updates: the higher-earning male coworker, the target practice sheets, and more

Here are updates from four people whose letters were answered here in the past.

1. My male coworker makes more money than I do (first update here)

In my last update, I mentioned that I was given responsibility for filling the spot vacated by Fergus (who we now refer to as Voldemort… me, bitter? Never!). I managed to survive that process and came out the other side with a most excellent minion. He’s been with the company almost a year now and is a total rock star. I’m doing my best to be a good boss to him, in spite of a pretty turbulent year for the company overall. Your column has definitely given me good guidance on how to be supportive and still manage appropriately and effectively.

A couple months ago I also got the green light to finally hire MY replacement – since that schmancy new global job means letting go of some of my previous duties. After a series of decent interviews and one hilariously bad phone screen*, I have hired a second awesome minion and am well on my way to being the benevolent dictator of my own little customer service kingdom. (Plus like four other jobs, but… one fight at a time.) I have to admit, I get a lot of my ideas around benevolent dictatorship from AAM. I continue to be grateful that you do what you do. :)

Oh, and as a note: New Awesome Minion was the only one to send a thank-you email after her interview. It was so beautifully written and thoughtful that it changed some interviewers’ lukewarm impressions of her into “wow yes hire her right now go go go why are you still standing here.” I, of course, thought she was excellent from the beginning… but man, that really made an impression. I strongly recommend it for any job-seekers out there, especially if “written communication” is in the job description.

* I asked if he had any questions about the job, and his response was “If you were me, what would you ask?” … I suggested he ask questions… about the job… that he would like answers to. What. Even.

2. Is it okay to hang target practice sheets at work?

I was happy to see that the majority of commenters agreed that it was inappropriate and that I wasn’t overreacting, but there were a pretty large number of comments that I found really disturbing. There were people calling me paranoid, saying I had an irrational fear of guns that must have been caused by some personal trauma (someone even suggested that I go to a gun range and learn how to shoot a gun so I won’t be so irrationally frightened of a deadly weapon that kills people literally every day), and a pretty sizable amount of people who agreed that the targets were inappropriate but felt the need to qualify those opinions by saying that they love guns or own two dozen guns or think I need to chill out about guns. In the wake of the 273rd mass shooting in the US this year, this attitude that guns are a fun hobby and we must protect people’s right to shoot things for LOLs at all costs (like, you know, the massive cost of human life) makes me a bit sick to my stomach. I expect to get yelled at for saying so in the comments section so have fun, folks, I’ll be donating money to Everytown for Gun Safety and calling Congresspeople instead of engaging with you.

About two weeks after I wrote in I ended up in that part of the office again (there was a communal snack thing happening), and the sheets were no longer there. I don’t know for sure, but I believe that the person who was sitting at that desk had been recently fired but their stuff hadn’t been cleared out yet (the person who eventually replaced them is now sitting in that desk which is why I think this is what happened). I have to wonder if the visiting exec saw that desk on the way in and said something to our office manager about it because aside from the target sheets it just looked messy and awful (there were electronic parts strewn all over it, papers everywhere, etc.). So I’m glad to not have to potentially walk by that sight ever again!

3. Should I explain that I backed out of a job offer because of another manager? (#4 at the link)

I took your advice and just let sleeping dogs lie. A position came available in my current organization that was a great fit and I applied and was hired. I’m in the process of searching for an assistant, and guess who applied? The woman from the job I turned down! She has already been let go from that position less than a month after she was hired. Anyway, it makes me feel a little better for some reason, because they eventually saw in her what I did, but also a little sad for turning down the position. If I’d known she’d only last a month I would have stuck it out.

4. I just started a job, and my boss has died (#3 at the link)

After my boss’s untimely death, I let the dust settle a bit and then as suggested in one of the comments, I called a recruiter I had spoken with previously and explained my situation. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t find work due to my being on a Visa and new to the country, but the recruiter said she’d keep me in mind for temporary roles which was better than nothing.

A couple of days later she called me about a contract role she thought I’d be suited for. After two interviews, an extensive background check and A LOT of stress I received an offer! Not just any offer either, one that came with full benefits, a nearly 50% increase in my previous salary, and my boss seemed great. I was ecstatic to say the least, and the company I was working for was very understanding regarding my resignation.

And then, two weeks into my new job… my boss was rushed to the hospital, had emergency surgery, nearly died, and has been out of the office ever since. To say I’ve faced a few jokes about a making a career as a contract boss-killer would be a huge understatement.

