most popular posts of 2019

Here are the posts that interested people the most this year, via two lists: the most viewed posts and the most commented on posts.

Most viewed posts of 2019:

10. I’m distracted by my coworker’s very visible cleavage

9. Here’s a real-life example of a fantastic cover letter

8. What’s the worst case of helicopter parenting you’ve seen at work?

7. My coworker saw the Excel sheet I use to track his sick days

6. Some men in my office refuse to be alone with women

5. We have twice-daily mandatory group therapy at work

4. My boss pees in a cup and dumps it in the kitchen sink

3. What’s the pettiest thing you’ve done at work (or seen done)?

2. How much money do you make?

1. My coworkers complained that the look of my breasts post-mastectomy is making them uncomfortable

Most commented on posts of 2019:

(doesn’t include open threads or “ask the readers” posts, which otherwise would hold many of the top 10 places)

10. My coworker lied about her entire resume — should I tell anyone?

9. Some men in my office refuse to be alone with women

8. My coworkers complained that the look of my breasts post-mastectomy is making them uncomfortable

7. My office thinks I insulted a coworker, colleague refuses to take my input, and more

6. I’m uncomfortable with my coworkers’ names, crying when laying someone off, and more

5. My coworker doesn’t want me to have a communal candy dish because of temptation

4. I’m distracted by my coworker’s very visible cleavage

3. Coworkers say we shouldn’t attend a work party, I feel insulted by my new job, and more

2. Coworker assumes we’ll give him rides, can I fire a new hire for being pregnant, and more

1. Our traditionally male company has an annual golf trip — but our new female employees don’t play

{ 58 comments… read them below }

  1. RabbitRabbit*

    Some more candidates I’m hoping we’ll get updates on, such as the “coworker fabricated entire resume” one.

    1. Eight Seven Six*

      Yeah the weirdest thing about that one to me is why a clerical job requires a degree and 10 years of experience.

      1. EinJungerLudendorff*

        Apparently it didn’t, because the person in question was doing just fine.

        Although the 10 years of experience seems to have come from the employee.

    2. KayDeeAye (a.k.a. Kathleen_A)*

      Ah, come on – let’s not argue this one again! I realize it’s a tempting topic – that’s why it’s one of the posts with soooooooo many comments – but surely every possible angle was covered in the 1,020 comments made when it was first posted?

    1. techRando*

      I would suspect that you don’t need to correct exactly? Or, at the very least, that any mathematical correction other than considering only the views for the first X days after posting would be questionable.

      I imagine most views in most cases happen shortly after the post, and it’s only the big hitters that get a stream of significant views after that. But if you just tried a flat correction/rate, you’d unfairly privilege the more recent normal posts over the older normal posts.

      If anything, you might analyze each month’s posts separately and view them all as cohorts rather than comparing over the full year.

      1. Close Bracket*

        I think you would need to correct for how often a link appears in the “You may also like” list.

    1. WellRed*

      Just coming here to comment. Four out of 10 outright posts about policing women’s bodies, with a fifth one possible (no. 2, which is multiple posts but has pregnancy in the title).

      1. Fibchopkin*

        “CheapAssRolls” has become a THING at every work gathering and potluck in my (fairly large) company. This holiday season, even our CEO mentioned that we didn’t have to worry because the sliders at our catered holiday party would be on decidedly acceptable Hawaiian rolls and not “cheap ass rolls that nobody even signed up to bring” :D

    1. Cookie Captain*

      I’m pretty sure this was a Freaky Friday body-swap situation, and that was someone’s tween kid trying to navigate the professional world while the parent was stuck in the baking semester of home ec class instead of at their new job.

      It explains the disproportionate outrage, as well as the fixation on rolls.

    2. Anonymouse*

      I saw Hawaiian rolls this Christmas w my in laws and it took everything within me not to yell out “#CheapAssRolls” during dinner. Would love an update from OP.

    3. nep*

      I’m not in on the Hawaiian rolls joke. But I keep seeing them come up and it makes me chuckle; the product was included in two holiday season Shipt shops I did. I’d never really even noticed these things in the store till I had to buy them for customers.

    4. Jackalope*

      Okay, I thought I’d read all of them but I don’t know which one was the Hawaiian rolls post and I’ve been wanting to read that for awhile since I’ve heard all of the jokes since then. Could someone point me to the right post?

        1. nep*

          Thanks. I hadn’t read that one before today either. Just reading through the letter, I’m thinking, is this for real? I simply can’t express how utterly satisfying Alison’s response was.
          #cheapassrolls indeed.

  2. Ray Gillette*

    Oh man, the distracting cleavage letter! Alison was extremely diplomatic, as she always is… I’d just say “dude, get over yourself.”

    A couple of years ago I had a coworker who was a bodybuilder in his spare time. His shoulders and chest were so big that it put strain on the buttons of his dress shirts. At first, this was super distracting to me… for about three days. Then I got used to it, because his ability to get work done was more important to my day than what he looked like.

    1. Close Bracket*

      I’ve had lots of distracting co-workers (and managers, too, for double the awkward) in my life. I shut a lid down hard on those feelings. At no point to I consider asking them to do anything different to manage my attraction.

  3. Drew*

    Less overlap than I expected, honestly. I know there have been several posts that I came back to over and over to see what other people were saying, particularly ones where the author was participating in the comments.

