is wet hair unprofessional, I got in trouble for photographing the royal family, and more

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

1. Boss wants to give me a raise … but only because I got a second job

I recently got a new job in the same field I’ve been working in since I graduated from college. Things are going well so far, the work is nothing I haven’t done before, and it’s a great stepping stone for me to advance into a more senior role within the next couple of of years. I also got better paid time off benefits and a higher salary. The pay raise has been a great benefit to both my husband and I, as we are first-time homeowners in our late 20’s. That said, I do feel like I’m underpaid; the job was advertised as more of an admin assistant position, but I am doing the work of a junior program manager.

I recently took an hourly job at a small boutique in our local mall to help pay down my credit card debt and my husband’s student loans. I’m not working a crazy amount of hours and the pay isn’t super high, but it’s definitely something that will help with my financial goals. When I was initially applying for part-time jobs, I let my boss know, only because this job is on my resume and I had to list references, even if they weren’t contacted. I didn’t want him to be contacted by one of these places and think I was looking for a new full-time job, or to get worried I was going to quit, because I have no plans to do that.

Well, today, he asked me what my long-term plans were for my part-time job. He asked if it was only seasonal work, or if I’m going to have this job indefinitely. I responded that I have long-term plans for this job and no reason to think I should quit. He then hit me with this: he wants me to “crunch the numbers” and let him know what the added benefit of my part-time job is, and that we could have a discussion about a possible raise so that I wouldn’t have to work two jobs.

As much as I want the raise and the extra income, I don’t know how to feel about this. My husband said we should crunch the numbers and not pass up the opportunity to possibly get a raise. On one hand I agree with him, but on the other hand, something just feels off about it. Do you have advice for what I should do? Should I actually give him a number or just let it go?

Your boss is telling you that he wants you to be paid enough that you won’t feel you need to work a second job. Maybe that’s because he wants to know your focus and energy goes entirely to your work with him, or maybe he thinks it’ll help him retain you, or maybe he knows you’re doing higher-level work than what was advertised.

I can see why you’re torn, because accepting the raise would presumably mean he’d expect you to leave the part-time job. But if you can earn the same amount of money from one job that you’re currently earning from two, that’s a reasonable thing to do. It’s worth asking if it would impact your ability to get future raises (you don’t want to be in a situation where you quit the other job and can never get a raise here again), but otherwise I think you’re fine giving him a number and seeing what happens.

2. Is wet hair unprofessional?

I have long (below shoulder length) hair that curls nicely when styled. I always leave the house with my hair wet though, I don’t even own a blow dryer. For reference, I am in my early 30s and always wear (natural looking) makeup along with stylish/professional clothing. What is your take on this? Is it unprofessional for my hair to look wet for the first hour or two of the day?

It depends on your office. In an office with fairly traditional or conservative standards for appearance and grooming, yeah, that’s going to look unprofessional and they’d expect you to show up with dry hair — especially if it’s long and loose, as opposed to pulled back in a bun or twist while it dries. Other offices wouldn’t care. So you’ve got to know the overall vibe of your office. (But even in relaxed offices, I wouldn’t show up to, say, a client meeting with wet hair.)

3. I got in trouble for taking pictures of William and Kate

I work close to one of the sites visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their recent tour of Pakistan. Their convoy passed by our building while we were on our lunch break (and therefore off the clock). My colleagues and I went up to the roof for a better look and managed to see the royal couple in the neighboring monument they were visiting. Due to the height we were at, they were too far for us to make out their faces but, since the area had been blocked off for the public, we knew it could only have been them. We snapped some pictures from our position, but because I did not want to compromise their security by disclosing their location, I did not share them on social media.

After lunch, my boss called us in and wrote us up for “putting high profile personalities at risk.” I accepted it at the time because I figured he was probably right, but when I came home I discovered that the Royals’ itinerary had already been published in local newspapers prior to their arrival in our city, so their location at any given time was not exactly classified information. No one’s faces could be made out, so I can’t profit off the pictures by attempting to sell them to newspapers. They were just meant for my memories. At the time the pictures were taken, they were also not on private property, they were in a national monument that is a major tourist attraction and therefore often photographed. Many tourists have used our rooftop for aerial shots. Should I contest this writing up, or was I genuinely in the wrong?

I can’t see anything you’ve done wrong, but I also can’t speak to any cultural differences that could be in play. If you were in the U.S., I’d tell you that whether or not to push back depends on how much weight that write-up carries. If it could affect future raises or promotions, then it’s worth pushing back (probably framed as, “I won’t do this again now that I understand you don’t want us to, but I don’t think it’s right to have something on file that could negatively affect me in the future since we didn’t do anything that had previously been prohibited or would cause any harm”). But if it’s just a paper sitting in your file with no real consequences, I’d likely let it go. Either way, though, it’s worth clearing the air with your boss to explain where you were coming from (emphasizing that you won’t repeat it now that you understand his position on it).

4. Interviewer asked what my current manager might fire me for

In the middle of an otherwise great interview, the hiring manager asked me this: “If your current supervisor was going to fire you, what would be the reason?” I was confused at first, but recovered quickly and said, “My supervisor *wouldn’t* fire me. In fact, she recently wrote a nomination to submit me for [prestigious industry award].”

The interviewer said, “But IF she was going to fire you, what would be the reason?” At that point, I said, “Perhaps if she knew I was applying for other jobs. She currently doesn’t know I’m looking and would be unhappy to lose me.”

My interviewer pressed it a third time and I just shrugged, having no better answer. Is there a clever response I could have given to that question? Or is that just a no-win question? I’d love to hear how you would’ve answered it.

Your answer was good. Your interviewer was an asshat. It sounds like she was pressing for something like, “Well, she’s mentioned she wants me to have better attention to detail, so I suppose if she were ever going to fire me, it might be for that.” But it’s an asinine question, because its premise is that there’s something happening you could imagine being fired for. It would have been far better to ask about what areas your manager has encouraged you to work on improving in, or what she might change about your work if she could, or what she might tell a reference-checker are weaker spots for you.

The only thing I’d add to your answer would be to ask this after the third time she posed the question: “That strikes me as an odd question that most people performing well wouldn’t have an answer to. Can I ask what you’re looking for with it?” You’d probably hear that she’s looking for people’s weaknesses, at which point you could answer that. (But meanwhile you’d get the satisfaction of calling it out as weird.)

5. Responding to interviewers who disappear for weeks and then resurface

I was wondering what you would think of this scenario: You go for an interview, do really well, they tell you they’ve narrowed it down, you’re in the top few, blah, blah, blah, then they stop contacting/responding to you. Pretty typical so far, and my usual course of action is to just forget about them starting the day after the interview since you rarely hear back anyway. But I read about these companies occasionally getting back to you weeks later so I was wondering if it’s all right to say, “Well, since I didn’t hear back from you, I’ve moved on to other opportunities” — kind of reversing the line they use on applicants who don’t jump through their hoops like trained dogs. The snarky side of me really wants to do this, but my conscious side doesn’t let me.

If enough of us do this, do you think it would make any difference eventually, or are companies apt to remain utterly clueless about how rudely they treat applicants?

Well, for what it’s worth, “weeks later” isn’t really a big deal. Hiring often takes a long time. But yes, ignoring your messages for weeks and then responding to you months later is rude.

But I think your message would get missed. “I didn’t hear back from you so I took another job” (or “am in the finalist stages with other companies” or so forth) is perfectly polite and professional to say. You’re trying to make a dig, but they’re not going to hear one! It’s not snarky, just a normal response when that’s what happened. It is useful for companies to hear that they’re losing candidates because of their poor communication and delayed timelines — but they’re already finding that out anyway when they finally reach out in the circumstances you described.

Unless you’re suggesting saying you’ve moved on when you actually don’t have other options in play? You could do that, but you’d be cutting off your nose to spite your face — their behavior isn’t egregious enough to decline a job you otherwise would have wanted.

{ 395 comments… read them below }

  1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    OP#2, Alison’s note about it being pulled up is key. I often go to work with wet hair, but it’s always pulled back/up in a tidy style. If it were wet and loose, it would look like I hadn’t finished grooming before coming in. And it’s the lack of looking finished with grooming that makes the difference between whether it’s viewed as professional.

    You know your hair best, but for a number of places, regardless whether you’re customer/public-facing, you’ll to look like you’ve finished grooming before coming in. And if that’s not possible, I’d recommend finding a loose style (e.g., loose bun) that allows it to dry while still looking styled. There is a huge caveat in that these norms tend to be organized around certain “dominant” ethnic and racial hair norms and assumptions. But as a WOC with long and slightly curly hair, I want to note that there are hair-protective styles for wet hair that can still satisfy the “looks groomed” standard.

    1. Mary Richards*

      It really depends on the texture of your curls, too. I have curly hair, and certain styles “crush” the curl when it’s wet, while others are fine. Honestly, I can’t wash my hair in the morning unless it’s a weekend (takes too long to style when it’s freshly washed), so I don’t think I have a great answer, but as always, my fellow sitcom lady does. :)

      1. Snorkmaiden*

        I have curly hair and also can’t wash it in the morning unless there’s time to style it. If I put it in a bun it would just go really frizzy and not dry.

        That said… At my office people have wet hair and it’s no biggie. Lots of people cycle in, shower and leave hair to dry. We aren’t public facing though!

      2. Helena*

        I have really thick curly hair, and if I tie it back before it’s dry in the morning it is still wet underneath when I leave work at 6pm! (It takes 3-4hrs to fully dry even when it’s loose).

        I tie it back just before I walk in so it looks groomed on arrival (when most people are seeing me). Then I have it loose at my desk, tying it back again if I have a meeting.

        I do own a hair drier, but I leave the house early enough that it would be obnoxious to use it (I’d wake my children up).

        1. wittyrepartee*

          Wet but curly hair, depending on the texture of course, looks a little bit less “drowning dog” than other textures of hair.

        2. Bee*

          Ahh, flashbacks to my days as a competitive swimmer, when my thick curly hair never fully had time to dry before I got in the pool again. (These days I wear it around chin-length, and it still takes hours to dry! That’s why I wash it at night. That, and I refuse to wake up the extra half-hour early.)

        3. AnnaBananna*

          Same here.

          I have thin hair but a lot of it, and recently it’s decided to go curly (thanks ma for the weird DNA!). What I have discovered is that nobody notices that it’s wet underneath/in back except for me – because I blast the crap out of my car’s vents on my way to work. So by the time I show up all the top layers are curly and dry. And no frizz, though that’s probably from the sugar spray.

          If I had my hair in a bun while it’s wet it would still be pretty damp when I left for the day. And it would be heavier and likely give me a headache after a while.


        1. Jadelyn*

          Same – sometime’s it’s even still a bit damp in the back when I wake up! I can’t imagine trying to both dry and style it in the morning before going to work. I’d have to get up in the middle of the night.

        2. AKchic*

          I do mine at night too, but I am white as white can be (I think Casper the Friendly Ghost might be darker). My hair looks terrible wet, and unless I blow dry it, I get frizzy and weird curls, half curls, and just… well, I look like a homeless witch that decided to do an electricity spell while tonguing a light socket and then let a blind toddler play with both a crimping and curling iron around me.

          My hair is uncooperative for me. It’s like a child. Listens to others, but never for me.

          1. Working with professionals*

            I’m with you! I use curl scrunch goo (not the name brand) on mine to reduce the frizzies. Just enough to keep them in line, not actually to create curls. Helps me tons!

            1. Quill*

              Same on the gel but I’ve got coarse enough hair that it frizzes from being blow dried instead of frizzing from not being dry.

        3. Elizabeth West*

          White lady with very long, colored blonde hair, which makes it delicate, so I wash it at night twice a week and let it air dry about halfway, then twirl it into a twist and clip it. I have a satin pillowcase to reduce frizz. When I take it down in the morning, it’s wavy. Then I can do whatever with it.

          This protects it from blow-drying and heat styling, but it also saves me a ton of time in the morning. No more going to work with wet hair, especially in winter.

          1. TrainerGirl*

            Not sure if you’re if you’re interested, but you can also use a satin bonnet instead of the pillowcase that works very well on reducing frizz.

    2. Blueberry Girl*

      Yes, I think this is a very accurate summation. As a woman with hair that goes down to my waist, I tend to put it up in a clip if it is damp when I leave the house. It looks dry to the outsider and is still perfectly professional.

      1. Dust Bunny*


        My workplace is not particularly formal but it would be abnormal for someone to show up with visibly wet, un-arranged hair (and extra abnormal for me since my hair is hip-length and I don’t dare braid or bun it until it’s dry, or it will be damp for two days). Damp hair with some measure of styling/neaten-ing? Sure, no problem. But fresh-from-the-shower wet would be a no.

      2. Quickbeam*

        I have thigh length hair and it is wet for hours every morning. Unless I am giving a presentation or meeting with clients, it dries on it’s own. The men come in with wet hair,. I see no reason why I am any different.

        1. Rainy*

          When my hair was long, I always came in with it damp. It took my stylist 45 minutes to blow it dry, and even longer for me to do it myself, plus, my particular curl pattern means that if I let it air dry it looks fine, but if I blow it dry I then have to do a lot of styling to it–either resurrecting the curl with a curling iron, or flat ironing it, either of which took about an hour. Blow-drying and styling my hair at its old length took about 2 1/2 hours. Or I could wash it, towel it to damp, put a little product on it, and have it look fine in 5-10 minutes instead, without killing my hands before my day even started (yay wrist arthritis!).

      3. Destroyer of Worlds, Empress of Awesome*

        Mine is waist length, also, and lately I have taken to braiding it down and then wrapping the braid into a bun. (Not necessary since where I work really doesn’t care, even though we are customer facing….we rent heavy equipment and most of the time it’s just a bonus having a female around….no one says a thing about how I wear my hair.) I take the bun down when I get home from work, and the outside of the braid (which was inside the bun) is still wet. I wear the braid when I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning, the inside of the braid is still damp!!!

        After my most recent hospitalization, I wore my hair down since braiding it was out of the question. I came in with wet head for two weeks and no one said a word. But that is the nature of my office. The guys gave me more crap about “Oh look she actually does have hair!” than anything else.

    3. Flash Bristow*

      Absolutely agree. When I used to have long hair (very thick, naturally wavy, auburn) I would pull it back, but by tying a long silk scarf around it so it was not held as tightly as a band would. The ends of the scarf dangled to about the same length as my hair so they also hid some of its appearance. Anyway, it worked fine for me – needed occasional retying but no biggie there.

    4. Traveling Teacher*

      A former roommate with beautiful spiral curls would often pull her hair back in barrettes or bobby pins on either side of her face in the morning so that her hair looked “done” without necessarily registering as “wet.”

      She only washed it once or twice per week, but she rinsed it every morning so that the curls were bouncy instead of either crushed or overly mane-like.

      1. PepperVL*

        That’s what I do. My hair is long and curly and will friz if I blow dry it. I go to work with my hair towel dried, combed, product put in, and with it either in barrettes or a headband. Yes, it’s still damp, but it doesn’t look like I just didn’t do anything to it.

      1. Mother of All Cats*

        Agreed. I would just say make sure your hair isn’t so wet that it dampens your clothes and leaves noticeable water warms.

        1. EventPlannerGal*

          Yes, I think it really depends on how wet it is by the time you get to the office. I would assume it’ll air-dry at least a little by the time she gets in, but if it’s still dripping water then that’s not going to look good.

        2. Mama Bear*

          This is important and I’m glad someone else thought of it. For my hair, I keep a number of clips and will pull it up if it’s been washed that morning, but I keep a scarf or sweater in the office in case it’s made my shirt damp. I also use the braid trick and will French braid it if I have time to look a little more polished. I have to air dry my hair or it will get frizzy, so this is my compromise.

