my boss told my coworker that I’m driving him nuts, staying with a coworker who used to run an Airbnb, and more

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

1. My boss told my coworker that I’m driving him nuts

I have a boss problem. He’s highly unprofessional and passive-aggressive in communications.

I’ve been leading a project for the last eight months, including coming in and working weekends to get things done. Prior to starting the project, his “golden child” in the office expressed she felt she should be heading it up instead. On the advice of several consultants and considering she has a track record of not getting work done, he told her not this time.

When the project was almost done, he asked her to assist with final details (we needed a second set of eyes, so I had asked if I could ask her). Suddenly, she started changing things I had done months ago even once I asked her to stop. I emailed my boss my concerns about how this was affecting the project. His response, rather than to address it with me at all, was to forward the email to this coworker’s personal email account and complain about me to her. He said “Wow. She is driving me nuts.” (I saw it because I was looking for an old email to reference a date on something unrelated, so I ran an email report. I’m the administrator of the database, and all emails are logged due to regulations in our industry. Because of privacy reasons, I don’t see inter-office email, so had he sent it to her work account, I would never have known. However, since he sent it to her personal account, the system treats it like just another email and puts it on the report. He doesn’t know I saw this email.)

I feel like I should address with him how unprofessional this is and how it disrupted the project further (as suddenly everyone’s feelings were ruffled) but I don’t know how or if it is even a good idea.

I suppose you could. You could explain why you ended up seeing the message, and you could say, “I certainly don’t want to be driving you nuts. Can you tell me what you’d like me to be doing differently?”

But the better move is probably to take it as useful background information — your boss apparently is annoyed that you’re complaining about his “golden child.” Your boss also has a golden child with a track record of not getting work done, feels free to complain to one employee about another, shares private emails that were only intended for him, and generally sounds like a tool. Talking to him about this one email isn’t likely to change the fundamental fact that he sucks in myriad ways. (It might be satisfying though, and there can be value in that.)

I’d focus on figuring out whether you can work with him reasonably happily knowing that this is how he operates. That sounds loaded — like the right answer is supposed to be “No! I can’t! I will devise an exit strategy.” But I don’t mean it that way; it’s entirely possible to work with relatively crappy managers and being reasonably happy doing it, if you’re able to accept their shortcomings and not get too rattled by new illustrations of them.

2. Staying with a coworker who used to run an Airbnb

I’m an independent contractor and one of my clients invited me on site. They bought my airplane ticket and asked me to look into Airbnb. We had a Skype meeting, and they announced that I will be visiting and was looking into Airbnb. Then one of my colleagues mentioned that he used to have run an Airbnb and that he will talk with his wife to see if could stay there.

I think this might be a bit strange, so I contacted an old friend to stay with her. She happened to be in town so it’s perfect. My manager is waiting for my reply by the end of the week regarding my place to stay. I want to trade the lodging for a car for the week (they were planning to have the coworker picking me up for work and bringing me back). I want to thank my colleague for the offer and don’t want him to feel bad, and I’m not sure how to phrase the request to my manager regarding having the company rent a car instead of providing lodging.

To the colleague: “Thanks so much for offering, but I’ve actually made arrangements to stay with an old friend. I really appreciate it though.”

To the manager: “I’ve actually made arrangements to stay with an old friend, so there won’t be any lodging costs. Would you be willing to cover a rental car instead so that I’m able to get around on my own while I’m in town?”

3. Resigning employee wants to buy his upcoming plane ticket from us

We have an employee who put his notice in. He has a non-refundable plane ticket for a conference in September. We are in agreement as a company that it is our cost that we must eat as this ticket. However, this employee approached his manager and asked if he can pay for cost of the ticket transfer to another date. Is this something we can do? I believe he doesn’t want to pay for the ticket itself, just the cost of the transfer. Can we make him pay both if he wants to transfer it?

You can handle this however you want; it’s up to you! It would certainly be nice of you to let him have the ticket for just the cost of the transfer fee, since it’s of no use to your company and you can’t get a refund for it. However, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say he’d need to pay for the ticket itself, since otherwise you’re potentially setting up a precedent that could end up with someone booking expensive work travel knowing that they’ll be resigning before it rolls around and that they’ll be able to use the ticket personally if they just pay the change fee. Plus, if you agree you’d essentially be paying for a former employee’s personal travel, which — even though the cost is already sunk — you probably don’t want to it.

He’s likely to be annoyed if you say no — after all, the money has been spent at this point and nothing can change that — but you can point out that you’d need to do this for everyone in a similar situation, and that’s too fraught with problems.

4. My raise feels canceled by my new company’s pay cycle

I am in the final part of the process of taking a new job and negotiated a significant raise. However, the new company pays 26 pay periods and the old company pays 24, and coincidentally, the gross pay is exactly the same per paycheck. This is a raise over the fiscal year, but not a raise at all if seen from the point of view of a single paycheck. I wish I had known this when negotiating, because there’s a real psychological impact going on here. I’m not at all sure that I would be taking the new job if it had worked out to be a penny less, and I don’t know how to figure out if there will be an “extra” pay period remaining in the calendar year.

Do you have a formula for working out the date on which this transition will realize a positive gain?

I avoid math here, so I do not. (Readers?) However, while your regular paycheck won’t be changing, you’re going to be getting two more of them! Maybe look at it this way: If you got two extra paychecks in your current job, you’d probably be pretty excited about that, right? And really, over the course of a year, you’re getting what you previously considered a significant raise — that is in no way negated by the way the money is being divided and flowing into your bank account. It’s all going to have landed there at the end of the year.

5. Will employers care that I have no social media presence?

I don’t participate in social media. I’m fairly young, but I have no interest in social media and don’t have any accounts, not even stealth/sock puppet accounts. Lets say I’m interviewing for a new job and the hiring manager Googles me and sees that I have no social media presence. Will she find this weird or a red flag? My whole Internet profile is very boring, in fact, since I Google myself and purposefully keep it that way. Generally using social media is not part of the jobs I would be applying for.

Don’t worry about it. If you were applying for a job in social media, it would be an issue. If you were applying for a job in PR or marketing or communications, it could be an issue, depending on the role. if you’re not applying for jobs that have anything to do with those things, people are very, very unlikely to care.

{ 330 comments… read them below }

  1. Mike C.*

    Re 4: Given that the checks are the same, you’ll realize your gain at the 25th check.

    1. Dan*

      Which means that all of December is “bonus” month ;)

      That point aside, I’m having a hard time seeing OP’s problem. She’s getting an 8.3% raise.

      1. Mike C.*

        I was thinking about this, thinking I could be all clever and figure out the raise and what not, but instead I’ll try to be clever in pointing out that we’re taking about net pay, not gross. ;)

        There could be changes in deductions for healthcare, retirement, various health savings accounts or income that is so high that it isn’t covered by Social Security taxes. So given all that, I don’t think we can mathematically determine the actual % raise given the fact the paychecks are the same and the number of paychecks per year.

        1. Dan*

          She was talking gross pay, so that 8.3% figure is appropriate.

          But along those lines, with 24 paychecks, fed income tax withholings are higher than they are for 26 paychecks. I played around with paycheck city, and with OP’s raise, her takehome pay only drops $20/pay period. (I played around with some dummy numbers to make it easy. Going from $100k to $108k, and semi-monthly to bi-weekly.)

          But yeah, all that other stuff affects net pay, and it matters. From 2013 to 2014, I went from being married to a non-working spouse, and then getting a divorce and getting a new job paying 20% more. It was oh so much fun figuring out what my new net pay was going to be. (Try switching from married filing joint to single with the same gross pay. When your pay is in the $70k range, there’s a rather significant increase in taxes paid.)

          1. Rafe*

            The OP will notice right away more cash flow, more often — I’m not sure why he/she is all worked up. That’s even without factoring in the fact that OP is literally getting a raise on top of it all.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      But by a certain point in the year (well before December), won’t she have earned more than at that same point in the previous year?

      1. Mike C.*

        If we’re taking about that, it would depend on which days of the month her previous employer paid her. Presuming that she was paid on exact half month increments, she would be ahead on her second check unless she starts in February, then it would be her third.

        1. Dan*

          If one wants to talk about annoying ways to pay people, let’s talk about my last job. We were paid twice a month, on the same days. We were also paid by the hour, and it was certainly possible to work above and beyond 40 hrs/week and get paid for it. Our pay schedule was such that the 1st-15th was in one paycheck, and 16th-end of month was in the other. That means there were as few as 9 days in a paycheck (the first paycheck in March covering the end of a non-leap february), and as many as 12 days. Plus the extra hours. I never had any idea what I was “supposed” to make, but man, that first paycheck in March really sucked.

            1. Manders*

              Same here. I don’t mind too much because I don’t have money saved up, but it’s very difficult to check things like whether you’re making the correct rate just by looking at the number in your bank account. Add a time clock that counts by the second, so I may have a few minutes of overtime each pay period, and no two paychecks are for the same amount of money.

              1. Manders*

                Oops, I shouldn’t post before coffee. I *do* have money saved up, so I can ride out the periods when the paycheck is smaller. It would be very uncomfortable to live paycheck to paycheck under this system.

                1. Colorado CrazyCatLady*

                  I have money saved too, so it’s not a huge deal financially but it just annoys me so much. And actually, I lied – I posted before having caffeine. That’s how my job used to pay, until I recently became salaried. Now every check is the same, but I still don’t like getting it on the 1st and 16th because it’s a different day each month!

                  We have a lot of folks here who make just over minimum wage and I have no idea how they are able to pay their bills with pay periods like this.

          1. Cucumberzucchini*

            This is how I currently pay my staff. It’s also how I’ve been paid in the past many times. Not sure what the issue with it is.

            1. Colorado CrazyCatLady*

              This is my first time being paid that way (on the 1st and 16th). What I don’t like about it is that payday is different each month (rather than every Friday or every other Friday), and sometimes I will go 12 business days without a check, rather than only 5 or 10, if I were paid every week or every other week. I don’t like the inconsistency of it but different people have different preferences I’m sure.

            2. Jadelyn*

              The thing is that for hourly people, bimonthly checks can be incredibly inconsistent, depending on where in the month days of the week fall. Let’s say you work 40 hrs/week Monday-Friday, your second pay period of the month runs from the 16th to the end of month (the 31st for this example), and this month the 16th is a Saturday. So you get the following:
              16th-17th – no hours
              18th – 22nd: 40 hours
              23rd-24th – no hours
              25th-29th – 40 hours
              30th – no hours
              Total for the pay period: 10 days, 80 hours

              But in a different month, if the 16th falls on a Monday and it’s a 31-day month, you get the following:
              16th-20th: 40 hours
              21st-22nd: no hours
              23rd-27th: 40 hours
              28th-29th: no hours
              30th-31st: 16 hours
              Total for the pay period: 12 days, 96 hours

              If you’re salaried, then bimonthly pay doesn’t really affect you the same way. You get a consistent salary regardless. But at my current hourly pay, the difference between those two is almost $300 gross pay! Yeah, that’s something I’m going to notice when it hits my bank account. And if you’re living paycheck to paycheck even somewhat – which a LOT of hourly employees are – that makes budgeting and predicting your income/expenses more difficult because it’s so inconsistent. And yes, it should work out to around the same on a full-monthly basis, but when you live paycheck to paycheck you don’t always have the luxury of “budgeting ahead” like that, and a bill falling on the wrong point of the timeline after a short check has the potential to cause serious hardship for you.

              TL;DR for hourly employees specifically, biweekly pay is much more consistent and easier to work with.

              1. Crystal Vu*

                I’ll have to disagree. Even as an hourly worker, getting money consistently on the 15th and the last day of each month was always easier for me in terms of paying the rent/mortgage. With a biweekly schedule, it’s harder to sync up with monthly bills which tend to be due at the same times every month.

                1. Ad Astra*

                  Yeah, my latest job pays me on the 15th and the last day of the month, and I like it so much better than getting paid every two weeks. My bills are all due on the same days of the month, so I like knowing that my money will be in the bank on the same days of the month. When your margins are already thin, having a $400 student loan payment automatically deducted on the 15th starts to really suck when you sometimes get paid on the 16th or 17th.

                  I’m hourly, but in a full-time role with personal/vacation/sick time, so the risk of me going under 40 hours is basically 0.

          2. Crystal Vu*

            How did you get only 9 days for March 1 – 15th? I have done payroll on a semimonthly basis for the last four years, and the minimum number of days has never been less than 10. Do you mind telling me what year that was? I’ll go have a look.

            I would not mind having fluctuating amounts on the 15th and the last day of each month. It’s still easier than coming up with the rent on the first when you’re paid biweekly and the days you get your paycheck can float from the 20th to the 1st.

            1. Compass Cats*

              9 days for the first paycheck in March and that looks like will be the case in 2017. Feb 16-28, excluding weekends, comes out to only 9 working days. 16-28 is 13 days total, with 2 weekends included in that timeframe.

        2. A Definite Beta Guy*

          I like Mike, he’s got this right.

          Psychologically, the benefit is on the 3 pay-check month (since that’s how people budget).

          On a cash basis, it’s the second check. You’re getting that second check sooner which means your bank account jumped up by $X sooner.
          Here’s how it works in 2016, assuming job 2 pays every other Friday, vs. 15th and last.
          Job 1:
          Jan 15: $2000
          Jan 31: $2000

          Job 2:
          Jan 15: $2000
          Jan 29: $2000

          You’re making more money by Jan 29. You’re getting it 2 days earlier. Money sooner is awesome. Imagine if you have credit card debt: you can pay that down 2 days sooner and not accrue interest on the 2 days.
          Probably doesn’t make a big difference for the rest of us, though, since we do budget on a monthly basis.

