we start meetings with “words of essence,” leaving right after a bonus, and more

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

1. We start every meeting with “words of essence” and personality types

What do you think of a CEO who starts every executive team meeting with each person reciting their name (as a way to “own” their words), their “word of essence” (a word you use to describe your true character, what’s really important to you, etc.), and their Myers-Briggs personality type, and then discuss everyone’s answers? This is a group of five people who meet every other week. It makes me insane to waste time like this, but I appear to be the only person who feels this way. We have all worked together for 2+ years, so it’s not an ice-breaker or anything. I feel like it would be just as useful to recite my zodiac sign, and about as accurate. Do I just have to suck it up and go along with it all?

(For my “word of essence,” I usually say “determined,” because I’m determined to get through another BS meeting.)

Oh, it’s so cringey. Words of essence! And you have to announce and discuss your Myers-Briggs type at every meeting? It sounds ridiculous and like a huge waste of time and I would my words of essence would be increasingly misanthropic, but … yeah, if this is the CEO and everyone else is fine with it, it’s likely just the culture there and you have to decide if you’re up for dealing with it or not.

If you have a lot of capital with the CEO and you’re willing to spend some, you could try pushing back, but you’d have to decide if it’s a battle you want to fight. (I think I probably would because I’d be driven out of my gourd by it, but it depends heavily on your relationship with the CEO.) You also could discreetly raise it with the other coworkers who are in these meetings; you might find out they’re annoyed too and just going along because everyone else is, in an Emperor’s New Clothes way.

And really, if you’re going to engage in exercises like this on the reg, you need to check in with participants and ask if they’re finding it useful and make it safe for them to give honest answers.

2. Using the #OPENTOWORK frame on LinkedIn

Have you seen anyone use the new #OPENTOWORK frame around their profile pictures on LinkedIn? It’s meant to signal that the person is open to offers from recruiters, hiring managers, etc. I assume the intended user would primarily be freelancers, but I recently saw two former coworkers at one company (who are both still working there) put the frame on their profiles. One of them included a statement indicating they were seeking other opportunities, the other one just added the frame.

I think in this case I can read between the lines as the company is not doing so hot in COVID-19 times, but I’m curious what you think about putting #OPENTOWORK on your LinkedIn profile when you’re already working full-time. Is this as much of a faux pas as I think it is, or are attitudes changing around the taboo of seeking a new job so openly?

First, as background for people who haven’t seen it, LinkedIn now gives you the option to put a big green circle with the hashtag #OPENTOWORK around your profile picture.

If you’re already employed and your employer isn’t aware you’re job searching, it’s definitely unusual to so openly advertise it on LinkedIn … but it’s possible there’s context that makes that a non-issue for the people you saw.

About the frame more generally … I think it’s a bit much, as well as unnecessary. Recruiters aren’t shy about contacting people who haven’t explicated declared they’re open to work — if they think you’re right for a job they’re trying to fill, they’re going to approach you regardless. On LinkedIn, you don’t really need to announce you’re open to work. Plus, making your availability such a focal point can actually make you less appealing to some recruiters, who want to feel like they’re landing hard-to-get candidates (which is weird and problematic, but still a thing).

So this feels like another thing LinkedIn has dreamed up that isn’t actually in sync with what’s useful to job seekers (see also: skill endorsements).

3. Who should tell people about raises?

I’ve been a manager at my current company for 13 years. I have a team of five direct reports and meet with them for one-on-ones every one to two weeks. We review projects, develop strategies for hurdles, discuss what’s working and what’s not, and where they would like to see their careers go. Recently we had our annual reviews where I create their annual development plans, etc. These reviews are quite involved and build on conversations we’ve had throughout the year. At the conclusion of the reviews, a formal letter from HR is drafted with the annual salary increase and general “happy to have you here” language. HR always drafts these letters and the direct supervisor signs and hand delivers to each person.

This year, my direct supervisor (at the company for 15+ years, but new to me within this year) took the letters from HR, signed and delivered herself, and I found out after it had been done. I was shocked and feel like I’ve been cut out. I’ve been working with each of these folks all year, asking questions, diving for answers, developing plans, having hard conversations when needed. I think that I had the right to deliver the good news. Am I wrong?

I asked HR about it and they said, oh she’s always delivered the annual letters for her team before. Since our org did some shuffling, there are new things to get used to, and I think I’ve been adapting well so far, but this particular issue is really bothering me and I don’t know how to address it.

You’re not wrong. Giving news about raises should be part of the conversations you’ve been putting such energy into having. It can also be one of the most enjoyable parts of managing. It’s weird that your manager swooped in and took that from you. If she’s always done it that way, it probably just didn’t occur to her that you’d want to do it yourself. It’s not really an outrage — some places do it that way — but it would be reasonable for you to explain that going forward you’d like to do it yourself as part of the conversations you’re already having, and ask if she can leave it to you.

4. Can I leave right after getting a bonus?

In my current job, I’m quite underpaid. I have brought this to my boss before but there are always reasons why the organization can’t correct it. Last time I brought it up, I was promised a modest bonus as a thank-you from the organization, but it’s just a one-time thing of a few thousand dollars and it doesn’t close the gap between my salary and my market rate. My organization doesn’t give raises, nor cost of living adjustments, nor bonuses, so I could tell this was my boss’ way to try to keep me content and around, because they love my work and have repeatedly asked me to stick around along with some hazy promise to “do what they can.”

However, my boss doesn’t know I’m interviewing. So far I’ve had two very promising interviews for different jobs and I’m hoping one of them extends me an offer. Both of these places are interested in having the person in the new position start sometime in in the next couple of months. If my boss gives me a bonus, can I quit afterwards and keep it?

The way I see it, the bonus is for work performed and a recognition of how I haven’t been compensated fairly, and although I’m not planning to wait for my bonus to quit, I am aware of how bad it would look if I got it and then put in my notice. This is complicated because the money really matters to me, and I definitely don’t want to have to reject it. Is there an etiquette around bonuses you could share? Should I plan on giving it back?

You can leave soon after getting a bonus, and you definitely don’t need to return it. It’s not uncommon for people who receive bonuses on set schedules to wait until they get the bonus and then leave soon afterwards. Employers don’t love it because they intend bonuses to be a retention strategy (whereas employees tend to see them as pay for work already performed), but it’s a pretty common thing that happens. As long as you don’t sign anything agreeing to stay for a certain amount of time after the bonus is paid, you’re fine.

And really, this is a company that doesn’t give raises or cost of living adjustments — what do they expect? That’s so out of sync with how pay normally works over time that you really owe them nothing. Take your bonus, leave for a new job, and don’t feel guilty.

5. What’s my safety obligation to third party vendors?

What is my obligation to the safety of third party vendors? I work for a construction company, and quite often I have to submit locate requests in order allow our building crews to dig at job sites (think “Call Before You Dig”/811). I just had a phone call from a person who performs locate requests for the utility company in the area where we are building. There was a barking dog in the yard, and he was worried about getting bit. He wanted me to call the homeowner to see if they could come out to get their dog. At the time I didn’t have the homeowner’s contact info. I said I didn’t know what the best advice to give him. I didn’t feel like I had the authority to tell him he should leave if he felt unsafe. Ultimately, I guess I could’ve given him the sales rep’s phone number (sales reps are the ones who ask us to call in dig tickets) to see if the rep could help. Would that have been passing the buck since the sales rep doesn’t supervise the locate request employees?

Is it my or my company’s responsibility to have homeowners police their dogs when it comes to dig tickets? The companies who fulfill locate requests are completely separate from our company, so we have no jurisdiction of who or when people are sent out. I don’t want people to be unsafe, but I also don’t know how much lies on my shoulders.

