new manager wants to step down, coworker washes dishes without soap, and more

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

1. The employee I just promoted to manager wants to step down

I promoted one of my employees to manage her department after I moved up to a divisional role about 10 weeks ago. (I’m still her direct supervisor.) This is her first management job and she has done an amazing job in her new role — implementing much-needed changes and efficiencies while gaining the respect of her entire team. This was verified in a recent anonymous 360 review where her direct reports had glowing things to say about her and generally made it clear that she was much more effective in that role than I had been. (And they’re right — she’s fantastic! She’s accomplished more for the department in 10 weeks than I did in the 10 months prior.)

She’s now come to me saying she thinks she’s not doing well in the position, that she believes the team doesn’t think she’s doing well, and that she wants to step down from her management position. I’ve asked her to give me a few days to collect my thoughts and look at options before we decide how to proceed, but I’m at a loss on how to help her. I’ve given her regular feedback since she was promoted and passed on the kudos from other departments, from my boss, and from her employees. We’ve worked together to address any tricky situations that have come up and on employee issues so she had an experienced manager backing her up for tough conversations.

My impression from talking with her is that she’s letting “imposter syndrome” get to her and is about to step down from a role that she is really, truly phenomenal at. I’m at a loss about how to help her through this, gain self confidence, and believe that everyone around her isn’t lying about how well she’s doing. I firmly believe she has a bright future ahead of her if she can get past this, but how can I help her do that?

Try to find out why she thinks she’s not doing well, and why she thinks her team thinks that. I’m assuming you’ve shared your own feedback and the 360 feedback with her, so what else is giving her that impression? Is she clear on what measures you and she will use to assess her performance? (It sounds like she might not be! She needs to be.) Is she getting enough coaching and support from you or another experienced manager? Ask her both those questions directly.

Being a new manager is really hard if you’re at all conscientious, so this may just be a difficult adjustment period — she’s going from doing well and feeling comfortable as an individual contributor to suddenly having to learn an entirely new skill set (and managing isn’t something she’s going to get good at in a matter of weeks or even months). It’s hard and it’s stressful, and people are watching and judging you while you’re learning and messing up. It kind of sucks in the beginning, if you’re trying to do it well.

It’s also possible she’s finding that she just doesn’t like the work. A lot of people don’t understand what managing will really be like until they’re doing it, and it’s not for everyone (although it’s early for her to know that).

If nothing else, you could tell her this is a huge adjustment for every new manager, it’s normal to have doubts, and she’s doing better than most new managers and ask her to give it six months (or, better, a year) before she makes any decisions.

Read an update to this letter here.

2. My coworker washes communal mugs with plain water, no soap

I recently walked into the break room in my office and saw a coworker hand washing his coffee mug (one of the communal ones the whole office shares). And by washing, I mean emptying it in the sink and rinsing it with water. No dish soap, no scrubbing. He then placed it in the dish rack to dry. I asked him if he hand washed all his dishes and he said he did because dishwashers waste water and he didn’t want to contribute to that.

When he left, I put the mug into the dishwasher (which washes and sanitizes all the dishes). However, I am still feeling icked out over this. I generally use my own mug and water bottle but his improper washing could totally spread germs around! I don’t want to think how many times someone drank out of a improperly washed cup that was previously touched by some sick person’s mouth. Should I address this with him (or the office as a whole) or am I being nitpicky?

Eeeww. You’re not being nitpicky. If he wants to be gross with his own personal mug no one else uses, he can have it at, but when he’s using communal mugs other people share, he needs to put either wash it properly or put it in the damn dishwasher.

You could go back to him and say, “I was too taken aback to say this at the time, but with the communal mugs that other people share, you need to put them in the dishwasher when you’re done — or at least scrub them with soap and hot water. Just rinsing with plain water won’t get them clean and will spread germs around the office. Can you do one or the other from now on?”

It’s a service to your office to say this, but who knows if he’ll listen. And who knows what other gross things people do that you haven’t seen. (Ahem.) Now that your eyes have been opened to the filthy colleagues walking among you, I’d stop using any communal mugs that didn’t come straight out of the just-run dishwasher. Ick.

3. My employee faked an email

My employee said she cc’d the payroll department on an email about another employee, but payroll didn’t see it in their inbox. My employee forwarded the email in question to payroll again, but apparently typed in when forwarding the email in the cc section of the original email before forwarding, so it looked like the original email was sent to payroll.

When we couldn’t figure out how this happened, my employee even sent the emails to our IT dept, asking them, “how could this happen?” We know it was typed in afterward because instead of appearing as “Payroll ‘’” it just appeared as “”

That doesn’t sound conclusive, and you shouldn’t take action based on that. But your IT department should be able to look at the original email (not the forwarded message) and tell you for sure if your payroll department was cc’d; have them do that before you do anything else.

If it does turn out she falsified the forwarded message, that’s a really serious issue — that goes to her integrity and willingness to lie and create fake documents to cover her own ass, and it means you won’t be able to take her word for anything in the future.

If she’s been stellar and trustworthy up until now and you think this was a single out-of-character moment of bad judgment … well, it’s still not good. But you could have a serious conversation with her where you say, “This is an incredibly serious thing, you have violated my trust, and it’s forced me to consider whether I can keep you on or not. I need to know you’re committed to operating with full transparency and integrity from this point forward.” And you’d need to watch her closely after that … because these things are rarely one-offs.

But if you’d already had concerns about her or if there have been other issues around her trustworthiness or reliability, this is serious enough that I’d part ways over it. You can’t have someone on your team who’s shown you can’t trust them.

4. Relocating as a remote employee

I am currently a remote employee. I became one because my husband was promoted and with that came a cross-country move. I’ve been remote since early this year and have not had any complaints from management about my communication or performance.

My husband has since taken a new position with a new company, which will move us cross country yet again. We will be moving back to the same state my employer is in, but we will be about two and half hours away. I don’t anticipate my move changing anything in terms of my work (aside from the fact that it will be easier for me to go into the office from time to time).

I am not sure exactly how to address this move with my employer. When I asked for remote privileges, I sat down with my boss and the company president (my boss’s boss) at the same time. Do I bring this move up first with my boss, and let him decide if it needs to move up the chain? Should I send both of them an email and let them know what’s going on? Is this more of a phone call thing (we rarely communicate by phone — it’s either Skype or email)? Or should I, the next time I’m in the new city, plan on going into the office and speaking with them face to face?

This shouldn’t be a big deal since you’re moving to a state where they already have employees (otherwise it could be trickier) and since it won’t change anything about your work for them. Given those two factors, think of it as more of an FYI. You should be able to just send your boss an email saying, “I wanted to let you know that Bob took a job in Dallas and so we’re moving back to Texas next month. I’ll be about two and a half hours away so I’ll need to remain remote, but it’ll at least be a bit easier for me to come into the office from time to time if we need that. I don’t anticipate it changing anything else for me work-wise, but let me know if there’s anything we should discuss.”

Read an update to this letter here.

5. I missed an application deadline by one minute

Okay, I recognize how irresponsible this is! But I was trying to turn in a summer internship application at 11:58 pm (due at 11:59) and my computer glitched and I didn’t make it on time. They weren’t accepting applications (it said “the registration for this job has closed”).

I have a contact at the company who I wrote a day before this to say hi and let him know I was applying. Should I let him know I didn’t send in my application? Should I find someone else to send my materials to? Should I send him my resume and cover letter? Is there any recourse, considering that this is a very competitive position?

Email your contact right away. Explain you were in the process of applying, it was close to the deadline, your computer glitched, and by the time you got it back up, the deadline had passed and you couldn’t submit it. Attach your application materials and say, “I’m attaching my materials here in case it’s possible to still be considered, but I of course understand if that’s not possible.”

If your contact knows you and thinks you’re a strong candidate, she may be able to get your application considered. But even if it not, it’s good to let her know what happened since the last she heard, you were going to apply.

And yeah, as a general rule, don’t leave this kind of thing until the last minute because things can go wrong — you can lose internet access, be trapped in the bathroom with projectile vomiting, discover their site is down, or have other emergencies/obstacles crop up if you don’t leave yourself any buffer. (In fact, it’s generally smart to apply as soon as you can because sometimes jobs end up closing even sooner than the deadlines they list.)

{ 434 comments… read them below }

  1. Thankful for AAM*

    Re work dishes.
    I always assue they are dirty and wash them before use (we don’t have a dishwasher). I notice others at work do the same.

    1. Ludo*

      That’s smart to wash them first

      I usually skip communal anything at work (as much as a I can) because I find shared work spaces bring out the worst in people, cleanliness wise.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        Very much this. I wash all my stuff after I use it. If I had to wash communal stuff before I used it, too, I’d be doing twice the work, and cleaning up after grown-a** adults. And that’s not what I get paid for. So I maintain my own cups and utensils and such, and make my own coffee. (For years, our office admin thought that coffee that spent ALL DAY on the burner was “just fine”, so we had really awful coffee. So now, even though that was years ago, I got in the habit of making my own cup with a pour-over cone brewer, and I get to have whatever blend I want. No worrying about taking the last cup or making another carafe.)

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          I have my own cups, set of cutlery and bowl that I keep at my desk too. We only have a few communal mugs and other than that everything in our office is disposable. Not only would I rather create less trash whenever possible, I am much happier just having responsibility for my own stuff and not having to worry about other people and their messes.

          I hand wash my stuff after each use and once a month or so throw them in the dishwasher to get a good sanitation done. It seems to do the trick. Shoot, I don’t have a dishwasher at home, so my work dishes are probably cleaner than my home dishes.

    2. Engineer Girl*

      That’s smart. You could also encourage the employee to use the dishwasher for an “extra level of sterilization” because it is shared dishes.
      The super hot water from the dishwasher is a good argument.

      Another way to attack it would be to challenge the employee. They say they are worried about water usage (good!). Remind him that water is only one aspect of the problem. There are also health issues that require soap and hot water. And a sick person uses more water than a healthy one (extra cleaning needed) so “spending” water now saves “spending” extra later.

        1. Arts Akimbo*

          I was hoping someone would bring this up! Dishwashers are way better for the environment than hand-washing dishes.

            1. blackcat*

              Yup. Plastics and wood by hand, everything metal*/ceramic in the dishwasher is best!

              *I do not own fancy metal stuff….

            1. Tina*

              Surely a big office with lots of cups would run it a zillion times a day and have it mostly full for all of those zillion times? (Granted my main ‘office’ experience is in a laboratory of a couple hundred people all dipping into the same general supply of cups and hot water and soap.) Still better than each person washing their own as they see fit.

        2. TechWorker*

          Also came here to say this – he is just wrong that it saves water! Dishwashers are v water efficient compared to washing by hand.

        3. Emily S*

          Yes! I used to actually enjoy watching dishes because I’m perpetually cold and liked splashing around in hot water steaming up my kitchen, but as soon as I learned the dishwasher was SO much more efficient I started using my dishwasher.

        4. Personal Best In Consecutive Days Lived*

          I was thinking along these lines, that an energy-efficient dishwasher with multiple mugs in them would use a lot less water per mug.
          If the dishwasher is older, he should still be using dishsoap.

        5. Anono-me*

          Handwashing dishes CORRECTLY uses 3-4 times more water than dishwasher washing them. It sounds like this guy has decided that a quick rinse conserves much more water than using the dishwasher or properly handwashing the mugs.

          1. Triplestep*

            Agree. He’s probably giving them a cold quick rinse. I commend him for thinking about the environment but with this practice, he’s doing it at the expense of office communal health.

            1. Quill*

              Also doing that to a mug is WAY grosser than doing it to say, a plate that just had crumbs on it (which you still shouldn’t do if it’s a shared office thing! Sterilize!)

        6. Phil*

          Yep, was going to say this (wasn’t sure on the exact statistic, that was actually higher than I thought!).

          The other logical argument you can make with him: the dishwasher is going to run regardless. Very few other people in the office are hand washing communal items (I assume). So even if he thinks he’s saving water by hand washing his stuff, in reality, if he puts in in the dishwasher that’s going to run anyway, then that’s cutting down on water even more.

          1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

            I think this is what is going to be most compelling. The most environmentally friendly solution is to run the dishwasher optimally full.

          2. Antilles*

            Yeah, that’s the point that struck me too. In my experience, the office dishwasher is rarely-if-ever fully loaded up when it gets run. Instead, it’s usually “looks like it’s getting kind of full, let’s run it now” and there’s still some space left…which means that him adding another mug to the dishwasher costs literally nothing.

          3. Aquawoman*

            That’s what I was thinking–it doesn’t waste water to put a mug on a dishwasher that’s going to get run anyway. It’s not like the dishwasher uses less water if there is one less mug.

        7. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Just a thought–There are different ways to handwash. Discussions on this and other websites taught me that most Americans use soap on the sponge and run the water. Much less water used by equally hygienic Britain & Aussies who use a wash pan with relatively little soap, just a little more effort, and no rinsing.
          Does nothing to excuse OP”s co-worker from using no soap!

          1. Lynca*

            I was coming here to say this. The way that article sets out to handwash dishes is definitely not the way you do it if you are trying to conserve water. It sounds like they’re letting the water continuously run while they’re washing. Which is like letting the water run while you brush your teeth!

            1. somanyquestions*

              That doesn’t even make sense, the dishes would still be coated in a thin layer of all the gunk you just tried to wash off, plus now added soap.

              I don’t think anyone runs water the whole time they wash dishes, but sporadic warm, running rinse water is definitely necessary to actually get them clean.

            2. ThatGirl*

              I recall a long discussion on this sometime earlier this year and I *still* don’t understand not rinsing the soap off your dishes before drying.

              1. NotAnotherManager!*

                Another board that I participate in had the same discussion, and indeed the Australian members were kind of horrified that we Americans were wasting so much water rinsing dishes after handwashing them.

                I have knives that can’t go in the dishwasher, and I handwash those, but my dishwasher is my favorite appliance. I would give up my clothes dryer before the dishwasher. We run it (full) about every day and a half for a family of 4 (plus several cats who eat out of ceramic or stainless bowls).

                1. ThatGirl*

                  Yeah, I love my dishwasher. I handwash knives and a few pans and more delicate bakeware, but everything else goes right in.

            3. Lynca*

              Different type of soap. I don’t remember the brand my in-laws (Aussies) use but it’s very different than the Dawn that I use.

          2. Dust Bunny*

            Who the heck lets the water run while they wash dishes?? Get a dish pan or stop the sink; fill it with hot, soapy, water; wash everything; empty the sink, rinse everything, dry it/let it dry.

            And . . . not rinsing? So you eat soap all the time? I’m skeptical.

            1. Kelly L.*

              It’s apparently a different kind of soap! I’ve seen this argument play out in other places and there’s a different kind of soap in Europe that, idk, evaporates? or isn’t harmful?

              Anyway, I do the stop up the sink, fill it with soapy water, rinse thing.

              1. lost academic*

                I do that too for some things but the average dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per cycle. Filling my sink with water plus efficient rinsing is still at least that if not more and I can fit more in the dishwasher without trying than I can in a single sink.

              2. Birch*

                I can’t find the actual brand but several articles mention an advertising campaign for this supposedly no rinse dish soap… but in general, no, Europe has the same basic detergents and surfactants in mainstream cleaning products. The whole point of surfactants is that the molecules bind to fats and oils and are then washed away. By not rinsing, you leave both soap and dirt on the dishes.

            2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

              Yeah my mom taught me to fill the sink with water. That’s why I hated doing dishes. Thank God for dishwashers, my hands are forever grateful. Gloves suck even more than putting them straight in the water.

          3. Tina*

            Most Americans do WHAT?
            Outraged New Zealander here.
            You get your dishpan (usually a big plastic tub that just exactly fits in the sink) and put in about a teaspoon of dish soap. You put an inch or so of hot water in the pan, and wash the cutlery. You rinse the soap off the cutlery with more hot water from the tap, rinsing INTO the pan so the water level in the pan rises and you don’t get dried-on soap on your dishes. After cutlery is plates, then bowls, then cups, as the water gets deeper. Pots and pans are last. If one of the pots has been used for frying, you might give it its own half-teaspoon of soap and a quick fill of hot water so it can soak before you wash it. If you’re doing a lot of dishes and the dishpan water gets scungy or cold, you tip it out and start again.
            The average dishpan is maybe 10-15 L, and you can get through all the dishes a family of seven uses for cooking and dinner and dessert in one pan of hot water.

            1. Arts Akimbo*

              I mean, don’t be outraged at Americans for that. Most of us grew up with dishwashers in our houses and have never been taught to use a dishpan in our lives. If you’re never taught how to do a thing, odds are you’ll do it wrong and not know it.

              Thanks for taking the time to explain the proper technique– that’s extremely helpful. It genuinely never occurred to me that the soap would rise off the dishes as the water level rises!

            2. chickaletta*

              (American here) Americans are very, very zealous about soap. I learned that when I lived abroad a couple times in the past. So of course you have to rinse the soap off when there’s two inches of bubbles in the sink coating everything. :)

              Most people on here would be horrified to learn that when I was an exchange student in the Czech Republic, my host family rarely used soap to wash their dishes at all — all they used was hot water and a little scrubbing. Lo an behold, living like this for a year did not kill me or send me to the hospital. :) Over there, like probably much of the world, it’s seen as wasteful for the environment and your pocketbook to pour soap onto everything. American’s are many things, but conservative with resources we are not. Even those of us who are enviornmentally consious will usually make exceptions for things related to clealiness and health which explains the collective gasp and pearl clutching in the comments here about the guy not using soap to wash the mug.

        8. RecentAAMfan*

          Yes, this!!
          And even if he wasn’t aware of this fact, the logic behind washing one mug by hand when the dishwasher is gonna be run anyway to wash the others…..
          Let’s hope he is not this inefficient and illogical in the rest of his activities.

        9. Shadowbelle*

          It’s a question of volume. If you are washing dishes for 4 people, a dishwasher is a good way to go. If you are washing dishes for one person, it’s not. (And no way am I putting my lovely 1930s Noritake — which is my everyday china — in a dishwasher.)

          In an office, oh for goodness sake, put the damn mug in the dishwasher. The dishwasher is going to be run anyway, might as well take advantage of it.

        10. SarahTheEntwife*

          It really depends on your dishwashing technique. The study this is quoting (unless there’s been a new one recently — I’m finding it frustratingly difficult to get to the actual study) was funded by dishwasher companies and assumes you’re washing dishes while keeping the faucet running the entire time, which most people concerned about water use aren’t doing. But most modern dishwashers are pretty water-efficient, so it probably doesn’t matter much which you’re using, especially if you’re doing a full load.

        11. TootsNYC*

          I came to say this as well!

          And even if it didn’t use less water (which it does!!), it is GOING to run anyway.
          It won’t use more water if his mug is in there too.

          He should be piggybacking on water and energy usage of the rest of the people in the office.

