most popular posts of 2016

traffic-2016Ask a Manager’s traffic continued to increase this year, with nearly 25 million visitors and more than 50 million page views. Thanks for your part in that!

Here are the posts that interested people the most this year, via two lists: the most commented on posts and the most viewed posts. Interestingly, this is the first year that there’s been so much overlap between the two lists. Historically, the “most viewed” list has been heavier on practical advice posts (how to write a cover letter, how long to wait to hear back after an interview, etc.), while the “most commented-on” list has been heavier on the more outrageous stuff. This year, they both tended toward the outrageous.

Most commented-on posts of 2016:

(doesn’t include open threads or “ask the readers” posts, which otherwise would hold many of the top 10 places)

10. I’m in trouble for what I wore when when my boss made me pick him up for the airport in the middle of the night

9. Our boss will fire us if we don’t sign up to be a liver donor for his brother

8. A coworker stole my spicy food, got sick, and is blaming me

7. My employees refuse to call their coworker by her real name

6. My cousin got in trouble after mentioning her period to her manager

5. I emailed my girlfriend’s boss to complain that he encroached on our relationship

4. Interviewing a job candidate who won’t shake hands with women

3. My boss freaked out when he saw my menstrual products and called me unprofessional

2. I was fired from my internship for writing a proposal for a more flexible dress code

1. My best employee quit on the spot because I wouldn’t let her go to her college graduation

Most viewed posts of 2016:

10. My manager shows up while I’m having chemotherapy to talk about work

9. I feel insulted by my raise — and I let my boss know it

8. Here’s another example of a great cover letter

7. I was fired for taking initiative (and undermining my manager)

6. I emailed my girlfriend’s boss to complain that he encroached on our relationship

5. Our boss will fire us if we don’t sign up to be a liver donor for his brother

4. A coworker stole my spicy food, got sick, and is blaming me

3. The new overtime pay rules are here — if you earn less than $47,476, read this

2. I was fired from my internship for writing a proposal for a more flexible dress code

1. My best employee quit on the spot because I wouldn’t let her go to her college graduation

{ 42 comments… read them below }

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Looking quickly at the traffic sources for both years, traffic from Facebook and Twitter went way up in 2013 — so while that’s probably not the only factor, it was definitely one of them!

    2. AvantGuard*

      This is a proto typical exponential growth curve. Most populations on EA earth follow this pattern. Pretty cool to watch unfold!

  1. So Very Anonymous*

    Encroached-on OP still makes my shoulders go up around my ears. I just reread it and oh, look, another case where “needless to say, I did XYZ” leads into “doing thing that should NOT be done.”

    I hope that girlfriend ran.

  2. "Computer Science"*

    Alison, I’m truly grateful for the work you’ve put into your site over the years, and I’m so happy it’s paying off!

    1. Sophie Winston*

      +1. I made the transition into my first management position this year, and know it wouldn’t have gone nearly as well as it has without all the advice I read here. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been effective, and that’s what counts.

      1. Hellanon*

        Same here. I can hear Alison and the commentariat sometimes when I open my mouth, and it’s always far more effective than what I would have come up with on my own!

  3. Juli G.*

    I always wished we would get an update from the boss emailing boyfriend but I figured that if he read the comments, he probably wouldn’t have felt too inspired to do so (and the comments weren’t inappropriate but… the best we can hope is that the guy felt extremely ashamed of his behavior).

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        No — I requested both but didn’t receive them. (Which doesn’t surprise me — people who get roundly taken to task usually don’t bother updating.)

  4. Ask a Manager* Post author

    By the way, I have nothing other than this post scheduled for Monday, the last day of my vacation. Do y’all want me to put up a new open thread in the morning or just leave things be?

  5. Mags*

    I’m so surprised by this! I thought for sure the internship dress code post would have been the most viewed and commented on. I saw that one multiple places across the internet.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      That one and the “my best employee quit because I wouldn’t let her go to her college graduation” post both went viral (which had never happened before to an AAM post) — the latter just a little more so.

