updates: the boss in the one-night stand’s apartment, the cross-examining manager, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. I ran into my new boss in the apartment of my one-night stand

Happily, my update is pretty boring. My boss has been great, not just in graciously feigning temporary amnesia, but in being someone who has advocated for getting me on interesting projects and generally boosting my profile at the company and in my industry.

In a personal update: I met an amazing guy who lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment! Probably not going to bring him to the plus-one holiday office party quite yet. And I am a writer, so a novel/rom-com is in the realm of possibilities! My pseudonym will be Meredith Green or something.

I also watched Grey’s Anatomy for the first time. It totally helped.

2. My office mate asks me 75 questions a day — literally

While I hadn’t made it obvious in my first email, I had mentioned to my now former office mate that the questions were excessive and disrupting. Alone, that had not stopped it.

What helped, after the response from you, was outright questioning him back. I pushed to know why he felt the need to ask me something, why he thought I’d know, and why he thought I was the appropriate resource.

It left him flustered each time. But it didnt stop the questions. He did start asking people down the hall more often, spreading the annoyance. The whole time, he still complained about me because of his performance review.

It was at this point that I was offered a project that would take me offsite several days a week with the opportunity to work from home the remainder of the time. I still had the office, but didn’t really use it.

Apparently, this sent my office mate down the hall more and more often. There were numerous complaints from multiple employees (he tended to ask more of women, incidentally). This resulted in his being sent for training. Subsequently, his office was moved finally, to share space next to a higher up in his own department. Gossip never found its way to me about exact details, but he was later moved to a different role in the company.

It’s not the most dramatic ending, but I’m glad I’m out of that situation. My stress levels and work quality have improved quite a bit!

3. Our boss cross-examines us over minor mistakes

The advice helped. It empowered me to speak up and let him know how his nit-picking came across. Meanwhile, I had recently been assigned to report directly to the other co-owner of the agency, who is a much better manager and does not nitpick. I shared with her how he comes across to the rest of the company. She, in general, has been taking on more of the day-to-day management of people, and he is focusing on other areas that do not involve the team, and all in all, the culture at our company is improving. He still has his moments, but since we all deal with him less, it’s more of an occasional annoyance than an overbearing problem that would impact turnover.

So I would say your advice and the reader feedback really created a happy ending for this very small company, where a single toxic leader can have a huge impact on morale!

4. Is my husband’s chronic unhappiness at work really about him, not his jobs?

I’m the letter writer who wrote in last August, concerned that my husband’s job unhappiness might be symptomatic of a bigger issue. I’m happy to report I feel like we’ve hit our stride (though it took us a bit to get there).

Soon after I wrote into you, my husband accepted employment with a Plate manufacturer. It was very much outside his wheelhouse (he had only really been in Teapot sales) but it was employment, and he was eager to learn. Things were going well, until November of 2018 when his Plate company was bought by a larger, more well-known Plate Manufacturer. At first, this was a great thing: larger sales territories, more buying power, the opportunity for better bonuses/commissions. However, he soon found himself in the same rut as before, though I couldn’t blame him this time: whenever he had to book hotels for overnight travel, he had to use his personal credit card, which I know isn’t unreasonable, if you’re reimbursed in a timely fashion. It would often take several weeks or more. When he would travel, he’d have to make appointments in advance (also not unheard of), but then appointments would cancel at the last minute. Lastly (and most egregious, at least to me), whatever commission he would make would be held hostage until a vendor paid the company for any sales made by my husband. My husband had to become a bill collector, sometimes having his commissions withheld for a month or more. With the teapot manufacturer going downhill fast, he started looking elsewhere.

Fast forward to today: It’s been a wonderful 2019! We welcomed our baby girl in June, and husband is finally in a job that not only is in his expertise, but has the full support of his boss. Company culture is wonderful, without the toxicity of his previous employers. His territories are places he actually likes to go to. And I suppose the silver lining (and maybe even irony) of all of this is because of his vast network, made up of people from all those previous jobs, he’s been able to get great leads and has made some great sales. I’m so proud of him.