        12. Lucky*

          Yes, but if you put things into a work dishwasher you’re probably expected to unload it once in a while. I’ll bet anyone here $10 that this guy doesn’t care about wasting water and just doesn’t want to unload the dishwasher.

        13. NotTheSameAaron*

          With dishwashers, you don’t have to worry about using too much soap and having clean but soapy dishes. Too little soap and you taste all the nasty food residue.

        1. Fish Microwaver*

          At a former job, no dishwasher, somebody decided to bleach the communal cups. Another colleague ran to the boss, screaming about the use of “poisonous substances” in the workplace. (They didn’t get along.)

          1. Fikly*

            5 seconds of inhaling bleach fumes from bleach being used 50 feet away gave me severe lung issues for 3 weeks, even with immediate use of my rescue inhaler and then follow up steroid care. I was nearly hospitalized.

            Bleach is toxic, and will kill you if ingested. That’s pretty much the definition of poison.

            1. fposte*

              That’s a little overstated, though; “dose makes the poison” and all that. Ingesting small amounts of bleach isn’t lethal; the EPA even recommends a few drops in drinking water for emergency disinfection if regular water supplies have been compromised. That doesn’t mean larger amounts or fumes can’t harm you, especially if you have respiratory issues or sensitivities, and it does kill a few people every year (though sometimes in the industrial, not the household, concentration). But it kills less people than, say, Tylenol or peanuts, and most people can use it with safety.

              1. Fikly*

                I’m not sure whether or not a substance is labelled as poisonous depends on whether it can kill or harm you at all concentrations? I mean, if you go to any poison control website, it’s listed right there as a poison.

                Tylenol is toxic, not poisonous, and peanuts can be an allergen. They can all be deadly, but it’s different modes.

                1. Environmental Compliance*

                  Well, yes, it will be, if you drink it full strength. I believe what fposte is trying to say is that the level of danger/damage is highly dependent (for a lot of things) on dosage & exposure. This is why we have permissible limits.

                  Heck, water in high enough doses will kill you. Water in too low of doses will kill you. Bleach in high doses will kill you. A couple drops, though, to disinfect drinking water has been deemed safe for consumption.

                  To be fair, I’m not sure I would personally bleach any dishware (I’d be concerned about permeation into the dishes), a very hot dishwashing cycle would be sufficient for my personal ick factor. I do bleach my washing machine on a regular basis, but I don’t eat off of it.

                2. Fikly*

                  There are indeed permissible limits, and it’s true that things can very much be safe in some limits and toxic in others.

                  But I don’t always put much stock in permissible limits. For example, the FDA standard for a food to be labelled certified gluten free is 20 ppm. Except that studies have shown that Celiacs can be made ill at levels as low as 5 ppm. So…

                  And not to get too political, but we’ve all seen how levels called “safe” of various pollutants/toxins can change with administrations.

                3. Quill*

                  Generally speaking: if it can poison you if you ingest it straight out of the package at any achievable dose, it has to be labeled if it’s not meant for human consumption. If it’s OTC or perscribed, the labeling is different, but it still has to be labeled what the maximum safe dose is and instructions on poison control if you accidentally ingest more.

                  When it comes to permissible limits: most are set somewhere between “where we’ve proved it will cause harm to most people exposed” and “the lowest we can achieve consistently.” Food is regulated in the US completely differently from non-food chemicals though, so the gluten example below does not surprise me in the least. Food labeling is (in my opinion as someone more used to working with chemical reagents) pretty shoddy in the US still. (And far more prone to change with administrative priorities than the chemical industry.)

                4. fposte*

                  If you go to any poison control center, they also list alcohol, caffeine, and Tylenol; “poison” just means something that can kill you when you ingest it (a toxin is a kind of poison).

                  My point is that most U.S. households regularly safely use many substances that are also capable of killing people, and quite a few of them kill more people than bleach do. Nobody’s obliged to use bleach personally (I don’t use ammonia or drain cleaner myself) and obviously it’s a bad plan if it complicates an existing health problem. But if lethal potential means it’s not safe for anybody to have it, then that also rules out natural gas, vinegar, as EC notes, water.

                5. TootsNYC*

                  re: permeation into the dishes:

                  Bleach is relatively unstable. Mixed with water, its chemical bonds begin to break down around the 24-hour mark.

                  But its fumes are indeed dangerous. And I don’t know that I’d be happy to have a colleague splashing it around.

                6. wittyrepartee*

                  It is absolutely the case that dose makes the poison. Most things can kill you if you eat them in too high a quantity. Very few things can kill or harm you if there’s literally one atom of it. Poison control is labeling things that a person might come across in a form that’s harmful and be able to realistically ingest in large enough doses that it’s worth having on a list.

                  Also, all poisons are toxins, but not all toxins are poisons. Tylenol would be both a poison and a toxin, as it can harm you through ingestion. Snake venom is a toxin but not a poison (it’s a venom), since many of them won’t harm you if you eat them, and they’re not generally something that someone swigs down.

                7. wittyrepartee*

                  Oh, interesting. A toxin does need to be produced by an animal or plant though? So Tylenol might not actually be a toxin (I forget if it occurs in nature).

                  Toxin: an antigenic poison or venom of plant or animal origin, especially one produced by or derived from microorganisms and causing disease when present at low concentration in the body.

                8. fhqwhgads*

                  Sure but the point is: generally when using bleach on dishes the concentration is very very low. The bottle even tells you the proportion of bleach to water to use for disinfecting various things. So unless one knows the coworker totally misused the bleach, the fact that they used it at all is not a reason to run screaming.

            2. Ace in the Hole*

              Oh, for goodness sakes. Regular-strength household bleach has an acute oral toxicity comperable to table salt (LD50 of 8.8g/Kg for clorox vs 12 g/Kg for salt). Generally something is considered slightly to moderately toxic with an LD50 of 5g/Kg or less. In other words it’s probably a bad idea to take a few shots of bleach, but you’re very unlikely to die from it.

              Bleach is not only commonly added to potable water, it’s one of the top recommended ways to disinfect drinking water before consumption. Everyone reacts differently to substances but I can say without a doubt that your reaction to bleach fumes was way outside the norm if it happened as described in your comment. Most people can use bleach (according to appropriate instructions on the label) every day and not develop any problems from it.

              1. Arts Akimbo*

                Yeah, I routinely bleach the crap out of my bathroom (no pun intended) and would not flinch if someone cleaned my dishes with bleach. Unless someone is just super-duper sensitive to it, as long as the dishes are rinsed, they’re fine.

            3. Chinook*

              Ummm…bleach is not poison if used correctly. In fact, when stuck without potable water, a small amount can be used to make it safe to drink (approx. 4 drops per litre). And it is the best disinfectant around for dishes and surfaces as long as you dilute it.

      1. Mookie*

        I’d also point out that if he refuses to do either he’ll be party to even more water usage because his rinsed cup will continue to be popped in the dishwasher anyway until he takes care of his responsibilities to his colleagues.

        Also, he may want to educate himself on how energy-efficient cycles and/or machines work and how much water they use when filled correctly and to capacity.

      2. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

        I would definitely say something to him once, but he probably won’t change. People are generally gross and lazy in shared office spaces. The only way to protect yourself is to either use your own stuff that you keep at your desk, or wash it before you use it.

        When I worked at my last company, I would see people take plastic utensils from the box and run them under water before using them. I was always curious as to what they thought they were accomplishing because all they were doing was making the germs wet.

        1. TootsNYC*

          From the box? Not likely to be germs they were fearing; maybe they thought they were rinsing away plastic dust left from manufacturing and packaging.

    3. Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss*

      Or just have your own that you wash and you and only you use. I have a cup, bowl and two utensils. It gives me a reason to get up and out of my chair to wash them.

      When in a smaller place where everyone knew which mug was mine, I used the dishwasher. Now with full on cleaning staff who start after everyone leaves in a much bigger place, I rarely use the dishwasher because I risk losing my stuff.

      1. Windchime*

        We don’t have communal dishes in our kitchen, nor do we have a dishwasher. So hand-washing is the only option. I don’t know anyone who lets the water run the whole time they are washing their bowl or cup, though. I don’t like the idea of using some nasty sponge that’s been in the kitchen for weeks, so I either bring my dish home to wash in my home dishwasher or I wash at work with a soapy paper towel.

      2. Lea*

        I don’t use communal dishes, but I did want to say that I read an article that mentioned that you can just rinse your mug out with water and it’s fine. (not a shared one). It’s not gross or unhygienic.

        “Very few viruses can exist for more than an hour on an inert object, says the specialist in pediatric infectious diseases. Moreover, it is difficult to reinfect yourself with a virus you’ve already contracted. ”

        They also said don’t use the sponge in the breakroom because it’s full of germs. If we regularly ran a dishwasher, though, I would 100% use it.

        1. TootsNYC*

          it’s amazing how people can define laziness.

          A woman killed a bunch of people with her car because it was “too much work” to put the car into park when she was handing off the wheel to her mother, who was moving over from the passenger seat.
          Instead, the two women just planned to keep one foot on the brake during the whole exchange. You’d think that would be so awkward and WAY more work than shifting gears.

          But to them, it wasn’t.

          The act of opening the door, pulling out the rack, putting in the mug around other items, pushing the rack back in, and closing the door–all while bent over ever so slightly, may have seemed more onerous than rinsing in the sink (turn on water, stick cup under, turn off water, put cup down).

            1. TootsNYC*

              I had thought it was the Washington Square deaths, but the news stories I found today didn’t contain that detail. I think it came out later. But it could have been a different one.

    4. HannahS*

      Same. Spoons, cups, plates–it all gets washed before and after I use it. But yeah, I mean, mention to the guy that he should use soap. Yuck.

    5. 4Sina*

      Yes! This! ALWAYS rewash the dishes before you use them. At the very least, do what my (questionable) coworker does and slather the communal cutlery/dishes with hand sanitizer before using them. Washing takes the same amount of time.

    6. Senor Montoya*

      This is why I bring my own dishes and utensils and have my own mini fridge. Everything is clean and nobody eats my delicious food nor drinks my cherry cokes.

    7. Autumnheart*

      I feel like communal dishes at work are a whole Pandora’s Box of problems, that could be eliminated by not having communal dishes. Cluttered sinks, dishwashing duty, who took the mug someone else always likes to use…just so avoidable.

    8. Mama Bear*

      We have a dishwasher but I don’t use it for my personal cups. I hand wash and keep them in my office. At a previous company we had a dishwasher which was loaded and run at the end of the business day – you were supposed to load up your cups and the office manager ensured the machine got run at COB. This was for shared, company logo mugs. A full load can actually be less wasteful than handwashing.

      That said, if you now know he just rinses them, then I’d re-wash anything you use. Ew.

    9. Sue*

      Actually, unless there is oil or grease involved, washing with just water is just as efficient as washing with water & soap.

  2. ABK*

    #4 I think your move might have some income tax & withholding implications for you and the company. Since they are already doing business & have employees in your new state it shouldn’t a big deal, but payroll will probably want to know that your address is changing.

    1. Jojo*

      Yes, this, it is slightly more than an FYI.

      And if you were moving to another state where your employer is NOT based and does not already have remote workers, that would need to be a conversation where you are requesting that they allow it and can’t assume the employer would okay it — even with it still being you doing the same work and doing it remotely. It’s not just your own payroll taxes and unemployment etc that needs to be set up in the new state you live. I think it’s that having an employee operating in a new state potentially means that the out-of-state employer itself could owe corporate income tax in that new state. I’m not certain on that; I know my own employer has declined requests from employees to work remotely in certain states and that this is the general talk among staff about why.

        1. LKD*

          I’m an accountant and at our firm, if someone changes from remote to back in state, that could mean we can stop filing returns (informational or otherwise) in the state the remote employee resided. This could actually save the company money and it’s not just an administrative change. It requires a lot of documentation and speaking with her current state’s tax departments.

      1. Beachlover*

        Let me add this. For your own benefit, please make sure you review how states handle things, like unused PTO and sick time. I am remote and work in California, so I am governed by CA state law, which says, that if unused PTO can not be carried over (there are limits on the amount that you can roll over) then it has to be paid out at end of year. Where as my co-workers in other states are stuck with a use it or lose it situation.

    2. Anon for this comment*

      I worked for a company that hired W2 employees who lived in another state. They taxed them out of OUR state and the employee was pissed. Our accountant just told them to file some sort of “out of state” form at the end of the year and get the taxes back.

      No idea if that was legal but that’s what we did. The accountant later told me that he thought Company didn’t want to register in a bunch of other states and pay the fees. *shrug*

      1. Emily K*

        Generally speaking your income tax withholding is to the state in which your employer resides, and if you live in another state you have to fill out two state returns – one seeking a refund from the state you don’t live in, and one paying the state you do live in what it’s owed. But many of the smaller east coast states where working across state lines is common even for people who aren’t remote workers (e.g. DC employers with MD/VA employees) have reciprocity agreements that allow companies to withhold for the employee’s state of residence if it’s one of the ones with an agreement, which simplifies the tax return for the employee as they just file the one state return with their state of residence.

        1. Anon For This Comment*

          My accountant has told me that companies are supposed to take taxes out of where YOU live, not where their office is located. She was annoyed she had to fill out the forms seeking refunds from a state I didn’t work in.

  3. Observer*

    #3- Talk to IT to find out what the original email looked like. But the fact that the address appears in that format does NOT prove that the email was typed in that way AFTER it was sent.

    Whether or not you have issues with this person, you’re not going to gain the or retain the respect or trust of your staff if you decide that people are faking or lying about stuff based on nonsense “proofs” like this.

    1. PollyQ*

      I’d bet a decent amount of money there was a typo in the address, and that’s why it didn’t “expand” or reach the payroll department.

      1. Avasarala*

        There are so many reasons this could be an innocent mistake, but we don’t have enough details and neither does OP. Honestly I’m so curious/confused why this is happening this way that I’m convinced there must be more to the story. This sounds like such a non-issue that I don’t know why someone would lie about this, but lying is certainly a big deal.

        -What is so crucial about this email being sent to payroll the first time? You found out payroll didn’t get the email, what’s wrong with just sending it again/how did you notice the body of the original email had been edited?
        -What does this person gain from pretending they cc’d payroll the first time around?
        -The coworker is the one who forwarded the email to IT and is asking for answers. Would someone trying to cover their tracks do that?
        -How is your relationship with this person, and your opinion of their integrity? Again… how did you catch this?

        1. Avasarala*

          What I mean by “how did you catch this” is, let’s assume coworker indeed faked an email:
          Coworker sends email but doesn’t cc payroll
          Payroll says “We didn’t get your email”
          Coworker thinks “Oh crap I forgot to cc payroll”
          Coworker sends the email again, but adds payroll’s email in the original body to pretend she did the first time

          If this is the case, then payroll would say “cool thanks for sending it again”
          The other recipients wouldn’t notice unless payroll emailed them (can’t even reply all) or unless they noticed. OP was clearly not a recipient of the original email because then they wouldn’t have had to look at how the email was displayed, they could just look at the original email.
          Everyone gets the info they needed, nobody notices/cares about coworker’s mistake. Unless you’re looking for something…?

        2. Devil Fish*

          “-The coworker is the one who forwarded the email to IT and is asking for answers. Would someone trying to cover their tracks do that?”

          Sometimes people do this if they understand IT so poorly that they think the IT department can’t figure it out, sometimes they do it because they know the IT department is specifically barred by the company from investigating things like this for some stupid reason, and sometimes they do it because “the IT department” is just “Dave who set up the office network and then got transferred to IT because he’s ‘so good with all that computer stuff!'” and Dave’s a good guy but he definitely doesn’t know how to figure it out.

          Whatever the reason, it’s generally a bad sign.

          1. Falling Diphthong*

            “The criminal is the one who hired the private detective to find the criminal” is a hoary trope for a reason.

            1. Annie Porter*

              I’ll just throw this out there….if for some reason the person didn’t feel comfortable saying “Whoops! Forgot to CC y’all the first time around” then I’d point to a bigger culture problem at the organization. I’m not saying AT ALL that it’s OK to falsify documentation – it’s absolutely not – but this seems like it’d be a drop in the not-a-big-deal bucket.

              (I worked for a place where a simple error could result in screaming/embarrassment, so while I don’t agree with the impulse to cover your butt, I can understand it).

              1. Annie Porter*

                To be clear, I meant the not-a-big-deal thing would be the first “forgot to CC” offense, NOT the falsification of the CC!

              2. TootsNYC*

                yes! I expounded on this a bit in my own comment below, but it is SO VERY IMPORTANT to create a culture in which it is safe to acknowledge mistakes.

                because if it’s not, people will lie.
                They will hide mistakes until they are disasters, instead of bringing them up while they’re still handleable.

                1. Veronica*

                  +1. And forgetting to cc is such a common mistake. Everyone has done it. Even the most careful, detail-oriented and thorough people have done this.

              3. LeslieNopeNopeNope*

                I completely agree about creating a culture where employees can make mistakes without being terrorized, but maybe there were serious consequences in this instance, like the employee that the email was about had their pay affected because payroll wasn’t properly notified. Obviously there were no details given so this is all speculation, but it seems like a big deal to make about a missing cc that didn’t cause an actual issue.

          2. SpaceySteph*

            I tend to agree its a bad sign. It seems like such a minor issue that forwarding to IT like “how could this possibly happen” seems like a significant over-reaction, which definitely raises my eyebrows in a “lady doth protest too much” sort of way.

        3. WellRed*

          I have all these same questions! I kept looking for the actual horrible problem it caused for a fellow employee who then didn’t get paid or something as a result.

    2. Sleve McDichael*

      This. In certain email programs, a typed address won’t “expand” to show a title. That only comes if the address was added by choosing the title from a dropdown or autofill. It really is worth double checking.

      1. Antilles*

        Can confirm, my company email works the same way.
        If I start typing an address and then click the drop-down box to finish the auto-fill, it’ll give the full title “Payroll”…but if I just type the entire address, it will just list the email address and won’t replace it with the title.

        1. Door Guy*

          A lot of times in Outlook if you type it in and either tab or put a semicolon after, it will think for a few seconds and then update with the title. I used to use that when I was guessing at company email addresses. Not always though.

    3. Door Guy*

      Yup, while you can certainly spoof things, that doesn’t always mean things are actually spoofed. Our company email server always truncates the email address to a name whenever possible instead of posting an actual email address. (“Wendel Jones” vs. “”). Makes things really difficult for me at times as one of the people who emails me has 2 email addresses that are both valid and I need to make sure I send to the correct one (he has 1 for each location he works from).