  4. Reality.Bites*

    It’s an indication of my perversity that I’d rather see a list of least viewed and least commented posts.

  5. Re'lar Fela*

    This was great, but I’m over here waiting for the Book Recommendation roundup–most of my favorite books have come from Alison’s recommendations over the years and I often send the year end lists around when friends are looking for new things to read :)

    1. Her name is Anne she has no other*

      Alison has already done a 2019 book list – check earlier on in December for it!

      1. Re'lar Fela*

        Bah! I see it now. I’m a dummy. I had even searched, but somehow 2019 got buried on the second page of results. Thank you!! I don’t know how I missed it. It’s hands down my favorite post of the year.

  6. Lynca*

    I had forgotten about the double down on preserving the golf trip in the comments of the annual golf trip article.

    1. we're basically gods*

      Ugh, yes! That one was just exasperating. It was as if some of the golfers thought we were going to steal away all their clubs and balls, like Burgermeister Meister Burger snatching the toys from the children in Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

  7. Nanc*

    Suddenly my co-workers’ annoying little tics don’t see quite so annoying any more. Here’s to a year of better bosses, better employees. No, not really–Alison would be unemployed!

  8. Jennifer*

    I want the communal candy dish OP to send an update. That comment section got wild. The smallest things tend to be more divisive.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      My guess is at this point, Alison will never run out of material. Ever. People insist on doing people-y things.

  9. I'm just here for the cats*

    I wish I had seen the one about helicopter parents. I worked for a mostly online professional development school (think real estate licenses, insurance licenses that sort of thing). Since we were mostly online we had a call center. It was amazing how many times parents would call in. I can see when they are 16 or 17 and just wanted to know if they could take the class in or had to be over 18. But many times the kid (probably at least 19 if not older) would call in with the mom or dad and the parent would just bombard me with questions. Kid wouldn’t say anything. The sad thing was a lot of the time you could tell this was not what they wanted to do. But mom decided that they should go into real estate or mom was already an agent and was forcing kid to become an agent too.

    1. Former TA*

      One of the most satisfying moments after I quit teaching public school to go back to grad school was getting to tell a helicopter father that unfortunately I would not and could not discuss his child’s grades or attendance with him, but that his child was welcome to see me anytime. He played the “I’m going to go talk to your dean” card, to which my answer was, “She’s the one who explained the policy to me, so go ahead.”

      Never heard back. My student came to the next class and just muttered, “Sorry about Dad.”

  10. Jay*

    I want an update from person whos’ boss was peeing in a cup, then dumping it down the communal sink. Sometimes over other peoples dishes.
    I can’t help but wonder what comes next.

  11. My last post of the decade*

    Just dropping by to say that the guy who wants to fire his employee for being pregnant is a horrible person. Hope he (it’s gotta be a he, right?) is the one who actually gets fired, never gets another job, and all of the money he would have made goes to this employee.

    1. Lady Kelvin*

      Yeah, my boss didn’t want to fire me or anything, but her reaction to me announcing that I was pregnant was less than supportive. She got better, but it infuriated me because turns out, she was pregnant too and hadn’t announced it yet (she was about 3 months behind me, so they would have been ~2 months in so far). It left me with a less than ideal opinion of someone I had a lot of respect for. She left about a month after I gave birth (planned) and my new boss is awesome and supportive, but I’m the only woman on my team, so having a female boss was empowering until having babies came up.

  12. RB*

    I was really happy that cheap-ass rolls made the list. Of course, was there really any doubt? Gotta love their closing sentence: They can take Santa and stick it up their ass!

  13. Pennalynn Lott*

    I quit reading the cleavage one when it was originally posted after a few too many “women are the problem” comments. But I just reread most of it and I’m so glad I did, simply for this perfect rejoinder from Pippa K:

    “Not to speak for Mike C, but I think perhaps he’s suggesting that somewhere out there, the distance between a schoolgirl’s skirt hem and her kneecap is going unmeasured, and you might want to go chastise someone about that. Temptresses are everywhere, and the price of patriarchy is eternal vigilance.”

  14. Jarffe*

    I just read that post earlier and that comment is honestly solid gold. I want it on a poster somewhere

  15. Close Bracket*

    No, you can’t legally fire her for being pregnant; that would violate the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. And if you wouldn’t have hired her if you’d known she was pregnant, that would have been illegal too.

    OK, so a short while ago I asked whether having kids was any kind of protected status, and the answer turned out to be no at the federal level. So, in this case, it would have been ILLEGAL to fire the employee for being pregnant (assuming a large enough company), but it would be LEGAL (tho’ evil) to fire her after she gave birth?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      There’s a specific law that prohibits pregnancy discrimination (the Pregnancy Discrimination Act).

      It could potentially be illegal to fire her post-birth if a lawyer could show that their practice was actually sex discrimination (if they did that to mothers but not fathers, for example).

        1. Close Bracket*

          “It could potentially be illegal to fire her post-birth if a lawyer could show that their practice was actually sex discrimination (if they did that to mothers but not fathers, for example).”

          Doh, just saw that you answered. My bad. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I was thinking of when I initially thought that sex discrimination was a way of covering parental discrimination, bc let’s face it, parenting is still highly gendered.

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