4 updates from letter-writers (the parking pass, the acne, and more)

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

1. I don’t get my own parking pass because I’m married to a coworker (#2 at the link)

I wanted to give you and the readers an update. I used the phrasing that you provided when talking to an HR rep in person. He seemed to understand and said he would get back to me within the day. Two days passed, and I sent him and the other person I’d worked with an email asking for an update. I got fairly harsh email back saying that they were very busy as someone in payroll was out unexpectedly and they were covering for them. The HR rep also said they had an understanding that my department would be working around my husband’s schedule and that they were confused why he was getting to work earlier than needed if we have different schedules. As I alluded to, Husband has had some issues with timeliness so I saw major red flags that perhaps HR was trying to use me as a way to get Husband clocked in on time.

Around that time, Husband and I actually got into a fairly heated (for us) argument about this as he thought I was pushing too much. I asked him if HE was hoping I didn’t get the pass so I would be around to help him be on time. He said it is definitely a perk but is not the reason he was against me pushing back. I said I needed his support even if he disagreed with me and basically that he needed to fall in line. He countered that he thought I was getting too upset about the whole thing and ruining my mood and the happiness of escaping my toxic previous job. We ended up both being a bit right and agreed to disagree. He gave support emotionally and I tried to stop ruminating on the issue.

In a general meeting about how things are going, the VP of our department, who was one of the ladies that led my interview, asked how things were going. I used that as an opportunity to bring out this issue with her. I included information regarding Husband and I having schedules that are sometimes multiple hours different and how he often works Saturdays. She contacted HR and talked to them. They ended up granting my request for a second parking pass but stated that it was because of Husband’s Saturday hours and that it was out of the norm for them.

2. Could my acne be keeping me from getting a job? (first update here; second update here; final update here)

I thought I would write in with one more update since so many people have been so kind to me since I wrote before.

A commenter from AAM (keeping them anonymous in case they’d rather, but their generosity was immensely appreciated) was amazingly generous and sent me money so that I could afford treatment for my acne. It felt like a holiday miracle and I absolutely can’t wait to pay the favor forward when I’m able!

What ultimately ended up doing it was Curology! I couldn’t believe how much of a difference there was in my face since December when I started. People were actually commenting positively for once about how much better I looked, and when I look at the then/now pictures I’m amazed. I never suspected I could be without acne. I still have a ways to go, but I’ve only been using it for about 3.5 months. I’m positive there will be more of a difference.

I’ve also since left my job. I previously mentioned the turnover adding to my stress – our small team of 40-ish lost 12 people since September and many were not able to be replaced before I left, leaving big holes and permanent coverage issues. I’ve accepted a position in another field entirely and am eagerly awaiting my start date there – and the way I carried myself and judiciously used cover-up for what hadn’t gone away seems to have helped in the interview process!

Thank you all so much for your suggestions, and most importantly your kindness. It was a mortifying problem for me and you all made me realize there were options and that what mattered most was how I carried myself.

3. My salary changed on my first day of work

I realize I’m pretty late to the update party, but I finally have something positive to share!

The organization and my team have become increasingly dysfunctional since the time I wrote in — my original manager moved on, and was replaced by a very under-qualified internal candidate. My new boss and I had many clear conversations about promoting me and giving me a raise, but all this led to was more responsibility with no title or pay change (sound familiar?!). In her six-month tenure as my manager, we had very few one-on-one meetings. I finally asked very directly to either be compensated fairly for my work, or for my position description to change in order to be aligned with my pay grade. Her answer was wishy-washy at best: at lot of “at some point…” and “I’m working on it…” with no follow up. I resigned a couple of weeks later, which completely blindsided her and led the organization to finally offer me a modest raise. Too little, too late!

I’m happy to say that I’ve just accepted a new position with pays about 50% more than I make right now, in a city with a much lower cost of living. I’ve learned a lot through this experience about communicating directly and knowing where to draw the line (which can be super challenged the longer you’re in a toxic workplace and dysfunction becomes normalized). I could go on and on and on about all the bizarre and unprofessional things that went on here, but I’m much happier focusing on the exciting new job ahead of me! I’m very grateful to Alison for her advice, as well as to all of the commenters who supported me.

4. I have to come up with a monthly goal for a job that doesn’t change much (#3 at the link)

After reading your comments and the other readers’, I realized I was thinking too much into it. I took your advice and asked my manager what goals she expects from the position and she said that the meeting and goals are set up as a way to bring focus and to work on any problems an employee might be having so if I wasn’t having any issues my goal was to basically to keep doing what I was doing. So that’s what I did and good news my probation period is finally over and I got a raise! The fact that you and your readers made me feel more confident the next time I had a meeting helped a lot for this, as it made me relax about the little things and just focus on keeping up the good work. Thanks again. 