      Doesn’t mean it always works though. One of my daily emails goes to 5 people, all in the company, all set up in my contact list the exact same way, and my TO: line looks like : “Person 1”; “Person 2”; “Person 3”; “Person 4”; “”

    4. Kat*

      One thing I’m wondering is why assume the sender faked the cc after the fact when it’s just as plausible payroll lied about not getting the email? Or they accidentally deleted it, or accidentally moved it into another folder, or any number of things payroll could have done. Without other evidence pointing to the employee’s lack of integrity it seems odd to assume they are falsifying the document trail when there’s so many other innocent explanations.

      You could also always ask the employee to show you the email on their computer. Frankly I’d want to do that before I accused someone of faking a cc based on such little evidence.

    5. Gumby*

      I am trying to come up with a situation in which an employee is somehow incentivized to fake having cc’d payroll rather than merely send a follow up “sorry, missed you the first time around” forward and every single scenario comes up toxic workplace.

      Mistakes happen. You should always want it to be easier for an employee to fess up and fix it than try to cover their tracks. That doesn’t mean there are never any consequences. But if they are so draconian that otherwise-reasonable people are faking emails then you have something out of balance.

      1. LeslieNopeNopeNope*

        I worked for a company that was absolutely adamant about providing a final paycheck on the spot when they let someone go. If it was something like that, it would make sense that not notifying payroll would cause a big enough issue for the employee to fear consequences, and for the employer to investigate what happened. It could have also been about an important payout that the other employee was very upset not to receive. Not condoning this behavior of course, it just seems that if it’s something that messes with another employee’s pay in some way, it’s serious enough to motivate someone to try to absolve themselves from blame.

      2. pamplemousse*

        None of this is meant to be an excuse for the employee’s behavior, which is absolutely troubling. But if you’ve been in a position where you aren’t allowed to make mistakes — either a previous toxic boss or authoritative and controlling parents — the idea that you can just own up to a mistake and people will move on is almost unimaginable. It can be very easy to get into a habit where you reflexively lie rather than get “in trouble.” And then you’re worried that you’ll be even more “in trouble” if asked for proof.

        It took me until I was about 25 to unlearn the lessons of my upbringing. Perfectionist parents of the “you are making mistakes AT me because you are rude and inconsiderate” variety and an undiagnosed ADHD were a bad combination.) I never actually faked documentation but I came damn close sometimes. And to be clear, if I had and had been fired over it, that would have been an appropriate consequence.

      3. Emily K*

        My first thought is this is an employee with a spotty track record of letting projects fall between the cracks due to disorganization, or that’s how her managers are interpreting her track record. She knows she’s on thin ice or under a lot of scrutiny for dropping balls, so when she misses an easy lay-up like “CC payroll on X email” it’s magnified because it’s part of a pattern of performance problems that she’s trying to overcome.

        I was in a job once that required a much higher level of organization than I could frankly muster. I was never doing a bad enough job to have a PIP or disciplinary meeting, but my annual performance reviews were mediocre and my boss grew increasingly frustrated with me when I missed details or lost track of something I was supposed to be doing, to the point that only 100% perfection for a sustained period of time was going to overcome the impression she had of me as disorganized and prone to needing more prompting than I should to remember things. Once your boss has decided your performance is not up to par, you can’t dig out of that hole by performing at an average level with occasional mistakes – you have to change jobs to one where you don’t have the baggage of that track record, or you have to become a superstar long enough that the boss will start to adjust their impression of you.

    6. Safely Retired*

      The question is whether payroll was cc on the original email. Unless it was a bcc – blind cc – the copy received by everyone else should show everyone it was sent to. Have any of the other recipients who actually received it check their copies.

    7. Jabs2000*

      Thanks everyone who posted replies on this. I am the OP-I supervise the person who supposedly faked an email. We have looked at her Sent box, the payroll email address wasn’t on the original forwarded email. A couple thoughts on why it might have happened if indeed it did. There is definitely a culture problem in my office; it really is a tiny mistake for such a drastic action, so you’d think this person would have just said oh, sorry, forgot to send on the email, I’ll do it now. Maybe they thought they couldn’t. The other thing is pride- this person has a hard time taking criticism or questioning and can be a bit snarky when replying-I wonder was it a case of not being able to admit to being wrong and it was taken too far. Anyway, I’ll take all of your suggestions to the MD re: finding out more info before saying something. Thanks again

      1. Kat*

        Hi OP,
        If the employee forgot to cc payroll the first time, was it a big deal? Was anything critical delayed?
        If this were one of my staff and it wasn’t anything critical I would just tell them we’re not going to worry about it anymore. If IT can figure it out, great, but let’s not worry ourselves over it. And in the future if anything like that happens again (where an email sent is not received), or even if someone forgets to include someone on an email, to just resend the email as soon as it comes to light. People can easily forget someone, you send it to Bob B. instead of Bob C., or weird things happen on the recipient side so it’s not a big deal.

        If it was urgent then I think I’d just approach it as weird things can happen with email or people can easily miss an email they did get, so in the future let’s phone people to tell them we just sent them an email (or are about to) with urgent details/instructions etc so they know to expect it.

        We’ve done this in our office before – we tell someone to expect an email about some issue where it’s too technical to talk about and easier to send via email (or you want documentation of instructions given and who they were given to if we expected a higher up to ask for that at some point).

      2. Avasarala*

        Sounds like this is one instance of much larger issues (culture problem, employee can’t admit being wrong). Good luck.

      3. Senatormeathooks*

        So, what’s the business purpose behind proving she didn’t CC payroll?

        Does her snarkyness to feedback make you angry? Do you want to catch her in a lie, any lie?

        What is the overall advantage in outing her over this? Yes, yes, lying is wrong and bad, I get it. But what are you planning to do about it?

      4. LKD*

        This is a very small mistake. It sounds like she fears you or her boss (if you are not her boss) and being criticized or questioned often is not indicative of a good management culture. You really shouldn’t be “criticizing” in the workplace in the first place. The appropriate manager response would be to figure out why the process led to the mistake. If there is no checklist on what the employee is supposed to do and when, that is a managerial failure not an employee failure. Look to yourself first, is all I’m saying.

    8. +1*

      +1 to say that, from the info presented here, there is no legitimate proof being made. Just because it doesn’t autocomplete into the full address doesn’t mean it was forged. They could have used a different email app that doesn’t support it (e.g., using Outlook on a Gmail system, using a mobile app, etc.). Sometimes I think I’ve actually typed the address and hit send before autocomplete could recognize it and expand it.

      Sounds like OP is already suspicious of the employee.

  4. Stormfeather*

    Isn’t washing dishes via dishwasher generally supposed to save water? Obviously it wouldn’t vs. one mug – but unless people are running the dishwasher with, like, three mugs in them or something, overall shouldn’t it save water anyhow than if everyone washed the dishes (properly at least, ugh) by hand?

    1. AP*

      YES! I live with a super-“green” roommate and there are about a billion things that she does that are super energy efficient. Yet she and I get in arguments about dishwashers — not sure where people are getting their info that DW are water inefficient. (I work in “building sciences” we look at water/energy/resource conservation in the built environment.)

      1. Batgirl*

        For some reason they start out with “Oh dishwashers waste water” but whenever you correct this they switch to “Well it’s lazy” or “I just prefer it” and I think the last one is the truth of the matter – how we keep things clean is usually a very ingrained habit.

        There are some people who stick to the first one though and insist “it can’t be” when you say dishwashers are more efficient. I suppose those people assume machines can’t possibly control waterflow like they can! It defies logic to me though – obviously using the same water spray on the whole batch of dishes can be very efficient if designed well. Apparently the early dishwashers werent though.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          Sadly, not the first instance I’ve read of “Well science says I’m right” “Here are three studies saying that’s out of date and the opposite is true” “Well studies can show anything, so at some point you have to ignore them and go with your gut.”

        2. Kelly L.*

          Yeah, I think when a lot of people think of dishwashers, they think of creaky old ones that weren’t nearly as powerful or efficient. See also: people who do a full hand wash with soap and then wash it again in the dishwasher with soap. You don’t have to do that on modern machines, but a lot of people still do.

          1. Windchime*

            My sister does this. She rinses thoroughly with hot water and soap before loading into the dishwasher. Her dishes look sparkling clean before the load even starts, and she has a modern, brand-new dishwasher that sanitizes everything. I scrape thoroughly and hardly ever rinse; my dishes still come out perfectly clean. So I’m not sure why she goes through the scrubbing and rinsing before the dishes even go into the dishwasher.

            1. Kelly L.*

              I’ve just spent so much of my life broke and not *having* a dishwasher, so a good scrub with soap and water was all the dishes were getting anyway. So once I’ve done that, they’re clean to me, and I mostly don’t see the point of putting them in a dishwasher at all. I get it in an industrial kitchen for sanitization purposes, but for my own dishes at home, nah.

              And then when I have had a dishwasher, I don’t want to do all that extra work.

            2. Toothless*

              I don’t use soap, but I do a thorough rinse before putting stuff in the dishwasher because I usually get a few upside-down tupperware that fill with water, and if there’s any food left on any of the dishes it will end up in those water-filled tupperware and I will have to wash them again.

        3. Quill*

          It also probably depends on if the dishwasher they grew up with / had for a long time in their adult life actually got things clean if it was stuffed optimally full. And the perrennial arguments over pre-rinsing, since if it takes you a while to put a full load in the washer, things dry to the dishes and stick harder…

      2. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

        I’ll be honest, most of the arguments against dishwasher use I’ve heard is that they are electricity hungry, not water inefficient.
        I had a roommate who would wash up with cold water (no wasted energy from the boiler to heat it) but with a *ton* of antibacterial soap. Not sure whether that was an energy-saving thing or just one of her quirks (we didn’t own a dishwasher).

        1. Carlie*

          And that is TERRIBLE for the environment. The use of antibiotic cleansers creates an environment where antibiotic-resistant bacteria have a competitive advantage and spreads them far and wide. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of our biggest health threats.

          1. Jennifer Thneed*

            Antibiotic and antibacterial are *not* the same thing. Antibiotics are poisons and yes, bacteria can develop tolerance to them. Antibacterials are mechanical killers, doing things that physically break cell walls. Just like you can’t develop resistance to being hit with a hammer, bacteria can’t develop resistance to alcohol hand sanitizers.

            1. workerbee2*

              I’m not trying to be too pedantic and derailing, but triclosan (the active ingredient in most “antibacterial” soaps) contributes to the evolution of “superbugs” in much the same way as antibiotics. It’s also present in some things you wouldn’t expect, like toothpaste. Fortunately, most manufacturers have wised up and stopped putting triclosan in soap. There’s also evidence that “antibacterial” soap doesn’t help reduce the presence of bacteria much more than washing with plain soap and hot water – it’s the rinsing and the rubbing doing the actual work, not the antibac agent.

              1. knead me seymour*

                Thanks for saying this! Triclosan is present in a ridiculous number of products, but it contributes to antimicrobial resistance and isn’t typically necessary for cleaning homes (it’s more helpful in places like hospitals). Like other antibiotics, it will also clear out beneficial microbes. It was developed in a time when microbes weren’t very well understood.

              2. Emily K*

                Not just most – triclosan can no longer legally be used in consumer products per a 2016 FDA rule. It can still be used in industrial/medical products but you won’t find it in dish/hand soap for consumer/residential use any more.

        2. Veronica*

          I’ve used cool water to wash dishes since I learned about pthalates leaching out of plastic and causing allergies.
          Heat makes them leach out. I use a plastic or nylon brush to scrub the dishes, and the lids of my storage containers are plastic.
          When I soak the glass container in warm or hot water with the lid on, the plastic lid takes on the smell of the soap. If I soak it in cold water, no smell. Yikes…
          I use antibacterial dish soap because I’m allergic to mold. It kills the mold around the sink. Before I started using it I was waking up with headaches every day from the mold in the air around the kitchen.
          I’m sorry environment, my health comes first with me.

        3. Emily K*

          Green tip: Run your dishwasher and other power-hungry appliances at night to reduce your carbon footprint. In most places, renewable energy mandates means that power companies will seek to meet demand from renewable sources first and fossil fuel sources only once renewable sources can’t meet real-time demand. Using electricity in the middle of the afternoon when electric use is at its peak is more likely to result in fossil fuels being burnt than using electricity late at night when demand is low enough for full coverage by renewables. In some localities, utilities will actually price electricity cheaper during low-demand hours to incentivize people to shift their electric consumption and reduce peak demand loads, or offer rebates for reducing electric use on hot summer days when air conditioners are placing a massive strain on the grid that peaks in the afternoon.

      3. Scully*

        It is. If OP does push back on this, I hope they correct that assumption. Dishwashers waste far less water per dish and are more effective because they can heat up that water hotter than we can stand.

        Although, in my experience with people who hand-wash dishes, they are weirdly stubborn about refusing to use the dishwasher. I don’t get what’s up with that. Unless dishes are not dishwasher-safe, handwashing is a pointless waste of time, effort, and water.

    2. Mel_05*

      The! I googled “do dishwashers save water” and they generally save a LOT of water. Like, 25 gallons less per load, if the dishwasher is an energy star certified model. Or basically, any dishwasher made after 2013.

      But, older models.can be wasteful, which is probably where that idea comes from.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        No ,wait–how do you even use 25 gallons of water handwashing dishes?? There is no possible way you use 25 gallons of water in a (3-gallon?) dishpan, followed by a quick rinse.

        It’s being noted above that the study that claims this was done by a dishwasher company and that they apparently assumed people were letting the faucet run the whole time, which is nuts (and not very trustworthy).

        1. Phoenix Programmer*

          I can easily see this on my household. I measured once how much water we used brushing our teeth (family of three) without letting the faucet run and it was 2 gallons.

          I also measured how much water unused to wash one coffee mug. Fill and soak. Scrub. Rinse thoroughly (soap residue gives me a really soar throat) and it was .5 gallons! For one mug!

        2. Quill*

          Does nobody just fill the sink with soap and water and wash?

          Because if you include rinsing I don’t see how you could use more than like 5 gallons. (And I think my kitchen sink is a 2 gallon one.)

          1. Colette*

            But if you’re washing dishes by hand, you certainly are not doing a full dishwasher’s worth of dishes in one basin of water – either you will do much smaller batches, or you will likely drain and re-load the sink a couple of times.

            1. Quill*

              Well, my pots and pans don’t go in the dishwasher to begin with, so if it were cups and plates that are, in general, not full of dried on, baked on food bits? I could probably get away with doing a whole dishwasher on two sinks full.

              Of course, “full” in general is not a state where my dishwasher is totally reliable anyway, and so many things already have to be handwashed or they don’t actually get clean because they’re weirdly shaped…

        3. Glitsy Gus*

          Dishwashers generally hold way more than one hand washing session. So, if you use a dishwasher correctyl (only washing full loads), count up how much water it would take for three to four days’ dishes and 25 gallons is not unreasonable.

          You do have to count in energy use, not just water, when figuring out if it’s overall a better choice, but as long as the dishwasher is full most of the times it’s run it is overall better for the environment. A big issue in offices, however, is that quite often the only things going in are six or seven mugs and the knife everyone uses to cut their fruit up, so that can be an argument against, but as long as it isn’t running everyday the uniform cleaning/sterilizing probably outweighs the environmental impact.

    3. Lynn Whitehat*

      We own a bunch of rental properties. So at one point, I did a deep dive of research into different dishwashers. I wanted to find the perfect trade-off of efficiency, noise, and price. A lot of people find dishwashers morally suspect or something. Like we’ll all just melt into a puddle of sloth if we can PUSH A BUTTON and WALK AWAY while a MACHINE cleans the dishes. It was weird reading the comments. Some people were emotional about “well, *I’m* not afraid of hard work, but if you MUST…”

      1. bluephone*

        My mom’s spinal issues prevent her from standing a sink for 3 hours, ruining her hands (eczema-level dry, cracked, bleeding skin) by hand-washing dishes.
        They can have my family’s dishwasher when they step over my cold, dead body to rip it out of the kitchen.

      2. Third or Nothing!*

        That is so odd. I wonder if those commenters also hand wash their laundry and hand stitch their clothing.

      3. Goldfinch*

        This is indeed a weird hill that people die on, yet none of them are beating their clothes against a rock down by the river.

      4. TootsNYC*

        as a landlord, the thing I might worry about more would be how often are they going to break or need to be replaced.

      5. A*

        …were you also looking to increase rent costs? I can’t imagine any scenario where I wouldn’t be 100% THRILLED by a landlord looking to add a dishwasher to my rental unit without added costs. If adding costs, I’d probably react the same as what your describing since I presumably passed up other units with more amenities in favor of a lower price point.

        If these people were just harping because it’s not old school…. send all their dishwasher/laundry machines to me! They can continue to hand wash everything :)

    4. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Regardless as to whether dishwashers use more water or less than handwashing, the communal dishwasher is going to be run anyway so he might as well put his mug in there. Although the fact that he thinks washing a mug with just water and no soap is a good idea means he needs a primer on what the word “dishwashing” means.

      1. Stormfeather*

        This is also a great point. Maybe he thinks that surely his shining example of green-ness will serve as a beacon to his coworkers and end the wasteful tyranny of the dishwasher or something?

    5. TootsNYC*

      Plus, in his situation:

      That dishwasher is going to run anyway.
      It’s not going to use more water if his mug is in there too, and it will not use LESS water if his mug is NOT in there.

      So the most environmentally friendly thing is for him to piggyback on the activity that is going to happen anyway.

    6. A*

      I refuse to believe any answer other than ‘yes’. Having spent the last ten years in apartments without dishwashers… I know that I at least use WAY more water hand washing my dishes. Part of the issue is that I have to do them on demand versus letting some stack up as I can’t afford the loss of counter or sink space.

      Same issue w laundry. I handwash now as my current place doesn’t have machines, and laundromats are a bigger PITA + waste of time. Every time I do a load I roll my eyes when I think about all the ‘organic Instagram Mommas’ out there patting themselves on the back for saving water by handwashing… nope, no you are not.

  5. Engineer Girl*

    #1 – Can you quantize her achievements so that she can see them better?
    X increase in production
    Y tough conversations
    Z achievements

    You also have your own data. The lama department never gave you kudos and they have given her 3!

    Whatever you can do to show her she’s doing as good as (and better) job than you.

    1. Person of Interest*

      I wonder if the new manager is concerned because her personal productivity has gone down, but isn’t factoring in that her management deliverables are just different. I.e., she isn’t expected to produce the same as an individual PLUS manage, she’s responsible for the department’s overall productivity, which you could show through the data as suggested by Engineer Girl.

      1. TootsNYC*

        Good point!
        This is one of the topics that gets covered in Transition to Management classes–or, it should.

      2. OP1*

        This is a good point. She was a high achiever in terms of productivity as a contributor, and I know from experience how hard it can be to step away from that when it’s felt like part of your work identity. I like the idea of showing her how her productivity now is in different areas – in making it so her team can function better.