      2. Graciosa*

        From a budget perspective, the difference can be viewed as having two months each year during which you have an extra paycheck.

        If the OP figures out what the payroll calendar looks like, she might decide to view her first three-paycheck month as when she gets to enjoy the benefit.

          1. Milton*

            Thanks to this post I realized this month is my 3 paycheck month.
            *clicks “checkout” on online shopping cart*

            1. esra*

              Mine is next month. Three pay July what what

              And then again in December, so handy.

              OP will definitely get an extra pay before the year is out, just plug that business as a recurring item in your calendar to keep an eye on extra pay months.

          2. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

            Yes, I recently switched to this pay model and I love it. Enforced savings ftw!

          3. Prismatic Professional*

            +1

            It makes me so happy! Below is a short clip of me on 3 paycheck months (no link, it plays in your head):

            *$ enters bank account for the third time*
            *happy dance / rave party scene*
            *immediately moves money to appropriate accounts (savings/utilities/rent etc.)*
            *sees low spending account balance. sad mrow*
            *realizes still have more spending money than before*
            *happy dance / rave party scene*

          4. Cath in Canada*

            I used to until we got a mortgage with biweekly payments! 3-paycheck months are still a benefit in terms of paying the mortgage off faster, but I don’t “see” the extra money like I used to when I paid monthly rent instead.

        1. Loose Seal*

          It’s pretty simple to predict, assuming pay checks are issued on the same day. For instance, if you are paid every other Friday, the months with five Fridays will be the extra pay months. I loved being paid like this because my budget was for two paycheck a a month. That way, the entire extra paycheck could go into savings.

          1. SusanIvanova*

            Yep! That’s how my mom budgeted it – the third paycheck was for savings and the occasional splurge.

          2. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

            For me, it doesn’t always hit exactly that way! There are some months were a 5-Friday month still falls into my normal “Rent paycheck, bills paycheck” category, but other 4-Friday months where I realize that I got my “rent paycheck” a couple days before the end of the month, so I’ll essentially get two “bills paychecks” during the month as well as the “rent paycheck” at the end.

            … I’ve hit semantic saturation on ‘paycheck’ now.

            1. MarketingLady PA*

              That’s exactly how I work mine out too! This month is my “extra paycheck that isn’t tied to bills/rent” month! wootwoot

          3. Bigglesworth*

            I love 5-Friday months for this reason. Instead of it going into savings, though, it goes into the student debt. We’ve knocked it down by a third in 2 1/2 years. :)

          4. Aunt Vixen*

            Almost. There are usually four or five months in a year with five Fridays in, and two or three of those will be three-paycheck months (1st, 3rd, and 5th Fridays); in the other two the paydays fall on the 2nd and 4th of the five Fridays. This year, there are five Fridays in January, April, July, September, and December, and things that happen bi-weekly hit in January, July, and December but not April or September.

            In my case it’s the extra Friday in a 9/80 work schedule, except that I get paid semimonthly so I have to give up one of the “extras” in those months – but that’s not important. If I were paid bi-weekly, I’d get three paychecks in January, July, and December but not April or September *or* in April and September but not January, July, or December – but not all of them.

        2. Moral panic*

          I love my 3 paycheque months, especially because my monthly budget is set around 2 paycheques… so in my eyes it is like getting a nice bonus twice a year to either splurge or squirrel away.

          Considering I am in accounting, it really irks me when people don’t fully understand a 26 pay year. Even when calculating their yearly earnings they always miss 2 paycheques and come and complain to me that I f-ed up their pay and I owe them thousands extra on the next!

        3. Cat*

          Yesssss. Three paycheck months are the best. It’s like a little twice-a-year bonus just for you.

        4. sam*

          This exactly – I loved my job that had the 26 paycheck cycle – those “extra” paycheck months were specifically the ones that I booked vacations – I basically treated the 3rd paycheck as my treat/vacation money, since I based my monthly budget on a two paycheck cycle. It took some getting used to when I moved jobs to a company that paid out on a 24 paycheck cycle.

          The biggest downside of a 26 paycheck cycle is that you’re getting paid every two weeks, rather than on the 15th and the last day of the month, but your bills are still due on the same day every month – so you have to be a bit more conscientious of cash flow – if you’re used to having a paycheck coming in on the last day of April and then paying your rent/mortgage out of that paycheck on May 1*, you may need to reconfigure things a bit.

          *obviously, you should keep a buffer in your account (if financially feasible) so that you’re not literally waiting for that paycheck to pay your bills, but it’s still a psychological factor for many people even when they have savings.

          1. Emily, admin extraordinaire*

            This is why I got a month ahead. I have a month’s worth of salary saved in my checking account, so as of June 1 I had all the money I need to pay all my June bills. You don’t have to do a full month’s salary– some people only do a month of expenses (i.e., fixed bills)–but I like having the full amount of my check there just in case.

            3-paycheck months are great for doing this, incidentally. :)

            1. Adonday Veeah*

              I do this too! I haven’t been kept awake worrying about money since. Now my extra paycheck can go into savings, because… I DON’T NEED IT!

      3. Josh S*

        This one is actually pretty easy — the first month he gets an “extra” paycheck will be the first month that he feels the psychological bonus of the higher pay. 2x during the year, he’ll have a month with 3 paychecks instead of just two.

        Technically, as soon as he gets the 2nd paycheck a day earlier, he’s ahead of the game–he’s received the same money quicker. But if there’s only 2 paychecks that month, it doesn’t feel like you’re getting an advance.

        A simple example using the spreadsheet. Compare the dates for any 2 paychecks, and you’ll see he’s getting more money quicker under the “New System”. But….there’s months when he gets THREE checks, and it’ll feel wonderful.

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DBIIa228xGi8p2Mjjm7hH8PBrBku2Gkye2AUeTWHJPc/edit?usp=sharing

      4. MoinMoin*

        If she gets paid on Friday, July, September, and December 2016 and March and June 2017 have 5 Fridays, so depending on the bi-weekly schedule and when she starts she’d know by one of those months (and the same logic should apply for whatever day she gets paid).

    3. MK*

      From another point of view, the gain will kick in when you get the 2nd paycheck, because you will have gotten more money sooner.

      And, no offence,but allowing “psychological factors” to influence your economic desicions is probably not very wise. You are basically saying that you would have refused the job and the raise, thus losing the extra money per year, because it doesn’t feel like a raise when you get the same paycheck.

      1. Newsie*

        I agree with MK in re: the gain. I’d go so far as to say when you get the first paycheck, the gain kicks in, because you are getting paid more frequently, no? And if you look at pay per day, you’re getting more.

        Just as an example:
        $2,000 x 24 = $48,000. Average pay per day, not including weekends = $183.9
        $2,000 x 26 = $52,000. Average pay per day, not including weekends = $199.2

        Your first paycheck is the same pay for fewer days. (Yeah, I know, I’m not factoring in time off, holidays, etc etc…)

        1. Dan*

          It doesn’t work like that. With 26 pay periods, 10 months out of the year, you’re still getting paid $183.9 per average work day. Then, two months out of the year, you get paid 50% more than that.

          Your averages are right, but you won’t realize the gain until you hit the first “bonus” month.

          1. MarketingLady PA*

            No, not really. If you’re paid twice a month, you aren’t paid for 2 weeks per paycheck – sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how the day falls.

      2. Dan*

        While I agree with you in theory, “psychological factors” have a profound impact on how people manage their personal finance. Heck, sales and marketing are all geared around getting you to feel good about spending money. Taken to an extreme, spending anything beyond the mere minimum required for sustenance is “wasting” money.

        And at some point, even the objectivity becomes subjective anyway. What’s the point of being a minimalist? To accumulate a lot of money in the bank that you will never spend for yourself? Why? Even deciding to die with money in the bank to pass down to your heirs or give to charity vs dying with nothing in the bank is a subjective, not objective decision. (Hint: If reasonable people can disagree on something, it’s subjective.)

        I do feel society would benefit if we could acknowledge the psychological aspects of money management and spending. I consider myself to be one of the most analytical people out there, and even I can admit the impact that psychology has on my spending.

        That said, if OP’s sole reason for potentially turning down this job (with a raise!) is because of the pay cycles and how it “feels”, I really would suggest they have a come to Jesus moment with themself or with a professional, because that psychology really is determental to their well being.

        1. MK*

          I am not saying the psychological factor doesn’t exist. But for me the whole purpose of acknowledging it is to learn to overlook it.

          1. TL -*

            Or to work with it. If having money in a certain way makes you feel better, then you’ll be more likely to do things to achieve that feeling. That can be used to one’s advantage.

        2. Nervous Accountant*

          I totally understand the psychological factors on money and stuff. I’m not frugal by any means and maybe it’s my personal experience speaking here…it just seems mind-bottling to turn down a job over just the pay cycle, even when the salary is higher.

          There are just so so so many factors that go into finding and accepting a job, that this seems like such a minor detail, to me any way. But that’s just me. I get that others have different priorities or a lot more options that this could play a factor in it.

    4. Dan*

      Actually, it depends on how you model your cash flow. If you expect two pay checks per month, there will be a month long before the 25th check where you get 50% more pay then you expect. Then there will be a month a few months later where the same phenomena occurs.

      The one thing I don’t like about biweekly pay is that your pay dates jump all over where they are in the month. Every other bill is on a fixed payment date, but with biweekly pay, some months you get paid the 1st & 3rd week, other months you get paid the 2&4th week, and your “bonus” months you get paid the 1st, 3rd, and 5th week. When you have enough cushion in the bank, it’s no big deal, but when your cash flow is tight, you have to watch that stuff.

      1. Mike C.*

        Seriously, I know it all comes out in the wash, but I hate that my paychecks are biweekly and my bills are monthly.

        1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

          I get paid monthly. I really like being able to sit down at the beginning of the month to pay all my bills and deal with savings allocations in one sitting.

          1. the gold digger*

            Hmm. I have direct deposit and never look. I don’t know if I get paid monthly or biweekly. I get paid and we pay our bills and we are super frugal without much debt, so it works for us.

            1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

              Me too, but that only works because we have enough money not to have to watch every penny. Lucky us.

              1. Murphy*

                Exactly. I can easily keep a paycheque’s worth of cushion in our chequing account and not have to worry about it. This is a luxury and privilege not everyone has (I’ve been in the other space, doing weekly calculations on what bills get paid when depending on when paycheques come in and it’s no fun at all).

                1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

                  Ohhhhh yes, as have I. I still don’t sit comfortably with the money we have; I still worry that my debit card will be rejected when I swipe it. And it’s been more than a decade since that was my day to day life. Financial insecurity PTSD.

                2. Murphy*

                  I’m the exact same way re: Financial Insecurity PTSD. I have a mild panic moment whenever the machine is taking too long to approve something, even if I know I have loads of room on my credit card or money in my account.

                3. Jadelyn*

                  I dream of the day… *wistful sigh*

                  Sorry, I get paid tomorrow and have been putting off grocery shopping until that check hits my account; yesterday was talking with my SO about plans for next week but had to remind myself that my car payment and insurance have to come out of this check so [effects on our plans]. Someday maybe I’ll be able to have that kind of cushion. I hope.

              2. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

                I’m debt-free and have a large safety net…but I still like to look and budget.

                But admittedly, I’m a bit of a personal finance nerd.

            2. Just Another Techie*

              Same here. I’m deeply confused how a bi-weekly vs monthly pay schedule matters.

              1. The Rat-Catcher*

                It’s more work to manage that way. We get paid semi-monthly and of course all of our bills are monthly. I generally split our big bills into “halves” (we have $520 for rent due on the 1st, so I take $260 from the check on the 15th and set it aside), and balance the smaller ones against each other ($40 for hubby’s student loan payment comes out of one check, $45 for his cell phone comes out of the other).

                It works as long as your bills are consistent, but variation throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing. Like for utilities I have to set aside enough each month to cover our highest month (January) even though our May electric bill is a joke compared to that one.

                And we do have money set aside now to cover a paycheck’s worth of bills (not a whole month), but for some reason, I still behave as if we don’t.

                1. Mirve*

                  For utilities varying, level pay plans are really useful. The only issue can be if they miscalculate and you end up owing a lump sum when they start the level pay year again. They usually show the amount you actually used on each bill with a running actual vs what you’ve paid, so you can see if there is an issue building up over the months and maybe pay extra to even it out without getting to the lump sum at the end.

                2. Anna*

                  Just out of curiosity, but what part of which country are you in that you pay $520/month in rent? :)

                3. davey1983*

                  Anna, I don’t where they live, but there a parts of the central US (think Oklahoma or Kansas) where rent is that low for a one bedroom or an older two bedroom apartment.

                4. The Rat-Catcher*

                  Ahh, nesting!! Davey1983 hit it on the head – I’m in a rural area in the central US. Our rent is actually $720/month for a three-bedroom house. My brother-in-law lives with us and pays $200. But it’s not uncommon for one- or two-bedroom places to go for $400-$500 (granted that the 2-bedrooms won’t be in the greatest neighborhoods).

            3. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

              I keep a full month’s worth of expenses in my checking account (separate from my savings) so that I know that no matter what hits my checking account it will always clear. It’s a base that I don’t count in my budgeting.

              I also don’t have any debt, but I do use credit cards rather than my debit card (a combination of having my card stolen and learning to game reward points) so my expenses fluctuate. If I spend less than allotted, that means more gets shifted over to short term savings for trips.

              So, even though I have a strong safety net and am debt-free as well, I still like to sit down at the beginning of the month and pay everything all at once.

        2. nonegiven*

          Monthly pay really doesn’t make it that much better. DH gets paid on the last working day of the month. His pay period runs from the 26th to the 25th. His monthly net pay varies by hundreds depending on the number of working day and the paycheck that includes the end of February does really suck.