    5. Violet Rose*

      I was going to suggest as well that if OP2’s hair is anything like mine (I’m a white woman with fine-but-dense wavy hair), a loose braid does wonders for me. My hair takes hours upon hours to dry and braiding it only adds to that time, but the parts of the braid that are exposed to the public *look* dry *enough* after a short time, and as a bonus I have way less frizz to deal with later.

    6. Wakeens Teapots LTD*

      VWM (very white woman) here:

      My wet curly hair often looks better than my dry curly hair. I’ve been known to throw water on it in the workplace restroom if it is a not great hair day. 3/4 dry is optimal! I want to hire someone to follow me around and spritz me all day.

      In my case, it’s all about what else is going on. Walk out of the house half dry, I just need to have it pulled back or up or otherwise restrained in some way and I don’t think anyone can even tell it is wet. It just looks nice!

      1. Mimi Me*

        If I had crazy amounts of money, I’d have people trailing me just to keep me supplied with snacks and looking good. :) My hair also looks best when it’s damp, so I feel you hard here!

    7. Liza*

      This is my compromise too. I have very fine, dry hair and I physically cannot get a brush/comb through it while wet. I effectively have to run the water through it in the shower and then NOT TOUCH IT until it dries. Blow drying sort of works but I have to be very careful with it or it just dries matted, and the process usually leaves me sweaty and disgusting so I avoid it unless I have time to cool down and clean off after.

      My compromise is to wash my hair in the evenings as much at possible. On the off occasions where it’s not, I carefully tie my wet hair back at the nape, wrap it around itself and clip it into a bun.

      If my work frowned upon this, I would be sort of stuck on these occasions. Is it even possible to call in greasy?

      1. Alexandra Lynch*

        Yeah, I have hip-length hair like this. Any latent curl in it is just enough to tangle it all up when it gets wet. I wash it once a week, scalp only, and let the soap suds run down the length. I condition once a month with coconut oil. This is what it likes, and given that, I can work around needing to be presentable pretty easily. I generally wash my hair in the evening, because if I have about three hours before bedtime I can get it dry in time to put it up for the night.

      2. Cranky Neighbot*

        Oh man. Same hair type, same strategies here. Washing at night is the only way. Dry shampoo can be a good last-ditch effort in the morning.

        I know a lot of people would never dream of sleeping on wet or damp hair, so I won’t exactly recommend it. But if it’s okay for your hair and schedule, OP, it could help.

      3. banzo_bean*

        I have very fine hair as well and have found the “wet brush” to help detangle my hair while wet with some degree of success.

    8. Mookie*

      This. The style appropriate to length and texture determines whether the weight and shininess of wet hair looks finished. When damp, my fine hair moves like it’s both limp and crunchy and appears oily and unwashed, so it’ll require some immediate but brief manhandling in the washroom to get it looking clean for the remainder of the day. Other styles bridge the gap between wet and dry and can be readily adjusted when the transition is complete. Ditto hair that “ages” hard throughout the day and looks better pulled back, or in a bun, and so forth, by the time you clock out.

    9. Kheldarson*

      This whole topic is timely for me, given I just refreshed my hair and am now headed to work with damp curls (the fact that it’s raining helps, lol).

      Definitely agree that there are ways of putting it up (i invested in a silk scarf for days i need to protect my hair, whether because it’s drying or because it’s cold and i need a hat), but I’ve also found normalizing helps. Granted, I’m a white woman with fine loose curls, but talking about my haircare routine helps. Nobody blinks when my hair is still damp anymore (I’m also non-public facing, so that matters too!)

      OP might look into a hair dryer and diffuser tho. That’s been a God-send for me during winter months (XTAVA dryer + Black Orchid diffuser = cheap but effective)

    10. Just Elle*

      Im a female and have to confess that there’s a woman manager here who leaves her wet hair down in the morning, and every time I see it I kind of cringe at the unprofessional appearance of it. We are an old fashioned but informal company, so maybe it’s ‘just me’ but I wanted to give you the honest feedback of how at least one human perceived it.

      Another thing that makes it even worse is that she uses a strong feminine herbal essences type shampoo. Even though it has no scent when dry… Wet it announces her presence for a solid 20′ radius. I’m sure she’s nose blind to it at this point, but it really contributes to the unprofessional feeling of it. So maybe consider using a very neutral shampoo if you’re going to go this route.

      Finally, one idea: my mom has curly hair and has started showering right when she gets home from work. She said she loves the mental reset, and it also gives her hair time to dry before bed.

    11. Squirrel!*

      I’m adding onto the top comment in hopes that more curly-haired people see this. I have found that using a microfiber towel to dry your hair takes out *so much* water, faster and more efficiently than a “regular” towel, plus it helps it stay curlier because there are no fabric loops to pull apart the strands of your curls. I use one from the DevaCurl brand (on Amazon for maybe $13?); you just scrunch your hair with the towel, it dries much faster and your curls end up looking great! I also don’t own a blow dryer, mostly because it makes my hair frizz all to hell, and this towel works wonders. There’s also a good reddit board (r / curlyhair) that has tons of styling and product tips. I definitely also recommend the CurlyGirl Handbook (can work for men too!) by Michele Bender, for anyone who would like to read more.

      1. Kheldarson*

        The Turbie Twist towels are great too! (Found at Walmart for like $10?) Good for plopping as well.

      2. 5 Leaf Clover*

        As a curly-haired, must-air-dry-or-looks-terrible person, I would also like to offer that a Shamwow is super effective at removing moisture so your hair dries faster. (Trader Joe’s Kitchen Cloths are similar, but you need a couple.)

      3. TrainerGirl*

        The microfiber towel is my BFF when drying my hair. I know just how long to keep it on to get some of the water out before styling. I’m a WOC, so I need my hair to be fairly wet when applying my post-wash products but I don’t want it to be sopping. That towel is genius!

    12. LJ*

      As someone with naturally curly hair, I’ve found it’s better to wash it at night and either blow dry or let it air dry, then just get it damp in the morning to help re-style the curls. I also only wash it once every 4-5 days, so there’s that. I have yet to find any sort of style where it can be pulled back to dry, and still look okay once it’s no longer pulled back, but that’s highly dependent on curl type and hair product. In my Fortune 100 company, no one seems to care much but I am also careful to makes sure it’s more dry than wet on mornings when I have meetings.

      1. Cora*

        I’m the opposite! I always wash in the morning because I figure that saves time rather than having to dampen it all over again in the morning to style.

        My company truly does not care about what my hair is doing, thank god.

    13. MI Dawn*

      I’ve gone into work with wet (not dripping, but not fully dry) hair. But I arrive very early before most of the staff is in. Our employer also has a gym with showers and some hair dryers (but not a lot) on site, so seeing someone with wet hair isn’t unusual. But never would I meet with important people or the public with wet hair in my work relationship.

    14. Book Badger, Attorney-at-Claw*

      I have VERY long (to my tailbone) and thick wavy hair, and I wash in the morning because washing at night makes my hair tangled and messy.

      I oil my hair after washing and then pull my hair back with a clip – the slight dent it leaves in wet hair is hidden by my wave pattern, the rest of the hair is left loose to dry, and the slight dampness combined with the oil keeps it looking neat and not frizzy.

      I know there are also YouTube videos specifically for “wear wet” styles, since it’s a common problem. I’m sure OP can find one for curly hair.

    15. Choux*

      I have incredibly thick wavy hair that comes down just past my shoulders. I wash it every morning because otherwise I can’t get it into any sort of “style”. I leave the house with wet hair but I luckily have an hour-long commute to work in which it mostly air-dries. But it’s always slightly damp for the first few hours of the day. Trying to blow dry it would be a nightmare – it just frizzes like crazy.

    16. MatKnifeNinja*

      I got written up for damp hair that was pulled back into a ponytail.

      I worked in health care, and the majority of coworkers were women. The women supervisors were absolutely vicious about damp to wet hair. Almost everyone who was written up had damp to dry hair, not soaking got out of the shower wet.

      The few men supervisor didn’t care. This was on the midnight shift where there wasn’t a whole lot of the general public running around.

      And yes, those stupid write ups would affect job transfers/new jobs within the hospital.


      1. Aiani*

        I was coming here to suggest the same thing. A blow dryer with a diffuser is a life saver for a curly haired person. You don’t even have to fully dry it. Just dry it enough that it doesn’t look wet anymore and you’re good to go.

    17. WonderWoman*

      I have curly hair that’s very thick and hits just below my shoulders. It’s so thick that it takes about an hour to blow-dry, which really isn’t feasible on a regular basis.

      I used to workout in the mornings and therefore came to work with wet hair quite often. However, I found that my hair was significantly less wet by the time I arrived at the office if I hit it with the blow dryer for just a few minutes, until it was merely damp by the time I started my commute. (It’s worth noting, however, that my hair is so thick and dark that people who don’t know me might not think it looks particularly wet when it in fact is. Also. . . there were many days I didn’t do this. I don’t know if I looked cringe-y, but no one ever brought it up to me.)

      These days, I prefer to workout and shower in the evenings, so my hair is dry in the morning anyway.

    18. Curmudgeon in California*

      What do people who have lunchtime workouts do? IME, if there’s a gym & shower onsite or nearby, I often see people coming in to the office with freshly showered hair. Morning workouts or people who bike to work will be the same.

      IME, as long as it is combed/brushed and doesn’t look like bed head, no one I work with even notices.

      Then again, some folks can comb their hair and five minutes later it looks like they just woke up.

      1. Artemesia*

        You don’t have to wet your hair when you shower. When I showered after a workout at work or on the way to work, I either wore a shower cap or clipped up my hair so the shower didn’t hit it. Was easy to avoid getting the hair wet — hair washing occurred at home when there was time to air dry and be styled.

      2. iglwif*

        Even if you don’t shower after, if you’ve worked out or biked to work, your hair is going to be wet. (When I worked in an office, I used to carry around a small pack towel / camping towel for soaking up the head sweat.)

    19. Rachel 2: Electric Boogaloo*

      Yes! I have very thick, very curly hair that I have to air dry – and that takes ages. My hair is long enough now that I have discovered the joy of the slightly messy bun – I look more put together than I feel in the morning.

    20. Flower*

      I have very thick* but very straight hair, and if I tie it back even as a ponytail before it dries it will still be a bit wet when I finally free it hours later. I get tired of having it loose for as long as it take to dry though, so even when I don’t /need/ to, I usually ponytail or tight bun it long before and accept the potential consequences. Gives my hair some shape for a couple hours after being released at least, don’t know how healthy it is though.

      On the flip side, 95% of the time I get compliments on my hair it’s after I showered, before I fully finger combed it, and long before it’s fully dried. I don’t know what that says about my regular hair styles. I usually text my husband with “yet another compliment on my hair in a mess.”

      *Everyone who has ever tried to braid my hair: “oh my god you have so much hair”

  2. Laura H.*

    Caveat, I have very straight, fine hair that I keep on the short side.

    I’ve gone to work/ gone out with damp, but not dripping wet hair. Usually closer to dry, but prolly still noticeably damp if looked at closely. I got lucky.

    Can you wash hair at another time? I do mine in the late afternoon or early evening (I don’t like going to bed w/ wet hair) OR I get up early to try and give more time to air dry.

    1. JamieS*

      I’m just basing this off my own curly hair but if OP’s is anything like mine the answer is not really unless she doesn’t comb her hair in the morning. It can be washed at another time but it has to be wet, or at least damp, when combing it in the morning. Otherwise it won’t curl right, will be extra frizzy, etc.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        Except fine, straight hair should never be combed when wet/significantly damp–it’s more prone to breakage. I always wash mine in the early evening so it can dry as much as possible overnight. But I can’t go to work with it wet or damp–I look like a bearded collie in the rain, and it sticks to everything and tangles even more.

    2. Beth*

      My hair is like yours but long, and I do the same. Dripping wet is a no-go, but I don’t worry at all about it being a little damp when I leave the house; odds are it’ll dry on the way to wherever I’m going, and even if it doesn’t get fully there, it’ll probably be close enough to be a non-issue.

      I can’t imagine noticing if my coworker (or a customer service person, for that matter) had somewhat damp hair, even if it’s long and worn down. I probably would notice if it were loose and fully wet, and unless it was pouring outside or something I’d probably find it a little odd.

      1. your favorite person*

        My hair is pretty long, thick, and wavy. I wash it twice a week and on those mornings I have to have it in a bun at work because if I didn’t, it would be very noticeably wet. Sometimes at lunch I will take it down to dry because it’s less damp by then and dries nicely after about an hour.

    3. Alica*

      This is a highly depends on the office thing I think – I wash my hair every morning, almost never blow dry it and leave the house for work with damp hair (even in the depths of winter). However, my office is super casual – today I am wearing a Firefly tshirt, jeans and trainers, my boss is in jogging bottoms, so wet hair is not going to be A Thing!

      It isn’t sopping wet though – I can’t stand my hair getting the back of my tshirt wet, so I do do the whole towel turban thing so it’s not dripping. Luckily I have shoulder length hair which isn’t frizzy, so just goes a bit wavy when I leave it to naturally dry, so I can get away with that.

        1. Kat in VA*

          I swear by my pretty pink bonnet…


          I have about bra-strap length fine hair which is fine, yes, but I have a TON of it. It’s curly if I don’t comb it, and straight if I do.

          I compromise by carefully combing it out and then putting it in a low bun. I’ll pull it out on the drive and let it air dry, and then it goes back in the bun.

          I wear my hair up 90% of the time anyway so this passes as a slicked-back style.

    4. Moi, just Moi*

      OP2 – please consider another way! In many professional environments, arriving with wet hair gives the impression of poor time management skills. Or appearing to show the office the same respect as a pool-side vacation. Perhaps your office campus offers access to hairdryers? Our office has discounted otherwise qualified candidates for professional roles who came to interviews (more than once!) with long wet hair. It would not have been as noticeable if it had been in a pony or bun, but still was too casual for a professional environment.

      1. Rainy*

        I’m rolling my eyes at this. I bet you have hair that dries fast and doesn’t need a lot of coaxing to look “normal”.

        1. Ra94*

          As someone with super thick and long hair, I just wash it the evening before, because it would look really odd to turn up in some places I’ve worked (very formal law firms) with wet or even damp hair. It just depends on the company culture.

      2. Us, too*

        This cracks me up. Because in my mind spending x minutes blow drying your hair suggests you have poor prioritization skills because you’re wasting time on hair. I really think this depends ENTIRELY on your work environment. I work in a large tech company and nobody gives a crap about my hair 99% of the time. I work out at the company gym most mornings, shower (washing my hair) at work, and then walk to my desk for it to dry as it pleases. Nobody cares here. I mean, I can literally wear my workout attire all day and nobody would care. LOL. That said, I suppose if I were going to be giving a huge presentation to someone outside the company at a trade show or something, I’d make more of an effort with my appearance. But that isn’t super common. :)

      3. iglwif*

        I haven’t spent time in that many different professional environments, so OP2 should take this with a grain of salt but … hard disagree.

        I mean, don’t arrive at work with your hair literally dripping (or frozen into icicles) and hanging over your face! You want to look neat and tidy, and not like you just rolled out of bed / just jumped out of the shower. But you can look neat and tidy without owning a blow-dryer.

  3. Meagain*

    If you’re going to do the wet hair thing, you need help for it to dry more quickly. I am a pro at wet hair before work. Usually some kind of anti-frizz serum works. I wonder around the house with my hair tight in a towel, then before I leave put the serum on.

    I’ve also been known to drive with the window down I. The heat, and or turn my heat up high if it is too wet. By the time I get to work it’s dry on top and damp underneath. I have shorter hair fwiw.

    1. Yvette*

      “… hair tight in a towel…” I think there are special towels for that. They absorb moisture more quickly. Also, damp hair can also appear greasy and unwashed as opposed to freshly washed, so if there are people who only see you in the first hour or so of the morning they may be getting an entirely different impression as those who see you all day.