    2. Glen*

      Sometimes we might have other reasons for refusing a job or promotion, and lie by omission or double-speak, because it would feel like betraying a respected boss by throwing a promotion back in their face. Your employee may be having a lot of trouble balancing her personal non-work obligations with her new responsibilities. Or maybe she just can’t handle the stress and altered social dynamic of moving from being a coworker to being a manager.

      Since this is the first time she’s ever made that move, maybe she’s discovered that while she’s good at it, she hates the work and misses her old job.

      It can be difficult to tell a manager that personal obligations are getting in the way of the new promotion, or that the job is simply not what someone thought it was going to be. I’ve actually avoided promotion to management for that very reason. I know I’d kill myself trying to live up to my own standards, plus being a manager would take me away from the engineering work I love.

      1. TootsNYC*

        altered social dynamic of moving from being a coworker to being a manager.

        Just highlighting this, because I think it can be important to note.
        Especially if part of what she feels is that the team doesn’t like her anymore:
        that she believes the team doesn’t think she’s doing well,

        She may need some support through that.

        Sometimes people grouse about their managers, even if their managers are doing a good job; if she’s on the manager side of that dynamic, that may be really jarring for her.

    3. Door Guy*

      It can be a big adjustment when you step into a managerial role. I completely get where this person is coming from, as I’ve had those same thoughts and feelings. You feel like everyone is judging you behind your back for every little mistake even though most people don’t even know or realize the mistake, or if they did, passed it off as you being new in the role. That even when you are getting positive feedback, you’re not sure if it’s genuine, and you sit and wonder what the heck you are doing and if you should just go back to what you knew and were comfortable with.

      Eventually, the feeling fades as you firm yourself up in the position, both through learning and improving at your managerial duties, and the distance between what you used to do and what you do now. When you first start, the old position is still fresh in your mind and you think about how easy it would be to just go back, but after a while it becomes a more distant memory and crops up less and less in your thoughts.

      Just know that the feeling can come back with a vengeance if you move higher up the ladder. I went from managing a team to managing a location and even though I’ve been in my position now for over 7 months, just yesterday I had the “I wish I could go back to a level where I had no real responsibilities, how did I end up here?” thoughts on my drive home after a stressful day.

      1. Properlike*

        Also, I think she’s conflating “discomfort” with “bad.” She had mastered her old role, it felt comfortable, and she had enough experience to know she was achieving well. Now she has the outward feedback that she’s doing well, but still feels on her back foot, so in her mind, something still has to be wrong because the signals don’t match up.

        1. OP1*

          Good points both of you. I think perhaps helping her to reframe this as discomfort, rather than being not good at her job, might help her decide if this is something she wants to get comfortable in, rather than it being an issue of her being unsuited to the position. Thanks!

    4. NotEveryoneWantsToManage*

      Or OP1 could you know, treat her employee like an adult? I went through the EXACT same thing her employee is going through and my director and his peers used all of absurd rebuttals the commentators here are pushing. I didn’t care about my performance. The KPI’s meant nothing because I was MISERABLE. What OP1 needs to do is show her colleague respect by letting her go back to her IC role before she leaves the company. The incessant rebuttals and leg humping is ridiculous.

      1. OP1*

        She’s telling me the reason she wants to step down is not because she’s miserable but because she doesn’t feel like she’s doing a good job, I feel an obligation to work that through with her because she is, objectively, doing a good job. If she’d said “I freaking hate this job. It wasn’t what I wanted at all and I want out,” I wouldn’t have questioned that. It’s not leg humping to encourage a good employee and help them build their confidence in a new and challenging role.

  6. EPLawyer*

    #5, I feel for you. I typed my bar exam back in 2008. Everyone in the country was uploading their exams at the same time. The site was full. No one was in the office for tech support (because apparently the date of the bar exam was a huge surprise to the Bar Exam Software people). I was freaking out. And still had day 2 of the exam the next day.

    I emailed it to any contact I could find and explained the problem. Then went back to uploading. There was no option about doing it earlier, that was the one and only day to upload. From comments I’ve seen online, the company has not improved in the last 11 years.

    But, yes, always do things ahead. That way if say you plan to apply on Wednesday with a Friday deadline, if you wake up sick Wednesday, you still have time. But if yo wait until Friday and you wake up sick Friday, or your car breaks down or there is a major storm and power goes out, you are stuck.

      1. D'Arcy*

        It depends on the state, and in many states you’re not allowed to take the bar unless you’ve first graduated from an accredited law school.

      2. MamaProf*

        You bring your laptop to the common exam site and use the approved test software, which locks you out of every other program on your laptop.

      3. Duchess Conseula Banana Hammock*

        No. You can type your essays in the exam room with the proctors, using software that locks you out of everything else on the computer–and disables the internet (not that there’s internet in the exam room anyway). So you have to upload them after you leave.

        Source: took the bar three months ago.

    1. londonedit*

      Back in the day when I was at university, we had two lots of formally assessed essays to write each year, which made up the examined part of our degree (4 x 2,500 words in January and 4 x 6,000 words in May, in both the second and third years). There was a set deadline day for these essays, and a set time by which they had to be handed in (I think it was 12 noon) – and in those days you had to physically hand in a printed copy. Add to this the fact that while people were starting to have their own computers, many didn’t and would be using the computer rooms on campus, and most of the people who did have their own computer didn’t have a printer. So you’d save your work on floppy disks and print it out at the uni IT centre. You can imagine the queues on the morning of each essay deadline, and the panics over jammed printers, misplaced disks, crashing computers…

      1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        Or spouse’s experience, where the university-endorsed printers mangled his file and printed only around half of his thesis. He only realised after he had submitted the bound copy.

        Fortunately he had (uncharacteristically, ahem) planned to submit it long enough before the deadline that he had time to sprint back to the printers and get them to print the full file and bind it, then time to check it, then time to sprint back to replace the incomplete copy with the full copy.

        That was a frightening day.

      2. Quill*

        Bad enough when you have to print these days on college campuses… because you had to email it and access it from a library computer to print! And the internet in the dorms sucked. To get anyone to look at it (or track down the moldy gamer hogging the wifi with their own router) you had to put in a request via the online IT portal… which you had to go to the library to do if your internet was down…

      3. anon attorney*

        Christ yes. During my law degree the university upgraded the library PCs one year the day the final was due. Several of my gray hairs are directly attributable to that day.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      At the end of 2014 the Common App website went down just before the deadline for a bunch of universities. I am surprised the collective wails from high school seniors didn’t alter the planet’s orbit.

      1. Sharkie*

        One of my college friends works in an admissions department. Her inbox exploded with angry emails. One parent even threated to sue. She doesn’t even work for a school that you would think is elite….

        1. Zephy*

          Sue…whom, exactly? The school, for another company’s website being down? I’m sure that was an empty threat and the parent hadn’t actually considered any particular details beyond “I have encountered a mild inconvenience and don’t want to listen to how the system is supposed to work, so I’ll just threaten litigation to make the inconvenience go away,” but if there had been a thought process I would have loved to see it. FA office here, parents say the darnedest things.

          1. Delta Delta*

            As a lawyer I always love it when ragey people yell, “I’m gonna sue!” and I ask “for what?” and then they can’t answer. Or “they should be arrested!” and I ask “for what?” and they can’t answer.

      2. A*

        Ugh. I graduated HS in the early stages of the Common App being rolled out, and apparently there were major issues with the site and it crashed last minute. That was reason 1000000 that I was grateful to have done early, early acceptance (no longer offered) and knew where I was going at age 16. It was painful to watch from the sidelines though, especially because I was at boarding school so there were literally people crying/screaming all over the place.

        Also a good life lesson not to procrastinate!

    3. Joielle*

      Can confirm! I took it in 2013 and all went well… a bunch of my friends took it in 2014 and had the same problem with uploading. It was an absolute nightmare. Ever since then I’ve been REAL touchy about uploading things near a deadline. Even if everything under your control goes smoothly, sometimes the uploading website crashes and there’s nothing you can do about it!

      1. Ariaflame*

        Yeah, they decided to do a major revamp of our systems especially the parts controlling students ability to log in the *last* week of semester when all the major assignments were due.

        1. Veronica*

          Things like that always make me wonder if it’s deliberate. Some evil sabotaging manager rubbing their hands saying, “I’ll show those students, bwahahaha…”

    4. Sharkie*

      This happened to my dad too when he was taking the bar exam in his new state (I guess some states still make you take a different type of bar exam to practice even if you have been practicing for 30 + years and have membership in 3 other states and DC). He isn’t the most tech-savvy and he hadn’t taken the bar since the early 80’s when everything was pen and paper. I had to leave work early to help him figure it out. It was a nightmare. You think they would make the process easier.

      1. Fikly*

        What’s their incentive? I know a lawyer who is blind, and trying to get accommodations for the bar was a nightmare. The person they allowed her to use to have the written materials read aloud had no legal background, and didn’t know how to pronounce any of the technical terms.

        1. Sharkie*

          I have no clue. I guess every state has different requirements to join. It was funny because my best friend graduated from law school and took the exam the year before so he was my Dad’s tutor. My Dad couldn’t get over that one of his “Kids” was helping study for a big test. It was a funny role reversal (My dad was better at explaining science than half the teachers we had growing up so he always held Exam prep sessions for us)

    5. EPLawyer*

      Addendum: You had to fill out a separate form to take the exam on your laptop. A lot of people missed that. There was also a deadline to request to take it on your laptop, but it was before the final, final, deadline to apply to take the bar exam. So all the people who were in the bar offices on the deadline day filling out their applications (no seriously, how they had all the materials they needed I have no idea) were unable to type their exams and had to handwrite.

      In my state, your bar exam seat number was based on what application you were. I was #33. My friends wanted to know who the 32 more uptight people in the state were.

    6. Lynn*

      I took the NY bar in 2007, which was the first year you could use a laptop. I refuse. No way was I risking my bar exam on a first time technology situation. I don’t remember there being any massive issues, but I was not taking that chance.

    7. Casper Lives*

      Oh man. I took the bar a few years ago. My laptop froze during the essay portion due compatibility issues with their no -refundable software. I had to hand write half of the essays. I took a short break of precious essay time to do deep breathing in the bathroom.

      One of my friends lost her power cord before the upload deadline and rushed out to buy a new one.

    8. Delta Delta*

      I took the bar back in the Stone Age of 2004 and it was all pencils all the time. My arm ached after 2 days, but at least pencils don’t malfunction the same way tech does.

      1. NY Lawyer*

        When I took the NY bar the upload software got overwhelmed and many people couldn’t submit the night before the second day so they had to grant an extension. I managed to upload mine so I wasn’t worried but many people freaked out. There ended up being a class action lawsuit and I got a refund for almost the full amount of using the software.

  7. Circe*

    Regarding #2: dishwashers are more efficient than (effective) handwashing, so his rationale isn’t even sound.

    Re #5: my company has a transparent hard stop to internship applications and, as far as I know, doesn’t accept late applications. We generally have five or more good candidates for every opening, so, especially for something temporary like an I yet shop, bending the rules to get a perfect applicant isn’t something we need to do. It sucks that this happened, but it’s life and let it be a learning opportunity.

    1. Observer*

      Well, his rationale does work, as far as his washing routine is concerned – because he is NOT washing the mug effectively. Apparently he is of the opinion that saving water is more important that decent hygiene.

      1. Miso*

        But he doesn’t even save water – the dishwasher is running anyway, so he’s just adding the water he uses for the mug…

        1. Batgirl*

          He hasn’t saved water no, but has probably used cold water (based on my own experiences with cup rinsers) which is likely to be more efficient in term of both energy and taking down the whole office with germs.
          I’d honestly be tempted to do the dreaded whole office email – not to chide those who aren’t hygenic but to warn those who are. Alas, it’s a terrible idea because it’s a) not possible to do without shaming someone indirectly and b) it’s common sense that there’s at least one office germ spreader.

          1. Ariaflame*

            But would only be more efficient if the dishwasher would not be run otherwise. If it is being run anyway then the energy required to pump his water is still being used, as is the actual water as well as the dishwasher. It’s like carpooling for dishes.

            This being said I don’t have a dishwasher at home because I don’t have room for one, I live alone and running it practically empty would be a waste, but waiting till it was full would have me out of crockery and/or cutlery at critical times. But I don’t rinse individual things, and I only fill the sink enough for what I have. And then there’s the embodied energy in the machine itself.

            1. TootsNYC*

              if you ever think you want a dishwasher, consider getting a single Fisher-Paykel dishwashing drawer.

              “carpooling for dishes”–that’s a great way to say it

    1. Not So NewReader*

      OP, you could tell her to read here. You could say that you are sharing your continuing education source with her. ;)

    2. RC Rascal*

      I am wondering if she has made an error or is facing a situation she doesn’t know how to handle. Her instincts are telling her to bail on the entire management thing.

    3. pleaset*

      To me the key question is does she want the job?

      If she really has imposter syndrome, some training and feedback can help her.

      But it’s possible that she just doesn’t like the job and is not being forthright with the OP (or even herself).

      I was promoted once without wanting it and in retrospect, apart from additional money, it was bad for me. I made a major mistake of not refusing the promotion. I’m still in that position – I can’t go backwards now in the same organization, and it’s a problem.

    4. TootsNYC*

      maybe she needs a closer or more frequent mentorship (and remember that a mentor is not your boss). Can you arrange that for her?

  8. Gaia*

    OP 4, since you’ll be in the same state as your employer it will really just be an FYI. But, in case anyone else is wondering, it isn’t always as simple if you’re moving to a state your employer doesn’t already have employees. That may require them registering in the state and they may or may not be willing to do so. Always best to raise it early.

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Yep. My employer has a blacklist of states that people can’t work from as residents – if we don’t already have people working in these states, they’re not willing to jump through the hoops.

      That said, I’m not sure what the requirements are if one only working for a couple days in a state where the employer isn’t established? Like, if I wanted to go visit my folks for a long weekend and work a day or two from their state instead of taking the time off.

      1. palomar*

        I’d advise consulting a pro to be certain, but from where I stand, I can’t see how that would be a problem — you’re still officially residing in the location listed on your W-4 forms that your employer submitted to the IRS, not changing your official residence to your parents’ location.

      2. hbc*

        IANATax Expert, but I believe it’s based on where you’re filing your taxes, almost always where you reside legally. Otherwise, business travel would be a nightmare.

        And realistically, even if you stayed with your parents for more than half the year for some reason, you’re probably not going to get busted as long as you don’t do something dumb like use their address on your tax returns.

        1. WinStark*

          I know pro athletes have to file in every state they play a game in. So, it’s not based on your legal residence, but where you are actually working. For them, anyway.

          1. ABC Company*

            Individual income taxes are based on both work location and state of residence – there are plenty of people living in NJ commuting to NYC who must file in NYC as non-residents and in NJ as residents (but those commuting between PA and NJ file only in the state of residence because of reciprocal agreement between the two states (but that agreement doesn’t cover Phila taxes for NJ residents working there.)).
            Business travel is currently not a nightmare because of the lack of enforcement, not because of the tax laws. But states are starting to leverage technology and data to force compliance – pro athletes are one high-profile and high-tax-generating example. Look up “jock tax”.

      3. Goldfinch*

        I wonder how this plays out in companies that have salespeople covering territories. Does only their house address count, or does the address of their customers count?

        1. Kimberlee, No Longer Esq.*

          For payroll purposes, the state where the employee lives is where the company pays taxes and where the employee files their taxes. But if they travel frequently to other states and have lots of customers in those states, it’s possible that the company would have “business nexus” in those states and have some level of filing/tax obligation. But that varies by states (and in states where it’s common for people to travel between them for work, like DC/MD/VA, there’s usually special provisions in law to make all that easier).

    2. LKD*

      It’s not just an FYI because they might be able to file a final company return in that state the employee was residing in as a remote employee and not have to file paperwork anymore.

  9. On a pale mouse*

    I’m convinced that the only reason some of my colleagues’ coffee-mug-washing (or, mostly, NON-washing) habits haven’t killed them is that coffee is usually served hot enough to kill many harmful organisms.

    But you can hardly rely on that for communal dishes, since you don’t know what the next person will use it for. Ick, indeed.

    1. No Tribble At All*

      I have a coworker who uses the same mug for coffee every day. He doesn’t wash it at the end of the day, just puts it back in a desk drawer. He claims it’s seasoned like a cast-iron skillet.

        1. WellRed*

          I rinse my mug and take it home every week or so to wash it. (We don’t even have a kitchen, I”m not washing dishes in the communal building bathroom).

          1. SarahTheEntwife*

            Yeah, I’m the same way. If it’s coffee, I actually wash it because then there’s milk and sugar and other stuff that gets gross. But if it’s just my usual unsweetened green or herbal tea, I don’t bother. It’s my mug, I don’t get sick very often, so I figure it’s fine.

            1. Kelly L.*

              I use one for 2-3 days and then take it home and bring back a clean one. I miss having a kitchenette with an actual sink in the office–my old job had one.

              1. Jamie*

                I miss that, too. We have to wash dishes in the bathroom here so …no. I just take mine home and bring clean each day.

                1. On a pale mouse*

                  Same. Even with a kitchen, I usually don’t trust it’s clean enough for me to feel like something I wash there is clean. The only exception to this has been when I shared a tiny kitchenette with only two other people who weren’t slobs and we had a really good cleaner too.

                2. Veronica*

                  I wipe the counter with soap, rinse and dry it with paper towels before I wash my dishes and set them on the counter.
                  I started doing this to avoid colds and such being spread around the office – people coughing by the counter, housekeepers setting rolls of trash bags there – and it seems to help!

                3. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

                  Yeah, I invested in a set of travel mugs and bring coffee in them from home each morning, refill them with water during the day, and take them home at night to run them through the dishwasher. Our break room only has a sink inside the en-suite bathroom and no “kitchen” sink, and I’m just not down with washing dishes in there or drinking coffee that comes from a coffee pot that’s been washed in there if at all.

                  (I only drink work coffee when I work someplace that I know washes the coffee pot regularly, too, because I am Extreme No Fun Person. I miss the coffee situation, and pretty much nothing else, about the small office I once worked in where the secretary and the custodian were the main coffee drinkers and had a sensible daily routine set up to make sure everything was kept clean with specific divisions of labor and such. If the person whose job it is to clean the entire office is also a coffee drinker drinking the same coffee as the rest of you, the coffee pot tends to get properly cleaned. This is one of many things you lose if you outsource cleaning staff.)

      1. Quill*

        I’m gonna go wash my mug now… (I usually wash it pre-coffee or tea consumption because I keep it either on my desk or in a filing cabinet drawer, both are potential for stuff falling in.)

