my boss wants me to hire his daughter, manager refused to say goodbye on my last day, and more

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

1. My boss wants me to hire his daughter

I am the manager of a small group of administrative assistants, and we rarely have job openings. A long-term employee just resigned, and now the boss wants me to hire his daughter. This is the first time we have had an opening since his children were of working age. I imagine so many pitfalls if I am forced to hire her. I think my ability to manage her will be really hindered. I am so disappointed and feel like my opportunity to form my own team is being taken away. I really just want to hire the most qualified person for the job, and I don’t expect that she will be it. I plan to interview her as a courtesy, even though her resume is not up to par and is not on the short list. Is there anything I can do now? What do you advise if I am required to hire her? How can I effectively manage her without putting my own job in jeopardy?

How reasonable is your boss? Ideally you’d explain that it’s not practical for someone to manage their boss’s daughter because of the enormous potential for conflict and bias. (Will she be held to the same standards as the other admins? What if she appeals your decisions to her dad, thus undermining you and destroying your ability to manage her? What if you need to fire her? Etc.) Even if he’s sure he’d be perfectly hands-off, a good manager would accept hearing that you’d be uncomfortable doing it. You should also lean hard on the qualifications issue — that other candidates are better qualified and you want to hire the person who’s best matched with the needs of the job.

This is something to spend a lot of capital on if you need to. Take as strong a stand as you can because if you’re forced to hire her, you’re going to have a complicated mess when it comes to managing her. And if you have HR or someone above your boss, bring them into this — he needs to hear from someone else that this is a terrible idea.

(Also, if you haven’t already issued the interview invitation, don’t. The best time to shut this down is before the interview even happens. The only exception to that is if your boss is more likely to take you seriously about her qualifications post-interview — but at that point you’ve allowed the idea that hiring her could potentially be on the table.)

2. My boss refused to say goodbye on my last day

I resigned from my job a week before the end of January. My new job wanted me to start on February 3rd, and I informed my boss on Jan. 24 that I would be resigning, leaving me with a week to finish what was left and bring coworkers up to speed on my projects.

My boss didn’t take it very well. She looked disgusted and told me, “Usually I get two weeks notice from people.” I explained the new job wanted me to start on the 3rd and left it at that (otherwise I would start at the end of February and I didn’t want to miss a paycheck). She was still not happy about it, but told me to send a formal email to her and HR and we would get the process going.

The next week, the last week at that job, was awful. My boss started ignoring my emails and wouldn’t look me in the eye if we passed in the hall, while coworkers in other departments told me how happy they were I was leaving, saying it was a good thing for me to get out of this “toxic environment.” My boss at one point lied to me and reneged on working on a project due in the two weeks after I would be gone, claiming she lost my emails when I wrote asking for her input. She kept asking for my “updates” when I had none, as I already put them in the project.

It was all very bizarre; on my last day she kicked me out of my cube to “clean,” and then told me to just leave the office early, when past employees who have left usually work the whole day. She didn’t even come out of her office to say goodbye to me, and I’ll admit, it hurt my feelings. She is usually a proponent of women supporting each other in the workplace and being “open,” but one of the reasons I was looking elsewhere was due to her yelling at me in the past and brushing off another female coworker scolding me in front of others.

That job was my first “big girl job” (note from Alison: Nooo! It’s your first professional job) and I realize not every boss will treat employees like that, but was I wrong to give her only one week notice?

Well, yeah, if you were cavalier about it, which sounds like might have been the case. But she was in the wrong too.

Two weeks notice is the professional convention and expectation in the U.S. That doesn’t mean you can never give less, but when you do, you’re generally expected to acknowledge it’s an inconvenience and not ideal. It sounds like you instead might have been very “here’s when I’m leaving, the end” about it, in which case I can understand your boss being annoyed.

But she was weird and petty and immature. She has also yelled at you and just sounds generally like a not great boss. She’s responsible for way more of any problems here than you are (and even more so when you factor in that you’re early in your career and still learning work norms.)

3. Should I encourage my employee to stay home with their sick kid more often?

I have an employee who has had to pick up their kid from daycare several times because the kid was too sick to be at daycare. I don’t care about the missed time, that isn’t an issue. But it does concern me that they are taking their kid to daycare when it seems obvious that the kid is too sick and that a parent needs to stay home with the child. I’ve told this employee that it’s fine if they need to take time off to care for a sick kid, and family comes first. Is that the extent of what I should be doing? It certainly isn’t my place to be telling them how to parent their child and I’m afraid anything else I’d say would be crossing that line. This isn’t my business, right?

Yep, leave it alone. This is between your employee and their daycare, and if the daycare has concerns, they’ll address it directly with the parent. There also could be context you don’t know (a particular arrangement with the daycare, a kid who didn’t seem at all sick in the morning, etc.).

The only thing you should do is to make sure you’ve created conditions where the employee really would feel free to stay home with their sick kid — not just telling them it’s okay, but backing that up with action. That means stuff like offering enough paid leave (if it’s not feasible for the parent to work from home while caring for the sick child because of the child’s age or illness or the nature of the job), not grumbling when they need to be out, and the other items I talked about in yesterday’s post on sick leave.

4. I’m worried my coworker will become my manager — and he’s horrible

The manager (John) I currently dotted-line report to just put in his two-week notice. My actual manager (Amy) is out of state and I do not deal with her on a daily basis, so John is who I deal with much more often. I am concerned that another one of John’s reports, Todd, will apply for John’s role. I do not like Todd, some of which is personal and some of which is professional (and there’s certainly some overlap there). Todd is a bigot, unnecessarily rigid, shows serious disdain for the hourly employees who are part of his report structure, and is constantly shifting responsibility to those hourly employees. We have had our differences and struggles in the past, and personally I will not work for Todd. If I am asked about the position or candidates by John’s boss, who will be the one hiring for the role, is there a good way to say a) I don’t think Todd is a good fit and b) I will have to make some decisions if Todd is given the promotion? I’m hoping it won’t come up, but want to be prepared if it does.

If you won’t work for Todd, you should be pretty damn direct about that. You could say, “I have serious concerns about his ability to manage the team — things like (examples). I feel strongly enough about this that I’d be likely to look at other options for myself if he got that role.”

In fact, if you learn Todd is applying, it’s worth initiating that conversation with the John’s boss yourself, rather than waiting to see if he asks for your input, since he may not. You should also consider talking with John himself, since he’s likely well-positioned to weigh in on his successor.

5. How to resign without compromising my spouse’s job

I was just offered a position out of state. It’s a great next step in my career, and my spouse and I have been hoping to make a move and refresh our lives — so all in all, good news.

However, we both work for the same large city organization as civil servants (large enough to be separate, small enough that most people know each other). She does not have a job to jump to in our new location right away, and since we cannot afford to make the move together immediately, she is going to stay behind to continue making her salary, take care of our pets, and hopefully land a job herself while I lay the groundwork for our new life. How do I give my two weeks while she sticks around? If they know we’re moving, they’ll know she’s getting ready to leave. But it could be two months, it could be six months, we don’t know really. 

Do I lie and say that I am staying nearby? (Doesn’t seem like a good idea.) Do I just say I don’t want to reveal where my new job is? (That just seems awkward.) Can I reasonably expect that they won’t fire my wife once they figure out she’s leaving and just allow her to work until she’s ready to give her two weeks?

If your wife doesn’t want them to know yet that she’s leaving soon too, the safest thing is to just not mention the move. When asked about your new job, describe it in general terms — “it’s a small firm that does X” — so that you’re answering the question but not giving details that make it clear you’re moving. If that’s not possible, then you can say, “It’s not public yet but I’ll tell you as soon as it is.”

However, because you work for the city, this might be more caution than necessary. Government employers usually have tons of rules around firing people, and it’s pretty likely your wife won’t be pushed out early as a result. My advice above is really for private employers — adapt it based on what you know of yours.

{ 442 comments… read them below }

  1. Lena Clare*

    I’m interested in the answers to LW2 and 5.

    2 – I’d say the convention might be 2 weeks, but you can leave when you like and your manager has to be professional about it, even if you’re not professional about it. Your manager is really a child!

    5 – I’ve never encountered a place where a spouse’s job was potentially affected by the partner leaving. Is this usual?

    1. Sarah N*

      If they were leaving for a job across town, no. I think the concern here is that once one spouse has moved far away, the assumption is that the other will follow soon. So, the company could figure the employee is halfway out the door anyway and push them out sooner than they wanted to leave.

      1. There's probably a cat meme to describe it*

        Yep. Even in a government role where there are protections against pushing people out, if the wife’s manager isn’t a very nice person and knows wife will be leaving in the not-too-distant future, they may redistribute work or responsibilities in a way that’s they’re “allowed” to, but would make the last few months of work boring, demoralising or otherwise unpleasant.

        1. DiscoCat*

          But I don’t understand why a move at some point in the near to mid future will cause management to push the wife out. I mean it’s not like she has found a job but is refusing to give her notice. With the standard two weeks notice they should be fine, and if they have an honest conversation about the news they could use the remaining time constructively, with a long hand over and training period for her successor. What if the wife or any staff were to get ill or worse, would management push people out for their potential to be unavailable at some point in the future?

          1. TyB*

            There could be nothing malicious about it, but if for some reason they had to let someone go they are far more likely to choose the person who is likely going to leave on their own soon anyway. And the types of projects the wife will be assigned might just naturally all become short term projects since they think she might leave any day.

            1. Nonprofit Nancy*

              Yeah, are they really going to put the wife on that big banner new project at this point? Are they going to groom her for management, send her to conferences, book plane tickets for her for a trip next year? If she ends up staying six more months, she doesn’t want to miss out on all these opportunities forever.

          2. Mookie*

            One of the issues the LW mentioned is that the “news” available to share is not substantive. She hasn’t had any bites or interviews, much less an offer. Difficult to plan a handover without some semblance of a timeline. In the meantime, conscientious managers, knowing her time is limited but not the extent of the limit, may prudently decide to re-organize her duties or take her off the schedule for long-term projects, which could make more work for others which could… mean they need her to leave before she’s ready with a job in hand or have her go part-time because her role is no longer as productive as it needs to be to justify her salary. Then there’re the complications that arise in the public sector. I understand, anyway, why the LW and his spouse don’t want to put her in that position when so many things are already up in the air for them.

            1. Mookie*

              …Or what TyB wrote above. There may not be enough work for her and her replacement-in-training to go around. There may not be funding for her past a certain number of weeks following the acquisition of a replacement, which means the loss of precious income for an uprooted couple.

              1. LQ*

                In a government that would be pretty unlikely. Around here you wouldn’t be able to hire a replacement until the other person was gone. You may be able to do some additional cross-training with someone, but you couldn’t hire a new person and then what…fire the other person? I cannot imagine that happening in my government career.

          3. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

            It’s the factor of uncertainty in this case that makes me wary. OP says it could be 2 months, or it could be 6 months or longer. That’s an awkward position for everyone. If wife tells workplace and they get a replacement in 2 months but it takes 6 months for her to be ready to move, what does she do for the remaining 4 months? Does it mean they’re over staffed? That she goes back to support work, carrying out menial tasks? They’re not invested in her happiness, they’re invested now in the new person.
            I’m not saying she shouldn’t give longer than 2 weeks, but I would keep it under wraps until there is certainty around the date. And even then, there is such a thing as too much notice.

            1. Gov Worker*

              Also since it’s government, it’s likely they have exact position numbers. Meaning they cannot hire a replacement while someone is still in the position. They may not even be able to start the hiring process until she has officially given notice and her end date is set.

              1. LQ*

                Agreed. They’d likely do cross training, maybe move her to more shorter term projects. But they are really unlikely to be able to expand the size of the team unless they are in a weird spot that has money to do that, but then it is an actual expansion of the size of the team. Not a replacement. You can’t hire a replacement until someone is gone.

            2. I'm just here for the cats*

              Well, ideally the wife wouldn’t say they are going to leave in 2 months unless they know for sure. If it comes out that the husband is in a new city the wife should say that they may move to the city but they do not have any plans at this time. But when/if they know she will let the employer know well in advance. This way she is covered.

            3. Jojo*

              The wife isn’t planning on giving any more than two weeks notice. The question was how to keep people from knowing that she’s on her way out–at some point in the not-too-distant future–because her husband has moved.

          4. doreen*

            I work for a government agency. Only the highest levels actually get pushed out ( and by that, I mean the people the governor was involved in appointing), so nobody would actively be pushing the OP’s wife out at my agency. But when you are seeking a promotion above a first-level manager, you are asked if you can commit to staying for at least two years. It’s not legally binding, but they don’t want to promote someone into a position where they will be leading long-term projects only to have them retire half-way through the project. That’s the sort of “pushing out” that might happen to the OP’s wife in my agency – not firing her, not making her life miserable so that she decides to resign, just restricting her assignments to those that won’t be greatly affected if she does leave in two months or six months. It’s not an issue for the overwhelming majority of jobs in my agency because most positions don’t involve leading long-term projects.

          5. Etti Ket*

            Because there are always long-term projects starting. And if they know her husband has moved away, it’s logical to assume she will, too. So they might not assign her any of those projects, due to the fact that she likely won’t be there to complete them. Enough long-term projects get assigned to everyone else but you, and eventually, you don’t have a job anymore. At best, you get relegated to helping others on their projects. More likely, you become little more than a secretary: taking notes, getting supplies, making phone calls, and not doing the job for which you were hired. At worst, once your current projects are wrapped up, you get fired.

        2. Aquawoman*

          I don’t see why someone on the way out and who is just staying for the paycheck would feel entitled to having their manager keep them interested for the duration of their time there. It’s not “mean” for a manager to consider the difficulties of transferring assignments later.

      2. Jen S. 2.0*

        Or, they’ll figure that the couple is probably splitting up, and the wife will face drama based on that. Neither option is terrific.

        1. There's probably a cat meme to describe it*

          If it was a crappy work environment, people found out, and I was worried about being pushed out or having opportunities taken away, I’d be tempted to lean into that a little. “Yes, Alex has moved to City – it’s not something I want to discuss. Have we heard back on the teapot paint yet?” I mean, it is the truth! But I’d only do it if it were less drama than letting on I was going to follow.

          1. Purple Jello*

            “Yes, my husband and I will be separating. It’s a difficult situation, which I don’t want to discuss. Thanks for understanding.”

            1. an infinite number of monkeys*

              I’m not generally superstitious, but telling that particular fib (or, even if technically true, creating that impression) seems like awfully bad juju. I don’t think I could do it!

              1. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

                Agreed, the less said the better. Yep, ok, Alex has moved, but it’s not a topic she wants to discuss. Let them draw their own conclusions. (She may just not want to discuss it because she doesn’t need to be reminded how much she misses Alex, or how difficult the job market is, whatever, it’s not reasonable to probe for details after that.) But as I said, ONLY if there is a need for her to go to that extent to protect herself.

              2. Elizabeth West*

                If it were me, I would just say “He’s training for a new job,” which makes it sound like he’s only there for the training. It’s not a lie — he’s doing exactly that! The living arrangements are nobody else’s business.

                Then when she leaves, she can say, “They want him in that office, so I’ve found a new job nearby, and we’ll be moving.” Also not a lie.

                1. Mr. Shark*

                  Oh, you’re tricky! :)
                  But that’s a good idea. Maybe she can frame it that he is going to WFH (if that’s possible in that position), and then later say that they need him to work in the office, like you suggested.

                2. Mama Bear*

                  I also like this answer. But really you don’t “owe” anyone super solid answers about where you are going when you leave.

                3. Etti Ket*

                  That’s… actually not bad. It’s not technically lying, and it gives OP an out when she needs it, without creating lots of unnecessary drama.

          2. wittyrepartee*

            I’d add to this: “The company that Alex joined trains people in city X, so it’ll be a little hectic for us until his training is done! I’ll be visiting him on weekends”

      3. Clisby*

        Is there some reason the employer needs to know where the leaving employee is going? Seems to me that’s none of their business.

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          I haven’t told in the past. It definitely isn’t a requirement. That’s why I think Allison’s suggestion of, “it isn’t public knowledge yet, so I can’t say right now, but when I can I’ll let you know,” is the best option for curious coworkers when they as in conversation. But don’t put anything at all in the formal resignation, it isn’t necessary.

          Unless I would suddenly be one of my coworker’s clients or something I would 100% just play this close to the chest, it’s the best for everyone.

        2. Etti Ket*

          No, not really. But it’s not uncommon to ask, for several reasons. Basic human curiosity being the first one, of course.
          Also, for networking purposes. Say his manager knows someone in the same field who’s looking for work in that new city; he can contact OP’s husband and ask if they have any openings coming up, or if he can put in a good word for this person.
          And lastly, many companies like to track where they’re losing employees to. If they lose a bunch to one particular company, it’s worth it to see what about that company makes them so attractive as an employer. Maybe the original company can change a few things to stop losing so many trained personnel.

          1. Clisby*

            I didn’t mean I thought it would be odd for people to ask. That seems 100% normal. I also would consider it normal if the leaving employee didn’t give out the information.

    2. New Job So Much Better*

      I gave a full 2 weeks notice at old job and boss never acknowledged really and then went on vacation until after I was gone. I was only leaving since the bank was merging and my boss only arranged definite employment for himself, the rest of us were left hanging. After 18 years together, not even a good luck…

      1. Glitsy Gus*

        I had that happen too! It was so bad that I was wondering if I needed to ask if he forgot that it was my last day. He came in to do a BS “exit interview” about 10 minutes before the end of the day and that was it. That place was weird.

    3. LeahS*

      2) Yes this is frustrating to me. I totally understand why it is best to give two weeks – giving time to hand things over, etc. But the whole system feels off to me when the expectation is that the employer can fire you with no notice at all (and I do understand there are reasons for this as well)… the system should work in both the employee and employers favor. But the employee is held to this idea that they need to give while the employer doesn’t.

      1. Elizabeth Proctor*

        They can, but I wouldn’t say that firing = resigning. I’d say laying off = resigning, and my understanding is that layoffs often come with some kind of severance even if it’s only two weeks. So that’s pretty much the same courtesy.

        1. MsClaw*

          That varies wildly depending on what kind of work you do. In my line of work almost no one gets severance. You might be given the ‘opportunity’ to take leave without pay for a few weeks so that you could keep your medical (while writing the company a check for your portion since you have no paycheck to take it out of) while you job hunt, but the company doesn’t pay you anything beyond your separation day. This has also been true for most people I’ve known outside my industry as well.

          1. doreen*

            It’s not common in my experience to get severance – I’ve known one or two people who did ( they also had to sign an agreement not to sue) but it’s not unusual for someone to get two weeks ( or more ) notice when a position is being eliminated. At my current employer, even when people are terminated due to poor performance they get 2 weeks pay in lieu of notice.

        2. noahwynn*

          This is actually the option I was given the one time I had to layoff staff. I could either let know 4 weeks prior to the last day of their employment OR I could give them 4 weeks severance. There was no option to let them know if was happening in advance and give severance.

          1. Etti Ket*

            So either way, they’d have 4 weeks to job search, but with one option, they’d still be working during that time.

      2. TootsNYC*

        what Elizabeth Proctor said.
        Unless you’re being fired for malfeasance or something, you DO get notice–you just don’t have to work during that notice (the standard used to be 2 weeks for every year). Under that system, you come out better off.

        1. LeahS*

          This definitely makes sense. I guess where I’m coming from is just the fact that you can be fired for literally anything and where I’m from severance isn’t all that common.

      3. Life is good*

        I gave three day’s notice when I left my old job. I offered to work the next three days buttoning up my open files, which would have been plenty of time. Not that this justifies my short notice, but there was no one to train and I was one of five people who did the same job. I went to a direct competitor and normally people are escorted off the premises immediately if the company knows you are going to work for the other guy. In hindsight, I should have just given the two weeks since they’d have told me to go right away. I am not proud of it, but the place was so toxic I had to get out of there. Not giving the two weeks made me ineligible for rehire. I would never go back anyway, so that wasn’t a worry. I shouldn’t have burned my bridges like that, though. Alison’s right about it being a professional courtesy to give two week’s notice. I am happy in my new job and finally know what a normal office is.