      1. Audrey Puffins*

        Yes, I have a microfibre towel specifically for my hair. Mine is very fine and straight, but what I do is get up SUPER early to shower, wrap my hair in the microfibre towel, then snuggle back into bed until my alarm goes off again. It takes your hair from “sopping wet” to “damp but manageable with the right comb” with zero effort.

          1. Falling Diphthong*

            I gather sort of like lint free cloths are better for cleaning glasses, the tug-free texture is really good for certain hair types. Particularly curly hair.

          2. Seeking Second Childhood*

            Very effective for their size. I use them for swimming– just a doesnt-cover-my-body towel plus a towel-turban, and my long hair stopped dripping before I was fully dressed. Key for going to the car in sub-zero weather. (Thanks to vinyl seats, I can lay out the towel on the seat next to me and it’s dry enough by the time I get out of work to put back into the swim bag.)

          3. Beatrice*

            I use a clean t-shirt sometimes. It’s easier on my hair than a bath towel. I tend to do it if I’m going to bed with wet hair, rather than in the morning, though.

          4. Jadelyn*

            I have the Turbie Twist microfiber hair towels that I use, and yeah, they work. They don’t get my hair fully *dry* of course, but I shower about an hour before bed, leave my hair up in the towel, then take it down last thing right before I get in bed and my hair is…I’d say about 50% dry, vs only 15-20% dry if I had let it air-dry that whole time.

          5. AuroraLight37*

            I’ve used a microfiber towel with success when I was going to the gym on a regular basis. It got my hair a lot drier a lot faster than a regular towel. Mine was actually from the automotive section in Target, and much cheaper than the fancy ones. (I have long curly hair.)

        1. Emily K*

          Yep, when I get out of the shower I squeeze my hair to wring out the excess water several times, wrap it up in a towel for a few minutes while I do some other things, then when I take it down I turn my head upside-down and wriggle my fingers into the undifferentiated tangle near my scalp and wiggle them back and forth a little basically to create space for air to move through instead of having it all slicked flat against my scalp. At that point it’s still wet but it’s much more on the damp side, where it will be dry within an hour, instead of the uncountable number of hours it would take if I didn’t wring it out and use the towel-turban and fluff it up a little to allow air through. (It’s also the perfect amount of damp to apply a serum and scrunch it where it will actually hold the scrunch instead of being too wet to take.)

        1. Hlyssande*

          I did that on Sunday! I was running late to pick up a friend for a hockey game, so I just rolled the windows down. Worked like a charm.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I’ve always done it as well.

        I won’t use a blow dryer because of the damage it does. So I’ve improvised.

    2. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

      I’ve found that my (thigh-length, thick, varies between wavy and straight, would probably curl if I got a shorter haircut) hair dries more quickly when I condition the ends. In my head it’s because the conditioner lets the water “drip off faster because the hair is slipperier”, but I haven’t really looked into actual reasons.

      I usually shower, wear a towel-turban for an hour or so (I use a beach towel), then finger-comb it a bit before leaving the house. I try to leave it loose until lunch and then braid it at lunchtime once it’s dried, but if I need to look a little more put together I’ll braid it damp. (If I braid it damp it’ll still be damp when I get home from work, so I try to avoid that.) Really, it’s more that I apparently look very different to people with my hair down, so if I don’t want a bunch of comments about how long my hair is (yes, I’m aware I have long hair, since I see my own hair every day and a fairy did not suddenly grant me long hair overnight, so I’m not sure why people feel the need to tell me this) then I need to put it up in braids before I deal with other people.

      1. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

        Heh, it’s because if the good stuff from the conditioner soaks in, less water permeates/soaks into the core of your hair (and thus your hair dries faster). Same reason working a leave in conditioner through your hair can help protect it when you go swimming!

    3. Bubarina*

      I never blow dry my hair, so I go to work with it wet most days. Granted, I’m an academic and everyone in my department looks like a bum at least some of the time. It’s never sopping wet by the time I get to work, but it is visibly damp.

  4. Snorkmaiden*

    #5 I know job hunting can be frustrating, but you seem to think it’s some kind of game designed to annoy you on purpose. It’s not, and it would help to recognise that.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I didn’t get that sense from the letter! I think she’s just understandably frustrated with what often feels like (and often is) rudeness from employers, which too rarely gets called out because of the power dynamics inherent in the situation.

      1. Fikly*

        This. I got an emailed rejection from an employer today, after interviewing twice (second one was a two hour interview with 5 people) and honestly? I was shocked they bothered to let me know.

      2. banzo_bean*

        Agreed, there are a lot of things employers and recruiters do during the hiring process that would register as totally flat out rude in most other contexts. Falling off the face of the earth for weeks at a time is one of them. While it’s helpful to try to not take things personally, it is still very annoying and could potentially lead to a candidate choosing another position. I don’t think OP is overly frustrated given the situation.

      3. OP 5 here*

        Thank you, Alison. I definitely don’t take it as a game that’s out to get me, but it can definitely feel like a game sometimes. I temped in HR at a hospital that I had been applying to so I finally got to see their side of it. They had about five people looking at each application – for “no more than three seconds each!” The ONLY looked for two things – if you currently worked for them or if you were medical staff. Medical staff got green-lighted automatically but trying to get an admin job was incredibly hard from the outside (except for those people you check in for your appointment with).

        The power dynamics are definitely unfair and, unfortunately, the power to hire sometimes goes to someones head, or they’ll only hire certain types (though it’s against the law). I also temped in legal at the same hospital and the department manager would only hire female JD’s (passed law school but not the bar) and they were like the nastiest clique you remember from school. My boss was a male, who the manager basically refused to interact with at all, but she couldn’t fire because he’d been hired by the department head. I would gladly work with my boss again, but not that female manager! I overheard a couple of the female lawyers say that they hated the mandatory daily lunches with the manager but couldn’t refuse because they needed the job. Fortunately, not too many managers are like that.

      1. Observer*

        Yes, it is. But it doesn’t excuse some of the stuff that goes on. If you can’t find the time to close the loop with a candidate that you’ve interviewed SOMEONE’S priorities are messed up, whether it’s the people doing the hiring or the people who set staffing or whoever.

        1. I Will Steal Your Pen*

          I have to agree with you there. I’m in the midst of aggressively job hunting, and this is the norm (ghosting more than coming back weeks later). It’s frustrating as typically I have to take PTO to make up the hours, so it’s kind of rude. In one case I was brought back after my first interview because they were so impressed. So I took yet ANOTHER day of PTO only to be ghosted. You were so impressed that you couldn’t even give me the professional courtesy of telling me you went with other candidates.

          And as far as the ghosting and overall applicant experience, I’m apply8ng to large defense contractors (like my current company). Turnover is a HUGE issue and we (I work in HR) talk about the candidate experience constantly. Yet clearly it’s falling on deaf ears.

          The best you can do is leave Glassdoor reviews. I’m big on them both as far as reviewing the company as a whole as well as to review others candidates experience.

          And if you’re TA, please do your best to be transparent. It sucks to take all your PTO only to be ghosted then receive an email months later where it’s clear they were just closing out the req in the ATS.

  5. Yvette*

    #1, Is it possible your boss is worried about the optics of you having a second job? That it reflects poorly on the company that you need one? You did say you are underpaid, and I definitely got a “bait and switch” vibe with regards to the job description. I say go for it, however it goes without saying to make sure you leave the boutique on good terms, two week notice etc, asking if you would be eligible for re-hire. I would not cite the additional money as reason for leaving, emphasize an increased work load and additional responsibilities at your full time job. You may want to go back there for whatever reason in the future. (An employee discount is always nice to have.)

    1. LW #1*

      LW #1 here… he might feel that way? But I don’t talk about my second job in any way, I don’t make comments about being “tired” and I don’t have to rush from one job to the other.. SecondJob is weekends only. I am enjoying my SJ immensely, I love working in the fashion/retail industry so it would be tough for me to give that up.. I feel like it’s more of a hobby at this point than a “job.”

      1. TooTiredToThink*

        I get that completely! I had a job once (that no longer exists) that if I could, I would do the same. What happens if he gives you a raise and you decide not to give notice? Could you say that you are working on-call at the shop? Would he require you to quit if he gave you a raise?

      2. Qwerty*

        If you are doing the second job because you love it, then that’s something you should probably tell your boss. My guess is that he thinks you are doing it to make ends meet and wants to remove the financial stress, or is worried about you burning out from not having the weekend to recharge.

        I would still recommend researching market rate for the work that you are doing since your role doesn’t match up with the original job posting. Talk to you manager to see if he would still be willing to give you a raise based on the work that you’ve done even if you don’t give up the second job.

      3. J*

        Something else to think about… When you go to get a new job they will estimate your worth based on what you made at the last job. Rightly or wrongly, that’s how the game works. So you might as well try to make that number as high as possible.

        1. Observer*

          I was coming to post this – unless this will keep you from getting raises in the future at this job, getting this raise is going to do you a lot of good going forward because too many jobs base your pay on the pay of your last job. That can have long term effects.

        1. JediSquirrel*

          Thank you for that. It confirmed that I am being underpaid by $5,000 – $15,000 depending on how you look at my job title.

          I’m brushing up my resume.

      4. theletter*

        Go ahead and ask for a raise to the market rate, and keep your second job for as long as you like it. Boss doesn’t have to know what you do on the weekends. If it comes up again, just tell him that you found the second job to be surprisingly invigorating, and if pressed, that they asked you stay on until at least after the holidays.

        Most people find some sort of hobby or side hustle to fill up their weekends, you just happen to get paid for yours. A lot of people find retail to be fun! If your fellow shopkeepers are nice, it’s basically hanging out and interacting with a rotating cast of interesting characters with stuff you like to look at and talk about.

      5. LilyP*

        I think you can still use this as an opening to negotiate a raise even if you make it clear you’re not going to leave the second job. Tell your boss that you really love the second job and appreciate the change of pace/staying busy/whatever in addition to the extra income, but you also have realized that a market rate/rate you want for your current position would be closer to $X. That gives him an opening to talk about what’s really concerning him about the second job and hopefully you can reassure him *and* get a raise.

      6. TheAssistant*

        He probably feels that your second job is purely motivated by financial purposes; it’s also how you framed it in your letter. But if it did turn into more of a hobby/passion/side hustle you enjoy, I think it would benefit you both to talk about that. I think I would be prepared with a number increase that would make you feel more fairly paid, but talk about it in terms of responsibilities instead of financial comfort. But you shouldn’t quit a weekend gig that you enjoy if you don’t want to, and I think it would help your boss feel more comfortable with the idea if you also framed it as such.

      7. juliebulie*

        Maybe this is just a personal problem, but it always offends me when someone I do business with (cable company, employer, etc.) never offers to sweeten the deal until my hand is on the doorknob.

        Granted, your hand isn’t exactly on the doorknob. I’m just irritated on your behalf that he didn’t care that you were underpaid until he realized that you were willing and able to to explore other opportunities.

  6. Ginger*

    #1- are you leaving your main job at something like 5pm on the dot to get to your 2nd job? Treating job #1 like an hourly position?

    Burnout is real, it’s great your boss is willing to look at this with you.

    1. LW #1*

      LW # 1 here, no I am not. I currently work 9-5 pm / weekdays for my full time job, and I work evenings on Fridays and weekends. My FTJ doesn’t require me to work any sort of overtime (I’m salaried) and my workload doesn’t make for a schedule that needs to be flexed so I can keep up with tasks and projects.

      I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and I’m honestly feeling fine, I just need to find some comfortable shoes for being on my feet! I am making sure to take care of myself in between shifts.

      1. EPLawyer*

        Nothing says you can’t accept the raise for the increased job responsibilities and keep the second job. You enjoy it, and it will help you pay off debt faster. You can use most of your income from 2nd job to pay down debt and put the rest in savings for something fun. You can always quit the retail job if you find it is too much.

        1. LW #1*

          LW #1 here – that’s where I’m at currently. I mentioned this in a different comment, but I enjoy my SecondJob as more of a hobby rather than a “much needed source of income” .. I know I can pay down our debt with just one job, but working 9-5 every day, with not much to do around the house other than watch Netflix or play video games isn’t the life I want to have. I don’t think I’d have to “prove” I quit the second job? My boss has been vague about it.

          1. Artemesia*

            No question the boss should be paying you more and negotiate that. I’d also be discussing the higher level of tasks you are doing and discuss title change. You don’t have to quit the second job but you would then not discuss it at work at all —

        2. Bee*

          Yeah, I would try this – 3 weeks isn’t really enough time to tell whether this will ultimately end up burning you out. Having no free weekend evenings for parties, hanging out with friends, concerts, etc can wear you down over time! (Plus, that full 12 hours on Fridays is going to get old real fast.) It’s great that your boss wants to make this less necessary for you, and I’d take him up on it so you CAN regard the second job as more of a hobby you can quit if you want.

        3. LilyP*

          I would make sure you’re up-front with your boss if you want to keep both jobs, otherwise you might harm that relationship. I agree that in theory your second job is none of his business but the raise is clearly related to the second job and you don’t want to wind up looking shady if he thinks you’re agreeing to give up the second job and you don’t. Just make sure all the obligations and expectations and reasons are laid out so nobody is surprised.

      2. Ginger*

        Hi LW1! Thanks for coming in to the comment section to clarify :)

        If you like your second job and it doesn’t impact job #1, then you do you and have fun. I wonder if your boss is using your second job as an excuse to reevaluate the role/pay and right-size it. Take him up on it! Be clear on all your responsibilities, activities, whatever measurements you use to define success in your role. Really a raise and your second job are independent of each other unless he thinks you should quit but that’s none of his business if it truly has no impact on your performance in job #1. Treat it like a person who spends their free time volunteering. Their time, their choice.

      3. Amy Sly*

        I took a shoe sales job after law school (2010 and 2011 were terrible years), but even after I finally got an office job, I stayed on at the shoe store for two and half years, simply because I enjoyed it. I did get burnt out on working all weekend and went to only Saturdays, but the store managers appreciated having someone with the extra experience to help train the new folks.

        Shoewise, I’d suggest Dansko or Abeo. :)

          1. Amy Sly*

            That’s where I was … the incredible discount on TWC’s house brands (though Abeo was the only one I’m willing to pay retail for) was one of the reasons I stuck around. Dansko works better for me though.

        1. Librarian of SHIELD*

          Everybody tells me how great Dansko shoes are, but I just can’t make myself enjoy the way they look, so for the moment vanity is winning.

    2. Marie*

      As a working mom, the shade cast on people who have to leave at 5pm makes me sad. I get it, but yeah. It’s only really ameliorated when lots of people leave “on time” but that more or less requires men to be responsible for the evening daycare pickup for their kids. I’ve only ever worked in one office where that was the norm. My own husband does it about half the time, which is pretty good.

  7. linger*

    #4. I don’t think I could have stopped myself from calling it out for the badly designed question it is. At the very least, my answer would have been “I can’t conceive of any possible valid reason my current manager would want to fire me, and making up invalid ones would only serve to reflect badly on them, which does not seem a productive use of interview time” … with an unspoken but very loud mental refrain of “why, what has *your* manager said to *you* recently?”

    1. linger*

      (For full effect, delivered with disarming uncertainty and followed by “Is that really what you’re after here?”)
      I suspect what the interviewer was *really* trying to do was change up the old “What is your weakest point?” type question; but in that case it’d be best to get her to recast it rather than answer the extreme form she actually used.

    2. Traffic_Spiral*

      Yeah, I’d be like “I’m sorry, my boss has no current reason to fire me – but clearly there’s something you’re trying to get at. Is there a way you could re-phrase the question to explain what you actually want to know? Do you want to know a list of the fireable offenses at my current place of employment? My current boss’s pet peeves? Is this a re-worked version of the ‘what are your weaknesses’ question? A new version of the ‘tell me a time you messed up at work’ question?”