      2. Door Guy*

        I never got to witness it, but apparently our previous service coordinator was a total slob who would use the same napkin every day to put his breakfast bagel/muffin/whatever on. When he was finished, the napkin just…stayed put until the next day when he had another breakfast food. Apparently, the other staff were curious to see how long it he would reuse it so they didn’t touch it. Over 6 months before someone finally threw it away for him…

        1. roisin54*

          My uncle did this with a paper plate at his house, he ate every meal off it and just kept re-using it (for years) instead of throwing it away and using a new one. I know this because at some point he framed it and presented it to my mom. It. Was. So. Gross. It was barely recognizable as ever having been a paper plate. My dad thought it was hilarious so he insisted on keeping it. Those two were…unique.

          1. Quill*

            My grandpa started re-using paper plates excessively at the beginning of his Alzheimer’s. Yes, he’d always meticulously reused anything possible, but it wasn’t a good sign.

            1. Door Guy*

              I remember going through my grandpa’s barn with him and being regaled with stories of his father (my great-grandfather) who had lived through the depression, never throwing anything away. Old coffee cans full of nails that had been straightened back out, all sorts of little scraps of things painstakingly restored and held on to “Just in case”.

            2. Happy Lurker*

              Seconding Quill.
              At the beginning of my FIL’s Alzheimer’s he reused paper plates, rinsed and put in the drying rack. Five years later, now my spouse does it…

      3. The Dig*

        We have a study/common room for PhD and Masters students in my university, with a coffee machine and a kettle for tea. We all bring our own mugs, but store them in the same shelf, so if a “guest” comes, they can use one of the mugs. It being an old building and all, there’s not a single sink we can use to wash these mugs and appliances (other than the bathroom sink, used by hundreds of students each day).
        So at the end of the day, we just rinse the mug, and reuse it the next day. Personally, I take my mug home and wash it about once every 3 months, but in the 4 years I’ve used this room, I’ve seen mugs that NEVER got washed, only rinsed. The coffee machine gets cleaned whenever some kind soul takes it home to wash it (so twice a year, maybe). Same for the kettle.
        As far as I know, in the last 4 years no one’s gotten sick because of this. You build up an immunity, I guess.

      4. Pescadero*

        I had a High School teacher that would not only NOT wash his mug ever – but would “pre-season” a new mug by filling with 4x strength instant coffee and letting it sit for a few weeks.

      5. Curmudgeon in California*

        I do this. I rinse it with hot water before I put fresh coffee in it. I do not put milk or sugar in my coffee, however. No one else but me uses it, and I make sure it is dry before I stuff if in a drawer. I wash it with “coffee soap” about once a month. I know a lot of people who do the same, but only if they drink their coffee black.

    2. TootsNYC*

      I would give credit to:
      1. the resilience and toughness of the human body
      2. the wimpiness of many germs

  10. Beth*

    OP1: If you’ve given her all this feedback that she’s doing phenomenally and everyone loves her, then I’m wondering if her wanting to step down might not actually be about her performance. Imposter syndrome is a possibility, of course, but with that much clear feedback she’s presumably aware that you don’t share that perspective!

    Is it possible she’s realizing after these initial weeks that she really doesn’t like managing? She might feel like “I don’t think I’m cut out for this” is easier to say than essentially “Thanks for the opportunity and all the praise, but actually I hate it and want my old job back.”

    If you haven’t shared all the feedback you talked about with her, of course, then that should be your first step. In fact, regardless of whether you’ve said it before, it can’t hurt to tell her bluntly that you think she’s doing fantastic and would really love her to stay where she is. But if that doesn’t seem to put a close to the topic, it might be worth digging deeper to see what’s really going on beneath the surface.

    1. TechWorker*

      I have been a manager for ~4 months and received mostly good feedback, I’m not planning to step down. At the same time I *do* feel sometimes that I’m not cut out for management, not necessarily because I’m bad at it but because I find it exhausting and stressful. I need to be many more levels of chilled out before I could enjoy it. I wonder if this employee getting loads of good feedback is coming along with them burning out.

    2. Seeking Second Childhood*

      There’s also sometimes a late realization that your office friends who now report to you will not (should not) continue the same relationship.
      Is she perhaps running into the first instance of having to give negative feedback or a performance review to her buddies?

      1. OP1*

        I hadn’t thought much about that, but she did recently have to deliver some negative feedback to someone on the team she’s close with and it didn’t go well. The person didn’t blame her, but they did react unprofessionally to some legitimate criticism.

        1. Adultiest Adult*

          That was, and remains, one of the hardest parts of transitioning to management for me–the fact that that your relationship with all of the people you were previously close to will change, and has to change. I had a similar rough situation with delivering negative feedback to someone who was formerly close to me before I got promoted, and it tanked our relationship going forward, which was a bitter pill for me to swallow, especially as a new manager. (It also had a ripple effect of damaging a few other relationships, because she could freely vent about her side of the story and I couldn’t share mine.) Consider if your new-to-management report might need more support on the interpersonal side of things, as well as the “meeting the deliverable” side of things. I think both are important to a successful transition to management.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      She could be viewing the job as “There is so much to do here and I have only done this tiny amount.” She may need help in resetting her own expectations.

      Def ask why. And stop talking to wait for her answer. She may not be sure why, she may have ten reasons why. It could take her some time to articulate what weighs on her mind. The tricky part here is not to gloss over what she is saying with a casual, “Well that’s not true” or other general response. Since she is a good employee it’s worth your time to go line item by line item of what is bothering her.

      It’s actually also a chance to get some training in as it might become apparent where her knowledge gaps are. These could be preconceived notions OR bigger issues that she has not addressed yet. She sounds like she is a very intelligent person, be prepared for difficult questions that challenge even you. I have had people like this and they are GREAT to work with, but, boy, the brain drain. If all my people put that much thought and effort into their jobs, I would have been wiped out totally. Be sure to allot a good chunk of time for your talk with her. Nothing more discouraging than a boss who has to run off in the middle of a serious discussion. NOT saying you would do this, OP, I am just saying to be extra aware. It would be a cool move on your part to say something at the end of the conversation such as, “Is there any thing else you would like us to talk about?” or “We can close this conversation today, but I would like you to think about things and we can come back to this on Tuesday at 9 am.” In other words, set it up as an on-going conversation.

    4. irene adler*

      It may be she feels that good management means 100% of her endeavors must be successful. So while everyone sees her as being a good manager, she doesn’t see herself as successful because she sees her failures – everyone else does not. Maybe she and OP need to come up with a new definition of what it means to be a successful manager- one that shows that she is effective even though not 100 % of her endeavors are successful.

      And it may be that, while she is doing well in everybody’s eyes, the toll it is taking on her emotionally is too high.
      I hate managing because I have to think about the job when away from work. Always making sure my reports are supplied with what they need to do their jobs can be stressful. And then having to do your work as well just adds to things. I’d spend weekends planning for what was needed -and for the “what -ifs” too.

      1. TootsNYC*

        If this is indeed a problem for her, one solution might be to coach her into thinking how to solve THAT problem.

        Can you automate the ordering or arrival of supplies? Even of information?
        Is there a level of waste that she can live with just to make this easier? (I often staffed a short shift with overlap of personnel so that I didn’t have to rush to deal with something at the last minute, or on the weekend. Sure, I wasted $175, but I decided it was worth it. Or, I spent time setting up forms that sometimes weren’t needed–but they were there.)

        Are there routines in her job or in others’ that could make some things more automated, less hands-on for her?

    5. LQ*

      I think there is also a big shift from individual contributor where you get to see the impact of doing well when you finish up a thing and there it is. Done. Finished. Successful. Vs being a manager when even when you do well it’s not done or fully successful and never ever finished.

      I think the difficulty of this is really underrated. Especially if you go from being really successful as an individual contributor (even harder if you’ve been in that role for a while) into being brand new and learning a new skill set (which is tough even if you love it) and floundering and then on top of that not feeling like you can see your impact. You can be told you’re doing great, but if you don’t feel like you can see it, it can be hard. So making sure that she understands what the expectations are and how different they are is important.

      1. OP1*

        Good thoughts. The tasks she was doing as an (exteremely successful) individual contributor were almost exclusively “the thing is done. I don’t touch this thing again” tasks, so moving to managing where the work is never really “done” is definitely a mindshift that I don’t think I’ve fully talked through with her.

    6. TootsNYC*

      I wonder if it’s a case of her being able to see her mistakes, because she is right there in her own brain, and she is the only one who knows that she kept forgetting to finish that schedule.

      Everyone else just sees that she did indeed finish the schedule, and that she cut it a little tight, but that it was fine.

      Conscientious people often struggle because their own mistakes are SO VERY visible to themselves, and they have high standards.

      I sometimes think that rather than focus on the Golden Rule, lots of us would benefit from its converse:
      Do unto yourself the way you would do unto others.

      She should not judge or condemn herself more harshly than she would judge or condemn someone else.

    7. Sleepy*

      I used to work in a very niche field, not management but it had some aspects in common such as the need to juggle a lot of balls and please a lot of stakeholders with competing priorities. Most of the most conscientious people I was working with quit within a few years—even though they were highly praised, they wanted to do everything perfectly, which was impossible. I noticed all the people I encountered who lasted in the field were not very conscientious, unfortunately. In a tricky job with a lot of competing demands, she may need to figure out what is an acceptable rate of not getting things perfect.

    8. NotEveryoneWantsToManage*

      “Thanks for the opportunity and all the praise, but actually I hate it and want my old job back.” – Is almost word for word what I told my boss when I was in OP1’s employee’s shoes. In my case I was just continually reassured that I was doing great, etc which was not at all the point. OP1 needs to treat her employee as an adult and respect her wishes. It’s probably just laziness on her end – not wanting to back fill a “manager” role but she’ll have to do that anyway if her employee leaves.

      1. OP1*

        I’m certainly not trying to be lazy. I just don’t want her to make a rash decision when she’s telling me it’s based on that she’s not good at her job, when by all objective measures she’s been incredibly successful so far. If she ultimately decides she wants to step down, I can and will fill the manager role. I just don’t want to lose someone with so much promise in this role if the issue is just that she’s not as confident in herself that I am in her.

        1. NotEveryoneWantsToManage*

          “…when by all objective measures she’s been incredibly successful so far.” This could be a sign of mental illness then. If she can’t separate reality from her “feelings” maybe someone a little more rational should be in charge.

    9. squishy banana*

      This whole thread feels like it could be describing me. I have resisted the move into a management role for a lot of the reasons commenters describe in this thread, and I have no doubt I’d react in the exact same way your new manager is. The post about conscientious employees particularly hit home. OP, there’s a lot of really good advice here, and it’s definitely worth trying these things with your employee. After you address these things, I think asking her to stay in the role for a few months more as she works through this stuff with your guidance is reasonable. There have been many times in my career that I wanted to quit something new because I didn’t think I could hack it, but it just took time. But it’s also reasonable for her to decide that this just isn’t for her after a specified trial period. Some times you’re really just not cut out for the gig. Good luck and I wish you both the best.

  11. spock*

    #3 – My manager discovered today that the meeting invite they sent to our whole team was received by no one, but looked totally normal in their sent folder. I mentioned it offhandedly to a coworker and they said that had happened to them as well this week. Technology is weird! Maybe she faked it but it’s not impossible for email not to work correctly

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Yep. I have seen this both at home and at work. At home I had an older relative that I was emailing twice a day, because she was having a rough time of things. We were both amazed at how many times our emails did not go through. It happened often enough. The only reason we noticed this was because of emailing twice a day for years.
      Now when someone says they emailed me, but I don’t see their email on my end, I tend to believe them.

      OP, I am not sure what is behind the concern about the missing email. However, there are some times where an email MUST be followed up with a phone call. Sometimes stuff is just too important and that personal touch is absolutely necessary. You could speak to her about non-email type follow-ups.
      I understand what you are saying about the cc line and how the email looks. But I have also seen that change for no reason also.
      In short if you are using email to prove she is a bad worker, I think you should turn and look at other problems. Email messes up often enough from what I see that I would be very hesitant to draw conclusions. I don’t think that our email systems earn the degree of trustworthiness that we (society) grant them.

    2. Falling Diphthong*


      Of late, my email has decided that some sent messages are unread. This causes me a “Gah oh no outgoing mail didn’t work, and I didn’t catch it…. wait, Outgoing is empty. That’s Sent. Huh?”

      Why? Who knows? I don’t think it even correlates to allowing the computer to update things, the scourge of my phone.

    3. A Non E. Mouse*

      Hello! IT person here!

      An email getting from one place to another can actually be quite complicated!

      Did the client software send it right? Did my server handle it correctly? Did it get stuck in my outgoing Spam filter? Did it make it to their end at all – like did THEY move their server and not tell the interwebs where they are now, are they on a blacklist my own server is referring to, did their server die and they not know it yet? Once it got there, did it get caught in their spam filter? Did it make it to the other client software but THEN get caught in that spam filter? So many possibilities!

      First step would be to ask IT for help – for an entirely-internal email like the one in the letter, I could pull up the full path from point A to point B and see where it went wonky.

      {Fun note: the vast majority of the time, an internal email goes wonky at Point B due to an email client setting – like a filter having an unintended consequence and shuttling everything from Person X to Some Random Folder. Usually nothing is actually wrong, but instead the software is doing as it’s been told….someone just told it to do the wrong thing.}

      As for email that’s being sent from someone at my company to anyone external, my control ends at my door – I can usually get as far as “I show this sent at XX time on YY date and shows delivered to their end’s server”; but at that point THAT company’s spam filtering kicks in, their own server rules, and then all the client rules.

      Think of email like a Magic Letter being sent USPS – the Magic Letter can get all the way to your street, but still end up in the neighbor’s mailbox or wedged under the driver’s seat of the delivery van.

    4. Door Guy*

      We have a 3rd party vendor that calls us quite frequently to work for customers they represent. Once we finish the job, we have to submit their service ticket and invoice back through their dedicated email line for said service tickets and invoices.

      We’ve taken to mailing the physical copy of the invoice anyways just because that email is garbage. We get 1-2 requests a week to resend things because they never got it.

    5. Ophelia*

      We are currently having an issue with our system where you can send emails or schedule them to be sent and then they don’t. If you look and search and dig, you can usually find the email nested in replies as a draft, but it doesn’t show in the draft folder. Our accounting office got on my case because my monthly reconciliation reports didn’t show up. I thought I had actually imagined sending the email but then it happened to a few others and I didn’t feel so bad… except that now I have to go back and verify that emails are actually sending.

  12. Sara(h)*

    OP #5 – This is probably too late to help this time, but in case something like that ever happens again or to anyone else reading this, sometimes those application systems are the source of the glitch. I once was submitting for an internal promotion a few minutes before the deadline (I think 11:56pm) and the system said registration had closed. I had worked so hard on the application and was beside myself!
    I called HR first thing in the morning, and they allowed me to email in a scan of my application, which fortunately I’d saved as a word document (it included my lengthy answers to the supplemental questions, for those of you familiar with gov’t application processes). Granted, this was internal, but it’s a large org and the HR person didn’t know me personally. She said that apparently the system does sometimes close a few min prematurely. The key was that I called *first thing* the next morning, so she believed me. And FWIW, I ended up getting the job!

  13. rudster*

    Why would the employee fake the Payroll letter? Was it simply because they were supposed to cc them as part of their job and they forgot, and now they are covering up their mistake? Unless this had serious negative ramifications for the subject employee or the company that can’t be undone, this seems a very weird thing to implement an electronic forgery scheme over – surely emails get omitted or misdirected all the time? Or there is there something else going on…

    1. Lucky black cat*

      Further to this, I would be questioning why someone would feel the need to lie about that – is it a sign of something rotten in the workplace, perhaps?

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s a thing you sometimes see from poor performers when they’re trying to cover up that they forgot to do something.

      I once had an employee do something similar. She told me she’d sent an email to our printer days before, and I was pretty sure she hadn’t. I asked her to forward it to me and she did. My gut was screaming “she created this today just to forward it” (there had been other times when I suspected she wasn’t being honest about similar things, so my gut had some context to react to) and I said to her, “I’m going to ask you something odd, and if I’m wrong about what I think might have happened, I’ll profusely apologize, but can you show me this email in your sent folder?” She couldn’t — because it didn’t really exist and she had falsified the forward, as she ended up admitting. (I ended up having to fire her over it, for reasons similar to what I wrote in my advice to the OP in today’s post.)

      Anyway, this is a thing people who are already performing badly sometimes do to cover up that they didn’t do something they were supposed to do. So in the OP’s situation, it could be something like the employee being told “be sure to cc payroll on that adjustment to Jane’s paycheck so it’s reflected in her next check” … the employee forgets to do it … the OP asks about it, and the employee tries to cover up her mistake by falsifying the cc field in her forward. (Total speculation here, obviously — just trying to give an example of how this could come about.)

      1. Mookie*

        I had an almost identical situation with a colleague, but though it initially looked as bad as your former employee we discovered later that the e-mail was accidentally never sent after it had been written, so it wasn’t in the sent file but in the drafts folder. The colleague didn’t realize that because when he was asked to find it he just did a search for it, ignored where it was filed, and forwarded it on. Going by the date, it looked like it had only just been written.

        1. Kelly L.*

          This has happened to me! I think I closed Outlook too soon after hitting send. It didn’t send again until I opened Outlook again, and I usually use webmail instead, so it was a few weeks.

          1. Quill*

            I had some similar things happen: webmail applications of a certain age send far slower than one would expect in terms of “hit send, start shutting down computer / putting it to sleep for the night.”

          2. Door Guy*

            My email at last job used to occasionally get hung up never sending anything – they’d all get stuck in outbox purgatory and nothing I could do would get them to go any further. If I tried to resend without clearing the outbox, the next one would get queued up and stuck as well. Sometimes it would take 3 or 4 repetitions of clear and resend before 1 made it through. Usually it was nothing time sensitive, but of course it happened on almost every reply while I was actively emailing back and forth with the company insurance investigator about an auto accident while on the scene.

            I’ve also closed down too quickly and my end of night reports didn’t send. Got a nasty email from the regional manager when I logged in the next day.

            1. That Girl from Quinn's House*

              I’ve had this happen when I send emails from my phone. If you use the Android Email app, and the app’s cache is full, it won’t send any emails you compose/send on the app…but it also won’t tell you the emails aren’t sending.

              I’ve run into this a few times, and now I just periodically clear the cache as a preventative measure.

          3. Jen2*

            This used to happen to me too, when I’d try to send an email to my boss that I’d be out sick. I’d boot up my laptop, write the email, then hit send and immediately close it down and go back to bed. I finally learned that I had to wait a few minutes for the email to actually send before I could close my laptop. Now that I can send emails from my phone, it’s not an issue anymore.

          4. SpaceySteph*

            Our work email system also used to have a much smaller inbox size allocation and would disable outgoing mail when you exceeded it, but not alert you in a very obvious way. People could sometimes go a day or two without realizing everything they sent was trapped in the outbox and you’d wonder why you never heard from X when X thought for sure they had already sent it.

