I don’t want to go to an office slumber party, I can’t get an extra day off before my wedding, and more

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

1. I don’t want to go to an office slumber party

I work in a department of 21 and we have VPs, AVPs, and assistants, and we are mixed gender. One of the assistants sent a calendar invite to a slumber party at her house to all of the women in our department. She wants us to build relationships and she said we also get to act like teenagers but with alcohol.

I’m not comfortable with this but know if I decline, it’ll not necessarily be looked upon favorably. I’m an assistant and don’t relish having a sleepover with my VPs or even the head of our department.

Don’t want to kill the team building but this seems silly to me. What do I do?

You have a pre-existing conflict with the date, which is the best method to get out of all ridiculous invitations. If for some reason that won’t work, you say, “I’m not one for slumber parties, but I hope you all have fun.” Or you have child care commitments, dogs to walk, or other reasons why spending a night away from home isn’t easily arranged.

I would assume there are going to be plenty of other invitees who aren’t enthused about the event. Adult slumber parties aren’t exactly common, and to the extent that they happen, they’re usually between close friends, not colleagues. Your coworker is either a seven-year-old with an interest in alcohol or just out of touch with mainstream behavior.

2. I can’t get an extra day off before my wedding

My two-year work anniversary will be November 10. Between now and November 10, I have five vacation days. (I got five vacation days after working one year, which I had to use or I would lose them, and then I got another five days at the 18-month mark that I also need to use. These are the days I have right now.) On November 10, I will get another 10 vacation days to be used over the next year.

I am getting married on October 14. We would like to take our honeymoon right after the wedding, before the fall tourism rush begins in November.

I want to use my five vacation days for the honeymoon, but I also want the Friday before my wedding off. I’ve asked to borrow a vacation day from the 10 days that start a few weeks later but was told no. My manager said I can just make up the time Monday through Thursday and take Friday off. I don’t want to work 10-hour days that week. I’ve never planned a wedding before, but I imagine there’s a lot of last minute running around to do.

Put simply, I want to work 32 hours that week and just take an unpaid day Friday, which also isn’t typically allowed. I anticipate my boss would push back on this — the one time I tried to use sick time (four hours) instead of making up time, she pulled me aside and lectured me for 30 minutes about being a team player before approving it.

For the record, I am a stellar employee, I received a very atypical 10% raise after six months, and I am constantly being told I have a real future here. That said, I know I’m asking to bend the rules. Am I being unreasonable?

Nope. You’re not being unreasonable. Reasonable bosses recognize weddings as major events in people’s lives and try to accommodate reasonable requests like this. And this is reasonable — you’re not asking for several extra weeks; you’re asking to have one day advanced to you. A single day. Or you’re willing to take it unpaid. Your boss is being overly rigid.

I would say this: “I have an excellent work record here and have always been responsible with my time off. A wedding is an unusually important event, and I’m asking you to either advance me a single vacation day — which comes available to me four weeks later — or to let me take the day unpaid. It’s not an option for me to work extra long days the week of my wedding to make up the time. Given my track record here, I’m hoping you’ll work with me on this.”

Read an update to this letter here.

3. Niche job boards

You mentioned on Friday about using niche job boards to hire and find jobs. I’m unfamiliar with these sites and this approach. Would you say more about these?

They’re really just industry-specific job boards. If you have a professional association for your field (e.g., the Public Relations Society of America if you’re in PR, the National Society of Professional Engineers if you’re an engineer, and so forth), they likely have a job board. If you’re not sure, search for the name of your field plus “professional association” and see what comes up. You can also try searching for the name of your field plus “jobs” and see what you find – skip past all the listings for Indeed and Monster that will come up and look at what else is there. (And actually searching for your field plus “job board” rather than “job” seems to get better results for the handful I tried.)

4. Resumes that only list a person’s most recent title at their company

I’ve noticed when going through LinkedIn profiles and some CV’s that there are some people who seem to have only been in a single job with a single company for a huge part of their career. The thing is, these people are claiming to have been in their executive role for their entire tenure with their current company, but after having conversations with them, they explain they have moved up through the ranks.

As an example they show:
Director – Sunshine Desserts 1995 – Current

When it is more:
Sales Manager – Sunshine Desserts 1995 – 1998
Head of Sales – Sunshine Desserts 1998 – 2003
Director – Sunshine Desserts 2004 – Current

Is this common behaviour in senior roles, or am I right in thinking this is in effect lying about their job history?

I’ve noticed this on resumes too, and it’s really weird. I think it’s less a deliberate attempt to lie and more a misunderstanding of how to write a resume correctly. They think it’s okay to just list the most recent title info, without considering that it misrepresents their history there. (If they were deliberately trying to lie, presumably they wouldn’t offer up the other titles when talking to you.)

5. Personal contact info when acting as a reference

For the past year and until last month, I have been working on a fixed-term project for a nonprofit, coordinating a team of outreach workers and volunteers. The project is finished now and all our contracts expired, so we started to look for new jobs and projects straight away. I will be starting a new job next week.

I’m wondering how people in my team could go about listing me as a reference, since I moved jobs. I no longer have access to/ no longer check the me@oldcharity email address; should I advise them to list my personal email address? Wait until I’ll get a me@newjob email address and give them that one? Tell them to ask our manager, who is permanent staff, for a reference instead? (She wouldn’t know their work as closely as I do, she would probably have to contact me to get the references written anyway.)

It’s totally fine to give your personal contact information when acting as a reference; it doesn’t have to be contact info at a new job. (After all, if you’d retired or weren’t working for some other reason, people could still use you as a reference.) Your personal email address and personal phone number are fine to use.

{ 402 comments… read them below }

  1. Stellaaaaa*

    OP1: If you sense that a lot of people are going to this party and you actually like some of them, you could show up for dinner and a drink and then leave around 11 or midnight. For long events it matters more that you showed up, not that you stayed through the whole thing.

    1. Marisol*

      this is an excellent workaround. it’s showing up for the team, but maintaining appropriate boundaries at the same time.

    2. kb*

      Yeah, if this plan somehow actually comes to fruition and the rest of the department is into it, you could say you have plans early the next morning. That way you can make an appearance and be a team player and all that, but have a solid excuse to leave by 9:30.

    3. Jeanne*

      It’s unclear if this party is approved by the VPs or if they have RSVPed yes or if the assisstant just thought she had a party idea. I would want to say no either way but if the VPs started the idea I would be more concerned. The response is thank you for the invitation but I am not able to attend. The key is to then stick to that neutrality. Don’t get into reasons, just you are unable to attend. I don’t think OP should show up and leave. It complicates things.

      1. Stellaaaaa*

        It depends on whether she wants to cash in one of her “potential strike against me” chips on this scenario, since OP feels that it would come off poorly in her office if she turned down the invitation. She doesn’t mention disliking the host or any of the other attendees. The host seems to have good intentions with the party, though the theme is misguided. I don’t think this is a situation that demands anyone take a serious principled stance. Show up for a few hours, make small talk, and go home. If there’s any fallout, OP acted in good faith.

        Disclaimer: I tend to have a soft spot for people who make well-intentioned efforts to cultivate adult friendships, especially when it’s a woman who’s reaching out to other women. I think it’s a little harsh to read this as a situation where the party host is out of line or inappropriate or violating boundaries.

        1. Ramona Flowers*

          I don’t know, when you start inviting coworkers to events based only on their gender, it can be out of line.

          1. Artemesia*

            This imagine that a manager were inviting only the men to his club for an evening of cigars and drinks, or out golfing. It is the definition of inappropriate. This is more ambiguous since it appears to not be a manager (but then why would the OP care that VPs etc would care if she declined?) At any rate, this thing has a potentially creepy vibe with a side of gender discrimination.

            1. Manager-at-Large*

              This! ^^ if a male associate invited all the men but only the men, including directors and VPs, to an event that would be clearly inappropriate.

              1. Database Developer Dude*

                I was, in 2003, working in a place where the guys all got together to go to a local strip club every Monday. The burgers were THAT good too, but the strippers were nice to have as background, and I’m not going to insult everyone’s intelligence by saying the burgers were the only or even the primary draw.

                In any case, these guys were doing it long before I got there, and I’m sure they did it long after I left. One time only, I was the one to organize it, and got shit about it from one of the females in the office.

                I hate having had to do this, but I will admit I played the race card. I was the only black guy in the office, and I told the boss “These guys have been doing this long before I got here, will be doing it long after I leave, and when I, the only black guy in the office, am the one to organize it, NOW it’s a problem? WTAF, boss?” The problem quickly went away after that.

                I mean, it may or may not have been kosher to leave the woman out (she was one of two in the office, and the other didn’t care)….but who in their right mind is going to invite a female COWORKER to go to a strip club for lunch? I think that would have been the stupider option

            2. Van Wilder*

              Agreed but it’s not always equivalent. In a lot of industries, men are still dominant. It’s like how there are many black and latino networking groups but a white networking group would be inappropriate. Because of our country’s history, certain groups are still the minority and their networking is appropriate and helpful.

              That said, it could be similarly inappropriate if the majority of the highest ranks in the office are filled by women and this group is just excluding a few junior men.

        2. AcademiaNut*

          I think it is definitely out of line.

          If she had sent around a message inviting people to go to drinks after work, or on a Saturday outing, I’d say it’s good intentions and appropriate. And if she were host a booze filled sleepover with people who were friends, I’d think it was a bit odd personally, but not out of line.

          But the combination of a sleepover and the direct invitation to act like “teenagers, but with alcohol” plus coworkers is really tone deaf when it comes to appropriate work-related social events (I’m picturing getting into pyjamas, talking about cute boys, painting each others nails, playing truth or dare, but while drunk). Add in the fact that it was sent out to all the women in the company and only the women, and to everyone from VPs down to assistants, and, and it crosses over into “what were you thinking?” territory.

          Plus, the OP is worried that turning down a drunken slumber party which includes the VP is going to hurt her professionally. If that’s true, then it is very out of line.

          In a sane workplace, the host’s manager would pull in the host for a brief but firm chat about appropriate workplace social events, and some sort of message would go out clearly stating that this was not a company organized event.

              1. pope suburban*

                AUGH YES. I can only imagine what might come to light during a booze-fueled game of truth or dare. Office crushes? Office romances? Admissions of having stolen credit? Unflattering opinions of management or people not present? A gazillion types of TMI? No thank you. No no no. Time to get on the Nope Rocket to the solar system next door.

                1. Van Wilder*

                  Agreed. I am such a girlfriends’ girl. I miss my childhood sleepovers and will still have one with close friends from time to time, and love female friendships. But oh man. I hate the idea of having one with coworkers. Skeeves me out.

          1. Stranger than fiction*

            I didn’t even like that sh&$ when I was a teenager. Sounds like a nightmare.

        3. Hrovitnir*

          Man, I think inviting people to a sleep over is attempting to leap from friend level 1-10 in one go. Nopenopenope.

          I think the fact the OP doesn’t feel safe to say no completely negates anything positive about this. I think sleepover + getting drunk together is way way over the top for work friendships* and I’m not as opposed to work friendships as I’ve observed on here.

          *I don’t even think it’s a complete no-go but this is a *very* close friend thing to do for me. Staying in another person’s house to sleep is pretty damn intimate.

          1. Falling Diphthong*

            Yeah, I share Stellaaaaaaa’s soft spot for people trying to reach out and form adult friendships, but have a dinner party. Or a stitch and b*tch. (Everyone brings the crafting project you’ve been meaning to finish. Hang out, drink coffee, chat, possibly add a couple lines of crochet to your afghan.)

            1. Callie*

              oh, I want to have a S&B so bad. I have a cross stitch thing I’d love to just finish off… usually I sit and watch The Office or Parks & Rec while sewing, but it would be nice to have some other people around who are also working on projects.

          2. Not a Real Giraffe*

            Man, I think inviting people to a sleep over is attempting to leap from friend level 1-10 in one go.

            I have people with whom I’ve been friends with for YEARS, and I would still never have a sleepover with them. It is an activity reserved for a very specific subset of friends.

            This is just really not the way to cultivate adult friendships, especially with coworkers. Grab a bite to eat or a drink after work, get a group together to go on a hike if that’s your thing, start a book club. Do not invite me to your home to sleep in my nighttime mouthguard and sleep-drool in front of my colleagues.

          3. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist*

            I invited a bunch of coworkers over to my house after I’d recently transferred to that office and felt like it’d been a touch too high on the friendmeter, even though it was just beer and me slinging pizzas out of my woodburning oven.

          4. Lynxa*

            Yeah, I haven’t slept over at someone’s house who I’m not related to (and even then, only for travel requirements) iiiiiiiiin….fifteen years? Sleeping over at my boss’ house is a hard no for me.

            I LOVE the suggestion of showing up for a bit and then leaving though. Getting face time in and leaving before it gets weird.

        4. Humble Schoolmarm*

          If this were me (and thank Heavens it isn’t!) I’d be cashing in a “strike against me chip” either way. I’m fairly reserved and though I can be quite outgoing in some situations, all signs would point to this NOT being one of them. If OP is like me (and I admit she may not be) pressure to do something that feels silly or uncomfortable just ups the reserved-meter as high as it will go, leading to me (and possible op) getting labeled as “no fun” from the “don’t you wish we were still in high school?” contingent.

