is it ok to be Facebook friends with people I manage, returning from vacation early, and more

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

1. Is it okay to be Facebook friends with people I manage?

Within the last year, I became a manager of a small team (five people). This is my first management role, and it has been going rather well. Everyone gets along well and works effectively with one another.

Before I became their manager, I knew most of the people on the team since I interacted with them regularly on a peer-to-peer level, although I was not in their group. One of the people sent me a friend request on Facebook and I accepted it. I usually don’t accept Facebook requests from colleagues, but on a few occasions (including this one), I did. Now I’m this person’s manager. I don’t post any work-related items on Facebook, but I can see how this could be problematic. I want to avoid an appearance of favoritism, so should I unfriend him and find a way to gracefully deflect the question of why? Or do I just continue as-is seeing as it hasn’t caused any problems yet?

Unfriend him and explain why. It’s important to do this not only to avoid the appearance of favoritism (why are you connected to him and not others?) but also because it can be genuinely problematic to be connected to people you manage on Facebook. For example, you might see things about his politics, health, or family that he wouldn’t particularly want his boss to know, or you might see things that will just cause you uneasiness, like that he was out at a club the night before he called in sick. It’s better to just avoid all those complications and keep some boundaries.

Before unfriending him, I’d send him a Facebook message that says, “Hey, now that our work relationship has changed, I’m going to disconnect from you on Facebook, since I think it’s usually better for everyone not to be connected to their boss like that. If either of us ever moves on to a different role, I’d be glad to resume the connection! Just wanted to give you a heads-up since I didn’t want you to notice and wonder why.”

Read an update to this letter here.

2. I was invited to interview and then told they were focusing on other candidates instead

So I got emailed about this job and I had to answer some questions through emails, and I got to the point where I was suppose to come in for an interview. I wanted to reschedule the appointment since it was inconvenient for me to show up at 1 p.m. on a Friday. I didn’t hear back until that Friday, when I got this email: “Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and responding to the interview request. I wanted to let you know that we have decided to move forward with other candidates at this time. Again, thank you for your interest. We wish you the best in your next job opportunity!”

I feel like I wasn’t given a fair chance to even come in. Also, the process was kind of slow since it’s been two weeks since I applied. I feel like why bother to send me an invitation in the first place if they were going to hire someone on the spot.

Well, it doesn’t sound like they hired someone on the spot, just that they’ve identified other candidates who they think are stronger. It sounds like they wanted to interview you, but by the time they got back to you, they’d already talked to people who were a stronger match. At that point, it doesn’t make sense to spend time interviewing people who they know won’t be competitive with their other finalists.

I know this kind of thing stings, but it’s a pretty normal thing that happens with hiring.

3. Employee returned from vacation a day early

We just had an employee who requested a week off for a vacation. It was approved, but she returned back to work a day early unannounced because her vacation plans were cut short so she decided returned to work. We are in the health care field so we adjusted our clinic operations to accommodate her vacation. Can a supervisor require the employee to take their full vacation since work was modified based on the request for time off?

Sure. It would have been perfectly reasonable to have said to her when she showed up a day early, “Since we were planning on you being off today, we scheduled someone else (or booked fewer appointments, or whatever the case was). Let’s stick with you taking today off, and we’ll see you back tomorrow.”

(To be clear, I wouldn’t do that in jobs where it doesn’t impact anything negatively if the person returns early, just in cases where you’re paying for someone else to cover or adjusted the workload.)

4. Giving my boss a heads-up that my weight loss might be featured on TV

I was contacted by a press association in hopes that I would allow them to write an article about my weight loss, struggles, and post-weight-loss life. It’s somewhat possible that this might blow up for a few weeks and the possibility for TV appearances isn’t unheard of. If my story does get picked up by major outlets, how do I go about giving my boss a heads-up?

I work for a large health care organization which isn’t identified on any of my social media sites. I’m a skilled professional working directly with patients. There has been nothing said that would put me or the organization in a bad light, but there are pictures of me in my underwear demonstrating the large amounts of loose skin left after my weight loss. The images are by no means provocative.

“I want to let you know that I’m being profiled by a few media outlets about my weight loss. Nothing in the coverage mentions my employer, but I didn’t want you to be blindsided if you happened to see it.”

5. I was hired then put on hold and haven’t heard anything for a month

I was laid off last April. I found another job two weeks later, a remote position, through a recruiter. I turned in all my new hire paperwork, and then got a call from the recruiter apologizing because there would be a delay. The company had never employed anyone from my state before, so they would need to register in my state before I could start. The recruiter didn’t have any information on how long this would take, because the person who takes care of registering was on vacation. She told me she would call with updates. and they had all my paperwork so I wouldn’t need to resubmit anything. She also said they usually wait until they have a group of new employees from a state they need to register in, but they were willing to do it for me. A week and a half later, I called to see if the person who does the registering was back. The recruiter (the only contact I have) was very short with me, and said, ‘I told you I would call with any updates.” I asked if she at least knew when the person was coming back. She said, frostily, “Maybe Monday. But I told you I would call with any updates.” I thought a follow-up was reasonable, but okay, message received, no more calls!

So it’s been almost six weeks, and a month since I’ve heard from the recruiter (and only because I dared to call). I’ve started applying to other places, but I’m wondering if I should list this job-in-limbo on Linkedin or my resume. Should I just not mention it at all to potential employers? I plan to work for them if it ever comes through, but I would quit and take one of the (better) jobs I’m applying for now if I have that opportunity. Is that terrible? I would feel bad that they went to the time and expense of getting registered in my state, but there has been zero communication from them. (Also there are some jobs I can’t apply for since there is a non-compete clause, so the whole situation is just sucky.)

You should absolutely continue your job search until they get back to you with a firm start date. You shouldn’t feel guilty about that. The recruiter is being ridiculous; it’s not reasonable for her to expect you to wait in limbo with no updates or even a rough timeframe to expect.

Have you had direct contact with the person who would be your manager? If so, I’d consider reaching out to that person (although doing that risks the wrath of the recruiter, who appears to be annoyed by things that shouldn’t annoy her).

Meanwhile, no, don’t list this job on your resume or on LinkedIn. You don’t work there yet (and this may end up not coming through at all) — and listing it could actually hurt you, by making other prospective employers wonder why you’re still applying to other places if you just started a new job.

{ 194 comments… read them below }

  1. Just in Case*

    Re #1 I think if you send him a message and then unfriend him right after, there is a chance that he won’t see the message. Most ppl’s privacy settings on fb do not easily allow ppl to view messages from ppl they are not friends with. Might be better to tell him this in person, just in case.

    1. OP1*

      Good tip. I’d probably just accept that there will be a little bit of awkwardness and talk about it in person, though.

      1. Irishgal*

        It doesn’t have to be awkward if you don’t frame it as something that needs to be awkward in your mind. Approach it as being a very routine normal thing to do. ..because it is.

        1. anonderella*

          I disagree with you here; I don’t think you can just ‘will away’ awkwardness (though I do agree that this is a normal and understandable thing to do, to de-friend people when that relationship could be seen as favoritism).
          I think it would be normal for things to be awkward for a very short while, but just as it would be awkward in any relationship where it made more practical than emotional sense to distance yourself from the other person – worst case I think here is that the coworker is deeply hurt by this, but more likely they will understand. Probably what will happen is that you will have some mutual friends and will still be able to keep in touch outside of work – try to appreciate the boundaries Allison spoke of in her response, I think it will make the de-friending easier.

          1. anonnnn*

            I have to disagree that it’s normal for things to be awkward. People make way too big a deal of defriending people on facebook and if someone makes it a big, awkward deal because they think it’s weird their boss wants to defriend them for legit issues, the onus is on them for making it awkward. Most reasonable people won’t make an issue of defriending someone on facebook.

            1. anonderella*

              well wait, I agreed that it’s normal to do the de-friending thing when it leads to other issues like speculation of favoritism.

              My argument is about the ‘willing away’ awkwardness thing. Trust me, I don’t just decide to sit in uncomfortable, awkward situations, and I can’t just decide that they’re not awkward when they are. People step into awkward situations all the time, even when they had no hand in making it awkward. Sometimes ignoring how awkward a situation is can make it even worse.

              If my SO drinks too much and is being obnoxious, I can’t just pretend it isn’t an issue. I’ve got to address it somehow, preferably subtly. We might be in a good crowd of people who can take it on the chin and go on with the night, but depending on the degree of obnoxiousness, we might want to go home < that's addressing the awkwardness, not just saying it isn't awkward just because we got out and it isn't happening anymore.

              I don't know if I'm making the strongest argument, but I absolutely believe it's ok to admit things are awkward sometimes, and that it is dysfunctional to argue that things can never be normally, situationally awkward.

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                I think that’s true — but that it’s unlikely to be much of an issue in this specific case. I don’t think it’s going to be especially awkward.

            2. anonderella*

              for the record, I don’t have facebook, and I think people make too big a deal of facebook in general. so, completely agree with you in that respect.

        2. AdAgencyChick*

          Agree. I’ve unfriended a couple of direct reports and just told them I have a policy of not being friends on Facebook with anyone who reports to me or whom I report to. I don’t want to know about your drunken weekends and you don’t need to know about mine. There’s never been any weirdness to the conversation.

    2. Allison*

      Yes and no, if they’ve already been messaging back and forth the person will see it regardless. Otherwise yeah, OP may need to wait until the person sees the message before unfriending them,

  2. Seal*

    #3 – One of my employees used to ask for time off, then change her mind at the last minute after I had arranged for someone else to take her shift. I shut that down immediately and told her under no uncertain terms that was unacceptable. Aside from not being fair to the person who rearranged their schedule to cover her shift, if I kept asking people to take her shift and telling them never mind at the last minute eventually I wouldn’t be able to get anyone to work those hours regardless. The rule is once I’ve gotten someone else to work, you take the time off regardless of whether or not your plans change, no exceptions. Much easier for everyone in the long run.