But this time I prevailed. With the resources I’d been provided in my short time I was able to run with my position even with almost zero supervision. I managed my role, plus some, and two months into my contract I was offered a long-term extension with discussion of permanency. Most importantly my boss didn’t die, is going to be okay and should be back in the office soon.

I guess won’t be making a career as a contract boss-killer after all. I think that I’ll stay right here. Thanks AAM crew and you, Alison for all your support.

{ 187 comments… read them below }

  1. MechE*

    Is it just me, or is the phone screen question really not *that* terrible? I mean, it seems at worst it is a poorly worded version of, “what would you have wanted to know before you started the job?”

    1. Anon Marketer*

      I’m a bit torn on this update in general. I’m glad OP is doing so well now, but I don’t approve of calling the people you manage “minions,” even in jest.

      BUT, I DO see how that question can be jarring and come off as a bit naive. I agree it was probably just poorly-worded.

      1. Oliver*

        Yeah, the minion thing made me cringe. It does sound like the OP is doing a good job as a new manager and of supporting her staff, but that said, I would be really off-put as an employee if my manager was referring to me as a minion and themself as a benevolent dictator.

        1. Specialk9*

          I’m super stoked for how that situation resolved! Great approach Alison suggested, and well executed by OP. What as great resolution.

          1. Anon Marketer*

            I personally didn’t know that, but similar comments or wording have been brought up before. Thanks for the info!

          2. Hills to Die on*

            I thought it was more related to grammar, and that how you refer to / address people was fair game for a respectful dialogue. Personally, it doesn’t bother me but toesch their own.

          3. Ask a Manager* Post author

            I do indeed ask people not to nitpick wording. If something seems problematic, it’s fine to call it out once, but I don’t want it to derail the conversation so let’s leave this one here.

        2. Elizabeth West*

          I guess it depends. I can see myself doing that with AwesomeExBoss and us laughing about it, but only because she really was awesome. With any of my other bosses, I would probably find myself wondering, “You don’t really think you’re a dictator, do you?”

        3. Say what, now?*

          It wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t then referred to the office as her kingdom and herself as the benevolent dictator. I’m sure it’s meant to be humorous. As long as she remembers to appreciate that they’re doing her as much of a favor by coming to work as she is by giving them a job (meaning that it’s not a favor at all but mutually beneficial relationship) it’s fine.

          I agree, that the phone call interview wasn’t that egregious. It wouldn’t have put the person at the top of the list for me but it wouldn’t have disqualified them if the rest of the interview went well.

      2. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

        I think that’s a know your audience thing. It didn’t bother me at all, nor would it bother me if I had a supervisor with a similar sense of humor. And there’s no indication she calls them minions anywhere but here.

          1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

            Ya there’s that too! They are super lovable.

            I call my kids my minions… not DM related. In the peon sense ;)

        1. Oliver*

          Agreed. There isn’t anything to indicate she’s mismanaging, and it could also be that she’s pulling out her sense of humor when writing to a blog, but doesn’t actually talk that way to her employees.

        2. Mary*

          As a student I was casually employed and managed by my best friend, and she referred to us all as her minions!

      3. JB (not in Houston)*

        See, I didn’t mind the “minions” because I took it as joking from someone new to managing and as such not quite comfortable with calling them their employees or direct reports. Like, that’s the kind of joke I’d expect from someone who felt like they seemed to full of themselves to go into full-blown “I’m in charge here” mode and would make jokes making fun of their asserting authority.

        I don’t know how to explain it, but while I see why her employees might not like it if they heard it, I wasn’t bothered by her using it.

      4. Murphy*

        My husband refers to one of his juniors (he doesn’t actually supervise this person, but can assign him work) as his minion. The guy’s fine with it. You have to know someone would be OK with it though. (For any Bioshock fans, my husband also often asks him to do things with “Would you kindly…”)

      5. Jen RO*

        I personally think it’s very funny and it’s the kind of comment I would definitely make. It’s a bit tiring, honestly, to see every word the OPs write get analyzed to death…

        1. Noah*

          To be fair, in this letter, OP is analyzing somebody else’s words to death, so I think that kind of analysis of OP’s writing feels invited.

          1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

            No she didn’t. It was essentially a post script and it was one sentence. That is hardly analyzing to death

        2. Turtle Candle*

          Yep. This is probably a ‘know your audience’ thing, but I’ve been called a minion by a past boss and I thought it was charming. There’s no particular need to jump on the LW for that when we have no idea her context.

      6. Radio Girl*

        Yes, thank you. I thought I’d get ridiculed here because the use of “minions” really turned me off.

        1. Hills to Die on*

          I think this is a pretty sensitive place. I can see getting ridiculed if someone told you to ‘get over it’ or something.