          If it were me, OP, I would absolutely be busy for most or all of that night, but I would be on the lookout for other social opportunities with your co-workers that aren’t as inappropriate as saying no all the time does cost you a bit.

          1. IDWTG*

            People think I’m an extrovert but I’m really an introvert and attending something like this causes the anxiety level to go up and I don’t think I would enjoy myself at all.

            More history with situation. The department broke up into 3 teams a couple of years back. This exasperated the silo effect that was already there before we were formally split into teams.

            The assistant that sent the invite is in a different team and was involved and still is in a clique. I have tried building the relationships back to a professional aspect and only partially succeeded when the departmental head herself saw what I had been experiencing with the deep silo effect. She had a conversation with them and things are better.

            I definitely do not want to go and have since declined the invite.

            1. Matilda Jefferies (formerly JMegan)*

              That sounds like the right approach, especially given what you said below about everyone sleeping together in the basement. Seven-year-old me would have loved it, but adult me would definitely not!

              I hope you didn’t get a lot of pushback on it. Were they okay with you saying no?

        5. LizB*

          I personally am an adult and I love sleepovers with my close friends, so I don’t think it’s weird across the board – but I think it’s really, really out of line in a work situation. You don’t cultivate adult friendships by immediately jumping to “let’s get drunk in our pajamas at my house all night” with folks you aren’t already close with. That’s like the friend equivalent of planning your wedding on the first date. Add in the fact that these are co-workers who you’re going to have to see 40 hours a week in a professional setting, and you’re creating an opportunity for really, really awkward situations. Generally when I talk about “building relationships” with my coworkers I think of professional relationships, which ideally will also be friendly, but will not in most cases include hanging out in sweatpants with a bottle of wine.

          1. Marillenbaum*

            That’s an important point; it’s the work aspect plus going from 0 to 60 that makes this a big no for me. But I am firmly Team Sleepovers, just with people I actually know I like.

        6. neverjaunty*

          It’s not “a little harsh” for others not to have the same soft spot as you.

          Also, this is billed as a “slumber party” – showing up and leaving early is the worst of both worlds. For an open-ended event or a housewarming, sure. For a slumber party, it’s saying you won’t stay for the main event – like going to a birthday party and leaving before the cake is served.

          1. BPT*

            I disagree that showing up and leaving early would be bad. In fact, I’m guessing that a lot of attendees will do this if they have the choice (if they even go). I could easily see most people saying they’ll come for a bit but can’t stay the night, and I’m guessing that the “party” will end up morphing into just an evening thing (assuming other employees aren’t as unprofessional as the host is). It’s definitely the option I would choose if I felt like I had to show up at all.

            And birthday parties don’t usually last 8-10+ hours. If I come for an hour of a 2-3 hour birthday party, it’s likely I’m going to be around for the cake cutting. Not the same thing as skipping the sleepover portion. And if I were throwing a birthday party, I’d be happy if anyone showed up for any amount of time, and certainly wouldn’t be keeping track of who was there during the cake cutting.

          2. Anna*

            Which happens. For a variety of reasons. Because people are adults and have other stuff going on. Or just don’t like cake. Or don’t want to sleep over at a coworker’s house, but wouldn’t mind hanging out with them for a fixed period of time.

        7. Koko*

          I get where you’re coming from about cultivating friendships, but it *is* getting into inappropriate territory to suggest a slumber party with your coworkers. It’s not an aggressive/intentional boundary violation so much as a clueless/flailing one, but it’s one of those things that is Just Not Done in the professional world, outside of probably some start-ups and small nonprofits with staff entirely in their 20s and early 30s who are just starting their careers and haven’t been exposed to professional norms.

          Cultivating adult friendships is great, but you should cultivate them outside of the workplace with people other than your coworkers. A sleepover is not a casual social invitation, it’s one that’s usually reserved for a person’s closest friends. From coworker to sleepover attendee is going from 0 to 100 real quick. Trying to mix business and intimacy that way is just too fraught. We shouldn’t be that close to our coworkers…a little distance is healthy and avoids workplace drama.

          1. Whats In A Name*

            I agree… the depth of friendship associated with a sleepover is really OTT for the workplace. Especially during the cultivation phase.

          2. pope suburban*

            Yeah, I’m all for adult friendships (and frankly, I wish there were more venues to make/nurture them, but that’s my “I moved halfway across the country and now what” talking), but a sleepover is just…established-friend territory? I work in an office full of young people, and for most of them it was their first “real” job, so the lines here never developed enough to get blurred. People have been going over to houses for parties, or going on shopping trips, or talking in-depth about their personal lives here forever, above and beyond what a traditional office would feature. But if I suggested a sleepover, my coworkers would all look at me like I’d grown a second head, because for all that we don’t know each other *that* well, and we all like our personal space anyway. I’d be fine hosting some longer-term friends at my place, but people I work with? Nah.

          3. Alienor*

            It’s kind of ironic that the idea of a sleepover with coworkers seems incredibly inappropriate and unprofessional to everyone (including me; there’s no way in hell I’d attend an event like that) and yet companies have no problem forcing employees to share hotel rooms and even beds when they travel.

            1. Humble Schoolmarm*

              I agree! It’s entirely awkward to share a hotel. The only (slim) advantage of that situation relative to this is at least in a shared hotel no one is requiring truth or dare and manicures.

      2. plain_jane*

        I am a VP, and one of the other VPs has invited a group of other female VPs up to her cottage for a sleepover before offsite training.

        I am going because everyone else is. I am not happy about this. I don’t do well in work group bonding scenarios with alcohol because I do not drink in work settings, but at least in most work events I can just leave early once everyone else has had a drink or two (and skip the sexual harassment and humorous ripping of colleagues clothing – both of which have happened at work events that I left early).

        1. Koko*

          I would only be OK with this if this cottage had enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own bed!

          Part of my horror at the situation OP describes is that I am assuming the assistant throwing the slumber party doesn’t have an 8-bedroom home and is envisioning all the coworkers in sleeping bags on the floor of her living room. Which I am now going to have nightmares about.

          At least with cottages/beachhouses they are often big enough to accommodate a group with private accommodations. Not ideal, but it at least doesn’t give me the vapors.

          1. plain_jane*

            I’m told there are bunk beds. And a hot tub, so bring your swimsuit. And alcohol and raclette.

            The raclette is the best part of the plan :)

        2. Marillenbaum*

          You could sound TOTALLY EXCITED and then end up with a slightly gross digestive problem that day, so you’re SO BUMMED that you now suddenly can’t participate.

      3. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        When I see advice like this (don’t offer a reason, just say no), it makes me wonder if my personal and professional relationships/network/culture are way off from everyone else.

        I can’t imagine saying “I can’t attend,” and having that be the end of it. It’s not that my colleagues are nosy or pushy, but just that it would naturally and comfortably come up in the ongoing conversation. “I can’t attend.” “Oh, that’s too bad, what are you doing on Friday?”

        The calmly-delivered “I’m not one for sleepovers” would work here, though. “I can’t attend.” “Oh, that’s too bad. What are you doing?” “Eh, nothing much. I’m just not one for sleepovers.”

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I agree with you, and I tend to think the “no is a complete sentence” stuff isn’t useful advice, because very few people are comfortable just saying “no” and stopping there — it usually comes across as rude. This stuff requires a little bit of softening language. That’s not to say it should, just that it does.

          1. Artemesia*

            I have a very active social life and in our circles people say ‘Oh, that sounds like fun, but I am tied up that weekend’ and no one every asks them to clarify beyond that. I think people who are nosy enough to push need to be trained by not clarifying but just restating that you have a ‘thing’ you have to go to then.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Right — something like that is fine. It’s the “no is a complete sentence” or “just keep repeating ‘it won’t be possible'” types of advice that I don’t think work for most people.

              1. Karen D*

                There are times when it’s the only thing that really works, but it’s something of a nuclear bomb. I used to get irked on another message board when the chorus to EVERY situation was “Don’t JADE” (I think it was “justify, argue, defend, explain”) and I think that little acronym was used to advocate a lot of rude, counterproductive behavior.

                “Oh, gosh, I have a family thing that day!” or “Dang it, I’d love to but I’m already completely jammed up,” said regretfully and with an air of finality, works just fine.

                1. Kate*

                  I think “Don’t JADE” works better for people like me, who have a lot of well-meaning pushy people in their lives. The examples you listed as working just fine would never work for me. They would immediately want to know when and where the family thing is, so maybe they could work their event around it. Same with the other. They might even want to join in. They’d probably also want to know why this other event is more important to me than theirs.

                  The only thing that works with them is to say, “No, sorry, I can’t. How is so and so doing?” Basically no as a complete sentence coupled with a quick topic change question that requires them to start talking and forces them to either ignore the question completely or answer it and stop talking about the invitation. Most people are so programmed to answer questions that it is automatic and they do it without thinking about it, especially if you ask about a favorite subject.

                2. Kelly L.*

                  Yep, all that “don’t JADE” stuff was intended for dealing with actual abusers and toxic people, not for everyday interactions with perfectly nice people. Sometimes a little social lie goes a long way.

          2. Natalie*

            Yeah, it’s great advice when you’re talking about a stranger – the pushy salesperson, the religious proselytizer at the bus stop – but not so useful with someone that you have to see again.

        2. MegaMoose, Esq*

          Yeah, I have a hard time seeing the absolute refusal to give at leave a vague answer working, either. I’d be ready to say something like “oh, it’s date night” or “family movie night” or something like that. Maybe there’s some regional variation in etiquette?

        3. Boo*

          I think it depends on how you frame it. I couldn’t bring myself to just say “no” but have found it pretty easy to say something like “ah thanks so much for asking but I won’t be able to make it – hope you guys have fun though!” with a big smile. It’s polite, friendly but firm and doesn’t give room for argument.

        4. Antilles*

          When I see advice like this (don’t offer a reason, just say no), it makes me wonder if my personal and professional relationships/network/culture are way off from everyone else.
          The whole “just say no and leave it at that” only works for people who you don’t need/want a future relationship with. The problem is that when you give a simple no, the other will immediately respond with a direct “oh, sorry to hear that, why not?”…and at that point, if you refuse to give a reason, it comes off as some combination of rude, oddball, and/or directly adversarial.

      4. Karen D*

        I agree 100 percent. The problem is, we all know how things like this go. You show up intending to do a drive-by. Someone puts a drink in your hand and people are having fun. Then you start to drift toward the door and everybody is saying “no no no don’t leave” … and your judgment is a little impaired … and suddenly, what was clearly A Very Bad Idea seems like so much fun and what’s the harm, really?

        That feeling will wear off, but the office frenemy’s Instagram is forever.

    4. MillersSpring*

      Good possible workaround.

      I did something similar at a past job when our boss pressed one of our team to host a pool party at her home on a Friday afternoon. His goal was for us to play water volleyball. I told him that I was uncomfortable being in a swimsuit around my coworkers. In the end, nobody else did either, and we had a tame afternoon party.

      OP, stand firm!

    5. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I honestly don’t think there’s any need to show up at all, even for a bit. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m REALLY skeptical that a lot of people are going to go to this, particularly higher-ups. I really don’t think there’s any need to show up for any part of this.

      1. KarenT*

        I’m actually dying to know if any of the VPs attend. OP, please send in an update after the party! If nothing else, I also think the sleepover element is a weird mixture of office hierarchy. I’m picturing VPs braiding entry level employees hair before they all climb into their sleeping bags in a row on the floor and it it’s making me giggle.

        1. IDWTG*

          Oh the visions!! Yikes! I ended of declining with no reason other than I wouldn’t be able to attend.

      2. Tealeaves*

        Definitely agree that you do NOT need to turn up a short while just to be present. It’s not a matter of who is going or how many are going, it’s the activity itself. If it were a dinner party, sure why not, just go for a bit to be polite. But a company-wide sleepover with coworkers of multiple management levels is way inappropriate.

        Just another point, I feel like people are distracted by the slumber party seeming harmless until everyone goes to bed. Just swap it with any other more common undesirable + inappropriate activity to do with coworkers/your bosses and it will feel clearer. Even if they said they would only start after dinner, the fact that you were present at any point even before the “fun” stuff happens, means you support the idea and somehow participated (applying the same logic as going to a normal party for just a couple hours). And you don’t want to be part of the fallout if/when a sensible higher-up calls out the host for this, especially if there were any incidents.

    6. CanCan*

      You could say you have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings, so spending a night there will be sleepless torture for you. No way anyone can verify that.

  2. Turanga Leela*

    OP #1: I love slumber parties. I love to hang out with my girlfriends, drink cocktails, and watch reality shows. “A seven-year-old with an interest in alcohol” is actually a reasonable description of me.

    …and even I don’t want to have a sleepover with my coworkers. If I work with you, I don’t need to see you in your pajamas. Definitely decline the invitation.

    1. Willis*

      “If I work with you, I don’t need to see you in your pajamas.”

      I feel like this answers a lot of AAM questions…slumber parties, hotel room sharing, corporate retreats with a shared house, temporarily living with your boss…and I’m sure there’s some I’m forgetting.

        1. SQL Coder Cat*

          So much this. My first several professional jobs were in call centers, which seem to be extraordinarily fond of themed dress up days as team building events. And of course, management was required to participate. I still have nightmares about one ‘Wizard of Oz’ themed dress up week- it started with Hurricane Hair Day, followed by Scarecrow Day, Tin Foil Day (wear something made of tin foil! I am not making this up), Lions and Tigers and Bears Day, and ended with Ruby Glitter Day.