            Luckily we have drastically expanded allocations now and nobody is that close to the limit anymore.

        2. RC Rascal*

          After I had surgery no one would do anything I directed them to do via email. It was very frustrating. When I was able to reduce the painkillers I found all those emails waiting in my Outbox, lined up like good little soldiers. I had been closing them instead of hitting Send.

      2. M*

        This is true, but it’s not clear in the letter that this is an employee who *does* have reason to worry about their own poor performance. So I do wonder whether the OP should *first* be taking a step back and asking themselves “what would motivate this employee to do this, and does that reflect well on *us*?”. Maybe the answer to that is indeed that the employee is flaky, has been told she needs to be more diligent and has reasonable cause to be worried about making more mistakes with important emails.

        But it also seems pretty plausible on the facts shared that what’s going on here reflects far more badly on the workplace than the employee. In isolation, it’s a pretty innocuous mistake to accidentally fail to cc payroll on an email – and as described, it sounds like the original email *was* sent, just without payroll looped in. That’s the kind of mistake that really does just happen – someone typoed the payroll email address, or didn’t realise they needed to be looped in, or thought they were already on an email chain, or hit the wrong name in the email directory. If this is an employee who’s not – reasonably and with good cause – being monitored or performance-managed over persistent sloppy mistakes and this *isn’t* the kind of incredibly critical email where any mistake is inexcusable (i.e. submitting a legal filing before a deadline, etc), then it’s pretty odd that the employee would be concerned enough to lie in the first place.

        So if *that’s* what’s happened here, it likely says a lot more about the culture of this workplace and how employees are treated when they make understandable mistakes. And it’s at least worth OP thinking about whether that might ring true.

      3. Wakeens Teapots LTD*

        way way back in the day, I had a guy fake a Fed Ex drop off! With tracking numbers and everything.

        He was a hot shot sales guy the company had hired. I was senior management of a division I had just started – he didn’t report to me, but I was above him in the food chain.

        He was supposed to fed ex me a model (he had borrowed from me) that I was then taking to a trade show. Never arrived. I called him (probably on a rotary phone, ha) and he swore he had sent it. I knew he was lying.

        I could have dropped the matter but I was pissed so I pursued it with the company owners when I got back. They called him out and he tripled down by **faking a fed ex form** as proof that he sent it. (anybody old will remember the carbonless fed ex forms we filled out, the pink copy was your receipt, and he produced a pink copy)

        Come on. It was before online tracking but fed ex has a phone number and you could call to see if they had a record of the package. Quadrupled down and claimed it must have gotten stuck in the box.

        He got fired.

        1. Jamie*

          I wouldn’t have dropped that either. I’m reasonable when it comes to honest mistakes, but lying to me and forging documents? If it smells hinky I’m going to be on that like a dog on a bone until I know what happened.

        2. Don't get salty*

          Wow, kind of makes me wonder/speculate how he became such a hot shot… Did you find out whatever became of the borrowed model? Did he sell it to someone (perhaps “by accident”)?

          1. Wakeens Teapots LTD*

            He fancied himself smooth. Smooth operator sales guys have not died out yet but they were at the top of the B to B sales food chain 20+ years ago.

            The model was just an anatomical prototype. It had no dollar value other than sales we would make from it. What I believe is that he lost it and rather than just tell me he lost it, he created tale after tale.

      4. Wakeens Teapots LTD*

        BTW, it’s worth mentioning that I am not a scrupulously honest person by instinct. I might even be a liar by instinct!

        I grew up in a tumultuous childhood and I lied through most of it. Rocky childhoods produce defense mechanisms to get us through that then come to bite ass as grownups. This isn’t the only one for me.

        However: I. Do. Not. Lie. It is usually an active choice for me, every time I am in a jam and it occurs to me to lie, I have have to make the active choice to tell the truth, apologize for whatever I did, and make amends as necessary. 40 years since I left home and I still have to make the active choice. But I don’t lie. (It’s not a moral choice for me, it’s a practical one. I need people to always believe me. You lie to them, that all changes.)

        1. Lynn Whitehat*

          Exact same. If you admit wrongdoing, you get a beating. If you hide it, maybe you get away with it and don’t get a beating, yay! It always feels not survival-oriented to confess to things now. But I know normal people don’t get it.

          1. Wakeen Teapots, LTD*

            In my case (it was just my mother and me), my mother was unstable with mental illness & alcohol issues. She was emotionally abusive without prediction what would set her off. (she could also be kind and loving). It was logical to just say whatever felt the safest to say at that time (and I am talking about from when I was *very* young). I never had regrets except when I got caught, and then my only regret was I got caught. But whatever happened next wasn’t any worse than could have just happened on a random Tuesday so I never regretted lying and never felt bad about it.

            God, I write that out and it’s a wonder I am not a master criminal! :D What I am actually is someone with a keen ethical code and a strong conscience. Except lying. It doesn’t feel wrong, it feels like a bad choice. So, I never, ever do it.

            1. Not So NewReader*

              It can be mind-bending for a young adult to see how the world really works. (Confusing as hell.) You have come far, I hope you have satisfaction with what you have accomplished. You should. You fought and won.

        2. Quill*

          I had a great childhood at home, and yet… I have a huge aversion to admitting even very simple mistakes due to probably a combination of gifted child syndrome and a variety of schools and workplaces overreacting to those mistakes. (Also, anxiety disorder! Scolding me about an email not being sent on time is more likely to reduce me to a non-functional mess than an actual car crash! Source: the time I totaled my car and the sheriff was impressed by how well I held together. Sir, this functionally does not actually feel worse than my former workplace, aside from the bruising.)

          That said, I also have a terrible memory when anxious, I don’t think I’d be able to *find* an email more than a few days old if you made me nervous about it. Especially not if you’re my old boss who only communicated by yelling, refused to write requests down, and changed them on you halfway through.

          1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

            +1 For adults who were expected to be perfect children, at all times, making or admitting a mistake is a FAILURE! of epic proportion. If this employee is actually normally a “perfect” employee, she may have panicked that she would lose her identity as “perfect”. I was also one of those gifted kids (although most of my push to be perfect was mostly internal and not placed on me by adults) and until high school it became my identity — I’m not athletic kid, I’m not fashionable, I’m not musical…I’m smart and organized and responsible… mistakes are not done. But of course that’s silly and everyone makes mistakes or fails sometimes. She may even absolutely believe that she sent that email, but just can’t find the evidence right away so…fake it…since she’s positive she did send it…absolutely.

        3. Ico*

          Wait, do most people _not_ have to make an active choice not to lie when it would be would be beneficial to them? I consider myself an honest person, but it’s a conscious moral choice to be so. I assumed it was normal to recognize that a lie could be convenient then decide to continue with that or refrain.

          1. fhqwhgads*

            I think there’s a difference between “my first instinct is always to lie when it would be beneficial to do so, but I usually choose not to” and “I recognize there is a choice to be made between being truthful vs lying” but with the latter not really taking conscious effort most of the time? Or potentially being more of a 50/50 thing. And then some people whose first instinct is to lie and almost always do. I think most people are the middle.

      5. Washi*

        So I’m curious then about why you didn’t recommend that the OP just ask to see the email in the sent folder? It wouldn’t have to be a “j’accuse!” moment, just “huh, that email actually does look a little weird to me, do you mind if I see it in your sent folder?”

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          You can edit emails once they exist in your system. I occasionally edit an email to delete parts of really long signatures and extra blank spaces so I can print the whole thing on one page, though I never save my changes and leave the original intact. But in theory I think you could go into your sent folder and alter it and save it, then forward that on–which is what it sounds like is exactly what OP thinks happened.

          As opposed to if there was never an email sent at all then there is nothing in the sent box to edit which is what it sounds like happened in Alison’s situation.

          Though this still seems like it has an easy check to me: if Payroll was only supposed to be CC’d on the original email then someone else was the main recipient and whoever received the original email should be able to see if Payroll was copied on it, right?

      6. TootsNYC*

        right–but you could also have someone who is just afraid of getting in trouble, even if they aren’t already a poor performer.

        So it’s worth a check on your own organization to be sure it’s safe to say, “Oh, rats–I forgot.”

    3. Horseshoe*

      I do think OP 3 needs to consider how mistakes are addressed at their company, if employees feel compelled to hide mistakes.

      Now, it could be like Allison says below, that the employee hasn’t been doing great and therefore they want to hide one more mistake, but there are also workplaces that try to problem-solve mistakes (Payroll didn’t get this email, so x didn’t get done, is sending them an email the best way to do it? Should we have a policy that payroll needs to confirm they have received employee changes?) vs workplaces that act like mistakes are the end of the world and just can’t happen or you’ll be fired.

      1. Joielle*

        Or workplaces that want to do a full root cause analysis of every little mistake and won’t accept “I forgot” as the reason something happened. Of course, if an employee has a pattern of missing important details, that’s a problem, but sometimes humans forget to do things and there doesn’t need to be a whole inquisition about it, just a reminder to do the thing going forward and to make a note or something minor if that would help the employee remember.

        1. Horseshoe*

          Right–I’m assuming this was an issue with serious impact, solely because OP talks about getting IT involved to track this down, which seems like overkill if this didn’t cause a big problem.

        2. Quill*

          Companies like my ex boss, who won’t accept “I just can’t get this done on time with everything else I have” or “this is why we use more than 4 samples to do a proper scientific experiment” or “I can’t remove the outliers because we only used 4 samples and that’s not how statistics work?”

          Meanwhile, at reasonable workplaces I’ve been at since, human error exists and this is why we proofread.

  14. Astra Nomical*

    #3 – I used to work in IT and tracing emails was a big part of the job.
    I’m basing this bit on the assumption that your work uses Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Servers.

    Your IT department will have higher permissions than employees/management etc, and will be able to trace the email using a few basic search parameters. Once the Sent email is found, they will be able to tell you what time it was sent (assuming she didn’t type it and save it as a draft) – but as far as I know there’s no way to tell what time an individual line was written (including To/From/Cc etc fields). That kind of thing would require a key logger (program that records key strokes) which a lot of people would (rightfully) object to out of privacy concerns.

    If the dispute is whether payroll got it, IT can do a recovery of payroll’s inbox.

    It becomes trickier when you’re dealing with a shared/group mailbox – a deleted email can only be recovered from the user’s profile it was deleted from. Anyway, that’s getting a bit too far down the rabbit hole – all I meant is, there are some things IT can do, and some things they can’t. Focus on when Payroll received the email, not when something was written.

    1. TechWorker*

      *surely* they’d be able to examine the headers on the original email and see where it was sent? (I admittedly don’t know a bunch about outlook specifically, but you shouldn’t need to care about the time a line was written to know where the email was sent to…?)

    2. Devil Fish*

      Wait, what? Why wouldn’t IT just check the employee’s sent folder for the original email and see who was cc’d?

      That seems like a much faster way to figure it out than going all Hackers trying to find timestamps on individual lines or even looking at Payroll’s inbox—if Payroll says they didn’t get it, why would you look for it where it’s not going to be without checking to see whether it was ever sent to them first?

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        Email can get deleted out of sent folders–and copied in. I figure this is useful as a step for absolute proof/disproof if the employee continues to maintain their innocence.

      2. Mae*

        I delete items in my sent folder about once a week. I don’t fake emails and it would never occur to me to do so.

        1. Saberise*

          But from an IT standpoint is it ever really deleted? IT where I would is able to recover deleted emails for a huge fee of course.

          1. A Non E. Mouse*

            But from an IT standpoint is it ever really deleted? IT where I would is able to recover deleted emails for a huge fee of course.

            Short answer is yes….eventually.

            Long answer involves the company’s data retention policy, who has the authority to make me spend my time recovering data that’s been retained past XX days (since after XX days it’s no longer in a readily available backup, but been archived), and then depending on regulations, public v. Private company, etc. the email achieve is maintained for YYY days then destroyed.

        2. Door Guy*

          The manager who trained me at current job deletes everything he doesn’t absolutely positively HAVE to save. He gets mad when he’s got to hold onto email chains due to client conflicts or the like. He also goes into his sent folder and deletes all his sent emails, then into his deleted folder and deletes everything out of there. He doesn’t shut down at night until he is as pared down as possible.

          1. Coke*

            Why? I only delete junk mail/spam/marketing emails and replies that are just “K” or “Thanks” (and I even keep some of those if it’s a project where I may need to prove the other person received what I sent.

      3. knead me seymour*

        Unless it was BCCed, I feel like they could also ask the original recipient to forward the email and check whether anyone was CCed?

  15. VeryAnon*

    The stupidest part about the dishes employee is that most modern dishwashers are *more* water efficient than hand washing.

  16. Blisskrieg*

    Regarding employee moved into management: scrutiny, even good scrutiny, can make some people uncomfortable. For example, i know back in the day when I read parenting magazines, there were occasional articles on how best to compliment/ build a child’s self esteem. At the time the consensus was praise the work that was done, “very nice job coloring that sun” versus ” You are a wonderful artist. ” the thought was partly that the focus on the trait rather than the work can create a loop of expectation that on some level the child is always chasing.

    I’m not equating working adults to parenting a child, but I know the workworld periodically adjusts its philosophy on giving feedback as well ( such as feedback sandwiches where negative feedback was buried between two positives used to be considered a good thing– now, not so much).

    What struck me in reading the question is it sounds like the new manager has already received effusive praise. Whether they’re conscious of it or not, I wonder if this makes them uncomfortable in some level and prevents normalization of the new role. I think asking the new manager to give it 6 months to a year is a rock solid suggestion– in wondering if lower-key praise on less frequent intervals might help them settle into routine.

    1. VeryAnon*

      Also constructive criticism if there’s any to give. Constant praise often feels false and can make you think you’re ‘getting away’ with something.

      1. Project Manager*

        Agreed. My last few performance reviews, with two different supervisors, have all included this exchange:

        Me: Do you have any suggestions for areas where I could improve?
        Supervisor: No. You are doing fantastic work. I can’t think of a single thing.

        I don’t push it, but this response annoys me a little because there’s got to be *something*. I mean, I believe they think I’m great, and not to toot my own horn, but I have grown a lot over the last decade, but I’m still trying to grow and learn more. They could at least suggest the best place to concentrate my efforts in order to achieve my career goals.

        1. Joielle*

          Same! And it’s like, really? Nothing? I didn’t do one single irritating thing over the past year? I know myself and I find that hard to believe. (Not to mention, all the time I spent wondering if I was being irritating has been a real waste.)

          1. Jamie*

            No, but doing one irritating thing over the course of a year isn’t something to bring up in performance review.

            I’ve been involved in reviews where people were solidly hitting and exceeding all expectations and I really didn’t see how they could improve. When that happened the conversations went to ways they might be interested in expanding their jobs. Keeps them interested and engaged and a damn good argument to get them more money next time raises were discussed.

            (fwiw I assume I’m irritating most people most of the time and the only people who have ever confirmed that have been my kids on occasion. Sometimes we’re harsher on ourselves than others will ever be.)

        2. Third or Nothing!*

          Gah my boss does this too! He said “if I see any issues I bring them up at the moment.” That’s great and all, but I was thinking more along the lines of areas where my skills are weaker, not things I did wrong.

        3. Door Guy*

          I hate when they include something you need to work on, but the example is months old and no longer relevant.

          My first review one of my “improvement” issues was answering the phone more/getting more comfortable with the phone. His examples/behavior referenced were from my first few weeks when I knew absolutely NOTHING about how anything worked (made worse because the person who was primarily supposed to answer the phones was let go my 2nd week so it got added to my plate). Yes, I was very nervous answering the phones and answering customer questions when I didn’t know any of the answers. I got over it quickly and had no problems, but it was still on my review…(the only part that I didn’t agree with).

      2. Washi*

        This is a great point! If you’re feeling really unsure of yourself and can see for yourself that you are making some mistakes, it would not necessarily be reassuring to hear “you’re doing amazing.” It might even increase my dread of being “found out” as incompetent.

        The OP digging into some tricky situations that the employee has encountered, talking about various options for how stuff like that could be handled in the future, and THEN reinforcing that she’s doing a great job overall, this is a normal learning curve, etc, might actually be more reassuring.

    2. NotEveryOneWantsToManage*

      No, no, no. When an employee comes to you and says that they are not cut out for a new job the answer isn’t “just suck it up for 6 months”. OP1’s employee wants her job back NOW – before it’s back-filled. I was the “new manager” and my boss pulled this crap on me. The moment they did that I knew it was time to update LinkedIn, call a few recruiters and let my team know that I mentally checked out so they could prepare for my departure. If I was going to be forced to do babysit other adults I was going to do my best to suck at it. Had my boss treated me like an adult and said, “I understand, I’ll go ahead and take over managing your team immediately so that you can focus on your projects” they wouldn’t have lost a productive employee.

    3. OP1*

      I have banned the feedback sandwich on my teams because I think it leaves people always waiting for the “but,” but your point is well made here and in some of the replies. Thanks!

  17. Batgirl*

    OP1, while good feedback helps somewhat with imposter syndrome (it would be much worse without it) it doesn’t really tackle the root cause which is the person’s own internal standards.
    High performers are brutal on themselves which is why they suceed, but some perfectionists would rather sink than remain afloat to carry on with the impossible task they’ve invented.
    That’s where I’d start: ask her to spell out what her standards are, what would give her a sense of achievement and try to get her to set more reasonable goals for herself.

    1. OP1*

      Good thinking. Maybe if she can articulate what she thinks success in the role would actually look like, we can discuss how she feels like she’s achieving/not achieving that, and whether her definitions on this are even reasonable/achievable.

  18. Aggretsuko*

    Last minute submitting is never good. My favorite excuse I got at work for something being late was “I found a kitten,” though. I asked for a photo, of course.

    1. Mommie.MD*

      Yeah agreed. And for many positions a minute late is the same as a week late. Assume there may be a glitch with super important things.

    2. Princess Leia's Left Hand Bun*

      My sympathies for #5
      The flipside is, as someone who’s main work output relied on people respecting a deadline, I cannot emphasise enough how absolutely batshirt it drove me when people deliberately aimed for one minute before the deadline.

      Because email is not instantaneous, and the resulting special pleading was such a time-suck away for me getting on with my job which had its own deadlines.

      1. ElitistSemicolon*

        I had this problem a lot when I was teaching and using our CMS to collect final papers electronically – folks would put off working on the project until the last minute. I finally instituted a submission window rather than a due date and told my students, “you may turn in your final papers anytime between day X and day Y.” That was the first semester (in 10+ years) I had absolutely NO requests for extensions – somehow the language change from “due date” to “submission window” changed how students thought about managing their time.

      2. Annette*

        I don’t have much sympathy for #5. I admin admissions for a very competitive graduate program and I have lost all patience with students who apply at the very last second and then complain about not being able to finish for whatever reason.