        3. Kate M*

          The way you can fix this is by living on last month’s earned income (this has been the single biggest boost to my financial health). Say you get paid on the 15th and 30th. You’re already living for the first half of the month on the paycheck from the previous 30th, most likely. So you just need to save up the amount of your 15th paycheck. Once you have that amount saved up, wait until your paycheck on the 15th comes. You have the money set aside, so you don’t actually have to use your 15th paycheck this time, so put it aside for the next month. That way, when the first rolls around, you’ll have a full month’s worth of income sitting there, so you can budget the whole month at once.

          (Courtesy of YNAB)

          1. Jennifer M.*

            Living on last month’s income makes my budgeting life so much easier. I was already only making purchases backed with cash even if I used a credit card as my method of payment, but once I was able to lay out my whole budget for the next month as soon as I got my last paycheck of the previous month made budgeting a quick activity once a month.

            I was laid off and my last day was Sept 30 but that meant that I was confident I already had all of October taken care of even before I got my last paycheck (Oct 10) and my 2.5 month severance plus 2 week vacation pay out (Oct 25)

      2. Kerry ( like the county in Ireland)*

        But there is a way around that if your expenses are less than your income! Budget by paycheck, not by month. I get paid biweekly, and one check is primarily rent, and the other is other expenses. So I have running credits on all of my bills, because I have paid them ahead of the due dates.

        1. Dan*

          I have a lot of debt, so money flies out of my account as fast as it goes in. It also means I have no cushion. So which paycheck is the “rent paycheck” varies from month to month. With months where I get paid three times, the rent check is sadly the first check and last check that month. (Like July, which is a three paycheck month for me. I’ll get paid on the 1st (covering July’s rent), the 15th, and then the 29th, which will cover August’s rent.

          What I find is more useful to me is to model my cashflow on a spreadsheet for several months at a time. I’m a big miles and points person, so I put as much spending as possible on a credit card. That also helps manage the cash flow, because I have just one “day to day spending” debit from my bank account each month. So really, I have about a dozen debits from my checking account, which I can plan around the paychecks jumping around.

          I find that approach helps a lot, and gives me a really good idea on how my cash flow, savings, and debt repayment are all balancing out, taking into consideration the months that have three paycheck and throw off all of the payment cycles.

        2. Oryx*

          “Budget by paycheck, not by month”

          Yes. Bills are always due the same time each month as are some auto things I have on my credit card. So they are “assigned” to a certain paycheck. When that money comes in, I earmark the credit card stuff so at the end of the month I have the amount to pay the whole thing off each month.

      1. Jadelyn*

        Or headache, if you’re on the HR/Payroll side of it…

        Sorry, we just had a huge clusterf*ck around the 27/26-pay thing at my work because on those years, for salaried EEs, you can either split their annual over 27 pays (lower per-paycheck but same annual), or be generous and pay them the 26-pay rate so they get a “freebie” bonus at the end of the year. Well, my company originally went with plan A, then decided to change to plan B last month. Which meant figuring out retros and YTD and all kinds of fun stuff, and I was the main spreadsheet person for that. I think my favorite part was the 12-hour day where I spent literally 6 hours straight on the phone with various members of the executive staff going over my spreadsheets.

    5. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

      Well, she’ll get an extra paycheck at some specific date. I assume she’s paid every other week. She just needs to determine which months have a third payday in them (by counting Fridays).

      This year, assuming she is paid biweekly on Fridays, her next “extra check” will come in either July or September, depending on whether she is paid on even or odd weeks.

    6. Koko*

      I’m paid biweekly and I basically budget my expenses on the expectation of two paychecks every month, because 10 months a year that’s how many I get. So I would say from experience she’ll *feel* the raise (the way she wants to psychologically) the first month in which there are 5 Fridays and she gets three paychecks in a single month.

      That happens twice a year, different months every year obviously, and which month depends on which every-other-Friday you are paid on. This year it’s January and July for me.

    7. Chameleon*

      Psychologically speaking, she is used to getting two paychecks a month; within the first quarter, she will have a month with three! A whole extra paycheck, OP!

  2. Jerry Vandesic*

    Re #3, if you give the ex-employee the airline ticket for anything less than the cost of the ticket, you probably need to include the value as income to the ex-employee.

  3. Colorado CrazyCatLady*

    #4: I so get this. My job pays bimonthly and I get frustrated by job searching because it always feels like it would be a lateral move financially, if the job pays weekly or biweekly. This won’t help you now, but I actually set up my budget so it ignores the larger per paycheck amount. But like Alison pointed out, even though the paychecks won’t be bigger, you’ll be getting more of them, and the extra ones will be like secret, guaranteed bonuses.. I am almost falling asleep so hopefully that makes sense.

    1. Purple Dragon*

      You get paid bimonthly ? Every second month ? I couldn’t do that !

      Or fortnightly – twice a month…

      Now I’m confused.

      1. Dan*

        To my chagrin, every official source I can find acknowledges that the prefix “bi” can mean every other, or twice per. How in the hell the same word can have different meanings in the save context is beyond me. Drives me nuts.

        1. nofelix*

          Semi-monthly is every half a month. Bi-monthly is every two months.

          The way to think about it is that you’re describing the gap. Semi = half, so semi-monthly meetings have half a month’s gap between them. Bi = two, so bi-monthly meetings have two months’ gap between them.

          1. Florida*

            It’s different with years. Biannually means twice per year. Biennially means every two years.

          2. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

            Bimonthly can mean either twice a month or every other month. Semi monthly means twice a month, but both are correct. Colorado Crazy Cat Lady used “bimonthly” appropriately.

        2. MaggiePi*

          Agreed! I’ve checked this with various sources because it just doesn’t seem to make sense and the all say the same thing! Bimonthly can be twice a month or every two months ‘depending on context.’ Not helpful!

          1. E, F and G*

            And I remember hating my bank for not giving context or any sort of explanation online when I was setting up automatic withdrawals to happen each paycheque so that all my recurring bills would be set aside for the beginning of the next month (guess where my third paycheque went that time.)

            Staring at a list of options including bimonthy, semimonthly, biweekly and semiweekly left me pulling my hair out.

      2. Colorado CrazyCatLady*

        Twice per month, which everyone seems to refer to as bimonthly even though it makes no sense to me! Someone below says semi monthly is more accurate but I’ve never heard anyone actually say that, either.

      3. Purple Dragon*

        I’m so glad I’m not the only confused person, I don’t feel quite so silly now.

        Thanks :)

        1. Matt*

          “I get 4 bimonthly paychecks bimonthly.” (As in, I get 4 twice-a-month paychecks every 2 months.) is a grammatically correct sentence, but completely confusing. Gotta love the English language.

  4. likeOMG*

    #3, it *would* set a precedent, but… well, do you care? ‘I can have the company book a ticket for me, resign, and then get a nearly free ticket for only the cost of transfer!’ seems like a hell of a lot of trouble for a pretty tiny gain. This isn’t like someone abusing your work from home system, and he’s leaving anyway.

    I’m squinting, but I don’t really see the harm in letting him buy the ticket.

    1. likeOMG*

      Ah, I forgot that the ticket might count as income for tax purposes… nevermind, I’m out of my depth here.

    2. Jeanne*

      You’re right about the precedent part. You’re not going to get a ton of employees resigning just to get an airline ticket.

      1. BRR*

        And depending on the industry people might not travel a lot. You could also address it on a case by case basis.

      2. Colette*

        You might get employees who know they’re leaving (but haven’t told anyone) booking travel they won’t be able to take, though.

        1. Nobody*

          Well, how about doing it this one time under the assumption that it’s probably not going to come up again, and if it does, put a stop to it at that point? I realize that there’s some concern about setting a precedent, but this isn’t a court of law. You can change your mind or policy later if you want to. If someone complains, “But you let Wakeen do it! How come you won’t let me?” you can say that it was a special circumstance and you allowed it on a one-time basis. Also, if you do allow this one employee to do it, maybe mention to him that you would prefer he not tell other people about it because you don’t want people taking advantage in the future.

        2. Joseph*

          It really depends on the industry/company though. If we’re talking about something like sales or on-site training, where people travel a lot, I agree that you’d have to worry about this.

          However, if it’s an industry where travel is far rarer, then I don’t see it as likely to be an issue, because ALL of the following need to be true:
          1.) The employee needs to be looking to leave already. Nobody is going to change jobs or alter their resignation date just to save a few hundred bucks on airfare.
          2.) The travel needs to be approved by management without knowledge that the employee is leaving – employees whose jobs don’t typically require travel almost always need to get approval from their manager.
          3.) The travel needs to line up such that it occurs after a departure date. Few companies book business travel more than a 4-6 months out (and many companies go on even shorter notice than that), so this timing can be harder than you’d think.
          4.) The travel needs to be non-refundable AND non-transferrable to another employee. This is the stated policy of most airlines, but if you call them directly (particularly in a case like this with several months notice), they’re often more flexible than you’d think.
          5.) The cost of the change fees needs to be notably less than the cost of the ticket. Depending on the route, the original cost of the ticket, the amount of advance notice, and what airline you’re using, the change fees can often be a huge proportion of the entire cost of the ticket. Obviously, nobody’s going to hassle with changing the ticket if the change fees eat up most of the savings.
          6.) The travel needs to be to a location that the employee actually wants to visit on vacation. While the airfare might be covered, the employee still has to pay for the change fees, a hotel, rental car, food, etc, plus possibly using PTO at the new job. So nobody’s doing this for a trip to Backwatersville.

          1. SophieChotek*

            I agree. The precedent concern can be a problem – so I could see with sales then maybe that could be a potential problem.

            However, my first thought was also that managers, et al. would need to approve travel, so it seems unlikely that employees (who have secretly made plans to depart/resign) will be booking tickets to Paris or New York City or Exotic Other Location in hopes they can make this proposal upon their departure.

            A family member has to travel every once in a blue moon and his company buys only refundable tickets, so I don’t think this situation would even come up at that company.

        3. nofelix*

          Though how often are the stars going to align for this to happen?

          1. The travel would have to be at the employee’s discretion, and
          2. The transfer cost is much lower than the ticket cost, and
          3. A colleague or replacement couldn’t use the ticket, and
          4. The employee can usefully use the ticket after leaving, and
          5. Has the foresight to plan to travel before resigning, and
          6. Has the chance to resign between booking and travelling, and
          7. Remembers the precedent set by the last time this happened.

          Doesn’t seem worth making an ex-employee unhappy to make a precedent for something that may never happen again.

        4. Hush42*

          But doesn’t Alison usually say that, until you’ve actually resigned, you should should operate as if you’ll still be there? This includes booking flights even if you’re probably not going to be there. In that case the employees would be booking the flights whether or not the company allows them to transfer the flights after they resign and it’s a wash for the company either way.

          1. Colette*

            Unless the employee knows they’ll be leaving ( for example to go back to school or move to a different city) long before the company does.

      3. Stranger than fiction*

        And how is everyone even going to know? Not like they’re going to announce it. Sure it’ll get out to a few people, but I can’t see it blowing up.

    3. Important Moi*

      I’m squinting too. What I see is the “harm” is doing something that can be perceived as nice for someone who has the temerity to leave this organization. OP#3 would be setting a precedent if he opts not to let the employee but the ticket- everyone would know how petty OP3# is.

    4. Newby*

      I think it also matters on the circumstances under which he is leaving and how allowing this will be viewed by those still working there. Will denying it make them feel like their company is too rigid? Will allowing it make them resentful that the company is paying for a vacation for someone who doesn’t even work there anymore? The most important factor in the decision should be the employees still at the company.

      1. Important Moi*

        I actually agree with you, however, nothing in OP#3’s letter suggests this employee’s departure is under bad circumstances. I believe that OP#3 wants the commenters to provide him reasons to not allow this that he can present to management. He clearly doesn’t wish to allow this.

        1. newby*

          I agree that that does not appear to be the case here. However, sometimes people can become resentful even over perks that do not cost the company anything (as demonstrated yesterday by the letter about adding extra days to business travel at the employees expense). If that is likely to happen, it isn’t worth it for the company since this employee no longer works there. I do think that the reverse is more likely. Employees generally don’t like seeing unreasonable rigidity in their employer, which is what this would be likely to come off as.

  5. Luna*

    #4, you’d receive an extra paycheck in 6 months. If you’re paid every 2 weeks (26 checks/year), you’ll have 13 checks in 6 months; if you’re paid twice/month (24 checks/year), you’ll have 12 checks in 6 months. However, I’d argue that you have a positive gain by the time you receive your first paycheck, since being paid every 2 weeks means all the first 12 paychecks will be coming earlier than they would have with your old company.

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      Yes, this exactly. I am paid semi-monthly on the 15th and last day, my husband is paid bi-weekly. It really makes very little difference, and he finds his pay schedule more advantageous than mine (whereas I just care about the bottom line numbers — I actually budget without his “extra” checks, so they are the give in our budget). For 2016, our three-paycheck months are July and December, but we’re already ahead cash-wise from January because he gets paid every 14 days versus every 15+. That only increases month to month, particularly as my checks come on the 30th/31st.

      I am honestly baffled by being chagrined at getting a significant raise, paid more frequently, and having two months a year of getting an extra paycheck. OP4 is basically getting paid the same thing every month, PLUS having two months with a full, extra check, plus getting paid sooner. And not taking the job if an individual paycheck was a penny less? I’m so confused by that. Turning down a job that nets you more because it’s paid in shorter increments is very short-sighted and pound foolish.

