can I protest our new office location, my boss’s badly-behaved dog comes to work every day, and more

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

1. Can I protest our new office location?

I work for a small nonprofit of about 30 people, and I am junior staff. In a few months, we will be starting a major renovation project on our current office building and are planning to find temporary office space for the duration of the renovation (5-7 months). Right now, the senior staff are discussing an office location that is in a part of town that is much harder and more expensive for me to get too. This new location would add close to 30 minutes on top of my 60-minute commute (via public transport) and would cost me close to 20% more. I’m already struggling to pay for the commute on my current salary, and don’t anticipate a raise for another six months or so. An increase in my commuting costs would totally throw my budget and I am worried about making ends meet. Am I allowed to speak up about my concerns with the new office location, particularly as it might impact my ability to pay bills? Or is this something I have to power through, even if it might mean going into personal debt?

Yep, you can definitely speak up. This is the kind of thing a good employer would want to be aware of, especially one with a small staff. That doesn’t mean that they’ll definitely change their plans, but it’s a reasonable thing to bring to their attention. I would frame it this way: “That location would be a significant change to both the time and expense of my commute. I’d be looking at 90 minutes one way, and a big enough increase in the cost that I’d actually need to go into debt to pay for it. If we do end up in that location temporarily, could we look at ways to ameliorate some of the burden to staff and to make it possible for people in positions similar in mine to continue in our jobs? For example, being allowed to work from home a few days a week and/or transportation subsidies would make a huge difference for me for the months that we’re there.”

2. My boss brings his poorly behaved dog to work every day

My boss brings his dog to work everyday and it is a complete nightmare. The dog is cute, but he isn’t very well-behaved. In meetings with important clients, he’ll run up to everyone and sniff their crotch, try to climb into their laps, and try to take their food. It’s very embarrassing and unprofessional, but my boss thinks it’s funny or cute.

What’s worse for me is that the dog likes to hang out in my office all the time and he smells absolutely horrid. I vacuum, Febreeze, and use air freshener constantly, and the office still smells horrible. When I try to eat my lunch, I lose my appetite with this smelly dog breathing on me and my meal. If I try to close my door to keep the dog out, my boss will just let him in.

How do I get this gross dog smell out of my office and how do I tell my boss to keep him away from me and clients?

Are you willing to say you’re not super comfortable with dogs in general? If so, that’s the easiest way to do it: “I’m not much of a dog person and I’m finding it’s sometimes hard to work with Fluffy in my office, so I’m going to start closing the door. Thank you for understanding.”

If you can’t say that (if, for example, you have a dog yourself): “I find it hard to concentrate with Fluffy wanting attention, so I’m going to start closing my door.” Or hell, even: “My office has started to smell like dog, and I’m pretty sensitive to the smell, so I’m going to start keeping my door closed.”

And then you could add, “For what it’s worth, my sense is that not all of our clients are comfortable with dogs, but don’t necessarily want to say it outright. Could we start keeping Fluffy out of client meetings?”

If this is a small company and your boss is at the top of it, that may be the best you can do. But if that’s not the case, it’s completely reasonable to discreetly talk to HR or someone above your boss, explain what’s happening, and ask if they can intervene.

Related: my office is being overrun by misbehaving dogs / my coworker brings her aggressive dog to work / my new office is full of dogs — and I’m allergic

3. How can I distinguish a good job posting from a scam?

I am a university student and I’ve come across some difficulty while looking for an internship, as well as some random messages about “business opportunities.”

I am on LinkedIn, and a few times I’ve accepted connections and I get messages asking if I am interested in a business or development opportunity. I am very skeptical about the authenticity of these positions and the first time I messaged them back and forth, but before they elaborated they asked how committed I would be. At the time I was in school, so I declined.

The next problem I have is that I am a PR major and during the summer I looked for PR internships mostly by LinkedIn, internship.com, and Glassdoor. At first, I found lots of positions, but when I did more research (thank god for Glassdoor) I found out many were commission based door-to-door salesman jobs.

How do I distinguish a good career opportunity from a scam? Should I say yes to those LinkedIn messages or how do I find a job that is not taking advantage of me as I am just starting out?

It’s a pretty safe bet that anyone who contacts you asking if you’re interested in a “business opportunity” without giving you specifics is in fact shady. The same is true of people who ask how committed you’d be before explaining what they’re proposing you commit to.

There are also a lot of crappy/shady jobs on the big job boards you’ve been looking at. Decent ones too, but you might have better luck looking at industry-specific sites instead, like Media Bistro, the Public Relations Society of America, etc., where you’re far less likely to run into this. Beyond that, keep doing research like you have been, and ignore anyone who initiates contact with coy, information-free emails.

4. I accidentally reinforced a job candidates’ mistakes

I was wondering about your thoughts on reinforcing someone’s bad application behavior. Recently I received an application from a young woman who had a photo herself as the entire background of her cover letter. It was cringe-inducing. However, her background fit with the role, and I was getting to the point where it was really hard to fill the position I was hiring for.

In general, she was a bit aggressive in her style — followed up numerous times, even after I told her I would be in touch (each time) and explained why I wasn’t able to get back to her with a decision yet. I work at a nonprofit, and she asked about receiving a bonus if she reached her fundraising goal/quota, which is really not done, and quite out of touch with the nonprofit culture. She came from the for-profit side, so I was willing to give her a bit of a pass on that one. At one point it got to the point where she was challenging me about not understanding why I hadn’t been able to respond to her yet.

Once I told her we weren’t able to move forward, I was really hoping she would ask for feedback and I would be able to talk to her a bit about her process. However, I never heard from her again.

Looking back on it, I should never have interviewed her, and taken the cover letter as a giant red flag. But what do you do when you find yourself accidentally reinforcing bad behavior? I feel like I inadvertently showed her that what she’s doing succeeds — interviewing her with this wildly inappropriate cover letter, responding to her increasingly aggressive and challenging emails, moving her forward in the process through two rounds even though she asked (twice) about a commission on raising funds. Everything she was doing was frustrating and wrong for the role, but I was hoping there would be enough there to “mold.”

I’d be less concerned about accidentally reinforcing bad behavior and more concerned about making sure your screening processes are working for you and that you’re not wasting time with candidates where early signs say they’re not right. But that said, if you have a hard-to-fill position, sometimes it does make sense to talk to a broader range of candidates, even ones where you’re thinking “probably not,” in order to test your assumptions and see if you end up thinking differently. Sometimes going through that process a time or two better hones your instincts for the future, or reinforces the ones you already had. I’d look at this experience that way — you gave a chance to someone who you suspected wasn’t right, your instincts were confirmed, and that was that.

I’d focus there and not on whether she was learning the right or wrong lesson. It’s nice when people do learn the right lesson, but it’s not your primary goal when you’re hiring.

5. Do I have to be paid for time spent waiting for my manager to show up?

I sometimes open at my job, where it’s just me and a manager. I don’t have a key so I can’t clock in until the manager arrives and, while rare, sometimes they can be quite late. If I get to work say at 4:45 a.m. and can’t clock in until 5:30 a.m., am I required to be paid for the 45 minutes I spent waiting on a bench for my manager? On one hand, I’m not actually doing any work, but on the other hand I’m not exactly waking up at 4 a.m. of my own volition. So far I’ve been paid for the time I was waiting in these instances but it’s presented as a favor rather than an obligation. (If it impacts anything, I’m located in California.)

Yep, you do indeed have to be paid for that time, assuming that you were scheduled to begin work at 4:45 a.m. Your employer squandered your time by making you wait around until your manager showed up, but that doesn’t change the fact that you were there and ready to work as they requested you to be. (It would be different if you arrived earlier than you were scheduled.) They’re not doing you a favor by paying you for that time; they’re complying with the law.

{ 342 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager Post author

    I’m going to ask that we not debate whether or not dogs belong at work, since it’ll take over the comment section. Instead, if you’re commenting on #2, please focus on the specific question posed by the letter writer. Thanks!

  2. Greg NY

    #5: If you are encumbered (meaning you do not have the ability to use your time as you want), you must be paid for it whether or not you are actually working or whether you are sitting around doing nothing. The same principle says that on-call workers need to be paid if they don’t have free use of their time (aside from being able to answer a call if it comes in). Hourly workers are paid for their time, not for actually working. Waiting for a store to open because your manager is late still means you are spending your time doing something for the employer, even if in this case that something is just waiting.

    1. Emily K

      Yes, and I’ve always liked the symmetry of the terms:

      “Engaged to be waiting” means that you have been engaged – like a warp drive – to perform the task of waiting.

      “Waiting to be engaged” means that you have not been activated yet, but you’re waiting to be.

      The former must be paid, the latter does not need to be. Naturally like most labor laws there’s no clear litmus test for which of the two applies to a particular scenario, but some of the more important considerations are:

      – Whether you are bound to remain in a specific location while waiting, like an on-call doctor who remains at the hospital or a delivery driver waiting for an order to be placed that needs delivering. (You’re probably engaged.)

      – Whether there is a specified time when waiting ends and work begins, like a truck driver who finishes unloading his cargo in the morning and has to wait until evening to pick up his next load and depart. (You’re probably not engaged.)

      – Whether or not the need to be available interferes with the employee’s personal use of the time. An on-call emergency maintenance person or IT worker who has to respond to overnight service calls within 1 hour but is free to make evening plans, sleep, and generally use their overnight time as they please unless/until they get a summons to work is probably not engaged.

    2. DJ Roomba

      Yes to all of this! When I was a freshman in college I took a summer job teaching tennis to kids at a camp (my employer was contracted by the camp, not the camp itself). I was told I’d be paid off the books and negotiated my hourly rate based on that.

      I should’ve realized this would be a disastrous situation when I wasn’t paid for the hours upon hours of training, but I went ahead with it anyway. I lived in Manhattan and took a camp bus (with campers I had to help with) 45 mins – 1 hr to the camp itself (I considered MY commute to be getting from my dorm to the bus stop which took 20 mins, not getting from my dorm to camp). And then I would have like half the day doing nothing between classes. But I didn’t mind because I thought I was being paid for the full 8 hrs to ride the bus and sit in the middle of nowhere in NJ.

      My first check the employer ONLY paid me for like 2.5 hrs a day – the time that I was teaching the classes. She said I didn’t deserve to be paid for my “free time”. When I threatened to quit (and leave her in the lurch) she upped it to 6 hrs a day, not paying me for the time spent with campers on the bus. Fine, I thought.

      But the real blow came well after the end of summer – the next January, when she sent me my tax documents. Turns out it wasn’t “Under the table” after all. Luckily I didn’t earn enough to have to pay taxes but I certainly learned a lesson about not being so trusting and getting things spelled out before taking a job!

  3. Auntie Social

    Speak up about the new office location, but show specific expenses–an additional $120 for transportation, the new location charges for $90 a month for parking, whatever–when you’re requesting a transportation subsidy. Explain that the additional costs will make the difference in whether you make ends meet or not, given your current compensation.

    1. LightFixture

      Is that her employer’s problem, though? I don’t think transportation subsidies are super common in non-profits…

      If it affects everyone equally (ie moving from the central business district to a far suburb) it could make sense to bring this up, but if this is pretty specific to her situation I’d be careful about approaching the employer with any expectation of a subsidy – I think this could look really out of touch.

      1. Observer

        Not really. People generally do take commute time and cost into consideration when they take a job, especially one with typical low non-profit salaries. This kind of move is unexpected enough that it’s not unreasonable to bring the issue up.

        1. Greg NY

          My only concern here with Alison’s answer (even though I think the employer has an obligation to mitigate inconvenience for their employees whenever there is a material change to a job) is that she has said in the past that a permanent change in office location is something employees have to deal with, even though they originally took the job under different conditions. Is a temporary work site change different than a permanent one? Alison advocates for pushing back both on the time and the financial aspect of the commute, so it isn’t just about the possibility of debt.

          1. designbot

            I do think it’s different. When it’s a permanent situation it cuts to the chase and turns into, is this really still a job you want or not and mitigation is unlikely to change that calculus much. But when it’s temporary, it is likely that in the long term it still makes perfect sense for you to keep that job, but for a defined period of time it will be different and far suckier. If both sides are invested in making it work long-term, then it makes sense for the employer to help mitigate the damage this does to valued employees.

            1. Antilles

              Agreed. It’s also different because there could be solutions which wouldn’t be feasible long-term but the company would accept temporarily just to get through this interim period – commute reimbursement, shifting work hours, allowing work-from-home, going to a 4/10 workweek, etc.

            2. Veronica

              Equally, if it were a permanent move, the OP could perhaps make some permanent changes to adapt to the new situation – i.e. move closer to the new location. She’s unlikely to be able to do that if it’s only temporary.

          2. Ask a Manager Post author

            Yes, a temporary change is different. If it’s a permanent change, the person needs to figure out if the job can still work for them or not. If it’s just temporary though, the employer is more likely to do temporary things to accommodate them so that they don’t need to lose an employee over a temporary change.