        It tells me that you can’t manage your time, don’t have any common sense for anticipating problems, and that you will procrastinate and then try to skate by with doing requirements at the last possible second. All of these things are poor indications for being a good graduate student.

        Successfully completing the application is an important part of the screening process.

      3. Quill*

        Conversely, gotta set a long enough deadline. If it’s for a scholarship application or exam, you gotta start making people AWARE of the deadline (and the existence of the application + about how long it takes) long before it.

        In college I had at least one professor who was always assigning us next-day homework to be turned in online by 12 pm… on a system that reliably crashed if it had too many people (like, more than five) on it at the same time. Even worse, this was for a late afternoon class that ended at 4pm: yeah you theoretically have 8 hours to do it but considering that people had other classes, other homework, and the need to eat? It wouldn’t have been a great idea to put the deadline at midnight even if the system had worked well.

        Half the time I had to sit around for half an hour refreshing the site before it would take my uploaded document, because every person in the class was doing the same dang thing from 9 pm to midnight.

    3. Nobby Nobbs*

      Hmmm, not sure I would have accepted a photo as proof there. It sounds like the kind of situation that requires a face-to-face meeting to me!

    4. Kelly L.*

      I’ve told this before, but I had a job for a while where they knew me so well that instead of calling in sick, I “called in dog.” And the boss was fine with it. (I encountered a stray while trying to leave for work, and ended up spending the whole morning trying to find the owner, while keeping this dog and my dog from destroying the house in the enthusiasm of meeting each other.)

      1. Quill*

        Day before an interview, a month exactly after my dog passed away, I caught an escaped dog in the middle of a snowstorm. It was a sunday, so NOBODY was open in terms of shelters or the vet on his rabies shot tag, spent an hour and a half driving the neighborhood looking for anyone who might be out calling for him. His people hadn’t put any information (their number, address, his name…) on his tags.

        If he hadn’t clearly been tagged I probably would have tried to keep him, as it was I had to call county animal control and send him to puppy jail overnight until they could have someone come scan him for a chip or call his vet to get his patient record.

    5. knead me seymour*

      It does annoy me a little when job postings don’t have any deadline at all, though. I once tried to apply for a job and created an exceptionally good (for me) cover letter, and was annoyed that the application had been taken down less than a week after it was posted. I just wanted to send that cover letter to someone!

    6. Curmudgeon in California*

      Did you get the photo? (Too bad we can’t attach photos here, although the site would be overrun by kitten and puppy pics if we could, but that may not be a bad thing…)

  19. Mommie.MD*

    Some people just don’t like management even if they are good at. Sounds like she wants to go back to former position.

  20. HA2*

    #3 is weird because without more context, I wouldn’t assume that that there was email forgery going on! A million emails get sent, maybe payroll missed this one or it got put into the wrong folder or something. I know I get asked decently often to send or resend info to people who definitely have received that info in email before, just forgot about it or don’t remember the search terms to find it in their inbox.

    So I’m guessing there’s probably other reasons why OP immediately jumped to “forged a CC”.

    1. Devil Fish*

      Yeah, I’m also assuming there was more context to justify OP3’s suspicions.

      When they said the forwarded email had obviously had the CC line forged, I was honestly expecting the payroll department’s email address to be typed in that blue color Outlook defaults all reply text to (unless you change it!). I’ve seen some forged emails where the smoking gun was that the genius forger didn’t change the font color and their changes were annotated with their name.

  21. Daniel Atter*

    I haven’t faked a forwarded email like this, but I came very close once. I think that generally I am a person who can be trusted, but I was working somewhere where making even the most minor of mistakes would be treated as if you had just killed and eaten the boss’ puppy. When people shout and scream at you for practically nothing, it does change the way you respond to the situation, not necessarily to your credit. And it wears you down, to the point where you can’t take it anymore and you just start trying to cover up even the most minor mistakes.

    If your employee did, definitely, fake the email then it’s an issue for sure, and it needs to be managed, potentially very seriously. I’m just saying take into consideration your office environment. If it’s one that accepts people make mistakes and manages them appropriately when they happen I think the action is much more serious than if you work in a toxic environment. If that is the case I would manage it differently, making sure that your employee knows that they can bring mistakes to you, your reaction will be appropriate, and you will do your best to defend them from whoever if providing the toxicity (while making it clear that this cannot happen again).

  22. April*

    LW5, oh boy I feel like this is one of those things everyone learns once and then if they’re smart they never do it again. We’ve all been there where you wait until the last minute and 1/it won’t load for some reason 2/something unexpected happens that day and you can’t get to it etc. etc. Lesson learned.

  23. LGC*

    LW1, as a guy who’s suffered from impostor syndrome multiple times (and in management!), definitely start by asking why she thinks she’s not doing well – a lot of times, managers don’t quite tell their direct reports that they’re doing great, and if she’s prone to catastrophizing that can lead to feelings of inadequacy. I don’t think I felt anywhere near confident until I started actually seeing results for myself – and by that, I mean, actual professional results. You say she’s accomplished more in 10 weeks than you did in 10 months, but how much of that is solid? What do her hours look like compared to yours? How do employees interact with her compared to you?

    And…I’ll be honest, it looks a little bit like you’re handwaving her doubts as unreasonable and a problem for you to solve. It sounds like you’ve been in management for a while – how did you feel about it when you first started? I think your heart is in the right place and I don’t think you mean to do this, but I’m a little concerned that you’re not listening all the way.

    1. OP1*

      These comments are making it clear to me I really do need to do a better job of listening to her on this instead of trying to reassure her that she’s “wrong.” I don’t really struggle with imposter syndrome, but I did hit a wall about three months in to my first management position. I worked through it and am now recognized as one of the top managers in my company. I see so much potential in this person – I could easily see her being my boss one day – which is why I’m heartbroken at the thought of her choosing to step down without trying to address the root issues first. Thank you for this perspective!

      1. LGC*

        No problem! Honestly, I think a lot of people would fall into the same trap.

        I was a bit more terse than I wanted to be earlier (I blame AAMing in the morning when I had to run out the door), but honestly…I think she is wrong about doing a bad job. And I also think your initial response to tell her that she’s wrong is totally reasonable, since – again – she’s not doing a bad job. (Quite the opposite, in fact.) You’re using actual earth logic here, but the problem is that she might not be listening to earth logic. She might have already convinced herself that she’s a failure because she feels like she’s a failure, which is a hell of a hole to be in.

        Plus, if she’s like me (which she might be), she might be blaming herself for feeling a bit out of control, when really it’s external things going on. (I will speak from experience – that is a me issue, not anyone else’s.)

        1. OP1*

          Excellent point! In our next meeting, I’m going to focus on trying to listen better and see if I can help her explain what kind of logic she’s using, even if it doesn’t resemble our earth logic, so we can figure out how to deal with it from where she’s at right now.

  24. Jenny*

    My guess is the new manager in the first letter is burned out. She has accomplished a ton, but my guess is that it is because she has put in a lot of extra work, possibly making some personal sacrifices to do so. If you talk to her you need to emphasize her performance is beyond what is expected and it’s okay to slow down a bit.

    1. Door Guy*

      I didn’t think of that originally but it can be a very valid point. When I was first promoted up at last job, I felt horrible any time I couldn’t do anything for my direct reports. There was one day about 4-5 months into my role where it was my day off, but the other supervisor was on medical leave, and the 2 supervisors from our sister office (who our techs could also call) were going to be in a meeting with the GM, office PA, and the Regional Manager for 2 hours that morning, so they’d have no one to call if they had any issues. I volunteered myself to be available and sat in my pajamas at home with my work phone and company laptop fielding calls and watching the dispatch board. An email with a question from one of our “DO NOT IGNORE” people came in and I knew the answer so I responded with a “reply-all” (like we were supposed to for that person). A minute later I got a call from our Regional Manager telling me that if I didn’t shut down and take my day off, he was going to make me drive to the office every day to pick up and drop off my phone and laptop instead of taking it home with me. The next day I got a semi-uncomfortable talk with the GM and PA about not burning myself out and that they (the company) can function without me for a day. (Sadly, due to a culture change in corporate, the company slowly but surely moved into a “we own your soul” type mindset and I was very VERY much burned out when I left 2 years later.)

  25. NewHerePleaseBeNice*

    Meh. I would never assume that communal plates, mugs or cutlery are clean, either through lax washing or sitting about for ages gathering dust. I’d always wash before use, or (as I do now) keep my own.

  26. Rebecca*

    OP#2 – this is the main reason that I do not enjoy or participate in pot lucks. I have no idea what many of my coworker’s personal hygiene habits are, and things like this make me cringe. If he does this at work, he’s doing it at home. So, mentally, I’m marking off a big No to any backyard BBQ invites or eating anything he brings to a pot luck at work, or basically anything he would bring to share that wasn’t sealed in a container from the store.

  27. Jcarnall*

    LW2: I always assume any shared dishes or mugs in the office are dirty and need at least to be rinsed off, even if they appear clean. We do have a dishwasher, but I prefer to wash my personal mug by hand because otherwise there’s no guarantee I’m going to get it back.

    LW1: I have had several instances of managers not telling me they thought I was doing great until I actually left. Apparently they thought I should know I was doing great. But all I ever got from them was feedback about minor mistakes, never praise for doing something awesomely well. She might hate the work, but it’s possible what she needs is consistent assurance that she is doing it really, really well.

    LW5: You can try to send the materials and apologise for missing the deadline, but I wouldn’t put too much stress on the fact that you missed it by “one minute” because you really didn’t – you missed it because you were leaving sending your application til the last minute, and it should have been sent earlier.

    But, to share a story from my own experience: I applied for a job where I knew I was a strong candidate, and I thought the deadline for applying was midnight of the deadline day. When I sent my application at half past six that evening – having got home from work, done a final readthrough of my application documents, then opened up my email to send them off – I discovered the deadline was FIVE PM that day (Fridyay) and I had missed it by an hour and a half. I sent off my application documents to the main mailbox anyway, with a cover email of course, and then I separately emailed the man whom I knew to be responsible for the hiring process, explaining that I was so used to midnight deadlines that I’d just mis-remembered this job as a midnight deadline, apologising for my mistake, and asking if my application could be considered anyway. He wrote back very kindly assuring me that they wouldn’t be looking at the applications til Monday and of course I’d be considered – and I got the job. But I didn’t try to blame the organisation for what was my error. I don’t think that’s a good idea.

  28. Amethystmoon*

    Is it possible the co-worker in #3 is not all that familiar with computers? I only ask because I work with one who doesn’t know about computers beyond what she has to do for her job. Anytime anything different comes up, I have to coach her on how to do it. For example, she didn’t know how to save and rename a file. It took me approximately 10 minutes to coach her on click here, click there how to do that. No, I’m not the manager, just a co-worker. Not everyone knows how to do everything on computers.

  29. Formerly Jobhopper*

    Online application = do it ASAP because of glitches.
    I was pursuing a certain state job and the state computer systems were archaic. Had to email the department and they kindly reopened the posting. Interviewed twice, but very nearly missed out.
    I’ve also had applications which cut off and the door was shut regardless of the reason (teaching positions).
    So apply as early as you can.

  30. Andream*

    With the dishwasher guy, I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment. Does she know that he drank out of the mug? For example I use a communal mug to heat water up in the microwave but then put the water into another cup that’s mine (not microwave safe). If he just used it for water, didn’t drink out of it why would you need to wash it? Or maybe he has a plant that he used the cup to poor water in it? But if he drank or out any food in it yes he needs to wash it with soap.
    It may also be a good idea to me too. That some people may have allergies and so if he just rinces it may still have food residue

    1. Andream*

      Also did the letter writer watch him the entire time? To me it’s sounds like they just walked into the break room and saw him rinsing the cup. Was she monitoring him to see if he uses any soap? Maybe he did and she didn’t notice?

    2. Jedi Squirrel*

      At this point, if I didn’t know what he had done with it previously, I’m going to assume it’s his pee cup.

      1. Quill*

        Not a healthy assumption, because if you have to assume that, you have FAR more problems in your office than a quick rinse can take care of.

    3. WellRed*

      There could be 8 million possible reasons but the most obvious is the one mentioned in the letter. Shortest distance and zebras and all that.

    4. Elsajeni*

      Sure, there’s various possible reasons — I thought he might be planning to pick it up when it was dry and re-use it himself, in which case just rinsing is fine. But this sort of thing seems like a good reason to have an officewide agreement if you have communal dishes — both “the drying rack is for fully clean dishes and you can safely grab a mug out of there” and “the drying rack is for rinsed but dirty dishes, please move anything in it to the dishwasher before you start it” are reasonable systems, the issue is only if you have some people using one and some people using the other — or perhaps just to not have communal dishes at all!

  31. PNW Jenn*

    Re #5

    As someone who used to set up the deadlines for online applications, I would promote the hard-stop time as midnight but program it at 8 a.m. the next day. My reasoning was that 1) computer glitches happened and 2) I wasn’t going to look at the applications right at midnight anyway.

    1. SheLooksFamiliar*

      I did the same thing when I managed intern hiring; computer glitches or network outages are outside the applicant’s control.

      However, we asked for resumes and transcripts in one .pdf document, highlighting and explaining why it was critical for the review teams. If an applicant failed to do so, they were not considered because that was definitely on their control. Following instructions seems to have fallen out of favor, but it matters.

      1. Phoenix Programmer*

        Okay I just have to clarify. People of all ages fail to read, think critically, or follow instructions. It’s not a new fangled Millenial or zoomer thing.

        I can’t tell you how many 60, 50, 40, something’s reply to my email that says “do not update your iOS there is a bug” with “im trying to update my iPhone but now my entire phone is not working! Fix it! Why is this happening? Why did you not tell us there was a bug!!!!!?”

        1. SheLooksFamiliar*

          Okay, let ME clarify: I didn’t say it was a Millennial thing, nor did I say directions were ignored only by interns. Interns were the topic of LW5’s situation, and I shared an experience in which I agreed a little slack made sense in one instance, but not in another…and it was related to something the interns could control. If you’re going to chastise me, please do it for what I actually said, not what you wish I had.

          If you want examples of failure to follow directions, for any/all ages, I have 30+ years of them. Again: interns were the topic and I went with it.

            1. SheLooksFamiliar*

              Thanks, Fikly. If that’s the case, it was fairly presumptive and hairsplitting.

              However, I’m taking your comment to heart, and will be more specific and clear in my comments to try and avoid faulty, unkind assumptions like this inthe future.

    2. ElitistSemicolon*

      I did this for my classes, too. It had the added benefit of showing me who actually had a computer glitch and who decided to take extra time and then claim they had a glitch. Not that the latter had any practical consequences for my students; usually I just told them, “next time, ask for an extension.” But I thought it better that they get in the habit of asking supervisors whether a deadline is flexible than try to cover up their inability to get the work done (crossover between #5 and #3).

    3. Antilles*

      That’s a good practice, but from the candidate’s perspective, it’s still usually not a good idea to wait until the last minute for all sorts of reasons – many (most?) places don’t wait until the deadline to really go through the information, puts you at risk of making mistakes when you’re last-minute scrambling, etc.
      A family member of mine is currently doing a job search and she’s told me multiple times that she’s submitted an application ahead of the listed “application deadline” for the position, only to quickly receive a response from the hiring manager stating that the position was already filled, but they just couldn’t change the ‘deadline’ or remove the posting.

  32. The Tin Man*

    Re: Relocating

    Welp now I have a pit in my stomach. Spousal Unit and I are looking to relocate to another state and they have an interview in that state in a couple weeks. I plan to push to become 90% remote (offering to drive to HQ in original state once every week or two for meetings/facetime). My employer is in most states but it at least does not look like they have any customer sites in the new state.

    1. WellRed*

      Fingers crossed they may still be licensed to do business in that state, however, or it’s not an issue for them for other reasons, to do so for you.

      1. The Tin Man*

        I just checked, I think they are! Well the company that acquired my company that later merged with a third company is, at least.

    2. The Relocating One*

      Hey, Tin Man, relocating letter writer here. I was a wreck when I asked about relocation the first time! I’m not managerial level and our company has demonstrated numerous times that people are easily replaced, so I was anticipating a very fast “no” from the company president.

      I went in with everything prepared. I had my original job description and a list of all the things I do with notes beside the ones that weren’t possible to be done remotely (solutions to the “how would these get done, then” question). I also had a letter of resignation prepared. I even had my notes from my interview, which I found while prepping for the move. I brought those in because things had been mentioned in my interview, but hadn’t been delivered on (like an annual COL pay increase), which I was prepared to use in my argument if I needed to. I even practiced what I was going to say a couple of times the night before. So went in fully prepared for the worst (immediate no) or having to argue my case heavily. And it totally helped.

      That said, I also knew we were already doing business in my new state, so I didn’t anticipate that being an issue.

      Ultimately, though, none of it was an issue because there was no hesitation before the “absolutely we can make this happen” to my ask. I was more surprised by than than anything!

      1. The Tin Man*

        Thanks for responding! I will definitely have to rehearse – there are some things in my favor such as the fact that I am already WFH on Fridays and the office I am located in doesn’t have any coworkers in it that I have normal interactions with as part of my job duties. As far as almost everyone I work with, including my boss and grandboss, I could WFH almost every day and they wouldn’t know the difference.

        I’d still be a 3ish hour drive from the main office so think I’d help alleviate concerns if I say I can drive down every week or two.

        1. The Relocating One*

          Being able to drive in will definitely work in your favor, I think. As will the fact that you already WFH once a week. I had none of that LOL

          I’m currently on the other side of the country, so I also had to address a 3 hour time difference and an inability to just pop in as needed. Doesn’t help that the company is located in a city that is incredibly expensive to fly in and out of, either, so hopping on a flight (especially last-minute) isn’t always an option either.

          In fact, I haven’t been back there since we moved.

  33. Okay*

    #2 Tell coworker that’s not washing, that’s just rinsing. Washing requires soap. Does he not wash his dishes at home either?

    1. irene adler*

      OH gracious, please don’t go there!

      Company pot lucks, would give me great pause from this day onward.

    2. SpaceySteph*

      My mother in law rinses dishes and puts them in the dish drainer, to later load into the dishwasher. We, like — I think– most civilized members of society, use our dish drainer for drying hand-washed dishes and either directly load the dishwasher or collect dirty dishes in the sink until ready to load. Some people are weird.

    1. Amethystmoon*

      Like! (WTB a like button.)

      Yes, I always bring my own water bottles and coffee mugs, and do take them home after several days to put them in my own dishwasher. But at least it’s only me using them.