{ 152 comments… read them below }

  1. Clarice Fitzpatrick*

    LW 2,

    As someone who’s self-conscious about my skin and face, I’m so happy for you! It’s great to find a solution that’s working so far. Also it’s wonderful that someone here helped you out. The generosity of other people is really something.

    1. LW2*

      Thank you so much! I cried when I got the email asking if I could be put in touch with the commentor and I feel so very lucky. My better half is commenting almost every day on how well my face has cleared up because he knows how much it bothered me, and I can see the difference! Sending you good vibes for your skin care as well :)

      1. Formica Dinette*

        Thank you for the update. (Even though it made me tear up a little.) I’m so glad to hear that your job situation will improve soon and that clearing up your acne is helping you feel better about yourself. I hope things continue looking up for you.

      2. bookish*

        This was such a heartwarming update! And thank you for letting us know what treatment worked – I’ve heard good things about Curology and it’s good to hear that it worked well for you. Now I can recommend this to a friend who has been struggling with acne too.

    2. [insert witty user name here]*

      Loved hearing this super sweet and generous update.

      LW#2 – so glad to hear things are going well!

    3. Cassandra*

      I was also very pleased to read this, LW2. I finally grew out of my acne (at age forty-mumble), so I was sympathy-wincing all through your original letter.

      LW2’s anonymous benefactor, thank you. You are a kind and generous person.

      1. LW2*

        Thank you so much :) it was more than I ever expected, and I will never forget their kindness!

        1. Important Moi*

          I’m so happy for you.

          I’m also a forty-mumble (cystic) acne sufferer. I’ve done just about every topical treatment and pill. I’ve not heard of Curology but you’ve provided me something to talk to my dermatologist about.

          1. Julia*

            Curology is not a product, but a derm service you sign up for, so no need to talk to your dermatologist about it if that’s expensive or involves long wait times.

            You could ask your doctor for a similar mix, I guess? There’s a link to Curology’s mix in my name. From what I’ve heard, a lot of people have the ingredients adjusted to fit them, because not everyone tolerates everything.

          2. Kate R. Pillar*

            Just checked out the Curology website and saw that one of their ingredients is tretinoin.
            Surprised that they do not mention at all that it is very much contraindicated to use tretinoin if there is any chance you might be or become pregnant (so much so that in Germany or Switzerland you can only get the related isotretinoin on prescription for 30 days AND have to submit to a pregnancy test before that subscription is renewed). Hope that they inform their customers of this at least when sending it out!

            1. Katie*

              Oral isotretinoin is clearly a cause of birth defects, and is tightly regulated in the U.S, too. It’s less clear whether topical retinoids also cause problems, but still probably a good idea to avoid them and use other topical acne medications if you are pregnant or might become pregnant soon.

    4. Caro in the UK*

      Add me to the chorus of people who still struggle with adult acne! I know how horribly emotionally debilitating it can be, so I’m really, really happy that things are looking up for you, LW2.

      1. LW2*

        Thank yoy so much :) it really was debilitating at times, even if I felt like I should have just sucked it up. But I’m so much happier!

      2. Mallory Janis Ian*

        I had acne as a teenager and young adult, and then I had a good stretch where it just cleared up on its own. Now I’m in my late forties, and just this past couple of months, I’ve been getting acne breakouts along with my monthly cycle! I had a breakout all over my face last month, and just as it was clearing up and looking only minorly dry and reddish, I got my period and broke out again. I hope this isn’t going to be an ongoing problem.

      1. Mananana*

        Me, too, Specialk9. Made me tear up quite nicely. LW2, I’m so very happy for you, but the best part of your update (to me, at least) was the generosity of your unnamed benefactor.

        To you, Kind, Unnamed Benefactor: you made the world a better place.

  2. justsomeone*

    Great update from #2!! So happy for you!
    #1, I’m glad you got your parking pass but your situation is still UTTERLY ridiculous!

    1. MissGirl*

      I don’t understand why the company is digging in on this. They have two employees, they need two parking passes.

      What’s next? You employees live in the same neighborhood so therefore you must carpool. Only one parking pass per half mile radius.

      1. sam*

        It would actually be less ridiculous if they had a company-wide policy that encouraged carpooling – probably annoying and intrusive, but at minimum, equally applied to all employees.

        But to single out the two employees who happen to be married is completely bonkers and possibly discriminatory – wives are not appendages of their husbands (and I know that in some states, “marital status” is an explicitly protected category).

        1. Traffic_Spiral*

          Yeah, what’s next – demanding that wives only uses “Mrs. [Husband FirstName LastName] for their work IDs because it saves printing ink?

        2. RUKiddingMe*

          “…wives are not appendages of their husbands…”

          But, but,…chattel.

          If I were LW I would seriously be annoyed at Husband for not having my back and for complaining that I was insisting on a benefit that everyone else gets, just because I am married to another employee.