        1. Etti Ket*

          While no, you shouldn’t have burned bridges like that, your company really can’t expect employees to give 2 weeks notice if everyone knows they’re going to be escorted from the premises immediately upon giving notice. They set themselves up for that.

    4. MD*

      2) I left a job with one week’s notice, using my accrued vacation time for the second week, even though I had nothing else lined up. I just could not stand another minute of being there, and the reason I was leaving was because I had an average of 1 hour of actual work per day. They seemed disappointed when I told them I was quitting, but they weren’t even utilizing my skills; so I have no idea why they felt they were owed more notice. For some reason, my last week there was the busiest I’d ever been…

      1. CmdrShepard4ever*

        In most situations I don’t think that really counts as two weeks notice. The point of two weeks notice is to be able to wrap things up, transition projects/duties over to other people, cross train people who will cover until a replacement is found etc…. Using vacation for the second week is just ensuring that you have a paycheck for that last week. In your situation since there was not much work done for you anyway one weeks notice does not seem bad, but normally if an employee did what you did I would consider it only giving one week notice.

        OP you mentioned:

        “I explained the new job wanted me to start on the 3rd and left it at that (otherwise I would start at the end of February and I didn’t want to miss a paycheck).”

        You make it seem those were your only options and maybe they were, but did you consider that if the new job told you your start date has to be Feb 3rd or else you have to wait til Feb 24th, that does not mean you have to go without a paycheck for a week or two. You could have accepted the new job on January 23/24 agreed to start the new job on Feb 24th and then waited to give notice at your old job Friday Feb 7th or Monday Feb 10th allowing you to serve out a two week notice without missing a paycheck in between.

        The main point I want to get across is that you are not obligated to give notice at your current job as soon as you accept a new job. You can delay giving notice even if you now that you have accepted a new job and will be starting 1 or 2 months from now.

        1. Mari*

          Yeah, I thought the timeline was a little weird too, unless I’m missing some crucial context (I’ve worked at a German company before where you could only quit [after the notice period] on the 1st or 15th)…. I seriously doubt this is the case though

          I guess maybe they were worried about the impact of telling the new employer they couldn’t start until the next month?

        2. MCMonkeyBean*

          I agree, the way it is laid out in the letter it seems like they didn’t realize they could wait to give notice at the current job if they went with the later start date.

          Ultimately the boss is the bigger issue here and they should have behaved way more professionally. But OP is acting like they were forced into giving just one week of notice and seems sort of “oh well what can you do” about it, when it seems like they did actually have a way to start the new job at the end of February and then give two weeks notice at their new job.

      2. TootsNYC*

        One company I left required that you work on the last day of your employment–you couldn’t take it as a vacation day. I had a toddler having a minor medical procedure, and I wanted to be there afterward, but I was told I had to go to the office.

        I don’t know what they would have done to me if I didn’t…

        1. doreen*

          My government employer has the same policy – but I don’t think they would enforce it for someone who wanted to take a single day. The policy was explicitly put into place to end a previous practice of employees accruing leave above the 30 day limit for a lump-sum payment and remaining on the payroll ( and continuing to earn additional leave) for weeks after the last actual day at work. Of course, that means that now , people simply take those weeks off and return for that one, official last day…

          1. Glitsy Gus*

            I had one job where folks would take a 2week vacation, then call the boss on the first day of said break to put in their 2 week notice. It happened so frequently we called it the [Company] Goodbye. Anytime someone booked a 1.5 or 2 week vacation we would all ask them if they were actually coming back.

        2. SimplyTheBest*

          I think every place I’ve worked had a policy where you couldn’t take vacation during your notice period (or at least the last two weeks of your notice).

      3. Mama Bear*

        Most of my jobs have required 2 weeks’ notice and it could not end on a vacation (though you might be able to cash out PTO at the end). I do think the timeframe was a bit truncated and generally I think that should be negotiated instead of just stated unless you want to burn a bridge.

        RE: the boss who didn’t want to say good-bye, I had a manager like that. I worked mostly in a different office, I told my direct boss who was in that office that I was leaving, and the manager never wanted to meet about a transition plan, and declined to come up for my farewell lunch, and never said good-bye. Made it really clear that I was persona non grata. It was disheartening but that attitude was part of why I left. Since I left on overall good terms, their attitude didn’t affect me career-wise. Sometimes people are just like that.

    5. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      The fascinating thing with 2 weeks being the norm is many companies will pull the plug earlier. Meaning the employee gets to then go unpaid for that 2 weeks. Yet employers still expect their “professional norm” to occur.

      Along with the fact that rarely do they give you 2 weeks notice before a layoff or termination.

      It’s so awkwardly one sided and I loath the standard.

      1. LeahS*

        Yes exactly. My old company did this. Sometimes it feels like any time a system is set up to make things “fair”, the employer is able to get out of it while the employee is held to it.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          Anything that’s “standardized” via “social or professional normality” will be taken advantage of by those with the most power who decide to exercise their right. There’s always a miniature tyrant waiting to flex their little extra muscle somewhere!

          Until it’s unlawful to terminate someone in their notice period, it’ll continue to be that power imbalance we continue to see. And that’s not a law I see passing in the US any time soon, that’s for sure.

      2. CmdrShepard4ever*

        But if that is the case then the company should not expect employees to give two week notices. I don’t think Alison or anyone else here says you always HAVE to give two week notices in all situations but rather it is common and helpful in most situations. Some companies will take the two week notice tell you to leave immediately but then still pay you for two weeks, or they will use the full two weeks to have you work on transitions, cross training etc… in those situations then I think two week notices are warranted.

        OP did not mention that they were worried that they would be let go early without pay if they gave two week notices but rather that the new job wanted them to start either on Feb 3rd or wait til the end of Feb. I think the issue was that OP was or is under the impression that notice at an old job must be given immediately after you accept a new job. But as I mentioned above she could have agreed to a later start date with the new job and waited a few weeks to give notice at the old job.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          You really hit the nail on the head here though.

          It’s still very much a “depends on the company.” issue. You’re still at their mercy in the end. “Some companies” do pay you out. Even my toxic jerk boss paid my notice period even though they cut me loose a few days earlier. Whereas personally I’ve seen a lot more people let go during their notice period without pay, since it’s seen as a cost staving option that they’re phoning in.

          The whole point is it’s still a “norm” that stinks and should be regulated or abolished. For a group who is regularly forward thinking about employees rights, I find it interesting that we’re still pro-employer on this archaic practice.

          1. Uranus Wars*

            I don’t consider myself pro-employer on this stance, but realistic in that two weeks is standard not necessarily agreed with enough that I go ahead and use it as a rule. I have both worked them through (one was actually a month notice) and been let go day of but paid thru notice period. I also have been laid off with no notice but paid out the month (which was about 3 weeks).

          2. CmdrShepard4ever*

            I have to disagree that it is a “norm” that stinks. I do have to admit that I am biased because I have personally seen most if not all companies to date allow employees to finish out their notice period. I think 2 weeks is a “norm” that is generally helpful, not in every situation of course.

            I would equate it to lying, not lying is generally the “norm” most people agree it is the best thing to do. But there are certain situations where “white lies” are the better course of action. Just because in certain situations lying is the better way to go it does not mean that the norm of “not lying” is generally a bad one.

            I think we are generally pro-employer on the two week notice for companies that have earned the privilege. If a company is known the fire people before the notice period is up or if there is doubt as to what will happen I think most people on the site would agree that short/no notice is warranted.

          3. Jeffrey Deutsch*

            Hear, hear.

            The theory — as articulated here on AAM — is that you’re supposed to give notice if you quit, the company is supposed to give severance if they fire you or lay you off for whatever reason.

            Problem is, in my experience pretty much every employer expects the notice, but many have no intention of paying severance.

            As Adam Smith put it, the worker may be as necessary to the employer as the employer is to the worker, but the former necessity is not so immediate. An employer has far more power to affect the departing employee’s future job prospects than the departing employee has to affect the employer’s future recruiting prospects.

      3. noahwynn*

        I’ve had employees who I was beyond ready for them to leave. I would cut their notice period short and not let them work the full two weeks, but we always paid them for the full two weeks.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          I’ve been let go a few days before the end of my notice period and paid. However I haven’t seen it done that way before, always it’s someone saying “Okay then your services aren’t needed.” and they’re cut loose without pay.

          I’ve seen someone so ruthless that they gave a notice period of two weeks and to avoid having to pay health insurance for that extra month, since standard is if you work a day that month, health insurance is covered for that month, they let them go on the last day of the month to screw them.

          1. CmdrShepard4ever*

            I can understand both sides of that issue.

            If say the last day of the notice period falls on say Friday March 1st so that the original employer will have to pay the full premium for the entire month when the employee is only working for the employer for one day of the month, I can understand the employer letting the employee go on Thursday Feb 29th. As en employer insurance is a perk to attract and keep qualified candidates paying a $300/500 monthly premium for an employee who is leaving and only working one day of the month seems logical. This is a good example of the problem with employer sponsored health care, and why I think single payer system would be better.

            If someone gives a two week notice on Friday March 31st and the employer lets them go right away to avoid paying for a month of insurance even though the employee could have kept working for a full two weeks, or even if the timeline was that the employee only worked for 1 week of the new month then that is a shitty employer.

            With that being said as an employee if I found my self in a similar situation, if there was any doubt about my employer letting me go before the notice period ends to save on insurance costs, I would make sure to wait and give notice until the 1st of the next month.

            1. Marie*

              You’re right, it just sucks that employer provided health insurance is the norm in the US yet employers can still pull punches on the margins (such as not covering for X days at the start or end of employment).

      4. Mari*

        lol only so true. My last job laid me off with no notice, did the same with a bunch of other people, then (I heard) were a little shocked when my friend only gave a week and a bit notice. I think though that most people are aware of the precedent and it sounds like they really want people around for the 2 weeks.

      5. Is butter a carb?*

        We might make someone leave, but if they give two weeks, they get the 2 weeks, we just might not want a conflict of interest.

      6. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        If you give a two week notice and you’re told to pack up and leave now, you will usually get paidfor the duration because you could otherwise collect unemployment in some states – and they might not want to get hit with an unemployment claim over something this petty.

    6. James*

      This happened to me. Wife left the company, I stayed. It makes certain things harder. I like people at work my wife did not, due to different work styles and personalities. And my wife leaving (it wasn’t a great situation) hangs over certain conversations with people. I don’t invite work folks to my house and don’t get invited to theirs outside some very rare exceptions. We make it work, and many of those people aren’t with the company anymore, making it easier.

      I can see either a company or a worker deciding that this added stress isn’t worth it. It’s not easy, you have to make your identity VERY clearly separated from your spouse, and work and home life bleed into one another in weird ways. I love my job and we made it work, but that’s us.

      1. Important Moi*

        Interesting. Do you want to hang out with these people? Do you think your missing something either professionally or personally by not hanging out?

    7. sps*

      LW here. I’m commenting up here so that people will see it. I’m grateful for the discussion and for the site posting my question. I’m about to get on a flight so I can’t respond to everyone yet, but for the moment I just wanted to say the discussion was helpful and also interesting beyond by immediate needs. You all are great, and I appreciate the engagement.

  2. LaSalleUGirl*

    OP3, I don’t know whether this is a pattern that’s persisted beyond this particular germy season, but in my part of the country, we’ve been hit by a non-flu virus that persists for three-ish weeks and worsens in the afternoons and evenings. It’s been extremely difficult to determine whether my kid should go to school. She’d spike a fever on Tuesday night, so I’d keep her home on Wednesday, only for her to be 100% fine all day, so I’d send her to school on Thursday and have her come home lethargic and feverish. Lather, rinse, repeat for THREE WEEKS. So it might just be this infuriating and unpredictable (but also non-contagious after the first week!) virus. Her doctor finally just told me flat out to send her to school even if she had a slight fever. It’s possible that your employee got similar medical advice, but the daycare might have a different perspective than the doctor.

    My partner and I are lucky to have flexibility to work from home and support to take PTO when we need it, but this kiddo is a terrible co-working partner, so I’m relieved that the virus seems to have finally run its course!

    1. WoodswomanWrites*

      Yes to this! Not for me, but for a co-worker, with multiple trips to the doctor telling her she had a virus and to stay home when she had a fever. She’d take another day after her fever, come back the next day, and her fever would return in the afternoon and she’d be exhausted and have to go home. She genuinely was trying not to make anyone sick, just kept in this weird pattern. She was able to work from home sometimes in the meantime, and she is finally on the mend four weeks after she got sick. Neither of us recall seeing an illness behave like that.

    2. NeonFireworks*

      Following a lot of travel, I have been sick for 2 weeks with something that sounds like this (not the flu but bad cold, evening fevers, mornings much better than afternoons), and I’m so reassured to know that it might not be just me! Thank you!

    3. cheeseburger*

      Third this. My kids’ elementary school had influenza A going around and my daughter was sick Thurs-Saturday. Fever broke Sat. Night and she was fine all Sunday. I sent her in Monday, and she was in bed at 6pm every night. a mild fever came back Weds night so she stayed home Thursday, rested all day, and was back in school Friday. She rested all weekend and was *finally* herself by Thursday- two weeks later.

    4. Carlie*

      You’ve just described my last two weeks, but for me! Glad to know at least I’m not the only one. It’s maddening.

    5. Mookie*

      Don’t know where anyone else is in this thread, but this is the pattern for the first two months of 2020 in inland southern California. The chest colds and sinusitides that won’t die, like a really boring film of people and kids staying home from work and school, one wave after another, ebb and then flow. I’m forgetting what it’s like to hear things relatively okay, breathe painlessly, and speak without cracking, also being around people who can do the same. Lard bless the families that have to work out how to try to earn money and get their kids to school and take care of their own parents when everything is riding against doing any of those things successfully. And we’re lucky compared to a great deal of the world.

      1. school of hard knowcs*

        Seriously, another IE here; I am surrounded on 3 sides by cootie boys. After 3 weeks of hacking coughs, I decided name calling was acceptable.

      2. Michelle*

        Coastal SoCal and this has hit us too. I’ve had it since the holidays. It just keeps coming in and out. I’ll feel better and then have a cough and runny nose for 3-4 days. My ears were popping earlier in the week and today my nose won’t stop running. I don’t feel that bad otherwise though. Pretty tired most of the time but functional.

    6. Veronica Mars*

      Another explanation I thought of was frequent/recurring ear infections. My coworker is in the process of getting tubes for her kid’s ears. But, basically, if she kept him home every time he was cranky in the morning, he’d never go to daycare. She often has to leave work if his ears are bothering him so much he won’t eat lunch or go down for a nap. But otherwise, its not like ear infections are contagious, and he’s going to be miserable no matter where he is. As a former “the ear infection kid” I feel for her and him. But I’d be pretty upset on her behalf if the boss said anything to her.

      1. blackcat*

        Right. My kid was one of these until we got tube surgery.

        Last year, between Nov 1 and March 1, he did not attend a single full week of daycare. Some weeks he missed entirely. Most of it was ear infections, but there were other “first winter in daycare” problems, too. A round of norovirus, some hand foot and mouth, etc.

        If my partner and I didn’t have relatively flexible jobs, we would have had to take like 40 sick days between the two of us.

        It. was. hell.

        And you bet I sent my kid to daycare on the days that he was merely unwell but not feverish.

        1. Just Another Techie*

          Yup! And there’s also the optics of constantly calling out of work or trying to work from home while the sick kid is napping (or having a backup nanny in and then working from “home” where by “home” i mean “the local library, because if I stay home, my kid will want my attention even though his favorite babysitter is here”). Whereas if you send the kid to daycare, then daycare calls and says “you gotta pick your kid up” . . .well with my previous crappy manager one of those things was more “acceptable” than the other.

    7. Phil*

      I’ve been hit with s similar virus-testing ruled out bacteria-here in California. Fortunately I’m retired.

    8. Risha*

      Ooooh, this might explain two and a half of my last three weeks, thank you! I was never sick enough to actually go to the doctor, but I was so out of it that I still ended up taking two sick days (not in a row) and spent the last two weekends basically in a coma. I think I’ve finally kicked it a couple of days ago.

    9. DecorativeCacti*

      This season seems especially bad. My SO and I have both been sick twice since January 1. I haven’t felt 100% right since the beginning of the year and I’ve already burned through more sick days than I even want to think about.

    10. EngineerMom*

      Absolutely this!

      We had a thing with my daughter two years ago (grade 1) where she would randomly throw up for no apparent reason (saw a pediatric gastroenterologist, kept a meticulous diet journal, did an elimination diet, the whole 9 yards, nada) with no other symptoms. No tummy pain, no fever, nothing. She’d throw up once or twice a day for a couple of days off and on over the course of a week or so, stop for a week or so, then recur. It finally stopped about a year later, but since her school has a “you can’t come to school until you’ve been vomit-free for 24 hours” policy, if she threw up at school, she’d be sent home immediately, and unable to come in the next morning. Fortunately for us, she usually ended up throwing up at home, either in the morning or evening, and after the first few visits to the gastro, we would just send her to school anyway (per the doctor’s recommendation, since it didn’t seem to be affecting her in any other way, and clearly wasn’t contagious).

      It was really frustrating for everyone involved.

      1. Jean*

        Could be GERD. My son has had this since he was an infant. He was a projectile puker back then. He’s mostly grown out of it now (he’s 7) but he still occasionally has short bouts of vomiting with no apparent trigger or other symptoms.

      2. JSPA*

        Airborne allergens -> wicked postnatal drip -> stomach full of phlegm can do this.

        So can “nauseated from high ozone levels + exercise” (or more dangerously, carbon monoxide, but that’s extra unlikely if it hits in multiple locations).

        Then there’s the middle & inner ear disturbances…

  3. Prof. Space Cadet*

    LW #2, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The important thing is that you found a new job (go you!). Your old boss doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

    I worked for a boss like this a few years ago. She was awful to pretty much all of her direct reports when they left and would say things like “well, that’s a kick in the gut” or “good luck, traitor” even to people who gave full notice periods, which in my field is often 4 weeks or more. I think she believed had “invested” in our careers by hiring us in the first place and therefore deserved say in how and when we left, which was a kind of messed up way to view the world. Fortunately, she got promoted to another role in the organization before I left, so I never had to face her wrath myself.

    1. WoodswomanWrites*

      While your notice period was short, your boss sounds like she’s only escalated bad behavior she was already engaging in. You mentioned that you’re new to the professional world and I can assure you that how she treated you is not typical in the workplace and is really egregious. A reasonable boss does not “yell” at their employees or lie to them. I understand it stung at the time when she didn’t say goodbye, but if she had spoken to you, it probably would have involved a lot of sharp words that you now don’t have hanging around in your brain. She intended to hurt you on purpose, and that’s horrible. Congratulations on getting out of there, and good luck with your new job!

    2. EPLawyer*

      The key here LW2 is you were leaving. Period. Whether your boss treated you well during your notice period. Whether your boss said good-bye on your last day. You were leaving. The fact that your coworkers congratulated you on getting out the toxic environment says its your boss, not you. Which again, who cares? You were leaving. That is what you need to focus on, instead of dwelling on your ex-boss.

      Now the interesting thing to me is your new job knows the convention of 2 weeks too. Somehow though they pushed you to give less notice to your former employer. When you move on from this job will they be okay with less than 2 weeks? I bet not. Something to keep in mind about this new job that seems shiny fresh and wonderful right now. Also, for future reference, you can gently push back on the start date by saying “I really need to give 2 weeks notice” which is not “I don’t want the job” but that I am a professional and treat others in a professional manner.