I have no idea if there’s typical protocol for this so I’m just taking a guess, but if you don’t know when people will be coming out to a house, there’s not a practical way to tell people ahead of time when they’ll need to secure their dogs. Given that, it would make sense to keep the homeowner’s phone number in your own records, so you have a way of reaching them if you get another call like this. If you’re the one the utility crew is going to call, that makes more sense than you then having to track down the sales rep, who then needs to make their own call. (Or if there’s a way to pass along the homeowner’s contact info when you submit the original request, that’s an option too.)

I don’t think it’s really about whose responsibility it should be; it’s just about getting it done in the most efficient way so the work you need can proceed. But I’ve also never done this kind of work and don’t know if what I’m saying is practical for the context — so if it’s not, my advice is simply to raise it with the people you work with and figure out what will get the problem solved fastest, then make that your system. Think of it less in terms of “whose responsibility should this be?” and more as “what’s most efficient for the work we need accomplished?”

{ 295 comments… read them below }

  1. Cobal*

    OP #4 you earned that money, and frankly you’d be doing your current company a huge favor by saying you’re leaving because of pay, and really that would be true even if they did cost of living pay increases. Their current structure essentially guarantees people stay there or nay a short time.

    1. MK*

      Though I wouldn’t count on the money of the bonus, it sounds more like another vague promise than a firm commitment to me.

      1. JM in England*

        Whenever I’ve accepted a job that includes bonuses as part of the pay structure, I treat them as exactly that. I calculate my budget using the basic salary.

        1. LQ*

          Yeah, but this sounds different since it’s just a one time thing. And it’s always dangerous to count on a bonus a basic salary when budgeting since that’s often the first thing to go. Unless you have a contract and it’s in there that feels dangerous.

        2. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

          I’ve only ever had one job that specified in the offer letter that a bonus “of up to 10% of my salary” would be part of my compensation. So it was a nice to have, not guaranteed. And unless you’ve signed a legally binding contract, bonuses are never a guarantee.

          1. JM in England*

            Exactly. Have had it made clear to me that whether bonuses are paid are not is dependent on both individual and overall company performance. So I budget on the assumption of not getting one. If I do get one it’s, as you say, nice to have.

            1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

              I misread your initial comment that you WERE using the bonus to calculate your budget. Note to self…do not comment until coffee has kicked in LOL

          2. Arvolin*

            Remember that “up to 10%” does include 0%. What that may do is limit your bonus. (At my last job, mine was based on the company hitting its revenue goals. Fortunately, the year I needed expensive roof work was the year the company grew spectacularly, and I got well over 10% of my salary.)

    2. Narise*

      My thought OP probably earned more than the money they will receive. The bonus probably will be small $250 at best and they will act like it’s this huge amount and you should stay for years. Take the bonus, look ta how much you are underpaid, and see if the bonus off sets even one pay period. It probably won’t. Give them two weeks notice and don’t let them talk you into more. If they push to have the bonus returned or hint/threaten they will take it out of your final check look them dead in the eye and use Allison’s script about you want this to be a smooth transition but if they are going to be hostile today can be your last day.

    3. Occasionally Engineer*

      To add onto to this. Bonus are just that, a bonus. Not something that can be depended upon, it is merely a carrot that is not certain and cannot be budgeted for on a yearly basis. I have quit 2 jobs after getting a bonus. The first was a retention bonus, paid out over 2 installments 6 months apart, I quite for a new job 3 weeks after my second installment.

      I quit my that 2nd job literally the same day my KPI bonus hit my account. I had been planning on leaving that position for a couple of months and it was a happy accident that I was able to put in my resignation letter the bonus payday.

      All this to say, bonuses are not to be counted upon and you can definitely resign soon after bonuses are paid out.

      1. Pickwick*

        I have also put in my notice the day of receiving a bonus.
        The company didn’t want to give out raises that year and awarded bonuses instead. Quick math told me I was losing out on significant money. It was a very large orginization and I was a very basic customer facing employee, so there was no succession plan to worry about. Even so, my boss was not happy as I gave them my notice with my bonus check in hand.

      2. JM in England*

        On a similar note, shortly after getting the offer for my current job OldJob said it was making my entire department redundant. Managed to negotiate the starting date of current job such that I would not miss out on the severance package. This also had the added bonus of not having to give notice at OldJob. The package came in quite handy for funding the relocation to current job.

    4. Moose on skates*

      Yeah, I waited to give notice at my past job until 3 days after the money had gone into my account from a bonus. I was already leaving, and I had repeatedly brought up pay issues. Same thing, they gave me vague murmurings of making it right, and they never did. Feel no guilt!

    5. Josh S*

      And bonuses *ARE* a Retention Tool. They retain you precisely until the date of the bonus payout.

  2. All Outrage, All The Time*

    OP#1 I would find it so hard not to laugh out loud during this nonsense. My sympathies to you. Frankly I would just make stuff up for my own amusement.

    1. Perpal*

      I’m pretty sure I would start throwing out nonsense – my essence today is “tuesday” (best if done on any other day), though generally I only vacilitate between INTP and INTJ, I’ll do my best to be ENFP today for the new client project! Maybe I can get to ZTKQ! ” etc etc…

      1. Bilateralrope*

        That gives me an idea. First, retake the test before each meeting so you can honestly tell them that the test is saying your personality is shifting.

        Then one meeting you give an answer of “dont know, as I didn’t have time to retest”.

        Or, if you have a friend with the knowledge, get them to build their own website that does the test. But occasionally spits out strange results. Preferably after you’ve got everyone else using it for their regular retesting.

        Obviously you dont tell anyone how you found that website.

        1. Forrest*

          MBTI done the way the owners want it done isn’t about the “test”–it’s about whatever you decide you are!

          1. Rachel*

            I can’t tell if you are serious or joking, but this is actually true. MBTI does not measure personality; it assesses your preferences in certain areas. Anyone can prefer a certain approach to problem solving, for example, but they can certainly do things differently if they need to and/or want to. Your preferences can certainly change over time.

            So as an INTJ, I would be strongly inclined to provide that information and point out this means I have zero tolerance for BS. But I am also capable of recognizing that this is not an effective choice unless I’m ready to quit or be fired. However, I certainly would go along with giving silly or ridiculous answers while maintaining a straight face.

            1. Forrest*

              Totally serious! I’m a qualified administrator (not that I’ve done a session for years) and it’s drummed into you that it’s a questionnaire, not a test, and that what you think is most acccurate when the categories are explained to you in the feedback session is more important than whatever the questionnaire says.

        2. boo bot*

          I was thinking retake the test every time, too. Or, start off at one corner of the Myers-Briggs personality-type square and change one letter at every meeting so you slowly work your way across the board and see if anyone notices.

          From time to time, someone might think in passing, “wasn’t she an introvert?” but your Essence Word of the day will be “outgoing” and they’ll quickly realize that of course, you’ve always been extroverted.

          I make my own fun.

        3. ThursdaysGeek*

          I actually do change every time I take the test, because I’m so close to the middle on all of them. So I would re-take the test each time, to determine what I was at that point in time.

        1. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers*

          I worked for a lovely woman who would open our weekly meetings by having each person around the table state “what colour you are today” and why. Some of us had fun with it and others were truly frustrated or bewildered. They’d typically choose randomly, like the colour of the shirt they were wearing, but couldn’t explain why. It was pretty funny. In fact, I seem to remember that she asked me a similar question in my interview… Now that sounds weird, kooky and a bad place to work, but it was the single quirk she had, as an otherwise practical, professional, kind, manager.

      2. Amaranth*

        My essence would be ‘eucalyptus’ but now I’m curious, do most people find M-B changing like a mood ring? There are times I’ll need to behave more ENFP for client meetings, but I’m still INTP/J on the inside.