      2. Specialk9*

        HR: “Well ok, fine, but this is unusual and we’re only granting this pass because the husband works weekends.”

        You: “Thank you. As I’m sure you know, your old policy was really putting the company at risk of discrimination based on gender and marital status. The new policy of giving all partnered employees the same parking access as unpartnered employees is a wise one, and I applaud you for recognizing the risk and being so proactive.”

        (Laying it on too thick?)

    2. Parenthetically*

      Couldn’t agree more re: #1! What a silly thing to be difficult about. Two employees. Two passes. Easy peasy.

  3. [insert witty user name here]*

    #1 – glad to hear you got the parking pass. SUPER frustrated on your behalf that they tried to pull this crap in the first place and that they’re still sticking to “it’s out of the norm for us to do this” line anyway. What the actual F?!?! Ugh. But thanks for updating us!

    1. Ozma the Grouch*

      Yeah, I’m pretty much fuming that it came had to come down to “being all about the husband” before they took this seriously. And that the OP’s husband won’t back her up on this issue? I’m relieved you got what you needed in the end, but the whole situation just left me feeling icky.

      1. LouiseM*

        Agreed, it really bothered me that the husband essentially was OK with a situation that really bothered his wife (and told her to stop pushing it) just because he got a personal benefit from it.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            Yeah, that made me give Hubby some major side-eye while reading. Virtually, of course. It’s not HER responsibility for him to be on time for HIS job. She’s not his mother, ffs.

        1. RVA Cat*

          Imagine what would happen in this situation if they didn’t give OP a parking pass and she and her husband separated?

        2. Hey Nonnie*

          I would have been really tempted to tell husband that since he sees it as no big deal, he can give his parking pass to her, and figure out transit/schedules/parking for himself.

    2. beanie beans*

      Any time I hear a line like that it feels like they’re basically saying “We know we were wrong but we’re going to continue to make it seem like we’re doing you a favor and not just doing what we were supposed to from the beginning.”

      I’m glad things eventually worked out! As an overly punctual person with a chronically late husband, commuting separately would be a relationship saver!

      1. Marthooh*

        I think HR’s deal was that they had been OH SO CLEVER in finding a way to make sure Hubby got to work on time and then the OP spoiled it for them. So of course they get to sulk and pout about it.

        1. SoCalHR*

          Except they failed to consider that it could backfire on them and they’d end up with two late employees – one of whom is severely frustrated when she strolls in late because of the husband #loselose

    3. k.k*

      Oh yeah, this update made me super mad. I’m glad OP got her parking pass, but the hoops they made her jump through and the lines they are feeding her are utter BS.

    4. Let's Talk About Splett*

      Yeah, “this is outside our normal policy” is what you say when you are actually doing someone a favor, not when you are doing the bare minimum.

      1. Gorgo*

        How can this possibly come up often enough that they have a “policy?” I smell one or two HR underlings on a power trip…

          1. Fergus*

            if it was guacamole they would have siad, since you are married could,’t they split it…lmao

      2. Yvette*

        Well after all, if they only have one married couple working together than of course it is outside their normal policy. /sarcasm

    5. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      Let’s not forget that nothing was done until LW’s manager called and said, “Enough.”
      Funny how a parking pass materialized. Less funny is how the story coming from HR was not, we were forced to act by someone higher up but rather, yeah, we will graciously do a favor for you, randomly and at this time.

      1. Hills to Die on*

        I think that’s what bothered me about this–OP is just trying to get what was promised to her and HR is having a ridiculous power struggle over it for no reason.

      2. SL #2*

        We had a new employee starting in a month and the line from HR, when I, the junior employee, got in touch with them was that there were no more parking passes available, tough luck, we can sign a separate agreement with the off-site lot across the street (of course, paid for out of our team budget and not the larger company budget!). I relayed the news to my boss, who rolled her eyes, told me to stay in her office for a second, and marched down the hall to the director of operations.

        We had a parking pass reserved for the new employee 15 mins later. The hills that some people choose to die on just baffle me.

        1. Ozma the Grouch*

          At least your boss sounds like someone who knows what they are doing and doesn’t put up with BS. That makes a HUGE difference when working in an environment like this. Every time I learn another piece of this unnecessary drama fest I just get more and more irritated (but I also have major office PTSD from petty issues similar to yours, you know, people being arbitrary and difficult because they can and framing it as being fair/for the good of the company). Your HR department is not your friend apparently.

          1. SL #2*

            You’re spot-on about my boss not being the type of person to put up with BS and I am constantly grateful for her because she will stop at nothing when going to bat for me or for the rest of my team.

            HR is generally helpful and I do believe they’re trying their best, just not in this one circumstance. It was all very strange and like I said, a bewildering hill for them to die on because I’ve seen HR work through much more complicated situations with compassion for everyone involved, and yet this parking pass was a point of contention.