    2. Carbovore*

      I was going to say the same thing. I think it was poorly worded but I remember really enjoying that question from interviewees, “Is there anything I haven’t asked that I should know about?” To me, it spoke to the person’s understanding that there’s the job description on paper and then there’s the actual job and what are some things that haven’t been discussed but are super important to know, etc.

      Also, I agree with the other commenter that referring to employees as minions isn’t a great look. A good manager knows they are only as good as their team and so you should always try to refer to them in a way that lets them shine, not automatically puts them in a box of “grunt” or “peon.”

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        Rephrased, it might be good as a closer question. If the only question you have is a Socratic “I don’t know…. what would YOU ask?” you sound disengaged. Whether because you don’t want the job, or because you want any job and so “we’re going hard for AAM’s worst boss 2018 awards” isn’t going to sway you.

        1. Carbovore*

          Oh for sure, it definitely worked best as a closing question and wording/tone would definitely be important.

      2. Tuxedo Cat*

        I wouldn’t use that terminology, but perhaps in whatever office setting this OP is in, the team gets it’s a joke (I hope it’s a joke)? It’s one of those situation where OP #1 should read the room (or the blogsphere) and err on the side of caution.

        1. Turtle Candle*

          I think it’s important for LWs to read the literal room, as in, only use a term like that if it’s congruent with company culture and would be understood as a joke. I’m not sure it’s necessary for them to read the blogosphere–or even possible–to avoid ruffling our feathers, as long as the actual people involved would not have their feathers ruffled.

    3. selina kyle*

      I agree – I took it as “what would you have asked/what do you wish you had known”. I hope LW doesn’t call their assistants minions elsewhere, I know as an admin I’d be a bit peeved at that.

      1. MechE*

        Yes, exactly. The interviewee was maybe a bit more blunt and perhaps it didn’t come across well on the phone, but I’d be a little miffed by OP’s response, and it would give me pause to see if I wanted the job.

    4. Recruiter*

      Eh, it’s not great. It’s not going to disqualify someone on its own. But it makes the candidate seem like they didn’t prepare, can’t communicate effectively, and/or aren’t interested.

    5. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

      As a first questions it’s not great. Once you have shown interest, shown you did some research, shown you are engaged, ending with “is there anything you feel I have missed? What would you have wanted to know I haven’t covered?” is fine. Starting there is not the mark of someone who has prepared for the interview, IMO

      1. JB (not in Houston)*

        I totally agree. They may have been trying to go for “is there anything I’ve missed,” but that’s not what they asked. If I’d been on the receiving end of that question, I’d think, at best, that this is someone who has read some interview tips but missed the entire point of them.

        1. Jen RO*

          I’d think they really weren’t paying attention to what I was saying (therefore couldn’t find anything to ask about), they weren’t interested in the job (didn’t care enough to think of any questions) or were really bad at communication. None of these is a good thing…

    6. Noah*

      It’s not an elegant way to ask the question, but it’s a version of “is there anything else I should know about this job,” which is a Very Normal Question.

      1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

        At the end. It is not normal, nor does it show preparedness or engagement, for it to be the first question you ask when asked if you have any questions.

        1. SallytooShort*

          It’s pretty normal to ask some version of “what do you wish you knew” or “what do you think I should know” at any point even at the start.

          Maybe asking a standard question at the wrong time doesn’t really seem like it should be classified as “hilariously bad”

    7. SallytooShort*

      I also thought the question was fine.

      I probably wouldn’t have asked quite that way. But, like you say, it’s just a variation on an old standard.

  2. sigh*

    Dont worry, I found a lot of the comments on your questioning…interesting, to say the least, OP1. I’m sure others did too. Glad its been resolved and that you’re committed to promoting safety in your workplace and community.

    1. Charlie Bradbury's Girlfriend*

      Agreed. Mark me down for donating to Everytown and calling Congresspeople as well.

      1. Lumen*

        Yup. Especially as a way to disengage from “you disagree with me so I assume you aren’t thinking clearly for emotional reasons” people.

        “Instead of arguing with you, I’m going to go donate. KBAI.”

    2. President Porpoise*

      Well, me too, but there probably is a less rude/inflammatory way to say that than what OP went with here. Off putting, IMO, and more likely to put people’s back up than anything else

        1. Hills to Die on*

          Yeah, the tone was a bit hostile but I’m not judging. I know how it feels to get jumped on this site and it definitely got my hackles up.

      1. paul*

        Like…yeah there were some jerks in the comments originally but the tone in that update is pretty bleh to me too. *shrug* Oh well, if that’s the most aggravating thing today, it’s a good day.

