a coworker threw away my shoes, I no-showed for an interview and now want a second chance, and more

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

1. I didn’t get the job, but my interviewer keeps endorsing me on LinkedIn

Last fall I interviewed for an amazing job for a large, reputable company. My interviewer, “Stanley,” is well known in this industry and although I don’t know him personally, a few of my colleagues know him well and his daughter was actually a client of the agency I worked at a few years ago. So Stanley is legit.

The interview went well and Stanley said he would follow up with an answer either way. He never did — I assumed they went with a better qualified candidate and got over it. He did connect with me on LinkedIn prior to the interview, which I thought was great – a new contact!

Flash forward several months and I start receiving notifications on LinkedIn that Stanley has endorsed me for a particular skill. I thought – okay, that’s odd considering Stanley and I have only ever met in person once and although he has my resume, he has no way to know of my ability of strategic planning – unless I astonished him 7 months ago during our interview, but that seems unlikely. But since then, he has endorsed 3 or 4 more skills. I know it’s a benefit to me to have recommendations of skills and proficiencies but I think it’s a bit strange. I think it would be weird to reach out to him about it – maybe I should take it as a positive that he’s keeping me in the back of his mind for a possible job in the future (who knows!).

What’s your take on this? Is this a common thing among professionals or is it likely he’s just getting prompted on his LinkedIn page and clicking yes – which causes me to rethink how legitimate endorsements are for individuals?

It’s pretty weird, but yeah, he’s probably just getting prompted on his LinkedIn page. He’s almost certainly not deliberately going to your profile on his own and then thinking of skills he can add for you; he’s just getting nudges and suggestions from LinkedIn, and he’s merrily (and weirdly) playing along.

But you should indeed rethink endorsements! They carry no weight at all, because of exactly this kind of thing. You can actually turn them off on your profile so that they don’t display at all.

2. Employer invited me to interview but won’t give me the job description

I’m just starting a job search after relocating and having a baby. I have been applying to various positions in my new area. In a lot of cases, mostly local jobs with smaller organizations, the postings are anonymous, the “local nonprofit looking for admin” type of thing. I have been tracking my applications on a spreadsheet with links to postings for future reference, and to avoid situations like this.

I got a call that basically said, “Hi, this is Jane from xyz organization. I would like to schedule your interview with Molly.”

I was confused and didn’t recognize the organization and asked for further details. All I was told was that I applied to a position and they want to bring me in. I arranged a time and asked that a confirmation email be sent including a job description, figuring I could study up before the meeting. The email I got just confirmed the time and address. I replied saying that the original posting must have been made confidential and again asked for a description. The response was that she was only responsible for setting appointments and did not have a description. I can’t figure out what job this is and am hesitant to go into an interview basically blind. I’ve included the conversation incase you want to take a look.

My gut is telling me that if the interview process is this messy, this is not a place I want to work. But I don’t want to come off as a flake for not knowing what job I applied to. So should I just cancel the interview? Say that since I don’t have many details on the job, I don’t feel comfortable going in without a description and if that can’t be provided then I will pass on the job?

It sounds like you’re dealing with an inept, apathetic assistant, but that doesn’t mean that the organization is this messy. For all we know, this person is about to be fired tomorrow for exactly this kind of thing.

I’d write back and say, “Could you check with the hiring manager for the job description and forward it to me? I’d rather not interview without knowing what the role is. Alternately, if you can connect me with her, I’d be glad to ask for it directly. Thanks!”

If she still doesn’t provide it, at that point I’d decide whether you feel like going ahead with it anyway; it’s certainly reasonable to choose not to, but you also might figure you’ve got nothing to lose by seeing what comes of it (other than your time, which does count).

Going forward, don’t just save links to job postings; save the full posting, for exactly this kind of reason.

3. Should I apply for an important job, knowing that I’m trying to conceive?

I have been at my current position as a fundraiser at an arts nonprofit for almost a year. I have several years of fundraising experience (as well as in other areas of the arts) and I have been working toward an ED position. My ED left in December, and we currently have an interim ED. The organization will be opening up the ED search in July, and I have been encouraged by several people outside of the organization to apply. I feel that I would be more than capable – even excel – in this position, but I am facing an internal struggle.

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for eight months, and after some challenging news, are exploring options with a fertility specialist. I may have a long road ahead of me with this, and then if I do become pregnant, I will take my three month unpaid leave. However, I feel conflicted if I should apply (yes, I know it doesn’t mean I’ll get the job) knowing that there may be an extended period of leave (hopefully) in the next year or so. The organization really needs stability, and having the new ED gone for a few months really doesn’t sit right with me. What are your thoughts?

A few months is nothing in the scheme of things, when it comes to having the right ED in place. Nothing at all! I mean, it’s not ideal, but it’s such an important role that no sane organization would rather hire someone who’s not the best candidate just to avoid the best candidate’s few month of maternity leave.

Apply.

4. Someone at work threw away my shoes

I work as a server for a widely known corporate food chain. Last night, a friend of mine dropped off my shoes that I had previously worn a time out. And today an employee threw my shoes away and only one was recovered. $150 shoes that I had only worn once. My manager’s response was, “You should know not to leave your stuff here.” Are they responsible for this? Please help!

No, they’re not responsible for your shoes. Your manager should have been nicer about how she explained that to you though. There’s a difference between “You should know not to leave your stuff here!” and “Oh no! I would hate to lose shoes too. We can’t be responsible for items people leave here because there are just too many people coming through, but that really sucks and I’m sorry it happened.”

5. I no-showed for an interview and now want another chance

I’ve been on a mad job search. I got an interview with a company that I wasn’t sure I wanted to work for. On the day of the interview, I psyched myself out and somehow convinced myself that I could find a better job somewhere else. So I didn’t go, and didn’t call or email. It’s four days later now, and I’m feeling pretty regretful and really wishing I went to the interview. Would it be totally out of the question to call and apologize and ask for another interview?

Yes. You no-showed for an interview. Unless you were legitimately in the hospital in a condition that left you unable to phone or email, that’s going to permanently torpedo your chances with that company. And rightly so — it came across as inconsiderate and rude (you wasted their time, and took an interview slot from someone else who might have really wanted one), or incredibly disorganized, or both.

Look, people make mistakes and do things they later regret. All of us do. But you’ve got to take the consequences — which in this case mean that this bridge is burned.

{ 272 comments… read them below }

    1. Nutella Fitzgerald

      Also, I got chills when I read the part of the title about the shoe disposal. I leave shoes at my cubicle for days on end.

      1. Jeanne

        Your cubicle is one thing but fast food is another. In another lifetime, I worked fast food. We had this tiny closet with some extra uniform pieces just in case and a few hangers for winter coats. Also a lot of assorted junk. It definitely was not a place for anything valuable. What surprises me about this story was it sounds like an employee had to be cleaning up to throw away the shoes. I don’t remember anyone ever cleaning out the closet.

        1. fposte

          I don’t think it’s fast food, though; I think it’s a chain restaurant with table service. (Olive Garden is what came to my mind, but you can choose your own.)

        2. Elizabeth West

          I still can’t imagine not at least saying, “Whose shoes are these?” to my coworkers. I wouldn’t just throw someone’s obviously new-ish shoes away. Who does that?

          1. Coach Devie

            Exactly! Who takes it upon themselves to throw someones SHOES away? They KNEW they belonged to somebody. Seems malicious. If the OP knows who did it, would she be wrong to take the individual to task on it? I would want them to reimburse me! I mean, yes OP could have had friend come in and get her car keys and take them to her car for her, or maybe she was planning to take them on her break and hadn’t had a chance yet. Either way, it seems deliberate that someone threw away her brand new shoes and it would make it really hard for me at work after that, I’d be really upset.

            1. Professional Sweater Folder

              I work retail and we have a very strict “don’t leave your stuff here overnight” rule. If any items like shoes are left at the end of the shift, they go straight into the garbage. It all depends on the culture and policies of this restaurant, but it does not sound deliberate to me, and the person should have known better.

              That being said, sometimes we will have leeway, and something like once worn shoes might be spared if someone claims them or leaves a note. However, this makes me wonder. Is this an often occurrence that the OP is leaving stuff at work? It’s a restaurant, not a storage locker.

              And why is your friend dropping off something for you at your work when you’re not working until the next day?

  1. Puffle

    #5 I think all you can do is move on and resolve not to repeat the same mistake again. See it as a lesson learned. Look at it this way, how would you feel if you showed up to the interview and the interviewer just didn’t show up or send a message because they changed their mind and decided they could get a better candidate from elsewhere? Either way, it implies (rightly or wrongly) that you think your time is worth more than theirs’ and/ or that you don’t think they’re important enough to make any effort.

    1. Michele

      I think this is one of those times when a dating analogy applies. If you made plans for a date and they left you sitting alone in a restaurant nibbling on breadsticks and didn’t even have the courtesy to call, you laugh in their face and hang up when they ask to try again.

      1. A Dispatcher

        YES! This exactly. Even down to the advice below about apologizing versus apologizing and also asking for a second chance. Stand me up and an apology would be appreciated. An apology plus a request to go out again (without the BEST!!! excuse in the world), yeah no, and now I’m more annoyed with you than I already was.

  2. Student

    #3 I’d encourage you not to opt out of good opportunities that are in front of you right now for a potential, unscheduled, future, and temporary conflict.

    I wish you the best of luck. Please understand, though, that your fertility treatments are not a guaranteed thing. It may take multiple tries. It may never happen. Should you get pregnant, there are a lot of unexpected things that can happen to change your plans dramatically in all sorts of different ways. Do the thing that is best for our right now. Employers can take care of themselves when the time comes for you to take maternity leave.

    1. Marzipan

      #3, I would second the advice not to put other aspects of your future on hold.

      I’m having fertility treatment. My first appointment with my clinic was probably, oooh, nine months ago (ironically), and since then I’ve had a bunch of tests, had to get some other investigations done before I could proceed, had one round of IVF (that failed) and am gearing up to start a second round. It’s very natural, when you start down this road, to do lots of mental calculations around when you might get pregnant and when you’d therefore be having your baby, but in practice the process is often slower and doesn’t work out in exactly that way. So, I don’t see your situation as a reason not to apply.