    2. Kimmybear*

      Laugh or eye roll. Would depend on my mood which would also drive my Word of Essence. I’m going for “pique” today.

      1. Name (Required)*

        My essence is sarcasm…would that answer count?

        If not, I could be obstinate on some days. If none of those were acceptable I would just start labeling foods I wanted to eat. “Today I’m Schezuan shrimp. Let’s go ahead and get this done for the week shall we? Saturday I’ll be micro-brewed IPA in case you are interested.”

    3. Quinalla*

      OP1: as someone who gets some value out of personality tests and that sort of thing, even I think it is really weird to share this EVERY meeting. Maybe once a year have this discussion, but EVERY MEETING! If they just did the name and essence word thing at least it would be over quick, but to have a discussion about personality types every meeting is frankly a waste of time. If I was going to push back, I’d push back (diplomatically) in that vein.

      1. Ahsley*

        I would also start with pushing back on the personality test thing especially in the context of the same group meeting repeatedly. It would be much more tolerable if you only had to do that with new people who have been forewarned. If I could cut out half of the BS that would make me feel like I accomplished something but giving the CEO some face saving on the plan not being the best.

        If this is a small company this won’t make sense, but I do know leaders who make people introduce themselves every meeting because they are terrible at names. If you are on Zoom and people actually type there name it solves this problem and it just makes your CEO a quirky person who has probably done to many subpar seminars on leadership.

      2. tangerineRose*

        Yeah, I don’t get why it has to be announced at every meeting. Maybe write up an internal document with the info and leave it alone.

      1. Sharpie*

        +1

        I’d be tempted to write a script and recite it word-for-word every meeting. I wonder who’d catch on the quickest…

      2. SheLooksFamiliar*

        A former employer embraced Myers-Briggs a bit too much. They sent out a poster template so we could print and post our personality type on our office door or cubicle wall. Someone actually did post MYOB. Someone else posted their type, and added ‘You’ve Been Warned.’ That trend died down pretty quick, as did the love of MBTI.

        And the masses cheered.

    4. Emi.*

      My essence today is Purity; next week it will be Precious and after that Bodily and then Fluids.

    5. Mockingjay*

      We open our weekly team meetings with one Personal and one Business Best of the preceding week. Not my favorite part, but the company overall is excellent and I consider this a minor annoyance I can live with. For personal, we all bring up innocuous stuff: read a book, saw a movie, painted the dining room. Business best is easy – finished a task. The rest of the meeting is very focused on work.

      I couldn’t tell you my Myers-Briggs type; I’ve never taken the test. I’d probably make something up.

    6. Keymaster of Gozer*

      I’d fake laryngitis and make out like I can’t answer at all.

      (Probably make up my own sign language too. Gratuitous use of the British rude V sign would feature)

      1. My Dear Wormwood*

        Auslan sign for not taking responsibility could also feature heavily: it’s a double-barreled middle finger with up and down moion.

        We all know this now because it was used by the Auslan interpreter at a COVID briefing recently.

    7. PTACR*

      I don’t play these games much. I’d do it about twice or three times, with the same answer each time, and then the next time it’d be “PTACR – all the same as last meeting” and then stop to show I’m done.

    8. paxfelis*

      “My word of essence today is concerned. I’m not used to having to repeat myself this often, unless it’s to people who’re having memory or processing issues. Is everyone doing okay?”

    9. RecoveringSWO*

      I know OP said that others don’t feel the same way, but if that changes, I would definitely try to make a group game out of it. You could spell something with the first letter of everyone’s word :)

    10. Artemesia*

      doing this once — maybe — to each his own. While the Meyer/Briggs is junk science it is also helpful sometimes in helping people appreciate that frictions in how people work together sometimes result from valuable but different personalities. The detail oriented person is better off with a blue skyer in the group too so that both are a check on the other. I have used a much simpler knock off of Meyer/Briggs with only 4 categories that absolutely transformed a couple of groups having trouble working together. It isn’t that the tests and concepts are perfect, but that appreciating different contributions rather than being irritated by them is helpful sometimes. Helping people reflect on their own points of view and approaches can also be fruitful.I

      But EVERY meeting. I feel like screaming and am only reading about it. What a waste of time. And ultimately how insulting. I would be talking to the boss about it unless he was totally abusive and I was already totally crossways with him. And it would probably involve the phrase ‘This is driving me crazy.’

    11. Sparrow*

      I think if it was just go around the circle, say three words (name, mbti, word of “essence”) and that was it, I’d roll my eyes internally but I’d do it because with five people that should waste less than a minute. It’s the discussion afterward that would make me want to run from the room screaming. I would definitely be tempted to say something like, “I’m Sparrow, and my MBTI and word of essence haven’t changed since the last time we discussed them.” In a upbeat tone instead of a murdery one, of course.

        1. Zelda*

          I have had the privilege of attending a concert by the Callipygian Players. David Schrader is a delight.

    12. Phoenix Wright*

      I would reply with words and phrases taken from the Yakuza video games, since the special attacks in those games are all named “Essence of X” (with “X” being the action you perform in that specific case). It’d be funny to see if anyone gets the references.

      Of course, if you do this be careful with what you choose, otherwise you might get really weird looks if your essence words of the day are things like “stabbing” or “bone crush”.

    13. Tangerina Warbleworth*

      Bring a copy of Essence magazine and read the front cover. Or, since “essence” is sometimes used by the French to mean “gasoline”, you could go with “unleaded”.

  3. D3*

    I’d be looking up obscure words no one knew the meaning of and refusing to say more than that one word.
    My word of essence today is “Quanked”
    If people ask, just say it’s personal.

      1. AcademiaNut*

        If you turn it into an obscure word of the day routine, at least people would be getting an expanded vocabulary out of it.

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

          It’d be an interesting social experiment to see how many fake corporate buzzwords you could get to catch on… *insert evil snigger*

      2. Tiny Orchid*

        The NPR show Says You! has a segment of obscure words, that would be a hilarious place to start.

    1. My Dear Wormwood*

      Unionization could be a good word of essence.

      Or I might just go with obscure religious words. Today I’m feeling…transubstanionalist.

        1. Amy Sly*

          Downside of a chem degree — “un-ionization”? What’s so great about that word?

          Oh …

            1. blaise zamboni*

              I love this so much. “I’m going into dormancy so I don’t die from these awful conditions. INFJ.”

                1. Artemesia*

                  quotidian is excellent because oddly most people don’t know what it means and it is so apt for this repetitive exercise.

        1. Richard Hershberger*

          I don’t know how I managed to go all these years without knowing “ultracrepidarian.” Thank you!

      1. SweetestCin*

        My parents taught me this word when I was VERY young as a joke, because we were supposed to bring our favorite word in to Kindergarten.

        Yes. They have an interesting sense of humor.

        1. Sleepless*

          My kids were very young when we were in the grocery store one day, and one of them asked for something…I don’t remember, it was some kind of sugary junk. I said, “Oh. No no. I think that represents an evolutionary endpoint in processed food.”

          A guy in front of us turned all the way around and said, “OK, I’m sorry. I’m an engineer and *I* don’t know what that means!”

          (Kids are older teenagers now, and I’m happy to report that’s still the level of discourse at our house.)

          1. Quill*

            I brought “Carotene” in for my C word of the day in kindergarten, but my extended family thinks Scrabble is a blood sport, so…

          2. JeanB in NC*

            I was in a store with my friend and she was trying on clothes. Her two-year-old went looking under the doors, and I told her, Don’t look under the doors – that’s socially unacceptable. Got a snort-laugh out of a total stranger that time.

        2. BethDH*

          This is why “where’s your clavicle?” was a normal part of my parents’ attempts to teach me body parts.