      2. Anononon*

        Depending on the issue, though, the goal isn’t always to convince/get people on your side, etc. There are some issues I feel strongly about, and gun control is probably one of them, where I personally don’t care whether I alienate the other side.

        1. Jesmlet*

          But when you alienate the other side, they’re less likely to hear your point of view ever. If it’s something you feel strongly about, you should want to be measured enough in your words to potentially change people’s minds. Otherwise, how else do you expect to come to a resolution without the constant pendulum swinging that happens in many other areas. The more argumentative and inflammatory speech gets used in these situations, the further people get entrenched in their own views, and that hurts any chance of progress.

          When I argue with family members who are unfortunately bigoted about gay rights, I don’t just call them homophobic assholes (even though they are). I try to present things from both a rational and emotional point of view because I want them to change their mind rather than just waiting for them to die and hoping they haven’t passed that view on to too many people. Aggressive rhetoric rarely changes peoples’ minds, and change is ultimately what we should want.

          1. Mustache Cat*

            Changing hearts and minds is an excellent goal, but it’s not the only way to affect change. When’s the last time the NRA tried (seriously) to change anyone’s mind on gun safety? And yet they are effective because they are able to use rhetoric and political leveraging to fire up their base of supporters and turn that into a powerful political tool. The opinions of most Americans–and most gun owners, to be frank–don’t reflect that of the NRA, and yet they continue to be a powerful force in society. So changing minds has a limited utility here, obviously.

            All of this is to say; you should continue to do you, but let OP do OP.

      3. Anony*

        Yeah. I also think that people who said the people who “qualified” their statement that the targets were inappropriate for the office by saying that they own guns actually added more weight to the opinion by making it clear that the issue was not about whether some does or does not like guns and shooting ranges.

      4. Bostonian*

        I can understand the OP feeling defensive and attacked. As long as you weren’t one of the people making ridiculous comments in the original post, I don’t think the snark was pointed at you.

    3. Backroads*

      I remember reading them and thinking “whoah.” And I do come from a gun-owning family and yes, if a person uncomfortable with guns expressed interest in learning more about them in order to build up comfort I would support that. But yeah, some got crazy.

  3. Katniss*

    Oh boy, I predict a lot of needless offense over #2.

    It is okay to dislike guns. Being upset because someone doesn’t like your hobby just makes you look insecure and defensive, folks.

    1. MuseumChick*

      I predict the same thing. Can’t decide if I want to avoid the comment section or grab some popcorn.

    2. Lumen*


      And if we regularly see people who share your hobby use that hobby to destroy dozens (if not hundreds) of lives, as in every month or two, maybe don’t be so shocked and appalled when people question whether it’s really that great of a hobby. Last time I checked, no one’s World of Warcraft addiction committed mass murder at a concert. Or theater. Or nightclub. Or grade school.

    3. That guy*

      It is ok to dislike guns. It is ok to like guns. I find the need to morally blast people who like guns annoying and pointless.

      1. Hotstreak*

        Yeah, this. There’s a lot of vitriol in the follow up letter, which is the kind of attitude that should usually be tempered at the workplace. Folks can express their uncomfortableness with target shooting targets/trophies/whatever in a calm, professional way, without demeaning their coworkers.

          1. Winifred*

            No, but you or another family member are statistically likely to be a victim of gun violence because of it.

              1. Phoenix Programmer*

                Not really it is a fact. Owning a gun makes you more likely to be a victim of gun violence.

          2. Specialk9*

            This comes across to me as you fishing for people to offend you, so that you can then feel justified in taking great offense.

            /Fellow gun owner & advocate for strict gun control

            1. Backroads*

              I don’t mean to fish and I truly am trying to avoid that. But yeah, I do find the update’s wording unnecessarily aggressive. (And yeah, I agree with gun control).

              1. Charlie Bradbury's Girlfriend*

                To be fair to the OP, she said in her first letter:
                (Note: I do not want this question to re-open the debate about guns in offices, as it’s not really the point.)
                It was the comments that followed that were out of control and insulting, so I don’t blame her in the slightest for putting out a disclaimer like that.

                1. Turtle Candle*

                  Yeah, I can understand being irritated when you started out by saying “I don’t want to get into the gun debate” and you got replied to with a few people being like, “We’ll just get you out to a gun range and your ignorant, scaredycat opinion will be changed right quick!” I’d be pissed off too.

                2. Jesmlet*

                  If this update was sent the next day, I’d understand the strong feelings. It’s presumably been weeks/months since they read the comments so why so much anger about a handful of offensive people when if I remember correctly, the majority of people agreed with OP?