      1. Bagpuss*

        In fairness, the letter suggests that the LW had the option of stating the new job later – she said “(otherwise I would start at the end of February and I didn’t want to miss a paycheck)” so she could have given two weeks notice, two weeks before the later start date.
        It red to me that the new job offered the options of either starting on 3rd Feb or at a date at the end of Feb, and LW chose the earlier date, rather than the new employer demanding that she did so.

        1. Mookie*

          My impression, as well. Doesn’t mean LW could realistically or ought to forgo the income, but it thankfully sounds like she’s headed for greener pastures.

          1. Morning Glory*

            She wouldn’t have had to forgo income though if she’d waited and given two weeks notice before the later start date.

          2. snowglobe*

            She shouldn’t forgo income, but I don’t see why she couldn’t have waited another couple of weeks and given the standard two weeks notice before starting at the end February? Unless the place really is so toxic that she didn’t want to work there a day longer than she had to.

            1. Lily Rowan*

              Since the OP is so early in her career, I bet it didn’t occur to her that she could get the formal offer and just sit on it before giving notice.

              But seriously — this boss seems like a nightmare, and the OP is well rid of her! I can’t imagine two weeks would have gone much better.

              1. CmdrShepard4ever*

                This is my read as well, that OP is under the impression that they must give notice to the old job as soon as they accept an offer on a new job. OP to be clear that is not the case. You could accept a new job today that does not start for 2 or 3 months and wait to give notice until 2 weeks out from your start date that the new job.

                In fact if you ever have a job that does not want you to start for 3 or more weeks into the future you should not give notice until you are 2 weeks out, you never know what could happen: the company could go under, a sudden budget shortfall could cause them to cancel all new hires that have not started yet etc…

        2. Yorick*

          Yeah, that confused me too. She could have taken the late February start date and given notice at the old job in mid-February.

        3. Falling Diphthong*

          Yes, I also thought LW was offered Feb 3 or 17 as the two possible start dates. She could have accepted the latter, then waited a week and given her 2 weeks notice at this job.

          “The other place wants me start on Date X” is never going to be a compelling reason to your employer, just like every other thing the other place would find more convenient. You can decide that hitting that target is worth burning some credit at your current employer, or decide that preserving bridges here is worth pushing back at the new employer. (And if the new employer would expect 2 weeks notice, they have no grounds on which to demand new employees not offer that to existing employers.)

        4. Hey Karma, Over Here*

          I had the same take. OP didn’t realize that “two weeks is the convention” means that you can give more notice. As it is her first professional job, I don’t think she realized.
          So live and learn.

          1. Going anon*

            I once had a graduate student employee announce one week before a semester started that she had an opportunity to go do a prestigious internship in another city and that she would be back the next semester to take up her job again. She didn’t seem to think she was doing anything unprofessional. Admittedly, I didn’t handle it as well as I should have. But she had no idea that it would have been more courteous and professional to give me more notice and that she shouldn’t have assumed there would be a job waiting for her when she got back.

        5. SomebodyElse*

          Or give 3 weeks (or whatever) to have the start date coincide with what I’m guessing is payroll for the new company.

          I don’t love how the manager reacted, but most of it sounded like annoyance.

          I’m curious how the OP thought she should have been treated? I mean it’s very typical to be pulled off of projects, asked for final updates, and to be honest treated differently than the rest of the team that is staying. At the point that you give notice don’t most people just sort of ‘move on’ in their own head? You’re not part of the team anymore, you will be treated different, and you’re moving on to hopefully bigger and better things. The OP sounds a bit needy in this situation, if I’m honest.

          1. Peacock*

            Yeah, but it’s not typical for a manager to act disgusted when you hand your notice in, to avoid eye contact in the halls, to lie about whether emails have been received and not even say good bye on the last day. I imagine OP thought she should have been treated with respect and not been subject to petty behaviour, which is a perfectly reasonable expectation. I’m not sure why you’re characterising OP as “needy” for being upset that they were basically bullied in their last week in a job.

            1. Hey Karma, Over Here*

              Agreed. This is a bad manager. I don’t thing that OP did anything wrong; I think she didn’t understand her options.
              I also think this may be a blessing in disguise, or at least a helpful bit of info she may have discovered in a worse way, which is Think long and hard about using this boss as a reference. Give future interviewers a heads up that she did not take your leaving well. Investigate some AAM archives on that.

            2. SomebodyElse*

              I’m characterizing the OP as needy because I got the impression she wasn’t happy that she didn’t get a big happy wave and sendoff from her manager… and it’s obviously still bothering her after she’s left enough to write in about.

              Typically people would react with thoughts of “Jerk” and “Good Riddance” as they walked out the door to new opportunities and that would be the end of it.

              1. Anonapots*

                I think you’re reading a lot more into the psychology of the OP than is warranted. The OP listed a bunch of things, only one of which was that her boss didn’t say goodbye.

              2. Well Then*

                There’s a wide gulf between “big happy wave and sendoff” and the hostile behavior OP experienced. You’re being pretty harsh on the OP, who is young and inexperienced. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that “typically” people wouldn’t be bothered by a negative experience at the end of a job, and I actually find it to be the opposite with toxic jobs; it’s hard to shake off those bad feelings and people can carry that for a long time.

              3. Delphine*

                I don’t think it helps that Alison’s title for the letter frames the issue as one where an employee is upset that her boss didn’t say goodbye to her–when the real issue is that the employee is upset that her boss treated her terribly during her last week of work.

          2. Mediamaven*

            Agreed with everything you said and would add that not giving two weeks can impact anyone wanting to give you a reference, which can be super important especially early on in your career. You never want to leave a bad taste when you depart a job.

        6. Glitsy Gus*

          That was how I read it and, as my company does on-boarding twice a month as well, it sounds pretty normal.

          I do think for the future, OP, that is something to keep in mind, that you don’t need to tell your boss the second you take a new offer. If it’s a situation like this and, especially if you have a position where it really could take two weeks to transition everything, opt for the later date but then wait a week or so before telling your current boss. You could even split the difference, wait a few days then give a three week notice. I know that isn’t always best, but it is an option. If you do need to cut notice short it is a gracious thing to acknowledge it isn’t ideal, but unfortunately it can’t be avoided rather than “well, this is how it is” which can come off a bit calloused.

          All of that said, even with the short notice, your boss was being unreasonable. As Allison said, you may have made a faux pas here with your delivery of the news, but she is acting like a complete child and that is not on you.

      2. Workfromhome*

        As others have said I don’t read it like that at all and see no reason for concern about the new job at all. There clearly was an alternative to leaving with only 1 week notice which the new company offered “otherwise I would start at the end of February and I didn’t want to miss a paycheck” There is nothing to indicate the new company pressured the LW to leave early. It was the LW choice.

        1. WellRed*

          I don’t see a red flag, but I do think it bears repeating: You don’t *have* to start on the new company’s preferred date if that doesn’t work for you. Maybe you want or need to give two weeks (or more!) notice. Maybe you want to take a week off. OP’s options here could have included waiting until the second start date and waiting to give notice.

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            You rarely “have to” do doing anything. But there’s still consequences to not doing what a new employer prefers.

            That could result in some employers pulling an offer. Then you’re stuck in your hellish toxic job for longer. Especially when it’s your second job ever, this isn’t the time to take risks and wait it out. Job offers rarely flow at you in that time in your career.

            1. SomebodyElse*

              This is true, but in these situations then you have to be ready for the consequences of making (what could be) a choice.

              I think that’s the disconnect here. I mentioned just now up above that the OP could have handled it different, mostly in case they didn’t know (not everyone does know you can give more than 2 weeks notice and/or negotiate a start date). But if you decide to go with less than normal notice, then you can’t really be shocked that the decision might lead to unwanted consequences, including less than stellar references, being placed on a ‘no rehire’ list, etc.

              1. Anonapots*

                Nobody is talking about those things, though. The OP is specifically talking about behavior before she left, which kind of makes the less than two weeks notice pale in comparison. Her boss lied to her about emails, wouldn’t acknowledge her in passing, etc. These aren’t “normal” consequences of not giving the appropriate notice time.

            2. hbc*

              If the new company mentioned the potential later start date but would yank the offer if OP said, “Yeah, late February works better so I can give fair notice to my current company,” then she would be jumping from the toxic frying pan into the radioactive fire. A good employer actually might be concerned if they found out you stiffed your current company on notice–they’ll be wondering if you’d do the same to then.

              With the facts presented, OP made a mistake not giving two weeks notice, since she didn’t actually have to forgo a paycheck. But it was an understandable rookie mistake, and if everyone but Pouty Boss is congratulating her for getting out, the risk is pretty low.

            3. TootsNYC*

              I’m not a big fan of new employers who aren’t a little flexible about start dates.
              I had someone quit a freelance job mid-assignment because she was offered a full-time one and they wanted her to start the next day.

              I did ask her, “Are you sure you want to work for someone disorganized and rigid enough to require that?”

              She said, “Yeah, it doesn’t look good, but I desperately need a full-time job.”

    3. Oxford Comma*

      The OP should be aware that 2 weeks is the standard and there are consequences sometimes for not adhering to professional norms (not getting references, getting a reputation for being cavalier/unprofessional if you’re in a small industry/field).

      Also, the OP should be aware that you can sometimes tell a new employer that you have to wrap up ends, give your soon-to-be former employer notice, pack up and move, etc.)

      1. TootsNYC*

        you can also give THREE weeks notice so you don’t have to leave too early. Or four weeks.

        of course, some employers will get pissy about it, but most of them won’t care that much.

        1. Clementine*

          You could give three weeks or four weeks notice — and end up with three or four weeks without pay as a result.

          1. Glitsy Gus*

            If you think that will happen you can also just sit on the new job info for two weeks and then give standard notice.

    4. emptymountainecho*

      #2, exactly what I was going to say. It might have little or nothing to do with the two-week notice rule moreso than just a problem with your boss that’s her deal and not yours.

      I quit my last job because they lost our main contract and I was recruited by the company who’d won the contract. I gave my two weeks’ notice and they had a meeting with me the next day to ask if I was going to the new company. I said I was and they told me to pack up and leave. The owner, who was a terrible person, said nothing to me (no “goodbye” or “good luck). The company ended up folding in less than a year later. For something as common as this situation among government contractors, it really surprised me at how unprofessional they were about it all. *shrugs* It’s their problem, not yours.

    5. NotAnotherManager!*

      I don’t think I will ever understand this mentality. I am personally disappointed to lose good people, but many of them are going on to the next step in their career. It’s really hard to begrudge them that, and many of them have done really good work for us and are genuinely wished well in their future work. I also occasionally have people that want to come back, either because the next step ended up not being so great or they are coming back into a higher-level position, and being awful to them would burn that bridge. Expecting a good worker to be happy staying in a job forever just because it makes your life easier seems rather selfish.

  4. Just a frog sitting on a log sipping tea*

    #1 DON’T DO IT! Hiring a relative or partner of a manager above you is a recipe for disaster and could jeopardize your career. I’ve seen the outcomes of such an arrangement too many times.

    Relative gets job only because of the parent, sibling, uncle, aunt etc. They get special treatment and resentment from their coworkers because the new kid is “bullet proof” from any consequences. Save yourself from future headache and pass on this request.

    #4 I feel for you. I worked at a IT firm as an office admin. When a one of the most loved supervisors retired (best boss I ever worked for). Everyone was talking about her replacement (company usually hired from within), and who it could be.

    One employee “Chad” the resident Mr. Know-it-all, who caused more problems than did his job, announced that he would be applying for the job and since he was so “awesome”. Once he turned in his application, “Chad” started bossing people around “like he already got the job”, he called it “breaking us in” for when he was hired.

    10 employees (half of our department) marched down to HR threatening to quit if he was hired as our supervisor. Luckily they decided to hire from outside the company.

      1. Just a frog sitting on a log sipping tea*

        When the big boss held a town hall meeting to introduce the new supervisor, it was part relief/part crazy. When the big boss was starting the introduction, Chad got up and started walking towards big boss for some reason with a smirk on his face. Big boss noticed him and got a confused look on his face. He than announced that “Victoria” was our new supervisor and that we should all welcome her.

        Well Chad went into instant “rebel against the company” mode. He declared that he would never recognize Victoria as his supervisor, and she stole what was “rightfully” his. He tried to enlist all of us to support him, and when that didn’t work he decided to file a grievances against Victoria for imaginary slights and refused any attempt to work with her.

        He was fired a year later for sending out a company wide email threatening to “end the company” for the injustice he was done.

        1. EPLawyer*

          Wait did he think the company would publicly announce it before telling him privately?

          Glad the company fired him rsther than keeping him because “thats just chad being chad”

            1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

              (Horrible but possible) It took a year to get all the documentation to per-empt/serve as defense against a termination lawsuit (because the Chad’s of the world never recognize that their actions actually caused them to loose their job).

              1. Glitsy Gus*

                I could totally see him pulling a, “you’ll hear from my lawyer!” Having a lovely “I’m going to burn this place to the GROUND” email is a nice little Exhibit A to have in your pocket against that threat. It’s too bad everyone had to put up with his nonsense until he went that far.

                1. Where's the Orchestra?*

                  Oh the “burn it to the ground email” is just icing on the crazy cake that was Chad. I’m sure by the time he finally ended in a blaze of glory Chad had left quite a trail of documented proof that he needed to be let go.

          1. TootsNYC*

            And, really, if he’d applied, he should have been rejected directly to his face and politely well before Victoria’s first day!

            1. NotAnotherManager!*

              Yes! I recently passed over a current employee for supervisory position (for which they were, unfortunately, not qualified) and went with a more experienced outside hire, and we made sure to sit down and have a conversation with the current employee prior to any notice being sent out about the new supervisor’s hire. I think it’s weird that no one told him prior to the meeting… but it’s also possible that the Chads of the world think that the rejection notice is bogus and that they’re getting a surprise-party style promotion announcement.

            1. Slow Gin Lizz*

              I was gonna say something like that but wanted to stick to keeping politics talk off AAM. Not saying I disagree, though.

        2. Paulina*

          WTF. Did they not tell him (privately) he wasn’t successful, or did he decide to ignore that?
          I know that applicants that aren’t interviewed often don’t hear back, and that companies want to treat internal and external candidates the same, but in combination this can be problematic. However, nobody should think that they would be announced as hired before actually receiving (and accepting) a formal offer.

          1. PBS*

            It makes me wonder how many companies do announce (at least promotions) in a meeting as a surprise to the candidate, or how many people think this is normal behavior? I only say this because I have seen that behavior in numerous media, most recently a commercial for Indeed.

            1. NotAnotherManager!*

              I have never seen this happen in real life and tend to mutter, “That’s not how it works!” at such plot devices.

              I mean, even if you interview for the position, don’t you need to talk salary, etc. to make sure you actually want to take the job first?

          1. Just a frog sitting on a log sipping tea*

            I don’t know if they told Chad or not, since those decisions are kept confidential.

            I think the big boss thought that Chad would eventually settle down and accept Victoria as the supervisor. But, not getting the job was a blow to Chad’s overblown ego and his threatening company wide email finally got the big boss to realize that Chad needed to go.

            As for Chad the last I heard he tried suing the company for wrongful termination and hostile work environment.

            1. Slow Gin Lizz*

              “As for Chad the last I heard he tried suing the company for wrongful termination and hostile work environment.”

              Of course he did. Thanks for clearing up that mystery.

              1. Adric*

                Great, now I’ve got South Park’s “Biggest Douche in the Universe” sequence running through my head.

            2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

              Why am I not surprised that he filed a lawsuit? Called it up above before seeing this reply…..

          2. Oh No She Di'int*

            It is horrific. And I’ve been up close to a similar situation. Obviously I don’t know the Chad situation, but often these types of trouble-makers know how to go just far enough to where they get a warning or some sort of mild punishment and then lay low for a while. For example, someone might say, “We’re going to be watching you for the next 60 days.” And for 60 days they do indeed behave. But then they slowly get worse again. And then it’s another warning and the cycle starts all over. It’s very similar to some abusers in interpersonal relationships. They know how to push it just as far as they can . . . and then it’s all flowers and apologies and nicey-nice behavior.

            Again, not saying that this is what happened with Chad. Just saying that’s one explanation that I have seen in effect.

            1. Just a frog sitting on a log sipping tea*

              You nailed it, Chad actions were just enough under the radar to prevent a pip, but when the bosses weren’t around he was just awful.

              I wish I was making this up, but I’ve worked in to many jobs where there’s always a Chad/Karen/energy vampire, etc. I think it’s an unspoken hiring law that you have to have so many of these different types of douche bags in every company.

          3. Glitsy Gus*

            I know, I feel bad for Victoria. How awful to have to put up with that for so long (assuming it was upper management/company policy when it came to terminations, not that she was the one who decided to give him a years’ worth of rope).

      1. Derjungerludendorff*

        I’m imagining a queue forming outside the manager’s office, winding all the way around the corner.

    1. acmx*

      Your old supervisor doesn’t sound so great if Chad was “the resident Mr. Know-it-all, who caused more problems than did his job” with seemingly no consequences (he was allowed to apply for an internal position).

    2. Artemesia*

      Re the relative. Absolutely. This should be a hard ‘no’ immediately ‘I am sure Janice is terrific but it would be completely inappropriate to hire her into a department you head — if she wants to work here, we need to see if there are openings in other divisions where she could apply.’ Any hesitation or ‘just give her an interview’ or maybes etc has only disaster as the outcome. There are lots of situations where ‘absolutely not’ actually is more graceful and effective than weasling along being ‘tactful.’

      1. Just a frog sitting on a log sipping tea*

        Re: #1 this is most definitely tricky situation for the OP. A definite no would be justifiable and the right move, but often the most logical decision isn’t what happens. The OP needs to protect their own employment as well, so a trip to HR or a higher up is warranted.

      2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I’m going to suggest checking for any rules about relatives being in the same chain of command, because that I think might be OP1’s best argument here. This could give the impression of favoritism to other employees if we’re not super careful could also be a good line of defense.

      3. Glitsy Gus*

        I think that is a good way to handle it, focusing on how having her on her dad’s team would be a bad idea, but if there are other departments she could maybe apply there. It really brings the focus on the conflict of interest, not on the not wanting to hire Daughter, which could easy any personal sting that might be there of Boss is more sensitive.

  5. River Song*

    OP #3, I think you have a very kind impulse, butif I were you, I woul just trust your employee on this one. I have a kid who would never go to school if I kept her at home when she said she doesn’t feel good. She’s just not a morning person and usually she complains that something or other hurts while she’s getting ready for school. Unless she has a fever, I send her to school and tell her to have her teacher text me if she keeps feeling bad. 99% of the time, she’s fine and when she’s not I pick her up. I haven’t figured out a better way to handle it!

    1. NeonFireworks*

      This was me! I spent so much of my life waking up feeling dreadful, and getting out of bed only at the last minute. Fifteen years of that – well into adulthood – before I saw a specialist and was diagnosed with sleep fragmentation; I thought I was sleeping well but was not. My sleep quality was very poor, and I woke up in urgent need of sleep nearly every day, which made getting started exceedingly hard. My only regret is not figuring this out long, long before, because mornings were almost invariably horrendous and difficult and then stressful for so long. Anyway, a possibility to investigate if it feels right!

      1. Tiffany Hashish*

        Quick tangent for Neon – could I ask what kind of specialist you saw for this revelation? Your entire post sounds like me except for the diagnosis!

        1. NeonFireworks*

          For sure. I got a referral to a sleep medicine specialist who is also a psychiatrist, and did a whole battery of tests. The overnight sleep study showed that I was never sleeping for more than about 4 mins in a row. Treatment has totally changed my life: I wake up and I get up! I hope you are also able to find solutions!

      2. Oranges*

        I want to second this recommendation since I’ve read your replies to other comments. I see a lot of parallels of my own symptoms/issues (bodily feelings of emotions and feeling “ill” in the morning which goes away as long as I have gotten enough sleep) and getting a sleep study was life changing for me.