          3. Rosemary7391

            When it’s temporary it’s also harder to make savings – 12 month travel card costs less per month than a monthly one for instance. Or you might even move if you know its a permanent deal and you really like your job.

          4. MK

            Choosing a permanent new location for a company has to take in so many factors that the employees’ commute really cannot play a major role (unless the location is so isolated it would create problems for almost anyone). You so pick your new office for the next decade and more to suit employees that might leave in the next couple of years. But if it’s a temporary thing, it makes sense to take into consideration how it will affect the propel currently working for you.

            1. Antilles

              I disagree – employees’ commute is one of the factors that should play a role even in a permanent move. If you’ve been in the same spot (or area of town) for a while, most of your staff has probably oriented their housing decisions around keeping a reasonable commute. If the change is a notable one that adds a lot of time to many people’s commutes, you’re going to likely lose a lot of staff in the short term.
              It’s not the *only* factor; it certainly could be worth it to lose a few employees in the short term if it’s really more beneficial long term…but it is *a* factor that should be considered.

              1. Bea

                We’re looking at moving so we can purchase a facility instead of renting. We very much look in areas we know won’t inconvenience our staff. Moving should actually benefit the majority since we’re in a place everyone commutes and nobody uses public transit. Yes, we’re small enough to know these details and take them into consideration.

              2. peachie

                Agreed. I think it’s especially a consideration in metro areas–if the company arranges parking for employees (as opposed to there just being a parking lot like there is in less densely populated areas) and/or if they offer discounted transit passes, they have a good sense of how employees are getting to work. If 90% of employees drive to work, moving to a location where parking is expensive or unavailable would likely have a significant impact. If 90% of employees commute using transit/bikes/etc., moving to a location you have to drive to might make it impossible for half your staff to get to work.

              3. Emily K

                A small nonprofit I used to work for moved from DC to Bethesda permanently, which didn’t impact the three of us who lived in Takoma Park and Chevy Chase much but did greatly impact the one person who lived within walking distance of our old office and suddenly had to make room in her budget for a commute.

                My boss at that job was not the most reasonable person in the world, but she didn’t find it at all out of order that our colleague raised concerns about her new commute, and ended up granting her permission to work remotely two or three days a week (it’s been so long now I can’t recall which) to mitigate the change. That particular colleague was on an H1B so she didn’t have a tremendous amount of options for finding another job that would let her stay in the country, so it was a really decent thing for our boss to do.

              4. The Original K.

                It could also affect the talent pool, if you’re in a growth phase. I once met someone at a networking event who had just re-relocated his company because he’d moved it to an area that no one wanted to commute or move to, and he wasn’t getting the kind of talent he wanted. He’d been in a small town that wasn’t in reasonable commuting distance to the city and moved the company to a closer-to-the-city suburb, and he found he had a lot more options in terms of talent.

                1. hayling

                  For sure. I am fortunate enough to be in an in-demand role, and location is a huge factor for me. I won’t work anywhere that’s not on the major transit corridor for my city.

            2. Specialk9

              How much does it cost to lose good people? That adds up. Of course they want to know if they just made a change that will lose people and make them do a bunch of expensive hiring, then train people up to scratch. Much easier and economical to find ways to keep your people.

          5. Cat Herder

            The difference here is also that they have not yet decided on the temporary location. The request may encourage the higher-ups to rethink the location. And if not, they need to know that their lower-paid staff may be looking for employment that doesn’t throw them into debt, as this move will do.

            I imagine the OP’s situation is something the bosses have not considered at all (I’m not slamming them for it, just observing that they’re unlikely to realize the relocation could affect their employees so significantly.) Additionally, even though the relocation could affect the bosses’ commute and expenses, they’re making more money and as a percentage of income, it just may not affect them much at all.

            1. Washi

              And even in a small organization, the bosses probably don’t know where everyone commutes from.

              I think it would be smart for the employer to offer some sort of transit subsidy for everyone as a way of acknowledging that there may be some un-planned expenses for employees, since it’s not like someone would buy a car or change apartments anything like that to ameliorate a terrible but temporary commute, and a transit subsidy is likely cheaper than having an employee quit.

          6. Seriously?

            It it were permanent, then if the new commute didn’t work for the OP she would need to move or quit. Realistically, she can’t move for a temporary new location and the company may not want to lose her over an issue that will be fixed in a few months. Giving a temporary transportation subsidy could very well be what is in the best interests of both the OP and the company.

            1. Dust Bunny

              Yeah, this. Nobody wants to move for six months and then move again. Choosing a different location or offering her a transport subsidy would make a lot more sense.

      2. Totally Minnie

        I think that since this office relocation is temporary, it wouldn’t be out of line to ask for some kind of subsidy or work from home agreement in the short term. And OP does say that right now they’re “discussing” the temporary office location, not that anything has been decided on or that space has been rented. If OP brings it up now, there’s still a chance that they could choose a different location and there wouldn’t be any need for travel subsidies.

        If the alternative is that the OP would have to quit their job because they can’t afford to travel to it, it makes sense to at least ask.

        1. Chocolate Teapot

          A company I once interviewed for (a large one you have probably heard of) was having a new office built and so they had moved into temporary premises for several years.

          Employees were provided with a free shuttle bus to the site, which was on an hourly bus route. The commute did put me off anyway (isolated area with nothing but office blocks and no supermarket, bank or cafe/restaurants). Fine if you were driving, but not on public transport.

      3. Ciara Amberlie

        I think in the non-profit sector, where employers often deliberately underpay staff and instead expect them to be motivated by the organisation’s mission, there should be more leeway to say “this change is going to mean I can’t pay my bills and put me into debt.” If the non-profit is one of the rare ones that actually pays market rate for their roles, then perhaps you’re right. But if you’re already consciously underpaying people, I think you need to be extra mindful of making changes which increase their expenses.

      4. Roscoe

        That was my initial thought too. There is something about it that just didn’t sit right with me. Its like, ok, you are inconvenienced. But you are a junior person out of 30. Maybe for others its MORE convenient. Also, others may not ask for the subsidy and just deal. I never looked at transportation costs as the companies problem.

        I think its fine to ask about possibly working from home 1-2 times a week because of it, but not a transportation subsidy

        1. JB (not in Houston)

          “Maybe for others its MORE convenient.” Well then they should speak up too if they care about it. To say that this person should not speak up to make a request just because other people might have the same issue but don’t say anything is how employers don’t hear about things they would like to know. If this is the kind of situation that might make the OP look for a new job, I bet her bosses would want to know that.

          This is different from a permanent move, where the employee would have to move, deal with it, or quit.

          1. JM60

            If they only hear from employees who would benefit from the new location, then they may operate under the false belief that this location is a net benefit to their employees, or that it benefits as many as it inconveniences. This is the type of issue where a good employer should want to hear from people on all sides.

          2. Specialk9

            It feels like you’re scolding the OP for speaking up about a business change that makes them unable to meet basic bills. Is that what you intended?

        2. anonforthis

          She’s not ‘inconvenienced,’ she’s looking at a major budget change because of the relocation that has her worried about being able to make ends meet. That’s not an inconvenience, that’s a big deal – that’s the kind of stuff people end up quitting over. I’d rather try to work on a solution than have someone quit, because then I’ve got to deal with the hassle and expense of replacing them and training a new employee. And it being more convenient for other people doesn’t change her situation at all, and isn’t really relevant.

          1. Kyrielle

            And if you have to hire and train a new employee over/during a temporary office move, you have an extra consideration in all that hiring – making sure the new employee won’t quit over the commute when you move *back*.

        3. Justme, The OG

          I’m inconvenienced by the crappy parking at my job. But it would be more than an inconvenience if it were a situation like the OP describes.

      5. epi

        At a minimum, US employers can offer pre-tax transit benefits. It’s not unheard of for them to do more. I used transit benefits when I worked for a nonprofit, although it was much larger than the OP’s organization.

        That same nonprofit moved permanently in the middle of my time there, and convincing people to stay (or at least getting an early sense of how many people they were going to lose) was a huge part of the process. It’s expensive to lose a bunch of staff all at once while trying to weather other changes! My employer ended up subsidizing parking at several garages in the new neighborhood, and offering a shuttle for people who continued to park in a cheaper owned lot in the old neighborhood. They had to do it. Years later, parking and the commute still come up in Glassdoor reviews of this place, even from people who weren’t part of the move. If it’s a deal breaker for many current and potential employees, the company really does have to ameliorate it somehow if they want to operate.

      6. misspiggy

        When my nonprofit moved across a large city, employees facing extra travel costs had those covered for a full year after the move.

      7. Lora

        Non-profits I don’t know, but there are often a whole bunch of subsidies and considerations when for-profit businesses move, at least in my area. So far I’ve seen:

        -Subsidized monthly transit passes
        -Company bus that picks commuters up from park and ride locations
        -Organized carpooling with reserved rock star parking available for designated carpoolers
        -Company van pools available for subsidized rates

        Have also seen companies move deliberately to somewhere difficult to commute, because attrition was cheaper than layoffs. But they should be aware that attrition when they relocate is a thing. Definitely don’t go into debt because of what an employer might do!

        1. Specialk9

          “Have also seen companies move deliberately to somewhere difficult to commute, because attrition was cheaper than layoffs.”

          Wow that’s cold.

      8. anonforthis

        I live in an area where a lot of people commute using public transportation and I’ve only worked for nonprofits, and every one offered some sort of transportation subsidy (usually a match of pre-tax deductions up to a certain amount monthly).

        It really depends on where you live, but it’s been my experience that it’s a pretty standard benefit for nonprofits, unless they’re really small.

        1. Emily K

          That’s actually surprising to me! All of my DC-based nonprofit employers (only four, but ranging in size from 4 employees in one location to 1,000 staff across several global offices) have offered pre-tax transit deductions, which is a federal program that only requires them to do a bit more payroll paperwork but is otherwise free to implement, but none of them have ever offered a match or actual cash benefit. The only exception is the tiny 4-person organization paid for the Executive Director’s monthly parking pass – none of the rest of us got anything like that.

      9. Brett

        Although it is not the same as a non-profit, transportation subsidies are extremely common in local government. Non-profits and government often can get reduced rate passes if they want to offer a transportation subsidy to their employees.

      10. AMPG

        I can only speak to my own experience, but the two nonprofits I’ve worked for the longest have provided some sort of transportation assistance. The first was a pre-tax benefit for Metro commuters, and the second was free parking in the neighboring garage.

      11. LGC

        Actually, the nonprofit I work for had a similar situation. We opened a satellite office outside of our primary service area – the employees placed there were given a small raise/subsidy to cover excess transit costs. (It was about 30 cents an hour.) So it’s not unheard of.

        (We’re larger, and the office itself was larger – about 40 in a division of 200 employees total. But this was also a permanent move.)

      12. Jadelyn

        It depends on where the non-profit is located. I work for a nonprofit in the Bay Area and we do commute subsidies – transit or parking, at the employee’s choice – although I think that’s because it’s legally required, at least for employees in Oakland and San Francisco.

        1. zora

          Not legally required to do a commute subsidy. The SF Commuter Benefits Ordinance allows the pre-tax deduction as one of the options. Which just comes out of the employee’s check pre-tax. Subsidy provided by the employer is another option.

          That said, I did get a subsidy when I worked for a nonprofit, because they got a tax break, too, so it was a benefit they could offer at a lower cost to them.

          Now I work for a forprofit and I only get the pre-tax deduction option.

      13. Mine Own Telemachus

        I work for a teeny-tiny non-profit that’s located in a busy downtown of a major metro area. We get either a monthly parking pass provided by the company, or a monthly metro pass to pay for the commute. It’s one of the great perks of working here—and it keeps my own expenses down, because otherwise I would be paying to park at work to the tune of $150/month. It makes sense for companies to subsidize costs when they’re in locations that would incur major cost to get to.

        1. Mine Own Telemachus

          And I should note that many of the employees live physically close to the office and could walk in if we wanted to commit to it, but we’re also in a location that has below zero temps for a good chunk of the year, so paying for our parking or transit costs just makes sense.

      14. Kelsi

        I don’t think it’s out of touch–it’s notifying the employer of a potentially major, but fixable, issue. (Like, if I found out tomorrow that working was going to cost me money, even if it was only for half a year, I’d start looking for something else immediately. I just can’t afford that and I suspect the LW can’t either!)

        Speaking for my non-profit, we’d MUCH prefer to pay a transportation subsidy for a few months to keep a good (or even mediocre but already trained) employee over paying to hire and train a new one! (Especially because with the speed of hiring, that essentially means we’d probably be without that position for most of the time we were in the other office)

    2. Stone Cold Bitch

      Speak up! This is something I would at least consider when planning a temporary move.

      My company was able to negotiate cheaper parking for employees after we spoke up about the increasing parking costs in the area.