                3. Turtle Candle*

                  Well, presumably because the LW got asked for an update and it reminded them of their irritation. And the same thing could go both ways–why are people still so annoyed that this LW doesn’t like guns? And why do people feel the need to get defensive when the LW told us straight up that she’s not even reading these? Why, besides to make this a moderation nightmare for Alison?

                4. Phoenix Programmer*

                  Cause Allison can hold on to updates for months for one? And two it’s not “such a strong reaction” so much as a direct no nonsense o disagree with you.

                  It’s not like op wrote “wake up sheeple!!!!?!!!!???” “Nra is conning you ignorant gunnits!!!!!!????”

                  Or something equally “strong” and “aggressive”

              2. Kj*

                Agreed. It is OK for the OP to not like guns. But the tone of her reply is VERY judgmental of anyone who happens to like them/shoot them/have loved ones who shoot. I enjoy target shooting and grew up around guns. My Mom’s family ate the animals they hunted and for many years, that was their only source of meat, because they were that poor. The occasional shooting I do is somewhat in homage to my roots and a way of connecting with my family. My brother lives in Alaska and hikes solo often. He needs a gun for safety reasons. Guns are often needed for those who live in rural or wilderness areas- if we banned guns 100%, it would mean that we were ignoring the needs of those who don’t live in the city. I agree with gun control for many weapons, but let’s not pretend the needs of someone living in a major city is the same as the needs as someone living in a place in Alaska reachable only by bush plane. I don’t think the targets belong at work, but the tone of this update really rubs me the wrong way.

                1. Backroads*

                  My in-laws live in a rural community of ranchers and farmers. Guns are part of protecting animals and property. There isn’t much in the way of crime so I don’t think too many in the community are keeping guns primarily for self-defense, but the fact remains they don’t have the option of calling 911 and having cops show up 2 minutes later.

                  I know most people aren’t demanding a complete gun ban, but there does need to be a consideration of the needs of different cultures and lifestyles.

                2. Murphy*

                  The tone of her reply seems to be against people being judgmental towards her and her feelings about guns, which weren’t really the point of her letter.

                3. Vin Packer*

                  Good news: you win.

                  Your view of guns controls all of our (lack of) laws about them so we are all surrounded by your beloved super fun guns no matter how many elementary schools or movie theaters get lit up.

                  You very much have the upper hand here. Will you insist on feeling persecuted until you have the good opinion of every internet commenter as well?

                4. Dawn*

                  My parents live in a very rural area, but their house is the best for party gathering. They own many guns, and actively do saftey training with them, one of my sisters had a huge problem with this for years. Last year we were hanging out in the backyard, my Dad had a .380 on his hip, look out into the trees, mountain lion staring at us. As we all walked backwards inside the house, while Dad covered us, she realized why our parents had weapons, never brought it up again.

            2. AKchic*

              Ugh. I hear you there. For some reason, people look at us gun owners who advocate for stricter gun control like we are some sort of weird monsters. I live in Alaska and we have some of the most lax gun laws in the country. We also have some pretty bleak rates of crime.

        1. k.k*

          I think OP’s tone in this update is a result of the comments section of the original letter. Some people were far from kind to OP (putting it lightly), so I can understand being on the defensive now.

        2. santa baby*

          “There’s a lot of vitriol in the follow up letter, which is the kind of attitude that should usually be tempered at the workplace.”

          okay, but it’s in the letter, and not the workplace? it sounds like OP was nothing but professional at work– in the letter, though, she’s responding to the people in the comments section of her post. i’m not sure how this comment is relevant at all?

          1. Turtle Candle*

            Yeah, I’m seeing two separate places in two separate letters where we’re getting into “but if you talk like that in the workplace, it’s bad and wrong!” when… this isn’t. This is quickie update letters that LWs have voluntarily given to us–to us, who clamor for updates. Why? What does that possibly do? It feels kind of pearl-clutch-y or like concern trolling to me, to assume that people are going to interact in the workplace in exactly the way they do when writing an update to a blogger.

        3. SunshineOH*

          Nah. Well ok, maybe. But probably more of a defensive posture in reaction to the comments that were made. IIRC, some were pretty far out there.

      2. Elvira*

        I don’t think the letter writer was “morally blasting” people with guns. It was more like she was getting (rightfully!) upset with people who told her she needed to chill out. It’s absolutely, 100% reasonable for her to have been uncomfortable with target sheets in a professional workplace! And I’m kind of shocked that people are calling her reaction the worse offense. Come on, now.