    2. cheeseburger*

      I read the OP as having a much younger kiddo- like daycare age where this time of year is round the clock sickness. So not verbal/reliably verbal ;)

      To which I would also say leave it up to the employee, but make sure s/he knows the offer for leave is solid.

      1. Guacamole Bob*

        My daughter was a bit like this for a while her last year of day/care preschool, by which time she was plenty verbal.

      2. Hey Karma, Over Here*

        At my company, if you show up, you get credit for the day, even if you walk in, tell your boss you’re sick and driving home. Employee could be trying to do something like that. And I’m not discrediting it, with limited sick days, it becomes a real decision you have to make.

        1. (insert name here)*

          Honestly, with a child in daycare, even with a significant number of sick days, you are still making this call.

          The first 12 months my daughter was in daycare I used 5 weeks of PTO for her sickness or occasionally when I would get sick. My husband stayed home at least as much as me. We were constantly making choices on how sick was too sick to send her to school.

          Some of it was that she just tended to spit up more than most babies and since that classroom was hit hard with the stomach flu that year, the teachers had a hair trigger for anything that resembled vomit. We got called to pick her up plenty of times when she wasn’t really sick. She’d spit up if she drank a bottle too fast or if she had bunch of mucus from a cold, but 8 babies with the stomach flu at the same time makes made them understandably risk averse. It wasn’t all that. Sometimes she was sent home when she was legitimately sick and sometimes we sent her to daycare with a cold and we knew we might get called to pick her up, but we wanted to get a half day in because we were coming up on a combined 10 weeks of sick days.

          We had a talk with the daycare about the spit up and it got better, but I’m glad my boss was understanding about me leaving early so frequently. Thankfully now, I can WFH, which is a huge help.

          Then when she was about 15 months, a switch flipped and now she never gets sick. As in her pediatrician sometimes forgets I have 2 kids because she only sees my daughter for her annual check up and flu shot. She’s 7 now and has been to the doctor out side of her annual visits probably only once in the last 5 years, though she’s had a cold probably 2-3 times.

          My son was never that bad but was also never that good either.

    3. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Mine had a horrendous case of food poisoning when he was 2, and it wrecked his digestive system for the next 1-2 years. He’d throw up a lot, was suddenly lactose intolerant (but then wasn’t anymore two years later…) He may have also had motion sickness. Which meant he’d most likely throw up soon after a car ride. His daycare had a policy that, once a child throws up, they are considered contagious, had to be picked up from daycare immediately, and are not allowed back at daycare in the next 24 hours. I lost count of how many times I’d drop him off, get to work, and within a half-hour my phone would ring and it’d be the daycare telling me to pick him up. Happened at least once a week. That was in the late 90s before WFH was a thing. I totally get it that the daycare had to err on the side of caution, but if my parents weren’t semi-retired and living in the area, I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep my job, that’s how bad it was. My point is that, in addition to what you said, daycares also have very strict definitions of what being sick means and it does not always mean actually being sick – so it might be that OP’s employee is not, in fact, making a sick child go to daycare, but that the child checks off the boxes on their list of what sick means, when he’s actually not. It is what it is and I am glad that OP is so good in allowing the parent to comply with the daycare rules.

      1. River Song*

        That’s a good point! It could be something as simply as the child is prone to getting a heat rash and daycare errs on the side of caution.

      2. BetsyTacy*

        Yeah. Really, this happens so much at daycare – kids get sick. It also will happen in odd patterns – for a while, one of my kids would get sick only on Tuesdays. They would spike a fever right when they woke up from nap and I would get that call around 2PM to pick them up. I have also had a perfectly fine kid just throw up (full Exorcist style) in the middle of daycare, never to have had any indication of sickness before or after. Kids are weird.

        You’re an awesome boss for caring and being understanding. Just keep demonstrating this level of flexibility and understanding.

        1. Quill*

          When I was about six, I was given three juice boxes of Hi-C at a soccer game and projectile vomited on the belt in the checkout at a local grocery store. I apparently also puked multiple times I was given other red drinks, and I forgot about all of it beyond that I was “allergic to red” until one day when we were shopping there when I was 10 and the checkout lady went, “Oh, I remember you!” to me and my mom.

          I refused to set foot in that store for nearly eight years.

      3. pieces_of_flair*

        Yup. My daughter was “fever-prone” (official pediatrician diagnosis) when she was little. The school was constantly calling us to pick her up because her temperature was above 99, and then we had to keep her home the next day because of the 24 hour rule. She was perfectly fine, no actual symptoms besides the “fever.” I was burning up my sick leave like crazy. We had to go to the principal and ask that they stop taking her temperature.

        So yeah, there are all kinds of reasons a kid can be sent home sick even though it was totally reasonable for the parents to have sent them to school/daycare that morning.

        1. hbc*

          Oh, yeah, my daughter got a slight fever if she saw a germ across the room. I think I was lucky because she usually had zero other symptoms, so people didn’t check her often. Meanwhile, my son would pick up every cold that came by and looked like a hot mess every other week, except he never got fevers, so the 98.6F mess never got sent home.

          1. 'Tis Me*

            I had a super-sensitive stomach as a child, to the point that my school actually learnt to ask if I was ill and needed to go home or had just been sick but was fine…

        2. Valprehension*

          Oh wow, 99 is a ridiculous margin! our temperatures probably naturally fluctuate by more than that over the course of the day. And anyway, different people actually have different baselines – 98.6 is just the average – some people’s normal temperature is somewhat lower, others is somewhat higher (i.e. potentially over 99!)

        3. Perbie*

          Grr, a real medical definition of fever is 100.4 or more for an hour
          Or any single temp of 101.4
          (And yes you can still be sick and not have a fever, even very sick, but that’s the theshold if you’re just looking at temp)

      4. Kyrielle*

        One of my kids was out of daycare for a day and a half after having a “fever”…the blanket we’d sent for him that week was on the larger side (but he loved it), and rather than putting just one layer over him, they had wrapped him in like four layers of blanket. The “fever” was gone within 15 minutes of my taking him out of the blanket and loading him in my car…but he still couldn’t go back the next day, because of the “fever”.

        (And yes, I made him take in a less-favored blanket that was smaller, after that.)

      5. bluephone*

        I just read an article about how pinkeye rules at schools and daycare centers (similar to the throwing up rule in terms of like, the kid needing to stay away from the school for 24 hours, needing a doctor’s note before returning, etc) are leading to way too much reliance on antibiotics for pink eye cases that don’t require it. Pink eye can be bacterial, viral, or allergy-related–and there’s really no surefire way to discern which kind you have. In addition to overusing antibiotics, parents are unfairly affected by expensive doctor visits, time off from work, scrambling to find childcare for their kid until they can return to school or daycare, etc. I’ve been getting allergy-related pinkeye each time the seasons change because: allergies! I’m lucky I can work from home on those days so my germaphobe coworkers don’t freak out.

        Of course I can’t remember the article now, to link to it :(

        1. (insert name here)*

          Our doctor was on top of that when our kids were babies. We cold just email him and he’d call in the script and then email school. We could fill the script or not. I usually filled it because my daughter liked playing with her poop as an infant and it was usually bacterial. Babies are gross.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Anxiety can manifest in physical pain at any age but especially as a child.

      If she’s bullied and scared to share that with you, it can be what’s going on.

      If she’s abused by a teacher or older child, it can happen as well.

      Please think about having her see a child therapist to see why she’s doing this. It can be a sign of trauma. It’s worth looking into.

      1. River Song*

        We actually did! Her anxiety manifests as her stomach hurting. But when she’s tired, her head hurts. It took us awhile to figure it all out and be sure, and I was definitely worried about her being bullied, but everyone we have seen seems to agree that she just sensitive physically to her feelings

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          I’m glad you got her checked, sometimes prolonged therapy for this helps as well just so she has a safe spaces. I was left in speech therapy for a couple years longer than I needed because my attachment to the program/teacher/safe space.

          I lost massive amounts of weight, was constantly cranky and felt sick the entire year of grade 3 because of the anxiety associated with having a teacher who was rude AF to me to sum it up quickly. And I had a lot of problems with older kids picking at me because I was their size…but not their age.

          1. River Song*

            I am so sorry you went through that! It took me awhile to figure it out because while I sometimes struggle withanxiety, it looks very different to how she experiences it. It’s always a good reminder that anxiety doesnt look the same for everyone. She was in first grade and while she is extremely verbal (extremely. Exhaustingly so sometimes!) she didnt have the words to describe how she felt.

    5. Quill*

      If you start noticing a pattern as to what hurts, it’s possible she’s sleeping on it wrong or something weird is going on with growing pains.

      I woke up multiple times as a kid with various muscles unable to properly move, still dunno what it was except it was pretty prevalent in my feet and lower legs and as an adult, my feet are definitely a non-standard shape.

      1. River Song*

        It took me awhile to be sure, but she just feels things physically, if that makes sense? If she’s anxious, her stomach hurts. If she’s tired, her head hurts. It generally clears up as she perks up in the morning, but if she doesn’t sleep enough she really does feel sick all day. We have to be really kind of militant about bedtimes, even losing an extra 30 minutes and she feels terrible the next day.

  6. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    #2 – it’s bad form to give less than 2 weeks BUT you sometimes have to live with limited time frames. Most employers would not just allow you to, but EXPECT you to do so. If the new position afforded you to join a few weeks later – you indicated late February – then you could have given even MORE than two weeks.

    Thinking about the last times I resigned from a job – most recently it was three months, because it was a retirement, although the company branded my resignation as a termination and I received no “good luck” from management after 20+ years. Before that one – two weeks; before that one, a month. Now that I’m working on a contract basis with a new situation, we joked “what if you won Powerball?” – I remarked to my wife, ” a contract is a contract is a contract”….

    I think I would have a problem accepting a position if I were told “you have to start in a week” or “you have to start Monday”. If they wouldn’t grant that concession, then I’d decline the offer. BUT,

    – I don’t know your situation with your former employer and
    – I don’t know how spectacular your new job is and
    – I’m not you

    1. Willis*

      Yeah, it sounded like it was a possibility on the new job’s end for LW to start in late February. So, why not take that option, then wait to give notice at the old job till it was 2 weeks out? You’d give standard notice but not lose a paycheck. Of course if there is a big pay difference or LW was just done with current job (and maybe rightfully so with the yelling and immature boss) she may not care about giving 2 weeks anyway. But it kind of seems like there was an easy option here other than one week notice. That said, the boss’s reaction is still crappy and I find it hard to believe it would’ve been a 180 with another week’s notice.

      1. JamieS*

        I doubt the boss would’ve been a ton better with the standard notice but it’s possible. Sometimes people overreact to “slights” like this even though it’s not at all reasonable behavior. If nothing else giving the extra week would’ve at least made OP be completely in the right for whatever that may be work to them.

        1. PhyllisB*

          It’s also possible that OP was afraid of being shown the door if she gave earlier notice. I’ve had that happen to me at two jobs where I tried to give proper notice and was told “Well, you can go ahead and leave now.” Then I was left with no paycheck until the new job started. Yes, we shouldn’t be in a situation where losing a week or two of pay is bad, but life..

          1. Not a Blossom*

            A friend of mine just went through this. Her boss had always been terrible, but when she gave her notice, he had a meltdown and had her escorted out that day. There was no security reason; he was just an ass. (I take pleasure in knowing he shot himself in the foot by doing so.)

          2. Clisby*

            Then why not give a later notice? She says she could have started her new job at the end of February.

        2. Nonprofit Nancy*

          Yeah but now they have a clear-cut complaint to make on a reference. “OP left us in the lurch, she didn’t give the standard two weeks notice” is a valid complaint to make if asked about OP.

      2. A reader*

        Yeah, I’m not sure why the new job couldn’t just have the OP start at the end of the month. Maybe the OP was worried the new job would change their mind in that extra time, and then OP wouldn’t have either job.

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          A yeller of a boss might well fall into Alison’s description of one who might not let you work out your notice period… OP may have planned for the possibility there would be no work after the day they gave notice.
          (It would be consistent with not wanting to miss a pay period.)

        2. Bernice Clifton*

          Some large companies / orgs have specific days they have people start so they knock out the same orientation with several people at once instead of onboarding people piecemeal.

      3. Thankful for AAM*

        It sounds like they get paid monthly (and that can mean a month after they work) where the LW is so that could mean missing a full months pay or waiting an extra month for a paycheck depending upon how it works and the LW might not be in a position to do that.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          This was what my brain went to immediately – that one or both of these jobs paid monthly as OP’s major concern was missing a paycheck.

          Also, missing a paycheck can be a much bigger deal to a younger employee who may not have as much of a safety net and possibly big student loan payments on top of normal bills of life. (Not saying that more experienced employees couldn’t also have situations where a missed paycheck is a disaster either, life isn’t always predictable for anyone.)

      4. Hey Karma, Over Here*

        I’m confused about that as well.
        OP, do you understand that you can give MORE than two weeks? You could have told your boss the new job was starting in late February and you’d like to work through the month.
        Please keep that in mind for the future.

        1. Janey-Jane*

          Or even just wait until mid-february to give your current boss notice. You don’t have to tell your current employer the moment you accept a new job; just the courtesy of two weeks before you’re done.

        2. Bunny Girl*

          Honestly it sounds like her boss might have reacted that way either way. I was in a similar situation, I could have started in a week or in three weeks, I chose three weeks out of professional courtesy. I wish I had just quit on the spot. My boss made my last three weeks a living hell because she took it as a personal slight. LW’s boss treated her poorly during her last week. It’s up to the employee to see how their boss would react. I agree that they should keep this in mind in the future, but sometimes it’s better to put up with someone’s awful attitude for one week and lose that connection.

    2. I'm just here for the cats*

      I was a little confused by her response to the employer. She says “I explained the new job wanted me to start on the 3rd and left it at that (otherwise I would start at the end of February and I didn’t want to miss a paycheck.” But if you could have started end of february you could have given your 2 week notice begining febuary. for example if she was going to start on 2/24 she could have given notice on 2/10. There’s nothing stating that the moment you get a new job you have to let your current employer know.

  7. There's probably a cat meme to describe it*

    OP1: This is so worth spending the capital on and going above your boss if you can! On top of her sub-par resumé, I’d be worried what it says about her skills, work ethic and attitude if she’s only able to get a job if it’s “given” to her.

    When talking to the higher up, I’d think about how I could present the role requirements in a way that’s quantifiable and leaves little room for someone to minimise if they don’t have a good understanding of that role function. Eg, I wouldn’t want to list a skill in xyz accounting software for them to respond with “but Maddy’s great at computer stuff, she’ll pick it up in no time!”. So I’d find a way to make that skill about A Significant Responsibility instead. Eg: processing $xxx,000 in payments each month, ensuring abc government compliance, etc. That’s suddenly a more concerning prospect if she’s young, lacking life experience, or won’t be in a role with a level of oversight that could guarantee major mistakes aren’t made.

    If she’s a recent graduate, perhaps you could offer a compromise of taking her on as an unpaid intern/trainee for a short time to help build her work skills? But right now you need an experienced person with specific qualifications that take time to acquire, so lean hard on that as Alison says.

    1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      It’s a definite conflict of interest, no matter how much OP’s boss says he’ll be hands off. He would be indirectly managing his daughter and in most places outside of family owned businesses, that’s a no go. I’d have one conversation with him to see how reasonable he is going to be, and then escalate it if he refuses to consider that this would be a very bad idea.

    2. Annony*

      I agree that this is something to avoid at all costs. Hiring your boss’s daughter would be tricky enough if she were well qualified for the roll. She isn’t. Your boss is asking you to pass on better qualified candidates who would require less training in order to give her daughter a break. That is very unprofessional.

    3. Hey Karma, Over Here*

      So many questions. Is the boss the owner? How big is the company? How much influence does the boss have? In my company, your family can’t work for you. But there are spouses, parents, children (and yes a grand) all work for us. 1500 people.
      I’d ask him how serious he is about her. If he wants his daughter to have the job, why doesn’t he just give it to her? Does he want her to get it on her own? Cuz, um, no. That’s not what’s happening. If he wants you to give it your blessing, so to speak, tell him that you can’t.
      And then see what he says. Please let us know!

      1. Harried Harry*

        I agree that it matters a lot whether the “boss” is an owner. My field has a lot of companies that are passed down through generations, so it’s pretty routine that the young adult children of partners will interview for fairly entry-level positions – with the interview really just being a formality and learning experience for the boss’s child – and then some of those children decide fairly early on that the field or company isn’t for them long-term and move on to somewhere else, while others will work their way up through various departments and positions over the course of decades. To spend a lot of capital on your objection to interviewing/selecting/working with the boss’s child would be viewed here as just throwing a hissy fit, and would probably result in putting you on the track that eventually leads out the door.

        1. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

          Hmmm. At first I didn’t get much sense that boss = owner, but re-reading it now that could definitely be the case. If so, I agree that would drastically change how I’d proceed. Hoping OP can clarify in the comments.

        2. Paquita*

          My company is like this. Family owned. Dad is CEO, son is president, daughter is something. Account manager I think. Son and daughter started at (almost) the bottom and worked up. Couple of grandkids also work there. Since there are around 700 people at the main office, and about 8,000 employees total, it’s big enough to not be an issue.

      2. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

        That’s an interesting way to flip it… she doesn’t have the qualifications to even get an interview, therefore if boss insists she be hired the whole process would be a farce. So skip it under “boss’s directions”…

        He’d either be forced to outright admit nepotism, back down from it, or exert undue influence in the selection process. All avenues that provide opportunity for documentation that could protect OP down the track.

        Keen to hear what others make of this as I’m outside US and don’t know how this would go down. But there might be something here.

      3. Jean*

        If boss IS an owner, the reason he’s not just straight up giving his kid a job is because either 1) company policy expressly forbids it, 2) he knows it’s unethical and thinks going about it like this will somehow keep his hands clean, or 3) both.

        Push back on this, OP. There is no effective way for you to manage your boss’s kid. DANGER ZONE.

        1. OP1*

          The boss is not the owner. It is no longer a family business, but it was, and that does affect the norms here. No company policy forbids working or hiring relatives.

    4. Run one Run*

      I agree totally agree. OP1: This is a disaster waiting to happen.

      I worked for a small business (3 full time employees and my boss, the owner) for several years. We didn’t need more staff but he hired his just-graduated daughter for an entry-level position allegedly reporting to me. I wasn’t happy about it but I understood that it was his decision as the owner.

      I have never been more frustrated as a manager. She was slow, ineffective, and often rude to customers, but every time I tried to give her positive, constructive feedback I got pushback from him. She once didn’t put stamps on outgoing letters and when they were returned he reprimanded me for not reminding her to put stamps on. I once asked her to do a simple task while I was away for a few days, and returned to find it undone. I expressed my disappointment and was quickly called into a meeting with him in which he told me he was “disappointed I was disappointed.”

      I stayed longer than I should have because I didn’t realize how quickly my idea of being a manager warped, and it made me a worse manager to my other reports. Don’t do it.

      1. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

        She… didn’t put stamps on outgoing letters and you got in trouble for that? Wow. But full disclosure, I am also giggling a little. If anyone needs to illustrate the need for adulting life experience, there you go. Glad you escaped.

      2. Well Then*

        The “he was disappointed that I was disappointed” made my brain explode. That is just next-level terrible management. How did he ever think this was a good idea? Glad you got out!

    5. Wing Leader*

      Avoid at all costs if possible. I had a boss who hired her daughter once. As is typical, her daughter was immune to all criticism and punishment while the rest of us got our heads bitten off.

    6. Artemesia*

      I don’t think it matters if she is competent or not. This kind of nepotism where a child is essentially a subordinate of the parent is bad news in any case and where another person is the direct manager between the parent and child employee it is untenable for them. The only exception is a family business where the offspring is essentially apprenticing before taking over the business one day. It can still be difficult but at least the roles are clear there.