I was hesitant to write in at first, since I’m somewhat superstitious (maybe just a ‘little-stitious’, for all my ‘Office’ superfans), but we have been doing wonderfully, adjusting to being a family of three. I wish all your readers a very happy holidays – Cheers to 2020!

{ 114 comments… read them below }

  1. Jennifer*

    OP1 I just cackled. I’m glad you have a new boyfriend with a one-bedroom apartment. You can’t beat that. I remember this letter well.

    1. Blue Horizon*

      I’m still not sure that OP1 actually needed any help, but I’m very glad they wrote in anyway.

  2. LemonFizz*

    Its a good thing I don’t work in a office environment. There is no way I could keep my professional cool with someone who asked me 75 questions a day. If someone did this to me I’d passively aggressively do the same back to them, which obviously wouldn’t be professional. I’d find this persons physical home address and wouldn’t stop sending them paper mail asking questions till they stopped asking me questions or something liked that. This letter writter is amazing for not losing it.

    1. TimeTravelR*

      I have someone who doesn’t ask me quite this many but can’t seem to do any simple task without asking a million questions. We have all banded together and just starting putting it back on her to figure out. We give her guidance, but she really just wants us to do everything for her. Nope. Nope. Nope.

      1. Ann Onny Muss*

        The more random, the better.

        What’s the distance between Marrakesh and Timbuktu?

        How many basketballs can an average sized hot air balloon hold?

        How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

          1. Ophelia*

            Oh, interesting, I was going to say more like 1,000. Hmmm. Were you thinking basket or balloon itself?

            1. Quill*


              (Note, I’ve never been in a balloon but assuming adult regulation men’s basketballs and not having any topple out when the balloon takes off… the basket can’t be any bigger than about half the size of my cube and my cube is about 9 basketballs long in each direction except up… )

              The hot air balloon basket in The Wizard of Oz just looks 50 basketballs large, OK?

          2. Cercis*

            Way, way more. Hot air balloons are HUGE – like house big (unless you just mean the basket that folks ride in). We had friends that were balloon pilots so we helped crew a few times. It was fun and exciting and I will never get over just how big those things are.

          3. Librarian of SHIELD*

            I did the math.

            The average hot air balloon has a volume of 2,500 cubic meters. An NBA standard basketball has a volume of 0071042167287 cubic meters. This means you can fit approximately 351,903 basketballs into a hot air balloon.

            1. silverpie*

              Except you can’t actually fill 100% of the volume with basketballs; some space remains in between. Specifically, the max is about 74.048048969% (pi/(3*sqrt(2))), which brings the result down to 260,577.

              /yes, I’m an utterly hopeless nerd
              //wiki “Sphere packing” if you really want the details

              1. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

                This. This is why this blog contains my favourite comments section on the entire internet!

    2. Clorinda*

      The people who grow up this way are my students. I try very hard not to give them answers but rather to turn the questions back on them: how do you think you can find that out? Do you know, they actually complain about me to the assistant principals! “Ms Clorinda doesn’t give us the answers!” A student said that to me in a parent conference and I told her, “No, I do not give you the answers. I give you the way to find out the answers your own self.” Fortunately, my administration is on board, but still ….
      These are high school seniors, by the way. Many of them have jobs already.

      1. Hstrylvr89*

        Ugh, I had the opposite from a teacher that I went for help in my worst subject, Economics. I was struggling with understanding how to do step 1 of the formula. All he would do is ask me questions about step 10 of the formula and how to solve that problem. It was very frustrating for me because i needed help understanding the base to even get to the point of trying to solve higher and more complicated questions. I finally just told him that I understood, and left to go talk to an undergrad student that helped me understand how to fix the problem. Found out later that none of the students go to him for help understanding the subject because he does it to everyone.