  3. Natalie*

    #5, I wouldn’t worry about that non-compete clause, either. Contract law generally requires you to receive some kind of consideration if you’re going to agree to a term. If you don’t even have a job you’re definitely not receiving consideration. Assuming a non-compete is even valid if you don’t start working, which I doubt it is.

    1. Apollo Warbucks*

      In wondered about the validity of the non compete, I’m glad it seems to be unenforceable.

    2. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      I was also wondering about the non-compete. What I know about employment law could fit in a (chocolate) teacup, but common sense tells me that it shouldn’t be legal for a company to prevent you from working for competitors if they’re not willing to give you work themselves.

      1. KarenD*

        And one of the main purposes of a non-compete is to keep you from taking insider knowledge and contacts to a direct competitor. Never worked a day? No insider knowledge (except that these folks aren’t at all reluctant to ask you to sit around and wait with no paycheck and zero communication).

    3. MillersSpring*

      Does this job sound sketchy to anyone else? They’ve “hired” the OP but communication continues to come through the recruiter instead of the hiring manager. If it’s an external recruiter, it’s strange that the company is not in touch directly. And because it’s remote and the hiring was completed in only two weeks, that compounds the strangeness. Were there interviews with a hiring manager? Does “hired” mean there was an offer letter? Did the paperwork include benefits? (Or, um, a direct deposit form?) I’m worried that this job isn’t for real. Glad to hear that the OP is continuing her job search. If you can email, or heck, even if you can only phone, I’d let them know that, in the absence of follow-up, you’ve had to continue your job search. Best of luck.

      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        This is exactly what I think. I don’t think the job is legit, and the OP should keep a very close eye on her credit report and her accounts. This is especially true if there was no hiring manager interview. I’ve never heard of a delay AFTER new hire paperwork was filled out, and it’s super, super sketchy.

      2. Meg Murry*

        Yes. I could understand that it is taking longer than they expected if the person that normally handles this kind of thing is on a long vacation, and/or the state OP lives in has a lot of red tape – but complete silence is not a good sign, and pushes this more toward scam than legit in my mind.

        OP, do you have an email address for the recruiter, or anyone else beyond the recruiter? Given that it’s been six weeks since you turned in your paperwork, it’s not unreasonable for you to ask if there has been any progress, or if they have hit a roadblock. Is this an outside recruiter, or one from within the company?

        I’d suggest:
        -Contacting the recruiter or whatever company contact you have
        -a Google search on the recruiter’s name, and/or the recruiting company’s name, perhaps along with the word “scam”
        -Getting a copy of your credit reports now and again in a few months
        -Putting a security freeze on your credit accounts

        1. TempestuousTeapot*

          On the security freeze: Contact the IRS and have them put a hold on your social security number. This won’t damage your credit or prevent you from getting anything done, it just gets you contacted any time your social is pinged or requested. You’ll know right away anytime someone makes a request on or against it. You have to give a yay or nay each time, but very useful if your concerned about misuse.

      3. Artemesia*

        My vibe as well. Normally you can stop looking once a job offer has been made but in this case I would assume there is no job and step up the search. I would probably not want to work for a company that treated me like this. What other awfulness might there be even if the ‘job’ finally does come through. And I’d check my credit reports immediately.

    4. Raine*

      Oh, I took it that the OPs job search was already constrained by the last employer’s non-compete.

      1. Pwyll*

        Though, if that’s the case, it’s questionable that the non-compete is enforceable because the previous employer laid her off. So, the question would be whether the non-compete was mentioned in the separation paperwork.

        1. AnotherHRPro*

          A non-compete can still be enforceable even if the prior company laid the OP off. It really depends on the specific language in the agreement and if the agreement itself is enforceable (some are too broad and are not enforceable because of that).

      2. Natalie*

        Ah, that could be. Just from a bit of googling it seems like that’s an issue that varies by state.

    5. Copper Boom*

      I would agree not to worry about the no compete clause. Those clauses are generally put into place so you can’t do things like steal clients or share trade secrets. Since you haven’t actually worked there, both of those reasons would be moot.

    6. JeJe*

      To everyone arguing that no compete clause are unenforceable (at all, after a lay-off, if you never actually worked a day):

      I have personal experience with looking for work with a no compete clause after lay-off. The employer who laid off my entire department said they planned to enforce it. After looking in to it, I found out that what a company can do about it really depends on where you live and the laws in my state were silent on the subject. Whether or not it could’ve been enforced would’ve been up to the mood of judge hearing the case that day. But that turned out to be a moot point, because employers weren’t going to bother with me after I disclosed having signed one. No one was willing to deal with the potential mess. Ultimately, I got a job in a different industry but doing the same type of work and my problem went away.

      But, just because it seem wrong to for an employer to be able to enforce this after a lay-off or if you’ve never worked a single day, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. We really need laws in place to protect us from these things. While some employers will act in good faith, some won’t. You don’t find out you have to sign one until you’ve quit your old job and basically committed to the new company.

  4. H.C.*

    Oh man, I totally pulled a #3 last year; my friend and I planned an out of town trip but she couldn’t get all of her requested days off – and I forgot to amend my time off & wound up surprising my coworkers w my earlier than expected return. Thankfully, there weren’t anything that needed to be rescheduled or covered on my time off & I was able to get that unused day back.

    But in your scenario I agree with AAM since resources did get reallocated to cover the worker’s day off.

  5. Chocolate Teapot*

    2. I have been in a similar situation before, and whilst it is frustrating*, the only thing you can do is put it behind you and focus on some other applications.

    *The first interview had gone well, I was asked to attend a second, and I agreed but stated I would be unavailable for 2 weeks as I was on holiday. That would not be a problem and I waited to hear the date and time of interview 2. It was scheduled for when I had told them I would be unavailable! So a new date and time was proposed, and then I was informed they were not going to interview me as they had found other candidates.

    1. hbc*

      I think a lot of places set aside a certain time frame for interviews, and if they have enough good candidates, they’re not going to extend their cycle. It’s frustrating as an applicant, but then again, if OP had been interviewed on Monday and then had to wait for someone else to interview the following week, the cycle would have been even longer than the apparently-already-too-long process.

    2. myswtghst*

      Honestly, while it certainly would be disappointing / frustrating, I’d try to look at it as being less frustrating than a company bringing me in for an interview if they already knew they weren’t going to hire me, especially if I had to get away from my current job for the interview.

  6. Coffee first*

    1. Really glad to see this posted as I’m in a very similar situation (new manager, fb with staff from when I was a peer). Would be keen to hear a follow up if the advice is followed.

    1. Hornswoggler*

      I’m freelance but I have a no-Facebook policy with clients and work colleagues (who are usually also freelancers). Recently, the head of an organisation I’m working for moved on to another job. We had lunch and we agreed we could now be FB friends. Also we agreed we would unfriend each other if we found ourselves in a professional relationship again.

      1. Irishgal*

        I agree. I am an admin for a professional peer support Facebook group as well as being reasonably well known in my field. We have over 1600 members in our group and a suprising number request me as a “friend” either after I add them to the group or if we join the same discussion thread. I always ignore as I have a strict rule about work and my personal Facebook page (I also try to keep it to people I’ve actually met in real life and are actually “friends”). I usually just ignore those requests but a few people have messaged me asking why I’ve not accepted their request! I just politely explain my personal account is private.

      2. AnonInSC*

        I sometimes teach classes at a local university – I keep a strict “no friends with students until after grades are in policy.” I have had students friends me. I usually say something to them before/after class privately that I will accept, but not until after grades are in. Every single student has understood and appreciated the policy, and I’m “friends” and “real life friends” with several of them now.

        I do have a slightly different policy with students that are my interns or GAs. I will not ask to friend them, but if they ask me, I will accept.

        1. Alucius*

          I do basically the same thing, though since I’m full-time faculty I tweak it so that I don’t accept “friend requests” from students until they’ve graduated and are moving on.

          Best confirmation of this policy came after I was friended by one of the best academic performers I’ve ever taught, only to find out that she subscribes to a particularly lunatic fringe-y political/scientific ideology. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have been influenced by that when grading her (totally unrelated to that topic) work, but subconsciously, who knows?

        2. myswtghst*

          I had to do something similar, when I was training new employees for a time; while I never sent them a friend request, they would often send me one. I recognized they were new to the working world / often fresh out of college and didn’t make a big deal about it, but as their acting supervisor, I was definitely not accepting until after they were transitioned to their new managers. (And even then, they all end up on a very restricted list!)

      3. FiveWheels*

        It’s tricky for me because my profession in general and my company in particular are very social. Everyone knows everyone. The majority of people attended the same university, family connections and marriages abound, etc. Photos from company parties, weddings etc are distributed through individual employee’s accounts.

        That said, a colleague recently made a complaint about a Facebook post I made which I thought was pretty clearly not about work, but they thought was a personal attack on them. As a result I’ve just put the whole thing on lockdown… I’m sure it will create drama after the next company event when people realise I can’t be tagged!

      4. Elizabeth West*

        Same here–I don’t friend work people on FB at all, unless they or I leave. I would unfriend if we started working together again and explain why. Although that hasn’t happened, I’m glad this was addressed here and I’ll keep Alison’s wording in mind, just in case.

    2. TootsNYC*

      I have always framed this as, “I think you deserve the privacy of not having to worry about whether you want your boss to see what you posted–or what your family posted. And it’s easier than your having to worry about settings and everything.”
      And also, “Since we work together, I’ll know most of the important stuff anyway. We won’t really lose anything.”