  6. Nerfmobile*

    To #4: I moved from over 15 years of twice-a-month paychecks at various employers, to a company which pays every 2 weeks. It took a while to adjust – I had a cycle of paying bills on set dates twice a month based on when I received my paychecks, and I had to change that pattern. It works out, though. How it gets made up is that on every-other-week paychecks, most of the time you get two paychecks per month. But twice a year (approximately though not exactly 6 months apart, depending on the length of various months), you get three paychecks in a month. Some people I know budget to the two-paycheck months and treat that extra paycheck as a bonus for savings or splurging, others put it in checking as a cushion and whittle away at it over the next 6 months. I take more of the former approach, but both can work depending on how you manage your money.

    1. MashaKasha*

      I try to budget pretty carefully, and I think I actually prefer the every-other-week pay cycle. They send out our pay schedule at the beginning of the year, so I can figure it out right away when my two “extra” paychecks would be coming in. (usually late spring and early fall) I’ve used them as my vacation fund, then after the kids started college, I used them to pay the college bills. When I was on the twice-per-month cycle, I tried to put away a certain amount every month that would more or less add up to the two extra checks. So there isn’t really that much of a difference. I agree though, that the bill auto-pay on set dates is a bit of a pain with this schedule. I kept mine the same and tried to make sure that I had enough in my account by that date. So far so good.

      1. Koko*

        I have direct deposit, so I actually split my pay between two different checking accounts (both fee-free credit union accounts. One checking account is gets a fixed amount equal to half of all of my regular bills which are all the same amount every month (rent, car payment, auto insurance payment, and subscriptions like Netflix/Spotify/Hulu/NY Times). The other account receives the remainder which is for savings and discretionary spending.

        As a matter of course I also immediately transfer a small amount from the discretionary account to a savings account most paydays, but I don’t have quite enough cushion in my salary to make that happen automatically…sometimes I need all of it for expenses.

        I actually have these two accounts with two different financial institutions, so when I log in to what I consider my primary credit union (the discretionary spending account), I don’t even see the money I spend on fixed expenses. I’m never going to miss a regular bill or feel like I don’t have enough money to pay it because I never even give myself a chance to spend it. It also gives me a really clear sense of “how much money I make” relative to “how much money I need to make.” When I paid off my car, I really felt the extra couple of hundred dollars a month that was coming into my discretionary account instead of my bills account because the amount of money deposited every other week was actually more. It felt like a raise!

        1. (Not an IRS) Auditor*

          I have a similar setup – it is an amazing weight off the shoulders to not have to worry about there being enough money for the mortgage when it comes due. But it took a lot of years to get to that point…

        2. Meg Murry*

          I do this system too. I also get 26 checks a year, but I calculated it as if it were 24 (took all fixed bills, rounded up to the nearest $25 or $50 to make the math easier, added up to get a monthly bill amount, then divided that by 2 and that’s how much goes into the bill-paying account). By doing it as it it were 24 checks, plus rounding up the bills, I wind up with a little bit more than 1 extra month’s bills worth in that account every year. Some years we use the extra to make an additional mortgage principal payment (making 13 payments a year instead of 12 cuts a 30 year mortgage down to 23 years), other years that becomes vacation money, Christmas money, oops I owe taxes money or oh crap I need new tires money. All my bills are set to auto-pay every month, and all I do is login once a month or so to make sure there aren’t any fraudulent charges and money is coming in and out like I expected.

          Once my car was paid off, I didn’t lower the amount going into the account, but instead I put half of the car payment into my savings account I have mentally earmarked for car repairs and/or a down payment on a new car in a few years and the other half toward paying down debts (the debt is fairly low interest or else I would be putting more toward paying it off and less in savings).

          I feel like I bust out this explanation at least 2x a year here or on other blogs, I should probably write it up somewhere so I can just link to it. Or is it already on a personal finance blog somewhere?

          One thing I caution though for that 3 paycheck a month cycle – the next month the last check doesn’t come until the very end, so it’s difficult to make sure it’s cleared before your bills are due.

        3. Ad Astra*

          I have been meaning to set up a similar system for myself (and my husband), but it feels too complicated. Maybe I’ll give it another shot.

  7. Canuck*

    #4:

    My organization pays bi-weekly as well. What ends up happening is that you get paid 3 times in a couple of months each year – so you will definitely notice! This year the extra cheques are in April and October.

    If it helps, you can think of your raise as coming in 2 lump sums during the year, instead of spread out over all your paychecks. Enjoy!

  8. Windchime*

    #4: I get paid biweekly, or 26 checks per year. In two months of every year, I get 3 checks instead of two. I don’t usually feel the difference until the following month, because that 3rd paycheck falls on/near the last day of the month and I use that to pay my house payment, etc like I always do with the last check of the month. But I do usually feel it the following month, and I can tuck some money into savings or something. It’s nice! You really are getting more money, and you’ll see it on those months when there are three paychecks. (This year, my extra checks are January and July).

  9. Collarbone High*

    For #4, your payroll office probably can tell you which two months will have extra checks. Or you can figure it out by looking at the date and day of your first paycheck and counting off every other week. The extra check will come in a month that has five days of whatever your payday is (so, if payday is Friday, this year it will be either July, September or December; the first month with an extra check most likely has already come and gone).

    As far as the psychological aspect, would it help to think in terms of pizza? Imagine a restaurant offers a one-hour all-you-can-eat pizza deal. Each pizza is cut into 8 slices. The first time you go, you eat 8 slices in the hour allotted, so you ate a whole pizza. A while later you try again and this time eat 10 slices. The one-hour limit stayed the same, but this time you got an extra quarter of a pizza.

  10. Sarah G*

    OP #4 – As someone who’s been paid both twice a month and biweekly, I much prefer biweekly! Those 3-paycheck months twice a year are awesome, but I also just find it to be a simpler, more intuitive system to track pay dates, etc.

    1. paynonymous*

      Agreed! I feel like I’m getting paid *way* more often now that I’ve gone from semimonthly to biweekly, even though it’s not actually that big of a difference.

  11. I'm not a lawyer, but ...*

    A nice trick for bi-weekly pay checks is to change your own automatic monthly payments to get rid of them faster. Make sure your bank or other creditor won’t penalize you first.* Divide your regular payment amount in half and have that amount paid automatically a few days after payday. (I get paid on Friday, so my payments are automatic on every other Tuesday, in case there’s a snafu with my pay.) 10 months they get the full payment within the correct timeframe. 2 months you make an extra half payment. Over time that will reduce your interest paid. AND you know how much gets spent automatically each pay.
    * although this gets tricky if you escrow taxes with your mortgage payment, and you probably don’t want to over pay a landlord.

    1. J.B.*

      Most mortgage companies will let you set up automatic biweekly payments. The escrow and interest get paid first, then at the point you make a third payment within a month all of it goes to principal. It shaves 4 years off of 30 year mortgages.

    2. Ife*

      Such a great idea! Especially re: saving interest on your mortgage and credit cards.

  12. Artemesia*

    I always find it interesting that some posts get so much traffic and others so little. Who knew something as simple as pay period and getting two bonus checks a year would be the ‘interesting’ topic in this collection?

    1. Dan*

      The thing that got me was someone writing that they almost turned down a job with a raise solely because the pay cycles are different. I get really interested in posts where there’s an analytically “correct” position to take, but someone’s “gut” feeling is contra to it. This is one, and the other day where the OP was taking an issue with PTO vs vacation/sick banks was another.

    2. Myrin*

      Yeah, I thought for sure the first question would be the “interesting” and yet there isn’t even one comment for it here yet!

    3. Daisy*

      People like things where they can weigh in with personal experience. Everyone’s been paid before. (Though I was also a bit surprised, I thought everyone would be debating the plane ticket refund.)

    4. Some Sort of Management Consultant*

      Maybe it’s either the SUPERWEIRD posts or the extremely relateable posts that people feel the need to comment on? Extremes, rather than middle of the road-posts.

    5. Colette*

      My former employer announced that we were moving from being paid twice a month to being paid biweekly and there was almost a revolution. People care deeply about how they’re paid. (And, of course, people had bills, including things like court-ordered child support, set up based on the current pay schedule.

      1. Hush42*

        I mentioned once that I think we should switch from a weekly pay cycle to a bi-weekly (fortnightly) pay cycle. I’m the AP/AR specialist and I know how much we pay per transaction so switching would reduce our costs because it would cut the number of transactions in half. The co-worker I mentioned this to had a fit. I was told that just because I’m good with money doesn’t mean that everyone is (for the record I’m already aware of this). I was also informed that she would spend the her entire paycheck well before she got paid again if she was paid every other week rater than every week.

        1. Happy Lurker*

          Years ago we switched from a service to in house payroll, which meant we went from bi weekly to weekly. The 3 employees were dancing in the office – and I don’t blame them! It works out so much better for them and makes them happy. Me too!

      2. Murphy*

        This reminds me that we went from that cycle (twice per month) to biweekly too and yes, people were pretty upset about it at the time. But (and this is purely anecdotal), the fact that I totally forgot we used to get paid differently tells you how people adjust to the new circumstance. People are pretty resilient when given the benefit of the doubt.

        1. Colette*

          Yeah, I think the biggest problem was that they tried to implement it too quickly, and people didn’t have time to adjust their financial commitments.

      3. Nicole*

        My current employer announced a change from twice a month to biweekly pay and there was enough of a revolution that this part of the plan has been cancelled! I was so disappointed when my coworker gleefully told me it had been scrapped.

      4. Elizabeth West*

        Yes, it does make a difference when you’re budgeting or trying to decide when to pay bills. I went from weekly to bi-weekly and it freaked me out for a while. Though I often had to wait another week to pay a large bill, and now my checks are bigger when I do get them, it still was an adjustment. Plus, being bi-weekly means your pay dates fluctuate from month to month. So I still sometimes have to juggle.

    6. Wakeen's Teapots, Ltd.*

      And even though I don’t have anything to comment, those are the related posts I’m skipping down to read in the comment section.

      Who knows why!

    7. Nervous Accountant*

      Ahh, I thought I was the only one who noticed!!!

      That and whenever there’s a discussion about paychecks, there’s almost always a conversation about what biweekly/bimonthly etc mean.

      So interesting.

  13. RG*

    Regarding #2 – I would be pretty annoyed if my company insisted I stay at an AirBnB. If I’m traveling, the last thing I want to do is stay in some random stranger’s house. This millennial (I guess) certainly isn’t on board with this. Of course, this assumes someone would approve my request anyway.

    1. Jeanne*

      I would be so uncomfortable with staying at the house of the friend of my work contact. No. Hotel is best although in this case an old friend is good. Just keep saying you want to see your friend.

    2. MK*

      I don’t want to derail the thread, but is AirBnB really so much cheaper? I recently booked accommodation (NYC in July) and I looked into it, but, other things being equal, AirBnB did not cost significantly less. For me, the saving should have to be considerable, to make up for the many conveniences a hotel offers.

      1. rando*

        It depends. I believe that NYC made Airbnb illegal, so the prices are probably higher for the smaller number of units operating there.

        I use Airbnb for personal travel because I like having kitchen access on vacation. Not cooking on a business trio, so I prefer a hitel.

        1. justcourt*

          I’m not sure if this is universal or where you like to travel, but I’ve been able to reserve a bunch of studio apartments, essentially, with hostels. They’re right alongside shared hostel rooms (eww), but they’re completely private. I think I’ve paid between 35-80USD.

        2. animaniactoo*

          They didn’t make it illegal, what they did was determine that a number of the units (possibly the majority) being advertised on airbnb qualified as (layman’s terms) a business enterprise, and needed to be licensed and maintained according to the city’s regulations. iirc in order not to trip that line, the space cannot be rented out for something like more than 60 days of the year, and it must be the homeowner’s primary residence, not a second space that they own, such as an apt within a 2 family house where they occupy one apt and rent the other out on airbnb.

          Since many of the units being advertised were entire apartments, and were being rented out year round, the city determined they were being illegally advertised, ran, and forced the owners to pull the listings.

          1. animaniactoo*

            To be clearer about that, those were existing regulations, the city did not institute them in response.

            1. sam*

              yeah – basically if you’re running what is functionally a commercial hotel enterprise, you have to follow the laws for a commercial hotel enterprise, including zoning (which most of these places fail immediately, because they’re zoned as residences), but even if they could get past that hurdle, they generally won’t meet the physical requirements for hotels, like adequate fire safety (sprinklers, etc.).

              And all of that is before we get into the issue of collecting hotel taxes and whatnot, or the fact that these “enterprises” remove a substantial number of apartments from those available for people who actually need places to live in our city with a massive affordable housing shortage.

              They’re generally not trying to go after the individual who is renting out their spare room a few weeks a year to make some extra cash, or people doing apartment swaps to facilitate vacations *cough*my parents*cough*). Those people may still be technically violating the law or, probably more importantly, in violation of their leases or building bylaws/rules, which is a whole separate issue.

        3. Stranger than fiction*

          Yeah, I think that’s the perk people are going for – having a kitchen, laundry, not having to share the pool, etc

      2. Newby*

        It can be significantly cheaper if you are traveling with a group but I’m not sure about if you are traveling alone. I personally prefer hotels so I have never looked into it when traveling alone.

        1. Izzy*

          I just booked four nights in Boston for $200 with Airbnb, which was the price of maybe a night and a half at a low end hotel.

      3. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        It totally depends on the circumstances. Where I find AirBnB really pays off (financially) is if you’re not traveling solo, and staying for more than just a couple of nights. It’s WAY cheaper (in my experience) to rent a townhouse with three bedrooms for a long weekend than three hotel rooms.