      1. Well Then*

        Agreed. Maybe it’s easier to push back on this as a concept – “I’m not comfortable managing a close family member of yours” – than trying to show that she’s not qualified as a candidate. There’s less to argue with, and it won’t come off as a personal slight to the daughter.

  8. Kevin Sours*

    OP #2
    “otherwise I would start at the end of February and I didn’t want to miss a paycheck”

    If that was the only concern (the new job had set start dates but wasn’t specifically pushing for a fast start) there is really nothing stopping you from giving a longer notice or delaying your notice after accepting the new gig so that it’s two weeks from when you agreed to start (if you are worried about your current place asking you to end earlier thus missing the paycheck after all). All things being equal, that would have been the better approach.

    But if the new place really wants the fast start. Or if the salary difference is significant enough that the money loss is a big deal. Or you absolutely couldn’t stand another month at the old place. Things happen. And your old boss should roll with it.

    But it’s no longer your circus nor your monkeys so don’t sweat it.

    1. Batgirl*

      This seemed strange to me as well; if she missed the first two weeks of the month at new job, then surely old job would have paid her for those weeks as she’s still working there? Does OP think you have to work an entire month before you get paid at all?
      Either way, what new job says goes. If an early start date is insisted upon then you have to weigh up whether it’s worth burning the old job bridge. It doesn’t sound like much of a loss in this case. She just needs to get around the reference issue.

      1. Thankful for AAM*

        Some places pay monthly and pay is made late in the next month, after you work. There could be a gap the LW wanted to avoid.

        1. 'Tis Me*

          My company currently runs pay roll on the 4th of the month. I believe it’s about to move to the 6th (with our pay day also moving back a few days)… We also get paid a month in arears, so starting 3rd Feb instead of 27th Feb would make the difference between being paid for ~1 month’s work late March and ~1 week’s work late March. If the old company pays her weekly/fortnightly, that could mean the difference between going 5 or 6 weeks between pay, and 7 or 8 weeks with only 1 week’s pay in that time…

      2. Allypopx*

        I’ve often not gotten a raise or a paycheck for three weeks after it goes into effect because of how pay cycles fall. That can be really tough.

    2. Goofy*

      To me it sounds like the new job came with a pay increase, so she wanted to start on the earliest possible date they offered.

  9. Observer*

    #3 – You need to stay out of it. Of course, do as Alison advises on enabling people to actually take the time. But you simply don’t have enough information to go any further. Your instinct that it’s totally not your place to question the parent is sound.

    On top of everything else, the parent may be doing the best thing for the kid. While it may seem obvious to you that the kid was too sick to go to daycare in the first place, you really don’t know that. In addition to the examples the others have given, it’s worth noting that many day cares send kids home even when they really could be at the daycare with no risk to the other children.

    1. WS*

      +1, I was that constantly sick kid. But I was never contagious – I had an autoimmune condition and severe allergies. If I was too sick for school, I’d join my younger brother’s in home daycare. I was very rarely so sick that I needed parental care and to be at home, even when I wasn’t well enough to go to school for weeks on end.

      1. Annony*

        Also, it is entirely possible that the kid was fine in the morning and got sick later. I had a tendency to do that when I was young. One time I literally passed out with the flu getting off the bus, but I felt perfectly fine when I got on. My sister had a sensitive stomach and would get sent home for throwing up when she wasn’t really sick and felt perfectly fine afterwards.

        Overall, it is good to make sure that your employee knows that she can take the time off, but don’t push it because she probably knows better than you what is best for her kid.

        1. Librarian of SHIELD*

          Even as an adult I tend to feel normal when I wake up and not realize I’m not feeling well until I’ve been at work for a couple of hours. I honestly have no idea why, but some people just seem to be that way.

    2. Extroverted Bean Counter*

      Your last point: there are soooooo many reasons that a kid can be sent home needlessly. There’s the comments upthread about the “fever today, fine tomorrow, fever again the next day” yo-yo illnesses that persist for weeks. There’s the fact that diarrhea can be normal/not a problem/not a sign of contagious illness for up to 14 days but may daycares have the “fever, vomit, and diarrhea free for 24 hours” rule (at which point you pump your poor kid full of probiotics, bread, and bananas and pray they only have wet diapers during the day). Ear infections and teething present with fevers but are not contagious.

      And sometimes they’re understaffed and throw a Hail-Mary pass and try to see if a kid can go home instead of having to call in a sick or vacationing staff member to keep ratios up. I’ve long suspected that my daycare will call me to come get a kid if they’re facing a tough staffing ratio situation – especially my little one who is always rosy-cheeked, always a clingy hugger, and in the infant/toddler rooms where the ratios are much more strict and difficult to maintain. It’s an uncharitable assumption, but I’ve had my kiddos sent home only to be perfectly fine on suspicious days (eg: Friday before long holiday weekends) too many times to not wonder.

  10. rudster*

    2 – Unless you are a high-level employee in a unique position, one week is objectively plenty, whatever the “convention” might be. How much notice would the company give you? I suspect the LW didn’t push back on the start date because she wanted to get of the toxic environment as soon as possible. I once did gave a week to get to away from a toxic boss (new boss – I had been at the company for 12 good years). He was flunky of the new CEO from his old job and generally a jerk, dumb as rocks, and obnoxious (once in a meeting “with the boys”, telling a crude, sexual joke about Eastern European women of a certain profession – er, my wife is Eastern European and that is exactly her profession – it took all my self-control not to confront him in the moment).
    I quit because, among other things, he conspired with a flunky of his own to steal credit for a successfully project of mine that involved 200 hours of unpaid overtime on my part and 6 weeks out of town away from my newborn twins, flat-out lied on my performance review, and put me on a bogus PIP. I was actually going to quit then and there, but my wife convinced me on the phone to bide my time and seek an opportune moment. Several months later I gave one week. He was ticked off, but really just that I had quit on my own terms instead of letting him push me out, like he had done with several other long-term, valued employees who had been there much longer than me. I found out after I lift that a number of other employees who had been with the company for many years and had always been presumed would become “lifers” had left specifically because of his stunts (such as hiring a bunch of “young gun” engineers and putting them in an “incubator” to dream up “new technologies” with no accountability or oversight, while forcing the exempt experienced engineers, who were doing the actual work of the company, to work 55+ hours week after week to keep the place running). His nickname said it all – I won’t quote it here, but let’s just say it strongly implied that he was a person who could not be trusted and would stab you in the back as soon as you turned around. Anyway, I quit giving one week after I had set up my freelance business and never looked back. LW is fine, boss is being immature.

    1. Fikly*

      She’s fine unless she wants a reference.

      I mean you are free to break all the conventions you want, but that doesn’t mean you will be free from the consequences of doing so.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        I once worked for a yeller. I wouldn’t have used him as a reference in a million years because he was unpredictable in his reactions in many ways.

          1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

            I still wouldn’t use that boss as a reference. Based on past behavior, the boss is a wild card anyway and I wouldn’t risk it.

          2. The Other Dawn*

            Right. And even if she doesn’t list that boss as a reference, there’s nothing to stop an employer from contacting them anyway. Happens often in my experience.

            1. Glitsy Gus*

              True, but if you have someone else from that job as a reference, your team lead, another manager or whatever, who gives you a great reference, then the manager is less than stellar they either even out, or it does look like the manager is being petty for some reason or another. There was one situation where I flat out told the person I was interviewing with that I had put my Team lead rather than my manager down as my reference for that very reason. I have no idea if they bothered calling Manager, but I know they did call Team Lead and I did get the job. I think most logical people understand this can happen.

      2. Mookie*

        Unless that reference will lie or has other tales to tell, no one is likely to pull an offer because she gave this person a week’s notice. Sounds like the manager made her bed and is angry about having to use it; sauce for yelling ganders time.

        1. Oxford Comma*

          That’s not how it always goes down, though.

          One of two things can happen. Someone contacts old employer because they know old employer and they just want to suss out the applicant. Old employer is not going to specifically call out leaving with little/no notice, but they will say some things about lack of professionalism, maturity, attitude, etc.

          Or the applicant lists the former manager as a reference because they haven’t thought this through and the reference will talk about lack of professionalism, maturity, attitude, etc.

          So now you’re the employer and you would be reading all of those as little red flags that might cause you to question bringing someone in for an interview or offering them a job.

      3. Observer*

        This is a good point. On the other hand, given this supervisor’s behavior, I doubt that the OP could have depended on a good reference anyway.

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          Yep. My advice to the OP, given the big picture, is stay in touch with someone else who worked with you int hat job as a back-up reference. Ideally someone who was above you, but if that isn’t possible, someone you worked close with who could really speak to your skills.

    2. Random commenter*

      Companies might not give you notice, but the good ones will give you severance in lieu of notice.

    3. DirectorOfSomething*

      I am surprised that everyone seems so cavalier about the 1 week notice. Personally I would be pretty annoyed as a manager. Presumably if you are a good employee, you are carrying the weight of a bunch of important projects. Now I have 1 week to come up with a plan to transition your work? Two weeks is the standard and just like I bend over backwards to make sure my employees have everything they need to succeed and shine, I would ask for the same level of respect. I don’t expect you to stay in this job forever, and if you gave me the professional norm of a 2 week notice, I would be totally happy for you. Bummed for me, but happy for you. However instead you just put me in a really tough spot.

      If one of my employees came to me tomorrow and told me that they were leaving in a week, I would take that as an f-you to this current job. The job I gave them and nurtured them through. Although I would (I hope) maintain professionalism, I would no longer prioritize their emails, invest in the relationship or go out of my way to make them feel great about this decision. I would try to transition their work as quickly as possible – moving projects to others. If I could do that within a few days, I would rather they just go.

      1. Random commenter*

        While I agree that the 1 week notice isn’t great, this feels like an extreme reaction.
        Remember that the “job that you nurtured them through” was a mutually beneficial arrangement, not a gift. Though it wasn’t the case here, it usually safe to assume that if an employee is leaving with short notice, it’s because they need to, not because they’re trying to screw you over.

        1. DirectorOfSomething*

          Yeah, fair enough. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just feels like this letter-writer did something kinda crappy and then is frustrated that everyone isn’t just ignoring the crappy and celebrating them. I guess I am just saying I understand why this manager would be annoyed and not bending over backwards to make them feel like everything is great.

        2. Jean*

          Thank you. The comment you replied to is pretty out of touch, and frankly doesn’t seem like that commenter even reads this blog.

          1. ManagerOfSomething*

            ouch. I guess it’s time to work on my compassion for any future one-week-notice departing employees. I didn’t realize my comment came off so out of touch – although in re-reading it I can see how it can. It’s my own lens of fairness and I do see that the employee’s manager was petty in this case. Still. Will work on doing better.

  11. rudster*

    Ah, #3 brings back fond memories of watching follow parents in the daycare parking lot doping their kids with infant Tylenol before dropoff in the hopes that they might be able to get most of the day in before the dreaded call to come pick up their kid. If you don’t have kids in daycare, or it’s been a long time, it’s easy for forget that small kids in day care are sick *A LOT*, and the threshold for them calling you is pretty low (pretty much any elevated temperature, even if they don’t have outward signs of sickness). Unless you have unlimited sick time, it could easily eat up most of all of limited PTO.

    1. Guacamole Bob*

      Ah, yes, the dreaded call that they woke up from a nap with a temperature of like 99.7 and have to be picked up and not return for 24 hours. Why yes, little kids do sometimes get a little warm when they sleep. Wait half an hour and if their temperature is still warm, then call me. So frustrating!

      Having young kids in daycare and two working parents makes for some kind of callous-seeming judgments. Who has more important meetings or deadlines today and tomorrow? Can you split the day? Is it better to keep them home today and be able to send them back tomorrow, or to send them today and risk that they’ll be out tomorrow too if they spike a fever? How likely is the other kid to get whatever this minor bug is, and when, and should you call grandma to come stay for a few days because today is okay but the end of the week is super busy for both of you at work or one of you is travelling? No one sets out to be the parent giving their kid tylenol in the parking lot, but after weeks or months of these minor bugs wreaking havoc on your life, it’s understandable how people end up there.

      Now that my kids are early elementary age, I can afford to be way more generous about just keeping them home if I’m uncertain. My kids have missed a combined 3 days this school year, and when they’re home sick they usually want to watch cartoons all day and I can still get at least half a day of remote work in. It’s a whole different dynamic.

      1. Extroverted Bean Counter*

        My 3 year old was sick on a “school day” for the first time in a long time (thanks built-up immunity!) this month and it was honestly really relaxing to just hang out at home in our PJs together while she took frequent naps and nibbled at toast while watching all the Toy Story movies. I was able to put in more or less full days of work. When my 1 year old is sick, I can monitor my e-mail but that’s about it. I live in fear on the days he wakes up fussy that I’ll be getting a call and need to leave.

    2. Lockstep*

      And that’s why you also see sick kids at work: the parents don’t have time to stay-at-home with them and there are no daycare options for sick kids.

    3. Extroverted Bean Counter*

      *guiltily raises hand* Though we at least have enough shame to do the “prophylactic ibuprofen” at home. Sometimes they’re just under the weather a little bit – kind of fussy, low grade temp, but nothing else – and the medicine has them feeling right as rain. Especially if it’s Day 2 of a diagnosed ear infection where they’re not contagious, but the antibiotics haven’t had a chance to take effect yet.

      I thankfully do have unlimited sick time (as well as the flexibility to WFH, so “my kid is sick, I’ll get as much work done from home as I can” is bog standard and accepted in my group), but I was out of the office for 7 days in the last month due to kid illness and my own illness, and it’s still only February.

    4. Elizabeth Proctor*

      Daycare policies also can be wildly out of step with actual medical recommendations as far as contagion and staying home. So I don’t blame those parents one bit.

  12. Hello*

    I once tried to be nice by giving 4 weeks notice. My manager refused to talk to me or acknowledge my existence after that. We passed each other directly several times a day and she would look past me. Radio silence. After 2 weeks of this very awkward time I went to her boss saying that I was leaving at the end of the week and why. After I left she complained to coworkers that I didn’t say bye to her(???????)

      1. Carlie*

        Maybe though, because there is an implied “worth of” in there? As a descriptor, it would be “two-week notice”.

          1. Mookie*

            The construction using “of” that feels awkward to a fluent speaker is precisely why the genitive-denoting apostrophe is the favored method and the most intelligible.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      One of Alison’s rules is not to quibble. ;)
      But it’s an interesting grammar question for me. I’m in the camp that it is not a possessive, so it would be better as a ‘two-week notice” (not no plural, it’s equivalent to a “two-day sale.”)

      1. Lena Clare*

        I definitely don’t want to derail the thread, but I do like a good grammar discussion! I was thinking it was maybe a style thing, like there should be an apostrophe in women’s and men’s but there very often isn’t on the big signs you see in stores, because it looks better :)

        I like your analogy between it and the two-day sale.

      2. I Bet My Inferiority Complex Isn't As Well-developed As Yours*

        I guess it’s describing how much there is of a thing. I was trying to think of grammatical analogies, like with ‘a six-foot man’ or ‘ten-mile journey’ there’s no possessive and not even a plural. But ‘Five years jail’? Definitely need the plural, unless you weasel out with ‘a five year jail sentence.’ Still not an apostrophe though, I don’t think.

    2. Allypopx*

      Grammarly corrected it to “two weeks’ notice” on my comment below, for whatever that’s worth

  13. Notasecurityguard*

    OP4 I’ll say this. I was in your position once where a shitty coworker (uncooperative, holier-than-thou attitude, I’ll be diplomatic and say “old- school” opinions on race and gender, wanted to act like it was a military operation, etc.) Ended up getting a promotion which a bunch of us complained about to our higher up. And he was a power mad little tyrant wannabe soldier with a chip on his shoulder who in 6 weeks gave out 3 write-ups to various people (would have been 4 but on mine I’d given him a chance to object to the way I’d done things and he hadn’t and it was dumb and petty so I told him to escalate it to the big boss if he felt the need to).
    And idk maybe someone talked to him or maybe he just figured it out but like he just straight up got better. It was weird because like by the time I left a year later for a better job he was actually one of the better supervisors.

    So maybe Todd will get his shit together

    1. The Supreme Troll*

      I love your username…and I am a security guard (been an officer and a supervisor/manager of security staff for many years, not always a troll). The characteristics of your supervisor are characteristics that I would NEVER tolerate in myself nor anybody who works on my team. I am really glad that he, at least, knocked this crap off.

      1. Notasecurityguard*

        I like it too because I used to be a security guard and now I work for a police department but since we’re like a sub-department (think transit police but not) people think I am one and so I often have to correct them (because being a sworn officer there’s actually a lot more restrictions on what I can do than when I was a security guard).

        And yeah I think he just realized that like it was ineffective management. Or he did the math and realized that being a dick to a bunch of guys with guns is pretty stupid

        1. The Supreme Troll*

          Exactly. And it’s not about showing off who’s boss; it’s about being able to count on and depend on your fellow team member when crazy situations can happen (and they can happen in spurts, with huge amounts of boring down time in between). Anyway, I wish you all the best and to be safe always. Have a good weekend.

  14. I Bet My Inferiority Complex Isn't As Well-developed As Yours*

    #1 – sounds like a whole heap of nope is appropriate. Apart from anything else, I can already see the potential for doubling down in 6 months when you complain that you’re spending 40% of your time holding the hand of an inadequate and inexperienced worker – “But you knew she was inexperienced when you took her on.” At that point, answering “But I didn’t want to hire her” doesn’t boost your credibility as an independent manager.

  15. StephThePM*

    My daycare has a policy that if the kid gets a fever of 100.4, they have to be picked up within an hour and can’t return until they have been fever free for 24 hrs. I also can’t tell you how many times one of my kids has gone to school, perfectly fine, and then been found to have a fever at some point during the day. One year, kid #1 missed 5 weeks total of daycare with various illnesses (ear infections, the dreaded hand foot and mouth, adenovirus). I have never knowingly sent my kid to school sick but I have pushed the envelope when I know one of them might not be 100%. All this to say, your employee is probably trying their best – it’s stress inducing to get a call from daycare and to have to run immediately to get them ….not that you don’t care about your kid, but we are trying to be professionals and adult with work responsibilities! My advice to you is to be supportive of them, reinforce your support (as you can) for them, and just let it go.

  16. M*

    3- I am partial to saying something. My son’s daycare mate was violently ill (throwing up fever etc) and came in! They were sent home but the damage had been done. I saw the mom that day who told me the child was sick that morning but she just needed to “take a nap at home alone.” This person gets sick leave and also has a sitter I know well. I was appalled. They also brought the kid back two days later and was again sent home.

    This child proceeded to get everyone sick. My child was sick for more than a week and I was out of work. I was told it was a gastro virus that lasted for 8 days! Many of the children in the daycare caught it, teachers, and even my spouse. It’s rude to do this. Stay the eff home when your kid is sick. It really ticks me off.

    1. Guacamole Bob*

      Agreed that parents shouldn’t knowingly send their kids to daycare sick, but a) sometimes kids are contagious before they develop symptoms, b) sometimes kids seem like they’re better and they’re not, or something that seems minor gets worse, and c) the parent’s boss is not the right person to say something. The boss has no way of knowing if their employee is like the other mom at your daycare, or if the child has had an intermittent fever like commenters describe upthread, or an autoimmune issue that isn’t contagious, etc.

    2. CupcakeCounter*

      The daycare my son went to would have ended their relationship with that family. There was a waiting list a mile long and if someone knowingly brought in their really sick, highly contagious child so they could TAKE A NAP…end of the road right there

    3. Observer*

      If preschools had more reasonable policies, a LOT of parents would be a lot more cooperative. Because when you know that the school is sending your kid home for stupid reasons that do nothing to protect said kid or the other kids in the class you start tuning the school out. And since the school uses the EXACT same language and rationale for the both the genuine and bogus issues parents are not unreasonable for ignoring the school.