        1. Backroads*

          I love how you worded this and it really helped me with some of the reactionary feelings I had to the update. I have some views that I am not altogether chill with that plenty of others think I should change my views on. I’d be upset too if I were commanded to chill out.

    4. selina kyle*

      Agreed. I hope we can all remain civil. Regardless of one’s opinion on the subject, the issue resolved itself so there’s really not much to discuss on that front. Hopefully!

    5. Emi.*

      Oh come on, this update and the comments on the last thread go well beyond “dislike.” No one is this upset about mere dislike.

      1. Katniss*

        Yeah, people tend to get upset over things that can kill them, especially in a world with daily mass shootings.

        1. Maude*

          I also get upset by a crazy person running people down with a car or attempting to blow them up with a pressure cooker bomb. A blanket ban on guns is an over simplification of a complex world problem.

          1. Scilla*

            It’s a great starting point, though. Speaking as someone living in a country that had ONE school shooting and promptly banned handguns, it’s a really really good starting point!

  4. I'll come up with a clever name later.*

    I did too. What a situation. I’m happy that it all worked out and that the LW’s boss is okay too.

  5. Al*

    In honor of LW #2, I will be donating $1 to an org that supports gun control/background checks for every commenter who writes anything positive about free and unregulated gun usage and/or tells LW they’re being too sensitive and uptight.

    Happy Holidays!

      1. Amber T*

        I’m usually anti-spam comments (especially on AAM!), but if there was ever a time to make an exception…

    1. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

      Better just tell me where to send my dollar then so I can send it now…along with my matching donation to the NRA.

      Personally Im tired of being demonized because I’m an independent and am for the constitution. Feel how you want but making good people out to be bad guys isn’t going to win the OP any sympathy from me.

      1. Brittasaurus Rex*

        She was responding to the ridiculous comments in the original post. She wasn’t attacking you personally.

      2. Al*

        It’s very interesting that you simultaneously complain about being demonized while supporting a domestic terrorist organization.

        I personally am not against people owning guns; however, I believe there should be limits to quantity and make/model, as well as extensive background checks. Unlike other weapons that can double for everyday objects (e.g., knives, axes, box cutters), guns are made for the express and sole purpose of shooting a target. They should be used sparingly and as a last resort. As such, fighting policies such as background checks and mandatory gun ownership classes is violent in its own right. Anyone who owns a weapon should be vetted for safety and responsibility first. The NRA opposes that line of thought and actually fights to allow people with a known history of violence to have access to guns, even in the wake of increased incidents of mass shootings. Therefore, I am updating my original comment to say that I will also donate $5/comment defending the NRA to an organization supporting victims of gun violence and mass shootings.

        It’s a depressing day when people care more about their right to own a weapon than the past and potential victims of gun violence.


    #1 – I am so glad things are working out so well for you! I hope you and your minions kick butt! How often do you have to work with NewManager (that is no longer your manager) now?

  7. Mb13*

    LW 4 a 50% success rate isnt that bad. I wouldn’t give up your dreams of being a contracted boss killer yet.

      1. Mb13*

        That’s right. Op I hope you didn’t feel discouraged by my original mistake. Statistically speaking you are very good at your contracts.


    #2 – I am glad you no longer have to see the target sheets. They are so incredibly inappropriate for an office, I can’t believe they were allowed to be up in the first place. You most certainly were not paranoid, exhibiting an irrational fear of guns, or any of that other nonsense. Whether you agree with the 2nd amendment or not, whether you like or dislike guns, whether you shoot on the weekends or have never held one – none of that has ANY baring on the appropriateness of hanging used targets in a workplace. You were right to find them inappropriate.

    1. Backroads*

      Y’know, come to think of it, I worked at one workplace where they were hung up and were appropriate: A summer camp where the best target sheets were hung up for celebration at the shooting range.

      A far cry from an office.

      1. Don Lucia's Mullet*

        I can think of several workplaces where they’d be appropriate. Granted, most of the ones I’m thinking of are government related – Police HQ, FBI, MI-6, etc.

  9. JKP*

    LW3 – Maybe you backing out is part of why she was let go. Maybe you were the first in a string of job offers who declined because they didn’t want to work with her, and that drew the org’s attention to her unprofessional behavior and she was let go. Maybe if you had stayed in that job, she might still be there too, and you’d have to work together for who knows how long. So don’t feel too bad that you turned down the position.

    1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

      This is a fair point. You accepted, met Jane, withdrew. Perhaps you didn’t have to say anything. Perhaps they connected the dots and put it together with other missed opportunities.