      Meanwhile, I’ve found that having the intellectual stimulation of an interesting job has been absolutely essential to keeping me sane – without other things to think about, fertility treatment can become all-consuming. So on that front, my advice would be that if you’re excited about the opportunity, go for it.

      Also, I’d just like to gently challenge your concern about how taking maternity leave would be an issue for the post. Because OK, you’re a woman specifically trying to become pregnant, but many women have pregnancies that aren’t planned to that level – so if you think of it that way, feeling like you don’t have every right to go for the job is a bit like saying that no women of childbearing age should apply, just in case, because they might possibly one day have a few months off to help perpetuate the species. I’m sure you don’t believe that. Don’t let that kind of thinking hold you back; if you’re interested in the job, go for it. I wish you all the luck in the world, with both things!

        1. Me

          Exactly. It honestly feels like women who write in w/ questions like these are discriminating against themselves. In advance.

          Employers lose employees temporarily–and permanently–all the time. It’s fine. Don’t hold yourself back in some misguided sense of fairness.

      1. LBK

        Agreed. There’s no method of impregnation that can be timed perfectly; the concept of “trying” existing for a reason, and it’s no more guaranteed when it’s via IVF than other means. Not to mention you generally have control over when you choose you have sex if you’re trying to get pregnant that way, and I’m fairly certain no manager is getting annoyed at their employees for having sex when it’s a busy work time.

        1. Poohbear McGriddles

          “…and I’m fairly certain no manager is getting annoyed at their employees for having sex when it’s a busy work time.”

          Actually, that’s the worst time to be having sex! Unless you mean during non-working hours. Otherwise, be sure the copier room is locked. Quack quack!

      2. KathyGeiss

        I agree completely! I would go so far as saying you should even apply if you knew you were pregnant! I wouldn’t hide a pregnancy when applying for a job like this but i wouldn’t let it keep you from applying. A few months away (I’m from canada and this always blows my mind, most ppl here take a year) isn’t, rather shouldn’t, going to matter in the grand scheme of someone’s career.

        Good luck on both fronts!

        1. LBK

          Pregnancy and maternity leave are big factors in the US’s wage gap, IIRC. They can have a serious toll on long term earnings, both due to what you miss while you’re out and how you’re viewed when you come back. As ridiculous as it sounds, going on mat leave, being a mother or even being a woman in a relationship around the age when most women have kids can stall out your ability to get promotions or new jobs. I don’t blame most women for being nervous about it.

          1. Future Analyst

            True, but just because things have been this way for a long time doesn’t mean it cannot change. And it will take years (decades, if not longer) of women maintaining their roles in higher positions for this to change, so what better time to start than now? I completely understand the letter writer’s apprehension, but women self-selecting out of important positions just because they MIGHT get pregnant down the line is just as harmful as the other attitudes that contribute to the wage gap.

            1. LBK

              I don’t want to get too far off track here but I’m not a big fan of the “lead the charge” line of thinking. Without a deeper cultural understanding of why those women are significant from an institutional perspective, they’re easily reduced to anecdotes or considered outliers rather than being shown as examples of a point being proven. There are already some women in highly ranking, highly visible positions, and the only thing they’re held up as evidence of is that women should just shut up and work harder if they want to succeed.

              1. Apple Baskets and Oranges

                Lead the charge?

                How is applying to a role you are a good fit for, despite your familial situation “leading the charge”? This is a self-harming attitude that needs to go, and simply doing what is best for your career is truly what women will benefit the most from.

                When I hear attitudes like this, I guess I find myself doubting that there are large proportions of men out there doing the same thing. How many men stop and think, hey, I’m about to have a baby which is going to impact how much time I want to spend with my family so maybe I shouldn’t apply for the senior leadership role because it wouldn’t be good to the organization that I can’t spend as much time in that role I would be able to without children? I doubt very many, so why do women do that to themselves and then cry out ‘foul!’ when we see there are not a women senior leaders out there. We have to apply to senior leader roles to change the composition.

                1. LBK

                  While I get that it’s a self-defeating attitude in some sense, it’s hard not to feel defeated when it’s so visible and prevalent. It’s the same kind of thing with women breaking into STEM or tech – you’re right, it probably won’t change without women jumping in and doing it, but do you want to be the first one to fight the fight when you could just stay out of it? It’s not like if you apply and get the job, suddenly everything is great and no one will harangue you about your family situation and you’ll never be judged about your family choices and it won’t impact your career going forward. It’s not a short process – it’s a lifelong battle throughout your career. That’s a charge that I personally wouldn’t be champing at the bit to lead.

                  Men don’t generally go through that same thought process because they don’t have to have that same fight. A man’s career with usually not be sidetracked the same way by having a family.

                2. Apple Baskets and Oranges

                  I’m a woman who left STEM, but it was personal decision. Like most women in STEM careers I left shortly after getting my bachelors. It wasn’t because of the sexist attitudes, they were there, it was because I personally was not willing to scrifice my family in the way that my chosen STEM career would require.

                  To me, that’s a little different than not applying to a role in your given career because you *might* get pregant. Pregnant women and maternity leave in the workplace, especially non-profits which are actually female dominated, is very common, so at this point a woman keeping herself from going for the right job is hurting herself more than society is inflicting it on her.

                3. Steve

                  this.

                  If you were a man, you would thing, this job is what I need to support my family. Nothing in life is perfect, pursue your professional goals and work on starting your family.

                  I’m a man, so I have no knowledge of the process of fertility treatments however, life happens while your making plans. You would regret more not taking the chance for this job, then staying in your job for another few years and missing the opportunity.

                  My dad says, when opportunity knocks, it knocks softly.

                4. LBK

                  I think we’re talking about different sides of the issue – when I was referring to the career impact on women who might eventually get pregnant, I was referring to how women can be viewed by others, not how most women view themselves. We’re talked on this site a plenty of times about women who’ve encountered managers that don’t want to take them on because they’re in their late 20s and married/in a relationship and by social standards that means they’ll probably have to go out on mat leave soon.

                  I don’t hear much about women being concerned about the possibility of pregnancy as it pertains to their career unless they’re actively trying to get pregnant, although I suppose there are some out there who preemptively make career decisions with the intention of having a family at some indeterminate future point. But I would argue that the decision you made (which is no more for “personal reasons” than any other decision, driven by sexism or otherwise) is exactly the type of decision that hurts women, not because of what they choose to do but because of how others react to it. Institutional sexism drives the idea that women are worth less in the workforce because you’ll get less work out of them in the long run, and uses things like women making career choices based on their families as evidence that not hiring a woman or not promoting her is an acceptable, even smart business choice.

                  That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have done it, but it speaks to what I was trying to say that the issue here isn’t each woman’s individual choice, it’s how those choices are reflected in the mirror of the inherently sexist culture we live in. The prevailing attitude is so warped that it’s not a question of women going for higher positions to prove that they can do them and that eventually washing out the wage gap; when a woman does that, the moral many take from it isn’t “it’s ridiculous to tie a woman’s family choices so heavily to her value as an employee,” it’s “women need to work harder, because look at this one woman that succeeded by working hard”. Hell, even women themselves aren’t exempt from thinking this way – look at Stacey Dash’s statement from last week.

                  I just don’t buy that the underlying factors that drive these attitudes can be changed via anecdotes.

                5. OP #3

                  Interestingly enough, my husband recently had his boss’s position open (VP level) and had the debate with himself and me about whether or not he should apply. He is much more interested in having plenty of free time to spend with children and would pass over a promotion for that time. Mind you, we do not have children and now have found out that we may have a long road ahead of us in conceiving, but he had this same deliberation. I think other families are also having this conversation BUT no one talks about it publicly because it makes men, especially, look “weak.” And then women are critiqued about putting the female sex behind. And I’m saying this as a feminist! I think we just need to have more honest and public conversations about work/life balance and policies that can support both.

          2. Apple Baskets and Oranges

            Exactly.

            Yes, there is definitely systematic forces keeping womens wage’s down (more likely to be lied to in negotiations, often offered lower starting salaries, frequently given harsh personality based criticisms in performance reviews, etc) but we also hurt ourselves.

            If we are not willing to apply for the stretch jobs where we don’t have 100% of the skills and we hold back from applying to good jobs now because we might get pregenant later, we just line the uphill battle with self-inflicted pitfalls.

            1. LBK

              I don’t think the hesitancy is in going for higher positions because you might get pregnant. The hesitancy is in getting pregnant because it might prevent you from getting higher positions.

                1. Apple Baskets and Oranges

                  The letter is the exact opposite though.

                  I’ve been recommend for the ED position. Should I apply knowing that I am currently trying to get pregenant and would take a maternity leave? It turns out we have fertility issues, so it’s been a struggle, but we are still trying to get pregenant. What should I do? It doesn’t sit well with me that the ED will be out for several months.

                1. LBK

                  No problem. I confused this with another letter where it was the reverse situation (the OP was considering delaying her IVF because of work).

              1. OP #3

                My hesitancy is leaving my organization in a bind. The organization lost the ED in December and now our key artistic staff member. There are real financial sustainability issues that need to be addressed. We’re already a fairly small staff for our operations. I don’t have as much of an issue of taking leave as the development director because the new ED could pitch hit during those months, but having the ED gone (or in our current case, a 10 hour/week ED) is really stressful on the staff and the organization’s operations.

                1. Coach Devie

                  OP#3… apply! Interview. Accept when offered.

                  I pray and hope your fertility issues are short lived and you become pregnant with the child you are hoping for very soon, but it’s also possible this may take a bit of time! Please dont pass up on the opportunity to better the org with your skills and to set some things in place that will help for when you do have to take leave, because you can’t be sure when that will be for certain. Not to give you discouragement. But what if its another year before you conceive? You will have the whole year, plus 30-36+ weeks after that to really do a lot of good in your org, for your career and for that position.

                  Please don’t limit this opportunity based on unknown variables! I also wish you the best in trying for that baby!

                2. Coach Devie

                  *adding*

                  You could be the successful needed ED for the org and whoever would fill your role while gone will work under you during your time of trying / during your pregnancy to make sure that your absence isn’t hurting your org while you take care of other important life events!! They will learn from you and you will set a standard and expectations.

          3. OP #3

            Yes to all. And that whole situation is one of the reasons why I’ve put off having kids for a few years (to establish my career) so when I take my leave, there is less criticism and bias actions (lack of promotions, etc.).