      Basically just call out that you know this is a dumb gimmick s/he probably read about in a clickbait article, and insist s/he re-work it to actually ask the question like a normal person.

      1. Horton*

        I guess that’s a good strategy if you’ve decided mid-interview that you no longer want the job. That’s pretty confrontational.

        1. J*

          I haven’t interviewed in a while, but I can’t imagine how I would deal with this. If someone asked me what’s my favorite color or what kind of tree I want to be, I’d almost certainly say, “I’m sorry, I thought this was a serious interview.”

        2. Important Moi*

          Yes, every job is not so desirable that rudeness on the part of the interviewer doesn’t have to be addressed.

    3. Alex*

      I wonder if saying something like “I don’t see any reason for my supervisor to let me go short of needing to downsize.” would be a good response.

      1. OP#4*

        Alex, great response. Wish I had thought of it! I’m going to file that away in my brain, although hopefully I will never get asked that again! … To be honest, I’m still thinking of leaving my current job and might actually apply to this agency again. Sigh.

        1. MissGirl*

          Remember, though, an awkward interview question doesn’t necessarily mean the job isn’t right. You don’t want to come with the attitude of putting someone in their place. Sometimes people aren’t great interviewers. I was asked a version of this, “Why would your current manager tell us not to hire you (not including losing you)?” I answered with some of my weaknesses and how I’m working on them. I also turned it into a question for them and asked why they would tell me not to take the job. They gave me really thoughtful answers about the challenges of the role.

          I got the job and my managers were awesome, the best of my career.

          1. hbc*

            Yeah, I’ve had some pretty good managers/employees ask some pretty dumb questions while interviewing. One of my direct reports told me that the “what kind of tree would you be?” question had a legitimate basis. This woman was a great manager (would go to the mat for her people, gave useful feedback in a way that didn’t make them feel defensive, etc.) but got some pretty terrible advice from whoever was teaching HR at the local for-profit college.

            Any one bit of weirdness should be put in context with everything else you’ve learned from the process.

            1. Observer*

              That’s true. But this question – and the follow up is not just weird or silly, like the tree question and it’s ilk. This verges on jerk territory. If this is the person I would be working for, I’d see this as a yellow flag.

      2. NoviceManagerGuy*

        That’s what I would go with too – “If there were a significant contraction of the business, everybody’s job would be at risk, but otherwise I am “

      3. ellex42*

        I once used “I’d be extremely unlikely to be fired, but the possibility of being caught up in a mass layoff is marginally possible” in an interview.

        But there were so many glaring red flags in that interview that a few minutes later I pretty much intentionally bombed it. The “you should beg for the opportunity to be taken advantage of by us” vibe was strong.

        1. EvilQueenRegina*

          Sounds like the company from yesterday who expected Arya the temp to think the rubbish salary was a wonderful opportunity!

      4. Allison*

        That’s probably what I’d go with as well. “I can’t think of anything I’d be fired for currently, but if they were having layoffs, there’s always a chance I’d be let go because [reasons].”

      5. Observer*

        That was what I was thinking too. It’s a seriously weird question. There are really people whose bosses would absolutely have no reason with their work or behavior to fire them.

    4. Mookie*

      “Conversations and reviews suggest that is an unlikely development. I prefer and work best under managers with whom I can share ande exchange that kind of candid and collegial feedback. I would never be comfortable in an environment where sudden terminations are the norm.”

      1. Mookie*

        Also, I’d make it clear that I separate fireable offenses from areas that need improvement. Competent managers are expected to guide their reports towards improving performance and strengthening weakness. With few and very egregious exceptions, a long-time manager firing someone without warning is a mark against them as well as the employee. They failed, they floundered, and they use terminations to cover up their incompetence and/or disinterest.

        I find the suggestion that a personal weakness that can be corrected equated with a termination-worthy blunder to be alarming, and I wouldn’t work under someone who can’t understand or articulate the difference.

        This interviewer was imprecise with language and incapable of explaining her meaning (instead resorting to word games) to a degree that indicates they are entirely undesirable.

        1. Mookie*

          Also, this is in the context of someone who is currently employed and applying somewhere else, so changing jobs (a benign reality for all working people) is not even subtext. Roles change or people are unsuited to them. Resorting to termination rather than a mutual parting of ways is not optimal, and a hiring manager should acknowledge that reality and their responsibility to serve their employer while not neglecting their hires. People on their way out who are reasonable should be given the option to leave with another job under the belt whenever possible and starting out this relationship by mentioning being fired does not set the right tone.

          I may occupy the extreme edge, but I’d withdraw from the process and give feedback that generally deplores this line of inquiry as demoralizing but helpful (in that I’d not work for them under any normal circumstances and grateful to have had the head’s up).

            1. Mookie*

              Hence admitting I’m on the margins. Yes, after the conversation the LW reports, where she was repeatedly pressed for an answer to a loaded question the manager wouldn’t restate in less stupid terms, demonstrating she didn’t grasp the implications of her own question or anticipate an answer other than the token one she expected.

              1. Sharon*

                I agree. By pressing for another answer they were basically playing a game of “gotcha!” with the op. That’s not a place I’d want to work for.

            2. Traffic_Spiral*

              Depends on the question. But if it gives a “I like stupid ted talk gimmicks over actual applicable knowledge, and like playing these sort of stupid games” vibe? Yeah, that’s a big red flag.

    5. OP#4*

      Thanks for replying! At the time I really didn’t want to come off as rude, but when I gave my answer, I tried to look particularly wide-eyed. I was hoping they would get the hint that it was a weird or surprising question, but instead they reiterated it two more times! I mean, they really wanted me to answer it. So weird.

      1. Ann Nonymous*

        When I first skimmed your question, I was thinking along the lines “What would be a fireable offense at your current company?” I know you (and others) took it as, “What are you currently doing that your boss doesn’t like?” I think you could respond as if the question mentioned the former. You could say, “Employees at my current company can be let go for theft, fraud or lying…fortunately, none of which remotely apply to me.”

      2. Dagny*

        Remember that when you are interviewing, you are also interviewing the company. I would hesitate to work for this person. While it could be an asinine way to phrase a normal question (weaknesses, etc.), it could also be someone who is looking for ammunition to use against you – because it’s a power trip. “Sarah, you said on your interview that your previous manager would fire you for X. You need to fix this or you’re going to lose your job.”

        Ask me how I know.

    6. Falling Diphthong*

      In my head, you start with Alison’s script and then swerve into the things they might be hoping you’ll confess, like you say you’re “at an off-site” and then squirrel suit into Comic Con dressed as a masked avenger, as cover for stealing all the limited edition anime dolls.

    7. Junior Assistant Peon*

      Questions intended to get the interviewee flustered and make him/her blurt out something they didn’t want to say will end up costing the company good candidates.

    8. Donkey Hotey*

      This reminds me of those “personality tests” that junior employees get with questions like “What is the total value of property you stole from your previous employer?” that doesn’t include $0.

    9. Schnookums Von Fancypants*

      “Why might your current manager fire you?”

      “Because I lied and told them I’m a unicorn, when in fact I’m a naughty, basic horse.”

      1. Jennifer Thneed*

        “….I let them think I’m a zebra, but the stripes are just make-up and now I’m afraid to wash my face at work!”

    10. Socratic Method*

      I would go a little more general than Alison did. Anytime someone repeats the same question with you, you can respond, “Is there some particular answer you are looking for here? Is there a reason you didn’t like or accept my answer?” And really, when an interviewer re-asks the same thing a third time, they are clearly more enamored with their own perceived cleverness than actually getting a real answer.

  8. All Outrage, All The Time*

    OP1 – your boss is opening negotiations to give you a pay rise. Don’t overthink it! Accept the gift horse! Break down how much of your role is what you were originally employed for, and how much you are now doing in the way of higher level duties. Literally write down a list of each and what percentage of your time is spent on each task or category. For example, If you’re spending 40% on junior program manager duties, you’re asking to get paid at that level for 40% of your job.

    1. Syfygeek*

      ^Exactly. I was working 2 jobs and when my VP found out (he invited me last minute to a donor event, and I told him I couldn’t attend because I had to get to work). Two days later he called me into his office and asked how much more I need to make to just work one job. Instead of thinking about it, because I didn’t think he was really going to do anything, I said 5K a year. The next day the pay change form went to what passed for HR and I got a raise.

      OP1- crunch your numbers and ask for what you need. Good luck!

    2. Shirley Keeldar*

      I think I get where you’re coming from, OP–your boss was fine underpaying you before, and it took you getting a second job for him to notice that things weren’t right? I can see that kind of sticking in my craw. But as people are saying, don’t let that feeling sabotage you here. Your boss wants to give you more money! Don’t stop that from happening!

    3. Dust Bunny*

      I’d love to think the LW could do this, but if the company was cool with underpaying her before, I wouldn’t put it past them to consider this raise a preemption for further raises and use it as an excuse to keep her pay rate stagnant for years. I would definitely want to know if it affected that.

      1. CM*

        Still — this is a concrete offer of a pay raise now. Thinking about whether it will prevent future pay raises seems counterproductive, especially since those future raises will be based on her currently low salary. Take the money now.

        OP, I would think about how much you would need to feel fairly paid and financially stable, and ask for that. Be prepared with backup about how much you’re making at your second job including all possible perks and bonuses, but don’t offer that unless you’re asked. Instead, I would say, “I appreciate that you’re willing to pay me enough that I don’t need a second job to support myself. I’d like to ask for an additional $X per year so my new base salary would be $Y. I think this is in line with what other people make in jobs with similar duties… [present any evidence]” In other words, make the case that you are worth market rates and should not be underpaid, just like any other salary negotiation that doesn’t involve a second job.

        1. Yorick*

          I agree. I’d ask about whether it influences future raises, but I wouldn’t not take it because it does.

      2. The Original K.*

        Yeah, I would definitely ask that question and factor it into my decision, because she could end up needing a second job again in a few years if she sticks around and isn’t given another raise.

    4. Anon Librarian*

      I would be really tempted to accept the raise and continue to do side jobs as needed. He decides your salary, but he has no real control over what you do when you’re not at your main job.

  9. Nini*

    OP2 – My hair is the same (I typically air dry as well but I’m in a very casual office) and I’d recommend getting a blow dryer with a diffuser if you’re concerned about your hair still being wet when you get to work. Even a few minutes with the diffuser can dry the ends and majority of the hair, leaving just the roots to air dry. I know curly hair can often take hours to dry properly so it’s just a pain all around, but if you’re feeling self-conscious about it looking wet the diffuser is the way to go.

    1. CoffeeLover*

      +1 I used to go around life with soaking wet hair and it would take half the day to dry. (I live in a cold climate so it wasn’t always fun.) Now I spend 5min or so diffusing it in the morning. It’s not enough to dry it, but it gets rid of the soaking wet hair look and it decreases my air drying time significantly.

    2. TechWorker*

      I don’t know about OP but I also don’t own a hairdryer, the reason being any amount of heat/air (yes even with a diffuser) turns my hair into a massive ball of frizz.

      (I’m in a fairly casual office and often come in with wet hair or have wet hair after I’ve been to the gym and then showered at lunch. It doesn’t seem to be negatively impacting my career so far :))

      1. Quill*

        Same, my hair hates any sort of heat styling. I wash at night and use an old, long sleeved cotton t-shirt as a turban while it dries enough to go to bed. I also see much better results with a leave in conditioner and washing at most twice a week. I water it and reapply gel if it gets too fuzzy.

        1. Hapless Bureaucrat*

          This is what I did when I had long hair. Except mine was, while curly, thin enough that it would dry in a reasonable time if I washed it in the morning.
          T-shirt, leave-in conditioner, finger style, and then two clips the color of my hair to hold it back behind my ears. It ended up looking less like my hair was damp and more like I was using a light curl-defining product.

    3. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      I feel like wet roots are what makes hair look wet (or could be mistaken for greasy/dirty). I avoid heating my hair wherever possible but as it’s poker straight and I WFH I have more freedom to let it dry on its own, so I may be out of touch here.

      I remember working with someone who had wet hair every single morning, very obvious in golden curls, noticeably wet until lunchtime. It was frequently commented on as a sign of unprofessional grooming and contributed to that person’s not passing probation (part of a general pattern of failing to meet basic workplace norms).

      1. banzo_bean*

        How long ago was did you work with the wet curly haired coworker? I’m wondering if this is something that is becoming out of date or just not applicable in my industry. I can’t imagine getting reprimanded for not having dry hair. I also live in California where professional grooming standards/dress code is a bit more lax even in the traditional/formal industries.

        1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

          UK, not exactly sure but >5 years, and in the context of other unprofessional grooming habits (including not wearing a clean shirt) in a law office.

            1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

              Yeah, I don’t think wet hair is necessarily unprofessional on its own, but it could appear as part of a list of things an unprofessional person does. Like hanging TO the wrong way round isn’t a binnable offence but might appear in divorce papers!

                1. banzo_bean*

                  Haha, I would just settle for my husband hanging the TP at all instead of restacking it on top of the empty roll.

                  Agreed with the overall comment about wet hair on it’s own vs with other factors. I do often wear wet hair to work but along with minimal makeup and very nice, tailored professional clothing.I keep my clothes clean and my shoes polished. So I think that helps a bit. Also most does I don’t have wet hair, but some days I run late at the gym in the morning and it can’t be avoided. So the normally well coifed hair probably compensates for those instances.

  10. CoffeeLover*


    I had a very similar thing happen to me. It was a different spin on the question since they kept asking “what possible reason could WE ever have for firing you if we were to hire you.” I kept politely dodging the weird question and pointed to my amazing track record and my stellar reviews. They kept pushing. In the end I said “Look, you would never need to fire me because if there was an issue with my fit/performance to the level of being fireable, I would leave before you got the chance to fire me.” They stopped after that even though I never really did answer the question I suppose. I remember feeling kind of insulted that they asked and pushed such a patronizing question.

    For what it’s worth, I got the job. In hindsight I think it was a bit of a warning sign. I later learned a lot of people don’t make it through their probation period in the role and, in my opinion, it’s because of poor onboarding and inexperienced management. I didn’t like that job (actually kind of hated it), but I moved to another department in the same company and now love my job.

    1. CoffeeLover*

      I’ll add that I applied and interviewed for that second role… and no, my manager did not ask me the same question during the interview.

      1. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

        Was the first role more entry level and externally advertised? Is it possible that the really-quite-crappily-insulting question is one only put to external applicants?
        Not defending in any way, shape or form, but it might be that this is their fall-back position for external applicants.
        I applied for an internal position and got asked *all* the standard interview questions (what’s your biggest weakness, etc.)

    2. NoMoreFirstTimeCommenter*

      “Well, if you are such poor interviewers that you push this kind of ridiculous questions, you could end up firing me because I maybe don’t have some key skill for this positions, and you couldn’t find out about it in advance as you used the interview time asking completely irrelevant things. That kind of stuff happens if recruiters don’t know their job. To avoid that, could we move on to discuss something more relevant for the daily work in this position?”

      …not that I would really say that at an interview, but it’s quite tempting.

      1. Traffic_Spiral*

        Yup, or, “well, since you clearly base hiring decisions on whatever back gimmick you learned in your last clickbait article to TedTalk video, I assume you’ll fire me because you went out of business, or decided to replace everyone with astrologically-compatible employees, or some other pointless ‘Business Woo’ reason.”

    3. Flash Bristow*

      Yeah, it’s a weird one isn’t it?

      I like how the OP answered. I think I’d have ended up with “I’m at a loss; I’ve never do much as been called out or written up.” And maybe add “I did once get asked to stop walking barefoot in the office on safety grounds; it’s actually a disability issue as I balance more easily that way, but it wasn’t really an issue. It’s the closest I can get to being called out!”