  7. Jack the Treacle Eater*

    #5, is this odd or is it just me not used to US practice?

    A company is hiring for a remote position in a state they’re not registered in, but haven’t put that registration in place before deciding to operate there? And then they recruit someone and still don’t put the registration in place? They normally wait until they have a batch of employees in a given state before they register (implying they are regularly recruiting in new states, yet aren’t ever in a hurry to start. And on top of that, the recruiter leaves the prospective employee dangling and doesn’t want to respond to follow-ups in a reasonable manner?

    I’m wary of barking up the wrong tree or assuming too much from the information given, but (from a non-US perspective) I’m struggling to think what sort of company would do this?

    1. MK*

      I think you are mistaken in assuming that the company was hiring “in a state they weren’t registered in”, as in deliberately looking for employees there. Most likely, they advertised a remote position and would normaly not choose someone in a state they weren’t registered in, unless they were hiring more people there, but were impressed enpugh with the OP that they decided to register. (It’s possible that the hiring manager chose the OP not realising or caring about the hassle and just presented tnis to HR, who I assume handles the registering, after the fact).

      1. Jack the Treacle Eater*

        Well, I thought about that I think your last two lines have it right, but the comment about “usually wait until they have a group of new employees from a state they need to register in” implied that it was a regular practice.

        1. MK*

          But I don’t suppose they can just wait till they actually have several employees working there and then register, can they? If they could, why not have the OP start work and handle the registering later? I read it to mean that they wait till they have several people they want to hire in the state.

          1. Gandalf the Nude*

            They need to be registered before they have folks working there because they need to remit taxes as they’re withheld. Similar deal for unemployment and workers compensation insurance. They leave themselves open to penalties, etc. if they have folks working there before they have their ducks in a row.

            1. Belle*

              I want to second this! We hired a remote employee in a new state and it did take us several weeks to get everything completed. Between registering with the state, verifying our medical insurance was valid there, workers compensation, unemployment, etc may take some time.

              It definitely doesn’t excuse the lack of updates — but the timeframe actually doesn’t seem bad to me depending on which state they are entering.

              1. newby*

                If they are interested enough in the potential employee that they are willing to go through all the paperwork for a new state, they should be interested enough to keep the employee in the loop as to when they can expect to start. Radio silence seems sketchy.

                1. Emilia Bedelia*

                  If it’s an internal recruiter then not necessarily! When I got hired, pretty much everything was handled by the recruiter- I think the only thing that the HR person did was the I9 that I filled out on my first day. If it is an external recruiter, that is definitely fishy, but I just wanted to point out that it’s not the same in every single company

          2. Jack the Treacle Eater*

            ” I read it to mean that they wait till they have several people they want to hire in the state.”

            That’s the way I read it as well, but that still makes no sense. As others have said they can’t employ then register, so how does “wait until they have a group of new employees” work, except when recruiting a number of people at the same time? Otherwise, they must be keeping early recruits hanging on until they identify later recruits, and that sounds flaky to me.

    2. newlyhr*

      Honestly a lot of companies- don’t understand the law and wind up having to backtrack and take care of business.

      1. Natalie*

        My company didn’t have my office registered in our state for over a decade. They just never bothered to look into it and didn’t realize they needed to.

  8. Former Computer Professional*

    Two weeks after an application is slow?

    I had one job where I applied in November, got interviewed in late January, got hired in mid-March, and started in April.

    1. MillersSpring*

      Exactly. Two weeks is nothing to wait after you’ve applied. People go on vacation. Jobs change. Hiring managers get sidetracked. Jobs get put on hold until the end of the month or the end of the quarter. They may be getting ready for some big event or project. Two weeks is nothing. Three to four weeks is common. Two-three months is seen regularly.

    2. Caledonia*

      I think it’s a case of YMMV/know your industry type thing. Sometimes, two weeks is slow.

      1. Kate M*

        I mean, in what industry would two weeks be slow? Honestly asking. Maybe food service or retail? But even then, I could see two weeks being standard or something, but slow? Even if the average in an industry is a week, that doesn’t make two weeks slow. And I think in most industries, being hired two weeks after applying is extremely fast.

        1. Dot Warner*

          For my current job, there were about two business days between the time I applied and the time I was called for an interview. The day after my interview, I had an offer (pending drug test and background check), and I started two weeks after that. That’s the fastest I’ve ever had an offer, but it’s a job that not many people want to do and they were anxious to get the position filled so that the rest of their staff didn’t have to keep covering it.

          1. Kate M*

            Right, but that seems like an exception, not an industry where the standard is much faster than two weeks.

        2. Koko*

          When I worked at a small shop, I gave a month’s notice which meant there was about 3 weeks from posting the ad for my replacement to her first day on the job, so that I could have 3 days of overlap to train her. That was seriously lightening-round hiring – screened resumes for one week, had a few days of back-to-back multiple interviews a day on week 2, three second-round interviews the following week, and decision made at the end of week 3. All I remember was that the whole process felt like a rushed blur, like just trying to get interviews scheduled and allow time for the back and forth emailing was eating up so much of my few remaining days, and we barely had any time to build a candidate pool so we didn’t have the greatest options and just had to go with the people who had the good timing/fortune to have been looking and applying that one week. I can’t imagine moving any faster than that!

        3. Rob Lowe can't read*

          Education (K-12) can be very quick, depending on the time of year. In the spring and early summer, I’ve waited weeks for a response, but last year I was still job hunting in August and was contacted for several interviews within 24-36 hours of applying. I went from application to offer (including an interview and a demo lesson) in six days at one school.

          That being said, though, I would still describe 2-3 weeks as a totally normal wait time in education. It’s really just that month before school starts that hiring kicks into high speed.

    3. Some Sort of Management Consultant*

      The job I have now, I applied in November, did online tests for in January, interviewed in March/April and started last August.

      But they DID apologize for how long it took so…

    4. Nervous Accountant*

      Just curious, what about immediate hiring or applications that move fast? What’s the general perception of companies that move fast?

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        Depends on the industry and why the position is open. I have a group that has rapidly expanded and had to hire quickly for them in the past year or so — those are new positions to accommodate growth and wouldn’t ping my radar as a candidate. An administrative department in my organization used to go through administrative assistants at a pace of about 1.25 per year because the director was a difficult person to work with (including grapevine stories of blaming lower-level employees for her own personal failings). That would concern me.

      2. Lynn Whitehat*

        My perception is they need someone to start immediately, and/or they’ve had trouble filling the position. So if they get a “live one”, they don’t want the candidate to get hired by someone else.

        1. Dot Warner*

          Yep. In the example I posted above, the guy in the role was leaving in a month or so and they couldn’t let the position go unfilled for very long because the rest of the staff needed to cover it.

      3. NotAnotherManager!*

        Depends on the reason for the fast move and why the position is open. I have a great team that rapidly grew over an 18-month time period, and I did have to hire for them quickly because they were short-staffed with the new business. As a candidate, that wouldn’t concern me. The one that would is the department who went through an average of 1.25 admin assistants per year due to a very difficult department head who had a penchant for blaming things on the lowest-level person in the department. (That department/position tanked the Glassdoor ratings for that organization for a while.)

        We will also move more quickly with a candidate who is ideal for the job. I have one that is particularly hard to fill because of the degree requirements and got a truly fantastic candidate for it. Every interviewer who walked out immediately called HR and said “make an offer”, so we did, on the spot. Considering that the department is rarely unanimous in their thoughts on a candidate, that everyone loved this one was a big deal.

        1. NotAnotherManager!*

          Huh, I don’t know why that showed up twice. My browser crashed and it wasn’t there when my machine came up, so I reposted. Sorry about that. Don’t mean to be repetitive.

      4. Former Computer Professional*

        To be fair, I’ve had mixed examples of a rapid hiring process.

        In one case, which was a f/t contracting computer job, I applied, had a phone interview within 48 hours, had an in-person interview about 2 weeks after that, had a verbal offer at the end of the interview. They told me they’d send out my paperwork the next day, and then… nothing. After a week I asked if there was “any news.” Nothing. A week after -that- I asked again, and was told, “Thanks, we hired someone else.” Ok, then!

        My current job is part-time contract copy-editing. I got it by accident – there was no job posting; I had no connections to the company. I didn’t even really apply. They asked me for my resume, which I’d already warned them was mostly computer stuff.. They interviewed me over Skype a couple of weeks later, at the end of which they stumbled over the stereotypical “Of course, we’re looking at other candidates” (I somehow managed not to laugh). I had an offer letter in email hours later.

        So, yeah. I can see it going both ways. But I don’t think that either of these tales, or two weeks in general, is very common.

    5. Murphy*

      Yeah, I’m running a “fast” competition right now which means:

      1 week for the ad to be posted online
      1 week for me to screen resumes
      1 week for me to interview/do written tests
      1 week for me to decide, do reference/background checks/notify successful applicant
      2 weeks for them to start

      So… 6 weeks all in. And that’s as fast as I’ve ever moved before and that’s only if everything goes perfectly (spoiler alert: it never does).

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        Yes, that’s about right, though I can sometimes get entry-level people in the door in 4 weeks because they don’t have a 2-week notice period.

        For some positions, my HR people get literally hundreds of resumes for a single job. We tend to screen 10-15 people and bring in the strongest 2-3 to meet with the team. A lot of times, there is not much difference between candidates at less experienced levels (not saying that’s OP#2’s situation, just the one I’m most familiar with), so I’m sure that the exact situation described by OP#2 could (and probably has) happened with my jobs.

    6. Artemesia*

      My SIL got contacted by a company he applied to in December just a few days ago; he has long since accepted a great job.