        2. TGIF

          I agree this shouldn’t be an issue in the US where mat leave is so short but wonder if people would feel differently if the OP was somewhere where you can take several years off. In this situation I would still apply because fertility treatments aren’t a sure thing, but I probably wouldn’t if I was already pregnant and planning to take 2-3 years off.

      3. OP #3

        Thanks for your comments!

        It’s a very interesting internal conflict I have because I want what is best for the organization because I have been the struggle they have with staff turnover and instability in leadership. But I am feeling better about throwing my hat in the ring.

  3. Elizabeth the Ginger

    #5, if you are very early in your career you might get a second chance with this company in five years or so. Four days is not enough, though.

    If I were the hiring manager, then even if the rudeness didn’t bother me, I would still be wary of hiring you because you’ve demonstrated that you’re not very interested in the job, and I’d be concerned about you leaving it soon.

    1. Cheesecake

      As a hiring manager, my thinking would be: no show for the interview and no apology=won’t show up to actual work if hired.

      1. Meg Murry

        Yes. In case anyone reading here is new to the working world, not showing up for working without calling (commonly called No Call No Show in general, sometimes abbreviated NCNS) is considered a fireable offense at most workplaces, or at a minimum a final warning type of situation. It is never acceptable unless it is an extreme emergency – like Alison mentioned, being in the hospital and physically unable to make the call (and even then, if you are conscious and not in the middle of an emergency you should try to have someone call for you) is pretty much one of the only excusable reasons. I’m sure people could come up with any number of other very rare true emergency situations that would be acceptable – but they need to be extreme emergency situation, otherwise not calling is considered the epitome of rudeness. And even if you do call, your employer may still fire you if you skip work too often by calling in at the last minute – they need people who will reliable show up and do the job.

        Do not No Call No Show at work. Period. It is not acceptable. And for a job interview? This bridge is burned, move on.

        1. The Cosmic Avenger

          Actually, before moving on, I’d encourage the OP to apologize with no expectation of being granted a second chance at an interview. Because they probably won’t, but apologizing could possibly improve their chances years down the road in case anyone remembers. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do, and it won’t harm your chances of getting a job…unless you do it wrong and make excuses or push for a second chance. It would have to be an abject, sincere apology.

          1. Delyssia

            This is what I was thinking. There could be value in offering a sincere apology, without excuses and without asking for anything. If nothing else, even if it doesn’t help anyone there to think better of her, it may help the OP to move on by feeling like she’s done what she can to make it right.

          2. Michele

            That is an interesting idea. There is nothing to lose by it. However, very few people are capable of a true mea culpa and will add some sort of excuse or use the word “misuderstanding.”

        2. Holly Olly Oxen Free

          considered the epitome of rudeness

          Isn’t the issue more irresponsibility and lack of accountability? Not trying to be nitpicky, but rude people are often fully capable of doing a job while irresponsible people who lack accountability are often not. No one should ever be rude, especially in an interview situation, but I don’t think rudeness is the crux of the issue here. Since OP is probably early in her career I just wanted to hammer that home that this isn’t really about being polite. It’s about showing you’re a reliable employee.

          1. Stephanie

            I have to disagree with you. I find this behavior extremely rude, and I wouldn’t consider any rude person to work with my organization, regardless of their ability to do their job otherwise; why would I? I had an interviewee not show up for an interview, and an HR rep, two directors, and two staff members sat twiddling thumbs for 20 minutes waiting. When the company goes through the trouble to schedule an interview, and the interviewee doesn’t show up, we’ve wasted time and eff0rt, and yes, it is very rude, showing a lack of consideration for other people’s time, a lack of good communication and follow-through. While rudeness may not be the only issue at hand, it’s still a vital issue in considering a potential employee.

            1. Holly Olly Oxen Free

              I should clarify. It’s not that I don’t find this rude or that I think rude people should still be considered for jobs. I meant that rude people (already hired) are probably not being fired for general rudeness at the level that no call, no shows would be fired. But my point was really that OP should focus on presenting herself as a responsible, reliable employee and not focus on just being polite. People don’t get hired for being polite. They get hired for being good workers.

      2. Recruiter

        Agreed. Any time I have a candidate no-show to an interview, I never reschedule them. No-showing for an interview speaks to your character, and the thoughts that cross my mind are that you’re inconsiderate, have no regard for anyone’s schedule but your own, and if you’re doing this now, how are you going to act if we hire you? Of course, there are exceptions to my rule-I had a candidate call me five days after they no-showed to an interview and told me that they were in a car accident and their child had to have emergency surgery. They even provided the medical documentation. I rescheduled their interview and they ended up being hired and turned into a stellar employee. But typically, no-shows equal no chances.

        1. Hlyssande

          I’m really glad you consider extenuating circumstances because I have a bad feeling that a lot of employers don’t. I would definitely do the same thing you did in that situation.

    2. Bee Eye

      If I were hiring manager, there’s no way no how that you would ever have a chance here. I actually had a candidate do that to us.

      1. Elizabeth West

        It happened a lot at Exjob, when I scheduled interviews with the plant manager. He would automatically cross that person off his list forever.

    3. Stranger than fiction

      I wouldn’t even say five years maybe even one and here’s why: my significant other due to an unfortunate layoff found himself job hunting twice in seven months and the second time he found he was getting contacted by several of the same companies but by different internal recruiters and or hiring mangers and each time they appear to have no clue hed applied or interviewed with the company before. I seriously think they don’t even check into that much of the time based off this experience

      1. QAT Contractor

        Depending on the involvement of the hiring managers and internal recruiters I could see that. But if they are using the same interviewers as last time (if there is just a set number that do interviews maybe) they might recognize the name and do a little research.

        But as you said, these were different from before in both cases. That leads me to believe they are just head hunters willing to bring in anyone they can in a hope that the prospect is hired so they get paid. Not looking into whether or not someone applied before doesn’t surprise me in this situation.

    4. TootsNYC

      I’d worry about hiring you because you don’t understand the conventions of office etiquette or smart strategy and tactics. It was really bad judgment, and you exercised it on your own behalf. How many dumb, “cutting corners” things will you do when it’s only my company that will pay the price? Will you not call a client to tell them their parts didn’t come in when expected? Will you decide not to submit an invoice for payment, thus triggering a late-payment penalty?

      So yeah, not a smart move (and I love how Alison pointed out: many people make really blatant mistakes; you’re not the first; but it is in your best interests to recognize how what you did was so wrong, and you live with the consequences).

    5. INTP

      Strangely enough, when I worked for a staffing agency we had a candidate who no-showed the client due to her “fibromyalgia.” They still wanted to interview her and give her another chance. We thought they were idiots, but it was their choice. They hired her. Awhile into the assignment she stopped showing up to work without calling, which she later explained when we finally got in touch with her was also due to her “fibromyalgia.” So, apparently there are companies out there willing to excuse no-call no-shows, though they really shouldn’t.

      BTW, “fibromyalgia” is in quotes not because I don’t believe it exists but because I don’t think it’s what was causing her to be a complete flake or rendering her incapable of making phone calls to cancel or call in sick.

    6. Mike B.

      I think OP5’s explanation at face value would be enough to convince me not to give them a chance: if someone is capable of doing this just because they “psyched [themself] out,” what else is that person going to be doing on the job? Will they go missing on the day of the annual board of directors meeting because the pressure is too high?

      It’s an important lesson: it doesn’t matter if you have regrets, misgivings, butterflies in the stomach, whatever. When you make an appointment, you absolutely must keep it or at the very least call to cancel. Your professional reputation is on the line (to say nothing of it being the decent thing to do).

  4. Ellen

    Alison, I think #2’s problem is that the original posting (like many to which she’d applied) didn’t contain the company/organization’s name at all, so even if she’d saved full postings, she wouldn’t know which one went with this call. This doesn’t affect most of your advice to her, with which I agree, but it does matter to the last bit.

    It also makes the refusal to send the description more annoying: they’ll post about the job without letting you know who they are; then they’ll tell you who they are but not which job it is.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Yes! I got this update from OP #2 a few hours ago:

      I did do some additional digging after writing so thought I would send some additional info, just in case it will change your answer.

      Basically, what I think happened is; I applied for a position with non profit X, which was posted anonymously. The call I got was from an admin with company Y. I found X’s website ( which didn’t have a careers section or I would have looked for current positions that looked familiar) and it looks like one of their board members works at Y. So the admin didn’t actually work for X, which I assume explains why she didn’t have any details on the position. The boarder member looks to be using her staff at Y to set up interviews for a position open at X.

      This is all speculation. But based on what little I was able to find online, I have a feeling I’m close to accurate.

      Either way, I replied that without more details I was not comfortable going to an interview and that if more info could be provided I would be open to rescheduling. The reply I got just said “ok thanks!”

      Like I said, not sure if that changes things. But for me, it was all just too vague and with a three month only baby, it didn’t seem like a real viable opportuniy that was worth the time and effort of arranging child care and getting myself to an interview for a position I was already annoyed about.

      1. Lowe

        That kind of strange institutional vagueness has become a red flag for me, because it can be a cover for certain forms of workplace badness – like deciding your role is actually a few pay grades lower than what you interviewed for /after/ you accept (which is depressingly common in my field). Or in one very nasty case an employer who was so desperate that she took to getting CVs from online job banks, ringing the numbers on them, and claiming they’d applied for the post so here was their interview time!

        1. Ama

          I worked at a place where this could have happened (academic department that was being underwritten by a single foundation in its start up years, so the foundation had a certain amount of say in hiring/admin decisions). Although none of the things you describe above happened, it was still a very unpleasant place to work because the foundation leadership and the academic leadership were in a constant tug of war over who had the authority to make the final decision on everything from personnel issues to the carpeting for the conference room.

      2. Sabrina

        Before seeing this my guess was that this was a “job” selling steak knives or something similar.

        1. Retail Lifer

          Or one of those jobs that’s advertised as “marketing and promotions” but all you do is go door to door at businesses trying to sell them coupon books.

        2. DaBlonde

          That was my first thought too! This was going to be a group interview/hype session and they would ask you to buy their starter kit.