            1. GG Two shoes*

              It’s strange what people will choose to fight about, especially things that are inconsequential in the long run . I’m glad you got your parking pass!

            2. Jadelyn*

              Sometimes people get a little taste of power and turn into petty tyrants about the small stuff, if only because that’s the only stuff that’s directly within their sphere of control. Frustrating as all get-out when it happens, but unfortunately fairly normal for humans.

              1. Fergus*

                Yea, I had a dumb ass at a government facility think it was her goal in life to tell me how to wear my id badge, it was so minor, who cares

    6. InfoSec SemiPro*

      Yay you got the parking pass you need! Try to focus on that, because that is the part that matters.

      The mumbly-grumbly noises that came with it are irrelevant, and eye rolling.

      1. WellRed*

        They may be irrelevant, they may not be if this is indicative of how the company works. I’d expect further nitpicky crap like this down the road.

    7. Hey Nonnie*

      Of course HR had to get one last petty dig in there, instead of 1> being consistent with benefits in the first place and 2> graciously accepting that they were instructed by senior management to be consistent (and not be sexist piles of crap).

      This would leave me with my antennae up, honestly. What other crap will they try to pull? (I’m almost expecting them to have a Serious Talk with her about her husband’s tardiness at some point.) It sucks, but I might keep my job search at least lukewarm for a while, unless and until the company proves to me that this was a far-out-there anomaly.

    8. jo*

      UGGGHHHH I was so mad that they felt the need to keep pushing back with this “out of the norm” BS! It should be the norm for them to treat married employees as individuals! In LW1’s position I would probably be unable to stop myself from arguing the point.

      But she got her parking pass, so congrats to LW1, and I hope HR’s boorish behavior isn’t a harbinger of other problems in this job you were so excited to start. Glad your VP went to bat for you.

      1. Triple Anon*

        That company is setting themselves up for a lawsuit. I’m not a lawyer, but this sounds like it could be discrimination based on family status . . . or something like that.

    9. Triple Anon*

      Yeah, I can’t believe they continued to push back, and that they tried to bring other issues into it. The story was simple. She was denied a standard perk because she was married to a co-worker. The marriage should be none of the company’s business. They should be treated as individual employees, no different than anyone else. Seriously, wtf?

    10. Koala dreams*

      Yes, congratulations! Great job in advocating for yourself!
      It’s very uplifting to read an update where someone succeded in negotiations.
      Thanks for the update!

    11. bookish*

      Oh my gosh, #1 is even more frustrating with the update!! I’m very glad that LW1 did get her parking pass, but it is WILD that they were trying to pull this, especially when they work such different hours! And now knowing that they were trying to use her to get the husband to come in earlier!! And the husband was ok with that!!! Honestly I am also (along with another commenter I saw) extremely side-eying the husband here. It’s one thing to be frequently late – I don’t think that’s like, a judgment of character, I frequently run late to stuff, and my office has flexible hours so the time I come in isn’t super important but I have been getting in later than I’d like – but the fact that he and LW fought over this because he didn’t think it was enough of a big deal for her to get *her own parking pass* and wanted the responsibility of him making it to work on time to fall on her?? Yikes, it’s like having another job on top of the one you need a parking pass for. I’m having a hard time seeing how they were “both a little bit right,” as the LW diplomatically put it. LW is the one who is clearly right!!! (And I say this as someone who is married, and would love to commute with my wife every day, and will try to make sure she’s awake in time if I get up and start getting ready first. I would be annoyed by just the stress of having to wait for the less-punctual person every day when I know I could be getting to work earlier, let alone the super different hours bit….)

  4. bohtie*

    Team Curology! I’m a thirtysomething trans person who is going through the dreaded Second Puberty and it has definitely done wonders for my acne as well when I had next to zero luck with anything else. I’m so glad you found something that works — it’s so emotionally and physically stressful to have to worry about stuff like this, ugh.

    1. LW2*

      I’m so happy that it’s working so well for you too!! I’m just absolutely floored when I look at my before pictures; it really picks up my mood when I have a few days where I think my face is breaking back out. Even if I am, I still know how far I’ve come and it helps. Team Curology!!

    2. Cuddles Chatterji*

      Another member of Team Curology right here! I also found out about it through AAM comments. I started on it last July, and it has made a HUGE difference for the better! Glad it’s working for you, too!

    3. General Ginger*

      Bohtie, that is awesome to hear! I’m currently in the same boat re: dreaded second puberty and NOTHNG seems to work — I’ve gone through 3 different antibiotic creams and more face washes than I can count. I am curious, how much information did you have to disclose about said second puberty?

  5. Detective Amy Santiago*

    LW #1 – I am glad you finally got what you deserved, even if it took way more effort and trouble than it should have. I hope things are okay with you & your husband now.