      1. SKA*

        However, I’d make an exception for someone you call to pick you up at the airport after midnight without prior notice.

    2. Jeanne*

      And then snoring. How many beds are there or are our middle aged bodies supposed to sleep on the floor? No. No.

      1. Caro in the UK*

        I’m not even middle aged, but my back still kicks up a fuss if I try to sleep on the floor :(

        1. another person*

          Really? I find when my back is acting up, sleeping on the floor is the best way to fix it. (I’m fairly young though, admittedly)

      2. BananaPants*

        I know, right? Our older kid’s Daisy troop is doing an overnight at an aquarium this summer and the other moms and I are already hunting for the highest rated self-inflating camping pad or an air mattress to bring for ourselves since we’ll be sleeping on the ground.

        Kids can do it and have no ill effects. Those of us over around 35 or 40 seem to need to pop an Aleve with our morning coffee afterwards.

    3. Mallory Janis Ian*

      I recently attended a sleepover birthday party for my friend in celebration of her 70th, and yeah — we were basically seven year olds with a keen interest in alcohol. She has been a lifelong Girl Scout, so the sleepover was at the lodge of the scout camp, not in anyone’s private home. I still wouldn’t want anything resembling this with coworkers.

      1. CM*

        70th birthday slumber party! I love that.
        As for the OP, I was also going to suggest stopping by for an hour or two and leaving with an excuse.

      2. Just Another Techie*

        My church does an annual retreat at a nearby boy scout camp. You get a choice of whether want a proper hotel-style room (although definitely a stripped down cheap hotel room!), shared cabin with six-eight people, or whether you’ll bring your own tent and pitch it on the lawn. I like it a lot, but I love camping and also there’s the choice of accomodations for people who want proper beds or privacy or indoor plumbing!

      3. Falling Diphthong*

        Lodge–> BEDS! This makes all the difference when you’re no longer made of springs and rubber.

      4. Marillenbaum*

        Oh my God, that sounds AMAZING! Your friend is delightful, and now I’m picturing a Troop Beverly Hills-themed slumber party.

    4. Aphrodite*

      And I sleep naked; hate pajamas and nightshirts get twisted around me making me get little sleep. No way–never, ever, never–will I do that in front of anyone but the one person in my personal life. Nope.

  3. Casuan*

    OP1: Seriously?!?
    What Alison said.
    No one more senior than Assistants should attend this. And the only reason an Assistant should accept is if one is a close personal friend outside of work.
    If the VPs & AVPs are attending… seriously?!?
    :::flashback to the manager who wanted a slumber party:::

    1. Casuan*

      ps: A manager should be talking to this Assistant about professional norms, with emphasis that such an invitation can cause invitees to feel uncomfortable.

    2. PollyQ*

      No one more senior than Assistants should attend this

      FTFY. Seriously though, I’d actually be pretty shocked if this party even takes place. At any rate, I’m absolutely sure that OP won’t be the only one “busy” that night.

      1. Cambridge Comma*

        I also thought that a lot of the invitees might be “busy” and that OP should probably go directly for another excuse. Too many ‘busy’ responses and they risk that the party giver just reschedules.

        1. Zombeyonce*

          If it gets rescheduled, that’s when your child suddenly acquires an attachment problem and there’s no way you could ever be away for the night. Or your sister’s kid gets one and you’re the favorite aunt. Or your neighbor’s kid is affected by a recent news channel’s programming and can’t sleep until he knows you’re safe in your own bed.

          None of these children need to actually exist.

          1. Ramona Flowers*

            I think it’s best not to give an excuse at all and just say you can’t. Excuses can be challenged.

            1. Christmas Carol*

              Yes RF, this is the method Miss Manners recommends, and for exactly that reason. “Thank you for the invitation, I would like to, but I’m sorry, I just can’t.” Repeat as often as necessary, dropping the thank you, I’m sorry, and I would like to when it gets tiresome. When you offer an excuse, people consider it a challenge to solve the problem that keeps you from attending. The trick is to focus on the “no” never to articulate the “why.” This has a bonus of being completely truthful. Only you need to know the reason you “just can’t” is that you’ve scheduled a Netflix binge for that evening, think the whole idea is guano, your mother won’t let you go to slumber parties, or that old junior high stand by, are planning to wash your hair that night.

              1. Emi.*

                “So sorry, I can’t come.”
                But why can’t you?
                “Because I’m afraid it’s impossible.”

                1. Hibiscus*

                  I once told someone I couldn’t go to their party because I was too cranky. This was also a boundary violating party. Coincidence?

                2. Marillenbaum*

                  @Hibiscus, I love this reasoning! I have definitely cancelled plans, or refused an invitation, because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it and thus make things worse for people who actually wanted to do the thing.

      2. TootsNYC*

        I would actually suggest saying, “I’m sorry–I’m not interested in attending a slumber party with my colleagues. I prefer to keep my relationships at work on a professional footing. So I won’t be attending.”

        1. ToxicNudibranch*

          Although I agree 100% with the sentiment, I’m hard pressed to see saying something like this _not_ coming off as condescending. Presumably, OP wants to maintain a good relationship with these people, and there are less scathing ways to say no.

        2. Karanda Baywood*

          I would totally say, “Sorry, I don’t do slumber parties.” They can try to challenge me, but it would more of the same: “It’s not my thing. Have a great time!”

    3. Marisol*

      I’m an executive assistant and inviting higher-ups to a slumber party is unthinkable to me. In my opinion this is absolutely taboo.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        Right? I don’t know if my workplace is unusually hierarchical, but I don’t invite higher-ups to things; they invite me to things, if any inviting is done.

        1. Artemesia*

          And if one should happen to invite higher ups to something, it sure wouldn’t be a slumber party.

        2. Marisol*

          Exactly. They invite me to the holiday party at the Bel Air hotel. They invite me to the summer party at the CEO’s beach house in Malibu.

          I DON’T invite THEM to my janky apartment to drink booze and parade around in jammies.

      2. Lily in NYC*

        Yes! Me too. And “no one higher level than assistants should attend” stuck in my craw. Hey Causan, I’m an assistant and my level is AVP – so please adjust your assumptions.

        1. paul*

          What does AVP mean here? I’m used to it meaning Alien vs Predator (as in, the lame but fun sci-fi/horror movie)

        2. Elsajeni*

          But OP did lay out the categories in her workplace as “VPs, AVPs, and assistants.” I think the point of Casuan’s post is, as Marisol said, that this is a weird event even to invite peers to and that the higher-ups shouldn’t even have been invited, let alone attend.

          1. The Mayor of Llamatown*

            This. Causan is just following the terms set out by the OP. We could call them “Tea Pot Assistants”, “Teapot Supervisors”, and “Teapot Executives”. It’s strictly a peer vs. superior role in this particular letter.

        3. BPT*

          I mean I think we all got what Causan was saying…I don’t think anyone puts “Assistant Vice Presidents” in the assistant category. I got what Causan meant, which was that only peers of the host should be invited, and not people higher up than her (i.e. her bosses), because that seems inappropriate. In most cases, invites should flow sideways or down, not up in a workplace (a few exceptions of course).

        4. Casuan*

          Lily, I apologise if I’ve offended you & anyone else. Elsajeni & The Mayor both well described how I was thinking of the situation, which was indeed hierarchical & linear based on the OP’s phrasing. “Assistants” span throughout corporate hierarchy & to me the OP implied that in her context an assistant was more of an entry-level position. This assistant should not have invited vice-presidents, assistant vice-presidents or assistants to VPs or AVPs.

        5. AMPG*

          They were using the OP’s terminology from the letter; I think you’re getting a bit defensive.

  4. Casuan*

    re OP4: When you receive one of these “incomplete” CVs, what do you do? I’m assuming most of these can still be vetted enough to weed out some candidates…? If so, what do you do with the others: proceed as normal or set them aside to see how well the candidate pool is forming?
    None of the above?

    Is it possible some of these are from following bad job-searching advice?
    eg: “If you’ve been at your current employer for many years, only list your current title. That way, you have a better chance to be called & that’s when you can really pitch.”

    1. Bored Fed*

      I have a couple of positions where I moved within a position (same job, but from specialist to senior specialist). I list the current position, and then annotate the periods where I was at different levels. It seems disingenuous to claim only the last title without context.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        Isn’t it good to show a track record of increasing responsibility and promotions? If people are eliminating the lower titles from their resumes, I’d think they’re missing out on an opportunity to showcase the story behind their current success.

      2. LBK*

        Yeah, I have a couple of those and I list it this way:

        Sr Teapot Specialist (Jan 2015-present), Teapot Specialist (Jan 2014-Jan 2015)
        – bullet point
        – bullet point
        – bullet point

    2. hbc*

      Unless you’re asking for a director with 20 years experience, I don’t think it’s a deliberate tactic. I think LinkedIn makes this the default arrangement, or at least makes you choose between looking like a job hopper when you get promoted from Junior Developer to Developer to Senior Developer in 5 years or blurring all your experiences at one company into one title. As for resumes, I think it’s just a misunderstanding of how to put things together. They’re probably thinking the dates reflect the tenure at the organization rather than the length of time at the latest title, that it’s obvious they weren’t a director for the whole time, and that you don’t really care exactly when they were a salesperson.

      I would basically treat these resumes as normal but keep an eye out for similar missteps that might be a pattern. Kind of like how a good candidate with a cover letter that accidentally says the name of another company doesn’t have to hit the recycle bin, but you’d be looking for other signs of sloppiness.

      1. yasmara*

        I think this comes from LinkedIn too. It defaults to this layout even if you lost those other positions at the same company. I’m also having a really hard time convincing LinkedIn that I moved last year (but didn’t change jobs).

        1. Thlayli*

          Yes this is a linked in thing. I think linked in automatically puts up your current job title and he dates at your employer in the same line, so it’s not like they are doing it intentionally.

          1. MegaMoose, Esq.*

            Yeah, if this is how LinkedIn operates. I don’t think anyone should be giving it a second thought. Then again, I think people worry overly much about LinkedIn as it is.

        2. CM*

          I don’t think of LinkedIn as requiring the same amount of accuracy as a resume, and I didn’t spend much time filling in my work history. If other people share my casual attitude toward LinkedIn, I can see how it would happen to list a job as “Director” for 20 years when actually it was a series of promotions.

          1. MegaMoose, Esq.*

            I feel like the point of LinkedIn is to be able to see at a glance what your contacts have been doing with themselves recently, in order facilitate networking. In my experience, people are about as religious with updating their LinkedIn as they think is necessary for that goal.

        3. Tuesday*

          At my last job, I was promoted several times but my job duties didn’t really change with the title change. On my resume I have:

          Assistant Teapot Designer (2010-2012)
          Associate Teapot Designer (2012-2014)
          Sr. Associate Teapot Designer (2014-2016)

          And then the description of the role below that. On LinkedIn, it didn’t make sense to do a new entry for each job title because the description would be the same, so I just have it as:

          Teapot Designer (2010-2016)

          But maybe that’s making me look as if I never advanced in the role.

          Further complicating things, the company I worked for was sold once and had a name change once, meaning I was in the same role but under three different company names. I just use the latest name on my resume and LinkedIn, but I wonder if that could cause problems.

          I think most resume screeners/hiring managers have the critical thinking skills to figure this out, but I’m sure a lot of them aren’t going to devote the time to do so, which means I still have to figure out the best way to present this career history…

          1. Mae North*

            “Further complicating things, the company I worked for was sold once and had a name change once, meaning I was in the same role but under three different company names. I just use the latest name on my resume and LinkedIn, but I wonder if that could cause problems.”

            I had this issue, too. One of my previous employers was sold while I was working there, but it took a while to change the name – one division started using the new name within 6 months, but the rest of the company continued to use the old name for 2 or 3 years. Now the whole company has changed to the new name, down to the website and LinkedIn, and the original company name’s top Google link is to Wikipedia.

            I have the current name as my employer, but included the previous name in brackets after, something like:
            Teapot Administrator (January 2000 – December 2010)
            Teapots Ltd (formerly Southern Teapots Inc)

      2. Falling Diphthong*

        I wondered from it being specifically LinkedIn–are these people applying for jobs, and sending this as their resume? Or is OP looking for people with a given skill set and then cold-approaching via LinkedIn?

        In the former case, this is a weird format; in the latter, someone who doesn’t think the precise path by which they came to their current position of several years is relevant or interesting to people looking to check their page on LinkedIn for whatever reason.

        1. Penelope Pitstop*

          @ Falling Diphthong – your first paragraph is entirely possible. We have posted senior role openings on LI. When applicants send their resume directly through LI (vs. as a separate attachment), it’s basically their LI profile with the site’s formatting. It’s this way from both sides – candidate’s response and posting. For example, if our post seeks candidates with x years experience in y level/type of role, that’s the filter through which our posting is visible to candidates and those who seem to ‘match’ are those to whom LI suggests/promotes the opening. Full history doesn’t factor in until an interview/phone screen phase. We’re small, so the sort of filtered view LI provides generally makes a search more efficient for us on the front end. OTOH, the downside is that candidates who may not be a fit on paper per se, but would excel in the role are filtered out from the beginning.