    7. Laura*

      Exactly. I was once offered a job and immediately quit my previous job, to escape a toxic workplace. This bit me in the butt because I didn’t start with the new employer until almost a month later. They were a satellite location and terrible at coordinating new hires. It was entirely on the headquarters’ employees to make it happen. It was an awful month of unemployment, and I worried about the actual validity of the job at all! Fortunately it did come through, but it was a big red flag.

      Later, my suspicions of inefficiency were confirmed.

  9. The Alias Gloria Has Been Living Under, A.A., B.S.*

    #5 When I started my own side business I had to register it as an employer in my state, even though I have no current employees. And that paperwork took… about a week. Obviously YMMV and not all states are the same, but six weeks seems like a redonkulously long time.

    1. JessaB*

      Yes, it takes time and it can take even more than it did in your state. However, I don’t think the time is the issue, it’s the lack of strong communication about the process that’s the problem. Don’t call us, we’ll call you and having it go into weeks without contact is just a no go.

      1. newby*

        It may be time to contact them again. Sure they might be annoyed, but a month with no contact is ridiculous.

      2. Kittymommy*

        Yeah, a week or two I can understand (though a quick call/email just to keep in touch would be nice), but six weeks!!! That’s unacceptable, especially with a non-compete clause (regardless of it’s enforceability).

  10. Caledonia*

    1) I’ve been in a similar situation, as one of my last jobs was admin in a university and part of my role was to deal with student reports. I had a friend who was going back to study the course I’d be involved in and I let them know that I’d have to unfriend them as it’s a conflict of interest. Although I left the job before he started studying, so we remained friends.

  11. afraid of facebook*

    Re. #1. How unusual is it to be Facebook friends with your manager? My new manager friended me and everyone else in the department. I’m her only full-time supervisee, the rest all work on a casual basis and don’t require things like performance reviews. I am a bit leery of Facebook in general and had it hammered into me that you never ever friend your manager so I turned her down and explained why.

    Now it’s causing general awkwardness because most out-of-work communication is done through Facebook. I have to hang out with her outside of work on occasions or I can’t ever socialise with any of my co-workers, as she’s also always involved. Never attending would mark me as cold and I unfriendly around here. (I’m not talking drunken parties, but also not impersonal happy hours either – there are a lot of game nights at people’s houses.) It’s a bit weird that she can’t tag me in pictures, and I wonder about the arbitrariness of the line I drew.

    1. babblemouth*

      I’m Facebook friends with my manager, and it hasn’t been a problem – but I’m guessing this all depends on industry and specific workplace culture.
      I do have a “close friends” list, and these are the only ones that see my more political/ potentially awkward rants; and even then I never post on Facebook without asking myself if it would be ok for anyone to see something.

    2. Mookie*

      Well, there’s a difference between an arbitrary decision and one based on common knowledge and typical practices. Yours may be one of the few workplaces in which some general decorum / professionalism rules about socializing with managers and colleagues intimately and frequently is not followed and in which communication is made informally through social media, which, as you say, could put you at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, the line you drew is reasonable in most places. You’ve got several options, but I’d favor explaining to her in person that because it’s become apparent that connections through Facebook make arranging events within the department easier, you plan to re-friend her so that you have the ability to participate in those events because friending her gives you advance notice about them and so you can become involved, potentially, in planning or contributing to them.

      1. Mookie*

        And if she balks at that explanation, you can always suggest or even propose to arrange a dedicated forum for the department to communicate outside work that doesn’t risk blurring any lines between everyone’s personal and professional lives.

        1. afraid of facebook*

          Hahahaha. No, you’re absolutely right and I’m not laughing at you, it’s just that once I was here a bit longer I realized that there are no lines between personal and professional lives. My permanent manager (who’s now on maternity leave) is best friends with one of the part-time staff members, from way back in high school. And the best friend doesn’t really like me, so I worry that reports about that are going back to my permanent manager. And I feel like if I don’t like enough of manager’s baby pictures, that’s going to reflect poorly upon me… That’s why I just avoid using Facebook!

    3. The Cosmic Avenger*

      I’m not FB friends with my direct manager, but I don’t think he’s on Facebook at all, as he’s not particularly technical or active online. I am FB friends with many people at my company above and below me seniority-wise, I just don’t have any direct reports or more than one manager. But then, we’re a fairly tech-savvy company, and I have both a “Work friends” list (sees cat pictures but not embarrassing photos) and a “Work-only” list (just bland updates about my kid and work-related posts). But then, I do use Facebook for work, as some industry-related groups are on Facebook and they do sometimes post about new technologies, although if I feel it’s worthy of a repost I’ll often take it to LinkedIn.

    4. Meg*

      My then-manager friended me many years ago, and I accepted. I thought it would be awkward not to, since I knew my co-workers were accepting (plus, we were working at a news organization, and using social media was becoming part of the job at the time, though not necessarily using personal accounts). For me, it turned out fine, and was a great reminder to me that I should never post anything on Facebook that I wouldn’t want my manager to see! And it’s been great for keeping in touch for networking purposes.

      1. rock'n'roll circus*

        I don’t mind being facebook friends with coworkers but that’s because even before them I think i shouldn’t be posting things I wouldn’t want coworkers to know on social media. It kind of amazes me about my friends who bitch about their jobs on social media!

        1. KarenD*

          I did have a co-worker who once Tweeted “I am going to kill my boss.” This was back when Twitter was still kinda new and most of the users were young, but it still took less than 5 minutes for her to be pulled into an office and given a good talking-to. (No, she was not seriously going to kill her boss. She was just mad and announced it to the world.)

      2. KarenD*

        Yep, this. I am FB friends with most of my coworkers, both my managers (and their respective wife and significant other) and quite a few customers and/or professional contacts. It was expected and unremarkable in my industry, even before we started using social media so much.

        And I handle it exactly the way you do. I post nothing overtly political, nothing controversial. No drunken party pics (even if there were such a thing). No reposting or referencing anything that would expose family drama. (In fact, one of my siblings has asked me not to repost or comment on anything having to do with his son, because they don’t want him exposed to such a large audience. So I don’t!) And though I play a few Facebook games, I have my settings locked down tight so they never post to my page.

        Same thing with my Twitter and Insta, though I did set up a second, private account for the latter.

        If I had it to do over again, I would have established a work Facebook and a personal Facebook. But alea iacta est. And honestly, I think it’s made my Facebook a little less annoying!

    5. Bwmn*

      I’ve found that this is going to be very industry relevant, especially when you organization has any kind of Facebook presence.

      In addition to my organization being on Facebook (and such we are politely encouraged to be linked to our organization’s Facebook page which on its own right has a cooling effect in making Facebook more professional), I’m also part of a few closed work Facebook groups that are fairly strictly about information sharing and learning. In this context, being friends with my manager would just seem like another feature of being Facebook professional – along with making sure that my Friends/Acquaintances filters are in tact.

      I work for a nonprofit, so being personally engaged with the organization is definitely considered a norm and wanting to draw a strict line between Facebook and work would read more as odd. Unless you were the social media manager, I don’t see it being a problem – but it would read as professionally strange for our industry.

      1. zd*

        Ditto. This is how it’s been at many of my previous organizations. Although, when I left the last organization that was horribly toxic, it was kind of cathartic and happy making to unfriend all of my coworkers. :)

    6. Boo*

      Uggh at Ex-Job one of the managers send friend requests to all her team and then if they hadn’t accepted, she BROUGHT IT UP WITH THEM IN THEIR APPRAISALS. Super, super awk and so inappropriate.

      So I suppose my answer to your question is that it’s not unusual, although it really, really should be, because so many people do not understand boundaries.

    7. anonnnn*

      My manager complained recently that she couldn’t find any of our team on facebook. She said she thought it was still the “cool”social media forum, and most of my coworkers and I, all in our late 20s/early 30s, admitted that we hadn’t been on fbook in years and are on other social media instead, but that we’ve been told not to friend managers on social media in general.

      I actually think it’s a bit weird to be facebook friends with your manager, but like many other people, I make the rule of not friending colleagues on social media because there’s nothing they need to see on my social media accounts.

    8. Nobody*

      At my current job, most people in my department — including some of the managers — are Facebook friends with one another. My first week here, my manager added me on Facebook, and I thought it was totally bizarre because that was not done at my old job (most people there weren’t Facebook friends with coworkers at all). I was kind of afraid he would be mad if I declined, though, so I added him. I post almost nothing on Facebook anyway, so I didn’t really care; I just thought it was weird.

      My current manager used to be a peer, and she was Facebook friends with me and most of my coworkers then, and still is now, and nobody seems to think it’s an issue.

    9. Witty Nickname*

      I friended my ex-boss on Facebook because our other teammates did and I didn’t want to be that one person who didn’t. She’s rarely on facebook, and we’ve worked together long enough that 1) she already knew me and my work ethic and 2) we’ve talked enough about politics and religion and all of those topics that I knew we generally agree and nothing I would post would be problematic, if she happened to see it.

      She’s not my boss anymore, but she’s recently reached out to me to see if I had any interest in a new position on her current team, so being Facebook friends hasn’t hurt our working relationship at all. I feel like my story is probably the exception to the rule. I’m also still Facebook friends with a few coworkers (back when I first joined, I was friends with more, but I’ve pared that down to only a few that are in different departments that I don’t really work directly with anymore. Other than ex-boss, none of my former team members are still at my company).

      But, it sounds like it’s hurting your work relationships not to be friends with them. Can you create a filter so they don’t see anything you post unless you choose to let them, but you can see the communications you need to?

      (Now, I could fill a novel on all the issues being facebook friends with my family members has caused. Chapter 1, My Mom. Heh)

  12. swedishandful*

    #1 I’m a bit surprised by how seriously people continue to take Facebook, specifically the status of being a friend or not. In an international context, FB is still the most widely and regularly used tool to stay connected, and being “friends” doesn’t mean anything more than “I’ve met you in person and would like an easy way to stay connected to you.”