      I mean what a stupid question, and to push it that hard? I suppose it teaches OP something about the employer…

      1. OP#4*

        All of your responses are making me feel better. This was actually about 10 months ago, but the interview has haunted me ever since because I felt like there must be some clever way to answer those that I was just missing.
        Additionally, this didn’t get included in my letter, but the hiring manager who set up the interview directed me to purchase a book about growth mindset, specifically directed me to read it, and prepare notes. I read the entire book over the weekend. It was never mentioned once in the interview.
        I still would like to reapply to that particular agency someday, but they have to get their interviewing act together!

        1. EPLawyer*

          they have a certain view based on some REALLY BAD ADVICE of how interviews should go. Asking a candidate to spend their OWN money and their time to read a book for an interview? Just no. I can see saying “before your first day you have to read this book, we follow the philosophy” and handing you a copy when you accept the offer. But before you even get an offer is a HUGE red flag that they have NO FREAKING CLUE how to hire. Which could translate to other signs this office is not well managed.

          Consider yourself lucky you aren’t there.

          1. Kelly L.*

            My MLM spidey senses just went off. Amway and some others are way into getting their new recruits to read certain books. And negging people about their current jobs might be an attempt to make them feel like their job isn’t secure, thus they need the MLM.

        2. Librarian of SHIELD*

          Honestly, after they repeated the question (twice!), I probably would have gone with “I’m not certain I understand the premise of the question. I’m not currently committing any fireable offenses in my workplace, and I don’t know what you want me to say.”

        3. Observer*

          If Hiring manager = The person you would work for, I’d say that you dodged a bullet. The question definitely was jerkish. Together with this? I agree that it sounds like a power play.

    4. Mookie*

      Pulling teeth like that is definitely a sign that the preferred grammatical mood (not mode) of communication is guess (subjunctive or conditional) rather than ask (interrogative).

      “I’d prefer you to talk to me (and accept me talking to you) long before you have to fire me or I have to resign.”

    5. Falling Diphthong*

      “You will never need to fire me, because whenever things seem to be trending that way I just defenestrate my immediate supervisor and start over with a new one. My first week, I’ll map out the security camera coverage so I’m prepared.”

  11. Jen S. 2.0*

    OP5, it sounds like you are trying to punish employers for getting back to you on their timeline instead of yours.

    It is deeply frustrating that there comes a point where the employer’s timeline becomes the one that primarily matters, but I can’t stress enough that as a job seeker, you really need to blow your timeline WAAAAAAY out. If you start out assuming that it easily could be a couple of months before you hear from them, you will be far less frustrated when you hear back from them after several weeks. Internal candidates come up who need to be interviewed. Critical people in the decisionmaking process go out of town or get sick or get busy with critical work projects. Sometimes you are an early interview, and they decide to finish even their later interviews to make sure they are getting the best fit. I work for the government, and hiring freezes throw wrenches in the works all the time. Hiring USUALLY takes weeks; that is the standard, not an an incredibly rude
    and inconsiderate outside timeline.

    It’s more than fine if you honestly have moved on to other opportunities, but ultimately if they got back to you and want you, and you want the job and are available, you’re not making any sort of valuable point by stamping your feet about the fact that it took three weeks longer to move forward than you wish it would have. Sometimes there’s information they need that takes longer than 4 days to gather. There are many more moving parts in the process than just your preferred schedule.

    Further, it’s just a part of jobhunting sometimes you have to juggle a few timelines, and it’s not a punitive thing to pick the timeline that works for you. Jobs have choices among job seekers, and job seekers have choices among jobs, and that is normal. If your second choice makes you an offer and it’s one you would take, sometimes you just have to move forward with your second choice as if your first choice will never get back to you. That is normal. Again, you’re not teaching your first choice a lesson by moving forward with your second choice; you’re making the decision that is right for you with the information you have at the time you need to make a choice.

    1. BeeGee*

      I took it as the person is more frustrated with the lack of communication, not necessarily the time frame (but it adds to frustration). As someone in a similar situation, I don’t mind if it takes a lot of time, I just find it more frustrating if I am a candidate with promising next steps (i.if I recently had an in-person interview) and I don’t get at least some sort of email or call giving an update on the situation.

      I get that the hiring process isn’t easy for the employer and it doesn’t benefit the company to give honest answers to candidates, especially if they are a backup option for the role. However, it does make you feel more invisible as a candidate if you put a lot of time and effort into interviewing only to not be able to receive either a rejection or a simple “we are still deliberating on candidates” 3-4 weeks after an interview.

      I agree that the candidate won’t solve this issue through a viable job offer, but I definitely relate to the urge to do so.

    2. OP 5 here*

      Hi Jen S.,

      When I was younger, employers usually sent you a little “thanks but no thanks” post card (yes, before email!), but around the early ’90s, that faded away. I DO understand that employers are on their own time schedule and that it can pretty much change on a whim, but it would seriously only take a few minutes to set up two emails to applicants – one saying “thank you, but …” to the unchosen and the other, to the chosen, saying that they’ve made the short list and this is our current (hopeful) timeline. Then, when the timeline changes, your top choices are already an email group so it takes a few seconds to send a follow-up email.

      I DO get frustrated when I job search, but I’ve also learned to just forget the employer after submission and not waste the emotional energy on them. I usually print out the advert and make notes on it as things happen – apply date and time and any following contact.

      I would only use Alison’s script if I had gone further with other employers or after three months. If I don’t make it past their first scan, I figure that I wasn’t meant to work there, but I guess it feels like the rudeness shown by employers during hiring is typical of the rudeness in society as a whole (even way back in the 1980’s we would say “excuse me” if we bumped into someone, not the now-common “get out of my way!”) and we see in others what we don’t want to see in ourselves.

      I’m not sure if I’d feel “bad” about not hearing back from my first choice (as so many posters do), I’ve had enough experience that I believe in Fate and that the job I am offered and feel good about is the one I’m supposed to take. I’ve worked “dream jobs” that made me miserable, no thank you.

  12. London Calling*

    OP3 – your boss is being an ass. The royals have very high but very unobtrusive security and there will have been hundreds if not thousands of people taking pictures of them. If they’d had their security compromised then I can assure you discreet changes would have been made to their schedule and visibility. They expect people to take pics – visibility is part of their job – that’s the whole point of royal tours. Is there a cultural issue here, that high profile people where you live don’t have snaps taken of them or something and it’s regarded as disrespectful or endangering in some way?

    I’m British and live in the UK, for background.

    1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      Agreed, with full ditto on the background.

      That boss sounds completely ridiculous to me. If the complaint had come because you had all been hanging out of the windows to take photos at risk of your safety and/or not getting your work done, then that’s one thing. But there was absolutely no increase to the risk of the royal family by what you did.

      1. London Calling*

        And as the royal family and all high profile people know, security has its limits. If someone is completely and utterly determined to kill you, they will find a way. Certainly they know that and they accept that risk.

        1. Cora*

          Yet another reason why I will not be accepting a marriage proposal from a member of the British royal family, when one inevitably comes my way.

    2. EPLawyer*

      You didn’t even post them on social media. So I am nto sure how you being in possession of the photographs compromised their security. I can assure you that the security teams were well aware of the roof of your building and it’s ability to see the monument the Royals visited. If it were a security concern, you would never have been allowed near the roof.

      the point of the tour is to be seen and generate goodwill among the people of the country being visited towards Great Britain. If taking pictures were not allowed, then a lot of the purpose of the tour would be lost.

      However, your boss is your boss and gets to have pet peeves. This is apparently one you have to live with.

    3. Anonymouse*

      Seconded. There were a few engagements during the Pakistan tour that were private or undisclosed til last minute for security reasons. But I know the engagement you’re talking about, OP3, and it was not one of them. Your boss is being weird but idk if this is the hill I’d die on. FYI, I would’ve done the same :)

    4. Antilles*

      OP3 – your boss is being an ass.
      Agreed 100%.
      What I don’t understand is why “security of foreign dignitaries” is even the boss’ business in the first place. It sounds like OP’s company just happened to coincidentally be across the street from where the royals were. Not that the company is involved with the visit or in charge of maintaining security or anything else which would justify “discretion around celebrities is part of our job”, so…why does the boss even care?

      1. Cora*

        Ooh, do you think the Cambridges submitted a complaint to the company? Maybe this was one roof crowd too far!

  13. Uldi*

    I can’t say much about the reprimand, since as Alison notes it’s not clear how much it will affect you.

    However, I AM concerned that you had a clear line of sight on the royals from a rooftop that didn’t have a guard stationed there. That does not reflect well on whoever is running security for them while visiting.

    1. Bagpuss*

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true. It isn’t possible to exclude all possible risk, and short of evacuating the entire area completely or putting guards in every room with a window facing their direction, you can’t prevent every single possible issue.

      I would assume that they do an assessment of the level of potential threat and take things from there.

      It sounds as though OP did nothing unreasonable or inappropriate and it would be reasonable for them to push back about the reprimand, perhaps by showing their boss that the itinerary had been made public in advance and that there were many public photos, to demonstrate that they were not adding any risk.

      1. Robin*

        Also, assuming this happened in Wills and Kate’s country, sniper rifles are not available at Marks & Spencer.

        1. Robin*

          (Oops, just noticed it was in Pakistan; I don’t know much of a concern this would be there, but I’d be surprised if it’s as much as the US.)

          1. Jules the 3rd*

            Given that Al Qaeda moves fairly freely between Pakistan and Afghanistan, I’d think it was a pretty big concern, but there’s only so much a security team can do. They have to rely on local security a lot, and yeah, it sounds to me like local security failed. If you can see individual bodies with the naked eye, you can count freckles with a scope.

          2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            That’s why in the US they’d have security detail on all roofs and lock down entire areas. We’re well aware of the risk in high profile situations like that. We don’t leave it up to locals who may or may not care.

            1. EPLawyer*

              thank you.

              If someone felt it was a security threat, the roof would have been off limits. Since it wasn’t we can trust the sechrity team to have decided that for this visit, it wasn’t a problem. I dbout it was just overlooked because the LW says their roof is used for pictures all the time of the monument. It’s a known quantity.

        2. Related to several Gulf War & Afghanistan veterans*

          I’d worry that having someone’s security detail get used to seeing people on rooftops could make them less likely to identify a rooftop sniper. Even if political parades in Pakistan are by law a gun-free zone.
          But your actual question? Pakistan is a HUGE country for guns. Weapons are a national tradition, for the tribes especially. It’s the fourth highest # of guns in a country in the world, as of a 2018 study. They make excellent weapons and ahve a tradition of celebratory gunfire.Some regions allow heavy weaponry like RPGs. Wikipedia “Gun law in Pakistan” is matches what I’ve been told.
          Pakistan also borders Afghanistan so there’s the additional concern of Taliban and ISIS fighters who might be blending into the population.

    2. EvilQueenRegina*

      I was the year above him at St Andrews, and I remember you couldn’t get into his hall of residence without being signed in by someone who lived there, but I do remember stories of people who weren’t on his courses sneaking into his lectures to get a look at him (the ones I knew about were other students; I’m not sure it would have been possible for non-students). There was a rumour at one point that his email address was visible on the student directory and someone found it out, it was later removed. So yeah, I’m not shocked.

      1. Cora*

        Ugh, I have huge sympathy for William and Harry. It’s a hell of a life they are forced to lead in the spotlight and it sounds from recent articles that it has had a significant negative effect on Harry and Meghan’s well being.

        I suppose it helps that they have oodles of cash.

    3. Phony Genius*

      This reminds me of a story my mother told me. She was working in an office in NYC, and then-President Nixon was going to pass by on the street during a public appearance. The Secret Service came into the office and told everybody that they can glance out the window occasionally as he passed, but anybody caught staring out the window would be shot. (This is less than a decade after the JFK assassination, and shortly after MLK’s.) After that, not many people even glanced out the window. The bosses had no say in the matter, unlike the writer’s example.

      1. MatKnifeNinja*

        When my sister worked in downtown Detroit, her business had the rule during stuff like motorcades, rallies etc, you could not be gawking out your office window, let alone taking pictures. Didn’t matter it was lunch time and you were off the clock. If you were that interested in whatever was going on, you had to go to street level.

        The big part was the company wanted no part if something happened, security tapes were pulled and their coworkers were looking out the windows and taking pictures. They wanted to be totally off the radar screen for questioning etc.

        OP, I have a feeling it’s more this, than concern of the Royals.

        1. Observer*

          Actually, I suspect that it was the fact that they (or the boos) should have warned people that they could get shot if they make the wrong move on the roof.

      2. Gelliebean*

        Sometime during President Obama’s second term, he came to a function at a hotel across the street from my office building. Facilities warned us that anyone going out on the balcony that day would be at risk of getting shot…. I did peek out the windows once or twice, but never saw anything. Traffic on the way home was absolutely terrible, though, because they shut down the main highways for the motorcade.

    4. London Calling*

      *you had a clear line of sight on the royals from a rooftop that didn’t have a guard stationed there. That does not reflect well on whoever is running security for them while visiting*

      You don’t know who was watching the rooftop or from where, though. If it was a place where a lot of people could gather to watch Will and Kate I’d be amazed if it wasn’t under surveillance from a higher vantage point or a helicopter.

      1. Cora*

        Yeah I’m pretty sure the security detail for the Prince and Princess of Wales are in no way messing around.

        1. Haiku*

          *Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Charles and Camilla are P&P of Wales even though Cam chooses not to got by her title.

    5. Jennifer Thneed*

      How on earth do you know that there wasn’t a guard stationed on that roof? The letter doesn’t mention it in any way.

  14. On a pale mouse*

    I wonder if #5 was imagining saying something snarky enough that the employer couldn’t miss their point. It reminded me of an old internet joke “rejection rejection” letter (google anthony tiger rejection rejection letter). I wouldn’t really send either that one or the one LW 5 might be imagining, but it is great fun to imagine doing it.

    1. OP 5 here*

      Oh, it’s definitely very fun to imagine a pointed barb hitting it’s mark and making a difference. Unfortunately, most recipients don’t even understand the barb let alone learn from it.

    1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      LOL – love it! I assumed your post had a typo in it, but I’m delighted to be wrong.

  15. Alice*

    #4, Can I just say I despise questions like that? I had a very frustrating interview with a recruiter who asked me “how would your current employer react to your resignation?” — I replied something along the lines of “they might be disappointed I’m moving on but I hope to maintain a friendly relationship” but they kept pressing and I had no idea what they were getting at. Weeks later I finally figured out they’d been trying to ask “what could your employer do to change your mind about leaving?”

    It was frustrating on both sides because they didn’t get the answer they wanted and went on to believe that I was dodging the question, when I could have easily explained I would not entertain a counter offer because of reasons. Honestly I think you handled it very well.

    1. OP#4*

      Thank you for sharing your experience! That is so weird because they could have worded the question they were intending to ask very plainly, as you did. I don’t understand why some interviewers want to try to ask questions that are kind of near the point and either nudge you there or see if you get there on your own. I’ve never been in a position to hire anyone, but if I did, I’d like to think that I would directly ask about anything I wanted to know or was interested in.
      Thanks for your positive feedback. At the time I felt like a complete idiot that was missing some obvious message or point. You are right about how the interviewer doesn’t even benefit from such a question because they don’t even get the information they were seeking.

      1. 1234*

        It’s because some people have a hard time being direct. They THINK most people speak the way they do and by them asking “questions that are near the point,” other people will know what they mean. *eye roll*

      2. CM*

        I often use the tactic of answering the question I think they’re asking, or would prefer to answer: “Well, I would hope if my supervisor had any concerns, she would talk to me first. But if you’re asking about my weaknesses, I would say…”

    2. Allonge*

      Oh my, that is terrible. Also completely irrelevant: in many jobs the employer has very little leeway to do things that can change an employee’s mind about leaving… I am thinking public sector especially.