          1. Cactus

            Or one of those big hype-y group interviews that some insurance companies hold, trying to get people who have zero experience in anything resembling that field to be insurance agents working solely on commission.

        3. Fun-&-Games

          I was thinking the resume got poached or picked up from a jobs board.

          Selling Kirbys.
          Life insurance.
          Magazine sales.

          Back in my college days I showed up for an interview for some vague BS, and it turned out to be a casting call for selling vacuums door to door. I did the math and walked away. Anyone that wants a $1000 vacuum isn’t going to suddenly purchase one at random from a door to door salesman. What a load of crap.

          If they were upfront with people only the completely naive would ever show up and they’d have less people to potentially trick into their schemes.

    2. Juli G.

      My assumption was that the normal hiring assistant admin was getting replaced and that’s why things were less than ideal. Given the update, my theory could still stand.

    3. M-C

      #2 might try a reverse phone number lookup with the uncooperative admin’s number? Then she could at least get some facts about the company from a good thorough google. And at least show up at the interview only half-blind, if she can’t squeeze any more info from the admin.

      I’d also recommend something else if I may.. An excel spreadsheet leads to the sort of pithy notes that leave you scratching your head just like here. I setup a trello board from an example I found discussed in their blog https://trello.com/b/FUnZJ3gi/demo-job-hunt-board that I’ve found extremely helpful. Rather than tons of blank columns, I have a card that contains -all- my info about the job, including copies of posting and emails, contact info, phone notes, online reviews etc etc. And that card can float back and forth as things go. I added a ‘waiting for’ list so it’s more clear when I’m waiting for a specific action back. I also added 2 columns up front: prep work and done, so I can cheer myself along with how much I’m getting done. And while the ideal job hasn’t yet showed up :-), I’ve at least been able to keep the wolf from the door much easier with this system. Give it a go OP, trello only takes about 20mn of reading the docs to get going!

      1. Elizabeth West

        I used a spreadsheet and put the link in it, but then I saved the job posting as a PDF to a folder specifically for that. I dated the PDF with the date I applied, like Admin Asst Gonzo Bones Company 4-15-12. When you do a PDF of a web page, it puts the link in as a footer. Then I could print out the PDF and take it with me to the interview in case I needed to refer to it.

  5. CreationEdge

    #4 I’m sorry to hear that your store doesn’t have so much as a lost-and-found policy. In a chain restaurant you would expect this to come up! People forget their keys, wallets, cards, etc. There should have been some sort of soft policy in place that prevented someone’s personal items from just being thrown out.

    So, while your workplace might not be culpable, I think there needs to be some management directive regarding how to deal with “lost” items.

    Even if they were left in an employee-only area, it’s just common courtesy. How hard would it have been to put them out of site and leave a note up by the schedule saying, “Shoes found. Claim by Friday or they’re getting donated.”?

    1. Ani

      A call center I worked at posted that anyone caught taking someone else’s things (including food from the fridge) would face discipline, up to and including termination. I’ve also worked in restaurants and fast food, but it’s been years and can’t recall if any had similar policy — but it seems some must, as it wasn’t new to me…

    2. Hlyssande

      Yeah, this is what I was going to say. It’s concerning that they apparently don’t have a L&F policy. What if another coworker forgot their coat or their keys or the extra pair of shoes they wore and changed out of when they got there? Weather gear? Does that all just get tossed, period? Seriously what the hell.

      Also, wth coworker? Yeah, her stuff shouldn’t have been left there, but…those shoes were obviously expensive, so why on Earth would they get thrown away rather than donated or something?

      1. MK

        First, it’s not a given the shoes were obviously expensive; many costly items don’t look their price. It’s also possibe they were in a bag that didn’t look as if it contained anything of value. Second, if they are very high heels (possible, since the Op wore them for a night outing), no one in their right mind would think of donating them to, say, a homeless selter, though perhaps a charity shop would be an idea. And, third, we don’t know where these shoes were exactly; maybe it wasn’t in the customers’ area. Also, no store has an obligation to keep items that patrons forget; a lost-and-found is a nice thing they like to do to please you as a client. Anyway, most probably the shoes were thrown away by mistake by a harried employee rushing to tidy up.

        1. SJP

          Sorry but I really think you’re making excuses…. common sense here should be to ask around staff before throwing out perfectly good shoes!
          It may be a restaurant but just throwing stuff away without looking in a bag is just so illogical i’m agreeing with everyone else that they should have done a claimed by X day or thrown out/donated. People wear other shoes to walk to work and change as they’re more comfy etc, same with jackets and stuff. Do they just throw them away? I sure as hell don’t!

        2. Rene UK

          I’d go with this one, from..well, not bitter but definitely annoying experience. I’d rented a tux for my fiance and vests for other members in the wedding party, including my dad. He and my stepmom ducked out of the reception early and left the vest in a plastic trashbag in the kitchen without telling anyone and it got thrown out–happily it only cost me time trying to find it and $50 to replace it; it could have been much worse.
          If they were in a bag, some people might be reluctant to see what was in it and just pitch it.

          1. Rene UK

            This was supposed to be under a comment about they might have been in a bag. Not sure what happened….

            1. Elizabeth West

              That makes sense, if it were in a trashbag–someone might not have wanted to stick their hand in a bag they thought might have something nasty in it.

          2. Hlyssande

            I can see this! If the shoes were in something like a crumply paper bag, it would have been easy to overlook them, but I like to think that I would have at least peeked in to see what was in there, unless something was obviously oozing or drippy.

    3. Judy

      My kids’ schools lost and found rounds up the items at the end of each quarter and donates them to the clothing bank that the local PTA offers for kids.

    4. Retail Lifer

      I’ve never worked in food service, but every retail job I’ve had has had a clearly defined lost and found policy where you have to hang on to found items for at least a week, if nor 30-90 days. That said, I don’t think there were actually any consequences for not following the policy.

    5. Stranger than fiction

      That would be nice but every restaurant I ever worked at had several signs posted in the back saying they’re not responsible for lost or stolen items probably for this reason. But I’m wondering if the Op has an enemy perhaps?

        1. Michele

          I was thinking the same thing. The break areas in the restaurants where I worked were very seldom cleaned, and if anything looked remotely valuable, it wasn’t thrown out.

  6. Ruth (UK)

    4. This extremely exact thing happened to co-workers of mine about 2 years ago when I was working in large fast food chain.

    One night on the closing shift, the manager pulled the 3 of us there into the crew room where we leave our stuff. She told us to put our own stuff on the table. Then she binned everything else and then told us to take the bin out to the skip which would be collected the next morning.

    She through out shoes (non slip safety shoes), coats, literally anything. About 10 people’s stuff at least. She said it was because people shouldn’t leave there stuff there. There was no warning at all before the day she did it.

    Lots of people were upset especially people who struggled to afford to replace the shoes. No action was taken other than being upset though.

    This was a really bad workplace for lots of reasons. From what happened to op 4 I imagine their workplace is also not good and hope they can get out soon if they are unhappy there.

    1. Ruth (UK)

      Ps. I wish I could edit typoes after posting but I have some annoying homophones and autocorrects going on in my post from my phone :( please pretend I can type.

      1. Kelly L.

        There have been times in my life when actual crying would have been the result of this.

    2. Traveler

      I am sympathetic to the whole leaving loads of things in the common area that never get taken or put away. However, as you mentioned, there needs to be a warning about this sort of thing. 1-2 weeks so all shift and part time employees can have an opportunity. Even at the worst places I’ve worked, I can’t imagine them just chucking shoes overnight. That would have resulted in riotousness from the employees.

    3. Allison

      Not only do I take issue with tossing other people’s stuff without warning, that purge just seems wasteful! I get that throwing stuff out was easy, and she probably just wanted it all gone, but I’m just thinking of all those coats, shoes, and other clothing items that could’ve been donated. Now it’s all just sitting in a landfill where it’s of no use to anyone.

      1. Graciosa

        I would agree about the warning if this was a newly imposed rule, or if the manager decided (in the absence of a rule) to go on a cleaning binge on a whim. If there was actually an existing rule, I don’t think the manager is prohibited from enforcing it without *additional* notice. It would be ridiculously cumbersome, and even when managers have given five hundred warnings, there is always someone who will whine about not realizing this warning was “serious” or they would have acted on it.

        For me, this was most obvious with respect to the common refrigerator. There were huge signs posted on it stating that it was cleaned out every Friday and you could not leave food in it over the weekend, *and* we had regular emails about it, *and* we would get daily messages some weeks reminding us that cleaning would take place on [that Friday] and anything left inside would be thrown out.

        After all that notice, I can’t imagine having the gall to complain if your food was thrown out, but people did.

        1. Allison

          If there is a posted rule *and* it’s regularly enforced, then you’re right, people don’t need warnings. But I’ve been in workplaces where people have been inconsistent. For example, at my last office, people regularly parked in the “visitor” spots, and sometimes it was a non-issue, but other times they actually were taking spots away from visitors who needed them and there had to be an office-wide e-mail telling people to move their cars if they’re parked in visitor spots. Also, the fridge wasn’t actually cleaned out every Friday, sometimes you’d open it on Monday and there’d still be food there from the previous week, so occasionally we did need warnings when the fridge was actually going to be cleaned.

          But I agree, there will always be people who knowingly ignore the rules and then whine when the rules are actually enforced. I live in a city where parking is tight, and it’s not uncommon to hear someone bawwing about a parking ticket they got for illegally parking in the resident-only area, or freaking out because they got towed, even though there was a sign saying “no parking, tow zone.” But again, there’s a “tow zone” in front of my building, and I often see someone parked there for a while without even getting a ticket and I wonder “why is no one towing this clown? they know they can’t park there!” So I can’t say I blame someone for figuring they can park there with no consequence.

      2. Jo

        That’s my reaction, too. I wish this sort of waste were a literal crime. I would be FURIOUS beyond all reason if I found out my or my coworkers’ useful belongings had been thrown away. More furious than if they had been stolen by somebody who just wanted them. I have a lot of economical habits and an aversion to waste on principle, passed down through a couple of generations from Great Depression-era living conditions. My grandmother, whose mother made her clothes out of burlap bags, would be heartsore and/or raise a huge stink over something like this. I know the Depression is long gone, but there are still many many people who are harmed by waste. I don’t care how annoying it is for the manager or how many rules are in place, this is downright harmful behavior, especially to food service workers who work for crap wages and tips. It’s a shame they have so little recourse.