    I’m FB friends with nearly everyone in my org of 25ish people, including my boss and her boss, the interns and the 1 person who reports to me. It’s totally normal to ask each other about the personal things going on in our lives that we see on FB – give congrats or condolences, ask where a cool photo was taken, ask if we can support the non-profit they are raising money for, etc. There’s no awkwardness or conflict of interest that I’m aware of. It tends to be a conversation starter if anything – a way to connect to the humans who we work with.

    Most of us do regularly post/brag about the cool things that we are doing work wise, and we all do tend to have FB friends from various levels and various related organisations around the world.

    And if there’s something that I’d rather my colleagues not know about then it’s probably not something that I’m broadcasting on social media, anyway. That stuff I’m private messaging to specific groups or people via other tools.

    1. blackcat*

      Yeah, for better or worse, my colleagues/research community (in academia) are all connected on facebook. If you aren’t friends with them, you may miss out on really interesting work-related discussions. It’s also a professional networking thing…

      For me, I’ve maintained a “limited profile” list since that feature was first enabled. Colleagues are on it. That way, my colleagues don’t see pictures of me other people tag, they don’t see the political discussions I engage in, etc. They *do* see things I intend them to see by showing them to all friends.

      1. JessaB*

        I think there’s a difference between everyone is friends on Facebook, and there’s one person you’re friends with and you supervise them. It’s a different dynamic. If someone posted something stupid and there were 25 people in the company and they were all friends, well that’s on them for not thinking. If someone posts something and they only have ONE work friend and it’s the boss, well they probably didn’t even remember “I should not post that party pic cause my boss is my friend.” If you have 25 work friends, you either have them as a group with specific settings so they don’t see the stupid, or everyone understands that you don’t hold FB against anyone.

    2. Chocolate lover*

      For me, Facebook = social, and people I want to communicate with on my own time. Which is why I have fewer than 100 friends and plan to pare it down soon. And I’ve refused requests from assorted people. I don’t connect to current co-workers, certainly won’t connect to my boss. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of anything I post on Facebook, but I do view some things as none of my co-workers’ business, or simply more about my personal life than I want co-workers to know, for assorted reasons.

      And frankly, I know people on Facebook who share way more than I or anyone else want to know about them, as Alison mentioned, and I’m not interested in that kind of tmi from co-workers. I’m thinking of a former colleague who connected to our mutual boss, and one night posted about her condom purchasing habits. Boss was a rather private and conservative person, and it added more awkwardness to an already strained relationship.

      1. Oryx*

        This is me. I keep a carefully cultivated list of FB friends, around 150 I think, and zero co-workers. I’m okay with them following me on other forms of social media but FB is my one place that I have a very solid personal v. professional line.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Same here. My blog and Twitter are both public, but I never EVER post specifics about work on those. In fact, I don’t really do it on FB either. My sadly neglected admin blog is pretty much generic work-related posts I didn’t want to have on my main blog. (And it actually gets more views, gah!)

    3. Irishgal*

      Facebook is being more and more frequently used to investigate insurance claims and work related concerns this side of the pond. The more “friends” you have the more opportunity for your posts to be used in a way you never intended.
      The professional group I admin for has had members take screen shots of conversations and send them to employers etc (we kick them out of Jr group if we know.). I’m also aware of members searching the Group for posts by people they are interviewing to see skill level etc. So I am very careful about what I post to my own page and the Group and I also have my personal page locked down for purely personal use. I use LinkedIn for connecting in the professional world.

      1. anonderella*

        That is … a terrifying thought : )
        I don’t use any social medias (unless this counts?), but that would be so awful to post “man I’m really struggling with this excel method for —-“, then to have an interviewer later ask “So, can you tell us about your struggles with this excel method for —-, as seen in this post from 2014?”

      2. MashaKasha*

        Wow. Thankfully, I have a completely bogus company name listed as my employer on FB. Good luck sending screenshots of my private-group convos to Cats and Rats, LLC!

    4. Alton*

      I think it depends a lot on what you use Facebook for, and how private you are. Even if someone isn’t doing anything objectionable, they may just feel weird having coworkers and bosses see them interacting with their family and close friends. Unless you mainly use FB to socialize with colleagues, the crossing of streams can be uncomfortable for some.

      What I don’t like about Facebook is how limited the options are for tailoring what different people can see. I may not mind if my coworkers know that I have a particular health condition, for example, or care if they happened to find something I’d posted online about it. But if it’s not something I’d discuss at work, I wouldn’t want to friend coworkers on an account where I like or comment in posts related to it. Sometimes there are things that you’re not ashamed of, but that you’d only want to share and discuss with a select group.

    5. Bwmn*

      I work for an international NGO, and I agree that among my international colleagues Facebook and LinkedIn are largely indistinguishable. Both in terms of the stuff that I’ve seen posted on LinkedIn I’d never post there and the pervasiveness of using Facebook Groups for work.

      In my last organization my very mean very horrible boss was Facebook friends with me and it had very little impact on my life once filters were applied. In the nonprofit world, things may be different in that regard – but overall it’s never had a negative impact for me.

    6. MashaKasha*

      Thing is, “something I’d rather my colleagues not know” is everything but the weather. Multiply that by ten during an election year. I’ll be happy to have small talk with them over by the water cooler, but that’s exactly as far as I trust them. It’s amazing how little information a gossipy, passive-aggressive coworker can go on to turn it against you. A year ago, to my complete surprise, I logged into my FB in the evening to find a coworker’s vaguebook post that looked a lot like it was about myself, and was criticizing my work performance. The only ammunition I had given him was a happy birthday post I’d left on another coworker’s FB page a few hours prior – hardly “not something that I should’ve been broadcasting on social media” – I was pretty impressed, to be honest! I had my page hidden from all my coworkers for a year after that; and theirs from myself. Finally had to open it up a bit because I was missing their important milestones, and looking like a tool for not saying congrats or condolences on events in their lives that I was not aware of. But TBH, I regret having added any of my coworkers in the first place. Certainly won’t be adding any new ones.

  13. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*


    Okay so I disagree that you shouldn’t be FB friends with reports.

    I’m Facebook friends with anyone who requests, as long as you aren’t trying to sell me something or you’re a bot. Because I’ve been online since Usenet (yes, I’m that old), between online friends and real world, I’ve upwards of 900 FB friends and some of them are my employees or my direct report team. Everybody is welcome.

    It’s like grabbing drinks after work. It hasn’t caused any issues (obviously, that I’m aware of but you’re talking a lot of years and no issues that I’m aware of.) I post about food and a lot about television and a bit about the dogs. My FB threads take on a community vibe, lot of chatting back and forth among people. Anybody who wants to be there can.

    All of that said, the OP isn’t comfortable and Alison advice on how to handle is of course, right on.

    1. Colette*

      I think a lot of it is how you use Facebook. If you (as a manager) connect to any employees who ask, and if there is no work advantage to connecting to you on Facebook, and if everyone knows that’s the case, it can work. If you do things like invite your Facebook friends to events people you’re not connected to aren’t invited to or use information you received via Facebook to make decisions about projects or layoffs, that’s a problem.

      1. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*

        Yeah, I don’t know that everyone knows it’s the case. That part’s a bit of a trap because I can’t talk about FB lest someone think I’m implying they should friend me. Other than that wrinkle, which I’ve no solution for, there’s not been any issues.

        (But if someone thought connecting to me was some kind of advantage, they’d just connect, right? And then welcome to the recounting of my first watch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel, whee. There’s a inside connection!)

        1. LQ*

          What if I think connecting is an advantage but I don’t FB so suddenly I feel like I need to spend 20 minutes a day online on FB being friendly because you can’t just watch, you have to engage for it to be a benefit so now you are like oh yeah I have to do all this stuff. I think it is entirely possible for someone to look at that, think there is a benefit and be like UGH about it, not be like YAY BtVS/Angel!

          1. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*

            It could happen, but work people usually only comment if there’s something they are interested in. Gilmore Girls was popular with the work crowd, I noticed.

            People end up talking to each other more than me, if that makes sense. Like my sister is carrying on a conversation with an online friend and somebody I went to high school with AND her own son in another state re Buffy atm. I think they forgot I’m there. :-)

            1. LQ*

              At least they aren’t fighting over political or religious things :)
              Though Gilmore Girls gets that way sometimes…

        2. Sharkey*

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you’re doing and not every work place is the same so what makes sense in one scenario may not in another. That aside, I’ve been in a position where I had a manager who was friends with a few people on the team. I wasn’t one of them, I felt awkward about sending a friend request to someone who didn’t chat about personal stuff to me at work, and I had no info on how the friend requests were generated between my colleagues and my boss. (Did the boss make the request? Did they? If my coworkers sent it, did my boss accept because he exchanges more personal stuff with them or does he just default to accepting most/all requests that he gets?) Facebook use can range from intensely personal to “I am publishing everything so the whole world can see it” so sometimes it’s hard to guess how a friend request might be received and that’s how some people end up being friends with their boss while others aren’t.

          In the scheme of things, it wasn’t a big deal and I don’t state this as an argument that you should change, just as an explanation as to how someone might not send a friend request to a boss even if they perceive it as an advantage. (And it may be an advantage – my colleagues certainly knew my boss better as a result which might have had impact on their ability to communicate & relate.) Ideally, my boss would have made a general statement that he’s on Facebook and that anyone is welcome to friend him if desired but that they shouldn’t feel obligated to at all. I know someone who didn’t want to be friends with people at work and explicitly told others so that they knew and wouldn’t take it personally and that seemed to work well.

