintageLydia USA*

          I turned on adblock for this site (something I hate doing. I LIKE Alison and her work here and want her to get paid!) and that ended all my issues. But before that it was impossible to navigate.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Yeah, I fully support people turning on Adblock if they’re having these problems.

            But: Try updating the browser you’re using. It seems to be happening mostly in Firefox and outdated browser versions.

    2. Allison*

      Yesterday I saw an ad for the CCHR (Concerned Citizens for Human Rights) which is a front group for Scientology that spreads horrendous lies about psychiatry. Probably not something you want on your website, especially since their ads are kinda disturbing.

  18. Adam*

    #4. …….You’re applying for a job, not a car loan. What reason could they even begin to use to justify this sort of thing short of verifying if you were being honest about listing your current salary (which is none of their business anyways)?

  19. Dr. Pepper Addict*

    OP #3 – I have studied copyright/patent/trademark law and if the tool you are thinking of creating is something that does not yet exist and could be used on a wide scale in the retail world, I’d encourage you to create it on your own time, patent it, then take it to your current employer and tell them about it and try to sell it to them. Perhaps it would be so successful that the entire company you work for would want to purchase one for each store location and you could start your own business that way. Then if it’s a success with that company, you could take it to other retail companies to sell it.

    I realize this may be putting the cart before the horse, but I would be careful in creating something on your employers time and just turning it over to them if it is your original idea and you can make a profit from it.

  20. tango*

    #4: Maybe the info put on the formal application is not matching the information provided by the employer when they did the check and is significantly different enough to justify further review? I mean the application is the “legal” document and if you said your current salary is $120,000 but the current employer says $25,000 it stands that there is some disconnect there that might be best investigated. Or the current employer won’t confirm salary at all and the new employer wants to confirm the new hire is truly getting paid. I mean I could say I worked for my brother in law the last few years and when he gets a call he says yes but won’t confirm pay due to “confidentiality”. And so the new employer want pay stubs as proof of pay to verify the work was indeed valid/paid.
    I assume the offer has already been made and accepted – I would certainly NEVER provide pay stubs to a company that offerred me a job without having the pay agreed upon first.

  21. Demanding Excellence*

    #1 reminds me of something our group is planning. During an upcoming team building session, we are going to be asked how happy we are in our current role, how happy we are with management, etc. Do you really think anyone is going to tell the group that they a.) hate their jobs b.) hate their managements/upper mgmt. and c.) how utterly dysfunctional this entire exercise is? It’s maddening to me. I’m going to borrow Alison’s phase (“I’m not comfortable talking candidly about X concerns in front of the group.”) when it comes to be my turn to share.

  22. OP #2*

    Update: I sent the suggested note almost word for word, asking that the boss check the availability of key people instead of scheduling meetings unilaterally. The response was less vindictive than I had feared, but there was still some weird defensiveness. She wrote that one of the more recent meetings she booked was a reschedule because I was out sick the day of the original meeting. (As though this was a one-time thing, and that the unilateral scheduling was an appropriate punishment for being sick.) She also blamed my assistant, who she had asked to send another recent edict about a meeting, for not flagging any conflicts. (Which is silly; the boss instructed her to send an email informing people of the date, not to solicit dates from people and then settle on a good time.) In the end, though, she ask that I “please work it out with” the appropriate assistants, so fingers crossed that the problem is solved.

  23. ThursdaysGeek*

    #3 – My spouse makes tools for work, on his own time. But they aren’t software, and they are tools that already exist. They just cost a ton of money and take forever to acquire, and often aren’t quite what he needs. So he works something up on his home lathe. I’m sure the company ends up owning it, but it saves him aggravation and lost time.

    If he talked to the company, they would probably instruct him to buy the tool and wait.

Comments are closed.