      4. Artemesia*

        My son used to live in downtown LA and when we visited we could book a nice condo, spotless and with kitchen with stocked coffee machine and a separate bedroom for about two thirds what a single not particularly nice hotel room in the area would cost. It was both better and cheaper.

        We have rented vacation apartments in Europe and at vacation sites in the US for 35 years. Back in the day we would have to use a catalogue to find a vacation home in Europe. The savings at being able to make breakfast in even if you don’t eat dinner in is huge. And when you take long trips, well it makes it possible. We will spend a month in Paris this fall and our cost for that month will be about the same as if we had stayed home once the rent and airfare is paid because we will mostly cook in (and what a place to shop for food)

        We rented a 3 bedroom condo for a week for about $200 a night on the Oregon coast in August for my parents memorial and housed my daughter’s family, my son and the two of us in comfort. It had two master suites, a big dining room table, a telescope to watch the whales and a fireplace. We could not have rented 3 motel 6 rooms in this area for that amount. And with a baby it made it much easier to be able to cook and eat in the apartment as well as have nice social space indoors and out.

        Yeah, it’s cheaper and it’s better.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I need to look at this too. And the hostel private room thing. I solved the problem on a quick trip to Scotland by taking the night train, and in London, I’ve stayed with family, but that’s not always convenient. I have friends in Europe, but I wouldn’t ask to stay with them—though I might stay if they asked me. Assuming I can pay for a European vacation next spring with stuff going on… *sigh*

          As for work, NO I do not want to stay in AirBnB or the home of a coworker.

      5. Ad Astra*

        It’s cheaper for big groups, so my in-laws (I’m married to one of their six sons) use it a lot when they take a family vacation or travel to an out-of-town wedding or something. Renting a whole house definitely costs less than getting four or five hotel rooms, and being able to cook meals saves a lot of money compared to eating out three meals a day (which obviously adds up really fast when you’re a party of 10). My friends have also done it a few times. So big groups and/or long stays are a great reason to use Airbnb

        If it’s just me, or just me and my friend/husband, I’d be much happier in a hotel room. Especially since you don’t have to clean the hotel room before you leave.

        1. JaneB*

          But you don’t need air bnb to rent a house or flat in the UK/Europe at least! For the UK look for holiday cottages – there are specialist companies who ensure that descriptions are accurate and all that, rating schemes from the national tourist board and so on.

          As in intravert, I like not to have to deal with strangers too much on holiday, unless I CHOOSE to, so renting my own flat or cottage makes the holiday more restful and enjoyable…

    3. Meg Murry*

      Yes, my first thought was “ugh, really? I would not want to deal with AirBnB for business travel, put me up in a real hotel.” But maybe the company is in a town where there isn’t a real hotel (or only a crummy motel) and being able to stay at an AirBnB close to the site would be preferable to having to drive far out of the way to go to an out of town hotel? Or the only hotel is small and already fully booked, so AirBnB is the only viable alternative that doesn’t involve staying very far away? I’ve seen that kind of circumstance in small college towns like where a friend lives – normally the hotel is reasonable, but during key times like orientation, graduation and parents weekend the hotel is fully booked months in advance, and some locals take AirBnB listings only for those weekends to make some extra cash.

      However, one thing that stood out was that OP is an independent contractor. As such, OP should really be naming the terms here – and unless it was a client I desperately wanted to keep happy, I don’t think I’d accept the terms of “stay at AirBnB and get no transportation but have an employee drive me around”. If the company wants OP to travel to them, they need to accept the cost of that, which includes lodging, plane ticket and around town transportation. Maybe there is some other extenuating circumstance (like OP is a former employee who was allowed to change status to a independent contractor and work remotely when she moved out of the area, and trips back to the job site at her cost were part of the deal), but otherwise it sounds like OP isn’t being well treated by the client company when it comes to standard business travel.

      If for some reason they say no to paying for a rental car, don’t forget OP that you can get one yourself and use the cost as a business expense come tax time. However, in the future I would not let a client buy you a plane ticket until after you’ve worked out the details of what the whole trip will cost and who will be paying it – you or the customer. Or even work that into your future contracts with new clients (rates are $X per hour, and any travel to the client site be billed to the client, including airfare, lodging and transportation while at the client site).

      1. JeJe*

        I think your comment about understanding that business travel costs money is most likely the issue. It sounds like the company is trying to do things on the cheap without regard for how inconvenient or uncomfortable this is for their employees.

      2. Allison*

        I’d like to think that if the company had a reason for putting them in an AirBnB, they’d mention it, because otherwise it does make them look like cheapskates. I’d want to hear “I know it’s not ideal, we’d love to put you in a hotel but this is our best option because _____.”

      3. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Yeah, I wondered about this too. I’m thinking it might be a small company and the OP is really invested in keeping them happy? Because otherwise, yes, the OP should set the terms of travel, and they should include a hotel and a rental car.

      4. Artemesia*

        I would absolutely not want to stay in an Air BNB place owned by an employee of the place I was working for. And I would also not stay in a room under AirBNB. If I can’t have the whole place to myself, I am not going there.

      5. EM*

        Yes, it’s a small company and they did cover the airline ticket (international). They did a agree to cover the car rental. To be honest I wasn’t expecting to be invited on site. I’ve learned that is best to work out the details of the whole trip before agreeing to anything and will certainly take into account your valuable input going forward. Thank you

    4. Elysian*

      I agree totally. I’ve had one Air BnB experience and it was BAD (I know there can be good experiences, but mine was not). Not to mention that a lot of Air BnB hosts pick people based on their reviews, and I have no reviews. Which means I would likely get stuck with a crumby host who doesn’t care about their guest’s reviews. And I would have to set up an account, which I tried to do once and felt was pretty invasive. I would so much rather just stay at a hotel and not deal with Air BnB.

    5. mskyle*

      I mean I wouldn’t want to stay in an extra room in someone’s home, but if it’s an apartment or something with its own entrance and bathroom and maybe a kitchen and washer I have no problem with staying in an AirBnB for business travel. I’ve had pretty good AirBnB experiences though.

      1. Rowan*

        Just to put in one more positive vote for AirBnB — I’ve had a lot of great experiences with it for personal travel. It’s always cheaper, especially considering what you get access to — try finding an apartment-like hotel suite for the average AirBnB price! I love that my current employer is okay with people using it for biz travel (and AirBnB has recently introduced a “business travel” feature).

        But for the OP, given that you’re the one having to do the travel, you should get to stay where you want to, within reason. And a rental car should be a standard, assumed part of the cost.

      2. Murphy*

        I’m not opposed on principle, but I would miss some of the perks you get from staying at a hotel, like having someone make my bed and clean my bathroom. Business travel sucks as is so those perks are important to me (no matter how tiny they really are).

        1. Koko*

          Whereas I’m the person who hangs a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my room and refuses housekeeping service for the duration of my stay because I don’t like strangers being alone with and moving my things.

          I definitely prefer AirBnB when I’m traveling for personal trips for both the increased privacy you usually get compared to a hotel, and also the reason mentioned upthread of having a kitchen so I’m not paying $40 for scrambled eggs and a cup of coffee from room service, nor do I have to get dressed and go anywhere to eat. Work always puts me up in hotels but I can at least expense the room service on those trips…I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much of my own money.

    6. CM*

      I agree, I may be a dinosaur but I’m uncomfortable with AirBnB. Like you said, it’s a random person’s home. It may be a great experience, or they may have a camera set up in the bathroom and a bunch of shady friends with keys to the apartment, you don’t really know (other than relying on reviews). AirBnBs are often not legal or in compliance with people’s insurance policies, so if something happens to you, it’s on you. If I were asked to stay in an AirBnB for business travel, I would definitely ask if I could stay in a hotel instead.

      1. The Other Beebs*

        The whole “sharing economy” just does not appeal to me. I don’t want to ride in a stranger’s car just because they drive for Uber. I don’t want to stay in someone’s own home, even if they aren’t there. I don’t even like traditional B and Bs if I have to deal with anyone. I do NOT want to have to make small talk with the owner over breakfast. I just want a private, sterile hotel room and no forced social interaction.

        Then again, I like automated phone systems and the self-checkout at the grocery store, so there you are.

      2. Violet Fox*

        There is also the whole thing where it is a lot harder to get an AirBnB for anyone that isn’t white that makes me really uncomfortable.

    7. PizzaSquared*

      In fact, my company actually prohibits us from using AirBnB and similar services. They feel that it causes potential liability issues on multiple fronts. This makes me happy because I never want to stay in an AirBnB, but there are a handful of employees who complained loudly when the policy was put in place.

  14. Chocolate Teapot*

    2. Way back in the mists of time, a relative stayed with a co-worker when they were attending training in another location. However the co-worker might also have taken in lodgers/paying guests anyway. This predates AirBnB and even the internet by about 40 years!

  15. Purple Dragon*

    #5. Will employers care that I have no social media presence?
    I work in IT have have zero internet (viewable) presence. It’s never been an issue professionally – even for a geek !

    I’ve never even had anyone ask. Good luck with the job hunt.

    1. snuck*

      I might google someone, and if I can’t find anything I’d be actually mildly impressed (particularly if it’s a young person)… it actually takes a reasonable amount of effort to not leave a foot print and could suggest a person willing to make that effort for a range of reasons, and be the sort of person who has strong convictions. I might ask about it in an interview (but it wouldn’t get you an interview – your application would be the decider there) but more from a ‘getting to know you’ perspective than a ‘what a weirdo’ point of view. It’d be a nice way to start talking about how you view the world for team fit.

      And I live in a town that has a large number of people who are decidedly religious and eschew TV, internet and all things senseless, and thus… I’d want to know a bit more about you because in my local area it could have implications… but it wouldn’t be a deciding factor.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        But the question wasn’t about not having an internet trail at all, it was about not having a social media account. Even people who don’t use Facebook, Twitter, etc. usually have a footprint somewhere.

        1. You know my name*

          I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and more, but anyone Googling me gets exactly one relevant hit in the top 30 pages, and that’s a newspaper listing of my graduation. From 20 years ago.

          It may help that I share a name with a character in a series of novels now adapted for TV. But I’m careful to use a pseudonym online for public accounts, and my FB and real-name Twitter accounts are locked down for privacy.

          1. sam*

            I share my name with someone who was a high school track and field star, so that helps bury my actual results pretty well. In addition, my last name is also the name of a major US corporation. I can be found if you know what you’re looking for, but you basically have to search for my full name with middle initial to turn up “me” on the first page of results. And then you basically get linkedin.

            And I’m someone who has my own website, and is actively on twitter, etc. But I generally use my nickname on all of those things.

            1. animaniactoo*

              Ms JPMorgan! How nice to meet you. 8•)

              There is exactly one of me in the entire US. Possibly the world. I stay pretty locked down on my internet presence. It’s very generic.

              1. Mander*

                AFAIK I’m the only one with my name in the world. I use my real name on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook is fairly well locked down, I hardly ever post anything on Twitter and what I do post is pretty inane and harmless except for the occasional moderate political statement, and LinkedIn is of course strictly professional stuff. Someone could possibly find something to be offended by or find unprofessional somewhere in my online presence, but frankly, if they do then I don’t want to work for them.

                1. animaniactoo*

                  Ditto on FB and LinkedIn – my profile is pretty sketchy on LinkedIn anyway. I just decided recently that I should update it just to look like it was finished.

                  Not on twitter, and I only use the FB comments plug-in for notalwaysright.com and the related sites.

                  Even where I’m locked down/”anonymous” I am extremely cautious about what I post. I post nothing that I am not okay with being made public at some point. Because things happen.

                  That said, I was *furious* with Photobucket and MySpace when I did my usual “search my name double check” that I do every few months and realized that they were now openly posting my alias and full name and both were showing up topline liked together in the Google search. I hadn’t used either of them in years – it was literally 3+ years since I’d last logged in. Okay, you’re going to change the rules, fine. But that was a massive privacy and security violation. It took months before changing my “real name” on there dropped the actual one out of the search.

            2. Friday Brain All Week Long*

              I share a name with an ultramarathoner. Search for me and pages and pages of her race results come up. I’m not so quick to say it’s not me. :)

              1. AnonAnalyst*

                Me too! My name is also apparently shared with a former swim team champion. Searching for my name turns up pages of marathon times and various news articles from high school and college swim competitions.

                Although I have almost no social media presence and lead a fairly boring life (so I wouldn’t expect nothing that might impact me professionally to turn up), I am grateful to these two women for completely burying anything that might show up when someone searches for my name.

              2. Rater Z*

                When I was trying to find my son, many years after letting my ex-wife’s second husband adopt him, I kept running into a runner up in Wisconsin who was a year older than my son and lived a couple of miles away from where I had lived up there. When we did connect, 34 years after the adoption, it turned out that they had changed both his first and middle names at the time of the adoption. He found a message I had left him on the the internet because I had added his stepfathers name and that was what he had Googled.

          2. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

            I share my name with a well known consumer product. Yep. Without adding details like my employer, I’m virtually unGoogleable.

        2. Murphy*

          And then there’s people like me who have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Livejournal, etc. and Googling my name or my email address only brings up my LinkedIn. Everything else is so locked down that I’ve never been able to find me online.

        3. Stranger than fiction*

          The worst is those sites that have your age, city etc right there for anyone to see.

      2. ChemTech*

        I feel like this is why there is LinkedIn. It can direct those Google searches directly to a page I control.

    2. Aurora Leigh*

      I was so glad to see Allison answer this. Sometimes I think I’m the only 20 something without a facebook! Glad to know it won’t be a problem.

      1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        I’d only worry about it if there’s another Aurora Leigh who pops up prominently on Google, and she both could be confused for you and has anything problematic about her. For example, she also works in an industry related to yours but last year she got arrested for being drunk and disorderly in an Arby’s, or she posts really bad sappy poetry on a blog, or her Facebook profile has loads of public posts where she rants incoherently about politics. Then you might set up a super bland Facebook profile just as a counter.