    2. OP1*

      It looks like it works well in your case, and it hasn’t caused any problems for me, yet (that I know of). So you’re right in that this is mostly a case of me being uncomfortable with the setup. That, and I hadn’t considered the situation where my employee may feel he has to censor what he posts.

      1. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*

        Validating your discomfort with the set up though. I’m running my FB the way I’m comfortable and you should do the same.

        I don’t accept/kick off my FB people trying to sell me things. These are people I have a work relationship with (vendors) , but I don’t accept FB requests from them unless I’d also accept a beer after work from them vs “sorry, I have to wash my hair”. I accepted one sad sack grudgingly and then within a week he got kicked off for posting on my timeline “I dropped by the office the other day and you weren’t in so I left some catalogs on your desk. Check out our XYZ new…” *delete*

        So there’s my line and yours is wherever you are comfortable. :-)

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Hmmm. I think we’d all be FB friends with YOU, WTL. ;)

      OP, take a look at the particulars of your situation. It could just be my perspective but the smaller the group and the narrower the diversity of people seems to be where the problems come in. WTL has 900 friends. Hey, what’s one more?

      I had a boss who friended people and it did not go well. He was using FB to get them to come in early or reschedule work days. Some people were invited to be FB friends and some people were not invited. Additionally, posts on FB caused arguing at work as people got way too involved in each other’s personal life choices. A larger group of people would not have had such a severe problem because individual posts would have been diluted because of the large number of posts. Another factor for consideration is that people did not get along well before FB got dragged into the mix. FB seemed to give them more ways to misunderstand each other. It was such a negative thing that I gave up with FB entirely. I may go back to it in a while or not….

      I think you are wise to look at this. And it could be at a different time and in different circumstances your answer would be different from what is right now. My vote is for setting nothing in stone but always considering the context before making these decisions. If the context changes then you can change to match it.

      1. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*

        I’d love to be friends off of AAM with some of the best people ever. :-) I love folks here. Stupid anonymity cloak. :(

        I think the point you make about size/general nature of friends list is probably the difference. If it’s 20 of your closest friends/family and one person who reports to you from work, that’s weird.

        And old boss? Yuck. No work on FB, no no no work on FB (is how I do it). No work on FB!

    4. The IT Manager*

      Now-a-days some groups communicate and organize using Facebook. Maybe someone wants to be on Facebook and “like” an LGBTQ group or a church group or a political party or a survivors or medical treatment group without worrying what their boss and colleagues think. Some people have a very innocuous Facebook feed but others may reveal more than they want to share with colleagues and pressure (just a standard practice) to friend everyone at work is a problem for them.

      1. Case of the Mondays*

        I hate FB and purposely deleted my account. Then, one of my volunteer organizations switched from using email to FB only for communications via private group. I was so mad. I made a FB page, have zero friends (again on purpose) super high privacy settings, and joined the necessary groups. They were right. Communicating via the FB group is way more efficient for what we do. You don’t even need to be an active user to benefit.

  14. TotallyOverheatedToday*

    OP #1, I agree with Alison- be preemptive to any potential problems and unfriend this person. If you feel the need to say anything you can always fall back on with the shifted power balance you don’t want to give anyone a reason to speculate (on anything). Although he may not even notice- I unfriended a coworker after I shifted job duties and she never did.

    Here’s my own workplace experience regarding Facebook and coworkers, which has lead me to turn down requests, especially now that I am management. I can’t elaborate too much but we had half of a department terminated for cyber bullying/discrimination/harassment going on via Facebook. I’m not going to chance my job on someone being stupid and tagging and/or mentioning me while doing it. I recommend you don’t either.

  15. I want my rollerskates back*

    #1. When I became a manager I stayed friends on Facebook with my staff. I just put them all on “restricted.” They could only see my profile picture, background photo and public posts.

  16. Macedon*

    #3. This is a little obnoxious. You either want to interview someone, or you don’t. Sure, it’s good not to waste anyone’s time with an interview if you’ve decided in between extending the request and the actual date that you have more competitive candidates — but it’s even better to sit down and clearly determine whom you would or wouldn’t like to interview and to only reach out to individuals you’re keen on.

    People aren’t shoes. You can’t kick them off at the last minute and go with the new pair you bought 35 min ago.

      1. Michelle*

        I agree. An employer asked me to come in on a Friday and I couldn’t come in until a later time, about a week and a half later. I never received a confirmation and didn’t get a response when I followed up. I followed up again the day before and was told they hired someone else. It would have been nice to know earlier so I wouldn’t have spent that weekend preparing/wondering. It seems like they hired someone who was able to make it that Friday.

        1. Hlyssande*

          If that was their plan, they should’ve said no thanks when you requested to reschedule.

    1. Sunshine*

      That’s not entirely accurate. I’m sure when they scheduled the interview, they had every intention of talking to the OP. But after a week, if they found a few candidates they liked for the position, there was no reason to keep the interviews going. I’d rather have them cancel instead of going through the hassle of an interview when I have no shot at the job.

      1. Macedon*

        Sure, maybe the employer had the best intentions initially. And then they changed their minds.

        But your process shouldn’t be so lax that — absent any new information about the candidate or any change in the job requirements — you should suddenly realise that, actually, the candidate doesn’t meet your standard. That kind of situation only arises if you never bothered to properly review all the applications you received before sending out interview requests.

        1. Chocolate lover*

          I don’t know that I agree with that. Saying the candidate doesn’t meet your standard isn’t the same thing as saying, hey we got a candidate that meets our standard and more! It doesn’t automatically mean the original process was lax.

          1. Macedon*

            But where is this additional candidate coming from?

            Either you rushed to send invites before making a proper assessment of your candidate pool and figuring out who best fits your needs, or you somehow got an additional candidate after closing apps — but you still picked an interview group with such a weak outlier (OP) that the newcomer could nudge them out.

            I don’t see any way you can look at this that makes the selection process look sturdy.

            If you are sending out interview invites, do it after you evaluate all the applications, so you know who’s in and who’s out. If after apps are closed, you have selected an interview group, you get another really amazing candidate — unless you decided to interview really weak candidates just to fill your afternoon, the new candidate should just add to the interview group, not be in a position to completely displace someone in it. And if you’re getting more than one or at most two new candidates worth an interview after you’ve closed apps… how is this happening and why?

            1. Sunshine*

              Why do you think it’s a new candidate? It’s just as likely that they were part of the same pool of applicants as the OP. If they found someone they wanted to hire, why should they keep interviewing?

              1. Macedon*

                Because it makes even less sense to me that, having decided on an interview group, you should randomly exclude a candidate from it (again, assuming no change in the information they have on OP or about the job).

                Also, they didn’t say they hired anyone — that’s the thing. They said they have “have decided to move forward with other candidates at this time”.

                1. Phoebe*

                  So, maybe they already have 2 or three better candidates. And if that’s the case, there would be even less reason to continue interviewing the remaining candidates.

                2. LAI*

                  Honestly, my guess would be that the employer decided that they are no longer interested in this candidate, regardless of other candidates. I know that people don’t write the same way to online advice columnists as they do to prospective employers, but if a candidate emailed me using the casual style and grammatical errors that OP 2 did, AND were asking for an exception to the schedule “because it was inconvenient”, I would probably no longer want to talk to that candidate.

                3. Anna*

                  So you’re basing your decision on nothing that was probably part of the OP’s conversation with the potential employer. Good to know.

            2. hbc*

              It doesn’t have to be something broken. Let’s say they set aside a week to interview 10 candidates, one each morning and one each afternoon. They all look possible on paper, maybe some slightly better than others, but certainly all of them look capable of doing the job. You get through the first 6 interviews, and you’ve got 3 people who are good enough for the final interview. Now you’ve got one of your remaining 4 interviewees looking to reschedule into next week, when none of your interviewers had planned availability next week, and you’ve already got more good people than you can hire, and the rescheduler looks roughly equal to them.

              I think they would have interviewed OP if there hadn’t been a request to reschedule, but after that, it’s a different calculation. Is the OP such a strong candidate that it makes sense to rearrange schedules, push out the hiring process, potentially lose some of the known good people when you already have more than you need? It’s unlucky for the OP, but a pretty reasonable decision by the company.

              1. Macedon*

                Honestly, I think that’s unwise. If your decision-makers can only do one week, let your candidates know. It’d weigh on their decision to request to reschedule if they knew it amounted to a withdrawal from the process.

                And, personally, I’m not in favour of cutting short interviews. I have 10 who wow me on paper, six I’ve interviewed, of whom three look good enough for round II. But maybe those four I still have in my interview group would absolutely stun me. I’ve already made arrangements for these interviews, my goal’s to get the best person in… why go through with my commitment?

                1. Macedon*

                  *why not go through…

                  I’d say I’m usually less typo-prone, but I don’t like lying to nice people.

                2. hbc*

                  I agree that it would be more fair to make clear that the hiring dates are fixed.

                  But they’re not cutting short the four, at least as far as we know–they’re just cutting off the one who wants to thwart their plan. Depending on how it was presented (“Can we move it?” versus “I can’t make Friday”), cancelling makes a lot of sense. The chance of this person being a stunner isn’t worth extending the process for another half a week, including the pain of getting all the current employees together, cancelling that Tuesday meeting two weeks in a row, etc..

                  What they committed to is 1:00 on Friday for this candidate.

            3. Sue Wilson*

              Because applications are rolling or the opening and closing date of an application can be months apart, and you don’t want someone to be waiting for months just to get an interview (especially since if they’re a good candidate, they might have found something else). There are jobs and companies where rolling applications or lengthy openings for applications make sense. In those kinds of processes, you might have wanted to interview someone, but if you get a batch of great candidate, it doesn’t make sense to waste that person’s time.