        1. Allison

          The issue is that while many people have old stuff they could give away to people who need them, not a lot of people have the time to actually find places that’ll take it. Almost makes me want to start a non-profit to act as a middle-person between people who want to ditch their old crap and people who actually need that old crap.

          1. tesyaa

            Good point. A lot of “donations” also end up going to for-profit organizations, which may not be what the donors have in mind.

        2. Mabel

          I feel the same way. If I were one of the employees told to throw out other people’s clothing, shoes, etc., I think I would try to hide it somewhere so it didn’t get thrown out right away. Although if it was the type of place where people worked all sorts of different shifts, that might not work (the boss could find it before I came back for my next shift and throw it out anyway and be annoyed with me for not doing it in the first place). But it just makes me angry when people waste other people’s stuff just because they feel like it. What a jerk of a boss.

  7. Snoskred

    #4 – if anyone is responsible for the shoes, I would think it would be the friend who dropped them at your workplace, which you apparently were not present at when the shoes were dropped off?

    1. LBK

      Either way, it’s uncalled for to just willy nilly throw stuff out (unless there was an existing policy or warning to that effect, but it doesn’t sound like there was).

    2. TootsNYC

      My thought too!

      I once had something similar (not work, though). My future ILs owned a 3-family house; my fiancé lived in the middle, and a cousin’s fiancée lived in the lower floor. I was in the cousin’s wedding as a bridesmaid. The bride ordered the dresses online, and when they came, she put mine on the table in the lobby. She never told me it was there; she never mentioned it to my fiancé; I guess she expected him to recognize it and pick it up. It disappeared. It had to have been stolen by friends of the woman who lived on the top floor, but that woman said she knew nothing about it.

      I refused to pay for the replacement. If she’d mentioned it to me, and I’d delayed getting it out of the hallway, maybe–but she didn’t. She was sort of ticked off, but I felt she had a duty to transfer ownership in a secure manner.

      Ditto those shoes.

  8. hbc

    OP4: I’m guessing your manager was a bit ticked about the back story. This wasn’t something your friend dropped off that you needed for work, or something you would reasonably bring to work like a winter coat or bike helmet. You and your friend used your place of business as a convenient spot to take care of a personal exchange. Boss isn’t going to say “Absolutely no drop offs” as a policy, but when you try to make it hizzer problem? Any sympathy would evaporate.

    Also, I swear I’m not judging your choices, but a whole lot of people would be giving serious side-eye to $150 party shoes at a minimum-wage place, fair or not.

    1. Cheesecake

      I am not judging your reply, but have you ever thrown colleges’ expensive shoes out of jealousy and sheet enjoyment of their misery?

      1. TootsNYC

        The OP’s manager didn’t throw them out; that some some other story from a commenter.

        The OP’s manager was unsympathetic; that was the extent of her crime.

        (and I can totally see someone splurging on $150 shoes, even if they’re working fast food. You get presents; you save up. It’s not unheard of.)

    2. Natalie

      If you’re not communicating judgment (whether it’s yours or the mysterious *they*), why even bring it up at all? What are you actually trying to say, since you’ve helpfully clarified you’re “not judging”?

      1. The Cosmic Avenger

        Now now, I think hbc was just saying that, while we don’t want to blame the victim, we also don’t want to walk down the street in a high-crime area with hundred dollar bills sticking out of every pocket. And food service definitely can count as a “high-crime area”.

        Personally, while the manager and company isn’t responsible, I think the employee that threw them out is responsible. But good luck getting them to even compensate the OP for half the cost. Even if the OP succeeds, it might not be worth the social cost if she’s going to keep working there. At least it wasn’t insulin (happened to a friend of mine) or something similarly critical.

        1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

          Where is everyone getting the idea that this is fast food? The OP is server – she’s not working at Burger King.

          And to the snotty “you don’t make enough to wear $150 shoes” comment: setting aside that how someone spends their money is nobody else’s business, since the OP is a server she could very well be making a very good income.

        2. Natalie

          Yeah, no. Nothing in that last paragraph sounds like concern about theft, but a lot of it sounds like judgment (through mysterious other people that aren’t here, not him, you understand) for owning mid priced shoes while working for minimum wage. (In theory. OP did not, of course, specify how much they make.)

          1. Natalie

            Oh, and the added detail that they must be frivolous “party” shoes, also assumed out of whole cloth.

            1. Hlyssande

              Didn’t you know? Poor people shouldn’t have nice things. They shouldn’t even get to have a fridge (according to some conservatives…).

          2. Green

            Mid-priced shoes? OK, now I’m judging. I make lots of money and don’t consider $150 “mid-priced.” I think the point of the one-liner here is that if OP is bemoaning the loss of $150 shoes to coworkers, she’s going to have a hard time getting sympathy and righteous indignation and might seem insensitive to others’ financial situations. (One can bemoan the loss of one’s shoes without feeling the need to share the price.)

            1. Cheesecake

              I won’t share the price of Louboutins here, because then you might rethink your insensitive “lots of money” statement.

              1. Green

                Yes, I understand that there are designer shoes that exist that cost more than $150. But I think it’s objectively more insensitive to classify $150 shoes as “mid-priced” in the universe of shoes than for me to note that, while I can “afford” Louboutins, I don’t view them as reasonably priced or a wise expenditure for someone of any income.

                1. Natalie

                  Dude, prices have gone up. Go check out Zappos or Endless sometime – most adult shoes that aren’t made of cardboard are in the $100-200 range regardless of the brand.

                2. JK

                  I’m really sorry you view that as insensitive…but it’s accurate. Shoes between 100-200 are “mid-priced” that’s the market, not your perception. If that’s wildly expensive, that’s fine, but that is what mid-priced is considered.

                3. Green

                  Dude, I’m 30. I’m not “BACK IN MY DAY”-ing you, I just tend to drop $60-70 on my shoes and consider them pretty nice, super comfortable, and myself pretty well off.

                4. Green

                  Also, I was responding to someone claiming that my “lots of money” statement was insensitive. But, yeah, I think it’s more insensitive to suggest that $75 shoes are for poors and made of cardboard and only shoes that are twice as much can be decent.

            2. Fabulously Anonymous

              There’s nothing in the post indicating that OP shared the cost of the shoes with her co-workers. And “mid-priced” wasn’t referring to mid-priced to you, but in the industry. Those are two different things. $150 is definitely mid-priced for the shoe industry.

            3. Natalie

              Yes, when the regular price for shoes at a low end retailer like Target is $40, I don’t think $150 qualifies as Imelda Marcos territory.

              1. Green

                Objectively, that is false. Yes, there are more expensive shoes. But the quantity of shoes sold is weighted to the lower end (and includes prices below Target as your “bottom feeder”). There’s also probably some gap between something being “mid-priced” and being “Imelda Marcos territory.”

                1. Natalie

                  Um, ok, I’m not sure how you’re going to determine what the perfect “mid-price” of a shoe is so you can be right. This has gotten fairly silly and I’m going to leave now.

            4. Renee

              $150 is a perfectly “mid-priced” amount to regularly spend on shoes if you work in a setting with certain clothing standards, or for a nice pair of going out shoes. I generally don’t spend that much on shoes, but I work in a manufacturing environment where they would be wasted (and a possible hazard), and I don’t really go out anymore. They wouldn’t be uncommon at all in my former law firm days.

              1. Green

                I can’t think of anything outside the fashion industry with a “setting with certain clothing standard” requiring $150 shoes. I worked in one of the top law firms in the world, and I’m pretty sure my $70 shoes were fine.

            5. The Strand

              Everything Natalie said. I don’t know what you’re putting on your feet, but quality walking shoes from a place like SAS will set you back at least $120, unless they are on sale. These are not fancy, designer or top of the line styles.

              1. Green

                LOL. I am putting perfectly nice shoes on my feet that I have indeed also rocked at the law firm (that I buy at Zappos, Nordstrom, Macy’s, DSW or on Amazon). Shoes far in excess of $150 were not uncommon in my law firm days either, but all the lawyers there were 2-percenter or 1-percenters, not people shopping for mid-priced shoes. The shoes also probably weren’t mid-priced to the OP or she wouldn’t have bothered to note the cost.

    3. Colette

      $150 shoes could be shoes that can accommodate orthotics. There’s no reason to assume they’re frivolous – and if they were “party shoes” and the OP can afford them, why would anyone else get to have an opinion on them?

      1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

        OP, I am so sorry that happenned. I’m guessing you don’t make a lot of money and buying those shoes was a big purchase. It’s not like someone would have mistaken them for actual garbage (like if they had been in a crumpled paper bag). I don’t think your employer is responsible, but I do think it’s just plain mean of your coworker.

        1. tesyaa

          (How do you know they weren’t in a crumpled paper bag?)

          I feel bad for the OP, but it’s common sense not to arrange dropoffs of expensive items when you’re not around, workplace or not.

            1. tesyaa

              Same difference…. the shoes were out of both her hands and her friends’ hands for some time period. They could easily get misplaced or inadvertently thrown away in a frenetic environment.

              I’d do this with a $20 item but not a $150 item.

              1. Coach Devie

                Note to self: Should I ever take a traditional job again, don’t ever have personal items at work, ever.

                Ridiculous excuse. They were not someone else’s property to just dispose of. UNLESS the were disguised in some odd bag of some kind, it seems almost deliberate to toss someones belongings without at the very least first asking if anyone knew who they belonged to.

    4. LBK

      You’ve never done anything remotely personal while at work? This is a bizarrely harsh view of workplace boundaries. Everywhere I’ve worked it wouldn’t have been an issue to have a personal item dropped off or to conduct personal business (as long as it wasn’t, like, buying illegal drugs).

      1. LBK

        Also, “you should know not to leave your stuff here” is an acceptable response for if an unsecured item gets stolen. It’s a really crappy justification for a manager deliberately destroying an employee’s personal property.

      2. ThursdaysGeek

        Yeah, I’ve left a projector with the staff at a local coffee shop, so a different regular customer could pick it up later. It was a convenient middle ground, and I knew that leaving an expensive piece of electronics would be perfectly safe there.