        1. OyHiOh*

          I got through Algebra 1 with weekly tutoring sessions with my instructor and the help of a friend who absolutely adored theoretical math (weirdo!).

          The following year, found myself struggling even more so went back to the same strategy: asked the instructor for help. Logical, yes? Algebra 2 teacher put a problem on the board, handed me chalk and said “solve it.”
          That’s why I’m here. I don’t know how to solve it.
          He looked at me in confusion for a moment, took back the chalk, then said “then I don’t think I can help you.” I passed the year, barely, with the help of my weirdo friend helping me purely out of the goodness of her heart a couple times a week.

          The teachers who teach *how* to find the answers, though . . . I thrived on teachers like that.

          1. Quill*

            Yes, those end up being my favorites too. I got a 5 in AP stats because my teacher, for the first time in my high school math career, explained WHY we did things instead of relying on formula memorization and moving from one individual problem type to the next.

      2. Feotakahari*

        I had teachers like this. It always played out poorly for folks like me who didn’t have friends. Someone would figure out the answer, they’d tell all their friends, and they’d collectively do well on the test. I’d try and fail to figure out the answer on my own, and do poorly on the test. One time I bought the teacher edition of the textbook, just so I could teach myself all the things the teacher refused to teach me.

        1. Fikly*

          There’s a difference between not telling a student the answer, and not telling them how to find the answer for themselves. It sounds like you were denied both. The first is correct, but the second is not.

      3. Else*

        I’ve had a few of those in intro courses. They get very indignant when they don’t get full credit when they get their in-class assignments wrong – but I showed up! I participated!

      4. Fikly*

        I was training a new team member today, and I said to her, I don’t care if you know the answer. I care if you know where to find the answer.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          I had a math teacher (the best math teacher I ever had actually) who would tell us “I don’t care if you have the answer right – I care how you got to that answer. He always always wanted you to show your work (and if you were way lost he would use your work to walk you through and help you figure it out) so that he knew what you were doing and could tell you if you were missing steps or just making arithmetic errors.

          1. londonedit*

            The one thing that was drilled into us for our GCSE maths exams (which we take age 16) was to always show our workings. Most calculation-type questions on the exam paper would have two or three marks assigned to them, and one of those would be awarded for showing your attempts to solve the problem, even if you ultimately came up with the wrong answer. As long as your workings were reasonable and logical for the question at hand, you’d get a mark for showing your thinking. And even if you knew the answer, you couldn’t just write down ’42’, you’d have to show your workings in order to get full marks for the question.

    3. Frank Doyle*

      Wow, would you really do something like that, with the letters? Have you done something similar when faced with a frustrating person or situation in your life?

    4. Snarflepants*

      Common life phrase: there are no stupid questions.

      Being asked 75+ questions per day might be the point to ask if all the questions are actually necessary.


      1. Quill*

        Having tutored a bit… you gotta start young with “are all of these one question about if I can go over the assignment with you again, or are you just avoiding opening the encyclopedia.”

      2. Librarian of SHIELD*

        As a person whose job is to answer people’s questions, no statement makes me laugh quite so hard as “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.”

        1. Amy Sly*

          Find the poster on despair.com that says “There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.”

      3. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

        there are no stupid questions….

        … but after 75 questions, you might start getting some stupid answers!

    5. Mid*

      I was thinking of making it into a drinking game. “Everyone take a shot every time Greg asks a question that is easily answered!”

    6. Ann Nonymous*

      I might be tempted to give wrong answers. Him: What’s the number for Jane in accounting? Me: 212-55-4768. (A while later) Him: That was the wrong number! Me: Huh, I guess I don’t know it then.

  3. em_eye*

    I’m so glad that LW2 took Alison’s advice and was able to handle that absolutely horrifying situation! I also would have accepted “I was eventually acquitted of the murder charges via jury nullification.”

    1. Librarianne*

      I’m glad to work on a separate floor from the rest of my department when I hear stories like that…

    2. Nancy Pelosi*

      When op2 said in the original letter that homeslice TOUCHED HER HEADPHONES?? If that was me, y’all would have had to send me to jail. Jesus, take the wheel!