        If you’re the only Aurora Leigh, though, or the only other one is an 80-year-old in Sweden who has a blog about knitting, then don’t worry about it.

        1. OlympiasEpiriot*

          This is a bit of a concern to me, as I actually have a very common first and last name. When I meet someone in biz who I suspect might do a websearch, I make a point of telling them. The first person who comes up with my name is doing time for murder. Fortunately, I have an unusual middle name. If someone is paying attention, they instantly know it’s not me. But, the whole thing is lurid enough that I like to point out and deflect.

          1. Persephone Mulberry*

            Ooh, me too! I actually have a somewhat unique first name, and the most famous person with my first and last name was/is involved in a missing child scandal. Fortunately it’s in a different part of the world and not just a different part of the country, so the odds of someone mixing us up are slim, but I keep it in the back of my mind.

          2. Minion*

            Googling me will get you page after page of a fairly famous b-movie actress from the 50’s, who’s now dead. :)

        2. anonymouse*

          This happened to me! My first and last name isn’t common, but there’s someone else with it who lives on the other side of the country and all her social media accounts are under her name (except twitter and gmail because I claimed those first). I had a few interviewers (and some dates!!) mention that I look nothing like my profile picture or was very different….and ngl I was always annoyed because this woman’s profile clearly said she lived/worked on the west coast while my resume clearly said I was living/working on the east coast. I always assume it was people being lazy about searching for info on candidates.

      2. Talvi*

        Me, too! I stubbornly fought the whole Facebook thing through high school and people have finally stopped trying to convince me to get one.

        I’m also pretty sure I’m the only [Firstname Lastname] on the planet – I just googled myself and found a whole 10 results that are actually me (the rest just happen to have my first and my last name somewhere on the same page). I’ve tried very hard to not to connect my internet presence with my real name, so all of my results are things like an abstract for a conference I presented at or the page listing my department’s grad students.

        1. CrisA*

          I’m the same, only googling my name in quotes gets 64 results, and they’re basically all either my actual relatives’ obituaries or those white page scam sites. So you can find out the names of everyone I’m related to, but that’s about it.

          It’s a problem not many of us have these days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us that do have it and are somewhat tech savvy have worked hard to keep ourselves mostly ungoogleable. I don’t want everything I do on the internet to be connected to me, and so I don’t use my full name anywhere. To the point that an awful lot of websites have my middle name in their systems as my last name.

          Also I just don’t like Facebook.

          1. Talvi*

            At least for me, I don’t know how much of it is tech savvy (I’m really not very) and how much of it is being in just the right age range to have been taught as a kid to never, ever, ever share personal information with people on the internet. It was a big deal right around the time my family got internet (I remember my class doing a workshop on internet safety in elementary school once), but I don’t think it’s a thing that lasted very long.

      3. Florida*

        “Sometimes I think I’m the only 20 something without a facebook!”

        Recently, I heard a political pollster say that the average Facebook user today is a woman in her 50s with about 200 friends. So if you were a baby boomer who didn’t have it, you might be an anomaly.

        Signed,
        A Gen X-er without FB

    3. Chrissie*

      If an employer googled me, they would find all my professional info, but my facebook account is under a nickname that is completely unrelated to my actual name. Many of my friends do the same.

    4. Nye*

      I think it depends on the field. I applied for a research scientist job (PhD required) that, as part of the application, asked you to list your internet presence. You could pick from a drop-down of Twitter, Instagram, etc. I hate using social media professionally so I put together a quickie webpage just to have something I felt comfortable listing publicly. It was one if the first questions in the organization’s application, and clearly important to them. So I’d say that you might be surprised by the jobs that ask for (or desire) a good online presence.

      1. OP5*

        Thanks Alison for answering my question and thanks for the comments. No, I do not work in any of the fields mentioned. I do something technical, non-office based, with no public contact, and tangentially similar to Nye, so thanks for the heads-up Nye. If I am Googled my vitals are not too hard to find but there is nothing personal; just some things related to previous jobs and maybe a couple of old academic things. You have to look waaay on the back pages of the Google search to even see that. My name is fairly uncommon and the only other US person with said name is much much younger and it is obvious we are not the same person. There is a murderer in Australia with the same name though (not worried).

        1. (Not an IRS) Auditor*

          The only time I would encourage it is if there is something out there you’d like to fall down the results a little farther. If I google someone and find them on linkedin, I’m pretty much done. It gives me the general info I need about the person I’m interviewing with / going to see speak at a conference / whatever reason I’m googling them. But if there’s no linkedin at the top of the results, I may scan a couple pages looking for that info and find that arrest record from college.

          1. OP5*

            I’m very boring and well-behaved. You might find my current job contact information, some of my previous addresses, and a couple of old work things.

      2. Kera*

        Field-wise, having a reasonable online presence is useful in manybits of academia – even if it’s just a google scholar page listing your papers and a ‘stuff I’m interested in’ statement, presenting that data of who you are as a researcher is an extra string to your bow. Mind you, your mileage may vary – if you don’t want to be pestered with requests to review/invitations to write a review paper/spammed with invites to a dodgy conference/etc, a lower profile is something to cultivate! I rarely invite French scientists (to pick a group as an example) to review proposals because there isn’t a culture of online presence and I can’t get a picture of whether their interests align with the proposal.

    5. Nobody*

      I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn, but I’m kind of proud of the fact that it’s not possible to find a picture of me online. A few of my relatives have group pictures that include me, but they’re not viewable by the general public, and I’m not tagged, so you wouldn’t know it was me unless you already knew what I look like.

    6. Florida*

      Another person here without social media. I usually tell people it’s because I’m in the Witness Protection Program. (Note: not a recommended answer for a job interview) I do have an online presence, as I have a website. Also, there are a lot of news article/photos about me but it’s all stuff I’m proud of.

      There are a few other people in the with my same name, but it’s pretty obvious that they are in different fields, so I don’t worry about it. Fortunately, none of them seem to be bank robbers or anything like that.

    7. Spooky*

      Editorial and media jobs ask for it all the time. It’s a very standard thing to list in the job requirements now – I feel like every post I see requires “a large social media following,” so if you only have a few hundred followers, it’s probably a waste of time to apply. But if you’re in an industry that needs it, you’ll know.

  16. AcademiaNut*

    A quick calculation, so there may be mistakes.

    I haven’t factored in deductions and tax withholding. Assuming that one job pays at the middle and end of the month, and the other every fourteenth day, starting from January first, and that’s it’s not a leap year, you would be ahead, salary wise, on the following days of the year: 14th, 28-30th, 42-44th, 56-58th, 70th-73rd, 84th-89th, 98-104th, 112-119th, 126-134th, 140th-150th, 154th-165th, 168th-180th, and 182-end of the year.

    If you start on the first day of the month on a month other than January, the basic pattern with be the same, with a slight variation due to the fact that months have different days in them. Starting in the middle of one of the pay periods would be more complicated – I’d need to do some more coding to calcualte that.

    1. AcademiaNut*

      Or, for a simpler approach, you will be consistently ahead from the point at which you get your first three paycheck month.

  17. Chiming in on #5....*

    Piggybacking on question #5, I have a related question: what about finding a job in academia–how much does social media or digital humanities expertise matter? It seems to be a “nice to have” grey area. I am an assistant professor in a humanities field and plenty of junior professors at other institutions have developed digital humanities side projects and nifty Web sites. (Faculty at more advanced levels advanced to tenure at a time when DH and social media were non-issues.) Given family, work, and teaching responsibilities, however, I do not have much time to develop the technical expertise necessary to take on a similar project. I have helped out with content for a Web site for a nonprofit whose goals I support, but I do not have my own site or code. Is such expertise essential? Does anyone have info on whether such skills would make a significant difference with search committees or promotion/tenure committees? If so, what have you found to be good entry points, programs, or teaching series for entry-level skill building for an academic? Or can you suggest priorities for important social media or digital skills to develop?

    1. Sandy*

      Check out Chris Blattman’s blog. He has tons of advice that would likely to be applicable to you and a very solid footing in the social media world.

    2. Chrissie*

      Many academic bloggers work with a standard website template and mainly create content. They blog about academia in general, or developments in their field. Also commenting/disseminating other people’s publications (and one’s own) plus relevant news on twitter seems to be a thing.

      From my perspective, you should only take this on when you feel strongly compelled to consistently post through some channel. A blog that was last updated 7 months ago wont help your reputation.

      All this under the assumption that you have a current professional website, which is typically hosted at your institution. This should be kept up to date, have all the teaching info etc.
      If you want to dip your toes, introduce a news reel on that website (for news such as Welcome group member Joe/Clarissa won a thesis award/Anna and Tom are visiting X symposium/new publication is out) or dabble in e-learning if your university offers a framework for this. If you can manage something like this, you can actually get something useful out of it.

    3. Jeanne*

      I would look at the presence the current professors have. If they have a significant presence then that may be important at that university. Academia is so different than corporate. It might be that if you want the job you’ll have to find the time to develop that presence.

    4. Sara*

      I think it will depend on the job–some in the humanities are obviously looking for digital humanities types (and say so in ads) so it’s obviously important to them; others are not. But pretty much everywhere I think publishing (and strong teaching record, if a SLAC or community college) matter most. I would have good answers for how you creatively include technology in the classroom. I’ll also mention that I’ve found Twitter to be a surprisingly useful networking tool, at least in my discipline, so that is something to consider — low effort/time/learning curve, just post interesting discipline-relevant stuff as you come across it.

      1. Bibliovore*

        When I decided to apply for my present academic position, I waged an all out campaign on social media campaign. Visibility is important in academia. My Facebook/twitter/ Linked in is all professional content. I sent “link-in” requests to significant names in my field. (I went from 0 to 90 on Linked In and Twitter) I commented, share, and liked to articles, postings, and news in my field on Facebook. It was on Facebook and Linked in that I private messaged people for help on content for my job talk. I twittered from conferences, lectures and special events. The academic hire is the long game- I applied in January, had a committee phone interview in May, an on-site at the end of July and an offer in August. I do have a blog with a following in my field.

        The key is professional. I never share anything on social media that isn’t work related except for the rare shot of my very cute dog and perhaps a nature photo from a walk.

    5. fposte*

      I think you’re really asking about social media, since digital humanities is a research area, and a fundable one to boot; it’s not a spare-time project.

    6. Queen of the Lab*

      I’ve been on academic hiring committees, although not in humanities. We totally Google candidates but that’s because we are nosy. I don’t think any of the web presences sways the hiring decision. Here, in our non-humanities department, the people with nifty web projects use them for their portfolios, which are used for faculty reviews and tenure decisions. Not hiring.

  18. Merry and Bright*

    I wonder if the social media presence question is connected with some of the job search advice out there? Make your presence known, put your personal brand out there, keep yourself in recruiters’ view, etc.

    You do get the impression from some recruitment advice that you won’t get hired at all unless you spend as much time on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as on actual job applications.

    And then there is AAM.

    1. snuck*

      I think it depends on the field…

      If it’s a marketing, sales or similar position, or a specialty field where a blog might help you build a profile and client base… then sure.

      But if it’s to be an admin person in a payroll office of a large corporate? I’d tone that online prescence down by a number of magnitudes. Otherwise you are at risk of oversharing, giving too much away, for a role that needs less outrageous personality and more conformity. (Generalisations ahoy) I know that I’d be side-eyeing anyone who had a massive mountain of social media – wondering where and when they got the time to do it all – and if I saw it was happening during work hours I’d be inclined to walk away from the applicant rather than risk having to deal with the behaviour issue on my clock…. assuming I had many well qualified applicants of course.

      1. Merry and Bright*

        That’s a good point of course, and I do see it depends on your field. This distinction is one of the things that sets AAM apart from other blogs.

        I do have a social media presence but it’s pretty low-key. I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn, and comment on a radio blog as well as AAM. Nothing controversial. But then I work in UK government admin and not marketing etc.

        1. snuck*

          Call me old fashioned, but I find that very heavy social media presences feel narcissistic … I’m not saying everyone with that is… but it just feels weird to me to be all over social media without actually doing anything meaningful/having an important message to share.

      2. Spooky*

        It’s not just that it might help you – a lot of job applications in media/editorial fields actually require active accounts and very large followings to even be considered. It’s very normal now.

      3. Ad Astra*

        Even if you’re not a blog/social media person, having *some* online presence is going to be important in media and communications. It looks suspicious (to us) when someone has absolutely no online footprint. A couple of boring, rather impersonal things will at least show that you have indeed used the internet before.

        I would think other industries are far less suspicious. In general, though, I’m always surprised at how many companies/hiring managers *don’t* google applicants before bringing them in.

    2. OP5*

      No, I was just wondering if I’m a weirdo. This is a question that occurs to me periodically. It came to me when I was reading something on AAM earlier this week.

    3. Jennifer*

      Yeah, I went to another talk where the guy only talked about how awesome and mandatory LinkedIn and Facebook were and you simply HAVE to have a picture (in black and white so they can’t tell your race! Wait, what?!) and 66% of all employers want to check your LinkedIn….

      I wrote some lovely complaints on the evaluation for that. Especially since the talk was supposed to be about how to get through the automatic HR system and not how super kewl social media is.

  19. Anonacat*

    I had to read #4 a few times to understand. I’ve always been paid fortnightly – I.e, every second Monday – rather than twice per month. It had never even occurred to me that the latter process existed! I think it’s uncommon in my country.