  4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

    OP#5, especially because you’re in California, you likely qualify for waiting time wages, but note that this also is informed by when your shift was supposed to begin (i.e. when you were “on duty”). For example, if you were supposed to start at 5 a.m. and your manager didn’t show up until 5:30 a.m., you’re entitled to compensation for that time. But if you show up at 4:45 for a 5 a.m. shift, you may not be entitled to compensation for the 15-minutes that you arrived early and were not on duty.

    1. Anononon

      Yeah, I don’t think it was fully clarified in the letter or response where OP was actually scheduled to start at 4:45 or she just gets there super early.

      1. AFPM

        Thank you! I was wondering about when you were scheduled to start too. And that’s really not okay for your manager to show up 45 minutes late for a shift. Good luck!

      2. Engineer Woman

        Absolutely, if you’re scheduled to start at 4:45am and you arrive by 4:45am ready to work, your time at work (doesn’t matter that it’s outside the building), started at 4:45am.

      3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        Then you’re definitely entitled to the full time for which you were scheduled (if you’re non-exempt, both the FLSA and California wage law require your time to be compensated, even if your managers are late).

    2. shep

      My boss at my first job would insist we be there at least fifteen minutes early to prep for our students (a small tutoring center), except until she gave me a key, no one could get in because she was chronically late. (Luckily, she wasn’t stingy about paying us if she was late, but it was a very unpleasant situation.)

      Parents would drop their kids off early and want to leave, even though no one could get into the building. I was always deeply uncomfortable with this because if I was the only one there, I had no third party present. It was never really an issue, but it’s definitely a best practice that protects both the kids and the tutors.

      Finally, my boss delegated opening to two of us, and we had her permission to (1) go in the back door and (2) not open the front until we ACTUALLY opened. Parents were annoyed they had to wait, but I was so grateful that we finally had some workable system that (1) didn’t jeopardize a tutor being left alone with one or multiple kids and (2) took the burden off of us to make frantic apologies to customers and panicked calls to our boss because we couldn’t get in the building.

    3. SophieChotek

      My manager at the coffee shop has been late quite a bit lately; we never get paid for the time we sit waiting for her. (Not in CA). It’s usually never more than 30 minutes, but that is still annoying, and I am thinking, “well that’s $4 I’ll never see.”

      So these responses are interesting to me.

      1. Rocinante

        Being legally required to pay for the time you’re scheduled to work is not a California-only idea. Not a lawyer, but I think the underlying principle of being paid when you are required to be at your work site is supported under federal law. I think the FLSA calls this “on-call time.” If you are required to stay at the coffee shop the entire time you’re waiting for your boss you should be paid.

        1. SophieChotek

          Thanks. On the one hand, I guess it’s only $4, but part of it – it’s the principle (and knowing she’d be livid if we were that late, but if she’s late, we’re just supposed to be “oh, well”) and I guess it does add up after a while.

          Will have to look into it, if this continues to be an ongoing issue.

          1. zora

            $4 at a time adds up, especially when you are close to minimum wage!

            I would start with bringing it up to the owner, personally, and then if she doesn’t respond by fixing this problem, escalate to reporting to the Labor Commissioner’s office.

          2. Silver Radicand

            Yeah, start by just asking how to record that time on your timecard with the assumption that that is the intention. This will probably fix the issue.

            If it doesn’t you can decide whether you want to try something more direct.

        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          Yes—if Sophie is non-exempt and hourly, she’s entitled to compensation for the time she spent waiting for her manager to arrive after the time at which her shift was supposed to begin.

      2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        If you’re hourly and non-exempt, and if your shift is supposed to start 30 minutes before your manager arrives, you’re entitled to wages for your “waiting time” under the FLSA.

        I think it’s worth bringing to management’s attention. The penalties for wage violations are steep, and it’s better for them to pay you, now (and if you have documentation, your back wages, too) than to risk a DOL inspection.

  5. Kuododi

    I personally turn to marshmallow fluff when faced with any creature sporting four legs and dog breath. I also believe there is a time and a place for everything and the only time it would be appropriate to bring a dog to work is if the dog is an appropriately trained, certified service animal with the recognized service vest. (Not one of those tea cup foo-foo dogs sitting in the purse where the owner paid $50 for a bootleg vest and certificate on eBay or whatnot.). :(

    1. On Fire

      If I were a *client* and this was happening, I would probably either complain to the boss or investigate taking my business elsewhere. As an employee, I think OP’s best course of action would be to just repeatedly kick the dog out of OP’s office (figuratively, not literally kick) and tell the boss that the dog is distracting and the smell is bothering OP.

        1. EPLawyer

          HOw many of them didn’t put up with it and just took their business elsewhere? They didn’t explain why they were changing, but just … left.

          1. Falling Diphthong

            Despite the attempts by various businesses to pelt me with surveys after every single interaction, that’s my usual approach–if I’m not happy I don’t want to enter into negotiations about it; I just go somewhere that seems like it won’t annoy me as much.

          2. KR

            I’m OP #2 and I have only been with the company 7 months, but my boss tells me that he’s lost a lot of clients in recent years. I wonder if it’s because of the pup.

              1. Antilles

                I’d caution that you need to read his reactions carefully and be willing to completely drop that part of the issue if he starts to argue back.
                There are a lot of pet owners who are completely irrational when it comes to their pets and would respond with “no, no, Fluffy is great, no way clients are dropping us because of him, he’s so cute and friendly.” And then if you continued to push, they’d get mad at YOU for being so anti-Fluffy and not agreeing that he’s perfect and fantastic and lovable. So if you start this part of the conversation and he starts disagreeing that the client loss is linked to Fluffy, you should be completely willing to just sort of let that go and instead transition to the things that directly affect *you* – being allowed to close your door, being able to keep him out of the room when you’re having meetings, etc.

            1. Dr. Pepper

              Wouldn’t be surprised. Some people might be afraid of the dog, others might have decided they simply didn’t want to deal with it. If I knew I’d get mauled by an ill mannered stinky dog every time I had to interact with a certain business, I may decide to look elsewhere. I love dogs, but I only have so much patience to deal with poorly behaved ones, especially if I’m trying to get other things done.

            2. AMPG

              If you could find a former client who was willing to bring this up to him (I realize that’s probably easier to say than to do), you could potentially solve your problem with no loss of political capital.

              Regardless, I have tons of sympathy for you. I’m not at all a dog person, and I would probably be looking for a new job already if my boss forced me to let a smelly dog camp out in my office.

              1. Persimmons

                Yes, this, any way possible. Even getting them to leave a review to that effect on Yelp may be helpful.

            3. RVA Cat

              To be honest, the fact he’s losing clients may be evidence this is not a problem you can fix and that you may want to move on. This is not just a dog problem, it’s a health of the business problem.

      1. Former Agent Molly Sands

        #3 – You need to look for a new job. The boss’s refusal to see the downsides of the dog in the office means that they are not seen as issues, will never been seen as issues and any demurrals about the dogs behavior, shedding, smell will be seen as antagonistic and argumentative. This is not about the dog – it is about the boss’s inability to look out for those he supervises/works with, lack of courtesy to clients (!), and denial of how this effects the office culture.

      2. Dr. Pepper

        Actually, I’d literally kick the dog out of my office. Not violently, but firmly. Make the office an unpleasant place to be and the dog won’t want to be in there. Shoo him out every time he comes in, in whatever way will annoy him most. I’ve dealt with all kinds of ill mannered dogs, and most of the time the owners could not have cared less that their precious Fluffy was wreaking all kinds of havoc and invading personal space and being rude. Or chasing the livestock I’m handling, which is very dangerous for everyone. Large dogs that jump up on me get kneed in the chest. They usually only jump on me once. Dogs that won’t leave my space when directed are encouraged to do so with an object of some kind. A well timed swat can do wonders. I take the time to train my own dogs with gentler methods, but with dogs that aren’t mine I don’t have that luxury and I need the behavior to cease immediately.

        You can call me a horrible dog abuser, but if you demand respect you often get it. The tricky part is to do so in a way the owner (your boss) doesn’t get mad at you for ruining their precious Fluffy’s good time. I love dogs, but just like with people, there are boundaries.

          1. Dr. Pepper

            Be that as it may, I work with large livestock that are often afraid of dogs, and sometimes I don’t have the luxury of being nice. I also have little patience for poor manners. If the dog will respond to nice, I don’t go bigger. Ask, tell, demand.

            1. jolene

              I’m with Dr Pepper – I’ve had a family of sheepdogs one of whom had puppies with Newfies. Kneeing a dog that big in the chest is absolutely nothing to them physically, it’s just a “get away” signal. Dogs jumping up and getting pushed away – no big deal. Smacking a big dog on the bum to get it to move, a dog that could take your hand off in 5 secs – it’s just what the sheepdogs do to sheep or cowdogs do to cows to get them to move. They totally get it. It’s ridiculous to think that’s animal abuse.

        1. Jadelyn

          Well, since you offered, I’m going to go ahead and call you a horrible dog abuser. I understand needing the behavior to cease immediately, but there’s a wide gulf between “unfortunately in an urgent situation where a dog is potentially endangering itself/me/my livestock/bystanders, sometimes I have to resort to forceful methods to get the dog to stop” and gleefully talking about kicking and swatting other people’s dogs for getting in your way, especially when that’s apparently your advice for someone who’s dealing with a small dog that’s inconveniencing and annoying, but not endangering anything. Good lord, that’s appalling.

          And I say that as someone who has had to get physical with other people’s dogs once or twice to get them to stop them from aggressively trying to play with a shy or scared dog I was with – I understand sometimes that’s necessary when you’ve got a large dog jumping at you or another animal you’re responsible for, and the big dog’s owner is refusing to step in and stop them as they should, but it should be a regretful necessity, not something to boast about.

          1. Not A Morning Person

            I don’t see anything that could be construed as “glee” in managing dogs in the situations described.
            It sounds like annoyance, not glee, at having to manage a disruptive dog who hasn’t been taught appropriate behavior by its owner.

        2. Turquoisecow

          I don’t think being physically violent to the boss’s dog is going to win you any points with the boss.

        3. PizzaDog

          Yeah, if it’s not your dog, it’s not your business to be touching it. What would happen if it bit you or worse? OP2, I implore you to not take this advice.

    2. Charley

      Most “real” service dogs don’t have vests. The vests are just a recent addition to the market in an effort to help fakers pawn off their pets as service dogs/emotional support animals.

      1. Judy (since 2010)

        I have a friend who has been training service dogs for over 25 years. Her dogs in training have always had “service dog in training” vests. Once they get to a certain stage in training, the dog goes with her everywhere, wearing the vest and a harness.

        1. Emily K

          I usually see vests on dogs in training, but not dogs that have graduated training and been assigned to a person.

      2. Dust Bunny

        I’ve seen service dogs in vests for as long as I can remember. But they were actual trained helper dogs, not dime-a-dozen “support animals”.

      3. IDontRememberWhatNameIUsedBefore

        One of our old roommates had/has a medical service dog who is trained to alert them when they are heading towards a flare up of their particular rare disorder. Their dog not only has a vest, but an *ID card* (worn in a pocket on the vest* to show his status. And it is necessary, as he is not a breed most people would think of as a service dog.

      4. IDontRememberWhatNameIUsedBefore

        Recent addition? LOL! My mom had a blind friend when I was a little girl in the 1970s, and his dog always had a vest on. And that certainly wasn’t the first or last service dog vest I had ever seen!

    3. Grad Now Lawyer Later

      Absolutely! Might be worthwhile for the OP to bring up to their boss that a lot of people are really scared of dogs, even little ones. And if that person is a client, well.

      One of my good friends was attacked by a dog, for example, and they still continue to TERRIFY her. Something like this could cause a panic attack for her, or at the very least, make her decide to take her business elsewhere. And for a client, especially one who’s terrified or especially allergic, it’s a lot easier to take your business elsewhere than to try and hash it out with a dog-loving-business-owner.

    4. Female-type person

      I “fired” a doctor because her two pet dogs (actually small, fluffy, friendly, adorable and not badly behaved) were sporting faux service dog vests (which she openly admitted) so her pets could come to her medical office with her every day.

      I really felt that this went to something deeply off about her integrity and professionalism, and I quietly moved to another doctor.

      1. Teapotty

        I used to be scared of dogs – I’m somewhat cured now but I would not want someone else’s dog in my office, particularly if they smell mpre doggy than is nice. I love my cats but they sleep in their pens at night for a reason: so we all have the chance of a good night’s kip (they have litter trays and water/food available). I would have to say something if only to ask that the dog swings by the grooming parlour occasionally.

      2. Totally Minnie

        I would 100% have reported her to the state medical board. A freaking doctor of all people should know better than to perpetrate this kind of fraud. It’s the people who use the fake vests on their untrained dogs that make things harder for people with actual disabilities who need their service animals with them.

      3. PhyllisB

        I quit going to a hair dresser I loved because he got (large) dog that loved to sniff crotches and try to climb in your lap when you were under the dryer. I love dogs and have had them all my life, but this was just too much.