      1. Specialk9*

        I’ve never been anywhere where management connected dots like that. I like to believe they exist though!

  10. Lady Phoenix*

    Lw #2 Commenters
    Yeaah, demanding a person to “like” guns is about as appropriate as ddmanding that they change their eating habits, money habits, or thheir stance on having kids (As in, “NOT appropriate and also rude as fuck”).

    OP #2 has every right to not like guns, period. Guns are weapons and kill people when treated like toys.

    And I am someone that likes hunting and stuff. If I ever partake in it, I will always follow the #1 rules: The gun is always loaded.

    1. Jen RO*

      Yeah, jeez… the “benevolent dictator” comment is so over the top I can’t believe some people think OP is serious about this.

      1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

        This is totally my sense of humour so maybe it’s just that I “get” it but I truly don’t understand the backlash to this letter

        1. Myrin*

          Yeah, same. I mean, I kinda understand it if I remove myself mentally from my actual self and try to view it to the eyes of someone who doesn’t share my humour but… the whole update was written in such a lighthearted and exaggerating way that I don’t think I’d be put off by it anyway.

    1. DatSci*

      Nope I am a real/separate person and did not write that first comment.

      I don’t see why its so astonishing that not EVERYONE agrees with ONE point of view…
      That line of commentary illustrates another thing I find insanely annoying about liberal; they think everyone who is good/right/just in this world is just like them.

      1. Phoenix Programmer*

        That’s true of both sides. Can’t tell you the number of pubs who are like you are so nice and great! Then they learn I am an atheist pro choice pro LGBT politically liberal and are like “but you are nice and we are friends so I assumed ur just like me! how!”

  11. galatea*

    LW4! Oh my goodness!

    “And then, two weeks into my new job… my boss was rushed to the hospital, had emergency surgery, nearly died, and has been out of the office ever since.”

    I clapped my hand over my mouth in real life — I’m so glad it worked out for you in the end!

  12. Noah*

    ““If you were me, what would you ask?” … I suggested he ask questions… about the job… that he would like answers to. What. Even.”

    The tone of OP’s reaction seems off base. “Is there anything else I should know about this job” is a common question, it makes a lot of sense to ask it, and I’ve never heard of anybody being bothered by this question. That’s all this candidate was asking, albeit not terribly eloquently.

    1. Beezus*

      To be fair, tone is difficult in text and the way he said it could have been what made her “what even” in the context of the phrasing!

    2. Murphy*

      I’m guessing the candidate didn’t get that question out the way that they had intended. I also think someone probably suggested they ask a question like that.

    3. Myrin*

      This came up above, too, and I’m really confused by it – I don’t see at all how “If you were me, what would you ask?” can in any way interpreted as “Is there anything else I should know about this job?”. It sounds like someone wanting to seem especially clever or witty by “turning the question around” to me. Like “I can’t be bothered to think of an actual question so I want you to do the legwork for me”.

  13. LeisureSuitLarry*

    I love that LW#1 has a generous amount of snark and refers to her minions as “minions.”

  14. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

    #2 Based on your judgmental tone alone and bringing your own politics into the office, I would never ever want to work with you.

    You might want to consider how you can be productive at work if you piss off other coworkers, because it’s definitely not being part of the team and will impact your own productivity. Once your coworkers feel like you judge them with your own biases they may sabotage your work, or not help you when you need it, or when working on a team or group project. Just something to think about.

    I can agree to disagree, and work with folks of all sorts of political backgrounds.

    (And just to be clear, I consider the issue of guns to be political as it is my constitutional right as a human citizen in the US and trying to control me or take my basic rights away is most definitely political).

    But the second an employee considers themselves the thought police and judges me based on my own personal political opinions is when I go out of my way to not interact with you and avoid you and helping you at all costs necessary.

    1. palomar*

      So… it’s not okay for anyone to ever judge you, because them judging you makes them thought police. But you can judge others. That’s a neat trick! I hope Santa brings you some self-awareness and humility this year.

    2. palomar*

      Also… straight up, people who sabotage work or refuse to pitch in on projects to spite a coworker are terrible people. I hope for the sake of your coworkers that the actions you laid out here aren’t how you personally behave in the workplace.

      1. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

        If a coworker thinks I’m a bad person, why would I do anything more helpful than doing the absolute minimum? Why would I want to work with a person like that? Of course I don’t, it’s realistic. The LW needs to be realistic if the LW uses that kind of tone with coworkers who feel differently than the LW does, that is all I am saying.

      2. BeautifulVoid*

        Yep. But clearly, as evidenced by the comments here and in the original thread, OP being uncomfortable with guns is the most grievous crime that was ever committed in the history of everything ever, so “sabotaging” her work would be totally appropriate.