    3. Sergeant Fixalot*

      Me too. When the original letter came in, I was absolutely horrified. My definition of work hell had a brand new meaning. I am so glad it was resolved.

  4. RC Rascal*

    Feedback for OP 4 from a sales professional and manager: What you are outlining means your husband is a poor fit for sales roles. The fact his appointments cancel mean they are weak appointments, it’s a sign that he isn’t relevant to the customer and hasn’t given them enough value, or found enough pain, for the appointment to hold. When I see this as a sales manager, it’s a red flag that the rep may not work out. Secondly, it is really common for the commission to be held until the bill is paid, especially in roles that are straight commission or heavily commission based. What it means is that the sales person needs to incorporate a “budget step” into the early part of the sales process. They can’t sell to anyone who doesn’t have money or isn’t good to pay. They need to be proactive about this as part of the sales process. I have held these kind of jobs myself.

    My professional opinion is your husband is a poor fit for these kinds of jobs, although he may be good at account management roles if he has a good personality, is good with detail, follow up, and program management. Some people are hunters, some are gatherers. Companies need both kinds of folks. Based on what you are relating, your husband is not a hunter and he has been taking hunter type roles.

    1. your favorite person*

      You are basing this on very little information, provided second hand. Why don’t we leave the career advice to Alison.

      1. em_eye*

        Alison doesn’t work in sales, and this person does. I can’t vouch for how correct the advice is but it does seem to provide a new angle for the husband to think about if he’s ever job searching again. I trust the LW and their husband can figure out how relevant it is to their situation.

        1. AskAnEmployee*

          As a sales peep, I can vouch that what RC is saying is actually good advice. Sales, especially hunter roles, is NOT for everyone and the information provided by the LW *may* indicate that her hubs may not be cut out for it.

          1. Nancy Pelosi*

            I’m not in sales, but everything RC says made inherent sense to me, based on the info OP4 shared. RC isn’t trying to step on anyone’s toes, but is sharing a different perspective that might help OP4’s husband solve this mystery and find peace.

          2. R.D.*

            I am not in sales because I have been and I was very bad at it.

            But I am in accounting, specifically for credit and receivables.

            I cannot speak to all of RC’s comments, but the commissions thing jumped out to me as well. It is very common to not pay out commissions until invoices are paid. Very common. companies who do pay out commissions at the time of sale will instead take back any commissions that have been paid out if the sale turns into a return or a write off. Some companies also won’t pay out commissions at all if the invoice is paid more than X days late. This is very, very common. While collections shouldn’t be the sales reps primary job, it is certainly in Sale’s best interest to help AR to make sure their own sales are paid timely and not to cultivate customers that are slow payers.

            At 2 out of the last 3 companies I’ve worked for their was a credit team in accounting assessing the creditworthiness of the customer with the help of sales. In one job the sales rep did that on their own, but even when the credit team does it, they are still working with sales and sales should be proactive in making sure that they aren’t selling to customers who won’t pay their bills, will pay them slowly, or who will return the equipment.

      2. Grapey*

        I disagree – comments are exactly for this reason, not just to be echo chambers to pile on irrational letter writers and “so sorry, that sucks” for everyone else.

        It crosses the line when people get into armchair diagnosing medical problems but I don’t see anything wrong with people giving professional advice on a work blog.

      3. AskAnEmployee*

        So an HR manager is more qualified to give career advice to a sales rep than a sales manager? Having worked in sales for the past 7 years or so, there’s nothing RC is saying that doesn’t make sense based on the post. I used to have meetings cancel a lot until I got better at setting them. I’ve also never been paid out until after the customer paid. finding the decision maker, who controls the budget, is a HUGE step in the sales process and requires training in and of itself.