      1. Alice*

        In context I think it was a fair question. Earlier I told them “I do X and Y in my current job, but the position is being changed to X only and I really want to focus on Y, so I’m excited to apply for this Y Specialist position.” It made sense for the interviewer to ask if I would stay if they offered to let me work on Y, or if I’d raised the issue with my manager at all, etc. It was just worded in such a bad way that I didn’t understand what they were actually asking.

      2. Emilia Bedelia*

        Eh, I think asking about counteroffers and what the candidate is looking for is a reasonable question. “No, I work for the government and they can’t counter” and “Actually, I am pretty happy here and I’d only be swayed by something really interesting – if my current job gave me $5k more or another week of vacation, I’d be happy” would give the interviewer some pretty valuable information about how good an offer they need to come up with, and whether they need to worry about the candidate declining the offer.

  16. Jane*

    OP#2, as someone in a very conservative industry who started wearing her hair curly about 10 years into her career, I agree it depends on your office. My current one, as long as I’m not meeting clients, doesn’t care – and me and the other curly haired person regularly turn up with wet hair. My last job, it was definitely viewed as mildly unprofessional (FWIW, I still turned up with damp hair, but I had enough capital to do that and I was willing to take the hit as I was just over straightening hair by that point. Don’t get me started on how only straight hair is seen as professional!).

    For me, I do my best to dry the roots as much as possible, especially in the winter, but I need to wet the ends each day and there’s no real way around turning up to work with at least damp hair.

    1. Sam.*

      I think having dry roots goes a long way. If it’s just the ends that are still drying up and they have no meetings for the first hour or so of the day, I think it’s fine since it will appear fully dry by the time they’re really interacting with people. It’s the showing up looking like you stepped out of the shower that the business-casual offices I’ve worked in (and me, personally) would find less than professional.

      1. Jane*

        This isn’t useful for the OP as they don’t have a hairdryer, but my hairdresser told me to blast the roots dry and then re-wet the ends. I only do it when I have to as it’s a faff, but it does let me turn up with damp but presentable hair.

      1. Jane*

        The point I was trying to make was that in my industry dry straightened hair is the ‘professional‘ default and I guess considered the most formal way of wearing hair (I think this is BS). Even in this industry some offices are ok with wet curly hair, others will frown upon it.

        In one of the latter workplaces I got away with wet curly hair, but I was already established and I was a rockstar at my job so I had a fair bit of latitude. It’s very office-dependent.

  17. Beth*

    #1: I can see why you feel like something is off. Based on the fact that your boss hired you at a low-ish wage and with a bit of a bait-and-switch job description, my first impression is that he’s a bit of a cheapskate; the fact that he needed the push of you maintaining a second job to consider offering a raise (instead of, say, because you’re doing good work above your pay grade) reinforces that. Of course you’re wondering what the catch is!

    But I don’t think there necessarily is one. There are plenty of reasonably innocent reasons that you might have ended up here. He may be a bit oblivious and not have realized exactly how advanced the work you’d end up doing would be, or that the offered pay was out of line with living costs in your area/expectations for your role. Or maybe he’s concerned that you’ll find better compensation elsewhere and is trying to make staying more enticing. Or he might have been fine with you working an extra job part-time, but be worried about burnout with you working two jobs long-term, and be trying to make sure you don’t feel like that’s necessary to make ends meet.

    Bring a number to the table–ideally one that would both bring your finances to a comfortable level and be a reasonably in line with market value for the work you’re doing. See how the conversation goes from there. Hopefully it all works out smoothly; if not, you’ll probably get a better sense of what he’s concerned about and whether there are any strings attached to this, and you’ll be able to plan for your future more accurately.

  18. Flash Bristow*

    OP1, what’s the worst that can happen? You get offered a raise *if* you leave your second job, but end up having to say “I’m sorry, I really appreciate the offer but having talked it over with my husband, we can’t make it work. But I’m so grateful for the effort and consideration you gave me, and this job will always be my priority.” ?

    If it was me and I was offered enough money in my main, skills and career-related job such that I didn’t end up needing to take a second one, well then I’d be grateful to be appreciated and able to do so!

    If it’s the change of scene and banter you are after in job 2, you could always volunteer somewhere in your free time to give you the same vibe?

  19. Ben Thair*

    Are you in the military? Something about this reads like you are. It would definitely explain the write up for putting personalities at risk and would explain how you were able to be on the roof without security for the royals being present. What may be OK as a civilian is not always OK for military.

    1. Daisy*

      Nothing about it reads like that to me. ‘Boss’? ‘Off the clock’? ‘Many tourists use our roof’?

    2. Approval is optional*

      I didn’t get a military vibe. The ‘so off the clock’ bit is un-military IMHO.

    3. Sandy*

      I actually read it as someone being from an embassy or development organization, not military at all. And in those cases, yes, it would be considered unacceptable, as an example of lack of judgement and/or discretion (insert your country’s bureaucratic euphemism for “should have known better” here).

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        I read it as diplomatic or gov charity work, both of which would probably have issues with it.

        1. Ophelia*

          FWIW, just because someone works in an embassy or development organization, that doesn’t mean they aren’t from the country where it’s located. Many staff at most orgs/embassies are “cooperating country nationals” (and that “many” is probably more like “most” at a typical development org).

          1. Approval is optional*

            FWIW I know that, but the comment said ‘your country’s…’ not your ’employer’s country…’. So why assume their country wasn’t Pakistan? Because they write to AAM so they must be from the US? Because their written English is fluent?
            And what was there in the letter that made it seem like it was an embassy or dev org? There is no mention of the the type of work, the job titles or the like. So taking into account all the different types of businesses in Pakistan, why assume it’s a type of organisation that is likely to employ foreigners?
            I’m not saying the assumption isn’t correct – though keeping in mind that the OP says tourist often use the roof to take photos it’s actually highly unlikely to be an embassy – as a general rule the security in embassies precludes them being used as a photo vantage point for ‘many’ tourists – I just think it’s possible that a degree of ‘westernism’ led to the assumptions being made. Which is why I asked why.

            1. Sandy*

              Ummm no?

              In this case, your country refers specifically to “the country you are representing”.

              Whether you are local staff, a foreigner working for your own embassy, or a foreigner working for another country’s embassy, you are still representing the country of the embassy you work for.

        2. LV*

          Embassies have plenty of local staff. OP could easily be a Pakistani working at a foreign embassy in Pakistan.

      2. Genny*

        I doubt it’s a government, military, or NGO-type place since LW says that the roof is frequently used by tourists to take aerial shots of the national monument. Governments/militaries certainly wouldn’t grant that kind of access to tourists and NGO-type places likely wouldn’t either. Plus I strongly suspect an embassy-type place would have circulated information regarding the visit like places to avoid, general security updates/reminders, etc. beforehand so LW would’ve surprised by the write-up.

        1. Sandy*

          It might surprise you to learn that in many countries, foreign embassies are just another office in a giant office building. Come to think of it, I know of at least one Western embassy that shares its building with an auto-body shop…

          1. OP3*

            Hi, thank you for responding. Just to clear the confusion: I am a Pakistani citizen, living and working in Pakistan – and I’m pretty comfortable with English, thought it being my second language, I’m prone to lapses. I don’t work in the military or the government – I work for a local software company. The building I work in is the tallest one in the neighbourhood, which is why the roof is often used for aerial photography. The roof isn’t off-limits to anyone, employees or otherwise, but anyone entering the building is frisked for weapons, so it is considered moderately secure.

            In my company, a write-up results in a deduction in the year-end bonus, depending on the severity of the offence. That’s why the write-up mattered to me.

  20. General von Klinkerhoffen*

    #4 – there’s a possible pivot here where you might be able to show off your understanding of professional standards or ethics or something. I would try to parse the question as “what should someone in your position expect to lose their job for” rather than “what’s the worst thing you’ve ever personally got away with”.


    “I work with clients’ personal data so any breach would fall foul of GDPR and leave the company liable to legal action. I make sure to leave my workstation locked if I’m ever away from my desk, and never discuss cases outside work. I also subscribe to ‘Data Handling Monthly’ to make sure I’m on top of best practice.”

    “Hygiene and safety standards are very important for Llama Grooming. I would consider it unacceptable to reuse brushes between animals, or to neglect the paperwork showing the timing of anti-fungal treatments.”

    1. OP#4*

      I didn’t even think of that! This is really helpful. Although I didn’t get the job, I was thinking about reapplying soon and this gives me a way to prepare in case that question comes up again.

      1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        You’ll know best whether this is likely based on the company and industry, and the tone used to ask, but I’m glad it’s given you food for thought!

  21. Flexitimeisanxiety*

    #OP3 Your boss has no real reason for writing you up. As someone who has worked in Pakistan and is from there, I would not be so worried about this write up, depending on the institution you work for. As you said, you were on break and these picture were personal. I know of at last 10 people who have taken similar pictures of the royals and they were not reprimanded (and these were people who work for an MNC that is very firm in their rules and write ups). It is absurd for them to write you up. I would be more worried about how much clout your boss has because he can definitely make your life miserable considering litigation and challenging labor practices is difficult in Pakistan. Please tread carefully. Does he always have such a weird reaction to things like this? And how are the power dynamics in your company? This seems to be sign of weird management, but I have hope that this incident will be forgotten to be honest.

    1. Jules the 3rd*

      Thank you for the local expertise, and I think you’ve got something for OP to think about there. Frivolous writeups are often weaponized.

    2. MOAS*

      On Fridays’ open thread can you talk more about what it was like to work in Pakistan? I’m from there, but never actually lived there. would love to know more.

  22. Robin*

    #3: yeesh. If the Royals could be harmed by members of the public taking photos of them, we’d be a republic by now.

  23. Bulldog*

    LW1 – Is the offer of the raise contingent upon you quitting the second job? I wasn’t quite clear from your letter. You just say that your boss said you wouldn’t “have to” work two jobs. If there is no quid pro quo, I’d accept the raise and keep working the second job (assuming second job is not infringing upon your ability to satisfactorily perform you duties at job #1). Actually, I would take the raise either way. Obviously, if you can make the combined salaries at one job, that would be preferable to working two. Then, I’d probably quietly start looking elsewhere. Your boss has already shown that he is willing to underpay you. Coupled with the job description bait and switch, I’d be wary of staying with the company long term.

    1. Bostonian*

      This comment is spot-on. OP has already stated above that they love working the second job, and it’s on weekends, so if the boss is only offering a raise because he doesn’t want OP to work the second job, that’s cause for concern.

      It’s also concerning that this boss thinks OP should get a raise based on circumstances (needing a second job), rather than merit or market rate for the actual job duties. Add that on top of the bait-and-switch nature of the job, and I’m seeing a lot of problematic things with this boss that may affect OP’s longterm success and happiness here.

      1. SpaceySteph*

        Agree. That boss only recognizes employee is underpaid because she has demonstrated that she cannot live on her salary is very troubling. Pay should be based on value of work performed, not on how much money you need. Is this boss paying people with families more than single people for the same work because they need the money more? Is a man with a stay at home wife getting more than a man with a working wife? Do you get a bonus every time you have a baby?

      2. MCMonkeyBean*

        I don’t think given the information we have everyone needs to assume the worst of the boss. Maybe he sucks, but I have had previous jobs where my direct boss really supported me and wanted to get me a raise but had to get approval from higher ups. It could be that he was able to use the fact that OP was working a second job to convince higher ups that the position was not being paid a fair market rate.

        And most jobs I’ve been at have claimed the right to tell me I couldn’t work a second job, so I don’t think accepting the raise and then quietly continuing the second job is the right move if they have any policies that say second jobs must be approved.

  24. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

    #1 – unless something else has happened at your job to make you cautious to take your boss’s offer at face value, I don’t think there’s any reason to think there’s more to this. It could be as simple as him realizing that you’re being underpaid for the work you’re doing. I would make sure this won’t affect future raises as Alison suggested, but other than that, crunch the numbers and accept the fact that you seem to have a good manager that cares about you.

  25. Lone Rhino*

    #4 My first thought would be to say “Well if I went to their office and urinated in the corner I would probably get fired”.

    1. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

      Yeah, my thought process was along the lines of “well, if I wanted to be fired for cause, I think the thing that would be easiest for me personally to pull off would be to start showing up to work increasingly late – I’m pretty sure I could pull that off just by not setting an alarm or by going out for brunch in the mornings on weekdays.” I’m not sure if I’d say that in an interview or not, though. It would probably depend on how much I wanted a job versus how much I only wanted to switch jobs if I was sure my new position would put up with my sparkling personality.

    2. JediSquirrel*

      Alison is right when she says this person is an asshat. Such a high level of asshattery would bring out my snark.

      “Well, they haven’t caught me embezzling yet to support my cocaine habit, but other than that, I’d have to say nothing, really. Why do you ask?”

  26. Linda Evangelista*

    Serious follow-up question to OP2 – I’m white and I have thick, 3B curls just below the ear. I wash or refresh in the morning and wrap a 100% cotton towel around it to sponge out excess water. If I diffuse it, it gets frizzy. If I wash it the night before, I’ll wake up with it frizzy and/or still wet. I can’t put it up because it’s not long enough, and even if I did, it would completely screw up the curls and get frizzy. IMO, all of those looks are less professional than damp hair, and yes, I show up to external morning meetings with it looking this way.

    My question is – is this going to be a big deal? Obviously it has never been a big deal with my team, or at least no one has mentioned it to me. But I’m a little salty that it could be perceived as “unprofessional” for my hair to look a certain way when that’s the way for it to look it’s best.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I’ve got near-opposite hair — fine, thick, and straight except for a cowlick front & center. So much hair it takes a long time to dry thoroughly. I can’t shower at night or I wake up with a stiff neck. I have the curse of living with light sleepers so a morning hair dryer is right out. I dry it as much as possible with towels and comb it straight.
      When I wore it long and used public transit, I’d braid it before leaving the house — even in a NYC August it would still be damp inside the braid when I left work. When I changed jobs and started driving, I started using the ‘highway hairdryer” , and braiding it when I got to the parking lot.
      As long as your hair looks intentionally the way it is and is not dripping, I’m okay with it. I draw my line at visible snarls — whether it’s wet or dry. (And I include dreads on my list of intentional looks — snarls are a different thing entirely.)
      I cut my hair short earlier this year because I was tired of dealing with long hair. And was reminded that I’d leti t grow long because I have cowlicks. I do the same thing each morning and it’s random how it reacts. I’m back to barettes.
      (Still looking for a hair gel or hairspray that doesn’t trigger my migraines, sigh.)

      1. PX*

        Late but if you’re adventurous, I know people who make their own gel. Google flaxseed gel, and go down the wormhole of natural hair care. Some of it might work for you!

    2. Anononon*

      I think the answer has a lot to do with the fact that different hair types look different when wet, and people with straight hair especially don’t think about how curly hair reacts wet versus dry. I think it’s less of an issue for curly hair to be damp because it often just looks like there’s product in it, if it’s noticeable at all.

      I would just continue doing what you’re doing.

      1. Dana B.S.*

        Agreed – we can’t say for sure because we can’t see your hair! It may appear to just have product in it or the dampness may be barely noticeable. I imagine you’re fine unless there was a situation that occurred which prompted you to ask this question. Then, I would defer to a friend/family member who can provide non-critical advice.

        This reminds me of a thread on a different site where someone asked about what to do with an employee who wasn’t washing her hair. It obviously detoured to a discussion about how often people need to wash their hair and how our hair looks at different stages of cleanliness. Turns out the employee looked like a homeless person and did legitimately need advice, but without a visual, we can only provide information on our own experiences.