    3. ThatGirl*

      I was at my last company for nearly 9 years, and my title kept changing, but I wasn’t really moving up the ranks – just from assignment to assignment as a contractor, and then hired FT. So for a long time I had one long blurb for everything I’d done there and just updated my title as needed. I realize this is not the same as pretending someone’s been a director for 9 (or 20) years when they haven’t, but I wasn’t sure what the typical style was for indicating same company, different job.

      (They’re all broken out now btw)

      1. Allypopx*

        Yeah my current title seems to change somewhat at a whim – I just list my most current title and list out the position accomplishments, because the position has basically stayed the same just with a different title and some evolved responsibilities.

    4. Tuckerman*

      They might be trying to save space as well. Probably not as likely for someone who has been at one company for a very long time (who is not going to include info about previous employers). But I’ve held 3 positions in 6.5 years with my current employers and struggled with how much detail to include to be comprehensive enough, but still stay within a page (while still including my previous employer).

      1. Taylor Swift*

        Yeah, I’m guessing most people who do this are just thinking of the space constraints and not trying to deliberately mislead anybody.

    5. TheStudentManager*

      LW4 here :)

      It can be difficult to tell in advance that the CV is incomplete, it’s possible for a candidate to have been in employment for 30+ years, so being in a Senior role for 20 ( and not necessarily going into depth with previous jobs) is possible. Generally I’ll raise it during the interview and use the answer to steer me.

      I think the LinkedIn variant may be as people describe as below, it’s down to the site. I have personally split all my promotions into separate jobs, so it looks “more” like a CV style for me, but I could see it catching people out.

  5. Not Australian*

    OP#2: as a last resort, would your manager be open to you banking those hours further in advance than the week of the wedding? It would still be a hassle, but you could maybe do it in increments – say four hours one week and four the next. It’s not ideal, and you really shouldn’t have to do this at all, but offering to do so might demonstrate to the manager that you’re doing everything you can to accommodate their needs.

    1. Jeanne*

      It’s unclear to me if OP is exempt or non-exempt. That would affect if your plan would be ok. I just have to wonder if anything would appease this boss.

      1. Jessesgirl72*

        If I were exempt, I would likely just agree to the longer hours, only work them if I could (not)- as long as my work got done, and then be apologetic after the honeymoon and work longer hours then. Which I probably would be anyway, to catch up on the work that sat while I was on my honeymoon…

      2. Stranger than fiction*

        I don’t think he would have suggested working all that extra the week before if she were non exempt though?

    2. GermanGirl*

      I was going to suggest this too – or maybe make up for the missed hours the week after the honeymoon.

    3. Thlayli*

      I was also thinking this – if it’s about making up hours then you could actually bank 2 hours a month from now to October to have enough for a day off. That wouldn’t be difficult.

      Boss is being a [insert unpleasant euphemism here]

      1. MegaMoose, Esq.*

        There seem to be so many obvious and straightforward solutions here that I’m afraid the manager is just being unreasonable for the sake of “principle.”

        1. Trout 'Waver*

          It could also be that the manager has an unreasonable boss and doesn’t have the authority or discretion to approve OP #2’s request. It sucks, but it happens.

          1. Jessesgirl72*

            Or she’s trying to be reasonable, and the OP isn’t getting that the boss is telling her not to worry about the day.

            Her boss can’t tell her to just take the day and she’ll get paid anyway, and the OP already indicated that typically they aren’t allowed to take unpaid days- that kind of thing normally comes from higher up than a Manager. So the boss might be saying “work the extra hours the week before” with a wink, and if the OP isn’t non-exempt and isn’t having her hours tracked…

            1. Stranger than fiction*

              Hmm I wonder if Op tried to “slide” in the extra day when requesting the whole time off just to see if it would be approved, or only asked him verbally without submitting it??

          2. AMPG*

            I’ve also seen cases like this where there’s a problem child elsewhere on the team, and the manager can’t fudge things for a high performer because they won’t do it for the other person, and they don’t want to deal with the hassle (obviously, nothing in the letter indicates this is the issue; I’m just hypothesizing).

        2. LBK*

          Yeah, this seems like a manager who’s really stuck on the rules of PTO without perhaps understanding that it’s all an artificial construct by the company; if the system just won’t allow it, there’s nothing to stop her from taking the day for “free” now, then submitting a PTO day for a day she actually works once the bank is available. It’s not like they’re pre-paying the OP her salary or something.

  6. t*

    #2 -… and after the wedding, I hope you are looking for a job with a more flexible and generous vacation package. No vacation in the first year, and then 5 days every 6 months is ridiculous. There are much better benefit packages out there.

    1. Artemesia*

      This. Obviously don’t jump just because of this, but a manager this rigid is a jerk — who needs that? Begin a quiet relaxed but focused search for the next step.

      I agree that I would make it clear that you can’t work extra that week in advance and soften that by offering to bank the hours over a few weeks earlier –to soften the demand and make it clear you are a team player, cooperative etc. But the guy is a toad; if this is what management is like there, move on if you can.

    2. JKP*

      Not just vacation. If I’m reading the OP right, it sounds like they tried to use 4 hours of sick time and their manager expected to make up the sick time during the week too.

      1. Lioness*

        I read it as the OP using sick time to cut the week short instead of banking the hours on other days.

        The boss is still a jerk, but I didn’t read it as OP having to make up the sick time.

          1. AMG*

            Speaking of sick leave, I would drop it with the manager, then start having a toothache the week before your wedding. Leave Thursday afternoon for an emergency dental appointment and then have an emergency root canal on Friday. You are soooo upset because you wanted to get everything done, hope your face isn’t swollen for the pictures, etc. Fortunately you were ahead of schedule with tying everything up before your honeymoon and even got a prescription for mild steroids to help with the swelling the day of the wedding . Yay!
            I don’t generally lie, but your boss isn’t being reasonable and so you should feel free, IMO, to circumvent accordingly. If she says anything, start your job search so you can work for someone normal.

            1. Stranger than fiction*

              Isn’t it sad how policies like this just perpetuate more and more lying?

    3. Thlayli*

      I think I’m gonna ask a question on the weekend free for all about this. I can’t believe 5 vacation days in a year is even legal. That’s a pittance. In my country you are legally entitled to a minimum of 20 paid holidays plus 9 paid public holidays per year. There is a lot of leeway for employers about how they can make their employees use that time (e.g. You can require someone to work a public holiday but you have to give either overtime or time in lieu) but you have to give paid holidays. 5 days is nothing. That would just about cover a Christmas break.

      1. MegaMoose, Esq.*

        You’re not entitled to any paid time off in the US. There are rules about how much certain employees must be paid after working a certain number of hours in a certain time frame, but that’s it. Five days off is considered a long vacation (or completely unheard of) for many people. It’s the worst.

        1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

          Five days off at once is considered a long vacation; five days vacation total is well below average.

          (I know you know this MegaMoose, I’m just clarifying for international readers.)

      2. fposte*

        The OP is getting the US average this year, which is 10 days per year. A considerable number of jobs get no paid time off at all.

      3. Ramona Flowers*

        I always find the US allowances shocking. After PTO, bank holidays and days we are closed I have 39 days this year, 25 of which I can choose when to take. I could also have salary sacrificed to get up to 5 more. This is better than average for the UK. And I had my allowance pro rata from the day I started.

      4. LBK*

        Can we not spin off on this tangent? Almost every time there’s a question about PTO an inevitable fork happens where people just list off their vacation benefits/express shock at the US not having PTO laws (even though it’s stated on here all the time) and it’s not really helpful or relevant to the OP.

        FWIW, most companies in the US do also have standard public holidays, we just don’t generally describe them as part of your vacation package (eg if I were to state my company’s vacation policy, I wouldn’t include getting Christmas off as part of that, even though we do).

    4. Just Another Techie*

      Yeah. In my field that would be a totally unacceptable and inappropriate vacation structure. Nope nuh-uh no way. Typical for my industry is starting out between 10-15 days per year. Depending on what state you’re in, they either accrue as you work (so if you get 15 days per year you accrue something like .3 hours/day worked), and you can roll them over at the end of the year. Or they are all granted on the first of the year, and you must use them by the end of the calendar year. (Some states like MA and CA have laws against having vacation days expire like this, some don’t. It’s better for the business to have them expire though, rather than carrying that obligation on their books from year to year.)

      1. Just Another Techie*

        and then as you gain seniority you get more days. At most places I’ve worked or interviewed at, you get one extra vacation day per year of service until you hit a cap, usually around 20 or at really generous workplaces 25 days per year. And I’ve never encountered a manager who wasn’t flexible about letting you play games off the books. So even if you haven’t fully accrued enough hours to cover your big family vacation or whatever, most managers will allow you to take the day anyway, and then three weeks later when you’ve accrued enough PTO hours to “pay” for it, you tell the PTO record keeping website that you’re taking a personal day, and then show up to work that day anyway. Obviously this only works for exempt positions; if you’re paid hourly I imagine this would look like timecard fraud.

        1. Ramona Flowers*

          Ours are not done by seniority or length of service. We all get the same. I think this is better.

    5. Mononymous*

      Yes, this. I had a similar job–no PTO year one, then a whole 10 days per year after that. Not allowed to take the unpaid days I asked for before my wedding. I was married in November, interviewing in December and accepted & started my new job in January. Bye, stingy boss & company!

  7. Mrs Erdleigh*

    Nice Reggie Perrin reference in L4. Great! Sooper!
    I didn’t get where I am today by missing references to classic British comedy.
    I do hope the LW is planning on starting a chain of Grot shops after faking their death on the beach.

    1. Mookie*

      I didn’t get where I am today by missing references to classic British comedy.

      Between this and Turanga Leela’s “a seven-year-old with an interest in alcohol,” I feel like my Who’s Who entry as the world’s most obvious plagiarist is finally fleshing out.

    2. TheStudentManager*

      Sorry for the late response, just back from Argentina (LW4 here) :)

      Glad someone got the reference

  8. Casuan*

    OP5: Consider getting a gMail & Google Voice [or whatever their equivalents] for your job search & references. This way you can keep the infos separate from your personal correspondence & it’s also for privacy. Once someone has this contact information you can’t control how it’s used.
    This is personal preference, so of course do what is best for you!

    1. Jolie*

      Hi, OP 5 here. Not fussed about giving my personal contact details (everyone has my mobile number anyway).

      My concern was more like : will their future employers know/ trust that I genuinely held the job I say I did and I’m not, for instance, a random friend posing as their made-up boss?

      1. Jeanne*

        I think you’re fine. They will believe you if you talk knowledgeably about the job. Not everyone can discuss references while at work anyway. Personal phone numbers are common.

        1. Jolie*

          This actually came up as an issue a while ago ; I used to do a bit of tutoring while I was a grad student, and one of my students listed me as an academic referee.

          The university asked for proof that I was, indeed, a tutor, which was hard to provide because I had not gone through tutoring agencies and by that time I hadn’t been tutoring for ages anyway

          1. Mookie*

            Oh, interesting, I’ve actually never encountered that kind of skepticism. Is it pretty common in certain fields for references to be lightly quizzed or researched in order to rule out hoaxes?

            1. Jolie*

              Probably universities tend to be more thorough with it than employers.

              When I needed an academic reference for my Master’s degree, my prof initially sent it from his personal email. The university actually made it a condition in their offer that he either sent it by fax on University headed paper or send it from his proper university email address.

              He was an absent minded academic type, and not the most tech savy person, so first he tried to send a photocopy with university heading by fax, which I assume looked fake and wasn’t accepted, and then he had forgotten the password to his official uni email, which he was never using. He did eventually retrieve it and gave me the reference that way.

      2. Reference checker*

        Just a differing point – at my job I was subjected to serious discipline precisely because I accepted a reference from a personal email and the referee later turned out to be a friend who had agreed to (very convincingly) lie for the job applicant. (I followed up on the reference by phone.) As a result, my job now has an extremely strict policy that we ONLY accept references from work emails and landline phones. So there are some jobs where this could be an issue.

        1. Jolie*

          So what do they do in situations like mine? Would they be OK with a reference from the me@newjob email for people whom I supervised at Old Job? (The jobs are broadly in the same field, but fairly different titles)

        2. SaraV*

          Only landline phones? That would make me near impossible to be a reference. Husband and I only have cell phones, so the only landlines we use regularly are at work. Not to mention I work two PT jobs, so my availability to use a landline is hit & miss. (Plus the whole “being a reference” while you’re on the clock)

          1. Jolie*

            That’s what I was thinking : some small businesses may not have landlines in this day and age (especially the ones who rent hotdesking space somewhere by the day) and, depending on the field, the really really tiny family ran ones may not even have a web domain that lets you do email addresses

                1. Jessesgirl72*

                  Yep. My husband’s Fortune 500 has gone completely VOIP too.

                  In fact, most people even if they have a “landline” don’t- everything is VOIP unless you’ve had the same service for 20 years and haven’t let them “upgrade” you.

                2. fposte*

                  We still needed copper wire for processing credit cards for a big event until, like, last year, and it was a major pain.

            1. Reference checker*

              I pointed out all of these situations, but my bosses were adamant that the risk of getting scammed again outweighed the danger of losing out on good candidates from small businesses. They would probably accept the me@newjob.com email but also ask for proof of employment from the old company. I personally think we will have to bend the landline telephone rule but my opinion has not prevailed yet on this.