    LW#2 & LW#3 – Yay for positive updates!

      1. High Score*

        Very happy it worked out for you! Of it were me, I’d still be looking for a better job. I’d also make sure hubby and employers *knew* I was an equal not an extension of my spouse. Women are equal to men and we shouldn’t accept circumstances that treats us as less.
        Good luck!

      2. Detective Amy Santiago*

        I’m very glad it worked out well!

        Though I must admit, I would love to know how they would have reacted if you’d gone to them and said “this issue has caused Husband and I to separate and we are no longer living together so I’m going to need that pass now”.

  6. Delphine*

    I will never understand LW #1’s company. The fact that they refuse to treat her like an individual employee and seem to see her as an extension of her husband (expecting her to change her schedule, only giving her a pass in the end because of his weekend hours) reeks of sexism.

    1. Jesmlet*

      Seriously, it’s so ridiculous. Like… if two people lived in the same apartment building, would they only get 1 parking pass to share? Two jobs, two cars, two individual people should = two parking passes.

      1. RG2*

        I actually had this problem in my last apartment (which I shared with a roommate). The town gave one parking pass per unit for permitted street parking. It was a problem.

      2. jo*

        Yes! Two individual people should have individual responsibility for getting themselves to work. Demanding two people commute together when they don’t want to, absent some incentive program, is bonkers. What would they say if LW1 were unacceptably late to work (even to her rescheduled start time) and she responded, “Sorry, my husband wasn’t ready to leave on time!” How many times would her boss accept that excuse? Don’t they want accountability in every employee?

        Obviously, I’m still mystified by their insistence. Based on the original letter, it’s an extra thousand bucks a year for the company to give her a parking pass. Surely they ought to feel that’s money well spent to have an employee reliably at work during her normal work hours.

    2. Tuxedo Cat*

      This place might not be as toxic as her former office, but it sounds like it has its own set of toxic issues. OP1 is the wife/partner, not her husband’s mother or caretaker.

    3. Apostrophina*

      I applaud the OP, since I suspect the words “because I’m not his #@!% mother” would have come out of me at some point during this situation.

      1. jo*

        Oh man, I would have delivered the mother of all feminist tirades–a series of tirades, probably–had I been in this position! I am in awe of LW1’s apparent poise in infuriating circumstances.

        Does her husband also vote on her behalf while she stays home on election day?
        Should she give up her driver’s license altogether? Maybe a chauffeur is in order!
        And why have her own credit cards when she’s got a hubby for that?!

        I ASK YOU.

    4. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      My plan was to take husband’s parking pass and let him haggle with HR. Wonder how quickly he would have gotten action (not because he’s a guy, considering LW’s manager is a woman) but because he would have more aggressively said, “I’m getting helping YOUR employee who happens to be wife, so what are you going to do to make this right with me?”

      1. Ozma the Grouch*

        Haha… I’m right there with you with the whole flipping the situation idea. Sadly I think they would have taken him more seriously. However, and I could be wrong, but it doesn’t sound like OP’s husband is the confrontational type.

    5. Got my Parking Pass*

      So they thought I could change my hours cause my manager said the department could be flexible, and they are to a point. I don’t think either HR or my manager understood just how far outside of the norm Husband’s hours can be. Husband can’t change hours bc he works on a team with phone coverage so when they do their work is not flexible at all.

      1. Antilles*

        Even if it *was* only a moderate change in hours, that doesn’t change the basic fact: They want an employee to change her entire working schedule just so they can print one less parking pass. I don’t care if it’s a 30-minute change or a 3-hour change, it’s still ridiculous and stupid.
        (Also worth noting that the parking pass magically got approved only after a VP got involved, which makes me really doubt whether it’s really “we didn’t realize it was such a deal” or it was “quick, gotta come up with some kind of justification…”)

        1. High Score*

          I was seriously annoyed for the letter writer reading this one. So glad it finally worked out! I think I would’ve stayed home, called my boss and said “I’ll be in as soon as my parking pass is ready!”
          The HR needs some more training.

      2. AKchic*

        Keep documentation on *all* of what happened and do not trust anyone in HR who handled this issue. I think that you left one toxic situation for another, different kind of toxicity. The HR staff member(s) may end up feeling a little scorched after losing this petty battle when it really shouldn’t have been a battle in the first place.
        I’m also irritated at your husband who took the path of least resistance because it benefited him so much. It sounds a lot like my husband who, while a generally good person, is a co-dependent person and will happily allow me (or anyone else, really) to take charge and mother him. He wants the benefits of being an adult without those pesky responsibilities.

      3. jo*

        It’s still a cuckoo bananas justification! Do they think it’s all the same to you? Do they just assume you still would have accepted the job if the hours had been what your husband’s are? A lot of people work 9-5 type hours because they have a strong preference for doing so.