    3. CheeryO*

      I think part of the issue is that a lot of people are completely clueless as to how curly hair works (including a lot of people with “frizzy” hair that’s probably actually curly or wavy), so unfortunately, I think you always run the risk of someone seeing your damp hair as not-fully-groomed. However, if no one has said anything and you don’t feel like you’re being held back by it, I doubt it’s an issue. I’m sure keeping it short helps.

    4. Squeeze of Lemon*

      Linda, this is me. My hair ONLY looks presentable if it’s been made soaking wet (washing – as in shampooing – not necessary, a rinse is ok) and then air dries. Once it’s up, it completely disrupts the curl pattern and I can’t put it back down. Sure, I could it put it up in a bun every day, but sometimes I want to show off my beautiful curls and wear it down!

      I’m going to slightly disagree with Alison. It’s never ok to have SOAKING WET hair, or look like you just came out of the shower. If it’s wet enough to get your clothes wet, it’s too wet. But a hint of residual dampness probably isn’t even noticeable to people who aren’t scrutinizing you – maybe you just used a lot of gel that day.

      I shower in the morning, and then my hair gradually dries (and absorbs local humidity) so the curl pattern is gradually changing for about 4-5 hours. My commute is really long, so it’s not visibily wet by the time I arrive in the office, but if someone were to touch any big clumps in the back they’d notice it’s not fully dry (who is going to do that?).

      I do think there is, overall, a sense that naturally curly hair is not professional or desired. How many movies show the ugly duckling becoming a hottie when they remove her glasses and straighten her hair? Curly hair in movies is always straightened and then perfectly curled into neat and tidy waves of ringlets that always go the same direction and have no frizz.

      That it will be a bit wet in the morning is a fact of curly hair.

      What you are doing sounds fine and if you are otherwise well-presented people shouldn’t be thinking less of you.

      1. Ophelia*

        Same, and I 100% agree with this. I don’t ever show up at the office with *wet* hair, but there’s really no way for me to avoid having damp hair for a few hours in the morning.

      2. CMR*

        SAME. I’m in upper management and regularly arrive at work with damp curly hair. I have to drop off my kids at daycare, so there’s enough time between getting ready and arriving at work, that my hair is only slightly damp. But all the solutions offered would never work for me – showering at night, putting hair up to let it dry, using a diffuser – and I’m not going to change my hairstyle or lifestyle to modify others’ personal opinions. I honestly didn’t know damp hair was a problematic thing and I’d probably prickle if someone brought it up as a problem.

    5. EventPlannerGal*

      If you’ve been doing this for a while and nobody has ever brought it up then it’s probably not a big deal, but there is a possibility that someone somewhere will view it as unprofessional. Is it visibly very obvious that it’s wet? And are we talking a little damp or full dripping-down-your-back wet? (My hair’s very thick and can continue to drip even after extensive towel-drying.) Because I think those will make the biggest difference.

    6. Chili*

      It’s one of those things I’ve found that a few people view as extremely unprofessional but most people won’t care at all. Especially with morning gym-going being such a thing nowadays, it seems like a lot more people (of all genders) are coming into the office with wet hair.
      I also have curly hair that needs to be wet in the morning to look not like a frizz all, so I proudly stride in damp every morning. To my knowledge, it has not adversely affected my career but I also currently work in a very casual profession.

      1. New Job So Much Better*

        I have newly curly hair after taking a certain med for 4 years– and never thought to dampen it the days I don’t wash. Learn something here all the time!

    7. Arctic*

      Curly hair, especially hair as curly as your’s, just looks better and less noticeable when wet.

      If I went to work with wet hair down then it would look like a dirty dishrag hanging limply from my head.

      If it hasn’t been an issue I wouldn’t sweat it.

    8. Alas alack*

      I think where you live makes a difference, too. Seattle area in the rainy season? No one blinks at wet hair. You could have walked through a rain shower on your way in, or on your coffee break, etc, any time of day.

    9. Blueberry*

      Do you wear anything over your hair to bed? I’m a Black girl with thick tightly curly hair, and I wear a headscarf or bonnet to bed at nights to keep it from tangling up. When I wash it I tie the scarf down tight as it’s especially prone to felting if agitated while wet.

      I love hair discussions!

  27. Just J.*

    LW#1 – I don’t think there is a bait and switch going on here at all. How long have you been at your job? You say ‘recently’ but is that a month? Or six months? Things change. The original job posting may have been poorly written. This happens a lot. Or they may have hired you for the skill set in the original job posting and, for circumstances behind the scenes, you are now doing a lot more. This happens a lot too. A raise may have been in the works for your annual review anyway. You never know. Your second job simply brought the issue of compensation to the forefront.

    Regardless of the circumstances, your manager is doing something in good faith. I would not want any of my junior staff to take a second job if 1) I valued their work and 2) could afford to pay them more. The fact that he is offering you a raise is a positive reflection on you and your work. It means your company wants to keep you and does not want you to be burnt out. As someone posted above, do your market / salary research, write down every responsibility you have, and figure out an appropriate raise. (Look at the opposite, if they DIDN’T care, then they wouldn’t be doing a thing.)

    BTW, bosses and managers are busy. And unless someone says they are unhappy with their job or their compensation, I am going to assume – and default to – that you are all ok with where you are at. (BTW, I am not privy to what my staff earns. Though I do get to advocate for promotions and raises at annual reviews. Whether or not they go through is also not up to me.) As Alison always say, advocate for yourself. From a manager’s perspective, someone taking a second job means there is something amiss. The fact that your boss is addressing it is a good thing. Run with it.

  28. CurlyGirly*

    I have curly hair and I have to wet it to style it. I also very rarely dry it. Maybe in the dead of winter when it reaches below 0 temps. I do have an hour commute so the top portion is pretty dry before I get to work. But I have had jobs where I lived closer to home. I’ve never dried my hair, ever in my professional working career. I have never had a comment or side eye either.

    1. DoctorateStrange*

      My hair is a mix of wavy with some curls. I’ve shown up to work with wet hair as well, but no one has said anything. It’s only when I mentioned it to a colleague that he said that everyone hadn’t realized it was wet. They just thought it was just slicked down. I guess people assume wet curly hair looks a certain way…

      1. AuroraLight37*

        I’ve got curly hair, mid-back length, and I don’t think my coworkers even notice when I come in with damp hair. It’s never dripping wet, and I wear it back in a braid, so I think the only way they’d be aware is that I have fewer wispies on the side when it’s damp. I normally blot it with a bath towel, then put it in a Turbie Towel or a microfiber towel for half an hour after I wash it. That gets it to the point where it’s not obviously soaked.

  29. CurlyGirly*

    OP3- Did your boss just write you up or everyone? I wonder if he is was just angry that everyone was up taking pics instead of inside working. I know you were all on break, but I have seen bosses react this way. I am not saying its right at all. Your boss sounds kind of like a jerk.

    Also I worked at a high end retail establishment. Our boss “wrote up” the entire staff for something frivolous and never turned it in to HR. It was more of scare tactic than anything.

  30. SarcasticSally*

    OP4- I am kind of a sarcastic person, so I would probably say something ridiculous like. Well I often like to bring my Llama to work with me and some people can’t get over the stench and his spitting. So that would probably be why.

  31. Scout Finch*

    My hair is collar length. I leave the house with it wet. It may be a little damp when I arrive at work.

    I am in higher ed IT. I don’t wear makeup. I do not have a client facing role.

    That’s why I got into IT. No suits or heels either.

      1. Scout Finch*

        I have found my people!

        Seriously – I would look like Kate Moss if I had to wear heels and makeup to work. Because I would starve before I did that. I cannot walk in heels. My ankles rolls and I splay on the sidewalk (ask me how I know). I have no talents in applying makeup (think Tammy Faye Bakker the few times I tried to “fit in”).

        My clothes and shoes are clean and lean toward khakis and polos or tunic blouses. I do my job and rarely see coworkers, much less students or faculty, during the day. That’s about the best I can do.

  32. Amethystmoon*

    #3 is bizarre. You didn’t share the photos anywhere other people would have seen them. How did your boss even find out? Did someone talk? To me as a hobbyist photographer, at least in the US, anything in public is technically fair game. Though I don’t generally make a habit of taking photos of other people, I take photos of trees, flowers and animals, but someone might accidentally get in one of them if I am at a park or zoo.

  33. Minocho*

    My brother interviewed for a job with a large, well known and prestigious company when he was preparing to graduate from college. He interviewed very well, but like OP #5, moved on when he didn’t hear back.

    Three months later, a couple of months into his first post-graduation job, he heard back from the company with a very generous offer – they offered a position meant to groom him for leadership, moving him from location to location across the country every few months as part of the position. He felt he should stay with the company that hired him initially, and turned them down.

    It seems counterproductive for all involved for these instances of poor communication to lead to so many missed opportunities.

  34. 1234*

    OP#5 – I wonder if you weren’t their top candidate but one of the top candidates. They made an offer to Top Candidate #1 and he/she needed time to think, negotiate, etc. and ended up declining. Rather than starting the whole hiring process again, they move on to the next candidate (perhaps you) and make you an offer.

    While this is lower stakes, over a decade ago, I interviewed for an internship and the woman was snarky. She basically said “IDK if your previous internship experience with Other Company will relate to this internship” [Well, if you thought that, why even ask me in for an interview?] and I didn’t expect to hear from her.

    Weeks later, her assistant gives me a call and basically said that I had the job. This was during the recession and I needed something to do (I had already graduated college) so I accepted it, knowing I wasn’t the boss’s first choice candidate. It went as well as I expected, let’s put it that way.

    1. OP 5 here*

      Yeah, I was a second choice once – worst experience of my life! The manager praised me for doing X one day then next week I was written up for it. They never let me forget I wasn’t their first choice and I felt like I had been dropped into elementary school again, not a professional business staffed by adults.

      1. Aaron Sorkin's ghost*

        It does not follow that “second choice” means unwanted. See the West Wing episode about how Toby Ziegler was Pres. Bartlett’s second choice for communications director.

  35. Arctic*

    LW#1- I really don’t see a problem here. It is possible your boss is worried two jobs will impact your performance. But it’s just as likely he doesn’t want his people to have to work second jobs to get by.

    LW#2- I always wash my hair at night because of this issue. But I have straight hair that looks very noticeable when wet even damp. I think *my* hair is without a doubt unprofessional if I show up to work with it wet and down even in an informal setting. But from my experience with curly haired friends it is much less noticeable with curly hair. I think this is just something that varies too much to have a rule on.

    LW#4- The only correct answer is “Well, I hope my boss can maintain professionalism but when he/she/they finds out I’m sleeping with his/her/their wife/husband/partner it could end in termination.”

    LW#5 Going weeks and months is the norm in many government areas and government adjacent areas. It’s funny what you get used to. Weeks seem like nothing to me now.

    1. Quill*

      “Now that you mention it, I’m job hunting specifically so that my boss doesn’t ever connect my secret identity, Jane Worker, to my illustrious career as a superhero. I recently found out that my current boss is a supervillain, and that’s a conflict of interest for sure.”

      1. Arctic*

        “Despite those issue I believe my extensive experience I gained in death ray repair and hacking government databases would be invaluable to your organization.”

      2. OP 5 here*

        And I really hate that I’m going to have to put him in jail since he brings in the most amazing things on our Pot Luck Fridays!

      1. Heidi*

        “Or for being brutally honest when I think a question is stupid.”

        For real, though. I personally would step back and say, “I feel like I’m being very truthful and realistic with my answer, but the multiple asks makes me think you’re trying to get me to say something else. Could you clarify what exactly you’re looking for with this question?”

    1. Jennifer*

      Ha! Once I’d decided I would never want to work there in a million years, I’d have so much fun with that question…

    2. Blue Horizon*

      “I think if had just been that one annoying client that ‘accidentally’ stepped in front of traffic, he could have let it slide. Nobody really liked that guy much. But five of the auditors was definitely too many, and that’s not even counting the entire roster of the team that beat us in the indoor soccer final last year.”

  36. Quill*

    #2: have you tried wrapping your hair while commuting so that the outer portion will dry faster? I have very coarse 3b/3c hair and find that wrapped hair (in a cotton t-shirt) actually dries faster for me. And unfortunately for me, there’s a pretty huge color difference between wet and dry, so it would be noticeable in the office.

      1. Quill*

        What I have is a few strands that want to be 3c when they behave or when they’re recently cut, and mostly something that is, sizewise, somewhere between 3c and 3b. Overall it depends on the humidity, time of year and possibly my horoscope how it turns out. :)

  37. #1 The Larch*

    LW #2: If you have a customer facing/high profile/conservative leaning job, then yes, visibly wet hair is unprofessional. I could never get away with wet hair as I am the first person people see when they come to our office. We don’t even have casual Fridays here. It’s business casual with a professional polish every day. And I get up usually two hours prior to work if I need to wash my hair that day. Now that being said, if your office has a different dynamic or maybe you don’t have a customer facing role, then do what makes you feel comfortable while still looking presentable. Your hair shouldn’t be sopping wet, but if it takes an hour or two to air dry, I suppose you could do it at the office provided it doesn’t interfere with work or attire. Or you may need to adjust your routine so that you always look your best prior to work. Great question!

  38. Workfromhome*

    #!- I have a bot of a different perspective. I do agree that you should defiantly take the opportunity to get a raise. However; the way the boss raised it and framed it “him know what the added benefit of my part-time job is, and that we could have a discussion about a possible raise so that I wouldn’t have to work two jobs.” strikes me as a red flag and more than a little tone deaf.

    Pay rates should not be based on “what you need to make to avoid two jobs”. If your significant other had a very high paying job and could pay off your credit card debt. (so you don’t need the 2nd job) does that mean you should not get a raise?

    Its possible they don’t know you are doing work far beyond what you were hired for and that you are underpaid but that should be the focus of the conversation and any raise talk. If your main job changes once again and you are now doing 80% program manger work will there be no raise for the extra work because you already told them “you make enough money to avoid a second job”?

    It could all be quite innocent but you are much better off to take the opportunity to focus on the correct pay rate for this job and any future jobs or promotions with the main company. You also need to maintain the ability to take a second job should the need or want arise (as long as it doesn’t impact your main job).

  39. Leela*

    #5 – there are loads of reasons that they might not have gotten back to you that you shouldn’t let impact a potential future career with them if you were interested in the first place! If the new job you took fell out, I think you’d be a lot happier having a solid relationship with this place. It’s possible that the hiring manager just lost a family member and was out for bereavement and they were truly the only person who could have made a call, it’s possible that they just got word that they have to rebudget and they weren’t sure yet if that department would be able to afford a new person but they might and they didn’t want to cut you loose until they knew, it’s possible that the role is now evolving because someone just left a different department and they might want this role to take on part of that but they’re still figuring out how much. It’s also possible that they’re just disorganized, poor communicators, but even if that’s the case if you try to communicate “well you *could* have had me, if you’d done better” it’s probably just going to frustrate the person communicating with you who isn’t the decision maker, while not making anyone responsible feel bad (or maybe even hear it in the first place).

    But above all else, I’d say don’t burn a bridge unless you know what went wrong! New jobs fall through, departments can have unexpected layoffs a month down the line, all kinds of things can put you in a vulnerable position where you’re far better off if you just said “I’ve taken a new job but good luck on your search!” to them than something to torch the relationship.

    1. seller of teapots*

      This. I was recently in charge of hiring a class of new reps for our company. It’s a responsibility that is normally shared between two people, but the other woman left just before we started hiring, and it all ended up on my plate. It took me longer than I would have liked to get back to people because I just had too much on my plate. Is that a red flag about our company? I suppose if you were interviewing to be *me* because, yes, I’m a bit underwater these days. But it really wasn’t motivated by a lack of respect on my part! Just human error.

      1. OP 5 here*

        seller of teapots,

        Oh, ugh! Is there no way to get you temporary help?? Either from HR or an agency for a week or three?