              1. Reference checker*

                By the way you can probably tell I think my company is very unreasonable in this, but I did want to chime in to say that some companies are indeed unreasonable in this way.

              2. JHunz*

                How do they verify that a landline phone that you call is actually a business phone number and not just any old landline? Do they only accept landlines where you call in to the receptionist and they forward your call to the appropriate extension? It seems like a ridiculously rigid policy

              3. Chameleon*

                How do you even tell if it’s a landline? Do you have to check with the phone company before calling?

        3. Lily in NYC*

          Your company’s policy sucks. My former boss retired young and doesn’t have a landline and simply uses his gmail. I guess I’d be out of luck.

        4. Stranger than fiction*

          The funny thing about that, though, is what if that person has moved on to a different company since working with the referee and it’s coming from their new work email ? It still doesn’t prove they worked with so and so at teapots inc without further investigation.

      3. Chloe Silverado*

        A LinkedIn account might help – something will come up if they google you + OldJob before calling. You could include it as a link in your email signature if you’re contacted via email. I realize you could also fake a LinkedIn, but if you actually use it from time to time (follow professional organizations/companies, have a reasonable number of connections, list all of your jobs) it should look pretty credible.

        For the record, I’ve used someone who retired as a reference. She only had personal contact info available and no one questioned it.

      4. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        First, I don’t think this is a concern. Unless something feels really off about a candidate — in which case, they probably aren’t a finalist — hiring managers aren’t going to be suspicious about references, particularly once they talk to you and you can speak knowledgeably about the candidate’s work.

        Second, they’ll google you! (At least, I always did.) If your LinkedIn is up-to-date, they’ll see your connection with the candidate there.

      5. Anna*

        I’ve wondered this on occasion when I’ve applied for positions and listed references no longer at our mutual employer. I also just told my friend to use my personal email address for a reference instead of my work one, in case she wanted to keep her job search a little quieter before she makes a big announcement. I think for the most part people who check references know people move jobs and that personal email is sometimes a better conduit for references than work email.

    2. Emi.*

      Google Voice numbers can show up as blocked/unlisted, though, so some people might not pick up if you have to call them. (I don’t pick up for blocked numbers since receiving an obscene proposition.)

      1. MegaMoose, Esq*

        I got on the political donor lists – now I don’t pick up for anyone not in my phone book. I get two or three blocked number calls a day, maybe one from a local number every day or so. Life is too short.

  9. JuniorMinion*

    For OP 4 / Allison – If you just update your position on LinkedIn (at least in my experience) but leave the same current employer it just changes your position to the most recent one. You have to (in my experience) create a new “job” with a new employer (even if it’s actually the same one) to record a new role. Especially if the folks you are dealing with are more senior this could be something they aren’t paying attention to.

    Also worth noting that while my resume is complete and shows the succession of positions, for brevity’s sake on LinkedIn with my further back positions I’ve just left the last role I occupied and Ive never had an issue with this with recruiters.

    Other teapot experts here – let me know if I am off base

    1. JuniorMinion*

      Also if anyone is a LinkedIn wizard and knows a better method than mine I am all ears… I have mostly been using it as an online directory of sorts

    2. Steph*

      I am surprised by Alison’s response here, honestly.

      I have my LinkedIn profile similar to what the LW has written here for my last position, where I had three different titles in five years, and I think it is pretty obvious that I am not claiming that I had the latest title for all the years. I am not even that far into my career that I need to worry about too many positions on my profile…I just think it looks cleaner to show the length at one company/department and the progression internally.

      1. Steph*

        I’ll also note here that what I have on my LinkedIn is not an entire 1 to 1 with my resume either — I don’t go to the same breadth on my accomplishments on LinkedIn nor always list stuff from my former life in grad school.

          1. MegaMoose, Esq.*

            I think people might be taking LinkedIn too seriously, though – I feel like, while it’s a nice goal to keep your LinkedIn pretty close to your resume, any hiring professional worth their salt isn’t going to care about some sloppiness on LinkedIn so long as the resume in front of them is accurate. I think Alison’s answer reflects that priority.

            1. Jessesgirl72*

              But for applications where they pull the resume from LI- or they are asking the applicants to submit through LI, they are going to get the format in the way LI formats it, regardless of what the applicants submitted to LI in the correct way.

              1. MegaMoose, Esq*

                Well yes, but that would be a special situation where you would certainly want to treat your LinkedIn like a resume and try and conform to their formatting as best as possible. Also, I really wish employers wouldn’t do this. Thankfully I’ve only seen it as an option a couple of times.

              2. BPT*

                Yeah, even when companies accept applications pulled from LinkedIn, I still would never recommend an applicant do that, and it’s still on the applicant to make sure their answers are formatted correctly and the right information is pulled.

        1. Steph*

          But the LW was writing about LinkedIn profiles… and some CVs. I guess I still find it odd that you didn’t explicitly note in your response that you would treat the LinkedIn instance of it happening different than resumes / CVs.

          I really do love your blog (reader for 5 years!), it just was easy to make the mistake reading it the first time here that you were against this format in any instance.

    3. Ramona Flowers*

      Yes, this. You have to create separate positions and sacrifice a clear time period to be able to list other titles with the same visibility as your current one.

      LinkedIn is not a resume. It can be like one, but it’s not the same.

    4. hermit crab*

      I’ve held a succession of four positions at the same company over ~10 years and it’s all bundled together in a single “job” on LinkedIn. I list my current position as the actual “job,” and then in the description section I list the other titles/years. We have a lot of long-timers where I work and this seems like a common way to finagle your LinkedIn page.

    5. Thlayli*

      Linked in is pretty crap actually as a resume. Another annoying quirk is how it lists education in a totally separate section to employment so it makes it look like you have a huge gap in your employment history if you took time out to e.g. do a PhD.

      1. JuniorMinion*

        Yeah I guess I have always seen it used as a general screening mechanism for recruiters to cast a wide net for anyone who might be a fit. I would be concerned if I was OP 4 about the resumes – thats a document that should have a bit more explanation in it, but she mentions linkedin and I would encourage the OP to approach the two separately and not make any judgements on people over Linkedin (as Allison mentions worth questioning the resume issues though)

      2. Sparkly Librarian*

        That is how my resume looks. I hadn’t thought of making it strictly chronological, with my education between working positions. (Then again, I completed my advanced degree while working full-time, so I don’t have a gap.)

  10. neverjaunty*

    OP #1, there are so many things wrong with this (women invited only, ‘slumber party’, an assistant inviting senior officers, saying it will be like teenagers with alcohol) that it sounds like one of those HR training videos where you think ‘this is ridiculous, nobody would do anything THAT dumb in real life’.

    Don’t worry about team-building or collegiality. Worry about being literally anywhere else when this fiasco happens, if it happens.

    1. Tragic Sandwich*

      I wonder if here’s someone in HR who could address the issue. The OP mentions that the *department* has 21 people, so maybe the company has an HR department. It should be possible to share the story without identifying the organizer.

    2. Bonky*

      At one of my first jobs, which was culturally very dysfunctional, this sort of thing happened very, very regularly. I think it started because there was a lot of social mixing, but one of the women (a manager, and a very nice woman, but a good example of the…cool-kid-I’m-your-buddy-oops-now-I’m-not sort of terrible manager) had a dreadful husband, so social arrangements used to be made that were explicitly women-only in order that this awful man wouldn’t attend, and it gradually snowballed into a standing, regular, women-only evening.

      (How awful was the husband? He groped me on my wedding day, to which he was invited because I was friends with his wife. That’s how awful. And yes, groping through a long wedding dress is quite the challenge, but he managed it.)

      The evenings were sometimes sleepovers, which I always excused myself from saying I didn’t sleep well away from home, but they tended to be awful even without that element. We had to endure direct sales promotions when someone wanted some extra cash, uncomfortable drunken carousing with people I really didn’t want to carouse drunkenly with, karaoke that nobody really wanted to do – you get the picture. The problem was that if I hadn’t attended these horrible girls-only (the words on the invites, not mine) evenings, I’d have been ostracised at work. I saw it happen to other people. I needed that job; there wasn’t much call for good editors where I lived back then. I didn’t have the security or the seniority or the confidence to say no. I am a person whose idea of a perfect evening is sitting down and doing some piano practice and reading a good book. This stuff was really not up my street.

      Nearly 20 years later, and in a much more senior position, I’d have no trouble either turning down such an invitation or explaining to the people organising these things that it might not be totally appropriate. But back then? Broadly impossible, and made more so by the organisational culture. Good luck, OP1. If I were you I’d make sure your evenings are just packed with unavoidable commitments for the foreseeable future.

      1. Emi.*

        I would like to offer your my sincerest sympathy that you had to put up with those people, especially the horrible husband.

    3. HeatherT*

      Ugh, OP#1. Honestly, I wouldn’t even be polite and fake a previous event, but I can’t stand this type of gendered nonsense. It practically begs the men of the office to not take women seriously. Could you even imaging being in a room and all the women were talking about the slumber party they went to? It just de-professionalizes (realize that not a real word, but it works) anyone who goes. Plus, this type of thing gives male-only events a leg to stand on, which can negatively impact the careers of many women since, for now, men still make the bulk of executive position. There really is no need to increase the visibility of male vs. female in the workplace. Especially if the idea also ties directly into “little girl” or “silly women” stereotypes that unfortunately still exist.

      However, if you aren’t comfortable being upfront about what a ridiculous idea this is (and no judgement there since you have to live with these people every day), then I would go a step further than making up fake plans and find something very professional to do that night. Schedule networking drinks, take an online webinar or go to a learning event. Anything to other yourself from this nonsense in the eyes of professional peers.

  11. Kj*

    OP 2, you have my sympathy. That few vacation days is bad and your company is unreasonable and doesn’t seem to want to be reasonable. I’d be job hunting in your shoes; surely all the jobs in your industry aren’t that terrible.

    1. Caro in the UK*

      Yes, that few vacation days combined with the seeming inflexibility on using them, even for a major (once in a lifetime) event, is really crappy. Unless there’s other huge mitigating factors about why this is a great job, I’d start tentatively searching when you get back from your honeymoon (on which I hope you have a fabulous time!)

    2. Mona Lisa*

      10 vacation days a year is not that uncommon in the US, particularly if it’s combined with an additional sick leave policy and federal holidays. Yes, there are better packages out there, but especially for entry level employees, this is really commonplace.

      1. MegaMoose, Esq.*

        I’d say if you include the most common entry level jobs (retail and food service) ten days is about ten days more than usual.

      2. Allison*

        My company gives 10 days of (accrued) vacation per year, for the first couple years, and then you get bumped to 15. But 10 is low for our industry, and they’re wondering why people keep leaving for our competitors (I’m too new to say anything). Thankfully, we also get 6 sick days, 2 “floating holidays”, and 5-day bereavement periods when needed, so it’s not so bad.

        My first job had 10 days of accrued PTO per year (again, more with seniority) with no additional sick time, and no personal days. But we could wear jeans on Fridays!

      3. Kj*

        It may not be uncommon, but it is awful, in particular since OP reports her boss got on her case for using sick leave. I don’t want to get side tracked into a general discussion about US vs. non-US benefits, but I think Americans need to be aware that this way of doing things is not the way of much of the rest of the international business world. We Americans tend to get stuck thinking “well, it HAS to be this way” and no, it doesn’t, as much of Europe proves.

  12. Cupcake*

    When I was 21, I was very good friends with some of my coworkers. We went out, I had a little too much to drink, and crashed at my coworkers apartment (on their couch). This is the only time I have ever slept over at a coworkers home, and I am pretty sure that it will be the only time it happens.
    OP1, you are not weird for not wanting to have a slumber party with your coworkers! And honestly, the thought of hanging out “like teenagers but with alcohol” with anyone, even my very closest friends, makes me shudder.
    I am honestly questioning your coworkers judgement.

    1. (different) Rebecca*

      Speaking of sleeping on the couch, where is this person (host) going to put everyone?? I, for one, need a bed at night, so unless they’re like 40-room-mansion wealthy, I would nope the eff out of there.

      1. BPT*

        However, if they are 40-room-mansion wealthy, that might change my mind about staying the night assuming the food and entertainment is up to that standard…

        (Probably not in actuality, but it would be cool.)

      2. Cupcake*

        Oh yes didn’t even consider this-I didn’t mind sleeping on friends couches or floors as a teen at a huge slumber party but now I would be pretty uncomfortable.
        Also now thinking about how often I get out of bed to use the bathroom, my problems falling asleep in strange places…yikes.

        1. (different) Rebecca*

          Right?? I don’t much like having people in my apartment, even if I know and love them…I want my privacy, and I definitely want that when it comes to coworkers.

  13. stephistication*

    I’m prone to being more honest about not wanting to attend an event now or in the future. At some point you’ll run out of excuses and then what? Ideally someone more senior with more standing will nix the plans.

    Team building happens best when it is the byproduct of a good working environment, great boss, work-life balance, collaborative meetings, honesty, productivity and accountability etc.

    1. Lablizard*

      I also think team building happens best in regular working hours. I would not want to give up my weekend or evenings for a work event unless there was a business necessity. Something that cut into my precious free time would make me resent the team, not feel closer to them

    2. paul*

      As I enter my 30s I’ve gotten to that point too. It’s not “oh gee what’s an excuse” it’s “No thanks, not my thing. Y’all have fun.”