      I’m not saying that parents should knowingly send a contagious kid to school . But your assumption that just because the school is sending the kid home it means they are contagious is wildly out of sync with reality. In the vast, vast majority of cases, it’s just not the case.

      Lets not start policing all parents with nothing more than the fact that school regularly calls.

  17. Bob*

    LW 3 you don’t know why the daycare is calling. There are times when you send a week child to care and they get ill through the day. I’ve had to pick my children up numerous times even though they were fine in the morning. Child #1 has migraines, child #2 needed to be picked up three times for an allergic reaction to a yet unknown substance.

  18. Employment Lawyer*

    4. I’m worried my coworker will become my manager — and he’s horrible
    AAM is right, but you should be really sure that you’d leave. If you issue this as a semi-ultimatum you risk the possibility that they will promote BadManager and fire you. It’s probably minimal, but worth a thought.

    1. Allypopx*

      Yes, this is important. Never leverage your employment as a threat unless you’re prepared to follow through. You don’t want them to call your bluff and end up in a worse situation than you would have working for a bad manager for a few months while you job hunt. That doesn’t mean that you don’t bring it up, just make sure you’ve thought everything through.

    2. Lora*

      YUUUUP. I mean, they might live to regret it, but they might go ahead and say, fine, quit then.

      Have seen it happen sadly multiple times: Aggressive climber type dude promoted and given no management-specific training, makes all the New Manager Mistakes plus invents some new ones on top of his horrible narcissist personality that tells him, “you got the promotion so you MUST be fantastic just the way you are!” even if there were literally no other applicants or whatever the situation. Makes many enemies in the process, screws up spectacularly, gets fired after being given 13578462105846y1 second chances and doing something nobody in upper management can ignore. Then his boss gets yelled at / demoted for not fixing the situation, either by forcing Aggro Climber Dude to go to management training or doing a better job of hiring in the first place or whatever.

      It’s amazing to me how often 13578462105846y1 chances are given to dudes with zero experience or obvious aptitude, with nothing to commend them other than Gumption, yet women are often tasked with doing an entire role as an Interim Whatever for years on end before they are graciously allowed to do the actual job for 30% less pay. And this is invariably done despite repeated explicit warnings that Gumption Boy is going to be a disaster.

      1. ellex42*

        I’m currently watching Gumption Boy realize that while they like telling people what to do, and yes, if you’re busy telling people what to do you can legitimately get away with doing less of your own actual work, getting called out for giving out incorrect instructions and hearing the actual supervisor tell us about the ridiculous amount of overtime *they* put in is making their bid for a superior position (which doesn’t actually exist yet, may never exist, and if it does exist will be a long time coming) look a lot less inviting.

    3. MuchNope*

      Dealt with this in my state job. The mansplainy passive-aggressive micromanager boyfriend of a newly-promoted assistant director was hired to manage my department (he was already working as a peer after previous manager was pressured to hire him from out of state so he could be closer to his girlfriend).
      No one else wanted the job even after they cut the duties in half, but I doubt other applicants were given serious consideration anyway.
      I voiced my objections to working under this guy and was offered the option to report to another manager, which I accepted. I would have had to look for a new job otherwise since mansplainer had done work similar to mine and ‘had ideas’.
      So he’s technically managed by his girlfriend but since he’s a willing tool of admin it’s overlooked. Most of his direct reports are new hires and lack confidence and/or workplace capital or just enjoy being eager handmaidens in a new regime.
      Yeah, I would have strategically quit, but I’m glad I don’t have to.

    4. Goliath Corp.*

      Yeah this happened at my company and the people who complained weren’t fired, but things went as badly as could be predicted and now everyone who reported to Bad Manager has quit within a few months. Management still stands behind their decision though, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    5. I'm just here for the cats*

      I’m wondering if there are others in LW office or on her team that would object as well. Perhaps they could push back together?

  19. Allypopx*

    OP2: Two weeks is the convention and that’s good to be aware of, but I have a hard time caring in this case. In fact if any of your coworkers who saw how you were treated in this case wrote in, I’d advise them to stick to one week so they spend as little time as possible with this petty vindictive manager.

    You have to earn respect and courtesy. I gave my last job three months’ notice (and was in a high enough position where that mattered for a smooth transition) and they treated me wonderfully during my notice period. A yeller? Someone who reacts this way to being minorly inconvenienced? Nah. “My last day is Friday.”

    Since you’re early in your career, reputation does matter, so when you leave this job I would be sure to give two weeks just so you don’t have a pattern of short notice periods that would pop up if someone did a thorough reference check. But I wouldn’t spend too much energy worrying about it right now. Enjoy your new position and I hope you have a better experience at this job!

  20. Data Analyst*

    OP 2: I can’t tell how this all went from the new employer’s side of things, but I just recall from my early job searching days that when I was asked “can you start on x date” I felt like “ahhhh they need me to start exactly then and if I say no the offer will go away and I’ll look whiny, better just say yes” or if they asked me “when can you start” I thought “they’re looking for the very soonest possible date!!” But really, they’re just asking. There’s often an implied “is this reasonable given your current employment, etc.” and you can say “I’d like to give them the courtesy of two weeks notice, and start on y date” without looking anything other than reasonable and courteous.

    1. Tobias Funke*

      I was into my 30s before I knew this. I didn’t understand a lot about work and I thought “when are you able to start” was a passive aggressive way of saying “if you can’t start immediately you’re out”, I didn’t know enough about the world to realize it was a real question until I read this site.

    2. Not a Blossom*

      It doesn’t sound like that was the case here, though. The OP could have started the new job at the end of February but chose not to. It sounds like she was either completely fed up or didn’t realize you could give more than 2 weeks’ notice/hold off on giving your notice even though you’ve accepted another position.

    3. Alienor*

      When I’m interviewing/hiring people, I usually ask them “Will you be giving Current Employer the standard two weeks?” instead of “When can you start?” (We’re not in a field where long notice periods are the norm.) They usually seem relieved that they can just agree instead of trying to guess whether I want them sooner, and realistically the position’s probably already been empty for a couple of months and another week won’t make a difference anyway.

    4. Filosofickle*

      It’s a huge thing to figure this out. About 5 years into my career, I had a client ask for something by Friday and I told him — extremely nervously — that I just couldn’t get it to him til Tuesday. And he lightly said, ok, that’s fine, it was worth a shot. Worth a shot?! I didn’t realize that lots of what people ask for is just them asking and it’s negotiable. Obviously not all people and all situations, but it’s more common than I knew. If he’d have truly needed it by Friday for a good reason, he would have told me and we’d have worked something out.

      A young mentee of mine just found herself in the situation of giving less notice AND not getting a week off between jobs because she thought the start date the new job requested was non-negotiable. I wish she’d have talked to me before agreeing, but she felt pressured to respond on the spot. Now she knows for the future.

      1. Mr. Shark*

        A lot of people I know who leave my current job tell me they are starting the Monday after leaving on Friday. That seems a little crazy to me. I would want a week or so break before starting.

    5. Just Another Manic Millie*

      “when I was asked “can you start on x date” I felt like “ahhhh they need me to start exactly then and if I say no the offer will go away and I’ll look whiny, better just say yes” or if they asked me “when can you start” I thought “they’re looking for the very soonest possible date!!” But really, they’re just asking.”

      Not necessarily. Once I interviewed for a new job during my lunch hour at a company that was aware that I was currently employed. I was asked, “When can you start?” I said, “It depends on when you hire me. I’ll have to give my company two weeks notice. If you tell me right now that I have the job, I’ll give notice when I get back to the office, and I’ll start here two weeks from tomorrow.” I was told, “Oh, no, that won’t do. We need someone who can start immediately. Good-bye.”

      To this day, I’m not sure what would have happened if I had said, “I’ll start anytime you want. If you want me to start tomorrow, just say the word, and I’ll tell my company that I’m not coming back.” Would they have been willing to hire me? Or would they have said, “No way are we going to hire you, if you’re so willing to screw over your current company! You’d probably do the same thing to us!”

      So I don’t know what was the right thing to say.

      1. (insert name here)*

        In my personal experience, a company that asks you to sacrifice the common courtesy of two weeks notice to your current employer will later ask you to make other, larger sacrifices, like to your dignity or integrity.

        Unless they are clear that what they are asking is exceptional, I’d take that as a big red flag and run.

        Also, if they are willing to cut out a good candidate without discussion, either they are only looking for a warm body or they already have someone in mind who has said they don’t need to give two weeks.

  21. KD*

    #2. I agree with one of the commentators above who said that even though you can break whatever convention you want, you aren’t necessarily free of consequences. I have an acquaintance who gave two weeks notice right after vacation, which isn’t a big deal… but then she proceeded to call out with various excuses for the entire first week and then the first two days of the next week. I think it was pretty obvious to her employers that she was just trying to use up the accrued sick time, so her boss told her she could just make Wednesday her last day. She didn’t have another job with a start date lined up, but also didn’t offer to extend her notice period to help with transition. It ended up being no notice, basically.

    Her boss was much more mature than yours and was friendly on her last day, but now, about one year later, she is trying to get another job in a similar entry-level role (but with a different department) on the same campus. She’s gone to many interviews and says how they love her, but then gets rejected after that. Part of me wonders whether it might be the reference check with the old boss that is dooming things due to her lack of professionalism when leaving and making it clear she had checked out.

    Even if you don’t plan to put your old boss down as a reference, it doesn’t mean that a prospective employer won’t call them up anyway, especially if it is with the same organization or in a small, close-knit field, which is why people always caution not to burn bridges.

    1. Allypopx*

      To be fair that sounds way worse than giving a week’s notice because you have a start date. But true, reference checks can include people you didn’t list.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      Yeah, applying to the same campus would make it extremely likely that the interviewer will touch base with someone at your last job for an informal reference check, no matter how carefully you tried to curate the references to people who wouldn’t mention shenanigans.

    3. Goofy*

      Lol @ the balls to give notice then “call in sick” for your final two weeks of “work.” I mean, wrapping up at a job is basically no work anyway, since you’re not getting any new projects. Would it really have been that difficult to just show up?

      1. CmdrShepard4ever*

        I think that coworker could have come back from vacation, intermittently called in sick to use up the sick time and then given a solid two weeks notice where they showed up every day. This seems very possible since they did not have a new job lined up.

  22. Sharon*

    Re: #2

    I’ve left a few jobs on what I assumed were good terms, with the full 2-week notice convention and still had bosses completely shun me during the last two weeks! Also their bosses. It’s like once you give notice in a lot of companies, you are instantly persona non grata.

    1. Filosofickle*

      Yeah, I gave notice at one of my early jobs and I went from Favored Superstar to Persona Non Grata overnight in the eyes of the company President. He didn’t make eye contact or speak one more word to me for the remainder of my time. Jerk. Everyone else was normal.

    2. Astrid*

      Agreed. I’m not sure why I was nervous to give notice after 9 years at my last job. My two bosses acted true-to-form during the two-week notice period: one shunned me completely, and just popped in briefly before 5:00 p.m. on my last day to see if I had finished my exit memos (no well wishes, of course); the second threatened to bad-mouth me to my new employer because I didn’t spend my entire two-week notice period doing work that was supposed to be done by my paralegal (I then had to give a heads-up to the firm’s legal department to tell this guy to back off). I guess what goes-around-comes-around. You can imagine how receptive I was to post-employment requests for help.

    3. Jennifer Thneed*

      Yeah, the one time I was generous with notice (because I was going to start back to college, so it was a few months out), I was called in that Friday and told it was my last day. I was SO PISSED. I needed to work and save for that college thing, you know?

  23. Coffee Nut*

    #3 – the child could be like mine and have sever sinus issues. He’s not sick, but state requires daycare to call me to come get him if he gets sick, even when it’s mucus he’s regurgitating. Do to him still being so young, there is very little we can do for him medically. He will get sick, but then be done and over it and smiles the rest of the day. No fever, nothing.

    1. Glitsy Gus*

      I went through something similar for a year or so as a kid. I’d be totally fine, happy as a clam in the morning, puking my guts out at noon, then just fine again by 3pm. This would happen randomly, probably once or twice a month or so. Of course you can’t keep a puking kid at school, even if you think it may be temporary, so my mom had to come get me. After about a year, it just stopped. We never figured out what was happening, but my doctor thought it was either a nerves/anxiety thing I didn’t know how to describe at that age, or just a weird body growing and changing thing.

  24. Impska*

    #2 I once gave three weeks notice because I was leaving during our high season and wanted to give my workplace the courtesy of time to find a replacement for me. I let them know that if they found someone soon, they could tell me, and I could leave before three weeks. My grandboss was fine. My direct manager though, refused to speak to me for the rest of the three weeks. He wouldn’t say hello in the hall or acknowledge my presence. During hour 1 of my notice, he send someone to my desk to remove all projects from me. I sent an email to him reminding him I had three weeks left and could finish all current work. He said it wasn’t necessary. Meanwhile, I sat next to my coworkers in a cubicle farm, so I knew he had just dumped it all on their desks instead.

    No effort was made to hire anyone to replace me. My work was just allocated to other employees, who ended up working obscene hours while I twiddled my days away with nothing to do. After a couple of days, I went to my grandboss and asked if any other department needed a warm body, and was assigned to something outside my purview. I basically learned a whole new job in three weeks, helped out that other department and then left early on my last day. The other department’s project manager had a “His loss is our gain” attitude and her team was really nice to me, so it ended up being kind of fun. The other department said good bye to me, but my own direct manager never spoke to me again. I had previously had an excellent and friendly relationship/mentorship with him.

    1. CupcakeCounter*

      When I Left OldOldJob, I have the opposite! My direct boss was great – he totally knew it was coming – but my grand boss refused to talk to me until my last day. He even rerouted once when we were walking towards each other (him back to our area, me to a meeting).
      On the last day he did give me a very nice goodbye but I still found it weird. I found out later the reason he was so upset was that my boss had given his notice the day before I did and he had planned on promoting me to that role (hell no! I was already working 2 jobs at that place since they never backfilled my original role, so way could I add a 3rd). The VP was coming down hard on him to get me to stay but since he knew the VP was the reason I was leaving didn’t bother to even try.
      Still no excuse but I found it interesting.

  25. Ali G*

    #1 check your employee handbook or other materials and see if you have a Nepotism Clause for hiring. We have one (small non-profit) and it came in handy recently when the EA who was taking unpaid leave to visit her family in another country, thought she could just have her daughter come in a cover for her (3 weeks) while she was gone.

    1. Jedi Squirrel*

      Came here to say this. A lot of small orgs (and larger ones) have anti-nepotism policies in place to head off all the potential problems Allison has pointed out.

      If your org doesn’t have one, now is a good time to think about adding one.

      1. Ali G*

        It wasn’t malicious at all. I truly believe the EA thought she was solving a problem (since she was taking unpaid leave Big Boss said he wanted to get a part-time temp AA to cover the basics while she was out).
        But yeah, she just brought her daughter in one day and started training her!

  26. Falling Diphthong*

    I want to pull out a bit related to the “big girl job,” which is trying to blame the other company for “wanting” OP to start on Feb 3rd, so obviously she had to no matter the cost at current company.

    First, it seems she could have started on the 3rd with 1 week’s notice, or on the 17th with waiting a week and then offering 2 weeks notice at existing job. And if they did state they would prefer the 3rd (while hypocritically expecting 2 weeks notice of everyone who left them) OP could have pushed back that she felt it was important to give her current boss 2 weeks notice, professionalism mattered to her. Or she could have decided that starting in 1 week was worth lightly toasting some bridges at her current company and owned that decision when she gave them 1 week’s notice. Trying to toss it all on the Mean Dad other company for expecting her to start in a week is not a professional look.

    The manager is way out of line, and sounds like LW is wise to go somewhere else. But that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have handled her exit in a more professional way.

    1. ynotlot*

      Agree. There was an option to give a full two weeks so this wasn’t a situation where the OP had no choice. We don’t know if the new company knew about OP’s timeline, but if they did know, it would be a bit unprofessional of them to expect new hires to only give one week notice.
      Not saying it’s right, but many managers take it very badly when less than 2 weeks notice is given. The manager’s reaction is immature but doesn’t surprise in the slightest. Many managers would react that way. You can give less than two weeks notice if you want, but you really can’t have an expectation that the manager will take it well, because many will not.

  27. Ancient Alien*

    OP#2 2 weeks notice
    My inclination, even in a very toxic environment, is to really try to give at least 2 weeks notice and just gut it out. Regardless of the reasons, if you give less than that, it is likely your boss will inform HR that you did that and then when future reference checkers call that HR department to confirm employment and whether you are classified as “re-hirable” or not, HR may have you on the naughty list. Now, your mileage may vary with this approach, and I imagine some of the other readers here might have good arguments for not worrying about this. I’m just saying this has been my approach, and so far, it has enabled me to still get good references from jobs/bosses that i absolutely despised.

    That said, there are a lot of managers out there that are just going to take any resignation (no matter how well you handle it) as a direct, personal attack. I went through this with my last manager. She was a person I absolutely could not stand, but through extraordinary willpower, I managed to keep the relationship positive right up to the end. However, after I gave 3 weeks of notice that i was leaving, she completely broke down sobbing (yes, actually sobbing) and screaming and hurling accusations. Told me i had burned all of my bridges at the company, that i was a liar because i had never discussed any desire to relocate (new job was a big re-lo), etc. Now that i have a few years’ distance from it, i realize that she basically viewed me as her property and felt entitled to direct my career and life choices for me. It was just pure narcissism from her, and this was her “narcissistic rage” (it’s a real term, look it up, it’s quite interesting and explains a great deal of workplace behavior) playing out.

    Long story short, I’d just advise OP to try, if possible, to just bite the bullet and give 2 weeks notice in the future. Obviously, this would not include egregious circumstances where you are being verbally assaulted, threatened, sexually harrassed, etc. But, on the other hand, also just recognize that there are a lot of managers out there that are going to react badly to a resignation no matter what you do or how well you handle it. But, that’s on them and you just have to brush it off and move on.

  28. Jennifer*

    #5 Totally agree. You can be truthful without spilling ALL the tea. You’ve accepted a role at this kind of company and that’s all you can really say.

  29. Mim*

    When my kid was younger the frequency of illnesses was enough that it might seem to an outsider like I was sending them in sick, but in reality it was just that they got sick a lot. We always followed the daycare regulations that they had to be 24 hours fever and vomit free. I know we are not alone in this, as I’m reminded of the pattern because of co-workers with babies/toddlers/preschoolers going through the same thing. Especially when kids are younger, and more prone to getting ear infections because of congestion and more minor colds. Sometimes even teething can cause fevers. It’s really frequent and frequently unpredictable, and it’s completely possible (and likely) that someone who is getting frequent calls from daycare to pick up their sick kid is also being responsible about keeping their child home when they are required to.

    I was once told by our pediatrician that this would all clear up “in the spring”. Unfortunately, most employers don’t allow for taking the entire winter off.

    1. Senor Montoya*

      Right. Human beings don’t get fevers only in the morning. They get sick/show symptoms at all different times of the day.

  30. Bernice Clifton*

    #1, This actually isn’t a good setup for the boss’s daughter, either. The rest of the team might freeze her out just because of who she is, and if they’re consciously more professional than that, they may assume she’s got immunity because of who she is and won’t bring legit issues up with you or anyone else. Also, future hiring managers may not take this position seriously if they learn why she was hired.

    1. Ancient Alien*

      This is a great point. If i was on that team, i would tend to walk a wide circle around the nepotism hire.