    2. bassclefchick*

      If I were feeling particularly confident in how I looked that day, I’d go with callipygian. Though it might get me in trouble with HR if they decided to look it up.

      1. My Dear Wormwood*

        “Use it in a sentence.”

        “Well, my exercise physiologist’s insistence on squats, clamshells and crab walks has both cured my back pain and made me rather callipygian.”

        True story, by the way. Some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

      1. tiasp*

        Sometimes I will tell a little kid (e.g. grade 2 ish) to spell discombobulate. They always think they can’t, and pretty much they can always work it out.

    3. Scarlet Magnolias*

      My word of essence today is “Eft” either the small salamander or something else

      1. Quill*

        Oh, we’re doing scrabble word of the day, I have some real zingers.

        Or I might just amuse myself by going down the alphabet, starting with “Abecaderian” and ending with “Zoonotic.”

    4. Artemesia*

      Great idea. So many good words ‘Transmogrified’, ‘Schadenfreude’, ‘Kibbitzer’, ‘Maniacal’ — and these are all pretty well known — even better to go the Quanked route.

    5. 653-CXK*

      Some more words: potzriebie, antediluvian, equimonofocal, squamish, crudimentarian, versmilitudinous…

  4. Hannah*

    OP #5 it’s the utility company’s responsibility to ensure that the locate be completed. If they cannot mark for any reason, that company can submit a request for more time via the dig alert reporting website/number, or they can call your company and enter into a dialogue for more time or for your company to help them. Our contractors will often include information for the homeowner within their tickets so that utilities can call the homeowner directly if need be. When we are marking out our utilities, we do our best to contact the homeowner ourselves, but I’ve definitely had tickets where I had to call the person doing the digging and tell them we couldn’t access the property, and either arrange a meet and mark or described to them in detail where our utilities were.
    I’ve never expected that other companies would ensure my tech’s safety, just that they be open to sharing information and communicating with me to try to get the utility marked.

    1. Sue*

      There may be more than one issue here but in my state, a general contractor has a duty to ensure a safe workplace. If a sub or anyone else gets hurt, the general contractor will be sued and likely liable. I’m not sure if you’re more interested in the logistics or the liability but talk to your company attorney about the liability in your jurisdiction if that is one of your concerns. Liability isn’t always determined in the way a non-lawyer might think.

      1. Call before you dig*

        A locate company does not work for the contractor that is doing the digging, they for work for the utility company or more likely a locating company hired by the utility company. There’s no relationship between the company calling locates and the company providing them. It’s polite to provide any homeowner information but it is not always available. I’ve worked on jobs where there are miles of locates needed and contact info is not available for everyone on the route.

        1. WaterWorker2020*

          I come from the municipl utility side of things and we are not allowed to give out customer contact information even for locate requests for privacy reasons. But in general yes, what Call before you dig and Hannah said is accurate.

      2. Boue*

        I’m in Canada, so I’m not sure if this would apply in the US as well, but here safety on site is typically also a contractual responsibility of the GC (it can be the owner’s responsibility in some particular situations, but let’s stick to the typical cases). It doesn’t matter whether the person getting hurt is employed by the GC, the owner, a third party or anything else. The GC is still responsible for everything that happens on site because they are the ones who have the most control over it.

      3. Eleaner*

        Safety person here, what Sue’s talking about holds true federally for the US. For OSHA this would be a Multi Employer Worksite. If your contractor is alerting you to a safety issue, that is legally your responsibility. Considering the number of sites you likely deal with, I can’t speak broadly, but the TLDR if someone alerts you to an issue you weren’t aware of, you do need to assist fixing it.

        The Multi Employer Worksite is really just for the legal, but the overall answer, Alison was spot on. It doesn’t matter who should tend to these, just that all parties involved work to provide a safe work environment.

        1. I work for a utility*

          The locator in this case is a utility’s contractor, not LW’s. But yeah, LW’s company should make an effort to have the dog secured (whether that’s contacting the homeowner directly or by contacting the utility to have to contact the homeowner — would depend on if LW is working directly for homeowner or working for a utility, and the terms of their contract if the latter).

      4. Lynca*

        That’s going to entirely depend on whether they are actually contracted to do the work to the Construction company (which are a thing) or if they’re contracted by the Utility. 811 submittals do not enter you into a contracted relationship with the location firm or the utility. These are also done before any construction work begins so there’s no “worksite” for the contractor requesting the work to keep safe.

        It’s a different situation when the Contractor hires the firm or it’s done in an active worksite. I deal with that some and they are responsible in those situations.

        My only advice for the OP is to make sure you do have the homeowner’s contact information when doing the locate (that’s SOP for when we do it) whenever possible from now on since it seems like the sales rep has it and that’s what the tech needed. I would have called the sales rep for them in that situation and requested the contact info- not have them call the rep. It could have been seen as passing the buck since you’re meant to be the buffer between the rep and the work being done.

        1. Lynca*

          I realize in my haste I left off the important bit and made it seem like they should give the number over- the OP should have gotten the number from the rep and called the homeowner about the dog. Not give the number to the locator.

          The locates I deal with typically don’t affect homeowners, so this is something that doesn’t come up super often for my work.

      5. Chinook*

        That has been my experience – responsibility for safety flows up. If I hire a contractor, I don’t interact with the sub-contractors but I do expect them to meet the safety/quality standards I set out for the contractor. It is their job to manage the subs. That being said, if someone is injured on the site, I the person who hired the contractor, is ultimately responsible (unless explicitly stated in the contract).

    2. Washi*

      So great that no matter the subject, there will be AAM readers with the needed expertise! I’ve read the question several times and still do not understand the relationships between the different parties. Does the homeowner employ the construction company? Does marking utilities sometimes involve going on the property of homeowners who are not having any constructing done?

      1. SweetestCin*

        For the last question, yes. You may not be having any work done, but they may be marking utilities on what is essentially your property if they’re doing, say, work on the water main in the road, road work itself, a new phone line being run, reconnecting runouts off of a gas main, sewer work, etc. Your neighbor behind you may be having work done and the utilities that cross onto your property may be relevant. (Really, if you’re doing anything involving a shovel, you want the utilities marked so you don’t HIT something. At best, its gross and/or a mess. At worst, its dangerous – think excavation equipment hitting a high pressure gas main or an electrical distribution line!)

        1. I work for a utility*

          It’s also expensive — if you damage a utility line while planting petunias in your backyard and you didn’t have a current dig ticket (they have excavation windows), you’re going to pay for the repair.

            1. Chinook*

              Yup. “Call Before You Dig.” In Alberta and BC, atleast, everybody who has stuff buried pays towards a company that will send somekne out for free to flag where underground utilities are for everyone’s safety. And then listen to what they tell you.

              Once marked, though, it is your responsibility to dig wisely and it will be your fault for damage done for not following correct procedures. The pipeline I worked for’s only major spill was due to a city contractor ignoring instructions to dig by hand and used an excavator. They hit the pipeline and caused mixed petroleum products to spew. Because the directions given by the on-site supervisor were ignored, both the contractor and the city were held legally responsible even though the public blamed the pipeline (whose rep. was literally yelling at the guy to not do it and they shut the line down as quickly as possible)

          1. Mockingjay*

            Yep, you’re liable. We had a fence put in last month, and called 8-1-1 to have the utilities marked before work began.

            Our local area uses two 8-1-1 contractors: one for water/sewer/gas/electric, and another for cable/phone. The cable guy (ha!) came out, walked around, and didn’t mark anything. (We know approximately where the line is – it should have been marked.) We called 8-1-1 again and had him come back out. Had the fence company dug for a post and hit the cable line, we would have been liable, not the company.