        The entire rhythm of your work life shouldn’t have to revolve around your husband’s just to save the company money on benefits they offer to everyone else. You are just as worthy of compensation as everybody else in the company. They don’t get to be opportunistic in this way just because you’re married to another employee.

        Maybe sometime this weekend I’ll quit fuming on your behalf!

    6. Bea*

      It’s what leads to disgruntled employees who will expose you given the chance. This kind of BS is toxic AF. I just sat through an HR law class so I’m extra pissy than usual too.

    7. Nanani*


      It’s her job to fix his tardiness? No. She is an adult with her own job, not this guy’s mom. Making their problem with his tardiness into her problem AT WORK is so not OK.

      LW1, I’d be extra wary of sexist bullshit at this company because they have already demonstrated willingness to pull crap “because wife”.

    8. Yvette*

      Unless I am missing something, why would weekend hours necessitate the need for the second pass? If only one of them is working on weekends why would that be the reason? If I missed something please let me know. (I am not saying that she should not have her own pass, absolutely that, it just seemed like they were looking for an excuse to HAVE to do it, rather than doing it because it was the right thing to do.)

      1. Le Sigh*

        LW and her husband also have mismatched schedules on weekdays, sometimes by several hours. So HR suggested she adjust to his schedule, sometimes by several hours, so that they could share a car. Or just take the bus — a condition they weren’t putting on anyone else, only her because they were married (as opposed to a company-wide mandate to reduce car use that would apply to everyone).

        Added to that it sounds like her husband is often running late for work, and she didn’t want to be late for work as well on those week days.

      2. Antilles*

        Right, the weekend thing doesn’t make sense at all since you only need one pass on a weekend since OP only works weekdays.
        I’m with you though – they just mentioned the weekends thing to magically justify why we can give you a pass NOW but we couldn’t BEFORE. Because the actual truth of the matter is they only did it because of a VP Death Stare, but clearly they’re not going to admit *that* was the real reason.

    9. General Ginger*

      The fact that they’re still digging in their heels and treating the individual parking pass as this one-off that they never do is really infuriating.

  7. Nephron*

    I am really glad this worked out, but I am rather horrified by the amount of time and political capital you had to spend on this. Your employment with the company has nothing to do with your husband’s employment and vise versa. I would also take issue with the fact that you had to email back to get HR to respond, if they emailed you the next day that they were standing by the policy it would be frustrating but okay, ignoring you until you made them respond and then acting put upon to have to do their jobs is not a great situation.
    The company sounds a bit dysfunctional.

    1. AnotherAlison*

      Equally horrified here, but not surprised. I’ve just gone through a relocation, and I have found my boss will say “do x” or “X is fine with me” but when I do it, I have to jump through a bunch of hoops with HR/Accounting/IT to get them on board with what my boss approved if it is outside the norm of what we do.

      1. Bea*

        To be fair bosses can often poopoo important details whereas policies and accounting regulations don’t allow for it.

        This case the HR was being out of hand and unreasonable AF.

        I may be cranky because “do you really need a receipt?” has been an on going theme with my life. “But boss said not to worry, you’d just give me cash for gas!”. No. I need a receipt. Yes, I need documents turned in. Completed. Your boss won’t be the one hanging out to dry if we’re audited /grumble grumble grumble/

        1. SoCalHR*

          To your point (and others’ including Antilles below) – it is probably not *just* about “printing an extra parking pass” or the time it takes to do so. Its more likely that either there is a fee to add another car to the parking area (if owned by someone else) or they are already short on parking (a problem a lot of office buildings have) so they know adding an additional one will be tight. I’m not just siding with HR because of my name, and I’m not really siding with them at all (she should get her own parking pass period.) but let’s consider that it may not just be the fact that HR is lazy/being a baby in the situation, they may be up against their own obstacles.

    2. Antilles*

      I am rather horrified by the amount of time and political capital you had to spend on this.
      The time factor is what really kills me. Read OP’s paragraph:
      “He seemed to understand and said he would get back to me within the day. Two days passed, and I sent him and the other person I’d worked with an email asking for an update. I got fairly harsh email back saying that they were very busy as someone in payroll was out unexpectedly and they were covering for them.”
      It’s. A. Parking. Pass.
      I don’t care how short-staffed you are, this should take like, 2 minutes of effort, tops. That’s such a small favor that the fact that it took him two days to even respond should be a glaring red flag.

      1. Parenthetically*

        Right? Egads. Open the parking passes drawer/file, do the stamp/sticker/print/whatever, messenger it down to the right office.

      2. General Ginger*

        Right? It’s a parking pass. I can’t imagine it being a complicated process, given that they’ve done it for all the other employees already!

      3. jo*

        Plus, it’s extremely unprofessional to promise an update within a specific time frame and then be rude when someone follows up after that time frame has elapsed!