          1. SimplyTheBest*

            Great. Still pretty rude to come into the comment section of someone’s update where she’s saying her husband’s new job is going great to say, “actually he’s a poor fit for that job.” She’s not looking for advice in this post, so what’s the point other than to make her feel bad?

            1. Fikly*

              The point is to suggest that if this new job, which seems to be going great now (and LW has mentioned in the update about at least one job that started great but then went downhill), goes bad, then perhaps trying an alternate career path to success would lead to better outcomes.

              Which to say, while it’s fine to hope for success, you should plan for failure.

      4. RC Rascal*

        I’ve been in sales for nearly 20 years and in management for almost half of that. I’ve run national sales organizations for companies, managing sales organizations of up to 150 people. I’ve hired, fired, and spent 4 years working on straight commission. When it comes to this subject I am an expert.

        1. AskAnEmployee*

          And no offense to Allison, but HR folks typically don’t have the personality and skillset required to excel in B2B roles. I completely agree with you, RC. Based on the info provided in the post LW’s hubs may or may not be cut out for acquiring logos.

        2. your favorite person*

          I get that you are an expert, but I would caution coming into this and telling some “you are not right for this role!’ without knowing all the details. Friendly advice is fine, but it was the definiteness of your statement I was cautioning against. I work in a direct sales field and while it’s definitely not for everyone, we have all types of sales people who are successful.

      5. Ico*

        The comment section is literally for other people to offer another perspective on the letter writer’s situation, not just a place for everyone to agree 100% with Alison.

    2. TypityTypeType*

      You’re probably right about these things generally, since it is your field, but this particular sales guy seems to have found his niche and is doing great. And so is LW, and so is their little girl — and that is something to celebrate!

    3. Jedi Squirrel*

      While this is true in general of sales (and one reason I detest doing sales), there is variance from industry to industry. It’s quite possible that sales in industry #1 is not his thing, but sales in industry #2 is.

      1. AskAnEmployee*

        Also a good point. Not every sales guy/gal will be a rock star in every industry. Maybe the hubby’s new job is in an industry that fits his personality better.

    4. Bee*

      The commission point stood out to me too – I’m partly paid on commission, and I would never expect my cut before the money actually comes in. The sale isn’t really closed until the money’s in the bank! But I wasn’t sure if that was just my industry. I’m selling on behalf of clients, and part of my job is making sure they actually get paid, so I-don’t-get-paid-until-you-get-paid is standard practice.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        I think this is pretty normal – I worked for a law firm, and some partner payouts are also held up by nonpayment of fees. Partner gets their shares when the client pays. Sales is also a relationship business, and the person with the relationship should also be the one following up on customer satisfaction and payment.

    5. hbc*

      Yeah, the commission part especially seems completely reasonable. I’ve had sales people under me who were content to “sell” to anyone and everyone who expressed an interest, regardless of whether they had two nickels to rub together. It’s not actually a sale until we, you know, get the money from it. It’s a donation.

      1. RC Rascal*

        Yup, yup, yup. This. We salespeople have a way of finding all the loopholes, which is why the commission doesn’t get paid until the check clears.

    6. Events to Sales*

      I’m looking to transition into a sales or account management role from corporate events and I feel totally clueless on how to navigate all of this or make sure I end up in a job that plays to my skills and I don’t end up cold calling all day. I’m really good at connecting with people(and don’t mind traveling) but I need to work on my closing skills. If you are back in the open thread on Friday (or can provide ant tips here- I don’t want to go too off topic), I’d like to hear your thoughts!

      1. Pennalynn Lott*

        If you’re in a Hunter role, you’ll be cold-calling all day to set up appointments. Even when I worked at companies with good marketing and lead-generation departments, my best prospects came from my own work.

        If you’re in B2B sales, my honest opinion is that you don’t need good “closing” skills if you’re doing the rest of it right. You only need to close clients if you’re trying to sell them something they don’t need or want. But if you’ve been able to demonstrate — by getting to know the prospect as well as, or better, than they know themselves — that your product or service will improve their lives or solve a problem (and has a good ROI), then *they* will close the sale for you.