            1. I work for a utility*

              This is legitimately A Thing with some cable/phone companies – some of them just don’t mark because it’s cheaper to pay the for the occasional damage than to roll a truck to mark every ticket. That said, the locator is usually liable if damage occurs because of a mismark (you dug 18 inches to the left of the line and hit the utility, or a utility said they didn’t find anything to mark) rather than the person who abided by the marks and caused damage. Certainly making the guy come back to mark when you knew it was there was smart, though!

      2. I work for a utility*

        There are a couple of scenarios:
        1) The homeowner hired a GC to do work
        2) The homeowner’s neighbor hired a GC to do work and the nature of the work requires marking in the neighbor’s yard
        3) A utility/locality/HOA hired the GC to do work and the work involves the homeowner’s property

        It is the responsibility of the company turning dirt (or person, if you’re just putting in a new garden in your backyard) to call 811 prior to digging to mark underground facilities. All utilities with underground facilities (electric, water, sewer, telecom) have contracts with locating companies to respond to 811 tickets.

        The sales rep mentioned could be the person who the homeowner/homeowner’s neighbor/utility is interacting with to get the work completed.

    3. Anon100*

      Expanding on this a bit – OP5, your manager/company should have the homeowner’s information, if especially (!) work if being performed on the homeowner’s property. (If not your company, then the Client that is performing work on the homeowner’s property. If no one does, then there’s a whole bunch of liability issues and that’s another whole can of worms). If the work isn’t being done on the homeowner’s property, but near it, then I agree with Hannah that someone from your firm should meet with the utility locator to walk the site and point out exactly where work will be performed, so the utility locator can trace all utilities in the area. If your firm isn’t directly subcontracting the utility locator (like if the locator works for 811), then I suppose you could argue that the locator’s safety isn’t your responsibility… but that makes you look like a bit of a jerk for not caring about safety when the point of utility locating IS safety. If your firm has directly subcontracted the private utility locator, then yes, you/your firm is responsible for the subcontractor’s safety.

      1. Anon100*

        Also, OP5, I mean this gently, but are you new to this kind of work? Dogs in yards are a common occurrence and it would be weird if none of your managers or more experienced co-workers have never run into this sort of situation before as a construction company. And if it’s your project site, you need to “own” it and figure out solutions. Safety is paramount. If someone gets hurt, there will be all sorts of fingerpointing, lawyers, lawsuits, all sorts of nasty paperwork and stuff that could have been easily avoided by making a few extra phone calls or you just going out to the site with the locator.

      2. Chinook*

        Yes! We had a master list of lamdownrs and residents of the proper8eith all types of contact info for just this reason.

        1. The Rural Juror*

          What’s difficult is the owner isn’t always the resident. I’ve had people show up at my house without any kind of heads up, but luckily none of our pets stay outside unsupervised. The person who owns the home I rent contracts a property management company to handle everything, so I’ve never met them or had any kind of contact with them. Anyone trying to contact us, the actual residents of the home, would never be able to find our contact information publicly. They’d just have to knock on the front door.

          Not every house is going to be as difficult as ours would be, but I can see how it would be tough to have a contact number for EVERY resident.

    4. I work for a utility*

      At my utility, we would expect the GC to manage all aspects of the work, including contacting the homeowner to ask them to secure the dog (and their contracts are clear that it’s their responsibility). And no one’s said it yet, but we forbid the GC to share contact information with the locator so the locator could call the homeowner — we have very stringent requirement for sharing Personally Identifiable Information in our state.

      1. Lynca*

        ? I would say that may be a peculiarity to your state and workplace because that’s definitely not my experience.

        Especially since utility locates are not directly contracted with the utility in question when I’ve dealt with them. I’ve honestly never seen it for just a location request. (Actually touching utilities is a different story but also a completely different request)

        1. I work for a utility*

          Could be! Our state is strict in general, and we’re even stricter internally. Each utility has contracts with locators who complete the 811 ticket in our state as well. The locator isn’t touching the utility, just using paint/flags to mark where the facilities exist underground. Now, each utility might have different locators: Water may contract with Company A, Telecom may contract with Company B, and Electric may contract with Company A and Company C.

        1. I work for a utility*

          The locators who mark for my utility hold a contract with us. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s the universal practice, but since that’s been my experience it’s why I refer to them as contractors.

      2. AMH*

        I’ve never entered into a contract for a locate request, and I’ve called in more than I can count. A line relocation or other work, of course.

        1. I work for a utility*

          In my state, each utility has contracts with locators who fulfill the 811 tickets submitted. So whether a homeowner or GC submits a ticket, the person who marks for my utility has a contract with my utility. It may not be the case in other states, but that’s the lens I’m using in reading the LW’s situation.

      3. RecoveringSWO*

        I’m surprised to hear that your state forbids the GC to share contact info with the locator. As a utility customer, I expect that the utility companies have my contact information from my being a customer. So if my neighbor is doing work that requires marking my property, I would not have a privacy issue with the water company pulling my address file from their billing department to find my phone number and contact me about access problems. I can understand your company’s potential concern about how the locator may treat that information, but it’s interesting to think about how that affects efficiency and how much things have changed since everyone had a landline listed in the phone book…

        1. I work for a utility*

          You’ve got to weigh two things, right? Efficiency in doing the work and the privacy of the homeowner. In weighing the privacy of the homeowner, you have to go on the side of The Most Private Ever.

          As a homeowner, if I want to plant petunias I go to 811 and put in my contact information. If my landscaper is putting in petunias for me, she puts in her company’s contact information (and probably also the PM’s info). If the utility that serves my house has to dig up their underground facilities, the GC who will actually be doing the work puts in their contact information.

          The locator in this letter called the information that was provided on the ticket — the GC. If this was my utility’s GC, they would then call the homeowner and say “hey, can you bring in the dog so the locator can mark” and then let the locator know “they’re bringing in the dog/no one’s home, I guess it’s not getting marked today.”

          It may add a small amount of inefficiency, but since people don’t get to choose (in my state) where their water or electricity comes from we have a responsibility both legally and ethically to limit the number of people who we give their PII to. My GC’s go through screenings to ensure the PII they need to do their job is protected, and it’s not for the GC’s benefit, it’s for the *utility’s* benefit. Because if my GC gives the phone number to someone and then it winds up being misused, the headline isn’t “GC gives phone number to someone and then they prank call 75 times in one day” it’s “Utility leaks phone number and resident is prank called 75 times in one day.”

  5. Heidi*

    Yikes, OP1. Why would you need to repeat the personality type every time? Does anyone ever change it up, like, “I’m going to be INTJ for a while and see how I feel about it?”

    I’d pick “vengeance” as my essence word. Just to see what happens.

    1. Brooks Brothers Stan*

      It sounds like they heard a Great Idea On a Podcast and didn’t fully think it through. It’s the worst of morning affirmations and icebreakers rolled into one (both of which have their uses in work settings). I would be tempted to approach the CEO offline and ask them what their thinking is behind this, along with how it’s starting to grate from doing it at the every-other-week meeting.

      The CEO might think that because there’s been a ‘significant’ amount of time between each meeting that it’s worth going through this exercise as easy team building.

      1. Mockingjay*

        Why is ‘Team Building’ such a thing? Why can’t managers simply pull the necessary roles together for a project with an objective, timeline, and resources? That’s a team. No emoting required.

        1. Brooks Brothers Stan*

          Because emotions are a thing no matter how much you remove them, as humans aren’t robots. Just because you are all highly competent at your job doesn’t mean you will mesh well together. One of the most important parts of successful project management is knowing how to assemble a team where the personalities involved play well together.

          Team building often gets a bad name because it’s used incorrectly, or management is trying to force an atmosphere on a team that isn’t there. But when done correctly team building can raise the work rate, morale, and overall efficiency of a team.