    1. KiwiLib*

      Yeah, it took me a moment to realise it meant twice a month(i was envisaging no pays during December or something!) I think it’s an Amerian thing; I know Netherlands pay is usually monthly, here in New Zealand, it’s usually fortnightly. Though I did have a job once which paid monthly, which I liked, but I know others didn’t. I guess it’s what you’re used to!

      1. Anonacat*

        Ha, I’m also a Kiwi (and library-adjacent)! I think every job I’ve had has paid fortnightly.

  20. Katie the Fed*

    AirBnB? Seriously? If a company wants you there, they should pay for a hotel. I once stayed in a hostel for an academic conference in grad school – ugh! Never again!

    1. Some Sort of Management Consultant*

      I wonder if there might be reimbursement or tax issues if they stay in an AirBnB.
      I know we can’t use Uber for work for that reason at least (though precisely what it is that’s the issue, I don’t know.) I work at a global professional services firm.

      1. Development Professional*

        We use Uber for work, and actually have a corporate account with them. I can select the corporate account as a payment type in the app (instead of my personal credit card) and it prompts me to enter a cost code and a note before I can complete the booking. Then it gets charged directly to a company credit card (I don’t have one, it’s someone else’s) and I don’t have to submit for reimbursement.

    2. Caledonia*

      Hostels aren’t that bad, although admittedly not really suitable for a conference due to the nature of hostels – sharing rooms, often with people arriving late into the night/early in the morning, no privacy etc.

      1. Katie the Fed*

        Right. I’m fine with them for travel. But for work when I need to be put together and rested? Not the best idea. But I was so broke.

    3. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

      What’s your beef with AirBnB?

      It seems like people are assuming that the company is asking her to rent a room in someone’s house. But AirBnB has a huge variety of options. I’ve rented cottages on the ocean, condos in downtown, duplexes in the suburbs, etc.

      1. beachlover*

        I know. AirBnb is great. Found a really nice apt in Paris – 4 days, 3 nights for less than $300. My sister-in-law rents out a room in her house thru AirBnb- and she is a gourmet cook, so that is a plus!

      2. Elsajeni*

        Yeah, I think AirBnB could actually be very nice for business travel, if you’re able to find an option where you rent out a whole apartment (not a room in a shared space). But I think it makes a difference that they’re suggesting a specific place — it’s not “oh, use AirBnB, you can find a nice place,” but “Steve used to run an AirBnB, you should stay there.” So it sounds more likely that we’re talking about a room in Steve’s home; even if it is a separate space, the fact that he doesn’t rent it out anymore raises some questions about why he stopped and whether it’s still set up to accommodate a tenant; and regardless, since he’s a coworker, staying with him or at his property introduces a layer of relationship weirdness that wouldn’t be there if you were renting a room from a stranger. I wouldn’t like the idea either.

      3. Katie the Fed*

        AirBnB is lovely for personal travel. But for professional travel, I think a business should spring for a proper hotel where issues can be professionally addressed and you’re pretty much guaranteed a certain level of privacy and comfort.

      4. Meg Murry*

        The other sticky part about AirBnB is that unlike hotels, unless you find a place with the “instant book” option, is that the AirBnB hosts have to accept your request to stay there – and there are studies that show that people of color are turned down more often than whites. And not just anecdotally – professors are doing research on the topic.

        I’ll link to the story in the next post, but you can find it on the Hidden Brain podcast by searching for the NPR story called AirbnbWhileBlack

        Overall though, I agree with you that AirBnB has the possibility to be a good option for travelers, but I would hesitate to use it for business travel because it just seems like it has the potential to be a major hassle. In my area, AirBnB tends to be someone’s spare bedroom, not a private space, and I’m just not comfortable with that. If the company offered up more of an explanation (there isn’t a local hotel, but we usually have people stay at this nearby BnB, it’s really nice and professionally run, you can book it through AirBnB) I’d be much more willing, as opposed to “go look for a booking on AirBnB” with no understanding as to whether you are talking about a $50 stay on someone’s couch or a $500 penthouse apartment.

      5. Political staffer*

        I prefer the privacy and amenities that come with hotels. They’re a worry-free stay and I don’t have to worry about things like household chores and cooking.

  21. Jeanne*

    For #1, I vote you don’t say anything to your boss. It doesn’t matter what you say about the project. She will continue as his favorite. If you say nothing, you will probably be able to continue to see what they write about you in emails. You will know better where you stand and how to adjust what you ask for. I’m sure it feels like junior high and that stinks. If you can manage to take the mature high road, you will at least have a clear conscience.

    1. Mockingjay*

      I recommend that you don’t use the Golden Child for anything else. She won’t ever be a useful check; her goal will be to find problems where none exist, or to magnify small things out of proportion while running straight to the boss.

    2. Willis*

      I agree. Plus, if boss is already going “nuts” because you emailed him with concerns about a project, it seems unlikely he’ll be too interested in addressing additional concerns about his email to Golden Child. I’m not saying there’s never a time to speak up, but the costs seem to outweigh the benefits here.

    3. Stranger than fiction*

      Oh I’d totally want to bring random things up in convos just to see his expression when he’s thinking “wait how does she know that”

  22. Erin*

    #5 – I remember a prior OP on here who didn’t have any social media because of a stalker situation, and her boss was giving her a hard time about not having a LinkedIn account.

    I’m not saying you should lie and say you have a stalker or something, but if it comes up you could have some ready made statement about why you’re choosing not to, or are unable to, for personal reasons. I’m sure there are a ton of reasons why someone wouldn’t have social media, and it’s not really anyone’s business.

    I think the the more important thing is that nothing negative is coming up when you’re Googled. :) No news is good news. I don’t think your lack of a presence will be a red flag given you’re not in a social media/marketing industry.

    1. Anonymous for this post*

      This is actually why I don’t have much of a social presence. I have had it come up a few times when interviewing for HR positions and I always just say “for personal reasons I am not on Facebook or other social media sites for personal use, but I am skilled for posting for business purposes.”

      A few have tried to push to learn more, but I simply keep saying no and moving on.

    2. Scotty Smalls*

      I had a close friend who was a victim of identity theft and is now very adverse to sharing any personal info and doesnt do social media anymore. At first I thought they were a little extreme for doing so, but when I saw that it took them over two years to get the mess cleaned up, I understood.

    3. SH*

      I work for a consulting company and networking is a major part of the job. The Admin roles don’t require this but it would (unfairly) raise a red flag if a Millennial didn’t at least have a LinkedIn account.

      1. Anonymous for this post*

        If you could prove it was job related, and required for all age groups (not just millennials), then absolutely. But if not, I would question if it was really needed and why the expectation was different because of age.

      2. OP5*

        Nope, no networking for me. No LinkedIn either, I consider that social media. By some calculations I am technically a Millennial, but if that is true I am the most ancient Millennial out there and the other Millennials do not acknowledge that I am one of them (I don’t describe myself as such). By other calculations I am one of the very youngest Gen-Xers or the “in between” people who don’t have a name for our generation.

        1. Corporate Drone*

          I don’t understand the “no networking” comment. All business is about meeting and working with people. If you eschew LinkedIn, you put yourself at a serious competitive disadvantage.

          1. A Non E. Mouse*

            If you eschew LinkedIn, you put yourself at a serious competitive disadvantage.

            I think that’s probably a valid point, but (at least for me) not something that tips me over into creating and then managing the account.

            I’m a geek, and have no social media presence. I have thought long and hard about whether or not I should, and have had very good friends with Real Knowledge About These Things tell me I should, but I’ve never pulled the trigger and…I’m OK.

            To each her own!

        2. Mustache Cat*

          Hmm. It probably depends a lot on your industry, but to me not having a LinkedIn would be a red flag. I almost never use my LinkedIn for anything (you certainly don’t need to ‘network’ on it, and to me it doesn’t really qualify as social media) but it functions as sort of a verifier that you exist and have some sort of presence.

        3. LQ*

          I’d bet I’m darn near the same age you are. You do networking. Unless you never talk to people at your work or in the course of your work. You might not go out and sit down and go to networking meetings, but just conversations with people and making people think Oh! OP5 is awesome at Work is basically networking. (personally I think of this as networking, no one here might know who I am but I am learning about things and so when I’m regularly reading and posting I am getting the learning about other businesses and what other people do in my business, and also this is a really low cost kind of networking)

          You’re likely fine having no accounts, but networking (“hey Joe, are there any openings at your shop?”) is a way to get jobs that don’t require any social media. If you are looking for jobs where a corporate recruiter hunts you down then it might be slightly harder.

  23. MechE31*

    #3, I’ve been on the receiving end of this. It on Southwest, so no change fees, just a credit valid for a year in only my name. My boss didn’t have an issue with it and my company didn’t have a policy in place on it.

    I think the concept is fine as long as people aren’t intentionally booking travel just for the transfer, which is a very slippery slope and hard to prove. Has the employee made it known outside management that he is asking for this? If not, I’d keep it very quiet.

  24. Scotty Smalls*

    #5 – I work in marketing and I have a very limited social media presence and its been fine. I do know the basics of social networking and have been the administrator of several work accounts in past roles, so I include this work on my resume.

  25. Roscoe*

    #1 Don’t bring it up. There is no way for it to not seem like you were snooping on your boss. Not that I don’t belive your story of how you found out (although it still seems you may have been reading something that you shouldn’t have been, even if you didn’t go looking for it), but if I were your boss, I wouldn’t believe it. Either way, you found out something you weren’t supposed to know, so bringingi it up makes you look bad, no matter what he said.

    1. Jena*

      Thanks for the feedback. I am probably leaving the position this summer anyway and it is VERY tempting to bring it up when I quit, but even then, I think I’m going to be better served taking the high road.

      1. RVA Cat*

        Yes, to salvage the reference at least. I hate to say, but you may also need to go along with Golden Child’s changes since your boss supports her, as long as the potential consequences aren’t too dire (no exploding Ford Pintos etc.).

  26. Persephone Mulberry*

    For the past four years my husband and I have been on biweekly pay schdules that coincidentally fall so that one of us gets paid every week. When I took my new job, I assumed it would be a more traditional 2x/month schedule and was dreading having to rejigger our bill paying schedule, but nope! We lucked out and my new company’s pay cycle was the same as my old. It’s so handy.

    1. Murphy*

      We have that too and I love it. We can pay our mortgage on an accelerated weekly schedule and shave years off the amortization.

  27. Phoebe*

    #4 – The math is that those paychecks now come more often. Instead of getting paid just twice a month you’ll be getting paid every 2 weeks. That means that twice a year you’ll receive 3 paychecks in one month. I get paid this way and use those 2 extra paychecks to buy big ticket items for cash, which means I don’t have to pay it off over time like I used to do.

    1. Phoebe*

      Sorry, I guess I should have read through the comments first. I now see that this has already been said many times in many ways. Congrats on the raise #4!

  28. E*

    #3: I don’t think asking him to cover the change fee plus the ticket is at all reasonable because he could presumably just buy the ticket for the ticket cost unless it’s gone up significantly. Other than that, I think the right answer depends on how likely this is to come up again in your business, how professionally the employee has behaved since resigning, etc.

  29. newlyhr*

    RE: pay cycles. The situation the OP outlines is part of why so many people have difficulty with their finances. We are emotional about money. A good way to overcome this is to have a budget. When you put it on paper and track it, you see where your money is coming from and going to. Most people I know, including me, cannot estimate their bills or their income very well because of this emotional relationship we have. Some of us overestimate; others underestimate. Tracking my income and expenses is the only way I can know with confidence how I am doing.

  30. K130*

    #1 reminds of when my boss told my direct report she deserved a medal (we were military) for putting up with me.

  31. Oryx*

    I can’t comment on the AirBnB thing without more information. There’s a vast difference between having a single room to yourself while the owner and his wife are still there and having an entire apartment/condo/house to yourself for the duration of your stay.

    1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

      Agreed. But I wouldn’t agree to stay with a coworker regardless. What if his dog kept me up all night? What if I broke his lamp? I want those kinds of problems kept far away from my workplace.

      1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        And more to the point, this LW doesn’t need a place to stay. Alison’s scripts are easy – she can just use them and enjoy her stay with her friend.

  32. mazzy*

    #4 – put the date of your last check in cell A1 in A2 put equals A1 + 14. It will treat the. Date as a #. Drag down..in cell B1 put equals text(A1,”MM”). this will pull just the month part of the date to make it easier to summarize, do a count by month. I’m sure you can eyeball this one but you could also do a pivot table by month and in the lower right box put any field by count to tell you how many times the month occurs.

    Not to give a basic excel tutorial but that’s how one searches for this (you mentioned not knowing how to).

  33. Cucumberzucchini*

    I am so surprised so many people have such strong feelings about pay periods. To me it makes no difference. Even if you’re living Paycheck to Paycheck most bills allow you to set your pay date. I’ve been self-employed for a large portion of my working career so when I have received a paycheck when working for other companies I was just thrilled to see money show up in my account in consistent intervals.

    It’s like eating a sandwich cut in two pieces or thirds. It’s the same size sandwich. It shouldn’t matter how many slices it’s cut into – you’re eating the same amount of food.

    1. Anonymous Educator*

      Yeah, I don’t get it either. I used to work at a place that paid once a month (on the 15th), so guess when I paid all my bills? Everything I scheduled to be paid on the 16th.

      I’ve also worked at places that pay twice a month.

      It really doesn’t matter. I get there may be a psychological component to it, but if you restructure your bill payments, it’s no biggie.

      1. AnonAnalyst*

        I’m also in this camp so I’ve been surprised to see all the comments. The only time I care what the pay period is is when I change jobs because chances are good that I’m going to be waiting for the first paycheck longer than I’m used to.