        The business where the OP works doesn’t sound like a happy place to work with happy customers.

    5. Rebecca

      My most expensive shoes are Asics athletic shoes that retail for $160. I paid less than half that, but I’d be seriously miffed if someone just tossed them without asking, as I’d either have to wait for another deep discount sale or pay full price to replace them.

      It appears that the OP had forgotten her shoes, and a friend was doing her a favor dropping them off so perhaps she didn’t suffer with non supportive shoes during her shift. Whatever the circumstance, it was really crappy that someone just threw her shoes away without asking.

      1. Kelly L.

        This. I don’t know where the “party shoes” thing is coming from*. Restaurant work is hard on your feet, and I’m not going to blame someone if they wanted to invest in good shoes that would make it a little easier, rather than crappy ones.

        *Is it because OP had worn them “out”? Still doesn’t really compute. You can go “out” in your regular shoes and still wear them to work the next day.

        1. Allison

          I think that’s where hbc got the idea, that OP wore them out, hence they must be party shoes. but a lot of my shoes are plain, practical flats I could easy wear to work OR to a party since I’m not really a high heels kinda girl.

    6. Holly Olly Oxen Free

      I’ve always bought $100-$200 shoes, even when I was working low paying jobs. Why? Because it’s none of your business, that’s why.

      1. Kelly L.

        Wearing $15 shoes to work in restaurants is probably why I have messed-up feet now. I wish I’d shelled out for better.

        1. The Strand

          Yes, yes, yes! $15 shoes is why I have to pay $200 per foot for orthotics today.

      2. Green

        I hope you didn’t share the cost of your shoes with your colleagues or use their cost as some sort of basis for indignation.

        1. Allison

          I highly doubt anyone talks about the price of their shoes, unless they get some amazing deal on really nice shoes and want to boast about their find. But if someone did notice that Holly Olly Oxen Free was wearing nice shoes that must have cost a lot of money, and gave her a hard time for spending a lot of money on shoes when she wasn’t actually rich, I’ll bet her reaction would be pretty indignant. Some people live frugally in some aspects of their lives so they can afford nice things like expensive shoes.

          1. Green

            You highly doubt anyone talks about the price of their shoes, but we all know the cost of this OP’s shoes.

            1. LBK

              To point out why this was so painful – ie it wasn’t a pair of $2 Old Navy flip flops. I’m not sure why you’re so stuck on the fact that the OP noted the price here, it’s pertinent information.

              1. Green

                But the price is only pertinent to the OP–not the colleague, the business owner or anyone else, who either (a) didn’t know the price of the shoes and still don’t or (b) only knew the price of the shoes after OP lamented their loss. I’m just defending the side-eye comment that many of your colleagues will give you if you expect sympathy with the painful loss of $150 shoes.

                1. Fabulously Anonymous

                  I didn’t get the impression that the OP was looking for sympathy based on the cost of the shoe. I don’t even know if she mentioned the cost except in her letter to AAM.

                2. Nerdling

                  How do you know that the LW even mentioned the cost of the shoes to anyone other than Allison?

    7. MsM

      Clearly someone is not familiar with the wisdom of The Manolo. Paying a little extra for better quality shoes can save you a lot in the long run, if it means they outlast the cheap pairs (and don’t give you foot problems that require a doctor visit or over the counter remedies).

      1. Stranger than fiction

        But who wears the same pair of shoes for years and years? Styles change they get scuffed etc

        1. JK

          I do! I have a pair of Cole Haan pumps I’ve had for 5 years now. They are a classic almond toe style which is pretty timeless. I take good care of them (polish and leather condition regularly) so they look very new. They’re so well-made and comfortable, they were well worth the initial cost.

          My other high-end shoes I get resoled and polished by a cobbler if needed.

          1. Snoskred

            Oprah said Cole Haan shoes were comfortable, and when I finally got the chance to buy a couple of pairs in Hawaii in 2013, I discovered she was totally right, just like I expected all along anyway. :)

            Mine are still going strong 2 years later, and I fully expect to be able to say that again in another 8-10 years.

            They are a lot more pricy here in Australia than they are in the US – the same shoes I bought there for $128 a pair are $320 a pair here. :(

        2. Maxwell Edison

          I do. I loathe buying shoes and will wear a pair until they are falling to pieces. Shoes are just something to cover my feet. As long as they are comfortable and serve their purpose, I’m good.

        3. ThursdaysGeek

          My oldest pair of footwear was bought in 1977. Why would I throw away good boots?

        4. A Dispatcher

          Ditto to the above comments. There are certain clothes and styles of shoes and bags I will spend $$$ on because they are classic styles that will serve me for years. The shoes and bags even moreso as they aren’t affected by things like weight fluctuations.

          And JK, I also have Cole Haan pumps that I’ve owned for oh, 10 years now. Granted, I don’t have a job where I need to wear pumps anymore, but back when I did I wore them all the time and they still look practically new, are comfy as a dream and come out whenever I need to interview, give presentations, etc.

    8. KT

      Ease the judgement–especially if you’ll caveat it with “I swear I’m not judging”. Why is it that poor people can’t have anything nice? Who are you to judge their purchase? You would prefer someone who works minimum wage have nothing but rags and torn shoes?

      Maybe they’re not party shoes (where on earth did you get that?) maybe they are good classic pumps she wears to interviews. Maybe they’re shoes she wears because the Payless version wore out and the good pair lasts 10 x as long. Or cheap shoes wreck her feet and knees.

      Maybe they’re 5 inch heels and neon pink with glitter and she scrimped and saved to buy them. Or maybe she blew her grocery budget because she worked 80 hours this week and darnit, she felt like she needed something pretty.

      It’s none of your business, and someone being a dreaded poor doesn’t mean you get to side-eye her purchases.

      1. Apple Baskets and Oranges

        I will only add that I grew up very poor, and every once in a while I would save for months and months to by myself something nice.

        I would go out and *blow* my money on a gaming system and a game or two. But you know what? It’s not *blown* money if it makes me happy! Not to mention, video games as a source of entertainment are actually very very economical when you break it down into $ per hour of entertainment. At this point I believe I’ve got the PS3 down too something like 3 cents per hour of fun. But that’s another story. ;)

      2. Holly Olly Oxen Free

        Yeah, and I’m not sure why poor people aren’t allowed to buy quality, comfortable shoes.

      3. Green

        The $150 shoes are people’s business because she wants them to take accountability for her $150 shoes (and wants them to know that they’re $150 shoes). OP’s decision to spend $150 on her shoes may make them more valuable to her, but it doesn’t make them anymore valuable to anyone at work than their shoes.

        1. LBK

          Where are you getting the impression that she was flaunting the price of the shoes?

          1. Green

            Because we all know they were $150 shoes that were only worn once, as though that might be pertinent to anything other than OP’s own bummed outedness. Because it’s certainly a bummer but not relevant to the business owner, the colleagues or Allison’s advice, which would have been the same if it were $10 shoes or $10,000 shoes.

            1. KT

              That IS important, because it tells us that were that they were in like-new condition, not battered, smelly and beat to hell and could be confused with trash.

              I think the only reason the OP even mentioned it is because if it was a $10 pair of shoes, most people would just shrug and count their losses, and most would tell the OP to do the same. She mentioned it to even explain why she was frustrated they were tossed.

        2. Nerdling

          Or it may be her way of communicating here that these were something special to her. Perhaps the LW chose to put the cost because that took up far less space than saying, “My new, really nice shoes that I really, really wanted and finally decided to splurge on.” Can we please stop policing the way LWs phrase their questions?

          1. Green

            If everyone agrees to stop policing the way commenters phrase their comments… :)

            1. Nerdling

              Perhaps that would be possible if the commenters would stop making things up about the LWers out of wholecloth.

              1. Green

                And then other commenters do the same thing about the commenters. (i.e., this poster speculated, probably correctly, that this server is not well-off and that their peers may have been annoyed about the shoes, which isn’t super relevant, but also not that offensive given the context of the letter but got the response “Why is it that poor people can’t have anything nice? Who are you to judge their purchase? You would prefer someone who works minimum wage have nothing but rags and torn shoes?”)

        3. A Dispatcher

          Is anyone else having flashbacks to Carrie and her gorgeous Manolo Blahnik D’orsay pumps the got stolen at her friend’s party. I mean I reading this feels like it’s lifted straight out of the SATC. “I really don’t think we should have to pay for your extravagant lifestyle. It was your choice to buy shoes that expensive” (said in the most judgy mcjudgerson tone ever)

          1. Green

            Difference here: Carrie didn’t just leave her shoes lying around; the host made her take them off so the kids wouldn’t get sick with their outside-shoe-germs. :)

            But, yes, Carrie is shamelessly materialistic (when she was out of money, she bought Vogue instead of eating; two birds, one stone!) and she lives off of credit cards she can’t pay. Luckily, Mr. Big closes the sale on his Napa estate and rolls up in his limo to pay off the credit cards and live happily ever after. I wonder what would happen if someone counted up all the times the word “Manolo” gets dropped in the scripts throuighout the seasons.

      4. Allison

        “You would prefer someone who works minimum wage have nothing but rags and torn shoes?”

        Weirdly, people expect minimum wage workers to dress very nicely at work, and be perfectly polished and put together at all times because they work with the public. I’m not really sure how they’re expected to afford to look like that, but that’s the expectation.

        1. Natalie

          And do all of this for free, lest you be accused of wasting your paycheck and thus deserving to be poor.

          1. KT

            That always boggles my mind. People snark “get a job” or “who would buy anything from someone who looks like a slob” but if someone with a lower income or job searching spends actual money on a nice haircut, suit, decent shoes, they’re vilified as wasteful.

        2. Stranger than fiction

          Good point and I never understood when working in restaurants why they can hand you a shirt and an apron and then expect you to buy your own pants and non-slip shoes

        1. Green

          Or because they don’t dine out at the kinds of places where servers make decent money because they themselves don’t have lots of money. But I guess that doesn’t fit your agenda?

            1. Green

              I just am amused by the “Don’t make assumptions about other people!” crowd…making assumptions about other people and their motives.