  34. StaceyIzMe*

    Just a thought on asking your newly promoted direct report about her desire to leave her role. Rather than ask her why- ask the same kinds of open ended questions, but ask “how” or “what”. You’ll get better quality information overall AND you’ll be able to help her shift her perspective more easily that way. Why questions do two things for most of us: they make the brain freeze up somewhat, especially under stress and they will produce an answer that is more rigid based on a right/ wrong paradigm, generally. So some possible questions might be: “what are you thinking about how things are going…?”, “what has gone well, in your view?”, “what challenges are you facing…?”, “what would it look like to succeed in this role on your own terms?” , “how can I support you?”, “what is your intuition saying about how you could frame that differently?” (when you get the imposter syndrome based feedback). My guess is that if you help her to recognize her emotions, explore their causes in a supportive, practical way and do some real listening and coaching, she might rethink her view. (Which would be great for YOU, so I hope you succeed!) You can also bring in a coach for a few sessions to support her through the transition, if your company allows that. (Find a qualified, “pure coaching” coach, not a consultant, per se, since the issue is mindset and not performance. iPEC or the ICF websites are good resources.)

  35. RussianInTexas*

    I just want to say: ewwwwww
    Why would you have communal dishes even. I am not a germaphobe, I eat foods at potlucks, I’ll eat a sandwich left out for hours if it looks and smells OK, but a communal coffee mug is really a step too far.
    I always, always, have my own mugs (one for coffee and one for tea) and my own silverware.

    1. Rugby*

      lol its not like all employees are sharing one cup of coffee at the same time. It’s really common for offices to have a cabinet full of mugs (and plates and cutlery) in the kitchen that everyone uses. As long as they are washed properly between use, there is no harm in sharing mugs.

    2. 1234*

      My office has communal mugs and dishes but we also have a dishwasher that all dirty mugs go in :D

      If we didn’t and they didn’t have paper cups, I would bring my own.

  36. Hello World*

    re: Remote relocation, I did exactly that a year ago. I started my job as a remote employee, and then two years in my husband changed jobs and we moved further away. What I did:

    a) Tell my boss that I’m moving, specifically mentioning what time off I wanted to request to handle the move (same as I would for a local move) and that it would be harder to travel into the office as frequently (because I was moving from 3 hrs away to 12 hrs away).

    b) Tell HR that I was moving, and my new address since they needed to keep that on file. They handled checking if they needed to have me do any state-specific paperwork.

    c) After the move, the first time I visited the office I talked with my boss a bit more than usual about the travel plans to make sure I was being consistent with how other far-away remote employees handled flights and such that I hadn’t needed to when I could drive. This is obviously the opposite for OP :)

    1. The Relocating One*

      Thanks! Fortunately I think, with the holidays coming up and some office closure during that time, I don’t think I’ll need to take any time off work at this point. But good point on bringing that up in my note!

  37. Phoenix Programmer*

    #1 there are some great articles out there about imposter syndrome. I highly recommend that you share these with your direct report.

    I had a great manager who was similarly considering quitting, and I identified it as imposter syndrome too. Once I shared the research about it with her, she was able to self identify those tendencies and it really cut down on those “I’m terrible at this” self doubt talk. It also helped that I had her repeat to me what she was doing well. It took a bit of goading.

    How are you performing as a manager?
    I’m ok there is a lot to learn.
    Be specific, what are you doing well?
    Well my numbers are good.
    How good?
    60% improvement from last year?
    If your direct report improved a metric 60% how would you rate them?
    Oh exceptional that is a great performance!
    So tell me again how you are doing.

    We did that for every facet of her role until I reset her evaluation of her performance. From team moral, to turnover, communication, etc.

  38. Senor Montoya*

    OP #5. See, this is why I;m such a harda$$ with my freshmen about getting work in on time: there’s a substantial penalty for late work — one minute late = one day late penalty; this is why I tell my students (and we spend time practicing) to read directions, break it down into steps, set intermediate deadlines, turn work in early, blah blah blah.

    Because someday it is really going to count, and you will be sad when you lose out on an internship or scholarship for poor time management (that’s what this is — it’s not a technology problem).

    I do this because it is a lesson I myself learned the hard way.

    OP, I hope your contact can help you!

    1. Phoenix Programmer*

      Now that I have been out of school for a decade, I can honestly say that the minor things I was punished for in college and high school to prepare me for the “real world” are not a big deal at all.

      5 minutes late to work? Does not matter. Had to call in sick to miss a day? That’s fine. Had to ask for an extension on x project? If your reasoning is sound also usually not a big deal.

      Unlike in school where there was zero flexibility, zero tolerance, etc.

      1. Avasarala*

        But sometimes it does matter. 5 min late to work when you have a big presentation first thing? Calling in sick when you’re on a deadline? Have to ask for an extension on a project when that project is processing payroll? These are all judgment calls that people need to learn to make. You’ve learned to make them well and seek out jobs that are a good match for your style. I don’t see what’s wrong with schools taking a harder line so young people can learn to make that decision for themselves.

  39. Rainbow Roses*

    #2 You can talk to the guy but who knows if he’ll listen. You can’t force or monitor him. This is why I don’t use company owned dishes. I’ve seen people wash with this gross sponge that looks like it’s been there since Washington was president. Gag. I don’t want to tell others what to do so all I can do is save myself.
    I bring my own containers/silverware. I won’t even wash company dishes before use because who knows what are already embedded in the pores.

  40. Love*

    LW2 – My last company gave each employee a nice mug with their logo. Most people used the dishwasher for their mugs. As the company grew, mugs started disappearing and were replaced once per request.

    I had my mug stolen and started hand washing my replacement mug, Most people started hand washing their mugs once the mugs became scarce. People then started bringing in their own personal mug for easy identification, but even some of these mugs disappeared, presumably off the drying rack.

    The company grew big enough and they eventually switched to paper coffee cups, dishes and plasticware and removed the dishwashers.

    The coffee cup Bandits must have given up as most people would now dry their cups and take them with them.

    The Coffee Cup Bandit was never identified and may have run out of cups to sell on the black market and retired.

    BTW: Sorry to hear that you have your office in the break room.
    It must be terribly difficult to get any work done with all the chomping and chewing!

    1. Rainbow Roses*

      I would have decorated my mug with sparkly markers or something. Maybe on the bottom if I didn’t want to ruin the company logo. LOL.

  41. OP*

    Hi Alison! Thank you so much for your kind advice (I was the last question— the job-application-procrastinator.) I wrote to my contact and he responded today and said he was happy to pass my materials along and also asked if I wanted him to put in a good word at any other places too :)

    I really wasn’t going to write to him—I was too embarrassed— so thank you so much for your advice. It’s very competitive so I don’t know if I’ll get it and it really wasn’t great to get it in late. But a good lesson for the future!!

    1. OP #5*

      Also to clarify I have faced several large consequences for being late this semester so I think this is the last straw— it is firmly implanted in my brain now. Thank you all a lot.

  42. ABJ*

    For #3 – for future reference, instead of forwarding the email normally, if you’re using Outlook you can ask someone to “forward as attachment” – the email gets attached as it was sent and you can’t make any in-line edits!

  43. The Relocating One*

    Relocating letter-writer here. Thanks so much for the advice, Alison! My gut was to just write my boss first, so I’m glad that’s what you’re suggesting. I over-think things sometimes, haha.

    For those wondering, I plan on shooting my boss a note this week. I’ll follow up with how it goes!

  44. Dust Bunny*

    LW1: 1) Have you told her how well everyone thinks she’s doing? and 2) How much support is she getting? She may be doing really well but not realize it, and/or she may feel that she’s maxed herself out trying to make the most of this new position and can’t keep up that level of activity. You say your impression is that it’s impostor syndrome but nothing in the letter you wrote says that you actually sat down with her and discussed her reviews and what’s going on.

    Also: Did she get a raise? She might also feel like the pay is no longer worth the extra work.

    I was a manager, briefly, at a small business. I was better at it than anyone else on staff would have been, but I am not naturally great at it, and the hassle of dealing with the new responsibilities wasn’t worth the raise, which only amounted to my being slightly-less-underpaid than genuinely fairly compensated.

    1. Sleepy*

      Yes—just because she’s doing great does not mean she doesn’t need support. Often the most competent people receive zero support because they seem like they’re doing fine, but they end up burning out.

    2. NotEveryoneWantsToManage**

      What OP1 thinks means diddly squat. Her employee clearly doesn’t want to be a supervisor and should be able to step down. Having to manage people is HELL.

      1. SimplyTheBest*

        Dude, we get it, you hated being a manager. Not everyone feels the same. Why don’t you treat the OP like an adult (that thing you keep accusing her of not doing) and take her at her word that her employee said she doesn’t think she’s good at it? Why this constant need to belittle OP and push your own narrative?

    3. OP1*

      She’d received a lot of positive feedback about her work before she came to me, but the deadline day for the 360 reviews to be submitted to me was the same day she came to me saying she wanted to discuss stepping down, so I hadn’t gone over those with her before this discussion. I pulled that together faster than the planned timeline so I could go over it with her immediately, and we have a follow-up conversation planned for Friday to discuss it, her issues that are leading her to feel like stepping down and the path forward.

      She did get a raise of about 20 percent, which was the largest I could negotiate for her.

  45. TootsNYC*

    Re #3, the woman who falsified on the email:

    Whatever you decide to do with this integrity problem, please give her this message (and check the reality inside your company and inside your team, to be sure this stays accurate):

    Mistakes are not necessarily a big deal. Everybody makes them. The consequences of saying, “oh, poop, I forgot to email them, I thought I had! I’m sorry,” should be quite minor, especially compared to the lack of integrity that comes from a lie.

    As a kid, I broke a sentimental plate of my mother’s, one we’d been lectured about protecting. I didn’t do it on purpose, and I wasn’t being careless in the least (it stood against the back wall of the dish cabinet, and I just set the clean plates on top of stack in front of them–it became unbalanced and fell).

    I was so scared of getting in trouble that I hid it in the garbage. Of course my mom saw it and was upset. So *I* was upset and crying and apologizing, and she asked enough questions to discover that indeed, I hadn’t been careless or willful.

    My mom was smart. She realized that the fear of punishment had kept me from telling the truth, and she promised me that she would always listen to my explanations and wouldn’t punish me for good faith errors or accidents. “But if you hide it from me, it will always be worse,” she said. “Tell me, right away. Your honesty is more important, and even if you were in the wrong, it will always be easier if you tell me.”

    Make sure that is the truth at your company and on your team.
    And make sure you tell this to your employee, so she will understand this. It’s possible she comes from a past where she didn’t have a parent as smart as mine, where making a mistake meant “getting in trouble,” which meant a huge moral judgment and unreasonable punishment.
    Or maybe she’s applying the pressure to herself, which you can’t really change, but you can send your message.

    But make sure that it is ALWAYS safe to tell the truth in your company and on your team.

    1. Observer*



      Before ANY of this, make sure you have solid grounds to actually conclude that someone lied. Your current “proof” is meaningless. Unless there is a lot more to the story than you are telling us, you are as much the problem as your employee.

    2. Massive Dynamic*

      YES, this. I once had a boss who kept trying to drill into any small mistake that I made, wanting me to review and report exactly what happened and why, and how can I never ever do it again, etc. etc. when the whole-ass answer really was “human made a typo.” It messes with your head when you’re not in a safe space to admit a mistake and while I never did, I can see why some people go to the dark side to hide errors.

      1. Amethystmoon*

        I had a boss like that also. He sternly talked to us (notice I’m not using yelled as there technically was no voice-raising) over typos, and often because someone else complained about it. I was once told that I had to promise never to do it again. I told him that, as someone who had gone to a church school for elementary grades that strongly discouraged lying, that I couldn’t possibly make such a promise honestly as I was only human, and human beings do make mistakes from time to time. The complainer BTW, has left the company for a different job. The boss is not my boss anymore, there was a re-org.

        I have had bosses that did actually raise their voices about minor errors, to the point of making people cry. Managers do have to learn that people are human and will make mistakes, but in an environment where making mistakes just gets people literally yelled at (and I do mean literally), they are going to try and hide them.

  46. Intern Wrangler*

    OP #5: I don’t know what field this was for, but if I was hiring interns this would be an absolute deal-breaker, as deadlines are critical and regularly-occurring in our work. Glitches can happen – on both ends – everybody knows that. That’s why responsible adults build in a reasonable buffer zone when they need to submit something deadline-sensitive. A “reasonable buffer zone” in this instance would have been two days, not literally two minutes. Missing the deadline says that you’re either too busy with higher priorities in your life, or not mature enough and lack the planning skills to think of possible common problems and work the “real” deadline out backwards from those. I would hope that your contact would not help in this situation, because if you were hired and continued to show this type of lack of respect for deadlines and failure to plan ahead, it will reflect badly on that contact for recommending you.

    1. OP #5*

      Yeah, I’m so aware that this was a time management problem and not anyone else’s fault but my own. I think the lesson is learned and if it means I can’t get this job then that’s upsetting… but deserved, and I’m glad I know for the future.

  47. Qwerty*

    OP3 be very careful before you accuse your employee of lying. She is trying to figure out what happened to her email anyway, so all really have to do is walk over and say “Can you pull the email in your sent box? Maybe something awry during the sent process” – and then it’ll be obvious what was in the original email.

    There’s a lot of things that can go wrong, both from a user and technology perspective. Maybe she accidentally typed a space before or after the email name – some systems will allow that but it will muck up sending the email. Maybe a host of other weirdness happened – tech fails a lot (I say this as a person in tech who spent an hour searching for a email that deleted itself when it failed to send) I know with the system that I use, the label only sometimes shows up if I type an address in manually but will always be there if I use the address book or autocomplete.

    You also mentioned that Payroll was in the CC field – you could also just look at what was received by the person in the To field. The copy that person received should also show anyone who was CC-ed.

    Are there other problems with this employee that your first thought is “she must by lying” rather than “something went wrong, how do we fix this going forward” ? If your employee had just forgotten to include Payroll in the CC field, how would you have reacted if she had said “I could have sworn I copied them but it looks like they were accidentally left off the email” ? Lying is a huge deal, so when someone lies to their manager its good to look at both their past history (are they usually good or a generally shady?) and the management environment (would things have been ok if they admitted to a mistake vs are they terrified of the consequences of screwing up). Usually my first thought when an email doesn’t get received “typo or spam filter” not “examine for possibility of lying”, so it’s worth examining if there are deeper problems with her that led you to go there so quickly.

  48. Whatever*

    Hey LW 3, when I send emails from my phone, the exact thing you describe happens.

    “We know it was typed in afterward because instead of appearing as “Payroll ‘’” it just appeared as “”

    1. It's Me, Margaret*

      Also if that actual period is there in the email, it could be that she made a typo when sending it originally and therefore invalidated the address (meaning she both thought she had sent it AND payroll hadn’t received it)

      1. Intern Wrangler*

        I don’t think the OP meant that the period was the difference between the two. I think it was the nested quotation marks. But yes, the same exact thing happens because it was originally sent from certain devices or different versions (such as in-office vs. remote) of the email software. The OP would need to see the original email in the alleged perpetrator’s Sent mail to know for sure whether payroll was originally cc’d.

  49. NotEveryoneWantsToManage*

    LW1 – I was that employee a year and a half ago. My direct supervisor became a sales director and promoted me to manager. It was a nightmare. My team liked me and we performed well but after 3 months I KNEW that management wasn’t for me. I can completely sympathize with your direct report. After expressing my concerns to my manager, he just did the same thing everyone is advising you to do – put me on a pedestal, tell me that I’m experiencing “imposter syndrome”, etc. I wanted to step down and get back to do actually producing work. My manager wouldn’t have it. So, one day after a fun filled morning and of my boss asking me why other grown adults can’t make their call numbers I literally said “F- it” and resigned. My manager tried to make promises of finding a replacement so that I could be an IC, but it was too little too late. Having to manage my peers subsequently made me despise being within 10 feet of them. I needed a change of scenery. I now work for a competitor.

    Moral of the story – if your direct report wants to relinquish her management duties, let her do it. Not everyone is obsesses over “Leadership” on LinkedIn or gets off to telling other adults what to do.

  50. Matilda Jefferies*

    OP1, I moved into management about 10 weeks ago as well, so I might have some advice that you can share with your colleague.

    By far the biggest adjustment for me is that my work is measured in months, not days or even weeks. There are more stakeholders in my work than there were before – which means more consultation, more review, and everything just takes more time. So if your new manager is measuring her success against a daily to-do list, you could try to help her see that it’s not how *you* are measuring her success. Also help her break down her quarterly or monthly or whatever goals into more manageable chunks, whatever that looks like for her. (This should be a learning or a coaching activity that you do for a couple of months, until she can do it herself.)

    The other thing is that a huge part of my job is going to meetings, and sharing information back and forth between various groups of people. I go to Meeting A, then take a summary of the discussion to Meeting B. My team needs to know some of what was said in Meeting B, so I bring that back to them; and then some of what happened in my team meeting goes back to my boss, who will update everyone in Meeting C. And round and round we go. It’s a bit tricky, because again it doesn’t look like you’ve accomplished anything substantial – it’s hard to check that kind of thing off a list. Unless you craft your lists that way, of course!

    So I would start with this – have a conversation with her about what the job looks like, and how it’s different from her work as an individual contributor. You know she’s doing well, but if she doesn’t see it, it could be because she’s just looking at the wrong things.

    1. OP1*

      This is really helpful. Thank you! I think you’re right that I haven’t done a great job of explaining that shift in mindset to her, or in preparing her for it. I know from experience that it can be really hard to go from an individual contributor role where you complete dozens of tasks each day to leading the team so your work is much less tangible and immediate, but I don’t think I’ve had that discussion with her in those words. I appreciate your perspective as someone who is sort of in her shoes!

  51. NewGuy*

    OP #1- This is just a possibility, but it could be that the reason you’ve been seeing such good results from her is because she’s been pushing herself really hard to fit into her new role, and she might be feeling like if she doesn’t constantly put in 110% effort, she’ll fall behind and won’t get the same praises. She may recognize that she’s doing good work, but just doesn’t think she can keep it up. You see the good work, but you might not see the toll it is taking on her.

  52. Skeeder Jones*

    I worked in water conservation for several years and part of my job was educating people. It’s a myth that dishwashers use more water than handwashing. Most dishwashers are very efficient where as handwashing wastes a ton of water. You can give the guy some articles on it. If that’s his reasoning, maybe learning this will help.

  53. Fae Kamen*

    #5—I did this with an embarrassing number of program applications back in college. I did exactly what Alison recommended here. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t (to be expected.) The common “give yourself a fake deadline” advice never worked for me, since I knew it was fake. Ultimately only the frustration of losing out on something I wanted, and kicking myself over such a stupid avoidable reason, made me start completing these things earlier.

  54. Waiguoren*

    The last one is why I tell my students not to wait until the last minute to send me their papers, and that I won’t take “My computer was slow! I tried to email it at 11:59, but it didn’t send until midnight!” as an excuse.

  55. RWM*

    For #3, can you just take a look at her “sent” emails/outbox? That should show who the email actually went to the first time and help clear things up.

Comments are closed.