      It has caused some hurt feelings, particularly with younger friends, but nothing irreparable I don’t think.

    3. Alton*

      I don’t even know if I’d call this “team building.” I associate that with work-sanctioned activities. This sounds like a rogue team building event organized by one employee. So I wouldn’t feel guilty declining in the least.

      1. BPT*

        And while (as a woman) I definitely know and understand the need for some work activities targeted towards women, including mentoring, if you’re doing team building it needs to involve the whole team. Not just one gender.

    4. Parenthetically*

      Yep, now that I’m in my mid-late thirties, I’m definitely going to be more likely to say, with a smile, “Sleepovers are just not my jam — I like my own space and my own bed and my own routine. But y’all have a blast and I hope I get to hear all about it on Monday!” maybe with a side of, “I’m up for post-work drinks some Friday if my schedule allows, though!”

  14. super anon*

    op 2: you tried to take 4 hours of sick time and your boss gave you a 30 minute lecture about being a team player before she would approve it?!?!?!

    i hope when you come back from your honeymoon that you are job searching to find somewhere that will treat you better, because that is entirely unreasonable and that isn’t even getting into how inflexible they are being about your wedding! what would your boss do if you actually were ever sick and/or needed time off that couldn’t be made up? people need to take time off, and frankly i think the way your boss is handling your situation is unreasonable and a tad ridiculous.

    1. neverjaunty*

      Seriously. There is a lot of discussion about leave policies (and rightly so) but this part is a big flashing YOUR MANAGER IS A JERK sign. Nobody should be getting a lecture about using sick leave when they’re sick (let alone with “team player” nonsense).

    2. Stranger than fiction*

      Right?! I work for a small company that has many dysfunctional aspects but when it comes to time off, it’s generous and no issue getting it approved. I recently was surprised, in fact, to find they had given me an extra bereavement day on my paycheck instead of taking my pto (even though I have plenty banked). While in contrast, my sister took about the same amount of bereavement as I did, and she came back to work to her manager and the owner waiting to give her a write-up for attendance!

  15. Freya UK*

    LW1: That sounds like my worst nightmare. Do what you need to do to get out of this – set fire to her, throw her out the window, unleash a local plague, whatever!

    LW2: Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

    As others have said, I hope you’ll be seeking new employment – you do not want to be working for someone who values your actual life so little. If you time it right you could take all the time off you need for the wedding and honeymoon and start your new job right after.

    You’re really not asking for anything here either – one day! I will be taking the week before my wedding off so that I will be relaxed and feel organised, and the following fortnight for my honeymoon.

    I once had a manager who gave herself loads of unpaid time off for her wedding and honeymoon (and various wedmin appointments etc), but when a colleague was getting married she wouldn’t allow her the same courtesy. We were paid hourly (as was this manager), all happy to cover for such a lovely occasion as a wedding (as we had for her), but no… needless to say that was the beginning of a general crumbling of professional, moral standards and within a year I had walked out.

    Tl;dr – Good Luck, and just do whatever you need to do to enjoy your special day the way you want to. Never forget, unless it’s a vocation a job is just a means to an end, it’s not worth stressing over or impacting upon the important things :)

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      “Do what you need to do to get out of this – set fire to her, throw her out the window, unleash a local plague, whatever!”

      *slow clap*

  16. Aloot*

    #1: If you feel that not going is going to impact you very negatively, then you can always respond with “I’m sorry but I cannot stay the night, but I can be there until [time],” so that you’ll have been there for a couple of hours.

    But until you get a better feeling of how well this slumber party idea is received by the others, either don’t respond or use “I’ll have to check my calendar” so that you don’t commit to something very few actually show up to.

    1. Lily in NYC*

      I would finally be able to make my horrible insomnia work for me! I would just say that I have terrible sleeping habits and am not able to sleep over. Problem solved. It’s such a stupid invitation I wouldn’t care one iota about turning it down.

        1. Lily Rowan*

          Curious about this as well — as a boss, I’m pretty sure “stopping by” when people go for drinks has served me well. I’ll go, have one drink, and leave. People think I’m fun because I showed up, but they aren’t then in the position of Getting Wasted With The Boss (if anyone even gets wasted — I have no idea!).

        2. PollyQ*

          It definitely falls into the “it depends” category, but leaving a party with an all-night schedule could make you look weird in a way that skipping altogether might not.

      1. Aloot*

        But it can also show that OP is willing to *try*, even when she cannot participate for the entire event. (If this is being seen as a “team building” thing, then I imagine the trying to is going to be positive, not negative.)

        People are likely to be more understanding of “I cannot stay the night” than “I cannot come for three hours.” IMO it shows a good faith attempt rather than an excuse of “I cannot make it at all,” which isn’t exactly unheard of to use as shorthand for “this is dumb and I refuse to go.”

  17. Ramona Flowers*

    #3 In my experience, some employers post on niche boards rather than more general ones, either because it brings in a more focused pool of applicants or because it’s a way of filling vacancies quickly – so they get a good return-on-investment for the cost of the job ad. An example from my previous field, journalism, would be Gorkana which has UK and US jobs in media and PR – I picked up a few freelance gigs that were only ever advertised there. (Not that freelance gigs are necessarily advertised at all, but if they are, they’re potentially more likely to be on field-specific boards.)

    If there are particular companies or organisations you want to work for it’s worth checking where they seem to advertise (if not on their own site). This could also lead you to job boards for your field. It could also be worth asking other people how they found their jobs, if appropriate (friends yes, current boss no). It’s also worth asking which newspaper sites are used e.g. over here Guardian Jobs is good a go-to for some fields.

    Also, Alison mentioned professional bodies. I belong to one that sends a weekly newsletter with job ads among other things. (Though this area is so niche that there’s maybe 1-2 ads a month.) And even if they don’t have their own job boards, some flag up job adverts posted on external sites. Look at trade/industry magazines too. Some examples from over here are Creative Review and Design Week for creative jobs, Third Sector for charity jobs, Community Care and Children & Young People Now for social work, PR Week for PR and so on.

    1. SometimesALurker*

      If you’re in an arts and culture or nonprofit sector, your state’s cultural council may have a job board that their members post to. I’m in MA, and HireCulture (run by the Mass Cultural Council) is one of the best job boards for my field and related ones. I think a friend initially told me about it, but if I were just looking for professional organizations, I would have missed it!

    2. Venus Supreme*

      If you’re looking to work with a theatre company, Playbill.com has great job opportunities. They have a section for admin jobs, casting calls, and you can even filter between paid and unpaid gigs. That was my foot in the door for working in NYC theatre. I got a TON of interviews through them, plus a job. Super specific, but it helped me out a ton.

      By any chance, does anyone know any good job boards for social service jobs? That’s my boyfriend’s chosen career path. He’s on the hunt for a new job and I’ve been trying to find a good job board for him, but he’s only been able to find jobs through Indeed :\

      1. TCO*

        Our local council of nonprofits has hands-down the best job board in our area for social service jobs; maybe your area has something similar. Otherwise has he tried idealist.org?

  18. Daria Grace*

    #1, you’re not crazy for not wanting to join in on this. I like most of my co-workers, but going to a slumber party with them is the kinda thing that appears in my nightmares. At best you’ll be left with the mental image of them rambling tipsily in their pajamas next time you have to have a serious discussion with them. At worst, you or others could do or say things that cost you your jobs and future opportunities as the combination of alcohol and a weird environment can destroy people’s restraint.

      1. KarenT*

        I would be so afraid of that backfiring! “Sure, no worries, most of us will be sleeping in the nude.”

  19. Always Anon*

    In regard to #2, I wonder if there is a valid business reason why the manager is resistant to allowing an extra day off prior to the wedding. I’ve seen situations where there were black-out times or others already approved for time off when an employee then asked for extra time off that would be problematic from a business standpoint for coverage/workload. It could be that the manager is already providing an exception for having a week off for the honeymoon during this time frame and an extra day off (whether paid or not) means even more work gets shifted to coworkers.

    If this isn’t a busy time for their work place and being out an extra day isn’t detrimental to coworkers, then I agree that it’s reasonable for the LW to take another day unpaid to prepare for the wedding. But there could be other factors we’re not aware of impacting the manager’s decision.

    1. Elsajeni*

      But if there is a business reason, I would hope the manager would talk to the OP about it. I mean, obviously we don’t know everything and it’s possible that there’s some business need that week that the manager thinks is so obvious she shouldn’t need to explain it — but even if that’s the case, isn’t it better to just say “No, that’s the week of Massive Deadline, remember?” than to have an employee you actually think is fantastic walk away feeling unappreciated?

  20. Not Today Satan*

    #4. This has probably been written about on this site before, but what is the proper way to denote your title on your resume when your duties have far surpassed your title? For example, I was hired as a Teapot Assistant. 3 months into my time there I got a significant raise, and my duties and skills far surpassed the other assistants. My title eventually changed to Teapot Analyst, which is what I put on my resume for my entire tenure at that company. I know it’s not exactly honest, but it feels ridiculous having a list of my accomplishments under the “teapot assistant” title and I’m afraid readers would think I’m exaggerating what I did there.

    I know I’ve seen suggestions for when your job title is completely different than what you do, but I’m not sure about when it’s just a level or two below what you do.

    Now that I think about it, my title has not represented my work at more of my jobs than not. For example, at another place my title remained “Assistant to the Director of Teapots” for a year after the Director position was eliminated, lol.

    1. Allypopx*

      FWIW I don’t think people would find it ridiculous. It’s pretty understood that different companies utilize titles in different ways, and roles tend to evolve without official title bumps.

      But I also think that if it’s something you feel needs to be explained that can be fleshed out in your cover letter.

    2. Tiny Orchid*

      I had three different titles at one company. One was a different set of responsibilities but two were linear progression and happened relatively quickly (hired as Teapot Associate, promoted to Associate Director of Teapots within 6 months). I list both titles and the dates, one right under the other, but gave a combined accomplishments list for the two.

      That section looks like:
      Wakeen’s Teapots (2007-14)
      Teapot Partnership Manager (2010-14)
      * all my duties and accomplishments

      Associate Director of Teapots (2008-14)
      Teapots Associate (2007-8)
      * all my duties and accomplishments

    3. LabTech*

      Yea, this is kind of where I stand too. In my last position I was an Assistant Spout Analyst, but my boss thought I was a Spout Analyst, which I only realized after I had to correct her in my yearly performance review. I had been doing work well above my title, to the point that my boss had to go back and check what my actual title was after I had corrected her, and was kinda-sorta offered a promotion with a title change, but no raise. If I had gotten a promotion, I would have only listed Spout Analyst on my resume, since I was already doing (and being assigned) that level of work from 2 months into the position.

      Weirdly enough, had the same issue with my current job: boss thought I was a Spout Technician III, when I’m actually a Spout Tech II. And am, again, going well beyond my duties from early on in the role. So if I were to get a promotion, I don’t think it would all that wrong to list just the most recent title.

      What I’m saying is, I need a promotion.

  21. (different) Rebecca*

    I use higheredjobs.com and insidehighered.com as my niche job boards. Not that there’s much play for an anthro ABD just at the moment… *sigh*

  22. Meredith*

    I run an industry-specific job board for archivists and records managers. I pull jobs from professional association websites, higher education job boards (lots of these types of jobs in higher education), and industry specific listserv and online groups. Talk to your peers in your field and see what they recommend. I bet you will get a few tips. Niche boards are awesome, but I have found that checking several different niche boards nets me the most job opening discoveries.

  23. Tabby Baltimore*

    Alison, please consider making OP#3’s question about niche job boards a future separate post of its own. I would really appreciate it if readers would be willing to contribute URLs. The resulting list could be a heaven-sent gold mine to career-changers, in particular. Thank you.

    1. Electric Hedgehog*

      I know it’s out of scope for Alison’s blog plans, but wouldn’t this be a super helpful piece of bonus content for registered users (if she goes that route)?

  24. Alton*

    #1: You know the dynamics of your workplace better than we do, but are you sure that this is something where you’d be expected to participate and penalized for not doing so? The party is being organized and hosted by an admin who seems to be your work peer, so this isn’t like being invited to your boss’s house for a holiday party. It can be nice and professionally-savvy to do things with your co-workers, but there’s a big difference between joining them for lunch occasionally and going to a slumber party!

    The whole thing sounds ill-advised, and I think if the VPs go along with it, that’s a red flag. It’s not a great idea to plan a work party where only one gender is invited (and while I’m a minority, I can’t help but think how awkward it would be if I were invited to something like this by someone who doesn’t realize that I’m trans), and a slumber party with alcohol is too intimate for co-workers who aren’t close friends.

    The good thing is that because going to a slumber party takes a greater level of commitment than something like lunch or happy hour, it’s easier to say you can’t make it.

    1. RVA Cat*

      “I think if the VPs go along with it, that’s a red flag”
      Yep – after all wasn’t there a VP that was in on the Duck Club?

  25. Akcipitrokulo*

    OP2… is it possible that by “you van just make up the time”, instead of “no… you have to make it up and not borrow” manager meant “oh, you don’t have to do that… don’t worry, just make it up”?

    Either way, asking as advised is a good way to go!