        For me, the hardest thing I had to learn was how to fire prospects. Like, if what I’m selling isn’t going to help you, then we need to cut bait. Once I learned that, though, selling was relatively easy. Each contact with a customer was go/no-go. As in, if what we learn about each other in our next call or meeting leads us both to believe that my product/service is good for them, then we’ll move forward in the process. But if either of us has even a single doubt, we’ll part ways. Because I *really* did not want to spend 12 months on a complex sale only to get to the end and realize that I’d been asking the wrong questions and — haha — my product is a mismatch that I now need to try to force on the customer to meet my sales quota. Blech.

        1. Works in CS*

          I think I’m B2B sales, “closing” is less about convincing and persuading and more about driving momentum and organizing yourself well. You’re right – the persuasion happens earlier in the process if you do it right. Closing gets messed up by things like stalled signatures, new stakeholders appearing at the last minute, a 6 page RFP you should have asked about two weeks ago, etc.

          1. Works in CS*

            I think in* b2b sales – I used to work on the immediate post-sale handoff side of things, so I’ve seen deals go south for the reasons I mentioned above, but I wasn’t doing the selling :)

    7. MoopySwarpet*

      I second that it is common (or at least not uncommon) for commissions to not be paid until the customer pays (or future commissions to be withheld if a previously paid commissioned sale is not paid for by the customer). A sale isn’t really final until the money’s in the bank. Even then, any future deductions (such as product failure) would usually count against the sales at the time of the deduction.

    8. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

      Is it normal for the employer to both hold onto commissions until the bill is paid, and make salespeople front their own travel expenses and wait several weeks for reimbursement?

      I’m not in sales, but the combination of those things seems like it would be hard on anyone, however good, who didn’t already have significant money in the bank.

      1. MissDisplaced*

        I get holding commissions but they should be reimbursed for travel more promptly.
        Sales travel expenses are part of doing business whether the sale closes or not.

    9. Works in CS*

      Honestly, this comment made me go back and read the original letter and I think you’re probably right. “A natural salesman!” is just one of those things that well-meaning people say, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. I’m hopeful for OP that this new job continues to be successful but if it isn’t, husband needs to look for another field altogether. Customer Success is going through a huge growth period right now, especially in the B2B SaaS space, with much less travel than other industries – this would be a very good fit for someone who is great at charming people, nudging people in the right direction, and building and nurturing relationships – without some of the strategic considerations or aggression of sales. Many people transition from Sales to CS – if OP’s husband is succeeding but grows unhappy in his work, this solid position is a good springboard to transition to another field.

    10. Dessi*

      Exactly why I left sales. I was in account management but had to leave due to sexual harassment that the higher-ups refused to deal with. After that, all I could find were hunter roles and I freaking sucked at it and hated it. Hated interrupting people, getting thrown out of offices I cold called, was very shy. HATE. I left altogether and am lucky enough to have a family who supported me going back to school. Although it may not necessarily apply to OP’s husband, and I’m very glad his current job is working out for him, I hope he can take a more secondary role if this one ends up not working out too. I really enjoyed it otherwise

      As a hunter, I felt like the one step sister from Cinderella trying to squeeze my foot into a shoe that was just too small for me. Had to face the reality eventually

  5. Jan Levinson*

    I’m somewhat superstitious (maybe just a ‘little-stitious’, for all my ‘Office’ superfans

    Thank you for this. :) Happy for you and your family!

      1. hello*

        This might be more relevant on Saturday for the open thread, but there is a new podcast where Pam and Angela go through all of the episodes and it’s delightful.

        Relevance to ask a manager though – NBC used clips from the office for their own workplace training videos.

        1. Jan Levinson*

          Yes, yes, yes! I have listened to and love this podcast. My husband and I have been blowing through the episodes while traveling for the holidays. :)

          Didn’t know that about NBC though, that’s funny!