          1. Filosofickle*

            Thank you. A bunch of roles pulled together is not a team, it’s a work group. It can take significant effort to bring people together as a high-functioning team.

  6. Tom*

    OP #1: I worked at a place where they’d begin meetings with a prayer, and, as a non-religious person, I was very uncomfortable with it. But what can you say?

    1. Zombeyonce*

      My husband’s (non-religious affiliated) company has religious higher ups and they always start events like the holiday parties with a prayer. It’s so uncomfortable. I just close my eyes as everyone bows their heads and immediately open them back up so I can gaze into the middle distance or make eye contact with the other heathens at the party during the prayer and exchange commiserating smiles. I can’t imagine having to do it at every single meeting at work.

  7. Chaordic One*

    OP#4, If you get a better offer, take it and take the bonus. One of my former employers had profit-sharing bonuses where there were convoluted rules governing who would receive them. They always went on a hiring binge after the eligibility deadline had passed so most newish employees would be ineligible for them because they hadn’t been there the arbitrary 6 months. The same employer also fired and laid-off quite a few people the day before the bonuses were due to be paid.

    1. Zombeyonce*

      That company sounds terrible! But I agree, LW should definitely take the money and run. They’re owed years of raises and the company deserves zero guilt.

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

      Yeah, some companies really do treat bonuses as pay, instead of you know, an actual bonus. I worked somewhere like that too, where you’d only earn about a third or half your pay as a regular salary and the rest at their whim, but they still framed it as our “salary package”. It was not a commission-based industry where that kind of pay structure was even remotely normal.
      Doing it meant all the leave and benefits employees got were based only on the salary portion, so it was a great deal for them I guess. Meanwhile, trying to manage your life when you’d never know if your monthly “bonus” was going to be in the realm of $200 or $2,ooo and the salary you could count on was barely enough to pay rent alone sucked pretty hard. Great manipulation tactic though! They had everyone working ridiculous hours just to prove themselves and earn what overall equated to below industry standard wages.
      Sorry, that got a bit ranty!
      OP, take that “bonus”, take it 100% guilt-free, and go somewhere that pays you fairly.

  8. Turquoisecow*

    Op5, I’m confused about how this situation played out. If the utility company is at the house, couldn’t they knock on the person’s door and ask that the dog be removed? Or was the person not at home? I guess sometimes people go out and leave their dogs at home unattended for a long time, and maybe they did try this and your letter doesn’t mention it, but if I was in their shoes that would be my first thought.

    1. Willis*

      I was picturing a scenario where a dog was loose within a fenced front yard, so maybe the utility company person couldn’t get to the door to knock without first encountering the dog.

    2. Just J.*

      The homeowner does not need to be present for these utility locates to happen. Therefore utility does not expect you to be home when they are there. So yes, it is entirely possible that they homeowner would not have been there to bring in there dog.

    3. WaterWorker2020*

      So I manage a team for a utility and part of our duties are to perform locates on our assets. We receive safety training on what to do in situations like this, where a dog is loose in the yard and we need to do work, and have our internal SOP which needs to be followed.
      1. Attempt to knock on the door and ask resident to secure dog. Easiest and usually most straightforward solution but not always possible.
      2. Most of the time the property is a customer of ours as well and our customer service team can get in contact directly with the owner/resident and schedule a time to go out and complete the work.
      3. Leave a hanging tag with our contact info so the resident can contact us and we can arrange a time to come back
      4. Contact the contractor who requested the locate and let them know we are having trouble accessing the property. If they are doing work for the homeowner they may be able to get us dog free access or we can meet them on day one of construction and mark out that portion then prior to any digs.

      This sounds to me like its either a third party locate company or someone who doesn’t know their own procedures so they’re passing the buck to OP5.

      1. Turquoisecow*

        Yeah, point number 2 occurred to me as well – if the homeowner is a customer, would the utility company have their contact info?

        1. moql*

          This one can be hard with rentals or when people have their ownership structured in weird trusts. We’re a utility adjacent entity and we currently are have a heck of a time contacting someone who appears to be in the air force on deployment with a mail stop and all their bills on autopay.

          Other than that what WaterWorker2020 says is accurate, especially the passing the buck part at the end. Our folks would get a lot of side-eye for just shrugging their shoulders like this.

    4. BadWolf*

      I have neighbors that fence their front yards or have their dogs on a leash in the front yard, so accessing a door to knock on may not be possible. And people who leave their dogs out while they’re not home.

  9. Lisa*

    Re: OP #2, there’s a related setting on LinkedIn that allows you to indicate that you’re open to new opportunities, but only recruiters who don’t work for your company are able to see it. That seems way more effective than the #OPENTOWORK frame.

    1. t*

      This. It works reasonably well – I’m usually open to opportunities because, well, I’d always like a pay increase! However, due to some health issues I cannot change jobs now. I was getting regular reach outs, and as soon as I changed the setting, the volume went down. (not to zero – as Alison points out, some recruiters are going to reach out no matter what).

    2. PenicilliumIHardlyKnowEm*

      The only thing about that is only recruiters who are paying for a very expensive subscription ($900+ monthly) can see who has checked that box. It is far less useful than many people think and that is how people get all sorts of messages from recruiters when they’re not looking.

  10. Zombeyonce*

    #2: At this point, I don’t even understand the reason for LinkedIn besides a tool for recruiters to annoy people. Does anyone actually find jobs that way? I have a LinkedIn but I’ve gotten absolutely no use out of it in the decade or so I’ve had it besides going on there to tell recruiters I’m not interested when they message me. It just feels so gimmicky and pointless and the most fake way to network.

    1. MayLou*

      I use it to snoop on people I went to school with and see what they’re up to these days. So, basically no actual value at all.

    2. NYWeasel*

      My experience has been that when we’ve had a job that needs filling, we’ve never had time or inclination to go searching for candidates, especially for a low return exercise of cold calling (emailing?) potential candidates. And the only type of contact I’ve ever gotten has been either recruiters blandly trying to build their database of candidates or hopefuls trying to connect with *anyone* at my company.

      I’m sure if we were looking for a very particular skill, such as “llama hair braiding technician”, there might be some value in being able to connect directly with potential candidates. But as soon as you look for anything even remotely common, the value goes waaaaaay down

    3. T. Boone Pickens*

      I’ve gotten my best ROI as a recruiter using LinkedIn for high level sales folks and marketing individuals. The green #Opentowork has gotten me to click on a profile if the person is already in my network. Otherwise, I’m mostly searching by skill set so while the green circle is certainly eye-grabbing, I’m not sure it makes a huge difference.

    4. hbc*

      The main use I have for it is to keep in touch with old colleagues, both to casually see how they’re doing and to have a way to reach them if I need an employment reference.

      I think people who are more network-y will often use it to find vendors or source information. My brother’s friend wanted to start a business related to an area I worked in, searched for that topic, and found me in his list of 2nd degree connections. I gave him some basic advice that he wouldn’t have otherwise had access to.

      1. old curmudgeon*

        I do the same. I originally joined because a friend with whom I had worked in a volunteer capacity was opening their own business and needed contacts and recommendations. Since then, my primary use of the platform has been to help folks I know who are job-hunting.

        It does occasionally yield inside info if one knows how to look. About a decade ago, I left a company that I knew was doomed, and when I made my departure, I reached out to a number of colleagues there through LinkedIn to stay in touch.

        Over the following couple of years, I sent a bunch of job leads out to those people, just sort of “hey, I saw this and thought you’d be great for it,” because while I was ethically bound not to disclose why I knew the company was doomed, I still wanted to help my former colleagues make their move before the axe fell. None of them took me up on any of the opportunities – and then, all of a sudden, right about the time that the company’s mid-year financials and SOCF would have been released, I started getting a whole boatload of connection requests, the folks I was already connected to started showing up with detailed, spruced-up, polished, resume-style profiles, and I got reference requests for several of them. I knew exactly what that meant, and sure enough, the following month, it was announced that the company was closing down, laying off about a thousand employees.