  26. Delta Delta*

    #1 – I’m having a pretty strong visceral reaction to this. I’m all for team building, but a) not an entire night after hours and b) for heaven’s sake, not as a sleepover. I wouldn’t see a problem with something like people going for drinks after work one evening and people staying as long as they want, or even with the office closing early one day so everyone can participate without having to stay over (that is, if the higher-ups are interested in doing something and are ok with it). I once worked for a manager who wanted to have a (and I am not making this up) weekend-long “retreat” where everyone in the office would work on… I don’t know what, but that the main focus would be getting away and drinking and hanging out. She didn’t understand why nobody wanted to do it. Eventually the whole idea got dropped when someone cleverly said they’d have to bring their 5 beagles because at night he trained them for hunting, and that he really couldn’t miss training time or they’d have to start over.

    tl;dr – threaten to bring a pack of beagles to the overnight if it seems required.

    1. Aietra*

      Quite frankly, if I heard on the grapevine that there was going to be a sleepover, any sleepover, with a pack of beagles, I would SO be there.

      But mind you, so would most of my coworkers.

      Come to think of it, there were six dogs, two cats and a rabbit at the last work dinner I went to.

  27. Rebecca*

    #1 – riding that train to Nopesville. I’m sure you have many other things planned for that day, whatever it is.

    #2 – best wishes on your upcoming wedding! And I hope that you seriously start looking for another job. As said above, your boss is overly rigid and unreasonable. It’s hard to fathom being asked to make up 4 hours’ sick time! I mean, if you are sick, what makes them think you have the energy to make up 4 extra hours that week? And it’s perfectly reasonable to ask for an unpaid day if they won’t advance one vacation day for a major life event like a wedding. It’s only April, and certainly they can make plans to cover your work for an extra day in the next six months.

  28. Amber Rose*

    Ohhh, I’m so glad I’ve never been invited to a sleep over. I frequently wake with sleep paralysis or amnesia and the screaming/violence would ruin any good brought about by being a team player.

    (Side note: I can’t post to this site at all if I’m on Wi-Fi. On my phone I have to switch to data plan. Computer must be wired. Anyone else have this problem?)

        1. Jessesgirl72*

          It sounds like you’ve gotten IP banned for some reason. I’d suggest you submit your question to the technical problems link.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Nope, in that case, you could still submit a comment but it would go to moderation. No idea what’s causing this and haven’t heard other reports of it!

            1. Aietra*

              I used to have this problem, actually…turned out, it was because my wifi connection couldn’t handle loading the whole thread once it had a few hundred comments, and it couldn’t load the commenting textbox. Pulled the cable out of the back of the router and plugged it directly into my laptop, and it fixed the problem. (Got a new laptop with a better wifi card more recently, and that works as well.)

              1. Amber Rose*

                Oooh, that makes so much sense. We got a new wifi connection, and it’s weaker than before. I’ve only been having this problem recently too.

                At least i’m not IP banned! I was a little worried. Thanks for the response.

  29. that guy*

    #1 One of my coworkers suggested a hunting trip for team building. Let’s go kill animals, then we will magically become better at our jobs. Thank all the gods everybody ignored him.

    1. On Fire*

      Shhhh! You’re spoiling the surprise! They don’t find out about THAT until they arrive.

  30. RVA Cat*

    #5 – This should be obvious, but please make sure your personal address is something normal that won’t embarrass anyone – unlike our former sheriff who used MissBuns@hostname for city business.

    1. On Fire*

      Best career advice going these days, IMO, is that everyone should have a first.lastname@domain email address. A former colleague had some long-winded Hotmail address that included her honorary title and a lengthy nickname. She wanted that on her business cards instead of her agency email. It took director-level intervention to fix that. (Why yes, that place was dysfunctional.)

      1. Detective Amy Santiago*

        I mean, if your name is John Smith, that might be difficult but even then… johnsmith418 or johnsmith1982 would be kosher.

    2. Detective Amy Santiago*

      It is definitely, definitely not obvious to a lot of people.

      I mean, I hope people who read here are different, but as for the general population?

    3. paul*


      We’ve gotten emails like “bubblebutt42069@hostname” and “potsmoking@hostname” and a few others on resume’s.

      Those don’t tend to get call backs….

      1. Stranger than fiction*

        Uh yeah, part of my job is setting up users on our saas product, and they’re supposedly giving me the emails they use for work, but I’m constantly saying “really??” to myself because I can’t believe anyone trying to sell anything to anyone would give a customer some of these emails – like daddyluvbigones@…

    4. Artemesia*

      LOL. we dropped people from consideration for employment because of their email handles. Most of the time, they would not have been considered anyway because oddly enough people with bad judgment also are poor judges of whether their experience fits a job description — but I can recall one or two who had plausible resumes for further consideration whose email handles caused us to check them out before inviting for interviews and that lead to dropping them from the pool.

  31. nnn*

    A completely different possible approach for LW#1: Is it really appropriate to have a team-building exercise that excludes an entire gender?

    (Whether this is a better approach depends on context and personalities, which LW obviously has more insight on than we d0)

    1. RVA Cat*

      This. Imagine if all of the dudes were invited to drink it up at somebody’s house with none of the women, for “team-building” bro-bonding that we’re probably picturing as something out of Old School.

      1. Kaybee*

        Exactly. I can’t imagine how livid I would be, as a woman, if there were a “boys only” team-building activity. (And what about the nonbinary folks?) Ugh. Seriously, how hard is it to just invite the entire team out to happy hour after work?

    2. caryatis*

      This isn’t company-sponsored, it’s just a group of friends getting together outside of work. That makes a difference legally (and common-sense-wise).

    3. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

      The guys show up later, one of the girls shimmies down the wall and makes out with the cool guy and later has a pregnancy scare. But it all works out in the end.

  32. Allison*

    #1 If someone at work invited me to a slumber party, not only would I decline, I wouldn’t bother with an excuse. I’d say “I’m all for team bonding in a public place, but sleeping at a colleague’s house makes me uncomfortable” and leave it at that. If they really push back, I could compromise by going for a few hours, early in the evening, but if turning down the invite is really going to strain work relationships or penalize me professionally, I’d happily find a job at a company where my boundaries are respected.

    TL;DR: if refusing to attend a colleague’s slumber party is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

    1. Anonymousaurus Rex*

      Yeah…I was really close with my colleagues at my last job. Like hang out outside of work, really feel like they’re friends….but just NO to this. Sleepovers are not for platonic adult friends unless you are a friend visiting from out of town.

      1. Becky*

        I’m really glad my department does sensible team activities–like buying out a theater and taking everyone to watch The Force Awakens…and then Rogue One the following year…

  33. Adlib*

    #2 – I hope they can work with you on this. Even at old ToxicJob of mine, they at least let me borrow some time off from my sick time so that I could have that Friday off plus the next week for the honeymoon similar to what you want to do. Sorry this is happening, but I really hope they come to their senses. Yikes, how rigid! Have you heard of anyone else taking similar days off unpaid or borrowing from future allowances? If so, you might point to that. Good luck!

  34. imakethings*

    #1 – NOPE NOPE NOPE. I refuse to do anything outside of work with my current colleagues. I have a part-time job on the side and just use that as an excuse to get out of any and everything. I’ve worked in places where I would gladly spend time with my team outside of work, but a sleepover is weird and creepy.

    #4 – AIGA is a niche board for designers and web folks. I work in tech and we love meet-ups, so I subscribe to a bunch of their Slack channels. They’re social and post onto their respective job boards pretty regularly. My area of design is pretty specific, so I’ve had to hone in on focused boards to find jobs in my field. I would suggest finding any industry meet-ups in your area. Networking is exhausting but dammit if it doesn’t work.

    1. designbot*

      I’d love if we did an ask the readers about all the niche job boards. From my corner of the world, we’ve got AIGA for graphic design generally: SEGD for environmental graphics: archinect for architecture, interiors, & planning: coroflot for all types of design but frequented most by product/industrial designers.

  35. AW*

    the one time I tried to use sick time (four hours) instead of making up time, she pulled me aside and lectured me for 30 minutes…

    LW #2’s manager trying to prevent them from using part of their benefits package is a big problem, regardless of how the extra day before the wedding pans out. So even if that gets worked out I’m going to side with the people say they should find a new job. It’s one thing to work extra hours instead of using sick leave when that’s your choice (say it was just a 24 hour stomach bug and you want to save the time for something serious) but it’s ridiculous for someone to argue that you should never use it at all *~*~for the team~*~*.

    1. Stranger than fiction*

      She should leave the “8 signs” article from yesterday on his desk.
      Also, I wonder if the stuff he’s saying is even company policy or if it’s jusy his ahole boss personal policy.

  36. Mongoose*

    #5 – when I include a reference that is no longer at the job where we worked together, I list their previous job title and the general date range that they were employed there. Ex:
    Fergus McGee
    (Old Company Name, Director of Everything, 2009-2015)
    Personal contact info
    I’ve never encountered a problem listing things out that way and I work in higher-ed, land of the four moth long background checks.
    Good luck on your new job!

  37. AnonForThisOne*

    So, question 4 couldn’t have come at a better time for me since I’m polishing up my resume. Good to know that you list them all in a block like that but I’m curious what you do about job responsibilities. Do you list only the most recent position?

    So, for example:

    TeaPot Designer 2002-2004
    TeaPot Manager 2004-current
    1. Managed teapot designers
    2. Designed teapots

    TeaPot Designer 2002-2004
    1. Designed teapots
    TeaPot Manager 2004-current
    2. Managed teapot designers

  38. MommyMD*

    Being busy won’t work with someone as inappropriate as this who has zero ideas about boundaries. I would send a short anonymous note to the powers that be about how bizarre and inappropriate this is. Unless you’ve already made an issue of it. What is this woman thinking?

  39. MommyMD*

    Dear Bride: how about offering to work the eight missed hours now for your unreasonable employer?

    1. Adlib*

      Do you mean after she comes back? Her employer told her that she could make up the time that week and take Friday off, but she doesn’t want to work 10 hour days which is completely understandable.

    2. animaniactoo*

      If she’s non-exempt, that would probably put her over 40 hours and into time-and-a-half. However, if the nature of her work is such that additional hours now (one a week or something up to the wedding weekend) are actually helpful against the workflow then, and she is exempt, this would be a good tack to try if the “I’m asking you to be human and recognize that I’m a good employee and this is a hopefully once in a lifetime event” one doesn’t work.

  40. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

    Visions of your co-workers running down the street in their underwear because they lost at Truth or Dare.
    Why not suggest a volunteer day like at a drop in centre or a food bank? Followed by a dinner and then everyone goes home to their own bed.

  41. peachie*

    Ooh, #4 was something I haven’t even thought about. Question: if I’ve been in functionally the same position but have gotten a promotion since I’ve started, is it alright to list the two titles/years with shared bullet points underneath? Of course I’m doing more than I was at the beginning, but the core of the role is exactly the same and it feels silly to treat them as separate jobs.

  42. MarsJenkar*

    Just a small nitpick here regarding #1. “You have a pre-existing conflict with the date”… Uh? Was that in the original letter, but not included in the version posted? Or was there some additional communication with the OP that wasn’t mentioned here?

    1. Meredith*

      “I’m so sorry, but that night I have llama-sitting duties/my monthly bathing regimen/tickets to Cats On Ice/insert your pre-existing plans here.” Even if those plans didn’t exist until you needed an excuse! Even just, “Oh, I’m sorry, I have a thing that night but have fun!”

      1. Lora*

        Hahahaha Cats On Ice.

        True story, I was invited to a party and couldn’t make it at the last possible minute because I was delivering a baby goat. “It’s too bad you missed the party! It was so fun!” “Yeah, I was covered in placenta at the time.” Nobody ever asked again. Now I just say, “I have a, um, a thing, sorry.” People’s minds fill in the blanks on their own, I find – they generally assume something intensely personal and medically necessary. In real life it’s usually taking mom to Wegman’s for the fifth time this week and driving her dog to the dog park for an hour.

  43. animaniactoo*

    OP1 – You snore. Loudly. Very loudly. Decibel shattering loudly. And you would just hate to inflict that on your co-workers.

  44. Workfromhome*

    #2-I would not normally advocate what I am about to suggest …but….your company has a ridiculous stingy and rigid vacation policy, you have already tried being more than reasonable with your boss by offering to take the day unpaid. Its one day and unless you are a brain surgeon no one ill die if you take one day and the company will not fold because you took one day.

    On the Friday you wanted to take off unpaid call in sick and take a sick day. Don’t answer any emails or pick up the phone. Go on your honeymoon as booked.

    Yes when you come back someone might give you a bit of a hard time…”How dare you call in sick the day before vacation….etc etc.” With your stellar track record you can answer “I’m sorry I promise never to call in sick on the Friday before my honeymoon again!”. Hopefully you will find a new job before you end up getting married again (LOL I wish all the best for a long happy marriage).

    1. a Gen X manager*

      Yes, but OP should be job searching if she does that due to the strain on her relationships it will cause (because it is so obvious).

    2. kavm*

      imo, she shouldn’t call in sick that Friday… she’s already requested it off and been denied, and it will look sneaky and dishonest if she calls in sick and could get her in actual trouble.