          2. Sunshine*

            Exactly. There’s no obligation for the employer to meet with everyone who “meets the standard”. Once they find a candidate they’re happy with, they’re done.

            1. Macedon*

              But the company didn’t say they’ve placed the role. They said they’re moving on with other folks. So they didn’t fall in love with a candidate they interviewed, they just decided to move on without OP. Case in which, why bother asking for an interview to begin with?

              1. Allison*

                Maybe because they knew the role would be tough to fill when they opened it, and when OP applied they were one of the first people who looked really good and they got excited so they started the dialogue immediately, and then they were pleasantly surprised when even more great candidates came through after that.

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          But the standard can go up after you talk to better candidates.

          Re: where those better candidates are coming from — someone applying at the last-minute who’s stellar, or someone who was decent on paper but blew you away in the interview.

      2. Frustrated Optimist*

        I’m torn on this. I have had interviews yanked out from under me, with no real explanation, and it stinks.

        That being said, had you agreed to the interview date/time, and if so, did you subsequently ask to reschedule? Or was this the only time they gave you? Was the interview date/time only inconvenient, or literally impossible for you to attend?

        Personally, in this job market, I make myself as available as possible. I mean, I wouldn’t cancel vacation plans, but short of that, I do everything I can to make myself as competitive as I can.

        Final point: Not sure what industry you are in, but generally, two weeks is by no means a long time.

    2. newby*

      They didn’t cancel the interview, they declined a request to reschedule. They were probably genuinely interested when they extended the invitation but they had enough good applicants that were able to interview at the offered time that they did not need to extend the interview window to accommodate the LW.

      1. Meg Murry*

        Yes, this. It’s also possible that something in OP’s answers to the questions they asked moved her to the lower half of the candidate pool (for instance, the posting was for A, B, C and D, but the most need was for C and D but OP’s answers showed that her experience was mainly with A and B, and they had a lot of other interviewees that had more C and D experience.)

        It stinks that OP lost out on her chance to interview, but it is also possible that her interview would have only been for practice/show at that point. Or that this is a highly rigid company, and any pushback at all was not acceptable (in which case OP dodged a bullet).

        1. Lindsay J*

          This. Or maybe the posting was for A, B, C, and D, but the most need was for C and D.

          They had another candidate that looked overall better than the OP did, but didn’t have as much experience in C and D on their resume.

          They were worried that this candidate might not be able to hack it with the C and D parts of the role, and so they put OP on the shortlist because she did have C and D experience, even though the rest of her resume wasn’t as competitive.

          Then in the interview it came out that the other candidate really did have more C and D experience, but didn’t put it on their resume because they were trying to really highlight their experience in A and B. Or maybe they have experience in E and F, which are so close to C and D that the skills are obviously transferable. Or they’re really good at G and H, which are something the company has been really trying to find for ages, so they’ll shift the C and D work to another position and have this person do A, B, G, and H.

          All of these options could make the other candidate so much more qualified that OP didn’t have a chance.

      2. Macedon*

        No, they cancelled the interview. Unless the OP is excluding bits of the e-mail, they didn’t say, “Sorry, this is the only time we can do, take it or leave it, pls let us know.” They said, “Hey, thanks for getting in touch, btw, we’re gonna go with other people.”

        And they responded on the actual Friday, suggesting zero willingness to keep the interview, had OP decided to try to somehow make the hour/date work.

        1. Colette*

          They don’t owe her an interview, and I’d argue that if they’ve decided they aren’t going to hire her (which is the only thing we know for sure), it’s kinder to let her know that instead of interviewing her.

  17. Jen*

    #1.- I’d say this is very office and use of Facebook specific. I am “friends” with many of my coworkers-directs and managers- because I’ve been at my company 5+ years and former peers are now reports, former peers are now bosses. None of us use Facebook for anything, really, other than the occasional kid pics and to complain about/check in on work travel ;) (i.e. Delta just cancelled my flight home, have to spend another night in XYZ). We are a team spread across the country so it’s nice to have a bit more of a personal connection.

    If anyone in this crowd had political, religious, or extremely personal FB postings, this would be super weird. But we are all boring, so it isn’t. I do make a group on FB for work friends that doesn’t allow them to see what others post on my wall, just in case.

    1. JHS*

      I agree with you there. As I’m in academia, I find Facebook a great way to keep up with people I haven’t seen in years sometimes, because their careers took them out of the country. However, I should note that I was never my supervisor’s friend until I was finished, and my internal examiner unfriended me as soon as she was assigned that job, so there are still some limits which should be in place.

  18. Tris Prior*

    I recently took a job where my manager is someone I have known and been friendly with outside of a work context for years. I thought it’d be weird if I unfriended him, so I just sort of waited to see whether he unfriended me. He didn’t – so now I just filter him out of any FB posts that seem too personal to share with a boss.

    Maybe I should rethink that? Seems to be working so far, though; I don’t think our work relationship is being harmed by him seeing all my cat photos.

    1. Pwyll*

      I think this might be a better way to handle it. Create a privacy list that hides posts from boss (I also include much younger family and random old colleagues) and use it as the default for posts, unless what you’re posting is entirely innocuous.

      1. zd*

        As mentioned above by another commenter, I worked in an industry where you are expected to be fb friends with all of your coworkers, and to actively engage in the organization’s social media campaigns. I created a special list for my bosses/coworkers and colleagues I didn’t actually like, excluded them as the default. Then I would include that list ONLY when I was reposting one of the organization’s social media campaigns. Sometimes I would send it only to those people, and exclude my real friends, if they were pushing us to post lame campaigns. ;)

  19. Hlyssande*

    OP 1: When I recently unfriended my former peer now supervisor, I sent him an email to explain. It doesn’t have to be a big Thing – just a factual explanation of why you did it is fine. To avoid the perception of favoritism is completely valid.

  20. Allison*

    #2, it’s a tricky issue, and I should clarify that not all companies have a neat and tidy process with an application stage, evaluation stage, phone screen stage, etc., many companies (like tech companies) get qualified candidates in process as they come through. But that begs the question, if you tell an applicant you want to talk to them, is it okay to back out if better candidates come through? On the one hand, it can feel unfair to say “we want to interview you – actually never mind, we found some better people!” It can seem like canceling a date you planned with someone because you met someone who seems like a better match.

    A courtesy interview makes sense in theory, except interviews can be tough to plan and the more people involved, the trickier it can be, and do you want to waste everyone’s time (including the candidates’ time) on an interview when you know they probably won’t be hired, unless the really strong candidates in process all fall through? It might maintain an illusion of fairness, but is it really fair?

  21. C Average*

    It won’t be the first time I’ve told this story here, but I’m offering up my cautionary tale of being Facebook friends with my manager.

    So, at my former company, I got a new manager. She sent me a Facebook request, and I had some hesitation. I’m very much myself on Facebook (irreverent, outspoken, political), and I intentionally keep my circle small and sympathetic. I didn’t want to be friends with my boss, but couldn’t articulate why. I mean, I barely knew her! And then she started asking me if I’d gotten her Facebook request, which was really awkward. So finally I accepted.

    I didn’t like being friends with my manager. I didn’t like her knowing so much about my life, and I didn’t like the fact that she sent her whole team pushy invitations to her band’s gigs. As time went on, I found that I didn’t like HER. She was moody and unpredictable. She wanted a chummy outside-of-work relationship with her team, something incompatible with my busy family life and introverted nature, and she picked favorites based on who WAS willing to have that kind of relationship. She became best pals with my peer, which wound up influencing our projects and workload. In short, she was a bad boss in addition to being my Facebook friend.

    I actually deleted my Facebook account and started a new one, and my manager found my new account, sent me another friend request, and nagged me about accepting that one until I reluctantly did, very much against my better judgment.

    As things got more challenging for me at work for a variety of reasons, I was faced with a barrage of Facebook posts about how much fun my boss and my peer were having. Camping! Wearing matchy-matchy Halloween costumes! Thinking about being roommates! (Seriously.)

    And then a friend suggested that I filter out my boss and my peer’s posts and put them in a group so that they only saw certain posts from me. This seemed like a good idea. In a moment of short-lived schadenfreude, I named the group “Friends I Don’t Actually Like.”

    . . . and then learned that THEY COULD SEE THE GROUP.

    Holy awkwardness.

    My boss called me (it was my day off) to inform me. I apologized, on the phone and in person, to both of them. There were tears. I deleted my account and kept a very low profile for the remainder of my time at the company.

    I stayed at that job for about six more months. We completed projects together. We sat in the same open-plan area. We did team-building activities. We actually managed to accomplish a few things, but it was tense as hell.

    The best part? When I left, they had a party for me. It was genuinely fun; I’d been with my department for a long time and really loved the company and a lot of the people there. It was a boozy Friday afternoon affair, and when I left my boss insisted on giving me a hug. And then she said, “Now that you’re not working here, we can be Facebook friends again!”

    “Uh, I don’t think so,” I said, and she looked very hurt.

    I know I screwed up with that whole group business. I also screwed up by not holding firm about not being Facebook friends with my boss when I didn’t really want to. But this woman stomped all over anything resembling boundaries that anyone put in front of her, and it was just about impossible to address because–duh–she was my boss.

    I’ve opted to not be connected to her in any way; I haven’t accepted her LinkedIn requests, and I’ve asked other people at the company to be my references so that I don’t have to list her, even though it puts me in a weird position to not be able to get a reference from my most recent manager. Every day, I wake up overjoyed that she’s not in my life anymore. At my next job and my next job and my next job after that, the answer is going to be the same: “Sorry, I have found it best not to be connected to my manager on social media. Nothing personal, but the answer is no.”