    2. Rebecca*

      Absolutely. I had a summer job as a student in the company where my mum worked (but totally different departments, on different sites). Because she reported to someone very senior a few of my co-workers assumed I had advantages they didn’t and treated me quite nastily as a result. Unfortunately for me my mum was way too professional to try and influence in my favour and the very senior person she reported to wouldn’t have allowed it either so I had all the downsides of perceived nepotism with none of the upsides! Not that I would have wanted or tried to get the upsides but it stung even more to be treated the way I was when I wasn’t getting the perks they thought I was.

  31. voyager1*

    LW4: How much communication have you had with your manager about the employee who may be promoted? If none, then going to her now with the issues you raise in the letter are going to be overwhelming. If I had an employee coming to me with the issues you raise who had remained silence for years, I would question your motivations.

    Your letter is a prime example of why communication with your manager is so important throughout the time you work for her. You need to have that record in place of the issues you have.

    I am also not a fan of ultimatums. If you say you will quick, be prepared to follow through.

    1. jack*

      I answered this below, but I did tell Amy a few months ago that I would never work for Todd, but that was more of a hypothetical. There’s a slightly weird reporting structure, so while my boss definitely could’ve let the hiring manager know how I felt (and probably did honestly), she doesn’t have much say in who actually got hired.

  32. Not Today Satan*

    I once gave two weeks notice, and my boss–*who I shared an office with* literally didn’t speak to me once in the 2 weeks after I gave my notice. I offered to go over transition stuff and she declined. Didn’t say goodbye on my last day. It was laughably childish.

  33. Writer Who Writes*

    Hey everyone OP #2 here! I’m thrilled that Alison answered my question, and her advice was spot on. Based on everyone’s comments, let me clarify/expand on some things:

    References: I know I’m not free from consequences at all, I realize my old boss would probably delight in trash talking the next time someone called her for a reference regarding me. Fortunately she’s just the boss for that department. The Executive Director of the company and I got along great; he was very surprised when I left early that Friday and only wished the best for me, so if it comes down to it I can ask and use him as a reference instead.

    Start Date: at my past job I was paid twice a month; in reality I would’ve missed two paychecks if I started later at the new job as they do the same. Data Analyst is right in that was my thought process, but I went to my boss expecting her to be ok with it as she knew I had been job hunting (I told her, yes I’m dumb, I’ve learned my lesson). I know that some bosses can ask for more time, and she could’ve asked and I could’ve contacted my new job and let them know, they are very flexible and were excited for me to start with them too. My old boss had been supportive of my job hunting in the past, saying she wanted me to grow professionally, but I guess the one week notice really threw her for a loop. But at that point I didn’t care. I had an out and I was taking it.

    Some Background: this was my first professional job (thanks Alison!), and when I started I was fairly young. I can see now that they treated me like a child, and I let them. Almost two years ago, our department merged with another to keep it on track, and my boss has been split between the two ever since. I noticed she was dumping more of our department’s work she was supposed to do on other coworkers, she kept forgetting to do things for our department, and it got to the point where we were expected to read her mind about what she wanted, as she didn’t have time for us anymore. Even then it would’ve been ok for me; but after the yelling and the scolding and not being allowed to talk during meetings or act excited about projects, I decided it was time.

    My new job is great! I’m still learning the ropes but I am being treated like a professional adult and I feel safe, which is very important to me. Thanks for reading!

    1. Important Moi*

      I am very happy for you! Leave your boss in your rear view mirror. I believe the number of people who will consider one week notice something you have to be eternally looking over your shoulder about aren’t that many.

      I know letter writers can’t put everything in a letter, but some of the assumptions and presumptions in the comments? Yikes.

      1. Writer Who Writes*

        Thank you! I’m not super concerned, there are plenty of people at my past job who said they were willing to vouch for me in future endeavors. Before I pulled the trigger I asked older coworkers for advice, and they said one week notice is fine, but you can’t please everyone lol.

    2. Observer*

      Do you mean that you didn’t want to have a delayed payment? Because if you actually meant that you didn’t want to lose that much pay, the schedule of payroll does not matter.

      If you work part of a payroll period, they have to pay you for it. That’s it. Unless you are saying that they would not let you start till the beginning of the next payroll period. Which sounds very weird.

      However, it really sounds like overall, you are better of where you are.

      And, you now have a perfect story for the times you get asked about a situation you didn’t handle so well, because in the grand scheme of things, giving one week instead of two but wrapping you work up properly in the one week is not a terrible thing.

      1. Writer Who Writes*

        Bingo on your second paragraph. New company is huge and they hold “new hire orientation” at the beginning and end of every month only. You can still start whenever, but it can mess with your benefits enrollment and training. I can say I am better off, haven’t been yelled at lol. My work was wrapped up and I was ready; I don’t think I could’ve done another week of passive-aggressive bullying.

        1. Glitsy Gus*

          I’m so glad it did work out for you! And yes, Keep that Executive Director as your reference! That will work out just fine, even if they move to another company. I totally understand why you would just bounce after treatment like that, and I do think it was very smart of you to let the ED know why you were cutting your short noticed a wee bit shorter.

          Good luck with the new job! I really hope it continues to be great.

      2. Jackalope*

        My employer will only start people on the first day of a pay period so I was guessing it was something like that.

    3. Valprehension*

      I… still don’t understand how you would have missed paycheques if you’d just held off and gave notice to old job two weeks before the later start date at newjob? You know you will still receive your last cheque from oldjob after you leave, yeah?

  34. AndersonDarling*

    #1 You need to be clear if you are being asked to interview the daughter, or if you are being told to hire the daughter. I witnessed a manager being fired for not not hiring the CEO’s daughter because she thought it was a suggestion. This is one of the gross political things that goes on in businesses-> the CEO and other high ranking leaders assume their kids get an easy job or even a free paycheck. I hope the OP doesn’t work in one of these places, but only they know their environment. If this is the case, then you just need to hire the daughter to keep your standing in the organization. You can accompany that with, “I’m happy to hire HennyPenny, but we normally have someone with qualifications X, Y, and Z in this position. We will need to hire another employee to fill the gap.” And corrupt companies will allow you to hire an additional staff member because HR understands the game and they want their kudos too.
    I hate that this still happens in modern times, but it absolutely does. Sometimes you just have to play the political game, or leave for a better workplace.

    1. Important Moi*

      I’m feeling oddly optimistic about this letter. Even taking into account the daughter has not filled out an application yet, that doesn’t mean she’ll be a bad employee. Assume the best until you have reason not to.

      And yeah, sometimes you have to hire the boss’s kid the boss said so.

      1. OP1*

        I only know what he has told us about her school and short working life, and how she is when she is in the office to chat up our receptionist. While not terrible, it does not inspire confidence.

        Ultimately, that was the angle I was landing on, that I wasnt going to cave as a favor, but if he wanted me to hire her, he was going to have to say so, not just strongly suggest.

  35. mcr-red*

    #4 – We had a bad manager that managed another branch of our company that assumed when my boss retired, she’d get his job. At least 4 of us straight up told our boss that if she got hired, we’d quit. And we meant it. We had minor dealings with her and she was unbelievably rude, spiteful and vindictive. There was a few times my boss would say something about her being up for the role and we’d tell him “remind your boss if so he’s gonna be looking for a lot of staff to replace.” Boss retired, New Boss was hired, not bad manager. They started looking to merge the two branches, and we started in again, “If they replace New Boss with bad manager, we’re quitting.” They merged. New Boss stayed and bad manager is gone.

    I’m not saying it will work all the time, and it really depends on relationships with bosses, and their bosses, etc. But if you have at least half your staff threatening to walk, it seems like you take another look at some people.

  36. Jenn*

    I know the “two weeks notice” is seen as a professional norm but yet employment is typically at-will in the majority of jobs in the United States. The idea of two weeks notice is becoming outdated and rather stale. In my industry, you give two weeks and you’re out the door within four hours with your things in a box.

    LW1-your boss is incredibly immature in this situation.

    1. Allypopx*

      If this is the norm across your industry that’s odd and really sucks, I’m sorry. For most industries two weeks is still pretty standard and expected, so you can wrap things up and give your employer some time to plan, and most employers will appreciate the notice. Not all, but the fact that those ones are uncommon is what makes them horror stories.

    2. Mpls*

      Well…That doesn’t mean that 2 weeks notice is outdated. You still offer the employer the 2 weeks, but they have always had the option to decline to take it and have you leave sooner. Depending on industry/company there can be security (of company information) reasons for this – it’s definitely not a new thing or some indication that “2 weeks notice” is no longer the norm.

  37. NYCProducer*

    LW2- I was a news producer in my 20s when I gave my two weeks notice. I was leaving for another state where they were doubling my salary (and had no state income tax!)- which mattered to me since I’d tried for raises only to have my (female) news director tell me ‘You’re making a lot of money for someone your age’ (I was making about 22k at 26 years old). When I gave my notice (standard 2 weeks), my ND took the news very personally. She was short with me the few times she acknowledged my presence, and on my last day (I’d worked there 4+ years), she kept her office door closed and never came out. It definitely surprised me and hurt my feelings a bit, but I figured it was another indicator it was good to go. About a year later, I got a handwritten apology note from her about her behavior. She never gave a reason why but did apologize. I will keep that note forever. I hope your new job is awesome!!

    1. CupcakeCounter*

      I think the apology was more important than the reason anyway. Maybe its just me but an apology that comes with a detailed explanation sometimes cheapens the apology. Like instead of simply saying “I was out of line and I apologize for my behavior and the hurt it must have caused”, they say “I’m sorry for the way I acted. You were my very first hire and I thought we were friends so your resignation threw me for a loop and I didn’t know how to handle it. I knew you were unhappy with your salary but I wasn’t sure how to go about getting you the raises you wanted but I was trying but didn’t want to get your hopes up!” To me is seems they are trying to justify their actions as opposed to acknowledge their behavior and the potential harm is caused. I’m sure its a defense mechanism we’ve been trained and I’m never going to not accept an apology if there is an explanation or justification, but the apologies I’ve received that have been simple and straight to the point always seem more for me as opposed to a way for them to ease any guilt they’ve been feeling.
      And I am a very nosy person who wants to know ALL THE THINGS so this goes way against type.

      1. Stormy Weather*

        You’re absolutely right. Apologize first, own that it did damage. None of the “I’m sorry you feel that way,” BS.

        If I want an explanation, I’ll ask.

        1. Jeffrey Deutsch*

          I beg to differ. Sometimes the explanation is relevant. Extenuating circumstances are a thing. Sometimes even contributory wrongdoing by the other person.

          You’re right, “I’m sorry you feel that way” — let alone “I’m sorry if you feel that way” — is pure BS.

  38. Adlib*

    OP#4 – I have done this before. A few years ago a coworker and I went to the new big boss that was hired since there was a good chance that we’d end up on a different team so we said “we will not work for Jane or we will quit”. And she took us seriously, and we didn’t report to Jane. We still had to work with Jane which was bad enough, but you should absolutely say something now.

  39. CupcakeCounter*

    #1 – Yeah…you can’t hire her even if she was an awesome candidate. Maybe if it was the daughter of an executive way outside your reporting structure AND she was far and away the bet fit for the role it could be considered. Check with HR on the company policy about hiring relatives/SO’s in the same reporting structure as a current employee. If you hire her, your boss will effectively be managing his daughter. Outside of family owned companies there might be a policy against that. I would really do everything you can to find that policy if at all possible as it now becomes a moot point and you don’t have to spend the capital. You might even be able to get HR to break the news to him protecting your existing relationship.

  40. RussianInTexas*

    #3 – kinds can go sick from 0 to 60 in 10 minutes. Just because they are sick at noon, doesn’t mean they were obviously sick in the morning.

    1. Jedi Squirrel*

      Yep!

      Anyone who’s ever had a healthy-looking kid suddenly barf all over the back seat (where does it all come from? I know I didn’t feed you that much for breakfast!) will testify to this.

  41. jack*

    OP #4 here: thanks for the response Alison! Fortunately, this never came to pass. We had 2 internal candidates apply for the job, Todd and a former manager of mine before my last promotion, Andrew. Todd’s interview went horribly, partially because he decided to trash talk me and another manager that would’ve been reporting to him if he got the new job (and then had the audacity to imply to one of my employees that it was my fault!!!). Andrew was just announced as the new manager and I’m very happy about that! I’m also glad that the people who made the decision seemed to be aware of Todd’s issues, especially with me and the other manager.

    For additional info, I had told Amy months ago that I would not work for Todd, but that was before the opening actually became available and was more of a hypothetical situation.

  42. OP1*

    OP#1 Here. To answer Allison, the boss is generally reasonable. He is also getting the message from others on his direct team that this is a bad idea, so I hope he is listening with an open mind. I asked him myself what HE wanted, because he seems to just be concerned that she will be angry with him that he didnt give her the job (even though he is not directly doing the hiring). He said he didn’t know. There is a large amount of nepotism here, and the company used to be a family business (and he was one of the owners). So, he’s used to being the final word, for sure. I have not extended the interview invite yet. I reached out to her after we received the resume and asked her (and others) to complete an employment application to continue the process if they were still interested, and she has not done so. I’m hoping that she has decided to drop out, but I have not asked her or him. I want to thank you and the early commenters for making me feel like I was not unnecessarily catastrophizing this situation, and that it really is a red flag moment. The what ifs seem bad, and Im glad others with more experience agree that it is not worth the risk. We have not yet hired anyone, so the pressure is on to hire someone that he can agree was a good hire.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      She hasn’t even bothered to fill out the application? Even all the bosses I’ve had who do hire theirs or others family members require them to follow the process. Argh, that seals it that shes not interested in actually trying to get a job, she just expects it to be given to her. Biggest red flag of all to me right there.

      1. Ali G*

        Yeah…there’s at least a smidge of plausible deniability here:
        “I asked all the candidates, including Jane to fill out the employment application if they were still interested in the position. Jane never filled out the application, so I assumed she was no longer interested.”
        Definitely don’t follow up again with Jane or Dad. If she can’t be bothered to actually apply, that’s on her.

    2. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

      Here’s hoping she doesn’t fill in the application so you have an easy out!

      If not though and you do find yourself forced to hire her, maybe the discussions with your boss need to switch to rearranging roles and responsibilities in order to accommodate a junior hire. Set the expectation of that impact upfront and see how it goes.

      But I have my fingers crossed that he drops it and you can hire a candidate you find suitable!

    3. Heidi*

      Wow, HE is a afraid she’ll be angry at HIM? This daughter sounds interesting.

      So when I was a teen, I worked for my dad. This was at a store he owned, so totally entry-level, no skills needed. Anyway, he made it clear that the manager (not related to us) would be in charge and he would not intervene on my behalf when I was working there. I can’t imagine that I would ever ask him to; there weren’t that many decisions to make other than who would use the newer cash register and who would make the coffee (everyone took turns – it was fine). I guess my point is that working with your family can sometimes work out, but it depends a lot on the work situation and the character of your family.

    4. Observer*

      If he’s pushing you to hire her because she would be angry at him, then you DEFINITELY cannot hire her. Even if he’s misreading, you know that he’ll never let you manage her effectively. And if he is right, then it means that she’s likely to be a nightmare because she’s entitled and expects Daddy to make sure that all goes well.

      So, no you were most definitely NOT catastrophizing.

    5. LilPinkSock*

      If she hasn’t filled out the application, it’s likely that either a) she’s not really interested in the job, or b) she feels entitled to it without having to go through the same hiring process. Either way, that’s not a recipe for a great hire. Regardless, if she hasn’t filled out the application, that’s an easy out–you can go through the hiring process with legitimate candidates and if Dad asks it’s a simple “Jane did not complete the application, so we moved ahead with the candidates who did.”

      As a side note, I am not 100% opposed on principle to hiring The Boss’s Child, *if* said child is the best candidate. I’ve spent most of my life as The Boss’s Daughter and did a short stint at his company. I was qualified and went through the regular hiring process, didn’t report to my dad, worked my butt off, etc. I can confidently say I was a good employee, but not all offspring are, and sometimes the dynamics around such a situation (entitled/unqualified employee, coworkers who are unpleasant because there’s an unwarranted assumption of inappropriate nepotism) are just not worth it.

  43. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    You would have been treated poorly even if you have two weeks. This woman is just a toxic boss continuing to be toxic.

    I gave proper notice and was professional to the end when I left my bad employer in the dust. He didn’t bother to say goodbye either. He didn’t even speak to me the last two weeks. He just had his business partner handle everything. Even when I gave notice, he went ghost like and ran to his partner. Never to speak to me again, lol.

  44. Military Prof*

    #5: You wouldn’t exactly be untruthful if you were to say “My spouse and I are separating for the time being, and I am moving on to location X” in reference to your new job. People will assume that it’s due to problems in the marriage, but you can’t really be held accountable for their assumptions. Plus, those assumptions make other prying questions awkward and less likely, which can be a huge plus. My spouse and I faced a similar situation (two years of living a four-hour flight apart), and to be honest, it really streamlined a lot of otherwise unpleasant circumstances to just let people believe that we were separating as a couple, rather than as a professional pair. As an added bonus, my spouse rented out the spare bedroom in our home to a friend, which not only provided some company, but also a small amount of income to offset the cost of having two residences. (She rented it way below market value to a graduate student, who in turn got to live in a house rather than the terrible apartments that were the only other option in a small college town.) We’re now in a completely different location, have been living in the same home for ten years, and are both gainfully employed, so it worked out well in our case.

    1. Jennifer*

      I do understand where you’re coming from, but it seems needlessly dramatic to make people think they are having marital problems. Depending on the type of workplace, this could invite even more questions/concerns which could make the wife’s last months there quite unpleasant. Of course, the state of their marriage is no one’s business, but that doesn’t stop people from running their mouths. Plus, maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t want to compel people to think that of my marriage.

      I think it’s simpler to just say “I’m leaving to accept another role with a company that does X.”

      1. Goofy*

        Haha, when you put it that way, I honestly think it’s kind of awesome. Pretend you’re having marital problems/are separating, then you have to conduct your happy marriage as if it is a clandestine affair. Could spice things up!

          1. Military Prof*

            It might, indeed. What I was really saying was that some people would be willing to accept the complications of people thinking your marriage was on the rocks in exchange for maintaining gainful employment. Or, would prefer to create awkward situations where people don’t know what to say, and hence, just don’t say anything at all. I’m not advocating for this particular approach, but I have found that everybody prioritizes things differently, and this would be one way of prioritizing stable employment.

    2. Brett*

      It’s a smallish city government. Even working in a rather large county government, people who know both people would sniff out a lie like this pretty quickly. (Especially considering that local governments tend to end up developing pretty significant social circles. Four years later, I still have over 20 former local gov coworkers as facebook friends.)

  45. Jay*

    OP#4, are YOU qualified for the job? Even remotely? Because “slightly less seniority” looks a whole lot better on a resume than “lazy bigot who will drive the entire hourly staff into quitting within six months, crippling the department and driving hiring and training costs through the roof while slowing the pace of work to a near total hault”.

  46. Oompah*

    LW2: Leaving with little notice is kind of a big deal. Reasonable employers will understand if you had an emergency but it is still disruptive. But that wasn’t the case here and the way you communicated your reason for short notice sounds like you were somewhat cavalier about it. I can see why your boss would be annoyed – although of course it doesn’t excuse the unprofessional sulking on her end.

    Leaving with short notice can also come up in any future reference they provide for you. (Side note- when my company hires we routinely ask how much notice that person gave and how their performance/attendance was during their notice period. It’s a strong indicator of their professionalism and work ethics).

    It might be worthwhile emailing your boss to acknowledge the disruption caused. “Hi Linda, as this was my first professional job I didn’t realise that a two week notice was the norm for resignations. I understand now why this is standard and how my shorter notice would have caused inconvenience to you and the team, for which I apologise. I appreciate all the opportunities I had while working at Llama Nostril Inc and wish you all the best.”