      1. roflmouse*

        Actually, the internship article is what brought me to this blog. I saw it pop up a few times around the web with titles with the word ‘millennial’. I don’t typically waste my time on writers or bloggers that write off an entire generation for being lazy. So imagine my surprise when I actually read the response that there was no mention of millennial anywhere, and it was actually a really compassionate and thoughtful response to new workers not understanding work place norms. Now I read AAM everyday, and thanks to the fabulous Allison my work life has improved considerably.

      2. Becky*

        The graduation one is what brought me to this blog. It found it linked somewhere…I think it was on Yahoo and started reading regularly after that.

    2. ZSD*

      Did an update on this one come through? I’d love to hear what that writer learned from Alison’s advice.

  6. eplawyer*

    Ahhh liver donor boss, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Also, I tried to change my entire workplace culture even though I was only an intern and was surprised everyone didn’t jump up and down with excitement.

    Then there was boss who felt concert tickets were more important than a college graduation. The update I want on that one is from the employee. I hope she found a job where her hard work is appreciated.

  7. Blueberry*

    Did we ever get an update to the manager showing up to the persons chemotherapy? I looked but could not find one.

      1. Bookworm*

        I very much appreciate how you always follow-up with letter writers. It’s so gratifying when we’re able to hear what happened, especially with a particularly juicy question.

  8. Rebecca*

    I’m really grateful that I found Ask A Manager. I think I was trying to research something about labor laws in my state, and found a post, and here we are. I have learned so much, like, yes, it’s legal, but you may not like it or it might not seem morally right, that my workplace was truly dysfunctional, my manager wasn’t a manager, just in title, and so many other things. I can also look forward to better things in my work life, as I started a new job 2 months ago, and I truly believe the tips and interview guide here had a lot to do with this.

    Oh, and I was on the fence about being honest in my exit interview, or just giving some vague answers to questions and getting out of Dodge. I decided to be honest, and I was really surprised that HR took my answers seriously and made changes that will positively benefit my former coworkers.

  9. BRR*

    Congratulations on the increased traffic! It’s very satisfying to me to see someone get the success they worked for and deserve. Also I love that so many people are hopefully adopting this advice in their work places.

  10. Kat M*

    So happy this site keeps growing! I’ve been a reader for years, and a year or two ago roped in my sister when she started looking for civilian jobs … now she’s a regular and sometimes texts me with “Did you see today’s AAM update about the [insert work situation here]? It’s amazing!”

    As an added bonus, my friends think I’m a resume and cover letter editing genius now. ;)

  11. hermit crab*

    I’m curious which (if any) of the posts listed above would still be on the top 10 lists if you *did* include the open threads or ask-the-reader posts!

  12. Mimmy*

    WOW congrats on the continued growth of your site Alison!! I’ve been a regular since 2011. While I’ve had my own job searching woes that are very complex, I have definitely learned a lot from you and the other commenters. Thank you all!

  13. Timmie*

    I’m glad that you can tell that I’m reading regularly, even though I don’t comment often. :) I really do appreciate this site a lot.

  14. ITChick*

    Well this pretty much exemplifies how messed up 2016 was overall. Here’s hoping there’s a little less crazy in the workplace this year, for all of us.

  15. EmilyAnn*

    I found this site when yahoo posted a link to a story someone had written on the interns and the dress code. When I read the summary of your advice I thought you were wrong, then I read your actual advice and it all made sense. So glad I found you and the smart, interesting and informed, commenters on the site.

  16. KBo*

    I figure that the OP who wouldn’t allow her employee to attend her graduation ceremony must feel tremendously piled on. When this happens, I often wonder whether the OPs (like the stay-at-home mom who worked with and tried to subvert Betty and Veronica and was fired and couldn’t figure out why, even though the rest of us were like “how could you miss that?”) are able to look at the sum total of the commentariat’s views with a more dispassionate eye (after the emotional punch in the gut wears away) and try to not to see it as a character assassination but people genuinely trying to help. Not that we’ll ever know.

    Anyway, forgive my rambling. I’m grateful for this site.

  17. Cover Letter OP*

    I’m so honored that the post about my cover letter made the list! I’m glad it’s been a resource to everyone!

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