      3. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

        I have morals so I’ve never sabotaged anyone. Unless you consider legit written complaints about awful coworkers or managers? If that’s sabotage I guess I’m guilty? But I am saying others may not have a conscience in that department so it would obviously be better not to judge people so the workplace flows smoother and these things don’t happen.

        1. Yup*

          You’re judging HER!!! Why are you so threatened by her comment?

          “I was very put off by LW’s tone and obvious judgement for folks who are on a different part of the political spectrum than she is.”
          If that’s true, then take a second to consider that you’re doing the exact same thing. Truly.

      4. hugseverycat*

        Right? “You must never have an opinion about a coworker and express it anonymously to a blog or else all of your coworkers will start sabotaging your career, and this is totally a normal and understandable response for your coworkers to have, while your anonymously expressed opinion is an aberration.”

      5. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

        I’ve never ever sabotaged someone’s work because I have morals. Unless you consider legit written complaints on a coworker or manager sabotage? I guesa I’m guilty then?

        It’s realistic to think there are folks out there who do in fact do these kinds of things on an office – I saw such a mess take a year to fix because let-go person did a doozey with the server and beyond.

        It’s realistic for me to not want to go above and beyond bare minimum for an employee that uses this kind of tone.

        I stopped going above and beyond when a coworker started saying folks with x skin color are this that and the other thing. If I perceive I’m being judged I’m not going to go out of my way to work with that person, amd when I do it will be bare minimum and superficial. Does that make me a bad person or employee for wanting to avoid folks that think of me that way?

    3. Wannabe Disney Princess*

      If guns are political, isn’t hanging target sheets political? Thereby that coworker brought their own politics into the office too. If you don’t want people to bring their own politics into the office, why is that okay?

      1. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

        I wasnt commenting on my thoughts on targets (that’s up to the company) just that I was very put off by LW’s tone and obvious judgement for folks who are on a different part of the political spectrum than she is.

        1. palomar*

          The tone and judgement are a direct result of the rude and insulting comments that were left on the previous post about her letter, from pro-gun folks. That was said very clearly in this post. It’s weird that you missed that.

    4. Yup*

      You are over-reacting so way far over the top here — who’s talking about controlling you or your basic rights?! Thought police?! Please take it down a notch and read the original posting and comments.

  15. Katniss*

    Alison, I think we need some moderation in these comments. The gun “advocates” are feeling the need to personally attack the LW.

    1. Strawmeatloaf*

      Yes please. I’m really not so sure what they’re getting so up in arms about it (no pun intended).

  16. Lady Phoenix*

    #2 Commenters:
    Telling OP to get a gun is about as polite as telling OP to “lose weight” or “have some kids” or “get laid”. I,e: you are being rude as all fuck and I am not surprised OP is treating you all with the same contempt.

    OP has every right to hate guns. Guns are designed to kill things, period. Nothing else is designed to kill things except other weapons. Treating this like a toy is how people die.

    And this coming from someone with an interest in hunting. And in my family, we follow the #1 rule of guns: they are ALWAYS loaded.

  17. Nox*

    #02 I don’t feel this update should of been published. It was judgey and rude. Like I’m not even a gun owner or supporter of guns and I’m not feeling the rant that overshadowed the rest of the update. I understand that the first post was ugly but as many people here always like to tell me, we have to have a thick skin in order to post here as well as comment here.

    #1. I actually like the phone screen question. As a person of color I wouldn’t appreciate being called a minion but that also depends on context and my level of rapport with you.

    *sigh* time for another hiatus

    1. Meyers and Briggs were not real doctors*

      You explained why I was put off much better than I did, thank you. Re#2

    2. palomar*

      So… you think that letter writers should expect to be abused here, and should take all abuse without responding to it in any way? That seems really unjust.

  18. DatSci*

    Only exposing oneself to viewpoints one already agrees with is a good, quick way to end up with biases. I’d encourage all of you to seek out people with a diverse set of backgrounds/opinions/thought processes and really try to open up your worldview. Not everyone is going to come to the same conclusion given the same set of data or facts. That way, when you genuinely disagree with something, you can say you considered it in good faith and found it lacking; rather than you just don’t read things you don’t think you’ll agree with.

  19. Ask a Manager* Post author

    This one’s going to take a huge amount of moderation, on a couple of different points, so I’m closing the comments on it. Sorry! (And yes, I should have foreseen that in advance; there are so many updates this month that I’m losing track of what’s posting when.)

Comments are closed.