        The HR person helping the LW seems incompetent to me.

  8. The Original Flavored K*

    For LW3, I am amazed that the company was blind-sided. When an employee schedules a one-on-one and straight up says, “Pay me for what I’m doing, or change my job description,” that’s a pretty clear sign that they are quitting level unhappy with their compensation. People do not do that if they are not prepared to meet pushback with “Right, then, I’m out of here.”

    1. Observer*

      Not surprising at all. For one thing, the manager was apparently not all the good. For another, the OP had mentioned before that this issue was making them think of leaving, and then they didn’t. So, in the managers mind that probably translated into “she says she’ll leave, but she never does. Nothing to see here.” Of course, the fact that she wasn’t that good probably fed into that piece of stupidity.

      1. Julia*

        I’m not surprised either. I reported a lot of problems (mostly co-workers harassing me or sabotaging my work) and my boss was still super surprised when I quit. “But, why??” Apparently he either never listened or thought he could gaslight me into accepting his stupid department.

    2. Jadelyn*

      Seriously! It really takes a whole other level of willful ignorance to act like that’s a surprising outcome.

    3. gnocchi*

      This update actually crystallized my current situation for me in my head. I did this sit-down with my manager, but didn’t take action afterwards because I felt like maybe I could continue and see if it got better. It took a few months to really confirm for me that despite really liking my team members and liking my boss in other ways, the thought of doing this same thing in 3-4 months’ time made me want to cry.

      That’s when I hit submit on an internal application and whole bunch of others, and everything felt so much lighter,

  9. BadWolf*

    I know it’s a side issue — but I hate the “Be patient, we have circumstances you couldn’t possibly know about, but we’ll make you feel guilty about it” HR reply for #1.

    I recently emailed our food vendor that our weekly online cafeteria menu hadn’t been updated for 2 weeks. I just said, “Hey, I noticed the online menu hasn’t been updated since the week of Blah. Thanks, BadWolf.” The reply back was, “We’re having a management change so you’ll have to be patient.” Really? You couldn’t just say, “Thanks, we’ll check into it.”

    I’m glad OP1 brought up the pass to the VP. I hope the VP called up HR and said, “WTF, give her a pass.”

    1. hbc*

      Ugh, yes. When you’re not delivering on something you should be (a useful menu, a call you said you would make), the same information can be delivered but in a better way. “I’m sorry, we’re swamped with the management change so it’s probably going to be another month before we get to it.”

    2. Breda*

      God, this infuriates me. I was once missing two pages (one sheet printed front & back) of a bi-annual report from a company we work with, so I sent an email to the person to the effect of, “Hey, this starts on page 3, is that correct or am I missing a sheet?” She emailed back a scan of page 3, and when I said no, that’s the one I have, I need pages 1 & 2, sent an EXTREMELY HOSTILE email about how this is a big account for them, she would NEVER forget a page, how dare I insinuate that, etc., but she would DO ME THE FAVOR of attaching pages 1 & 2, because I had obviously lost them.

      It changed my impression from “whoops, a piece of paper got mislaid somewhere, no big deal, maybe it was my fault” to “wow, you are an incompetent ass.”

      1. AKchic*

        Yeah… you never pull that. Good customer service is *never* accusing the other person of losing their copy (even if you know they did), or somehow destroying or otherwise mucking up their copy. If they are missing pieces, hey, scans can mess up, faxes don’t always go through properly, print jobs mistakenly walk away – it happens. No biggie – just resend what they need, or resend the whole document. No problem and call and confirm that they received the entire thing this time, and ask if there is a secondary way they’d like the information sent just in case.

    3. Bea*

      That’s a vendor to flush. Talk to whoever deals with vendor relations. These dickbags are replaceable and you’ll get a promo or two to switch I’m sure of it.

    4. Solidus Pilcrow*

      I had something like this happen with my apartment building management. They required lease renewals and other paperwork to be signed in the office, but the office was only open to 4:30 most weekdays. I made a casual mention, “You know, it’s really hard for me to get here from work by 4:30. Would it be possible to extend office hours to 6 one day a week?”

      Holy crap, did I get a guilt trip. “My husband’s in the hospital and I’m spending all my time there, so I can’t stay any later than 4:30.”

      1. Koala dreams*

        I’m suddenly very grateful my apartment management have late afternoon opening time once a week, without me even having to mention it. ;)

  10. hayling*

    I’m so touched to hear that another AAM reader helped LW2! This is really a great community.

    1. LW2*

      I was honestly so touched and it was just absolutely amazing. This community really is special!

  11. Falling Diphthong*

    #3 Knowing where to draw the line (which can be super challenged the longer you’re in a toxic workplace and dysfunction becomes normalized).

    One of the wisest adages around here.

  12. Millennial Lawyer*

    LW # 1, I am really glad you stood your ground in both the professional and the personal conflict. You’re a human being and your own person.