    2. OP 5 here*


      I DO understand that things happen. This is why I apply and forget – so that if I hear back, it’s a happy surprise, not something I’ve worked myself up over.

  40. Gaia*

    I have ridiculous hair that is both incredibly fine (like newborn baby fine hair), incredibly thick, completely straight if I blowdry it (with no actual styling involved) but wavy/slight curls if I air dry it. When it is wet, even just damp, I look like a drowned rat. So to look professional in my office I was forced to blow dry it (for 20+ minutes) until it was completely dry.

    Add to the growing list of reasons I prefer to work remotely now.

  41. Bitter? Who me?*

    I was in the position where I had to take on a second job. It started out as a way to pay off bills, but then 2008 happened and all of us who survived a massive lay off had to take a 10% pay cut. After the economy got better, most of my peers got a raise but I did not. The reason I was given you ask? Because I had a second job and did not need the raise. Never mind that my husband had a stroke, could no longer work and I was the sole breadwinner for almost a year before he was approved for Social Security Disability payments. UGH!
    Please crunch the numbers and get with your boss to get the raise you deserve. Do NOT hesitate.

    p.s. I was eventually laid off from that job. I found another one within a month even at the ripe old age of 63. I just received a promotion and just received a significant pay raise. Old company has closed down all their branches and now has just a skeleton crew (mostly family members) so I got the last laugh.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Ew. I have to wonder if there was discrimination at play in the background here. You’re the only one with another job? Riiiiight, this sounds like they were singling you out. I’m glad their business crashed, I’m sad that it didn’t take the whole GD place out though.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Yeah, I got a job offer five months afterwards a couple years ago, lol. But thankfully they were understanding and knew it was a long shot. They weren’t shocked by any means when I told them I wasn’t available any longer.

      Some people do have a long journey in job bunting, there are plenty of people around here who have been unemployed for a year or more, so I wouldn’t say “of course” since you don’t know that for sure in every case!

    2. Jennifer*

      I got a letter in the mail about a federal government job I’d applied for, telling me I was no longer in the running. It was a year after I’d applied and had honestly forgotten about it.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        This just reminded me how long it took the PD to drag my friend through their interviewing system. It took about a year and then radio silence, I don’t know how long it took until she got a formal rejection. I still vividly remember the questions on their reference questionnaire that was about 11 pages long.

        “Have you ever seen this person react badly under stress?”
        “Have you ever seen this person do drugs?” and on and on and on.

    3. Thornus*

      Earlier this year, I got an e-mail from a city government asking if I wanted to come in for a position. They had my (quite) outdated resume in their system. I didn’t even know when I had applied to them. By my best guess, it was in 2014 at the most recent. I declined.

  42. Veronica*

    #2, I have wavy/somewhat curly hair and my hair never looked right until I got a dryer with a diffuser. It makes a big difference! If you get one you can hold the dryer on your hair for a few minutes and it dries without being mussed. You can make it partly dry so it’s not obviously wet, and that should cover any occasion.
    I like drying my hair because it makes me feel warmer on chilly mornings! YMMV according to climate. :)

  43. Jennifer*

    #1 I see it this way – what you do during your free time from your full-time job is your business. If you want to take the raise and keep your second job because you enjoy it so much, then, by all means, do that. I was concerned at first that you were wearing yourself thin working two jobs but that doesn’t seem to be the case from reading your follow up comments.

    If you are already underpaid in your full-time job, your boss is doing what he should have done when he hired you which is to pay you what you are worth. I think most people want a little extra in their bank accounts, whether they actually need it to pay down bills or not.

  44. animaniactoo*

    I have to tell you, I have DEFINITELY shown up for a client meeting with my hair still wet.

    It’s the curse of my hair – thick, and holds moisture like there is no tomorrow. No lie, it takes 40 minutes MINIMUM with a blow dryer or 4 hours if left down and loose. Pinned up, it will never dry. I washed my hair last night right before I went to bed (my husband told me I was nuts because it was never going to dry, and yes, I knew he was right, but I was in the middle of important tv watching). It was still partly damp when I got up this morning. And I forgot and had it up in full twist and this post just reminded me to take it down and just pin up the top because… the middle is still damp.

    Generally, as long as it’s not a soggy mess, I figure I’m in the clear. On the odd occasion it’s been up but still clearly super-wet, I either deal, or depending on the tenor of the conversation find a way to sneak in the explanation that my hair takes forever to dry.

    1. banzo_bean*

      I have been in meetings with outside vendors/clients/business contacts who have shown up with wet hair and it never reads as unprofessional to me. I mostly just assume they’re a busy person.

      1. animaniactoo*

        Yeah, I get I’m not the norm, but frankly I think the “unprofessional” opinion on this one is driven/held by people who either don’t have to deal with or don’t know anyone who has to deal with hair like mine. If I braid it while it’s still wet, I will not get dry curls at the other end of the day, I will get still damp hair. If I left it braided, I’d probably be courting mildew.

  45. Tim C.*

    #5: Been there. In fact I have been through interviews and then never heard back. Twice I was called several months later to make an offer. I told them both I already had a job though. Ya know a bird in the hand….

    I have always asked when I can expect to hear from them. If a week has passed this time, I consider that I am not a candidate.

    1. Liz*

      Same. I know based on reading blogs like these that job offers can come many weeks or I guess even months after an interview. But, I’ve only ever received job offers within the week mark, so I always assume I didn’t get it after that.

  46. Sharon*

    I have extremely thick curly hair that does not dry on its own and takes at least an hour to an hour and a half to fully dry using a dryer. I also live in a year round warm, humid climate. My hair is ALWAYS wet! I go to work with it damp but not dripping and just keep trying to arrange it all day. Because it’s curly, it doesn’t really register as fully wet or “drowned dog” and I’ve never gotten any negative feedback.

  47. Goldfinch*

    Every time the wet hair thing comes up, I’m re-reminded that straight-haired white people run the “professional norms” show. I’m not frying my curls to suit a narrow definition of what I should look like, and I’m not washing at night and coming to work with a poodle head either. It’s damp. Deal with it. My career trajectory is unaffected.

    1. banzo_bean*

      I have straight hair and I also refuse to do those things. Sometimes I’ll choose to go the extra mile and style my hair but if I’m getting up at 5:00 am to go the gym and my hair needs a wash after- I’m not going to go to work smelly because I don’t have time to dry my hair after.

      1. Atlantian*

        Wet hair is usually met with an internal shrug and “At least they showered today” internal thought from me. This is more than can be said for some of my co-workers.

  48. banzo_bean*

    Am I the only one who doesn’t think wet hair is AT all unprofessional? Not when it’s straight or curly, not if it’s wet or damp, not even if you’re meeting with clients. People are busy and sometimes they need to wash their hair. I can’t imagine telling a man with short hair that it is unprofessional of him to have it wet (most wouldn’t notice!). I often wear my hair wet to work- if I’m having a super fancy meeting, I’ll often choose to style it but only because that’s the way I feel the most confident, not because I feel I’d otherwise violate some professional norm.

  49. Captain Janeway*

    Re OP2: I’m in my first post-school job, as a lawyer in a small, business-casual office. I’ve been coming to work most days with wet, shoulder-length blonde hair. It’s fine and straight, and usually dries with just a little wave that I think looks nicer than when I blow-dry and straighten. My job is rarely public-facing; I go to court for a couple of days every month or two. On those occasions, of course, I’m sure to dry and style my hair. But generally, I’ve been letting it air-dry for the first hour or so of work.

    My boss is almost never in before 10, after I’ve been at work for a couple of hours, so it’s just my four male coworkers (all at the same level as me) and the secretary while my hair is drying. One coworker, a guy with longer hair, also comes in with it damp every day. Damp hair hasn’t been something I’ve felt awkward about before, but I guess I’ve just been an idiot about this without knowing it??

    1. Lucette Kensack*

      I don’t think you’re an idiot, but I do think you should dry your hair before you get to work (whether that’s with a blow dryer or an extra hour of puttering around the house in the morning so it’s dry before you leave for work).

  50. Liz*

    #5- I recently worked a summer job for a seasonal company. The interviews and offers occurred in the beginning of February, with the work starting in the beginning of May. In mid June, we lost a worker, so my boss had me help her try to fill the spot. She thought it would be good to start out by contacting candidates who she had not offered a position to, by sending out a mass email to see if anyone was still interested. She had never bothered to contact these candidates after interviewing them…nearly five months prior. Many sent back curt or even rude replies and my boss was offended and hurt. Her reasoning was that she didn’t think people would want to hear that they didn’t get a job, so she just never told them. I gently explained to her that actually, most people want to hear back regardless, because they put a lot of time and energy into the application and interview process. In general, she avoided conflict in problematic ways, and I think this is how she approached the hiring process. I’m not sure if this is the norm for other hiring situations, but it definitely gave me more insight into why I may not have heard back from a job in the past.

    1. OP 5 here*


      I’m glad you explained it to her. Unfortunately far too many people don’t understand how their behavior affects others until they’ve experienced it themselves. Not just hiring, but any aspect of life. When my ex used to come home and pick a fight, I’d ask him if he’s mad at me or just upset and need to vent. He quickly learned to just vent, he didn’t need to pick a fight. I recently had an “argument” with a gas pump (had to skim card inside but I’m handicapped and couldn’t make it back out to the pump before the payment cleared) and after several tries had to use the last of my cash. I was obviously angry and frustrated. The clerk apologized, and was shocked when I said “Oh, I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at that! (pointing to the pump)”. I think he was so used to being yelled at for things he couldn’t control that someone putting the blame where it belonged (on the technology) was a nice change.

      We just all have to remember to treat others as we would like to be treated, even if you hate conflict and must inform some people that they won’t be hired.

  51. Atlantian*

    At least if you come to work with wet hair, there is a better than good chance you spent a decent amount of time on grooming today at all, and probably showered to boot. Which is more than I can say for many of my co-workers. I count visibly wet hair as a win.

  52. Sophie*

    #2 Is there a tactful way of telling your employee to NOT come in with wet hair?
    We have a receptionist that often comes in with wet hair in the morning. She puts it in a ponytail to try and hide that it’s wet/damp… but it looks wet and, frankly, not great for the person who sits at the front desk, even after it dries.
    However, I often hear my boss commenting on how much it irks her but never to the person in question. Can she… should she? We are a pretty laid back workplace but keep it business casual as we have guests/customers/etc come in often and she is an outlier in this because we have about 30 people in the office, mostly women, who all come in with dry hair. Can she really say, “Hey. I’ve noticed most days of the week you come in with wet hair in the morning. I need you coming to the office each day presentable and ready to work so this means not only following the dress code but also having dry hair?” I agree it doesn’t look good but she’s 1. Not my employee and 2. It feels strange to tell someone to change their appearance for work?

      1. Sophie*

        I got that.
        My post is because we have someone who has her hair wet often, like OP, in my office. It IS a problem for my boss, who complains about it but does nothing about it, but my question for the commenters was, even if it is a problem – can your boss actually say anything about it? And what would they say when they don’t like your appearance?

        1. fhqwhgads*

          “Please do not work the front desk with visibly wet hair.” ?
          That said, if your boss is bothered by it – yet not enough to say something, then either it isn’t actually a problem in that particular office, maybe just a peeve of the boss and they recognize that and that’s why they’re not saying anything OR this boss is way nonconfrontational. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading this site it’s that it is 100% unreasonable to for bosses to expect employees to stop doing a thing if they never directly say “stop doing that thing”. And once we’re in “unreasonable boss” territory, anything goes.

    1. animaniactoo*

      Sure, she can say something to the effect of “I’ve noticed that you come in with your hair still wet fairly often. In general, we need the person at the front desk to present a fairly polished appearance even in our more relaxed environment and that includes having your hair already dry when you start the day here. Is that something that will be an issue for you to do going forward?” Listen, adjust answer/request/requirement as needed.

  53. Lucette Kensack*

    I’m interested to read the different takes on wet hair! I would be pretty surprised to see a colleague with wet hair, but I’d assume that something had gone wrong in their routine and leave it at that.

    If someone habitually came in with wet hair, it would read to me as “messy” (in the same way as someone coming in with dirty clothes would).

    1. Lucette Kensack*

      Oh, and I think the texture of hair matters a lot here! I have fine, wavy blonde hair. It looks terrible wet. But the OP, with curly hair, may have more leeway here.

      1. Kate R*

        This. I have very thick, curly/wavy hair. I generally tie it back in a bun for work (because I like it out of my face, not for professional reasons), but if I leave it down, it’s either let it air dry to stay curly or dry and straighten, which takes the upside of an hour. I actually think it looks best when I’m right out of the shower. Frankly, I’d be annoyed if someone told me I had to style my hair differently in the morning because every stylist I’ve ever had has commented on how thick my hair is, and most people don’t understand the effort it takes to make it look polished like magazine women.

  54. Anonymous For This*

    I hate the smell of wet hair. People who come to work with wet hair smell like wet dogs to me. I don’t understand why one can’t just dry their hair before going to work. If it’s too long for it to get dry, then maybe you need a haircut.

    1. animaniactoo*

      The short version: I just don’t have a half hour and more to blow-dry my hair every day or every other day, and cutting it as short as you ask is a look that I don’t like on myself right now.

      The slightly longer version: Cutting my hair changes the drying time from 4 hours (40 minutes+ of blowdrying) to 3 hours, unless I cut it short enough that it only takes about an hour and a half (and therefore only about 15 minutes of blowdrying time). But that short is basically 2″ long and is not a look that I want to rock right now and have to deal with the upkeep on. If you haven’t had to manage thick hair that holds moisture like it’s saving up for a drought, you probably don’t have a realistic idea of how difficult it can be to deal with. I understand that you don’t like the smell, but I think this is something you’ll need to find a way to manage your own reaction to it.

      1. Rainy*

        Maybe all her coworkers should just shave their heads! I’m sure she wouldn’t look down on them at all for rocking a Sinéad.

  55. RobM*

    Wanted to talk about OP #5 – Responding to interviewers who disappear for weeks and then resurface

    This happened to me with my current employer, with whom I am very happily employed.

    I think it depends on context and reasons – for example, my current boss apologised profusely for the delay between the telephone interview and second interview, and now that I’m in the role I understand that the team were undertaking a truly monumental project during the time I was interviewing. Sometimes stuff happens.

    If you feel taken for granted then that is a perfectly good reason to move on to other things, along with the general passage of time and other things coming onto your radar. However, I wouldn’t personally make it a crusade for two reasons:
    One: Some industries are surprisingly small and you may run into someone in the future who may remember you Making It A Thing in the past.
    Two: Spending your time trying to get revenge on people who won’t care is a poor use of your time. It’s like kicking yourself in the shin to try and make them walk with a limp.

  56. nnn*

    Theory: the boundary of when wet or damp hair looks like something you can “get away with” vs. when it looks unacceptable* is when the wetness plausibly looks like product. You know how some people use a visible amount of product as a deliberate styling choice? If you look like that, you can “get away with” it.

    *There are also contexts where wet hair does not look unacceptable, period. If you’re in one of those contexts, you don’t need to worry about this.

  57. Dinopigeon*

    LW5, I had a potential employer respond post-interview almost a YEAR after I originally applied. I ignored them. I no longer had interest in that industry, and frankly it was offensive. (For the record, this wasn’t a “we have a new position we think matches well with your resume” or something else that would make sense. It was for the same job. They emailed me several times before they got the hint.)

  58. Jen*

    OP#2 – I’ve been letting my hair dry naturally for a couple of years now and it’s in so much better condition. However, I have the same issue as you in that my hair is often damp going into work. You might already be doing this but in the last few months, I’ve invested in the Aquis hair towel and it cuts drying time in half, so I’m much more ‘professional-looking’ by the time I’ve done the commute and got to my desk! Not a complete solution, but it’s a huge help.

Comments are closed.