        My current employer pays monthly which was rough when I first started the job as I was coming off a couple of months of not working. I started the job at the beginning of the pay period so didn’t get a check for almost a month, so that was hard and I certainly was aware that the pay period was a month long. But now that the checks come at regular intervals, the timing doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve found this to be true (for me!) in past jobs that paid twice a month or every two weeks as well.

    2. mazzy*

      I am on my first 24 times per year cycle and love it, it makes budgeting much easier. Yes, it’s the same amount every year but two “extra” checks per year is cumbersome from a planning perspective. Even if you’re just saving those amounts, now you’re saving around your company’s calendar. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck a 24 times per year cycle definitely helps with bills. Not to mention that the urge to do something frivilous with the extra checks is too great, compared to with regular checks.

    3. Ad Astra*

      For me, it felt like there was never a good time to set my due dates. Sometimes there was money in my account on the 15th, and sometimes my paycheck didn’t come in until the 16th or 17th. Similarly, sometimes I’d have money on the 1st and other times I’d be broke until the 6th.

      The real problem, of course, was that I wasn’t really making enough money to get by. And I probably needed to budget more carefully, too (it would have saved me some overdraft fees, at least).

      So far my best solution has been to just find a job that pays better. Obviously easier said than done, and it certainly didn’t happen very quickly for me. Jumping up from $29,500 in 2011 to (eventually) $40,000 in 2015 solved *a lot* of my problems.

  34. Corporate Drone*

    #5, when you say you have “no accounts,” do you not even have a LinkedIn account? Because not being on LinkedIn, or having an incomplete, sparsely populated profile, will definitely look strange, especially because you are young. I heard a corporate recruiter comment that “If you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. And if you don’t have a photo on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”

      1. Mustache Cat*

        Well…most people in the workforce have a job. That’s just a statistical fact, so you can in fact do a number of self-harmful things and still get a job. However, from my own experience on the hiring side of things, if an applicant didn’t have a LinkedIn (I don’t bother checking for other forms of social media) then I would really hesitate about calling them in for an interview.

        You probably just never hear from the people who have already rejected you for not having a LinkedIn.

        1. Not Karen*

          You’re absolutely right. Considering that out of the two jobs I applied for, both of them invited me for an interview, 100% of the jobs I applied for that rejected me must have done so because I didn’t have a LinkedIn.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I see lots of well qualified candidates who aren’t on LinkedIn! I’m sure it’s a field-specific thing; what field do you and Mustache Cat hire in?

      1. Mustache Cat*

        I’m in the nonprofit world! To be fair all the experience I’ve had for hiring is for younger candidates. Not having a LinkedIn isn’t a deal-breaker for me (because that would be the dumbest deal-breaker in the world) but I would be a little bemused, and slow to pick up the phone. To me it’s such a standard that not having one feels weird to me.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Oh, interesting — that’s my world. Well, I encourage you to reconsider! I hire people at all levels in nonprofits, and I swear to you it’s not uncommon for strong candidates not to be on there!

      2. Ad Astra*

        I know a handful of younger (under 30) workers who don’t use LinkedIn, and they don’t seem to notice any negative consequences. Of course, they have no way of knowing whether this cost them an interview when HR (or whoever) tries to look them up. But, honestly, I don’t feel like LinkedIn has really benefitted me professionally, either, and I’ve been using it since college.

        1. Anonymous Educator*

          I mean, it could all just be chance. If you happen to find a hiring manager who thinks everyone must have a LinkedIn presence and you don’t have one, you won’t get that job. And if you happen to find a hiring manager who doesn’t care and likes you, you might get that job. And once you have a job, what do you need your LinkedIn presence for… until you need another job? And then by chance you may not need it again.

    2. LQ*

      I can see this being true from a corporate recruiter who focuses on LinkedIn to hire. But I know several younger people who don’t have LinkedIn. (actually a good handful, but they likely wouldn’t even count as existing because they work in nursing or hospitality) Some are people who have never had trouble finding a job aren’t on LinkedIn because they just haven’t had a need for it.

    3. PizzaSquared*

      I do find it strange if an experienced candidate doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile. It is so much the norm in my industry that it stands out when someone doesn’t. I don’t hold it against them, but it does prevent them from potentially getting any number of small (maybe even subconscious) boosts I sometimes give when I look at someone on LinkedIn. For example, maybe we have a former co-worker in common, or they’re part of some group I’m in. These are of course TINY, TINY factors in hiring — I’d never choose to hire (or not hire) someone based on them. But there have definitely been times that some commonality I saw on LinkedIn has come up in the interview, and it’s improved my opinion of the candidate. I think this is just human nature.

      So, my view on this is that creating a LinkedIn profile requires a very small amout of effort, and has at least some potential benefits, so why would someone NOT do it?

      As for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., I never go looking for those accounts unless I’m hiring for a social media position, and I don’t care if someone doesn’t have them. Sometimes I do stumble across them if I Google someone, and occasionally I’ll take a quick glance, but seldom more. The only time it would be a factor is if it happened to show some sort of really horrible judgement, but I’ve never had that happen.

      1. Kalli*

        I have a wonderful reason to not use LinkedIn – you can’t hide it from people you don’t want to find you.

        I ditched my LinkedIn after a rapist used it to reach out to me a good ten years later, wanting to reconnect and being so proud that I had done well in my field. This was _after_ my abusive ex-boss had been using it to track me down and tell everyone that I was a wonderful person who just couldn’t follow instructions and therefore sabotaged my entire career (never mind that she gave me instructions in text speak or not at all, and took off for two months leaving me in charge of her department… with no instructions), and then wanted to reconnect because she missed me since we were like family.

        Unless you go and routinely search for everyone who might attack you – ex-partners, ex-partners of friends, the kid in school who made your life miserable and would tear you down in a fit of jealousy that you did better than they did, you can only react when they reach out, when they’ve already done their damage.

        It might be great if you have absolutely no bad history with anyone ever (and I’m sure someone’s out there waiting to pounce and tell me it’s a pattern that’s only mine and all my fault, so thanks in advance but no), but for many people they might not be able to take that risk. For other examples – people who got out of domestic violence relationships, people who have had stalkers, people who were victimised for coming out, people who have estranged family…

        If you have someone in common, and that’s a tiny factor, there are other ways it might come out in an interview (“oh, you worked at X Teapots? I knew someone who worked there doing Teapot Analysis…”) rather than expecting someone to risk their safety for a tiny possibly-not-even-there benefit? That you don’t actively hire on?

    4. Mander*

      I don’t think anyone in my industry actually uses it to recruit, but we are a bit specialist. Having said that everyone I know has a profile, but I don’t think I have ever seen a relevant job posting on LinkedIn.

    5. Political staffer*

      I am absolutely uncomfortable putting my photo on the internet. Back when I was on social media, my profile pictures were of my cat.

      The reason I was never on linked in was because of the photo. Nobody has ever brought this up in a job interview and it’s never impacted my ability to find work.

  35. animaniactoo*

    #1 – At a minimum, do not ask to use her when you could use a second set of eyes in the future. I’m assuming you’d be burned badly enough by this to automatically connect not going there, but just to be sure…

    And if he insists that you use her, insist that he define to her – in front of you – the boundaries to be observed. She is to review and make recommendations to you, she is not to change ANYTHING without your approval. You are in charge, every change must have your approval.

  36. Employment Lawyer*

    3. Resigning employee wants to buy his upcoming plane ticket from us
    Mediator suggestion: Have him pay for 1/2 or 2/3 of the cost of the ticket plus the transfer fee.

    You benefit because you get 1/2 or 2/3 of the money, which would otherwise be wasted. (That said: are you really really sure you can’t get a single dollar in credit, reuse, etc? Does the airline want to lose your business? Check with a competent travel agent!!)

    You benefit because you look like a nice guy.

    He benefits because he saves a bit on a ticket.

    And you control risk; nobody in a high-level position is likely to pre-buy travel merely to potentially save a few hundred dollars.

    That said, you can always make a tradeoff. Like, “he gets the ticket but he has to stay at work an extra week and train someone.”

    1. H.C.*

      OP3: In addition to checking into credit & reuse, I’d also see if the ticket is really a sunk cost. It’s still 3 months out till the September conference, are you sure this (ex-)employee’s colleague or replacement can’t go in his stead?

  37. BronxGirl*

    Re the LW with 24 vs 26 paychecks a year. Believe it or not, I get paid weekly (every Thursday) and I love it. Even if I blow an entire paycheck as soon as I get it, at least it’s only a couple of days until I get another. Obviously, I try never to do that since it makes paying bills difficult. But my prior job was semi-monthly on the 15th and the last day of the month. And when there were 3 weekends between paychecks, it always seemed like I was being shorted pay somehow, even though I knew I wasn’t.

  38. Former Retail Manager*

    #1…I just wanted to second Alison’s statement that you need not always flee a crummy boss. To the best of my recollection, every single one of my previous managers, except one, were “throw your people under the bus” managers. To your face they totally understood and supported why did/didn’t do/or certain things just were the way they were. But let a bit of criticism come from their boss, regarding their performance and handling of circumstances or a situation, and the story changed. They suddenly put all the blame on the employee(s), sometimes to the extent of blatantly lying that they had ever said something was okay or to take a certain action. I have simply accepted that most people are like this…..self preservation and all. I never left because of any of the managers. I just found a way to deal with them. In fact, I remained personal friends with some of them long after I no longer worked for them. I chocked it up to the fact that they were likely not well suited for management to begin with and lacked confidence in themselves and their own decisions resulting in their hestitancy/refusal to stand up for their employees. Many who did this, were and are good people personally, which I realize sounds very contradictory.

    Anyway, sometimes it’s best to feign ignorance and carry on if the benefits of the position outweigh the pitfalls. And for what it’s worth, I have experienced exactly what you did, being talked about negatively behind my back, and after much soul searching I decided it wasn’t worth risking my financial future, by leaving a great paying job with great benefits, to get away from someone who would likely continue to behave that way long after I left only to go work for an unknown individual who may not be any better and perhaps even worse.

    Best of luck!

      1. Former Retail Manager*

        Chris, not sure if you get notifications of comment replies or not….I don’t…and thus I am waaayyy late to the party. As for dealing with it, earlier in my career (when I was in retail) I didn’t have a choice, financially speaking. It was work there or be unemployed. I was a single parent for a period of time, attending school full time and also working full time so I had very specific scheduling needs that could not be met by another employer so I stuck it out (FOR 11 YEARS!). Truthfully, I vented to friends and colleagues on the regular, drank from time to time, and just tried to remember there was a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a career change. If you’re doing the math, I was not in school full time until toward the end of my retail career when I knew my sanity was at risk and I needed to finish my degree and get the hell out.

        In my professional career, I have secured a position whose benefits far outweigh the negatives (which includes a throw your people under the bus boss). However, when I’m in a funk, and believe me I am from time to time, I keep my mouth shut, do my job, and focus on the positives of the position.

        Basically, it sounds cliché, but it really is all about your attitude. I cannot control my boss’ behavior or anyone else’s. I can only control how I react to their behavior and whether or not I let it get to me. Don’t get me wrong. I have days where I want to get in my car, drive away, and never look back, but I, like most people, can’t do that. Also, having been in retail for so long, anything that has been thrown at me in my professional career pales in comparison to the individuals I worked for in retail. And I am now not so naïve as to believe that the next boss will be better. I’ve worked for many bosses over the years, all ages, gender, races, and education levels. THEY’RE ALL THE SAME!!! I tell myself that too. I personally always prefer a known over an unknown if I have a choice in the matter. If you are fortunate enough to find that rare “good manager” follow them wherever they may go if you can. They are few and far between.

        Caveat: If your boss is verbally abusive/harassing/etc. this doesn’t apply and you should look elsewhere, but a little sh*t talking behind the employee’s backs seems to be par for the course from my own experience.

  39. JanetInSC*

    As teachers, my hubby and I were paid twice a month. I hated it at first because it was difficult to pay bills on time, but I transferred savings into my checking account as a buffer and made sure my overdraft protection was up to date. (Overdraft protection really is a life-saver.) We were fortunate to be older and more solvent when the district changed from a monthly paycheck. Not everyone is in a position to have savings, especially the teachers with families or the new teachers just starting their careers.

  40. stevenz*

    #3. I don’t agree with Alison (it sounds like I’m disagreeing with her a lot these days but it’s just a phase) that the company paying for the ticket sets a precedent of some sort. Since compensation agreements with employees are private and confidential there is no precedent because no one else knows about it. They don’t have to do the same thing for the next person if they don’t want to. Only where decisions are public – courts, government bodies – is precedent an issue.

    #5. What’s a sock puppet account?

    1. Phoebe*

      Where someone sets up additional accounts under one or more aliases in order to comment as different people. Usually for the purpose of supporting their own position or to purposefully provoke an argument.

  41. stevenz*

    I know I’ve driven several bosses nuts. It can come with the job – mine and theirs.

  42. Kalli*

    #5 – just be aware that the company might want you to have a linkedin (at the very least) and want you to crosspost company stuff on there. Be prepared to have a way to deal with that and stick to it, and if they set one up for you (which, seriously, I have seen this done), then insist it is taken down.

    @stevenz, a sock puppet account is a fake account (usually under another name) that you can use to talk to people without them knowing it’s you, or to like your own posts, etc. etc.

  43. Audiophile*

    I guess I’m just used to biu-weekly paychecks. I’ve always had 26. I’ve only ever held one job where I was paid weekly and that was a retail job.
    I’m sure I’d adjust to bi-monthly just fine if I had to, I generally prefer the biweekly system.
    As others have said, your bills are due the same day every month. Unless of course your credit card company decides to change the day and not tell you, that’s always a nice surprise.

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