    5. EddieSherbert

      Same – I’m a total animal person but not everyone is! And even if you are, you still need to be able to work comfortably.

      Hopefully a gentle conversation/reminder that not everyone loves having them around (and some people have allergies and some people are scared of dogs…) is all your boss needs to rein it in.

      Historically, I have been a bit blind to that myself!

      But my SO’s family are *not* animal people and the reminder early on from my SO about keeping the dog leashed / not letting him get up in their faces right away was helpful to me. It seems obvious in hindsight – but my family events always have like 5-10 dogs running around, so it had never occurred to me.

    6. Manic Pixie HR Girl

      This exactly. I love dogs. I have two of them. They are my baby monsters and I love them to bits. When I see New Dogs I react the way most women my age react to (human) babies.

      But they don’t belong at (most) workplaces, for many of the reasons Alison has indicated in previous posts.

      1. Manic Pixie HR Girl

        And to piggy-back on this (and make this not a derailment, sorry!), human children are also not appropriate at (most) workplaces, and I think the same advice applies here as it would there. The LW said he’s admitted he has lost clients, it might be worthwhile to gently bring up that the dog in client meetings may be the reason, and maybe the dog should stay in his office.

    7. SD Handler

      I just want to push back on the service dog requirements you listed. In the US, service dogs are required by law to do two things, be trained to do a task to mitigate the handler’s disability and to be non-disruptive (e.g. no barking constantly or peeing on things). Dogs do not have to wear any specific equipment and any outside requirement of equipment is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dogs also are not required to be certified and most certification programs are scams.

      The one exception to this is service dog training programs may have certifications or licenses because they are *training* programs. The dogs that come out of these programs may be certified by the program, but that means nothing legally.

      Other countries may have different rules about what makes a dog a service dog if they even allow them at all.

      1. Quickbeam

        I’m 62 and grew up in Morristown, NJ…home of the Seeing Eye. I’ve now spent decades around service dogs…the trainers would use us as obstacles on the sidewalk. None of these dogs wear a vest and never have. I don’t associate vests with service dogs and in fact it makes me think that someone wants to take their dog on the airplane with them.

        1. SD Handler

          I use a vest for my very real service dog. It happens to be a useful signal to her that I expect her to be on her best behavior and to other people that I don’t want them to touch her. The only person who should be deciding what equipment is necessary for the service dog is the dog’s handler, possibly under the guidance of the trainer.

          Assuming a dog wearing a vest is a fake service dog is as bad as assuming a dog not wearing a vest is a fake service dog. Both assumptions make it harder for people like me to go about our daily lives without being stopped every five feet by someone with opinions about service dogs and how they should or should not be dressed or behave.

          1. IDontRememberWhatNameIUsedBefore

            When I was a kid (as mentioned above, in the 70s) my parents, animal lovers all around, taught us that was EXACTLY what service dog vests were for – a signal that this was a ‘working dog’, so to speak, not a pet out for a stroll with its person, and that we weren’t to ask if we could pet it, or try to get it’s attention (like saying HI DOGGY!, not like bothering or annoying it, we already knew better than that!)

    8. Logan

      I think the easiest way to push back against animal owners who are blind to others, is to say that you have clients with allergies and so you want to keep the dog out of your office so that you don’t lose them.

      This would likely require lying, but in all honesty I’d be willing to lie to someone like this if all the truth in the world hasn’t helped. It may also result in the boss suggesting that you meet those specific clients in a meeting room or something (I’m only guessing on options, without knowing your situation), which wouldn’t address the problem for most of your clients.

      This way it doesn’t criticise the behaviour, so you aren’t saying bad things about the dog. Hopefully the boss would be willing to listen to this point of view, and be less likely to push back on it. Although I do agree that I’d start looking for other jobs… if boss is this clueless about workplace norms then I think there will be more boundary problems in future.

      Oh, and if you want tips for getting dogs to back off with body language…
      If the dog is *not* prone to aggression, then maybe the next time it comes to your office then move your entire body to face the dog and look – stare – directly at it (this is a dominant behaviour which works well with friendly dogs). Standing up would be even better, to appear more authoritative. If it comes toward you then say No in a low tone of voice and move slightly toward it. If it wants to jump up then you can either move your arms up to block, or turn your back, and again say No in a low and authoritative voice. Dogs can learn boundaries – I look after dogs, and teach them that some rooms are off limits (I’m also not stupid – I don’t trust them when I’m away, and close off the rooms with food in them). I’m sure myself and others can provide more suggestions if you are interested (I can probably find a relevant Youtube video on teaching boundaries), or if you have a specific situation that is bothering you.

      Humans who are trying to avoid dogs often do themselves more harm than good as their body language ends up appearing to be more inviting (looking small, turning away).

      It should totally not be your job to train the dog, but smart dogs can learn boundaries quickly so it might be a way of most effectively managing things within the situation.

      1. PhyllisB

        How about just locking your office door so boss can’t let it in? If you are questioned, just say you can’t work with dog in the office. Well, maybe be more tactful, but you get my drift. Just don’t let it in!!

  6. Greg NY

    I hate a thread derailing as much as anyone, but I think my comment was more on point because what I’m basically saying is that it’s a matter of professionalism. Just because the manager might have a dog and because they (obviously) like dogs doesn’t necessarily mean the people that work with them like them. Managers should be setting good examples and this one isn’t doing so. Since I’m afraid of dogs, if I was subjected to this manager’s dog, I’d be nervous as to what that dog might do to me. I find it appalling that the manager opened the door to let the dog in when this employee closed the door to try to keep it out!

    1. Annoyed

      Yep. It’s like saying that OP isn’t allowed the convenience if closing her office door (why even have a door then?).

      It so much made me think of a couple of teenagers (boy and girl) “we’re just going to listen to some records Mom” (yes, I am that old) and the mom opening the door they closed because they aren’t allowed to choose to do that.

      OP isn’t a teenager surreptitiously making out with her boyfriend. She is an adult professional who can’t deal with the dog and her manager is not getting the hint.

    2. Legal Beagle

      Yes, the manager opening LW’s door without asking is just plain rude! I hope he’ll see reason when she says she wants to keep the dog out of her office.

      If I were a client, I’d be firing that company after the first crotch-sniff. I’m a huge dog lover (as my username suggests!) but that is so obnoxious and unprofessional. To be honest, I wouldn’t even have a well-behaved dog in an office that hosts client meetings. Whether it’s allergies or fear/aversion, you are guaranteed to make a client uncomfortable at some point.

      1. The Original K.

        The CEO of a client-facing business where I used to work immediately vetoed the idea of a pet day for exactly this reason. There were clients in the office all the time and you can’t know who has fears, allergies, just straight up hates animals, etc. Odds were too good that they’d piss a client off, and it wasn’t worth it.

      2. OP2

        I can’t even wear a dress to work because Fluffy puts his head up my skirt. My boss just thinks it’s funny when it happens to clients

        1. Legal Beagle

          Wow, that is wild. How does he still have any clients?? I’d be seriously questioning the boss’s judgment overall, if he thinks that is acceptable behavior in a professional setting. Sorry you have to deal with this, LW. Your boss sounds like a jerk.

  7. Kuododi

    As far as as the question about getting rid of dog funk. I have had good luck with the Febreeze. (Going to buy stock in the company) Additionally might try sprinkling the carpet with baking soda and letting it sit for a couple of minutes before vacuuming. Gives a little extra deoderizer kick to cleaning the floor. Hope that helps!!!

    1. RaccoonLady

      Take the boss’s dog to the bathroom and give it a proper wash. A guaranteed way to get your boss to not want his dog around you!

      In all seriousness, sometimes my dog (who gets bathed regularly and is quite healthy) leaves little smelly spots (anal gland secretions) and I have found that there are specific pet odor remover sprays (mainly for cleaning up accidents) that work wonders on all smells! However, they have their own distinct smell and also it should not be OP’s job to buy even more products to clean up after her boss’s dog.

      1. Rusty Shackelford

        Take the boss’s dog to the bathroom and give it a proper wash. A guaranteed way to get your boss to not want his dog around you!

        Are you kidding? I might bring the dog more often. “Hey, Fergus. Sorry Sparky is extra-smelly today. Man, he’s gonna stink up the whole office…”

        1. Logan

          I thought the comment was a joke, and that the wash wouldn’t include any shampoo or drying. “Oops, I tried to wash the dog, but he wasn’t keen so I guess you’ll have to sort it out now! Hope you can figure out what to do with the water all over your office.”

      2. Coffee with my creamer

        Bring in bounce regular dryer sheets and pet the dog with one it will help with the smell for a few hours, it’s not a fix but if you can’t get your boss to change it will at least help the smell.

      3. a username

        One dot of Era laundry detergent on a wet paper towel helps A LOT with pet mess.

        My longhaired cat had a problem with…stuff…getting matted in her fur, and she’d get it all over Rental Apartment Off-White Carpet. The Era detergent worked better than pet-mess remover, which stained the carpet.

      4. Grouchy 2 cents

        Really? Washing a dog is not in their job description. Now telling the manager that the dog smells and needs to be regularly groomed before coming into the office to cut down on smells/possible allergens etc? That’s an option.It’s not that expensive and it’s also a mark of responsible ownership.

    2. Lexi Kate

      Febreezee only worked as a cover up for us. For carpet we spray natures miracle or white vinegar and water, or thieves. For a room deodorizer we diffuse thieves or lemon and lavender essential oils.

    3. Bunny Girl

      I can vouch for baking soda. We have a multiple animal family and they all stink. Baking soda really helps! If you can light a candle, we have also found that there are candles that specifically target pet odor. They’re fantastic.

      1. EddieSherbert

        +1 for baking soda. I foster dogs and have had some very stinky/accident-prone puppies before :/ Letting baking soda sit for a couple hours before vacuuming basically is the only reason my house didn’t smell like crap constantly.

      2. Emily K

        I have a couple of cats who never gave me smell issues, and then one tiny dog I adopted stunk up the place in no time. There was one carpeted room in the house that was always the worst because she had a habit of rolling on the carpet to dry herself off every time she came in from the rain or splashing around in the creek. She also wipes her muzzle clean after eating and drinking by rubbing it on the carpet!

        It didn’t take long for it to get into the carpet pad so even when it was cleaned with specialty pet odor products and vacuumed and deodorized, it would only take a few hours for the smell to return because it was deeper into the pad than anything could reach. The only solution that worked long-term was I finally ripped out the carpet and put in vinyl plank with rugs that I can more easily wash.

    4. peachie

      Yeah, this is a band-aid solution (the bigger issues is the manager’s behavior/handling of the issue), but in case this is helpful to anyone–there’s a brand of (unscented) deodorizer called M9 that they use in hospitals that is honest-to-god magic. Heck, even if the dog goes, it still might help to (literally) clear the air.

    5. Anonymeece

      I swear by those little charcoal bags that you refresh in the sun every few months. If it works on my cats’ litter box, I swear it works anywhere.

      That said, it’s a band-aid to a bigger problem, and I think Alison’s right in bringing up the whole issue to your boss (if you feel comfortable doing so!).

    6. Sparkles

      When I read this original post, I was like- did I write in and forget that I did? This is my office to a T. I was able to get out dog smell by regularly sprinkling the carpet with Arm & Hammer pet odor remover and vacuuming it up once a week. It worked WONDERS. Even if you don’t have a vacuum available in the office, if you just sprinkle the tiniest bit on the carpet you can’t see it, but boy does it work. We have since moved to a new office and my boss now works from home, but every once in a while she will still bring in her smelly little dogs that like to pee on EVERYTHING. The worst part is that she doesn’t clean it up and just looks at them and goes, now you bad little dog- why did you do that?!…and then goes on about her day.

    7. Dr. Pepper

      Baking soda and vinegar work great. Sprinkle the carpet with the baking soda, wait, then vaccuum. Make a mixture of 1:1 plain white vinegar (the cheap stuff) and water in a spray bottle. Mist the air liberally. The vinegar smell will dissipate quickly, along with a lot of the dog stink. Nature’s Miracle works well too to get rid of odors from any accidents.

  8. RaccoonLady

    LW #4: Allison is right that you need to be focused on your needs right now, but if it makes you feel better consider that her not getting the job should signal that her handling of the situation wasn’t perfect…and even if she doesn’t the many other rejections she is surely getting will hopefully eventually lead to her having some kind of self realization!!
    (Also, I am mildly in awe of the confidence it takes to print ones cover letter on a photo of yourself???)

    1. Just Employed Here

      I once hired someone whose CV (or maybe the cover letter?) had a passport style photo of themselves filling the whole page, a bit like a huge watermark. We did consider this a bit ballsy, but not a red flag, but there were a couple of other minor red flags.

      18 months later, this person quit, and we were all very relieved (the company didn’t really do firings…). Another 4 months later, they called and asked to be given their job back. Didn’t happen.

      1. OP #4

        It really did take some guts to do this! It wasn’t a passport photo but a posed picture from a trip. Really it was something.