  6. AskAnEmployee*

    LW1 – You’re really thinking about this too much. You partook is some good old fashioned boot knocking on your off time. So what if your boss happened to do the same thing in the same apartment? I can guarantee you that your boss thinks about this much less than you do.

  7. Amethystmoon*

    I have to wonder if #2 had my former co-worker. I had written up tons of documentation so he would check that first and avoid asking questions, but he never would. This was even 3 years into the job, and his job was entry-level. (Actually he was one of several major reasons I switched jobs, but not the only reason.)

  8. Quill*

    1) Not dramatic, but probably the perfect real world ending to this situation!

    4) Your husband being on commission is probably excuse enough for burnout, but that position that held his commission hostage was extremely yikes.

    1. AskAnEmployee*

      The commission isn’t being “held hostage”. Part of any legit B2B sales qualification is to get information on the budget. It’s not uncommon for sales peeps to not get paid until the customer pays. After all, the sale is only made once the exchange between buyer and seller is complete.

      1. Quill*

        Ah, was not getting that from the LW’s letter. I assumed it worked like in auto sales, where there’s no way the whole price is (almost) ever going to be paid in full when the customer leaves with the product, but the salesperson is going to get commission without having to wait 5 years for a person to pay their car off.

        1. AskAnEmployee*

          I’ve only worked in the SAAS/consulting industries but I’ve never seen a field rep paid commission before the customer pays. In fact, in any professional role one should be trained on how to 1) Identify and qualify the actual decision maker, and 2) Make sure said decision maker understands the terms of the agreement.

          Sometimes the customer doesn’t pay on time, and oh my does that suck. However, when you’re dealing with enterprise contracts ranging from $75K and and more, the added hassle is worth it.

        2. Pennalynn Lott*

          Car sales is different. The dealership gets paid by the financing company; the customer pays the financing company over the course of five years. So the dealership gets their money ASAP and can pay commissions at POS.

          I worked in B2B software sales for 20 years and the only time I got paid commission upon close of sale was if the customer signed a contract legally binding them to pay the $1-20M over a certain time period. Because my company had a legal claim to the customer’s assets, they could go ahead and pay me my commission. BUT. . . the only way our legal and finance departments would accept the contract is if the customer was financially sound and able to honor the contract. So we, as a team, were doing our due diligence on all prospects throughout the sales cycle.

      2. Dessi*

        Can vouch for this. I was in B2B sales (software and copiers) for two years and we did not get paid until the deal was funded (by the bank they leased through) and equipment was installed. It could take awhile.

        However, I really feel for OP and her husband regarding the expense reimbursement. I’d go 2-3 months before I finally got my reimbursement for hotels/gas/rental car/per diem. As a college grad new to the workforce, I really felt the squeeze from that. On my base salary and waiting on commission checks, I fell behind on my credit card pretty quickly when I started out.

  9. WellRed*

    oP 3, your boss made me want to scream in frustrated solidarity. Kudos to you for speaking up about how his insane and inane nitpicking looked. What the hell was he hoping to accomplish?

  10. DowningtownBill*

    My favorite part of LW4 was the notion that plate sales was “very much outside the wheelhouse” of teapot sales. : )

  11. Dessi*

    LW 4- I’m SO HAPPY for your husband and your family! Congrats on your baby! I worked in sales for four years and I went through three jobs during that time. I had very similar experiences regarding expenses and commission at my first job, second job had an awful culture (they went out of business after I left and are now being sued under state and federal law), and the last company was the same as the first. I just could NOT hit my stride and not only was I miserable, but I was making my family and friends miserable too because all I could do was bitch and moan about work. I’ve since gone back to school, but I’m so glad your husband is happy now. It’s really tough to find a good, stable sales job. At least if you’re newer to it.

  12. whimbrel*

    >There were numerous complaints from multiple employees (he tended to ask more of women, incidentally).

    I am ENTIRELY not surprised about the bit in parentheses there. I am so glad LW2 is out of that situation!

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