      I think the advice from Allison and others is good… try to appeal to the manager again, and honestly if you’re in an exempt position stay one extra hour each day in the two weeks leading up to your honeymoon and leave when the work is done (aka don’t necessarily stay the full two hours) or work through your lunch hour. p.s. I don’t see this as being sneaky and dishonest the same way – if the work is finished, there’s no reason to stay and twiddle your thumbs for the full hour.

  45. Yellow*

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the party in #1 also ends up including a sales pitch for a MLM. I’ve seen similar slumber party ideas from people selling leggings and adult toys.

    1. paul*

      Because we only *thought* this was about as awkward as it can get…imagine a coworker trying to sell you sex toys. *shudder*

      1. Kyrielle*

        It’s come up on a comment on a post a while ago…and yeah…I cannot imagine how much horror I would feel.

        1. paul*

          Can I request a link? I don’t want to believe this but somehow I do and just…wow…oh man. I don’t think I could go back to work.

          “here coworker, I think these handcuffs and spider gags will be perfect for you and your spouse for a relaxing weekend!”

          Not just no but oh god no

      2. Detective Amy Santiago*

        I feel like that would be about 50% less awkward than having your cousin try to sell them to you. In a room with your mom, your aunts, and your other cousins.

        Maybe that depends on your family and your coworkers though.

        1. RVA Cat*

          WOW. Pretty sure even the Lannisters would think that’s a little too much family bonding….

    2. Gadfly*

      It would help explain the ‘women only” aspect of it. Because of laws in the states where they are based, most of the adult toy MLMs are not allowed to have mixed sex groups (and there are bunches of other weird things about what they can and can’t say or do–has to be a demonstration and not a sales pitch sort of things.) It crosses into ‘porn’ by those states (I think they are mostly in AL for some reason, if I remember correctly) if men and women attend.

      I’ve a friend who bought into one of these but did some homework on them first (not that that has actually lead to making money from it…)

  46. a Gen X manager*

    The fact that “My manager said I can just make up the time Monday through Thursday and take Friday off.” and *OP has decided* that she doesn’t “want to work 10-hour days that week” needs to be emphasized more. The manager is definitely being rigid, but did offer a solution that works within the organization’s culture and rules.

    It strikes me that the rigidity is likely in response to something outside of this particular situation – that OP’s employer strictly follows policies because of problems in the past / accusations of favoritism / employees taking advantage / etc.

    1. animaniactoo*

      I was right there with you until I realized that a) She’s willing to take the day as unpaid, b) she’s *2 weeks* from having the days available anyway, and c) it’s for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

      So yeah… manager did offer this workaround – but it’s a pretty stingy workaround when you talk all of that into account. If they need to be that rigid in order not to deal with the advantage-takers, they’re not really being fair to the vast majority of their employees who are humans and not robots and don’t deserve to be penalized for the actions of others.

      The OP is correct in thinking that having to do that pretty much negates the entire reason she wants to take the Friday off – to have *more time* during that week to deal with all the stuff that needs to be handled leading up to the ceremony/reception/etc. So, yes, it’s a workaround that works within the company’s structure but it doesn’t fulfill the nature of OP’s actual need in this case.

      1. a Gen X manager*

        I agree, it just seems like there is more to the story on the manager’s side. It’s just SO rigid and deliberate – where this wasn’t an off-the-cuff “no”, there has to be a reason in the manager’s mind. It doesn’t make the manager or the reason right or justifiable (!), but I think OP isn’t seeing the rationale or the manager’s perspective. There’s more to the story.

      2. a Gen X manager*

        It also crossed my mind that it is possible that the manager feels that OP has taken advantage of time off /scheduling (or another benefit) and results in the manager lacking objectivity about the request. We had a great employee who regularly made time off requests at nearly the last minute that conflicted with the team schedule and previously scheduled events and other vacations. It isn’t something that would go on a performance review, but can stick in the craw, so to speak.

  47. Aphrodite*

    OP #1, that has to be the weirdest “team building” event I have ever heard of. So weird I wonder if this hostess has shown other odd tendencies at work. There is no way I would ever go to something like that, and I admit it would be tempting to shout out my RSVP as “Are you crazy!??” However, I know that would not be appropriate so I agree that using a commitment might work–unless you think she might try to reschedule it later. Then you need a firm answer that does not leave room for her to find arguments against it. That would fall into the “No, thank you” realm so she has nothing to argue about. I’d worry less about what others will think of you (and, honestly, I believe that’s a non-concern) and more about seeing people I work with in their nightshirts and with booze in their hands. That’s a D I S A S T E R in the making right there, worse than any office Christmas party.

  48. a Gen X manager*

    No. HELL NO. Alison’s advice is great, but having a scheduling conflict won’t work if these slumber parties become a new “thing” and happen regularly (and where people create tight bonds, gossip and drink alcohol, it’s likely it will!). I’d use the scheduling or dog care excuse the first time, but if it happens again it might be a good idea to provide a brief, friendly ‘no’ that applies to future events.

    In my last job my boss had TONS of social events with staff at all levels (but only work people – not a party or weekend getaway that some work people were invited to) and I wasn’t included because we didn’t connect on a personal level, I had no interest, and we didn’t interact on social media (she lived on social media). It was incredibly awkward and isolating – especially because some of my staff were involved. I left after a year. Too much drama, too much manipulation, too much 7th grade girl BS.

    1. a Gen X manager*

      UGH, I just remembered the going into work the following day after a group gathering – girls weekends were extremely common – and it was the worst feeling. You have no idea what happened (inside jokes at meetings that you don’t understand) or what was said, etc. Sometimes I wouldn’t know that there had been an event the day before and I’d go into the office and everything would just feel “off” and then I’d find out. I’d forgotten just how horrible that whole thing felt.

      this is funny though – I just realized that I only lasted 6 months there. I was thinking it was a year! I started looking for a job after 3 months on the job. It was that unhealthy.

  49. Fresh Faced*

    OP #1 If you have to participate I’ve found that offering to meet the party for breakfast the morning after is the least awkward inducing situation (it’s gotten me out of non-work sleepovers). No alcohol or pajamas needed and you can catch up on anything you “missed” over some good food.

  50. DJ*

    I just want to chime in about number 3. I work in real estate, and there is a great job board called Select Leaders that is exclusively for RE related positions. It’s focused, targeted, and lacks all the bs sales gigs that you tend to see on Monster, etc. Its a great tool and I’m glad it was recommended to me. Hopefully it helps someone else out.

  51. Imaginary Number*

    OP #1: I don’t think it’s wrong for all of the women in the office to go out for lunch or drinks together for professional reasons, especially if the workplace is male-dominated (i.e. discussions about succeeding as a female in a male-dominated workplace.)

    However, I personally think it’s totally inappropriate to invite a group of people in the office to a purely social event, entirely based on their gender. What if the roles were reversed and it was a male colleague inviting every single male VP and assistant out on a camping trip (which is essentially a slumber party with tents)? There’s absolutely nothing professional that can be gained from a slumber party that couldn’t be gained from a two hour happy hour. I would be disappointed if your VPs agreed to attend this.

  52. Anonymousaurus Rex*

    Question related to #4: What if your job title changed, but it was just administrative, not a role change or promotion?

    My company had an HR reorg and they re-titled everyone (with really different titles) but the actual jobs didn’t change. Should I just lost my most recent title on my resume, or both titles? I don’t want it to look like I was promoted or changed positions within the company, but honestly my old job title was way more descriptive of what I actually do.
    e.g. I went from Spout and Handle Specialist II to Senior Teapot Educator — But I still primarily work with spouts and handles.

    1. MegaMoose, Esq*

      I think I’ve seen Alison suggest using a parenthetical when your official title is confusing or vague and someone in your field would understand what you’re getting at. So you could list the new title first and then the old title, like:
      High Poobah of Teapots & Tea Cozies (Lead Teapot Manufacturer). If it’s really just an administrative change, I can’t see why you need to note the date it changed, though.

  53. Thoughts*

    #1 – No way, I sleep with an oxygen concentrator. It is big and loud and creates a lot of heat. Similar issue I’m sure for someone with a cpap. People don’t need to know or see my with the cannula taped to my face and the resulting indents the next morning. Or have me drag my tubing over them when they’re sleeping and I’m finding my way to the bathroom. Sorry I knocked over your lamp too.

  54. Volunteer Enforcer*

    OP 5, this is just my personal perspective and I don’t want to worry you, but listing personal contact details for references can come across as unprofessional if they are obviously personal or don’t look professional enough. One caveat is that I’m writing from the UK, where reference norms might be different to where you are based.

    1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

      Couldn’t that be ameliorated with a line of explanation as to the nature of your relationship to the reference? I always include that, so my references look like this:

      Sindy Campoverde (manager, Former Employer X)
      Phone number
      Email address

      Malcolm Jones (client, Side Hustle Consulting Gig Y)
      Phone number
      Email address

  55. Casanova Frankenstein*

    Re #4, when I was unemployed I was required to attend job searching and resume writing workshops at a government-sponsored jobs center in order to receive my UI. The jobs center trainers told me to only list the most recent position/title at each company. I initially had listed each title to show growth/promotion and was told it was unnecessary.

    1. MegaMoose, Esq*

      Ug, I had to go to a couple of those. I appreciate wanting to help people, but they were really unhelpful.

  56. OP#2*

    OP #2 here answering a few questions.
    4 hour sick time: Had planned half a day off for a lengthy doctor appointment Friday and was making up time. Tuesday morning I got a horrible migraine, took some prescription meds that knock me out, and came to work 4 hours late when it was safe to drive. Put in a request to use sick time for that and my manager asked why I wouldn’t make up that time. I told her because I was already making up 4 hours for the doctor’s appointment, was in the middle of moving apartments and had babysitting commitments, I wouldn’t be able to make up more time and I needed to use sick.
    Making up time another week: It’s a strict policy that time must be made up within the same week. We have one of those fingerprint punch in clocks. My feeble understanding is that the accounting system has no way to balance times between different weeks or something.
    Past misuse of time off: I’ve always given plenty of notice about time off and except for the migraine incident I have always made up time if I’m late or have an appointment. I don’t take lengthy vacations; our honeymoon will be the first time we have vacationed together.
    Timing: Our busiest times are beginning and end of month. Manager agrees that the timing of the honeymoon is fine. All of my duties are shared with others in the office and they would all be happy to cover for me an extra day.
    Manager in general: It’s a point of pride for her that she never takes sick time, and when she takes vacation she calls the office to see how things are going. She uses herself as an example of dedication (“Remember how I had an ear infection so bad I couldn’t open my mouth and everyone was telling me to go home, well I stayed here and worked on XYZ project because it has to get done and that’s all there is to it.”) I understand and appreciate that but it makes for a relationship where any non-vacation time off is viewed as a weakness.

    1. MegaMoose, Esq*

      Yeah, it looks like that last point is your problem. I think that showed up on Alison’s “signs you might be a bad boss” post yesterday, too.

      1. RVA Cat*

        Yep. That’s the type of work culture that leads to people exposing co-workers to Norovirus and bosses showing up at employees’ chemo appointments (!).

        1. RB*

          Yeah, there’s a difference between valuing a strong work ethic in your staff and encouraging people to come to work when they have walking pneumonia. I think it’s a red flag in job interviews if they talk too much about their “strong work ethic.”

    2. Epsilon Delta*

      Ugh, OP, this is so infuriating. If I were in your position, I would seriously consider moving the honeymoon if at all possible. I know it’s not ideal for the reasons you mentioned, but neither is working the day before your wedding. Hope you end up finding a solution that works for you.

  57. E Haas*

    Haven’t finished reading all the comments yet, but: if any higher-level people are there, it becomes a company event, and if anybody is injured at the party or because of the drinking (driving drunk home or something), the company may be held liable.
    At least, this is the reason my manager gave when I hosted a viewing of “Office Space” at my place and mentioned making margaritas. (Almost everyone in our tiny department hadn’t seen it, and we were cube drones in Silicon Valley who hung out outside of work sometimes. I had to rectify the situation! IIRC all my coworkers came, but our manager didn’t.) She may well have been using that as a polite excuse, but I’d be hesitant to invite management to any similar coworker get-togethers.

  58. Mimmy*

    How interesting that rigid time-off rules comes up today – I just got back from an orientation where I learned that if an employee abuses sick time (e.g. 6 sick days in 6 pay periods), he/she must get a doctor’s note for every. subsequent. instance. (This is a state agency). The other rules went over my head a little, but I’m considered a temporary employee, so luckily I don’t have to worry about it :)

  59. learningToCode*


    I’ve only had 2 years of experience post-college, and I already have 3 titles in my position. So I’m interested in reading the comments for this one. Though since I’m not director level, I was planning on just lumping them together since it’s pretty much the exact same job the whole time just moving up rungs in payscale.

  60. Amber*

    #4 I do this and I think it’s normal. For example at a company I was Intern Designer, then promoted to Junior Designer then promoted to Designer but I only list Designer. Why? Because no one cares that part of the time I was an intern and a junior. I was capable of doing the work as a full designer so that’s whats on my resume.

    1. AMPG*

      I think that’s a mistake, honestly. Nobody cares what YOU think you were capable of; they care about what level of responsibility others were willing to give you, and there’s a big difference in the transition from Intern to Junior Designer to Designer. And if you’re not owning up to this in interviews, I’d argue you were being deliberately dishonest.

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