  47. CheeryO*

    For #2, I suspect the LW’s boss would have been just as obnoxious if she had given a full two weeks’ notice. I had a boss who pulled a similar nasty attitude on me after I put in my notice – literally ignored me in the hallways, didn’t try to wrap up any projects, made sure I didn’t get a ham at our Christmas party (don’t ask), and asked me to leave two days early without saying goodbye or anything, really, other than “Why don’t you GTFO.”

    She was going to be pissy no matter what because she had a warped idea of how great the company was and felt personally attacked that I wanted to leave. Everyone else was great about it, and a bunch of coworkers jokingly asked if I could get them a job at my new office, which I should have taken as a sign that I was making the right move!

    Funny enough, I needed her as a reference for a professional license a few years later, and she was extremely nice to me when I reached out. Sometimes people just react badly because they’re people, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be a bad reference once they’ve gotten some distance from the situation.

    1. Blueberry*

      Yes, this. I’m a little surprised at all the comments about how awful not giving 2 weeks notice is and how that makes the boss’s childish behavior and lies ok.

  48. Kiwiii*

    I’m a little confused about why LW 2 couldn’t start the other job at the end of February and just wait a little while to give notice at this job, since she cites not wanting to miss a paycheck. Am I reading this wrong?

  49. interrobang*

    LW 1, I am part of the .001% of situations where hiring your kid actually did work out, and I would absolutely advise avoiding this. In my case, I was already working with the temp agency that my dad’s firm uses to hire all its support staff when a receptionist position opened up, so they already knew I was at least qualified.

    Our office manager wasn’t super excited about it, but she also really needed a receptionist ASAP and knew my dad would come down hard on me if I ever tried to get out of anything or did a lousy job. Admittedly, that would have interfered with her management authority too.

    I don’t know what your boss’s relationship with his daughter is like, but I’m guessing not ideal for this situation, since he’s actively pushing you to hire her. Sounds like something to be avoided if at all possible.

  50. Lara Cruz*

    LW 2, I swear every female boss I’ve ever had that is all into “girl power” or “women supporting women” has been among the nastiest, most misogynistic people I’ve ever worked for. When they say they want “women supporting women”, they’re not talking about actually supporting their female employees, they’re talking about themselves.

  51. Brett*

    #5 All of the below assumes this is the US.
    If your role is civil service for a city, there are normally two types of roles.

    Patronage roles are appointed directly by an elected official. The appointment is normally partisan and the person appointed to the role serves solely at the discretion of the elected official. Typical patronage roles are department heads, direct staff of the elected official, and the board of elections.

    If your wife is in a patronage role, her job has no protections and the decision to keep her or fire her is solely up to the elected official who appointed her. On the positive side, since patronage roles are directly appointed by an elected official and report directly to that elected official, the person in that role often has a good connection with the elected official that means they would likely to retain someone in your wife’s position as long as possible.

    The other type of role is a merit role. A merit role is hired through a normal civil service process, either an exam process or an interview process (or a combination). All the stories about rigid public service interviews where everyone gets the same set questions stem from a merit hiring process.

    Merit roles have strict rules about how hiring works. They have even more strict rules about how firing works. There are established rights, often called Loudermill rights, that a merit employee carries in a local government job. These are fifth amendment protected property rights that requires the government to follow due process in order to deny an employee their property rights in continued employment. Firing cannot just be on a whim, and it certainly cannot be for a reason like, “their spouse moved, so they are going to move some day”. If your wife was fired for that reason, she would be able to sue for her job back, and would win with back pay and penalties. Cities know this, and are unlikely to try to terminate or even push out a merit employee for reasons like the one you outlined.

    1. Brett*

      I know it is possible to have a role that is not patronage or merit (at least not as described here), but they are unusual and the people in those roles are well aware that the roles fall under different rules.

      1. doreen*

        There are also local and state governments which have positions similar to the patronage appointments you describe – except that people in them don’t serve at the pleasure of the elected official but rather at the pleasure of the agency head. Which of course doesn’t mean that the elected official can’t influence the agency head , but it does mean the governor doesn’t typically get involved in hiring/firing decisions about the hundreds of that type of position at my agency alone.

        1. Brett*

          Yes, that’s another case of patronage roles! It is normally specific to executive branch department heads (and can even go lower than department heads as long as they are executive branch). My county government has that in the board of elections, which the two department heads (one for each party) are directly appointed by the governor, and then the department heads each have the authority to appoint half the patronage roles in that department. The department is bizarre because virtually everyone in it is a patronage appointment, and there are two people in every role. So, there is a republican voting machine programmer and a democratic voting machine programmer. There is a republican lead election worker trainer and a democratic lead election worker trainer. There is a republican cartographer and a democratic cartographer, and so on.

    2. Ace in the Hole*

      For context, we had an employee who vandalized a $60K piece of equipment and drove it around the yard at top speed until it caught fire… in full view of the whole work crew, customers, AND ON CAMERA. He still had to be placed on administrative leave and be given a hearing before he could be fired.

      1. Brett*

        Paid leave too I bet, because if you place an employee on unpaid leave to have a hearing to terminate, and the termination is overturned in the hearing or later in court, you have to pay a ton of penalties on top of all of the back pay from the unpaid leave.

        1. Ace in the Hole*

          Oh, absolutely. Forced administrative leave is always paid. I will say that’s the fastest I ever saw a public employee fired though… from start to finish was less than five days.

  52. nnn*

    For #5, if you or your wife should find yourself in a situation where people notice you aren’t in town but you don’t yet want to disclose the fact that you moved, a possible script might be “He has to travel a lot for his new job”

  53. Employment Lawyer*

    2. My boss refused to say goodbye on my last day
    …was I wrong to give her only one week notice?

    Yes, probably.

    Look: This sort of thing is a two way street. You are unlikely to be a 100% perfect employee; your boss is unlikely to be a 100% perfect employer. To some degree both sides tend to live with this, but in an effort to provide guidance there are a few formal conventions which are REALLY strong and those include two weeks’ notice. (Formal convention is great here because it provides a “what to do?” answer for people who wouldn’t normally guess right.)

    If you break that convention outside some odd hourly-piecework job then you should really have a VERY good reason for it, in the range of “the last two people who gave notice were fired on the spot” or “I asked my new job and they threatened to pull the offer unless I started right away” or something like that.

    So leaving early requires, in my opinion, a Big Deal of a reason.

    You seem to be justifying it because of “her yelling at me in the past”. But that is not necessarily a big deal at all, really, unless she’s literally in full spit-spraying push-against-the-wall mode. More frankly: In 2020, what constitutes subjective feelings of “I was yelled at,” especially for people new to the workforce, can be pretty minimal from an objective sense.*

    Also in that class is “brushing off another female coworker scolding me in front of others” which, frankly, is entirely unobjectionable on its face–this is just a part of life at work, things are not always perfect, and a single instance of a co-worker scolding you (for a good or bad reason, we don’t know) is de minimis and nothing to break convention over.

    New entrants to the workforce can be really shocked by conflict. This is especially true if they are coming from academia or an environment where everyone maximizes being “supportive” and having a “nice tone”. The first time that people get directly, openly, “I don’t care about your defenses” chastised, they can sometimes get unreasonably upset. That doesn’t make it objectively bad.

    So: What you did was not all that wrong, and you’re new, so it will pass into history soon enough. And it may have been justified. But it seems at least possible that you overreacted to the perceived offenses; that you underappreciated the strength of the convention; and that you were overly flippant about the importance of the convention to everyone involved. Your boss’s reaction was also not good, but since you’re the one reading, I’m focusing on you.

    Also: Don’t use this person as a reference.

    *Sometimes a hypothetical Boss will tell Employee that their behavior/performance is absolutely unacceptable and needs to change immediately or they will be fired. Sometimes Boss may quite reasonably be annoyed or angry, especially if Employee has ignored instructions or acted like a blithering idiot, which sometimes happens. Bosses being human too, they are allowed to REASONABLY (the crucial term) express that anger, annoyance, or frustration–it may not be wise, but it’s certainly allowable. However, there seem to be a lot of younger adults in their 20s who have entirely escaped the experience of being hauled before the mast for a (verbal) whipping, and they completely freak out (and call my office) when it happens. But this is, quite often, just SH&*^T that happens at work.

    1. Oompah*

      +1 to this comment. Except to add, “We’re pulling the job offer unless you start immediately” is a huge red flag because it signals the new employer is unwilling to respect well established workplace conventions and has no problem unreasonably asking you to burn bridges with your current employer.

  54. Ace in the Hole*

    #5: I work in civil service and so do many of my relatives. I can’t imaging a public entity firing someone because there’s a potential that they might possibly move in the future. To put it bluntly, anyone firing her for that would get their asses handed to them. Government jobs have a lot more oversight and protection for employees, and a LOT of bureaucratic hoops to jump through before termination.

    Now it might make things awkward with her colleagues or supervisors. I can definitely imaging her getting passed over for interesting work, pulled off long-term projects, left out of plans, etc. all in a very quiet bland hard-to-argue-with way. Some agencies might do this, others won’t. But her job it’s self is about as secure as it gets.

    1. Jay*

      There is one big, glaring exception to this: Contractors.
      A lot of ‘government’ jobs these days are actually hired through private companies in order to keep costs down. These are non-union jobs that are much easier to move people into and out of than any normal government job. It’s literally the reason they exist.
      Even positions (think clerical, admin, HR, tech support, etc.) that you would think are government jobs, with all the protections that would entail, are regularly farmed out to the lowest bidder.
      It’s kind of a bit of a deal with employees, with people doing the same, or very similar, job, but the ones hired by the government having pay and benefits much higher than the contractors.

      1. Brett*

        There was a second circuit case just a few months ago (Atterbury v. United States Marshals Service) that held that private company contractors working public sector jobs are public employees for the purpose of property rights in continued employment (which means they get the same due process protections as regular merit employees). The key there was that the government agency was the one terminating the contractor employees, not the contracting company who wished to keep them on the job.

        1. Jay*

          Unfortunately, that really only applies if the government is unilaterally making the decision to terminate. If they just ‘ask’ the contracting company to ‘remove’ them, this effectively endruns any issues. And it is rare that the contractor would not comply. Those contracts are frequently fairly short term, just a few years, and often tied into election results by coming up for renewal on election years. As such, they rarely want to ‘rock the boat’, and endanger the next contract, by taking a stand to protect their employees. I’ve had it happen to me and seen it happen to others.

          1. Brett*

            That’s exactly what happened in Atterbury, the government agency asked the contracting agency to remove to the contractors. The fact that the company did not fire the contractors was part of the evidence that the request came from the government and was not an action internal to the contracting company only.
            As I mentioned, this just happened a few months ago, but this is a sign that the courts could look down on that practice and overturn cases of it happening in the future. (Which might lead to a lot less contracting.) It’s only one circuit, not the SCOTUS, but its a big change from what used to happen.

            1. Jay*

              Here’s hoping!
              And, thanks for that little bit of good news to brighten what has been a rather tough couple of days.

            2. Ace in the hole*

              That’s really encouraging – I hope things continue in that direction. Misuse/overuse of contracting is a huge problem.

  55. we're basically gods*

    LW #2, I recently moved from my first professional job into my second, and while I was able to give 2 weeks, I think this is extra odd of a reaction because, at least for how long I’d been at my first job and how junior I was, I really didn’t have 2 weeks of stuff to wrap up. I had maybe a day’s worth of unfinished projects, and then I spent a week documenting everything I did (because I worked on a consistent weekly schedule, so I could be certain that at the end of the one week, every regular task I had would be fully documented).

  56. Lucy P*

    #1 I hope that your boss is reasonable. I’m dealing with this right now. Offspring is always here, but only performs work when they want or when I chase them. Can’t even seem to do the smallest of things that I ask. Boss refuses to intervene because it carries over to the home life. I’m stuck with an undependable person and usually take on the tasks myself.

    1. OP1*

      I really feel for you. Thank you for the image of what it could be like. I think we would be right in the same conflict avoidance situation here if we hire her.

  57. AnonAnon*

    LW#5 I totally understand this concern. I have a friend that had to deal with this often as her spouse was in the military and they moved every 3 years.

    Speaking from some experience though, in my industry it is very common for people to give their notice and not tell anyone where they are going if they were staying within industry. Using language similar to what Alison suggested. Then we would usually find out via LinkedIn once that was updated or if they kept in touch with someone at our company. There can be some backstabbing in my industry so a lot of people don’t want to sabotage offers and keep it quiet until they start the job.

    Also I know of a few people in my industry that are still married but one spouse works on the east coast while the other on the west. I have seen this done for various reasons. Not common but it does happen.

  58. ynotlot*

    #1: I don’t know why I’ve been disagreeing with Allison so much lately. But I think this is, again, a little extreme. There are plenty of companies where members of the same family are employed, including as direct reports of each other, that do just fine! There’s nothing inherently wrong with owning or working in a family business.
    It sounds like the boss wants his daughter to go through the regular hiring process, which is great! It would be important to know if he wants her to be judged by the same standards as everyone, in which case she would not be hired unless she’s the most qualified candidate (and that wouldn’t really be a nepotism hire per se), or if he wants her to be hired regardless as long as there are no red flags.
    There are downsides to having members of the same family in a business together / reporting to each other, but they are downsides that can be planned for and mitigated. Have the two family members sit down for a meeting and talk through what they will do in a variety of situations. Write up a family employment contract stating how they will handle various issues and promising to engage in a good-faith effort to resolve conflicts, to actively and clearly separate the personal and the professional, to call each other by first names, to not engage in venting with non-family-member coworkers, and to be prepared that some coworkers may think it’s a nepotism hire regardless of whether it is or not. Plan for those reactions.
    There are benefits of hiring family members as well. It’s hard to quantify the benefits of hiring someone who is vetted and known and can’t disappear. It may not work out for various reasons, but it’s way less likely that you’ll have to fire them in their first week for smoking weed in the bathroom, that they’ll quit after onboarding because “Oh, I just don’t really like it”, or that it will turn out their resume was bolstered with half-truths. Plus, it’s great for succession planning in some cases – makes it less likely that the whole org will fold when the current owner retires, because there is a potential successor already working in the org.
    Also, it sounds like this is an admin assistant position. It would be a different situation if they were trying to hire for some rare professional expertise or a role that should be certified, etc.
    Lastly, I disagree that it’s inherently wrong to have a family business and hire your kids into it. This is a great way for many families to build intergenerational wealth. Plenty of family businesses are successful and pleasant workplaces. I don’t know where this idea that hiring relatives is always doomed to failure comes from.

    1. Observer*

      You are setting up a whole lot of straw men.

      The reality is that there are anti-nepotism policies in place in most businesses for good reason. And most of the mitigations you talk about are not something that the OP can make happen. Now, in a family owned business, which this is not, the owner can do that with their family member. And, someone up the OP’s GrandBoss might be able to make it happen in a way that could stick. But outside of those two scenarios, there is no way for the OP to be confident that they will actually be able to manage the daughter.

      Facts on the ground bear this concern out. It takes a lot of intentionality on the part of the higher level person to make this kind of set up work. And in the vast majority of cases, it actually is NOT “fine”.

      The OP added some information which pretty much confirms that this would almost certainly be a nightmare scenario. Boss has not really thought this through, he’s doing this because he’s afraid his daughter will be angry at him, and she clearly expect to be given the job even though she can’t be bothered to go through the process. That’s a REALLY bad starting point.

      1. ynotlot*

        I don’t think I am setting up straw men. Everything I’ve written, including the examples, is based on my experience in the workplace.
        Of course many businesses have anti-nepotism policies and of course they have good reasons for having them. But, lots of businesses don’t have or need such a policy. Allison’s argument is that employment of family members is always a bad idea, such a bad idea that it’s worth using a lot of social capital. My argument is that it’s not always a bad idea, it’s a nuanced issue, not something to reject out of hand.

        1. ynotlot*

          …And because maybe this is useful context, I scoured this site a few months back when I was considering hiring my boss’ daughter. I found a lot of Q&As that go over the potential downsides of employing family members, but I didn’t find anything about the potential upsides or how to make it work. I found resources about upsides/how to make it work elsewhere. So, after my experience doing that, I’m confident to share a viewpoint different from Allison’s. And for the record, I usually agree with Allison (not about this, and not about the pre-presentation vodka).

    2. Important Moi*

      I agree with you. I posted elsewhere in the comments.

      You can’t confirm something that hasn’t happened yet.

  59. anycat*

    #3 -i’m sorry that happened to you. i too gave one week at my last toxic job because:
    1) i was afraid my boss was going to claw my bonus back
    2) i was having panic attacks walking into the building on a daily basis
    3) i had been bullied and nothing had been done.

    she too gave me the same treatment, and then on the last day didn’t even show up and friended me on FB. i hope that your new job is better.

    1. anycat*

      eep so sorry i meant #2. also… moving forward, do try to do two weeks – or if you had been proposed to start at the end of feb do a longer notice period.

  60. Rebecca1*

    My husband used to work for a company that had a “sick kid care” benefit. When a child was sent home from daycare but otherwise ok, they would subsidize most of the cost of a nanny for the day.

    1. Clisby*

      I’m curious where this nanny would materialize from. Did the company contract with an organization providing on-call childcare?

  61. need a new screen name and have no imagination*

    #2: When I left my first job, I gave 2 weeks’ notice even though my new job wouldn’t start for 3 weeks, because it was around the beginning of December and I thought it would be better to let them know as soon as possible, since people tend to take vacation around the holidays.

    My boss told me to get out right then and there. No time to write up status reports on my projects, barely any time to let the people I was working with, both at the company and outside, that I was leaving (this was before email).

    My boss was angry because I was going to a rival company to which my then-employer had lost several other employees in previous years, but I was still shocked at this response.

    I wound up having to sneak back in the following week when my former boss was out to lunch, to get my personal possessions from my office.

    The day I gave notice was the last day I was paid for. It was five weeks before I got another paycheck.

  62. boop the first*

    2. Considering what your coworkers said, to me this is all a very big “OH WELL.” Some people have this bizarre idea that acting like a jerk is a good response to not getting something they want. She told you who she really was, so you might as well believe her.

    That said, I totally get the emotional investment. I left a job that treated me like crap. I gave the two weeks notice, but I had to start the other job at the same time on my days off, so it was rough. But the part that I will never forget was that my boss gave me a bit of the cold shoulder throughout. I’d thought we were friends at that point… we were pretty honest and stuck up for each other for several years. Not only did he barely say goodbye, but he told me to go home in the middle of my last day. It was a holiday and it was probably more of a peace offering, but I have to admit it broke my heart a little.

  63. goducks*

    LW3- I know you say that it’s fine if the parent takes time off for a sick kid, but does this parent really trust that all that time off won’t be used against them in the future? When my kids were little, I was the only woman with kids in my office. My husband and I split kid sick days pretty evenly, but I was keenly aware that even if my boss said that it was no big deal, that it might actually be a big deal. We’ve all heard of all the ways that motherhood is used to stifle career advancement. May of us have seen it in real life. It’s never just the overt discrimination, it’s the lack of opportunities presented because “Jane is out a lot, and we need a star performer”.
    And if the employee in question is a man, he too may feel that pressure, because as a society we don’t know what to do with men who prioritize their children, and who actively parent–especially in the workplace.
    So, you may be saying (and even meaning and doing!) all the right things, but our society has told parents that missing days for sick kids is bad for your career, so your employee may be reacting no to you, but to internalized understanding of how things typically work.

  64. SApro*

    OP2: my toxic old boss did not say goodbye to me. I gave her 3 weeks notice and she said “well, technically, through the Union, you are supposed to give 4 weeks notice and I can take your vacation bank if I wanted…but I have never done that so….” it was bizarre. Why mention it if you have never taken it before?

    Then, not only did she not say bye to me on my last day. (Insert image of me hugging people goodbye in the office and her standing awkwardly) , but she also did not give me the department gift. She had it mailed to me after the fact. Her poor/petty (and racist) behavior left such an impact on how I perceive my field. Even though I have a new job, I’m still scarred.

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