        So while I’ve never used LI as a job-hunting tool for myself, it does allow me to keep a finger on the pulse, as it were, and to watch out for friends and former colleagues who might need a helping hand.

    5. Pretzelgirl*

      I ended up deleting it. Because if you have ever worked in AP or AR at any point in your career, you will be hounded endlessly by recruiters. I had a brief stint in each and I absolutely loathed it. Recruiters would not leave me alone. I also saw no point in being private on what is supposed to be a networking site. The only thing I miss is seeing what old coworkers are up to career wise.

      1. Pickwick*

        Ah! Every time (3 in the last 15 years to be exact) I update anything on Linkdin I get a swarm of emails and calls from recruiters saying my information has just to their attention. I asked the last one how did they get my info? They couldn’t tell me. It just came across their desk.
        I now refuse to update it, unless of course I start looking for a new job.

    6. LadyByTheLake*

      Like hbc, I use it to keep track of colleagues. I also use it if I need to reach someone at XYZ Company — not because I’m trying to hire them or get hired but because I need to ask them something or coordinate something — I can go on to LinkedIn and see if I know someone there or know someone who can give me an introduction. Finally, I use it when I am working with someone new — I look them up to see where they’ve worked, what they’ve done, what we might have in common. For example, last week I was working with someone new and when I met them for the first time I was able to mention that we grew up in the same town — it can be an ice breaker.

      1. LadyByTheLake*

        I should also say that it is really important for networking. True story that happened two weeks ago — A former colleague got a new job, LinkedIn notified me and I sent him a congratulatory note. In the course of that I saw another mutual colleague’s profile and reached out to say “hi.” We connected and within a week he had referred me a new client. Thanks LinkedIn!

      2. RecoveringSWO*

        Same. I had a fun LinkedIn moment recently when I found out that someone who I back in high school worked for my employer across the country and in a similar position (but a few years my senior). Having a connection to that office/coast is great to have in my back pocket. While I hardly use LinkedIn, little things like that and keeping up with my colleagues seems worth deleting/ignoring a handful of recruiter contacts every year. Now if I was getting them constantly, my thought process may change…

    7. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I found a job through LinkedIn. I also use it to look up my interviewers, keep up with colleagues, and share things that don’t go on my resume but are important to me professionally. I also use it to see which jobs are out there. And I use it to connect with people I meet who are business contacts rather than potential friends.

      In terms of networking, I sometimes look through my friends’ connections and ask my friends for introductions. They do the same with mine. I find it really useful, actually.

    8. New Job So Much Better*

      My current job was discovered by an ad on my main page of Linked In. Found it and got it myself, no recruiter involved.

    9. Esmeralda*

      I find it useful for contacting former students so that I can refer current students to them for info interviews.

    10. BridgeNerdess*

      This is probably industry and seniority level dependent. Like others, I use it to keep track of former co-workers and clients. I also use it to search people that I’m having meetings with. It’s incredibly helpful to know if I’m speaking to seasoned professionals, non-technical clients, or peers.

      It might be my industry and experience, but it has been helpful for jobs. I’m actually in a conversation now with a company that reached out because of my unique background. The position we’re discussing would be new and tailored to exactly my skill set. For niche work, typical job ads aren’t helpful.

      Back to the #OPENTOWORK. I can see this as backfiring. A few years ago, I quit a job abruptly without having another lined up. I had local options, but didn’t have much success with recruiters while I was unemployed. As soon as I started my new job, I had a half dozen recruiters get in contact within a week. They prefer passive candidates, so broadcasting you need work back make things harder.

    11. WorkingGirl*

      College career centers love to tell you to use it. My parents love to tell me to update it and use it for connections. I did apply for a job on LinkedIn, but i didn’t get it because of my connections or whatever, I got it because I knew how to use Excel… which would’ve held true whether I’d applied on the company’s website or wherever!

    12. Environmental Compliance*

      I use mine quite a bit to network. This has worked out pretty well for me – I keep in touch regularly with old colleagues, I meet a lot of new people that have some really interesting things to say, and I get a wealth of information from people sharing free webinars, white papers, training information, etc. I also can see what companies others have worked with and would recommend – works great for setting up new vendors for stack testing, for example.

      1. Filosofickle*

        Me too. There’s a lot of great industry info/resources shared on LI that benefit me, as well as staying visible with my network.

    13. Grits McGee*

      I’m a government archivist, and I use it all the time to figure out who/what organization created records I’m working with.

    14. Emily*

      I’ve been using it to search for jobs! I don’t yet know how effective it is, because I just started looking and have only applied to a couple of openings.

    15. HeyPony*

      I was recruited through LinkedIn to my last two jobs, both of which were upward moves for me. And I do hear about industry things that I probably wouldn’t otherwise. But it is devolving into more of a Facebook type environment, which doesn’t appeal to me, and a lot of US based folks are now posting political stuff on it which just infuriates me. Also the endless posts by “thought leaders” are real feed-cloggers.

    16. Wheee!*

      I’ve actually found it pretty useful for keeping in touch with old teammates. It’s been helpful when collecting references. It’s also helpful when we’re having issues with various manufacturers. I work for a fairly small company and it can be difficult to get manufacturers to give us dedicated support when an issue comes up. I have a lot of old collegues who have spread out and work at these companies now, so I can run a search on LinkedIn and find someone who works there and can help me or put me in touch with someone who can. So that’s handy.

      I got my current job through an in-house recruiter who hit me up on LinkedIn. At one point I got hit up for a pretty great position at a very big company. I was moving, and wasn’t in a position to go for it, but I referred a coworker and he’s still there 7 years later. My general experience is to ignore the outside recruiters but to take more seriously the internal ones and that’s worked out reasonably well so far. I almost entirely ignore most of the posts in my “feed” though, I’ve found most of that to be trash.

      Another annoying thing about linked in is that you typically rise to the top of the results when you update your profile. Say, after you get a new position. Then I get a bunch of messages from recruiters asking if I’d like to look at some other new job.

  11. nnn*

    I’m unclear on LW5’s relationship with the homeowner. Is the homeowner LW5’s client who is paying to have the building work done? Or are they just the owner of a property that’s near unaffiliated work?

    If the homeowner is LW’s client, someone in LW’s organization should have their contact information, and I think it would be most effective for LW to start making calls in that general direction through their organization (since LW wouldn’t be “cold-calling” within their own organization, whereas the utility locate person would).

    If the homeowner, isn’t LW’s client they may be a client of the utility company, and it might be more effective to go through the utility company. (My actual utility company needing to access my yard to ensure that my actual utilities don’t get damaged is more compelling to me than some rando wanting to access my yard for work that’s unrelated to me.)

    But in any case, as Alison says, the optimal approach here is what would get the job done, not who “should” be doing it.

  12. Jennifer Juniper*

    OP1, this exercise would make me fear that I would be punished later in many ways for saying the wrong thing. I would always say my word of essence is something cribbed directly from the company values statement. I couldn’t have that held against me, right? I would state my Meyers-Briggs type is whatever the boss says theirs is. After all, that would be the personality type most valued by the boss, since it’s the same as theirs, right?

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      On the theory that the boss won’t change…maybe OP could fulfill the “essence” instructions while skirting the emotionally loaded intent by treating it as a one-word summary of the most important task of the day. So for a technical writer… “Today is Indexing.” Or RoboHelp. Formatting. Verification. Maybe even squeak in some hyphenation and try paper-reduction, cost-cutting, or cross-checking.
      Myers-Briggs, I’ve got nothing except if you’re like me on a cusp or 2, name your percentages. (An old boss made me retake the quiz because he couldn’t understand 40%/60%… I retested at 45%/55% in TWO categories, andI wish I could have had his reaction on video.)

