Independence Day round-up

It’s the 4th of July and I’m taking the rest of the day off! But here are five posts with an independence theme —

1. In 2011, I published a letter from a reader who didn’t want her coworkers to know that she was living off of food from the employee kitchen. She was struggling financially and couldn’t afford meals, let alone new clothes, when her employer changed its casual dress code to one that prohibited jeans … and started requiring a $5 “donation” for every violation. Her three pairs of pants were all jeans. Here’s her update two months later, and another update three years later.

2. Here’s an update from a reader who had been promised a raise and promotion three years ago and never received it — and who took control of the situation and got herself a much happier ending.

3. Here’s a reader who was trying to escape her parents’ dysfunctional business — and the happy update.

4. Here’s a post about how to combat the weird power dynamics you probably have in your head while you’re job-searching.

5. Here’s a story of independence gone terribly wrong.

{ 18 comments… read them below }

    1. Mallory Janis Ian*

      I imagine her heading up the PTA, Junior League, or homeowners’ association and causing utter social ruination upon anyone who doesn’t fall in line with her obviously-superior plans.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        We had a woman like that who took over our cub scout pack, and pretty soon everyone but her cronies found other packs to join and left.

    2. Caledonia*

      to be fair, it wasn’t all that long ago. Maybe she will further on in the year.

  1. Observer*

    What I would really like to hear about is the most recent intern. With all her faults, I do think there was potential for growth. And the behavior she describes, while wildly inappropriate and self centered, is not as obnoxious to me and more in line with immaturity than #5 on this list.

    1. Blurgle*

      You mean the intern with the petition? That was cringeworthy but given her age and lack of experience I don’t think she has much to worry about as long as she learns something from the firing. We all make mistakes when we’re young.

  2. Artemesia*

    I watched a group like #5 literally destroy a professional association that had been toddling along and doing good work on a shoestring for 40 years. They rammed a bunch of bad plans through, packed the board, etc and within two years the place tanked because their plans basically undermined the value of the association to 80% of the members who then began dropping out taking their dues with them.

  3. Art_ticulate*

    Much as I’d enjoy an update to #5, I have a feeling that the writer still thinks they were in the right. Unless they’ve had a come-to-Jesus moment since it was posted, there’s nothing left to say.

    I hadn’t read #1 before and it had me in tears. Was very happy to see the follow-ups and that the writer is happy now.

  4. Haper*

    Aw, the update from OP1 had me in tears. I’m so glad things are going well for her. It’s true that just being kind to someone can change so much for the better.

    1. KarenD*

      This is one of the posts that I remember so well, because it inspired me to reach out to one of my co-workers I suspected was struggling.

      I was a regular reader of AAM by the time the third update came through and it had me grinning all day.

  5. Emma*

    “Independence gone terribly wrong” could be the tagline for the EU referendum.

    Sorry, still obsessed with it.

    Happy Independence Day American people ^^!

  6. Vroom Vroom*

    Number 4 is so much easier now than when you first posted it. When you first posted it I was still fairly entry level and hoping for ANY job (no one was hiring remember, especially not entry level-ish people, EGADS!).
    A year ago I went through a job hunt while I was happily employed (a reorg, tried to keep options open). Ended up getting 3 different offers, negotiating all of them – and actually ended up accepting a promotion from my current company in the end (again, part of the reorg was I was interviewing internally also).
    In 2010 I thanked my lucky stars to get ANY offer and didn’t dare negotiate because I knew I was basically a dime a dozen. Oh, the difference 5 years makes!

  7. That Marketing Chick*

    #1 Alison – Warn us next time if we’re going to need Kleenex! :)

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