        1. Lisa Babs

          Oh my… that is a horse of a different color. I was thinking it was a professional headshot as a faded background picture which was weird and out of norms but not un-hirable (at least in my mind). A posed vacation picture… no wonder you called it cringe worthy.

          1. OP #4

            Oh no no no…I think the photo was in Ireland? Scotland? Hat and cable knit sweater wearing, rolling green fields with some sort of ruin/castle in the background. Funnily the applicant looked nothing like the photo when they arrived!

    2. MissGirl

      Sometimes things like this signal red flags or sometimes it’s naïveté or sometimes it’s listening to bad advice. For instance someone from Europe having a photo is the norm there but not here.

      You had a hard to fill position and gave someone a shot. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that and the interview process did what it should.

      1. Observer

        There is a difference between having a photo of yourself, and having that fill the entire page and be the background of the letter, though.

        1. MissGirl

          I speaking in more generalized terms. My point is that the OP didn’t necessarily do anything wrong.

          1. OP #4

            This wasn’t a headshot photo in the corner of a resume. This was the entire background of the page, with bullet points over it about their skills and qualities. Not really a cover letter, even.

            I’ve gotten applications with the small photo in the corner, and I just let that go.

      2. CM

        It depends how coachable the person is too. In this case, I don’t think the failure to adhere to professional norms (picture, request for bonus, etc.) was the red flag. It’s that OP#4 gave her reasons that the decision wasn’t made yet and said she’d be in touch, and also explained that bonuses for fundraising goals were not a realistic request, and the candidate continued to ask about these things to the point where OP#4 felt like she was being overly aggressive and frustrating to deal with.

        1. Legal Beagle

          I would see the question about bonus/commission as a red flag. That is so wildly out of touch with how non-profit fundraising jobs work, it would signal to me that the person didn’t understand NPO culture, and hadn’t done the homework to get up to speed on the landscape of the job or the field.

          1. OP #4

            Couldn’t agree more! I told her on the phone it wasn’t possible, and then when she asked in person I shut it down hard. That it wasn’t going to happen here, or anywhere, and that it is not done when working in house at a non profit (as opposed to a contractor at a marketing company working for a non profit) Hopefully she got the message.

            1. hayling

              I agree with Alison that the bigger issue here is that you probably need to rethink your strategy/process for screening candidates. It sounds like she was inappropriate in both the application and phone screen. Why did you bring her in for an in-person?

              (I have also made a lot of mistakes in who I have brought in for an in-person interview, no judgement there, you definitely learn from every candidate!)

          2. Lil Fidget

            To be fair, I have seen that in nonprofit, when a nonprofit has a tiny budget to offer as salary but wants a fundraiser to be bringing in big gifts right off the bat. They offer it as an incentive. It’s not crazy out of the norm to me.

            1. Observer

              Asking the first time is not crazy, although it shows she didn’t do her research. Pushing it after being told no is a different kettle of fish, though.

            2. OP #4

              And this isn’t that kind of role at all.

              She was coming from a marketing company hired by a nonprofit, and the marketing company gave bonuses for reaching quotas. She was expecting the same treatment when working in house.

          3. Ali G

            Agree and disagree. Her asking for “commission” is wildly out of the norm for NP (as the OP mentions). However, an annual bonus for meeting or exceeding your annual targets is not, regardless of your position.
            Sounds like OPs organization doesn’t have a bonus structure, and that’s too bad, but every NP I have worked at had a bonus structure and I regularly received bonuses (heck even the NP I am interviewing with now that only has a $200k per year budget has a bonus structure).
            I get that her approach is way off target here, but I wanted to make the point that NPs can and do give annual bonuses.

        2. EddieSherbert

          +1!
          The resume thing is weird, but I agree it’s not necessarily the end of the world…. it’s the *repeated* contacts after being told *you’d* contact her that are concerning.

          1. OP #4

            Two emails and a phone call are (at least) two contacts too many! Especially when one of them reminded me that the time by which I had said I would hope to have an update had passed…

      3. Kimberlee, Ranavain

        I agree 1000% with this. I would rather take a chance on a candidate that maybe has some weird ideas but lots of possibility than uniformly reject people for reasons that ultimately don’t have anything to do with the role. Advancing them one stage is not a commitment to hire, or even a statement that you really like them. It’s just a statement that you want to learn more.

        Especially for something as weird as this, specifically, there’s no reason to believe that everyone who does it (all like 2 or 3 of them in the world?) are all bad for the job or the org in the same ways. When you’re filtering applicants out based on this stuff, most people do so because of a perceived correlation between the trait and success in the role, but in my experience, our flaws as a pattern-seeking species mean that we’re rejecting individuals for something someone else did, and not a lot of good reason to assume we can map all those traits and concerns to other candidates.

        Sure, the candidate probably shouldn’t do those things. But they wouldn’t have been a *better* match for your org if they hadn’t done them. As MissGirl says, the interview process did it’s job. The labor market is tightening. Try not to hold random quirks against people who might end up being the right match in the end.

  9. Totally Minnie

    OP2, how comfortable are you with your boss in general? If you get along well and feel comfortable being direct, you could try just saying “I need my office to be a dog-free space from now on.” You can elaborate with any reasons you choose, and any of the reasons Allison lists would work out fine with a reasonable person.

    If your boss is not a reasonable person (or is a reasonable person in all areas except in the area of people who don’t like his pet, which can happen sometimes), I’m a little less certain about what to recommend.

    1. Observer

      Well, given that Boss thinks it’s cute the Fluffy is all over people during meetings AND opened the OP’s door when they closed it to shut Fluffy out, I suspect that Boss has a bit of a blind spot.

      1. BethRA

        Opening someone’s closed door without asking is the height of cluelessness and assuming everyone enjoys being visited by your dog is ridiculous (and I say that as a dog owner who has at times had their dog in the office). But even clueless people can get the hint when things are pointed out to them.

        I think even a less-reasonable person might respond well to “fluffy makes it hard for me to focus…”

        1. MLB

          That’s the thing that got me. If I close my door to keep your dog out, that doesn’t mean I want you to open it and let the dog back in. I would have shuffled the dog right back out of my office, closed the door again and let boss know I didn’t want the dog in my office anymore. Boss doesn’t take hints – LW needs to be direct.

      1. Anonymous Celebrity

        Then I think, if you can manage it, that it’s time for you to “fire” your boss. He sounds insufferable.

      2. Observer

        Is your boss the Owner of CEO?

        If yes, you may have to start looking for a new job if he won’t give you some space. If not, you should consider going over his head if he won’t at least back off on the dog in your office.

      3. Totally Minnie

        OP2, I’ve been reading your replies to the comments here, and everything you’re posting makes it crystal clear that your boss is just the worst. Even without the dog, he seems like a horrible person to work for. I think it’s time to start looking for something else.

  10. Totally Minnie

    OP4, with the forceful personality style you’ve described, I don’t think it’s likely that this candidate would have figured out any of her missteps with anything less than a direct call-out, which a job interviewer is not really in the position to give. Count yourself fortunate that you figured out she was wrong for the position before she got any further along in the process, and try not to worry too much about not having that teaching opportunity. Odds are, she won’t learn that lesson until she’s ready to, and until then there’s not much that can be done.

  11. Observer

    #2 – How long are you working at this place, and how long has your boss been bringing the dog?

    Is this an officially dog friendly workplace? And, do you know how others feel about this? That could affect your realistic options.

    1. Greg NY

      I could be wrong, but I think even dog lovers wouldn’t want to be around dogs that smell bad. That’s one problem I see even if the workplace is officially dog friendly.

      1. Bea

        Smells are subjective though, some folks have much more sensitive sense of smell. I’ve had people howl about something being stinky AF and that we need to do something….I can’t smell a thing.

        I grew up on a farm with so many scents, dirty animals rarely register.

        But I do always aim to eliminate odor when someone detects it. I just rarey notice or care myself so I’ll never be all “yeah, you’re right! Let’s push back as a team on this!”

      2. Dust Bunny

        It’s normal for people who are acclimated to smells to not notice them but that means that when people who are not acclimated say that something smells, they should be heard. I know my dogs didn’t smell because when non-dog owners came to visit, they were surprised to find out I owned any, because they couldn’t smell them. I really do not like dog smell so if somebody were bringing a smelly dog to work, yes, I would notice and, yes, it would bother me.

        Everybody wants to assume that everyone loves dogs and children, but it’s a two-way street. If you want people to enjoy your dogs and kids, it’s on you to make sure they know how to behave (and are bathed regularly).

    2. MusicWithRocksInIt

      I think that even if it was a dog friendly office she should be allowed to keep her door closed and be able to start a conversation about keeping a badly behaving dog away from clients.

      That being said, I feel like with the information we have the most reasonable conclusion is that boss’s smelly dog is the only dog. I feel like keeping the dog out of your office should be your top priority. Don’t address your dislike for the dog in general, just be very matter of fact that you find it distracting, and are sensitive to the smell (make it sound like you are just oddly sensitive to the smell of that dog). If you can accomplish keeping it out of your office, then is the time to try to keep it away from clients.

      1. Guacamole Bob

        Yeah, I think this is the time to pull out Allison’s technique of making something reasonable sound like a personal quirk of yours in order to soften the message.

        1. Guacamole Bob

          “Oh, Fluffy is such a lovely dog, but there must be something odd about the carpet or the HVAC here because there’s a smell in my office after she’s been there that doesn’t fade quickly like dog smells normally do. I’m afraid I’ll have to keep her out of my office.”

    3. aebhel

      It affects things to some degree, but even dog friendly workplaces should have boundaries in place so that employees (and clients!) are not being continually distracted and harassed by smelly, badly-behaved animals. Regardless of how other people feel about it, OP should at least be able to keep their own office a dog-free space.

    4. OP2

      I have been here for 7 months, the dog has been here every day. I’ve always been bothered by him, but I was recently pregnant and could not take the dog smell at all. Since then, I have been even more annoyed. I love dogs, by the way. This one just isn’t well-behaved and has a very intense smell.

      1. MusicWithRocksInIt

        Do they know your pregnant? Because that would be a great way to excuse away your desire not to have the dog in your office. Every time boss opens the door “I’m sorry – I’ve been trying to keep snuffles out, my nose is just SO sensitive to certain smells right now – and there’s something about snuffles’s shampoo that really bothers me”. Even once you have the baby you can act like the super nose never went away. I find that a ‘gosh – it is so crazy that this is happening to me right now’ tone works very well with odd pregnancy related requests.

  12. Callie

    Regarding the dog smell: try Nok Out. Completely took the dog accident smell out of my carpet, but didnt leave behind any odors that someone might be sensitive to

  13. Christine S.

    #2: In regard to getting rid of the dog smell: As someone who has owned a few pets over the years, Ozium is the best odor eliminator I’ve found. Good luck!

    1. Nobody Special

      Yes, ozium works but it has a strong and not-entirely-pleasant scent itself. Triggers my scent sensitivities.

      1. Annoyed

        I quite like Nature’s Miracle. It got rid of a super strong urine odor that nothing else would touch, first time.

        No strong lingering scent either. A little bit for a day maybe but not like Ozium has.

        I have found Ozium to be good for lingering smoke odor however.

        1. Falling Diphthong

          Nature’s Miracle is great for completely erasing urine odors. Not sure about more general pet funk (e.g. essence of wet dog) but I’d certainly try something from the same company.

          1. So long and thanks for all the fish

            I have nature’s miracle in my cleaning closet from when we first adopted our dog, and it’s awesome at just about any organic smell- we had some onions that went bad and made a cupboard reek, and nature’s miracle took care of that fairly quickly.

    2. ChachkisGalore

      I’ve had good luck with Biokleen Bac Out – as an enzyme cleaner to get rid of pet smells (even better than Nature’s Miracle, which is supped to be the HG pet smell clearner). I’ve used the Bac Out on fabric, rugs and hard surfaces (tile, laminate floorings, etc.).

      Plus it doesn’t smell as “chemically” to me – it’s lime based, so I think it just smells like a margarita (but that’s all subjective, so ymmv)

    3. A Non E. Mouse

      Boiling out a vinegar/water solution helps too – just throw it in a crock pot, turn it on low, and shut the door.

      Unfortunately the place you are deodorizing then smells like vinegar a while….but there’s no chemicals left behind, and it does eventually fade.

  14. Augusta Sugarbean

    #4 I’m not sure how much you actually reinforced bad behavior – her behavior didn’t result in a new job. In any case, if you feel very strongly about giving advice to her, why not just do it? You said you were hoping she’d ask for feedback; why not just offer it up? As a recent and unsuccessful job hunter, I would love to get feedback, particularly if I was doing something especially boneheaded. In two years, I’ve never gotten feedback even when I’ve (very, very politely) asked, so I’ve stopped asking. Maybe she’s doing the same.