    1. Mimmy*

      Wait…you mean friends can actually see the names of the lists you put them in?? Or are you referring to the “restricted” category FB has? Not that I have anything like what you did, but say that I group some friends into a “fellow teapot workers” list – those friends can see that?

      1. C Average*

        It depends on how you set it up. Apparently, the way I set it up is not the way I intended to set it up! For obvious reasons, I’ve avoided the Groups feature since this unfortunate experience.

        1. Judy*

          I think you must have used groups, which is a way to make a chat room like feature.

          The feature you needed was a friends list. When you post things, you can then make the privacy based on that list. (There are 3 lists to start, “close friends”, “acquaintances” and “restricted”, but you can add more.)

          1. animaniactoo*

            I commented below, but I meant I use friends lists, not groups. But even when you use friends lists, everyone who can see the post can see who it is visible to, and the name of that list will come up there.

            1. blackcat*

              That may be how it works if you direct a post to a specific list, but that’s not how it works with denying specific group’s access.

              When someone hovers over my posts, it says “Visible to some of blackcat’s friends.” It has the little custom icon. So there’s no doubt for anyone that I’m hiding stuff from *some* friends, but they don’t know who those people are. And if they see that, they aren’t on the restricted profile list :)

              Now when *I* hover over it, it tells me the lists that I blocked from seeing a post. But that’s not the case when someone else does the same thing.

              1. animaniactoo*

                True, if you’re doing “don’t show to…” vs “show to…”, it won’t show who is blocked from seeing it.

        2. animaniactoo*

          Anyone can see who the post is “shared with” by clicking on the icon next to the timestamp.

          In general, my rule of thumb is that nothing is really ever private, so if I’m going to put it on the internet, I better be prepared for somebody to find it at some point and be willing to live with it/defend it. My thought process is solely that any privacy protections I enact are to make it *harder* for somebody to see it or find it, and they’re going to have to work for it if they really want it. I find “groups” to be extremely useful for this, but my groups are named things like “acquaintances” “inner circle”, etc.

    2. Liana*

      Oh my goodness. This whole story … that must have been awkward as hell. I knew about putting people in a separate group but I didn’t know that those people could see the group either! Has she tried to reach out to you after you left?

        1. animaniactoo*

          See above – they can access the visibility settings for the post, and the list name will show up there. Via icon next to the time stamp.

            1. animaniactoo*

              If access is listed as “shared with C Average’s Friends I Don’t Like”, they’d know they’re in that group because they can see the post.

  22. Katie the Fed*

    I actually disagree with the response to #1. I’m faceb0ok friends with many of my direct reports (but only if they initiate it) and it’s fine. It’s kind of interesting to get to know them a little better too. From my end I just post dog pictures and vacation pictures, and an occasional political rant (it’s DC, what can I say?).

    It’s really never been an issue, and it’s pretty normal where I work. I’ve been at my employer for 13 years though, so I have people working for me now who used to be colleagues, and so on.

    I did have one direct report unfriend me after I had a pretty serious talk about her performance. That was kind of funny.

    1. Murphy*

      Oh good, I was starting to feel like I was a bad manager. I was friends with many of my direct reports (they initiated) and with bosses (now past-bosses, but current at the time of friending). It never caused weirdness, we already knew a lot about each others personal lives, and it never seemed weird to like a colleagues post about their kids or dog or vacation or whatnot.

      I’m not friends with any direct reports now, because it’s a new team and I don’t know them well (don’t even know if they have facebook), but if they friended me, I’d probably accept.

      1. Anna*

        Yeah, I’m friends with my boss on FB and it’s not a problem. I have rarely changed things on my posts so that can’t see them (but very rarely) and for the most part it’s NBD.

  23. E*

    I think there’s a big generational difference in how people view Facebook and other forms of social media – I am under the age of 25, have been on the site since middle school. For me at least being friends on Facebook isn’t an intimate connection, and I have tons of people on there who I don’t know very well or see that often. I mostly post photos, and there’s nothing on there I wouldn’t want my boss (or family members) to see. It would be strange to be friends on snapchat (or something of that nature) unless we saw each other a lot outside of work, because that’s much less filtered and includes way more of my day to day life.

  24. AtrociousPink*

    Maybe it’s my suspicious nature, but if I were #5, I would be concerned at this point about identity theft. Maybe there’s a logical explanation for everything that’s happened, but to me, it’s a huge red flag to get radio silence after turning in new hire paperwork and for the recruiter to respond so rudely and vaguely to perfectly reasonable follow-up from the new hire. If I hadn’t already done some fairly detailed due diligence on the recruiter and the employer, I’d be doing that now, along with checking all my credit reports at least weekly for a while.

  25. Addie Bundren*

    #1 – I would err on the side of privately unfollowing your direct report (not unfriending) and putting them in a group that can see less of your personal information/photos. If you were peers before, it’s going to be hard for a Now Things Are Different, I Manage You And We Must Not Be Friends message not to come across as kind of premature and smug.

  26. EvanMax*

    #1: Back in my video game retail days I knew a store manager who would refuse to friend any of his own store’s employees on Xbox Live. What had happened prior to him putting this policy in place for himself was that he had an employee call out sick last minute, talking about how he could barely move and couldn’t even get out of bed. Then, immediately after the phone call, he sees that same employee sign-in on Xbox.

    Now, there is absolutely nothing that says you are required to lay motionless when you call out sick from work, and plenty of people have their video game consoles hooked up in bedrooms, so nothing there was an indication that anything the employee said was untrue. The manager, though, still found it to be enough to raise his own suspicions, so he decided the best policy was to remove himself from those sorts of situations. He knew that was the only way that he could prevent himself from developing an unconscious bias about the people he managed.

    I’ve always kept a similar policy myself on social media since then. I’m happy to “friend” people whom I work with, but anyone in my direct report chain, either below me or above me, I prefer not to be connected to. When I switch roles or companies, then I may reach out and friend them later, but I don’t want to see a report posting a picture of their lunch, when they just called out telling me that they’ve been throwing up all morning. I know, rationally, that it’s a good thing that they are able to stomach the food so soon after being ill, but the seeds of doubt are irrational, and giving people their privacy makes it easier to also give them your trust.

  27. Mel*

    1. unfriending a subordinate is unnecessary and sends a message to your peeps that you don’t think everyone can be adult about it. Sure people can cry favoritism, but as long as you don’t actually practice favoritism you’re fine. And as long as you’ll friend other subordinates it’s really hard for them to moan. As long as you’re strong enough to have a “subordinate on/friend off” switch it can actually be a positive to have a closer relationship with your subordinates. Can it go south? Of course, but only if you aren’t a good manager.

    1. Emilia Bedelia*

      Eh. I would say perception of favoritism matters just as much, if not more, than actual favoritism. It’s extremely demoralizing to feel that someone else gets better opportunities than you and it’s a very hard thing for a boss to “disprove” once someone is convinced they’re the least favorite. It’s also very difficult to gauge- I wouldn’t really trust a person’s self assessment of their relationship with someone else.
      Why should one person get a chance to form a “closer relationship” with their boss just because they are social media friends? Some people are going to be uncomfortable friending their boss. Some people aren’t. Using it as a bonding tool is just adding fuel to the favoritism fire, which is unwise.

  28. Lia*

    I have a very strict “no friending anyone I work with” policy. No exceptions. Luckily, of my manager and 6 closest peers, only one has a FB account, and I was able to block it so they couldn’t see that I had one. Although I lock everything down, I prefer to keep work and non-work separate. I’ll happily connect with anyone work-related on LinkedIn, though.

    My partner has the same social media friending policy I do, and recently left a job where EVERYONE was FB friends with one another. Oh, the drama. It was bad. Partner claimed “oh, I don’t use FB much, I just got the account a while back” which isn’t exactly true…but….it did help avoid the drama.

    1. EJ*

      Same for me.

      I’ve only accepted a friend request from a work friend after they’ve left the company!

    2. Birdie*

      I never post on Facebook so I have let myself add a few coworkers (I am not a manager and I have not added anyone directly above me). In the past I had the same policy for myself to not add anyone I work with. One of my former employers had a policy about managers befriending employees actually so that set a nice boundary. So far no problems yet with my Facebook coworkers. But sometimes I wish I had still done the same as you, Lia!

  29. newlyhr*

    There are lots of different ways people use facebook, just like people have different styles of “friendmaking” in a face to face setting. I have a lot of connections and enjoy seeing what people are up to and staying connected at some level with those “friends.” But I don’t post anything that I would not want repeated or attributed to me. My close friends know what is going on in my life because I talk to them in person about it. I respect that people are different and some might not have such an open facebook presence.

  30. EJ*

    #1 — If you don’t feel comfortable unfriending him, or you plainly just don’t want to, I’d suggest setting up privacy restrictions. That way they can’t see what you post, but still remain on each/other’s friend-list.

  31. arkangel*

    #1 I preemptively blocked all of management above me. My supervisor has boundary issues and I’m getting signs she wants to be friends in general. Not gonna happen. My lead wouldn’t recognize a normal healthy relationship if it bit her on the leg. I’m not worried about what they see on my FB page, I never ever talk about work there, I just don’t want to interact with them outside of work.

  32. The Bimmer Guy*

    I think you could just unfriend him and not say anything, unless he brings it up.

  33. Birdie*

    For those of you who have added their coworkers/managers to their Facebook friends.. does it ever bother you when you see they posted something during work hours? For some reason it’s my pet peeve.
    I also think if you are friends with your manager that should give you extra incentive to not use Facebook during work.

    1. Colette*

      I am Facebook friends with two people from my former employer, and I’m surprised how often they update Facebook during work hours. They’re not doing anything wrong – they’re both great workers – but I was surprised.

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