            2. Cactus

              To be as irritatingly prolier-than-thou as possible, of course. They assume LW4 and her co-workers are poor, but she’s probably the wrong kind of poor, because shoes. And even though they have worked in some nice places and have enough money for nice shoes, no way would they ever buy anything that costs over $70. But suggesting that $40 shoes are cheap and badly made makes anyone else a terrible person who is classist. Ohhhh, and knowing that some servers in restaurants can sometimes make a decent living is knowledge that only terrible rich people possess, because of course people in other socioeconomic groups can’t be privy to anything other than a super-narrow range of information! Basically, Green thinks they are better than everyone (because they spend less money than a lot of people), judges the hell out of LW4’s footwear, and has really strange assumptions about all people based on class background and income level.

          1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

            Yikes, it really seems like you’re looking for a fight here.

            I mean, I rarely dine out at expensive restaurants, but I’m still aware that servers can make good money. I know this because I have friends who are servers (everywhere from IHOP to high-end restaurants), because I’ve read books (like “Waiting”), and so on. It’s not super mysterious information.

            1. Cactus

              Yes, and also, poor people are not stupid. They live in the same world as rich and middle class people do.

      1. Sunshine Brite

        I know, my former roommate was a server at some pretty sweet restaurants and would work hard all night but pull down hundreds of dollars a shift.

      2. Stranger than fiction

        That’s true but if she were rolling in dough I don’t think she’s have mentioned the price, clearly that made it more painful

        1. Cheesecake

          The fact that OP has mentioned the price has nothing to do with anything. If this happened to me i’d be furious; i would clearly be more furious about $150 shoes vs $50, also because the more expensive shoes are the more difficult it is to find and repurchase them. I could afford to get another $150 pair tomorrow, but i would say “can you believe they threw away my $150 shoes!”

    9. The Strand

      Many people who work for minimum wage or come from less advantaged backgrounds own really nice clothing and shoes; it’s something they can afford to do that’s nice for themselves, versus buying a fancy car or house.

  9. Cheesecake

    OP5, i hope you are a fresh graduate with almost 0 work experience, because i don’t know how to justify this attitude.

    Here is how it works. If you don’t want to go to an interview because you don’t like the company or because today is Friday, you let them know you are not coming. If you don’t it not only burns the bridges with this company, but potentially with some others because people talk. I personally always reply to all invitations, even to the jobs out of my field.

    Honestly, i’d still go to an interview, no matter if like the company a lot or not. You need to practice (and i think you opted out because deep inside you are scared of interviewing). Plus, you never know until you actually go and meet people.

    1. HRChick

      Exactly this – your mistake wasn’t deciding you’d rather not interview (although if you’re job searching, I’d be careful about the grass is greener mentality where you expect something better to just show up). Your mistake was that you decided you didn’t want to interview – and then didn’t do anything to notify your interviewers. You wasted their valuable time AND took up an interview slot for someone who might have been interested.

      Don’t just drop the rope – follow through!

    2. Karowen

      This is what I was thinking – at the point that you’ve decided to not interview because you don’t want the job, your options are to (a) call and back out if you’re far enough out from the interview that it won’t cause you to look flaky or (b) just go and do your best and maybe be pleasantly surprised. Going on an interview does not mean that you have to take the job. Going on an interview means that you went and spoke to someone.

    3. Joey

      Oh Cmon I don’t think any of my colleagues in other companies or I have ever said “watch out for a candidate named cheesecake. She no showed on me for an interview.”

      Yes it’s bad and hiring managers can change jobs, but it’s not like its going to kill your chances at other places.

      1. LBK

        Yeah agreed…even if I were talking about work with a friend and saying how annoying it was that someone NCNS’d an interview, it would be a vague rant, not a specific “Here’s their name and job history so you can make sure to decline them if they ever happen to apply with you.” Most people aren’t that vindictive, I’d think.

      2. fposte

        I think you’re generally right, but in a situation where somebody’s hiring within the same system–like, in my case, within the university–I’d mention it to people hiring for similar jobs.

        1. fposte

          I was thinking there of student applications, but now that I consider it, I believe the university’s hiring system indexes records by individual, not by position opening–which is to say the NCNS would be linked to this person’s name for all future hiring here.

      3. Cheesecake

        The world is small. If we re talking about a chain, some have a system where this is recorded, so if you want to apply in another location – it will be flagged that candidate was a no show in location x. And i know a case where hr mgr in one company shared this with hr mgr in another; another company had external recruiter and they put the name of no-show candidate to screen him out immediately. I don’t say if you did not show up for an interview it will ruin your career, but you never know when this bites you in the ass

  10. Hiring Mgr

    On #5, I agree that the bridge has likely been burned, though it does seem like you’ve learned from your mistake… But there’s nothing to lose in calling and apologizing profusely and asking for another chance. I wouldn’t expect anything of course, but no harm in a sincere apology.

    1. LBK

      Eh, I’d say there’s harm in asking for another chance. I agree about apologizing profusely but at this point it’s going to be really hard for that apology to come across as genuine if it’s accompanied by any sort of requests.

      1. Hiring Mgr

        Maybe, probably depends on the hiring mgr, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being honest, admitting she screwed up, and asking if it’s possible….The worst they can say is no.

        1. fposte

          I think the worst they can do is hold the question against you if you apply there again.

            1. Hiring Mgr

              I would see applying again as another form of asking for a second chance… This isn’t to excuse the behavior, just the realization that some employers and managers grant mulligans for all sorts of reasons….

              1. LBK

                When I’m talking about applying again, I’m thinking several years down the road when the sting of the mistake has dulled. There’s a huge difference between that and asking for a second chance right away, before there’s been time to build up evidence that you’ve learned from your mistake.

              2. Joey

                I would see applying again as someone with some serious balls or no clue. The only places I know that would give second chances are the places looking for warm bodies.

                1. fposte

                  I’m with LBK in thinking about 4-5 years down the line. A no-show might slide out of consciousness after a few years; a no-show who then recontacted me and hoped for a do-over I’d remember for sure.

                2. LBK

                  And a no-show who had spent that 4-5 years maintaining a consistent record of reliability might also be granted a second chance from me. I’m willing to buy that people can change and learn from mistakes, but if you’re asking me for your second chance 2 days after you burned me once, I’m skeptical that you’ve really made the turnaround that quickly.

                3. Joey

                  Really depends. If it’s an entry level person Id consider that. If it’s a seasoned person no way.

                4. Hiring Mgr

                  Perhaps, or just a place that’s having hard time finding good candidates and is willing to overlook a mistake. Who knows? That’s why i say give it a shot…

                5. Stranger than fiction

                  You guys really keep track of candidates like that? Like I said up post a ways it seems as if a lot of medium to bigger companies do not

          1. Artemesia

            And tell the story at the bar Friday night to many of their friends.

            Abject apology and claim of a calendar confusion is the way to go — no asking for favors.

            1. fposte

              Right–at this point if the apology is linked to a request, its sincerity would be questionable.

              1. Joey

                And If you do give an apology they’re probably more likely to give you a second chance if you didn’t ask to be reconsidered. Just apologizing lets them know you value the relationship.

        2. MsM

          Admitting you screwed up might be appreciated. But I think part of acknowledging you screwed up in a situation like this includes realizing the opportunity is gone. Even if they were inclined to give you the chance, I just don’t know how you’d have a good enough interview to recover from that if the other candidates were even halfway competent.

  11. Holly Olly Oxen Free

    #5 This is why I always do interviews no matter how I’m feeling about them going in. There have been a number of interviews I’ve had scheduled and then, I don’t know, I psyched myself out, or decided, for whatever reason, that I didn’t want the job. But I did it anyway and for several of them I was really, really wrong and the information I got during the interview reinvigorated my interest. In fact, the job I have now was one such job. I almost talked myself out of interviewing and its an awesome job with awesome people for awesome pay and awesome benefits. You just never know.

    I would never no-call, no-show for an interview though. I have a hard and fast rule that if I don’t want to interview it’s my responsibility to cancel asap. If it’s less than 24 hours away, I consider that window closed. Perhaps you should set yourself a rule like that as well, OP.

    1. anon attorney

      Apart from anything else, going to the interview even if you decide you don’t want the job gives valuable interviewing skills practice.

      Think that OP should simply apologize with no request for reconsideration. It’s not going to happen and will likely damage your reputation even more.

    2. Dasha

      I have a rule that I always, always go to interviews (that have been scheduled that is, not just random ones from like a crazy recruiter or something) because you never really know until you meet with the company. It is also good experience for future interviews even if you decide it’s not for you.

    3. Stranger than fiction

      Good point interview practice is always beneficial! Eve if you don’t get offer or even think it’s good fit, every time you interview you get more confident and comfortable answering questions!

  12. Allison

    For #4, I’m having trouble understanding why anyone would throw out a pair of shoes that wasn’t theirs, unless they were in such bad shape that they seemed unwearable or smelled really, really bad. I can understand going around the break room and throwing out things that looked like trash, and I can understand purging the fridge. I could even understand wanting to get rid of the items that long-gone employees had abandoned, put actually putting shoes in the garbage?

    Why not put everything left behind in a box, and tell people they need to claim their stuff by a certain day or it gets donated?

  13. JC

    #1: Some people are just overzealous weirdos when it comes to linkedin endorsements, as Alison described. I don’t let endorsements appear on my profile, but I constantly get them from people I’ve never worked with who just press “yes” whenever linkedin asks them “does JC have X skill?” In fact, I have some linkedin connections who are in my field but whom I’ve never met, and who have also endorsed me. I do agree that I’d find it extra weird if an interviewer did it, though!

    1. Artemesia

      I hate the way that linked apparently independently encourages this nonsense I am retired and still getting endorsements about things I have no clue about from people I bare know. I KNOW they didn’t not seek me out to endorse, so they must just be expressing kind feelings to a prompt.

      Linked in also apparently tells you someone has asked to link when they haven’t. I have been embarrassed to accept an ‘invitation’ from someone who it turns out didn’t actually invite me and assumed I was inviting them.

    2. Retail Lifer

      I have endorsements from people I’ve never worked with as well. I leave the endorsements on there but I know they don’t make a difference.

    3. Stranger than fiction

      I wouldn’t go so far as to not have any endorsements but I have had people endorse me for skills I don’t even have so I do not add those

  14. baseballfan

    #3 – From someone who struggled with infertility for years and spent a lot of time and money on ultimately unsuccessful IUI and IVF attempts – do not base your decision on whether to apply for or accept a job on possible future reproducing. It may take months or years. It may not happen. Or it may happen right away. Don’t put your professional life on hold over this.