    1. MK

      I think the OP feels that maybe they should have been more firm in shutting the candidate down when they overstepped. And it might be true; I think it would have been better if, say, the second timethe candidate brought up the bonus/commission issue, they were told pretty firmly not only that it wasn’t happening, but that it might not make sense to continue talking. Also, if a candidate is badgering you for updates, it’s fine to bluntly tell them to stop contacting you till they hear back.

      1. OP #4

        Exactly. I feel like I missed that opportunity to make it clear. She was wrong for this role, but she could be right for other side if she got her stuff together. I definitely got firmer when she was too persistent, but I just got the vibe that overall she thought she was right and we were wrong to reject her- I think that’s what’s sitting with me still. But as Alison said, correcting that isn’t the primary goal here, and she’s totally right.

        1. EPLawyer

          Then you dodged a bullet there. If she was like that in the interview process what would she be like to work with? You give her feedback on her job and she says “Nope, I was right.” You have processes in place already but she wants to do it her way and won’t listen to doing it your company’s way.

          I understand you want to help her. But your loyalty is to the company. Finding the right person for the job, not helping out out of control job candidates is your own only goal, not just the primary one.

        2. Observer

          If this is how she reacted to you, I suspect that even if you had been “better” at shutting her behavior down, she still would not get it.

        3. Seriously?

          If you were in a mentoring role or likely to need to interact with her in the further, then I could see being concerned about reinforcing bad behavior. But you are not. You did not give her the job and she did not ask for feedback, so you can move on and not think about her again guilt free.

        4. Washi

          I sometimes had a similar urge when working as a volunteer coordinator and dealing with disgruntled volunteers to make unreasonable people understand that what they were asking for was in fact unreasonable. There’s something about entitlement that just begs me to set that person straight and tell them off…but this is the exact type of person that is very unlikely to listen to you or your feedback. You just have to focus on your job, and let that person go out into the world and hopefully learn their lesson a different way.

          1. OP #4

            Thanks for making me feel not so alone in this feeling! I want to help, but in this case it’s just not at all my job.

        5. Smithy

          I currently work on an ngo development team that has recently hired a few candidates from the for-profit world for specific roles that benefit from those skills. And the face on the cover letter aside, it is true that often the approach taken by these coworkers can seem a bit different. Not necessarily wrong, but also not what we’re used to. For their roles it makes sense and we are truly growing together, but I think a little interviewing outside what’s standard makes complete sense. And I totally can see how doing that could result in some less than ideal candidates.

          1. Observer

            Interviewing outside the norm is a good idea. But, I think that even in the for profit sector a lot of the behaviors described were over the top.

            Also, the issue of the bonus is especially problematic in a couple of ways. Firstly, this is a fundraising position. To be successful at that you MUST know your target and the norms of your market – do whatever research you need to, to get that information. This is not essentially different than any “outside sales” or marketing type position in the for profit sector. She clearly did not do that. Also, when she was told no, she kept on pestering. That’s just a really bad idea no matter where you apply, for-profit or non-profit. For someone who might represent the organization, where it’s REALLY important not to tick off people who are potential friends, this is a MAJOR issues.

        6. Anonymous Celebrity

          So you’re talking about her basic personality, not just giving a few pointers about adhering to professional norms. You can teach people things like how to organize a resume/CV, or how many inquiries are reasonable following an interview, or proper attire in various professional settings, but you are highly unlikely to succeed in changing someone’s personality. It’s usually best not to try, because it means a fair amount of aggravation with few or no positive results.

    2. ECHM

      With the candidate’s aggressive and pushy personality, I’d be concerned that if you gave her feedback, she would just argue that it was wrong and you should hire her because …

      I’d say you dodged a bullet and don’t give her any more reasons to b0ther you.

      That is kind of you to want to help though!

  15. Lioness

    #2
    Are scents allowed in your office? Is it possible to use deterrents such as citrus scents(doesn’t work on all dogs). Or placing a mat at the door that dogs typically find uncomfortable? Such as things they make furniture uncomfortable for pets to get on. Maybe they can be used to keep the dog out of your office.

    But also tell your boss that the dog is distracting and would like to keep the door closed to your office if that hasn’t been said already. There’s probably a better way to phrase that.

  16. Not A Manager

    @LW#4 – If you give her feedback, you won’t actually change her difficult personality, you’ll just teach her to hide it better.

    1. Mookie

      It’s not inevitable that a direct person has to be aggressive, offputting, boundary-pushing, or tone-deaf. People can harness the better parts of their character–the ones that might make them ideal candidates for precisely the right and most suitable role, should they find it–by understanding why the worse parts need to be changed, rather than just not expressed out loud. There’s no harm in offering advice in good faith and the LW wouldn’t be responsible for what the applicant does with that advice.

    2. Elsajeni

      Practically speaking, though, what’s the difference between a person who has a naturally agreeable personality and a person who has a difficult personality but has learned that they need to “fake” a more agreeable persona at work?

      1. Not A Manager

        You’re both right! But that kind of coaching is really something that takes time, and that I would imagine would come from an actual manager (or other people who are an ongoing part of the applicant’s life). I thought the LW wanted to specifically inform the applicant that using your glamour headshot as a resume background isn’t a good idea, and that you can’t call and follow up a million times.

        In that case, all the LW would be doing is removing some red flags that the applicant is currently flying, without actually changing the underlying issues.

  17. Traveling Teacher

    For OP2: After kicking the dog out permanently, in whichever way you choose, would it be possible to put in a work request to get your office carpet shampooed?

    Even if scented products (Febreeze, et al) can make the smell dissipate, that doesn’t make the carpet clean. I also suspect that you might have to use a lot of product to get the carpet smelling less like dog, leaving you smelling like the product for weeks/months…

    Caveat: FWIW, I have a sensitive nose, and I dislike odor sprays because they make me feel ill, but dog is far worse, so do what you need to do!

  18. TooOldForThisNonsense

    #1 You don’t sound as though you have any confidence in your value, that you are so anxious about whether you have the right to speak up about this. Of course you should say something! You won’t be able to afford this job if they move the office to this place with no compensation! This is a job, not an internship, and – non-profit or not – they shouldn’t be getting staff to subsidise the organisation’s costs. HOWEVER, you must tell them you can’t afford it, matter-of-factly, and give them a chance to make it up to you.

    #2 Your boss is fobbing his dog off of you (cf. Co-workers bring their children in, in many, many AAM posts), so hand it back! Also very reasonable to frame it as a performance issue, both for office working and meetings with clients!

    1. MK

      This is not a case of being asked to subsidize the company costs. The cost of the commute is not a cost of doing business.

      1. Susan Calvin

        If they want to hire from a bigger talent pool than people who live in walking distance from the office, they ought to pay enough for people to afford getting there – so from that angle, it sure is.

        That doesn’t translate directly into OP’s employer being morally obligated to provide a stipend, but I think it’s not cut and dry either way. When you’re relying on public transit, an accessible office location is essentially a benefit, which can be hard to find and massively influence your calculation in taking it, so I do think it’s fair of an employer to take that into account. Compare it to, say, a company-run daycare – also not a normal cost of business, but if that had to temporarily close it for renovations, you’d try to minimize impact on employees who’ve come to rely on it, wouldn’t you?

        1. MK

          No, it isn’t. By the same token, if you want a job more than walking distance, you need to budget for the expense of transportation. The cost of the commute is part of the employee living expenses; absolutely it should be taken into account when the market rate for a position, because it affects the general cost of living in the area, but it’s still not a cost of doing business.

          1. Trout 'Waver

            I think it’s somewhere in the middle on this issue. For a lot of companies and roles, there may not be enough workers in walking distance. They’re either going to have to compete with other companies to attract commuting workers or pay for relocating workers.

            Also, happy workers are productive workers. And length of commute inversely correlate with happiness.

          2. medium of ballpoint

            “By the same token, if you want a job more than walking distance, you need to budget for the expense of transportation.”

            The OP *did* budget. Then their transportation needs changed because of the relocation. OP isn’t in the wrong here.

      2. Seriously?

        Temporarily increasing the cost to employees is a cost of doing business. If they were moving permanently, it would be different. But people take the cost of the commute into account when choosing a job. If they are paying low enough or the increased cost of the commute is high enough that an employee can no longer pay their bills, then they need to either choose a different temporary location, offset the temporary increase in costs or be willing to lose employees. Pointing this out to them is fair.

  19. Julie

    Not sure if it’s the right place to leave my comment, but I just wanted to say thank you for this site! I just got a (good) job offer and it’s certainly thanks to the solid advice you give on this site!

  20. Rez123

    #3 I feel ya. I’ve been looking for a new job and they do very good job at hiding what the job actually is. A lot of text but no substance. Sometimes I’m reading the listing and with the third read I figure out that it’s pretty much telemarketing instead of what the title would traditionally mean.

    1. ContentWrangler

      Yeah back when I was first job hunting I showed up to a couple interviews that ended up being the exact scams OP3 was talking about – claimed they were communications/marketing positions (a lot of job descriptions about developing campaigns for big local brands) when really they were door to door sales.

      When I told the manager that I wasn’t interested in sales and was looking for a communications job, he said “But we communicate with people every day”. Yeah, hawking discount baseball tickets in Costco wasn’t the kind of communications I meant.

  21. On Fire

    OP3, yes to the Public Relations Society of America. Your state will have a few chapters, and your school may have a student chapter. In my state, PR students join their local student chapter and are mentored by members of the local professional chapters. It’s a great networking opportunity that has led to internships and employment for many students. You can find chapter info at prsa (dot) org.
    (Disclaimer: I am not a paid spokesperson for PRSA – just a member.)

    1. Seriously?

      Also, talk to your professors about how to find a legitimate internship. They may know of some good opportunities that they can point you towards.

    2. H.C.

      Yes to PRSA & PRSSA (the latter is the student-focused arm); also, IABC (Int’l Association of Business Communicators) & check with your major department office – who may have connections to internships, entry level positions & other professional opportunities (I graduated 10+ years ago from my PR program & still am connected with the career office – which serves both students & alums – for various opportunities, from skills training to mentorship opps to networking events).

  22. WG

    LW #3: Does your university have an internship or career services department? If so, they may have a job board where they’ve already vetted the employers to some extent to keep out (or at least attempt to minimize) the scams.

    1. SierraViolet

      I was just about to say the same thing. If you haven’t already, reach out to your university’s career services department. It’s their job to assist students in finding work. If for some reason your university’s career services department isn’t great, talk with your professors (past/present) to get job leads. My final suggestion is to check in with your university’s alumni relations office to get connected with alumni who work in your field. Best of luck!

    2. Elsajeni

      I was going to suggest the same thing — I know our career services office has their own job board, and while the occasional sketchy listing does slip through the cracks, they work pretty hard to keep them out. I know college career counselors don’t have a great reputation around here, but even if you don’t trust their advice, the job board is a useful service.

  23. Akcipitrokulo

    About the dog – would it be a bad thing to put in a baby-gate at the door of your office so you can have door open without the dog’s being able to come in?

    1. Lance

      The problem is, there’s almost no chance that the boss wouldn’t treat it the same as he treats the door now, and just freely open it to let the dog in. Even besides that, something like a baby gate would look a bit… strange and out of place in an office.

      1. Akcipitrokulo

        Agreed it may look out of place… but if there’s a dog trying to sniff your crotch, it kind of becomes understandable!

        It does occur that the act of asking the boss for one may reinforce the idea that “dog in my office is not good”.

      2. GH in SOCal

        When I used to take my dog to a dog-friendly office I worked in, a few of us had baby gates on our doors — to keep our dogs *in* our offices and out of the meeting rooms and other people’s things. (Not to mention their crotches!) Everyone got used to it quickly and it worked really well. It meant that sometimes people would talk to you from the doorway rather than swinging it open to come in, but that was fine too. I would leave it open on days the dog was at home. (I only brought him in 1 or 2 days a week, usually when I expected to have a long day. Other people did the same — I think we all knew, even as dog lovers, that having a bunch of dogs in the office every day would get on people’s nerves. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. The only time he was in the office 5 days a week was when he was recovering from surgery and needed to be watched.)

    2. Kuododi

      I can’t speak for other folks but DH and I have a baby gate in our house in a last ditch attempt to contain a rambunctious mini Daschund puppy. If the clients at OP 2s office are anything like I am, count on some bruised legs and trip-ups until everyone is used to the thing being in place. (That’s putting aside the question of appropriateness for the moment) Additionally depending on the size of “Stinky the dog” in relation to the gate, one may find it necessary to change doggos name to “Houdini.” (Again speaking from experience. Our little dude was through the gate in 3 min flat. )

    3. MarfisaTheLibrarian

      I like the baby gate idea, though, because it’s so obviously there because of the dog. If the door is closed, the boss has some incredibly tiny moticum of plausible deniability that “oh I’m sure you didn’t mean to keep fluffy out, let me let him back in!” Baby gate says: “I want to be part of the office but not have things under waist height in my office.”
      But as with all suggestions that the dog may not be universally loved, it may piss off the boss

  24. ChaoticGood

    Doggie OP, your can always dream that the dog severely impacts a client’s willingness to do business with your company, that’s it’s unmistakably the cause of the dog – if it acts aggressively, or poops on the floor *in* a meeting, or there’s a client who has had bad experiences with dogs and they make a point of it.