  13. Esme Squalor*

    Letter writer #1, I’m glad you got your pass, but I’m genuinely horrified by your employer’s bizarre behavior. Your marital status is none of their business, much less a reason for them to withhold employee benefits. It reminds me of the old sexist perspective that women should be paid less because “they’re not supporting families.” Making assumptions about what benefits/compensation an employee is entitled to based on their family situation is retrograde and insulting. I’d caution you to keep your eyes open for other behavior from your employer that could make this a pattern.

    1. Purple Jello*

      This brings to mind a related issue. If the company is an affirmative action employer ( receives US government funds) then denying you a parking pass because of your marital status could be a violation.

    2. Lizzy May*

      Yep. I would never wish anything bad on the OP, but what if they separated? That should be private but she would have immediately had to get a pass and explain why she suddenly needed it. Either every employee gets a pass or they don’t. Their personal life should have no bearing on the outcome.

    3. only acting normal*

      Oh dear gods, the “supporting families” BS.
      My father nearly made a stellar woman redundant in favour of a completely incompetent man (by his own assessments!) based on the man *maybe* having dependants. Luckily my mother talked him down. And this was the 1990s not the 50s.

  14. jk*

    Yikes. I can’t help but feel OP #1 works at a very sexist company.

    This is wrong in so many ways. They are individuals and not one person. What will they do next? Bundle their salaries?

    1. Fake old Converse shoes (not in the US)*

      Well, they tried to change her work schedule. Maybe tell her to get to work even if she’s sick, since her husband can take her there?

    2. Short & Dumpy*

      I’d bet *my* next raise that she’s going to get lower raises and bonuses unless her manager fights tooth and nail for here. Little wifey doesn’t NEED the money afterall since her husband got a bonus!

  15. narwhale of a tale*

    “[My boss] contacted HR and talked to them. They ended up granting my request for a second parking pass but stated that it was because of Husband’s Saturday hours and that it was out of the norm for them.” This is SO SALTY. I really enjoy that they took one last dig at OP in an attempt to make her feel like she was ridiculous.

    I am genuinely curious to know if this policy would stand for employees that were roommates.

  16. LouiseM*

    I’m glad she finally got her parking pass, but it really bothers me that either HR or OP1’s husband thought that the OP driving was an acceptable solution to the husband’s chronic tardiness. It’s every adult’s responsibility to be on time for work–period.

    1. GreyjoyGardens*

      Yes, exactly! And if they do have a problem with Husband’s tardiness, they need to talk about that WITH HIM. And work on solutions WITH HIM.

  17. AKchic*

    OP1 – Please make sure that you keep documentation of all of what happened in your attempts to get that parking pass. I have a feeling that similar issues may come up in the future. The HR staff is going to feel burned that you went over their heads to your boss and they were “forced” to go against their original ruling (which appears to go against their policy anyway, but hey – let’s not confuse the idjits). They may not feel all that inclined to be nice to you, or your husband.
    On top of that; I’m irritated at your husband for being so cavalier about the whole thing. Since it would benefit him, he was okay with you being denied a company standard.
    I feel that you may have left one ToxicJob for another kind of insidious toxicity, and because your husband benefits from it, he won’t be as inclined to stand up for you or even be an emotional support for you.

    1. Indie*

      Honestly I think stuff is going to come up because they’re sexist. Is she going to be considered for promotions if they are different hours to her husband’s? They still assume she moves entirely in tandem with him and only wants an extra car for pettiness.

      The phrase “This is the second time I’ve been spoken to as a wife rather than an employee ‘ may get some wear.

  18. MsChanandlerBong*

    The thing with the parking pass is so dumb to me. Even if they have the same work hours, what’s going to happen if she wants to get her hair cut on the way home from work, or she needs to leave early for a doctor’s appointment, or there is an off-site meeting/conference, or they have a huge fight and don’t want to ride together? Is one going to have to sit around waiting if the other one has something to do after work? It’s just so ridiculous.

  19. NewBoss2016*

    LW2, I am so happy for you! I have struggled with adult acne, and have also had great success with Curology. I have a way younger sister that has terrible and painful acne at age 11, and lacks the discipline to keep up with a regimen. It is painful to hear the way she puts herself down and the embarrassment she holds. Luckily she was approved to start Accutane next week. I hope you have continued success with your career and am so happy that you were able to find something that works for you. Best of luck!

  20. Meredith*

    Chiming in to say that I have also had great results with Curology. My face perpetually acts like I’m still 16 when I’m actually in my 30s and this is the first product that’s had a significant difference. Congrats to LW2 on finding something that works!

  21. No thanks*

    Full sympathy. It’s discrimination based on marriage and neither they or husband would admit but tried to make you out to be the problem. “Nevertheless she persisted.”

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