    1. Meg Murry

      Yes. There was never a more apt time for Sheryl Sandberg’s quote than this (watch the TED talk or read Lean In)

      Don’t leave before you leave

      If you were actually currently at this moment pregnant and offered the job and told you would not be able to take the 3 months maternity leave that you want, you would have to weigh heavily whether you should take the job. Otherwise, apply. Don’t put your live on hold for a maybe, no matter how much you want that maybe.

      1. Development professional

        +1
        I thought of Sandberg’s comment too. Whatever else you think of her, she’s exactly right here.

        Also, ED searches take a long time, often. It’s completely possible that you will get pregnant, spend much of your pregnancy in the interview/waiting process, and end up just having the interim ED stay on through your maternity leave, and you start fresh after that. There’s just no way to know now how the hiring will go.

    2. Artemesia

      So this. It would be different if the OP were pregnant, but she may or may not be pregnant some day and if she is, the timing will be impossible to guess.

      I was once in a job where advancement/security depended on my performance over the next couple of years in a very demanding set of projects. So I considered putting off having the second child. But we had had infertility issues the first time and I was 35 so we went ahead with our plans figuring it would take a couple of years anyway. I got pregnant literally the first try. When I was 7 mos pregnant my organization merged with another and my department along with several others was cut. I couldn’t move from the area for new opportunities because my husband had uprooted his non-mobile professional career to move with me to this city. I cannot tell you how grateful I was to have this child — in addition to the lovely endorphans that kept me relaxed through this job disaster, I had this wonderful baby and hadn’t sacrificed having her for the job. I eventually landed on my feet professionally but not letting the less important thing (the job) drive the more important thing (having a baby) made my life a lot easier.

      I hope the OP has great luck with the IVF but I agree she should move ahead professionally and if both good things happen at the same time, sort it out then. And if motherhood turns out not to be then she won’t have sacrificed a possibly rewarding career opportunity.

  15. VictoriaHR

    “don’t just save links to job postings; save the full posting, for exactly this kind of reason”

    Putting a shout out for Evernote. It’s a free cloud-based website where you can clip websites and web pages, and can access it from anywhere. In my last job search, I used their Web Clipper function to clip job postings that I’d applied to. Then I’d have the date I applied, the job description, etc. I also keep recipes in Evernote and important info like addresses (as well as hard copies at home, but I like being able to access the info from work).

    1. Stranger than fiction

      I think the Ops point was there wasn’t a job description in the post in the first place and/or company name so she couldn’t know which one to refer back to

    2. Grand Bargain

      +1 I use Evernote all the time for this kind of thing. Just click a button, save in an Opportunities folder and you have it to refer back to. Great suggestion.

  16. Bee Eye

    Something to add for #5. The first job I landed after finishing my Bachelor’s degree was with a bank. I had applied for a tech support position because that’s where all my previous work experience had been. However, that position had already been filled when I came to interview. I hit it off with the HR guy, and he suggested I look at some other positions so I could get inside and then setup for an internal transfer the next time an tech position came up. I took a job doing fraud detection and after @ 9 months, I transferred into tech support when somebody there retired. Never ever blow off an interview unless you have a seriously good reason.

  17. Retail Lifer

    #5 Hiring people is only one of my responsibilities and I often have to shift a lot of other things around to accommodate interviewees’ schedules. I am NOT happy when I get a no-show and I wouldn’t give them another chance. I’ll happily reschedule if I’m given the courtesy of a phone call or an email, but otherwise…nope.

  18. Christian Troy

    #5 – I did this recently and am not a recent grad or early in my career. However, I am someone who has been interviewing consistently for over a year and reached the point of anxiety/burnout/whatever you want to call it.

    When I first started interviewing, I never turned down a job interview because of all of the reasons people mentioned: practice, being pleasantly surprised, networking, etc. Around the fifth month mark, the fatigue started to set in. I ended up removing myself from the interview process for two positions because I was tired and felt I could/would get something better. I started realizing the more my search went on, the more depleted I became juggling multiple interviews every week.

    I don’t know what your situation is, but for me personally I had to cut my interview load down because I can’t mentally do it anymore. One interview, two max, is all I can do per a week. I feel like it allows me to focus on one position at a time and do my best, instead of over extending myself and doing mediocre for a lot of different positions.

    1. Cheesecake

      But i bet you did write them “i apologize but we need to cancel”? It is not about going to all interviews; it is normal to agree and then cancel. But no show is unacceptable. No matter what your situation is (as long as you are not in a hospital or have a very very valid reason why you couldn’t spend 2 minutes writing an email)

      1. Christian Troy

        Actually, last month during the Friday open thread I did in fact post (as an anon) that I drove to a job interview, walked into the building, had a massive anxiety attack, and drove home. I emailed the interviewer apologizing, saying I became ill and asked if I could reschedule, and they of course said sorry to hear that but no thanks.

        That interview I had the massive anxiety attack at was either the third or fourth interview I had that week and as difficult as it was to admit, I just cannot interview that amount and put the best version of myself forward. I am not really sure of the OP’s situation, but having a prolonged job search definitely screwed with my head.

        1. Karowen

          But you still contacted them as soon as you could – I think that’s the main difference here.

          As an aside, if you have medical insurance/can afford it, you may want to look into seeing a therapist or getting anti-anxiety medicine. Panic attacks like that are a medical condition, and you shouldn’t be forced to let it rule your life.

  19. YandO

    #5 what else is going on?

    It sounds like you have anxiety issues. Please, if you do, seek help.
    It will hold you back and there is nothing more devastating than being held back by a force like that.

    1. Clever Name

      I was thinking this too. Focusing on negative thoughts is also a form of anxiety. You don’t have to feel anxious or worried per se to benefit from seeking help for anxiety.

  20. A. D. Kay

    For #5: this will be tough to hear, but in addition to burning bridges with the company you were supposed to interview with, being a no-show is a good way to burn bridges with your references. I used to act as a reference for a junior co-worker whom I had really enjoyed working with. Then, he blew off the recruiter after I had provided a positive reference for him. Never again!

  21. PL1111

    I had a temp agency call me for a job, but during the interview they wouldn’t tell me the specifics of the job or who it was with. I wrapped it up quickly with the interviewer and left.
    The economy has improved to the point that I don’t need to play these stupid games with employers anymore.

  22. The Strand

    #3 – If you are already seeing a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), apply, and live your life. You have no idea how long the process will take. Trust me (someone who’s been seeing a RE for about 3 years, trying for another 5 before that), when I say you don’t want to put your life on hold, not only because of the opportunities you might miss, but because of the psychological drain.

    #5 – I did something like that almost 2 decades ago (cancelled on the day of), due to my psyching myself out about transportation issues (as a recent grad without a car applying for a remote position). Live and learn. Other than committing to not doing that ever again, don’t dwell. Do look into anxiety issues though. And be kind to yourself. It’s OK. You will have other options… what’s the saying, knowledge comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions?

  23. John

    Re: #1. Even if Stanley is just mechanically following LinkedIn’s prompts, why not try to recruit him as part of your network? Reach out via LinkedIn, and say something like, “Hey, it’s funny I’ve been getting these endorsements from you. Remember when I was up for that job? Any chance you could spare 20 minutes for a phone call or meeting over coffee to discuss the industry/field and what sort of career steps I could take, maybe discuss future opportunities at your company?” An informational interview, in other words. Use this odd quirk of LinkedIn to try to use him to help you build your career.

    1. KH

      1. Endorsements carry no weight in the long run, but they are certainly helpful for getting a rough idea of the kind of skills or responsibilities a person may have had. Maybe not direct responsibility, but certainly tangential.

  24. ScaredyCat

    #2 I recently had a somewhat similar e-mail. It was an offer for an interview, but in a sort of roundabout way. Basically it went something like “We are this amazing company, where you will have lots of amazing opportunities. We also have great benefits. If you’d like more info, contact us”.
    You’re the one who contacted me, right? And yet you’re asking me to contact you, to find out why you contacted me in the first place?

  25. BananaPants

    #3 – I’m a working mother of two young children who may have a third. I didn’t consider work schedules/projects when planning my pregnancies and I don’t feel too bad about needing to be out of the office for 12ish weeks on leave. We were fortunate enough to conceive both of our kids the first month of trying but most are not in that position. I have rough pregnancies and have a history of complications that mean I need more monitoring/prenatal visits than many women, but it’s never been an issue in the workplace. My projects were at pretty critical stages when I was due to give birth but we made plans for coverage during maternity leave and it all worked out well.

    My own choice during the childbearing years is to make career decisions as if pregnancy and maternity leave were not in the picture. Any given woman/couple has no idea how long it will take to conceive or even if it’ll happen at all. It would suck to have this be a long process and for you to give up on career development opportunities because you might be pregnant in six months or a year. If you do get the ED job and you do conceive quickly, remember that maternity leave is something that can be planned for well in advance to make sure things run smoothly. Organizations don’t always get the forewarning and time to plan if someone gets hurt or sick for other reasons but for maternity leave there’s usually at least a few months to make arrangements!

    #5 – The bridge is burned. Don’t bother them with the excuse – sorry if it sounds harsh, but you were rude. You bailed because you were sure you’d find something better and now you’re second guessing yourself. I hope that some unemployed, desperate job hunter didn’t lose out on an interview opportunity all because you took the spot and then bailed. Next time at least have the decency to call the employer and withdraw from consideration as soon as you’ve made the decision, so that you’re not wasting their time and they may be able to give your interview slot to someone who actually wants the job.

  26. Lisa

    I had a candidate like LW #5 who no-showed an interview, wasting 4 people’s time, and then after we’d made another hire, emailed me personally to say he was still interested in the position and would like to schedule a time to come in and interview.

    Way to make sure I will never, ever want to even look twice at your resume again, dude. Frankly, that sort of behavior makes me suspicious that the candidate took another job and was quickly fired.

  27. Fish Microwaver

    Is it just me being cranky or does someone else feel these questions are a waste of time. To me they seem really common sense especially the interview no show. Seriously, you behave unprofessionally and expect a second chance?

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