    Unfortunately, you’re never, ever allowed to suggest a dog is in the way of you doing work. This goes double for a tech company where a white straight guy is the founder/CEO. You might as well suggest that rich white parents send their children to below-average schools (“the HORROR! How DARE you! We would NEVER”, etc). The privilege, it goes deep and it is strong.

      1. ThatGirl

        I think what ChaoticGood means is that dog owners who bring their dogs to work tend to double down on their right to do so, and that it is worse if you’re a white straight techbro CEO. It was a bit awkwardly worded and I don’t 100% agree but I do get the point they were trying to make.

        1. Emi.

          Right, there’s an issue of different kinds of self-entitlement compounding each other, and an issue of start-up culture, etc. Also I do think it’s a thing that white people are more likely to defensive of their dogs than black people.

    1. Database Developer Dude

      Yes, I’m with everyone else on this. I’m a black man, and always willing to call out racism in the workplace. This isn’t a case of racism, it’s a case of boss privilege. ANY boss in this position can be a clueless idiot.

      1. OP2

        My boss is a racist, entitled white man and I am a black woman, but the dog was doing the same thing before I got here

        1. AKchic

          Run. Run far, run fast.

          Once you secure a better job, *then* you can tell people exactly why you left. This person will never change because he’s already “successful”, therefore he “must have done something right, so why change what’s successful”. (my state has so many of these clichés it’s not even funny) (seriously, it’s like the 50s never left sometimes)

  25. drpuma

    LW3, I’m also job searching and I feel your frustration with these postings. Here are some other red flags I’ve noticed:
    – Very wide salary range posted for one job (ie, $40,000 to $100,000).
    – Promising management-level roles and training for jobs that are explicitly posted as entry level.
    – Very wide net of previous experiences / “no experience necessary!” combined with very few details about the job itself.
    The good news is that these postings tend to be repetitive, so once you spot a couple they get easier to avoid. Good luck!

  26. Kat A.

    For #1:
    Since the proposed temporary office is in a more expensive location, find out if it will cost THE COMPANY more money, and present it that way. Also, have an alternate location or two ready as suggestions. Those might be specific areas to look at or even specific buildings. But do it fast, before a lease is signed.

    1. Friday afternoon fever

      I would say do not do this. They’ve probably/almost definitely already looked into these factors if they’re planning a move — if I were planning the move I absolutely would already have looked into other places and the cost for the company and would be annoyed if someone tried to push back in this way.

      Often it makes sense to frame issues/solutions by their cost to the employer but I don’t think this is one. It’s basically suggesting that the company/employee in charge has not done their due diligence, rather than directly addressing the problems for the OP.

  27. Slartibartfast

    What about a baby gate to keep the dog out of your office, but let the door be open? That’s what we do at the vet to keep staff dogs IN the office : )

    1. The Hobbit

      Sadly OP has a boss problem, not just a dog problem (with the boss specifically opening OP’s door to let the dog in. I feel only a conversation with the boss would fix that. But it’s not about to be an easy one, that’s for sure.

      1. EddieSherbert

        Agreed, but if the boss somehow were to claim that OP *has* to keep her office door open, I think a baby gate is a reasonable *back up* option. I can’t see any reasonable way her boss could require her not to have it… (again, this assumes they aren’t over-the-top unreasonable…)

  28. Delta Delta

    #2 – Febreeze, baby gates – these are nice ideas but they’re work-arounds for the real problem. The dog situation is becoming a broken stair (thanks, Captain Awkward!). I think the only to deal with it is head-on with the boss. “I need Fluffy to stay out of my office. He tries to take my lunch and he smells.” If the boss needs Fluffy with him, the boss can get a baby gate and gate the dog INTO his own office.

    1. Slartibartfast

      Agreed on the broken stair, but if this is a small business and the owner’s dog, it may be a question of deal with the stair or find a new job. Speaking from personal experience, you may not be able to directly confront the owner if “find a new job” isn’t the option you want to take. There are many small business owners out there who do not respond well to criticism of any kind, and many employees in non urban areas who can’t relocate and don’t have many job opportunities. I have no idea where the OP lives or what their options are, but this does feel like something you’d find in a small business. I have had to deal with a lot of WTFery in the small business world, and for those of us in small business oriented fields, we have to decide if we can deal with all sorts of inappropriate behaviors if we want to stay employed. It’s not right, but it IS.

        1. Delta Delta

          I totally get it. I also once worked for a) a small business that b) had a boss/dog related issue and c) had a certain inequality when it came to the dog issue. 2 people left due to the dog issue.

    2. MusicWithRocksInIt

      This is WAY too direct. If the boss is so super attached to his dog that he is fine with it smelling and brings it to work every day it could be the equivalent of telling your boss that their kid is rude and smells bad. Not great for career advancement. Focus on keeping the dog out of your office without implying you dislike the dog in any way.

    3. smoke tree

      Sadly, since this is the boss and he’s let the sideshow go this far, I’m guessing he’s not likely to suddenly become reasonable about this issue. If I were the LW, and didn’t want to leave the job over this, I would invest in some of that spray that keeps dogs off furniture and liberally douse the office with it. Bonus if it smells marginally better than the dog.

  29. ..Kat..

    I suggest you google ‘dog repellent’ to find something that keeps the dog out. Once you find something that you can stand but the dog can not, get your office carpet shampooed. If your boss won’t pay for it, in the USA you can rent portable rug shampoo machines at many major grocery chains. Of course, respray with dog repellent when you are done (and on a regular basis).

    Too bad they don’t make bad boss repellent spray.

    1. MusicWithRocksInIt

      Maybe a noise based dog repellent and not a scent based one? Something dogs can hear but humans can’t. Look up Dog Dazer II Ultrasonic dog deterrent on Amazon. I posted a link but I think the spam filter ate it. That way you have less smells in your office and it will keep the dog away. Don’t tell your boss you got it, just plug it in under your desk where no one can see and snuffles won’t come around anymore.

  30. 653-CXK

    OP#3: I’ve been sent multiple messages in Indeed that have the same job description, but through multiple companies. After a little research through Glassdoor, they turn out to be quite shady (as in “don’t pay on time” and “aren’t available”). After a little legwork I discovered the original company and applied directly through them, and the messages in Indeed have gone away.

      1. 653-CXK

        I compared the listings the recruiters (at least ten!) were giving to the listing given by the legitimate company; the only difference was that in all of these similar listings, there was a distinct misspelling (“Date Entry” instead of “Data Entry”); in the original listing it was word for word. In the most recent one, I told them, “I’ve seen the same entry from five other recruiters. I am not interested in the job.”

    1. 653-CXK

      In other misadventures with Indeed:

      – A company had an opening for a position that required government clearance. The recruiter seemed to be very interested, and I applied through their website…until I tried to contact her. After several rounds of phone tag and not reaching the recruiter, I withdrew my application.

      – I got cold-called for another position for telemedicine by two different recruting agencies. I told the first company I wasn’t interested. The second company (a nationally-known agency) was aggressive, sending three voicemail messages (one of them sounding as if the recruiter hadn’t slept in a week or was just waking up) and an email. In their email, I told them I was not interested in the position, blocked their phone numbers, and told them to take me off their list.

      – In one position, I replied to the recruiter that since I did not have a car or a driver’s license, I would not apply for the position. Two days later, I get an email – “I’m so glad you’re applying to our company!” I copied my original response to her email, bolded the “not applying” part (thinking, “which part of ‘no’ did you not get?”) and said, “In my response of [Date], I told you I do not have a car and I do not have a license. I cannot and will not apply to your position.” The recruiter apologized…but I just sat down again a couple of minutes ago, the same company, same location pitched the same position, and I gave the same answer, adding “take me off your list!”

  31. Raven

    #5: Your letter didn’t say if you were scheduled to work at 4:45am or if you were just getting there at that time. That does make a difference. I had an employee once who would show up an hour early because of ride issues. He also stated he wanted to be paid for that time and I explained his shift doesn’t start until 6pm, not 5pm. I couldn’t let him clock in an hour early just because of his transportation problems. Eventually I was able to shift his schedule (he was worth that effort) but it take some time and approvals from above.

    1. LGC

      Yeah.

      I mentioned this below, but although we formally start at 8 AM, some people show up at 7 (or…earlier). Even when I’m clear that hey, I live over an hour away by public transit and the earliest I’ll get there is 7:45 (“but WHY can’t you open the door earlier?”)

      In fairness, we’ll pay if we open after 8, which is rare. (The rest of our staff lives a lot closer to the office. And I usually don’t need to open now.) But there may be legitimate reasons why we can’t open sooner.

    2. Liane

      Letter Writer has clarified in a comment above that both they and the manager are scheduled to start at 4:45am. Sorry I don’t have a timestamp.

      1. JB (not in Houston)

        Plus the original letter talked about the manager being late to get there to open, so the original letter was clear that at least sometimes the OP was sitting around waiting for the manager when she was supposed to be working.

  32. LGC

    Okay, so – I’m actually curious about #5: what time is LW5 scheduled to start? Does it matter if they’re scheduled to start at 5 AM and they show at 4:45?

    (Partly because I deal with a version of this – as LW5’s boss. Formally, everyone is scheduled to start at 8, but a lot of people show up earlier.)

      1. LGC

        Okay, I missed that. So, yeah, they should be paid for all 45 minutes in this case.

        If LW5 was supposed to start at 5, for example, I’d probably say that they should only be paid from 5. It read to me that Alison was saying that LW5 should be paid from the time they got there, which seems off to me.

          1. LGC

            Thanks! It just wasn’t clear to me from the original letter, so I probably misread it (and as Observer noted, in this specific case the answer is the same anyway).

  33. LGC

    LW1 – honestly, I think you have some standing to ask for help in covering the extra transportation costs. I’d be more iffy if this wasn’t temporary, but it’s only six months. If you’re paying $200 per month, that’s an extra $240 or so ($40 X 6) to at least alleviate the fare issue.

    I can’t imagine that this would be too onerous to your organization, even if it’s a non-profit. (Okay, even if you multiplied it by EVERYONE in the org, that’s a little over $7000.)

    I’m just focusing on the fare because the time is a little thornier.

  34. Yetanotherjennifer

    OP2, all the methods you’re using just cover up the dog smell. You’ll have better luck with something that works on the odor causing molecules directly. I’ve never had to use it on an animal smell, but I’ve used AtmosKlear on vomit on a seat belt with great results. I’ve also used Biokleen to get mildew odor out of fabrics. Some people say Febreeze can eliminate odors and some say it just covers-up odors, but either way it sounds like it’s not working for you. Your best bet is to use something with no perfume that is specifically formulated to eliminate pet odors. In order for these deodorizer to work, they need to be applied directly to the source of the smell. Concentrate on cleaning all surfaces that are within the dog’s reach and below. You shouldn’t have to clean-up after this dog, but you also shouldn’t have the dog smell to begin with. It may be that if you are able to really clean your office it won’t have a familiar and comforting smell for the dog and he won’t want to spend as much time there.

  35. Blue Eagle

    LW#2 – We don’t have offices, we have cubicles. A couple of staff bring their well-behaved dogs to work, and they bring large cardboards to put over the opening in their cubes so the dogs stay in their cubes. Perhaps LW2 can bring in a cardboard to block her door which would allow the dog to be kept out while keeping the door open.

    1. Yvette

      Good idea, and cardboard is less painful than a gate for the humans who forget it is there and bump into it, however, I suspect the dog owner lets the dog in because the dog wants in. If the owner doesn’t respect a closed door, he sure as heck won’t respect a piece of cardboard. LW still needs to talk to the owner about that.

  36. annejumps

    “If I try to close my door to keep the dog out, my boss will just let him in.” Oh hell no.
    If the boss doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem that the dog is sniffing client’s crotches, I don’t think they’re just going to suddenly start being considerate. I’d start looking for another job.

    1. Anon Accountant

      Yeah this shocks me. He’s okay with the dog sniffing at a client?! How does he get repeat business?

      I’m sorry but I think it’s time to look for another job. No idea what to do other than leaving. This situation sounds unable to be fixed without the boss on board. He doesn’t sound reasonable either.

      1. OP2

        Most of our clients are people that my boss has personal connections with and has known for years. We rarely get new clients.

  37. Not a Blossom

    OP 2, if you hear clients complain, be sure to pass that along to the boss and/or encourage them to do so themselves.

  38. Cat Herder

    OP with the dog problem: can you *lock* your door? If not, you could invest in a baby-gate. Fluffy might sit outside it and you may still get some of the smell, but at least the pup will not be all in your business.

    Frankly, if a dog were sniffing at my private bits, I’d smack it on the nose right smartly and say “No! Bad Dog!” firmly and loudly, and shove it away. You can work at keeping the dog from getting close as well, if you are standing, by putting up a knee as the dog approaches and saying “No!’ firmly and loudly. If you’re sitting and the dog approaches, stand up and do this. Lead Fluffy out of the office and say … You see where this is going. You may be able to train Fluffy to stay out of your office by spending some time stopping the pup at your office door, saying No… Repeat as needed. You may need to repeat it a lot, because the dog has been badly managed by your boss.

    I love dogs, btw. None of this will hurt a dog — it will just let the pup know who’s boss.

    1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesInYourHouse

      Slapping an animal is a good way to get yourself hurt. Do realize canines aren’t primates and that sniffing is their way. Acceptable to humans, no, and most people train their dogs not to do it. A no usually suffices. The dog is the boss’s dog. OP should follow Alison’s suggestions and talk to the boss. Also, locking a door against the person who owns/rents the building? In places I worked, that’ll get you fired fast unless you were being threatened/in physical harm. In my current place of employment, my door is to be open and I get talked to if it’s closed unless I can provide a good reason.
      OP, can you leave the office at lunch? That way you can eat in peace and de stress.

      1. OP2

        You’re right; I can’t lock the door.
        I don’t drive and I don’t work in an area where I can easily walk somewhere and have lunch.

    2. EddieSherbert

      DO NOT HIT SOMEONE ELSE’S DOG. Let me repeat that: DO NOT. HIT. SOMEONE ELSE’S DOG.

      Heck, do not even half do the motion and *pretend* you’re going to hit someone else’s dog to scare the dog away.

      I guarantee you will suddenly become the bad guy here, there *is* a decent chance you will get bitten, and based on everything in the OP’s letter, there’s a good chance they’d get fired (definitely a much higher chance than if they just *talk* to their boss).

      Small children resort to violence before even talking to someone. Not adults.

      1. EddieSherbert

        These are responsible responses –

        “You can work at keeping the dog from getting close as well, if you are standing, by putting up a knee as the dog approaches and saying “No!’ firmly and loudly. If you’re sitting and the dog approaches, stand up and do this.”

      2. ThatGirl

        Yeah, no matter how obnoxious my fluffybutt was being, I would be super mad if someone else hit my dog, and would not be surprised if that resulted in a nip – even the best-trained dogs don’t always take well to having their personal space invaded.

        1. EddieSherbert

          I would react close to the same level a parent would to a stranger that just smacked their child. I know that’s not equivalent, and not necessarily reasonable, but I do think it’s common enough the OP needs to take this into account (and their boss sounds like they’d be similar).

          1. jolene

            You can however put your palm over their nose and move it away firmly, saying “No, Fluffy, you can’t sniff my crotch, it’s rude!” in a joking voice. I’ve done that many a time and it makes it impossible for the dog’s human to protest that no, Fluffy gets to sniff your crotch if they want to. A sniffing happy dog wagging its tail won’t bite and if it isn’t a happy dog wagging its tail you have way bigger problems than the sniffing.

          2. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesInYourHouse

            Actually, it’s exactly like that. If a child strikes a stranger, most people will not accept that stranger slapping the child, not matter how justified.

  39. caryatis

    Re LW3: “It’s a pretty safe bet that anyone who contacts you asking if you’re interested in a “business opportunity” without giving you specifics is in fact shady.”

    Just like strange men who say “hello, can I talk to you” to women on the street. If they had a legitimate reason to talk to you, they’d say it up front. Otherwise, it’s begging or worse.

  40. Cat Herder

    OP #3, a couple of suggestions. See if your campus career center has a jobs and internship database. My students (all majors and undecided) get very nice internships this way, even as first year students. You should also talk to your advisor and profs you’ve taken classes from to see if they know of any internships; ask them what internships previous students have gotten (that gives you a legit location to look into); and ask if they can put you in contact with their previous students/alums. When you talk to these referrals, be sure to ask near the end of your conversation who else they could recommend you talk to. In other words, use your network.

    1. Clisby Williams

      Excellent advice. Also check with your academic department to see whether they periodically schedule job fairs where students can meet with representatives of companies hiring interns (or full-time employees). This is pretty common for tech-type departments like engineering/computer science – not sure about others.

  41. John Rohan

    LW1 could ask if she can change her schedule. If she can’t work from home, then one simple way to ameliorate the longer commute is to allow the employee to change her work hours, to work longer hours on 3 or 4 days a week instead of 5 days. That would give her the same work hours but cut the weekly cost and the overall time spent commuting.

  42. WhiteBear

    #2 I know it’s not your responsibility to do odor control for your boss’ dog, but as a dog owner myself I recently learned about the wonders of dog cologne. For most of my dog’s life I rolled my eyes at the thought of making a dog smell ‘pretty’ or ‘froo froo’ with artificial scent/deoderizer. But in her old age she has grown a really large, smelly abscess in her mouth (vet has surgically removed all she could twice, but it is so extensive it will keep coming back no matter what), and after we bring her home from her favourite place in the world (the beach) she licks and grooms herself all over. The smell which is normally faint in her mouth and only impacts her saliva now covers her whole body and she reeks, according to my parents. I have a dull sense of smell so I don’t notice it much but for my parents it got to the point where they did not want her going to the beach anymore, which would have broken her heart. Last time she went in for a nail trim (no bath, no grooming) she walked in smelling like a washed-up carcass at the beach to fresh watermelon, like the difference was night and day! I bought a bottle of dog perfume/deodorant and used it on her the next time she finished her post-beach ritual and it actually worked! So as a convert I think its worth a try, you can spray it right on the dog and on the carpet in your office to help with that dog smell. Good luck!

  43. overcaffeinatedandqueer

    I wouldn’t hit or discipline the boss’s dog, but it is by all means okay to tell a pet “no” firmly and keep them out of certain areas. My wife and I just have cats, but have explained to visitors, etc. that they do not need to allow them to misbehave for fear of offending us.

    Aside: we just started hosting an exchange student from Spain. The other day, frustrated with the cats sitting on his clothes, he snapped, “get off, don’t…eh…uh…molest me!” Haha.

    1. epi

      I think my older cat might understand the difference between “no” and “damn it, no”, because that’s what it takes for her to leave.

      The alternative is that she can count, and thinks anything worth doing is worth trying to do at least three times.

  44. T

    Lw#1 this happened to me and I wish I had protested more. Our office had to move and they put a known idiot in charge of finding a new permanent location. Instead of finding an ideal area that was equidistant for most employees, she chose a location that was literally down the street from her house in a small town. As in two blocks away so she could conveniently stroll to work each day. This ended up causing the commute to increase to over an hour for most employees and I ended up with an 80 mile round trip commute. I ended up leaving soon after. Definitely speak up and try to see if anyone else is negatively affected as well.

  45. Third username

    OP #3- Alison is right. Check out PRSA. The national site has job postings and the local chapter websites have them too. Make sure you check both. I am on the BOD of our local chapter, and we make a big effort to reach out to the students involved in PRSSA (the student group) about internship and networking opportunities.

    1. EddieSherbert

      I love MediaBistro! Depending what part of the country you’re in, BigShoesNetwork can also be useful.

  46. voyager1

    LW2: If some dog tried to eat my food or sniff my crotch, or both at the same time. I would be POed beyond belief. I think an annymous tip to the health dept might be in order. That or small can of OFF dog spray. This is ridiculous.

    1. fposte

      The health department isn’t going to care; it’s not a breach of regulations to have a dog in an office. (Unless the office is doing food prep or something like that the OP didn’t mention.)

      1. Ali G

        Actually, depending on the office lease/building regulations, having the dog on site might not be allowed. I know a woman who got in A LOT of trouble (she didn’t lose her job, but got a Big Talking To) because she was bringing her dog to the office (high rise in big city) on nights and weekends when she would go in to work. She got caught on the security footage. It could potentially be a huge liability for the building owner if the dog bites someone, for example.
        If the boss has been getting away with this for a long time, it’s possible that it’s not an issue for whomever owns the office, but maybe he just hasn’t been caught!

  47. Database Developer Dude

    There’s a larger, philosophical issue going on here, with respect to the misbehaving dog: bad boss behavior. I’m more than a little depressed that behavior that would get an employee fired is tolerated from the boss. Yes, it is what it is, but doesn’t make it right.

    1. Colette

      I can walk around my house in my pajamas, but it would be weird if a guest did it. There are some expectations that are different based on the role. My impression is that this is not a large company, so it’s possible the boss is the only boss – and that means there’s no one who can tell her to stop.

  48. Curious Cat

    #3: Commenting as someone who is also in PR! Definitely look into joining PRSA, they offer a discounted rate for new graduates and take advantage of your local chapter’s meetups. The good thing about PR is that it’s a huge networking base, so there may even be some smaller/less expensive memberships you can join, too (for instance, I’m DC-based and we have a Washington Women in PR group).

    Also, keep in contact with your old internship coordinators and your professors! It’s a bit of a back alley, but not unheard of, but I got my current job by speaking with an old internship boss who set me up with a previous intern, who set me up with her colleague, who knew of an opening in a different contact’s company and ultimately recommended me to my current job. So, go on lots of coffee chats with any connections you have, you never know who will have an opening for you, and so many people are willing to help out new graduates!

    One last thing…if you know what industry you’d like to do PR work in, begin hunting out large corporations/non-profits/government positions that you’re familiar with and already know would be legitimate organizations. Every company needs PR, it’s just a matter of finding the right job openings at the right time. Good luck!!

  49. ragazza

    #2–guess what, you suddenly developed allergies to dogs, or they got worse since you’re around one all the time! It does happen–I developed a cat allergy after owning cats for 25 years.

  50. OyHiOh

    Funny enough, a co worker across the room from me right now has a tiny puppy sleeping under their desk.

    Differences – puppy is well/professionally groomed every 6 weeks; puppy stays very close to co worker’s desk; puppy has a very good “need outside time” alert; and is quiet, even when playing around co worker’s desk. Also, our office set up is such that co worker is able to block puppy into a corner space around their desk.

    OP 2, your boss’ dog sounds like an absolute nightmare. If he won’t change, I’d start job hunting because the dog’s behavior will only get worse with time.

    1. OP2

      He’s an old dog, so he probably won’t change. It’s not even 9am yet and he’s already in my office begging me for my breakfast sandwich…

      1. IDontRememberWhatNameIUsedBefore

        Once my roommates started feeding my old dog table scraps (behind my back & against my wishes) she turned into a shameless beggar and it was a habit I could NOT break after that. She was otherwise a sweet and well behaved dog and it made me sooooo angry that they did that!

  51. Lizard

    #3 I feel your pain. I can’t tell you how many “marketing” positions I found that were really multi-level marketing. Alison’s advice is good, look for posts that list an actual job title, not just business opportunity. Google the name, contact, website, any info you have. Legitimate companies, especially in PR, will have a good online presence.

  52. a username

    OP2: Have you tried downloading a dog whistle app on your phone? Most people over 25 can’t hear it, so no one will know you’re doing it, and it’ll teach the dog to stay away from you because he’ll eventually associate your office with the Awful Scary Noise.

      1. KAZ2Y5

        Along with that, I googled “how to keep a dog away from me”. There are some scents that most dogs don’t like (peppers, citrus, vinegar, rubbing alcohol) and if the dog whistle doesn’t work there are also ultrasound devices that keep dogs away. If I were you, I would make my office as unfriendly to dogs as possible (obviously while still keeping it safe).
        Now I’m wondering if you could keep some individually wrapped alcohol pads in your pocket and tear one open every time the dog comes near…

  53. Lucille2

    #3 – Have you checked your University’s career resources? I ran into similar problems when I finished college. I studied web design and jobs were scarce when I graduated due to the recession. I wasted too much time applying for jobs that turned out to be door to door sales, telemarketing, or the dreaded multi-level marketing scheme. I ended up taking a customer service type position for awhile since I was competing with laid-off professionals with a decade+ experience for otherwise entry-level roles. Entering the job market post-college is tough. Best of luck to you.

  54. batman

    RE: the dog question.
    I have a general question. Wouldn’t a client be in the best position to push back against having the dog in the meetings because they could just take their business elsewhere? I’m not suggesting the OP try to get the clients to say something because that would be weird, but I do think that if I were a client in this situation I’d say something about it because I could just take my business elsewhere.

    1. Kyrielle

      Except, as a client, I would be very tempted to just go elsewhere. Allowing the dog in the meeting with the client, and allowing it to misbehave without horrified apologies and ejection of the dog, would be so weird that I wouldn’t even think to try to address it – I’d just change to another vendor.

  55. sange

    Hi #4! I too work in the nonprofit world, and I do fundraising/development work. In my experience, bonuses or incentive pay are actually pretty common. Larger nonprofit organizations like universities and hospitals are particularly known for having incentive packages for their fundraising team. Maybe this is out of line with your geographic area or the size of your organization, though? The candidate sounds pretty wild on many other fronts, but the bonus question wouldn’t have been a red flag for me at all.

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