      1. boo bot*

        I had to take the Myers-Briggs in high school, for some unfathomable reason, and I came out right in the middle in all the categories. I suspect it had something to do with my general approach to multiple choice tests. (It depends. It ALWAYS depends.)

        Would I rather go to a party or stay home and read a book? I don’t know, where’s the party? Who else is going? What time is it at? Can I get a ride? What’s the book?

        1. juliebulie*

          Yes! Most of these tests don’t make allowances for “it depends.” Maybe “it depends” is a whole other personality type!

  13. Jcarnall*

    op1: I would find anyone requiring me to take a Myers-Brigg test, much less to take the results seriously, extremely irritating. My usual response if someone asks me what M-B sign I am is on the lines of DGAF or MYOB, neither of which are politic things to say to your manager. I suppose if required, I’d take the test on company time and report results. Word of the day: bored.

    Op3: I would be annoyed too, but I think Alison’s advice is spot-on as usual – your supervision’s entitled to take the enjoyable part of the work for herself if she wants to. But are you allowed to know what the HR letter says? Can you raise it at your next meeting with the direct reportswho got the raise? You’d miss the first joy, but you’d still get to say why the raise was well-deserved.

    OP5: I think anyone has a right not to go into a strange dog’s home territory where that dog is loose, if they don’t have the right gear\training, because there is no way to be sure what the dog will do. I do think you should back the person delivering the dig tickets for not going in, and someone needs to get in touch with that homeownee\dog-owner. They’re presumably well aware their loose dog is a deterrent on people visiting the house, and there must be some policy for “homeowner refuses dig ticket”?

    1. TimeTravl_R*

      Pretty sure next time Myers Briggs comes up I am going to say I am DGAF! Thank you for that!!

    2. Tuckerman*

      As a homeowner, the frustrating thing is they didn’t tell us when they were going to show up to mark lines. I just looked out my window and saw a dude in my fenced-in yard. Not great, since we have a dog I could have let out not knowing someone was there.

      If I knew even the day, I’d be extra cautious, taking him out supervised or on leash. I don’t know why they don’t give us an estimated date/time.

      1. MCL*

        I don’t think I have ever been given more than a vague estimate (like, we’ll be there sometime within the next several days) of when a marker would be on my property.

      2. RecoveringSWO*

        The worst is when they leave without closing the fence gate. My dog got out twice from workers leaving the gate open and not notifying us that they were doing work back there or leaving!

    3. I work for a utility*

      Re: 5 – a good locate contract will include a process for escalating a ticket if the locator believes performing the locate would be a danger to them/others.

    4. EPLawyer*

      But the flip side of 3 is does the manager leave the bad news to OP? This is a datapoint for OP to consider. Is the boss the type who wants to do all the good or fun stuff with employees but leaves the drudgery, bad news to OP? That’s not really good management.

  14. Tree*

    OP #1: These are all things that aren’t supposed to change from week to week! Who I am as a person? The same person who I was last week, just 7 days older. What’s important to me? Same things that were important to me last week. Myers Briggs? The people who think it means something presumably get the same answer each time (I don’t, I get a completely different result every time I take it, my only stable letter is the I, this is part of why I don’t think it means anything).

    My word of the day is fingerhat, a literal translation of the German word for thimble.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      For what it’s worth, I just followed one of Alison’s links and retook the quiz … and boy oh boy 2020 has changed my reactions to some of these questions.

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        I retook again for giggles and no changes in type (still an Advocate, to the surprise of literally no one who knows me), but yeah, some questions hit a little different.

        1. Indigo a la mode*

          I’ve recently changed from an Architect (INTJ) to an Advocate (INFJ)! I hadn’t considered how 2020 might impact my personality type, but honestly, given the dire needs for social & legal justice we have here in the U.S. right now…I guess it makes sense.

    2. A.N. O'Nyme*

      Oooh, yes, you can have so much fun with literal translations.
      Fingerhat, nosehorn, nilehorse, sticktail, sea dog, lake cat (for some added fun), dust sucker, sick house,…
      (Note: these are literal translations from Dutch, though I imagine most are very similar in German)

  15. OWLiv*

    LW #5 When it was my job to call in the locates it was also my job to notify the property owners that the locate had been scheduled in their area. Tracking down contact info needs to be your responsibility. If you want 811 to mark the area so you can work you need to do everything you can to coordinate with the homeowner.

    If you invite the vendor onto your job site you need to be at least partially responsible for their safety and you do need to make sure the environment you’re asking them to work in is safe.

    One company I worked for had me hand deliver business cards and with chocolate bars to all the neighbors surrounding the property before we started construction just to open communication for problems like this.

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Reaching out to neighbors is always good diplomacy. Wish my next door neighbor would have done that before dropping the huge dumpster in the street. It’s making backing out of my driveway way more ticklish, especially now that in-person schools have opened in my area (and not all the kids use the sidewalks like they are supposed to in my neighborhood).

  16. Akcipitrokulo*

    Thing with adking for MBTI type… that’s regarded as unethical by the myers briggs people as it’s voluntary and confidential unless you choose to share… to the point that one of the qualified practitioners will check at start of feedback and cancel the whole thing if person says they are doing it because they have to, and will not give anyone else results (regardless of who is paying).

    So that’s something to say ;)

    1. WS*

      o the point that one of the qualified practitioners will check at start of feedback and cancel the whole thing if person says they are doing it because they have to

      Really? I’ve had to do it several times at different workplaces, and stated that I was doing it as a job requirement, and nobody ever cancelled or failed to hand over results.

      1. Akcipitrokulo*

        Here’s some of it… and specifically about the voluntary bit…

        www(dot)myersbriggs(dot)org/myers-and-briggs-foundation/ethical-use-of-the-mbti-instrument/ethics-for-administering.htm

      2. Forrest*

        I’m a qualified Myers-Briggs practitioner and I don’t think there was any suggestion that you’d cancel if someone was doing it as a job requirement (it’s fairly normal for people to do it as a team), but you should definitely stress to them that it’s confidential and voluntary, that they can leave any time or stay but not participate in discussion or whatever they choose. Most of the time people will shrug and stay, but if you thought that there were people there who were really unhappy and being forced into it, I suppose declining to continue the session would be the only thing you could do.

        1. Forrest*

          (that said me and Akcipitrokulo are both in the UK, which is where I’m qualified. It’s possible the US owners of the tool have a dfiferent approach, though when I was trained it was very much There Is Only One True Way To Do This so that would be kind of undermined if the US company’s ethics were totally different.)

          1. Akcipitrokulo*

            Also UK – also qualified ;) yes, you’re right wouldn’t cancel just because it’s been asked for by the job, but if they indicated they didn’t want to and were being forced by job, then yeah, you don’t have much of a choice.

  17. PX*

    OP2: the way I’ve seen people use that recently is particularly around redundancies. At least in my line of work, many companies have announced layoffs and give people the required amount of notice (90days in the US, longer elsewhere). Using the frame is basically a way of announcing to your network or anyone who comes across your profile that you are looking for a new job (though technically you are currently still employed).

    In a general scenario, its probably not the way to go if you are trying to keep your job search under wraps.

    1. Natalie*

      90days in the US

      The only required notice in the US is layoffs that meet the WARN Act requirements, and that is 60 days.

      1. Lyudie*

        Certainly I got much less notice when I was laid off as a contractor a couple of times (including once at 9 am on my last day, once I finally got hold of someone to find out why I couldn’t get on the network).

        1. Quill*

          Oh, I’ve been laid off contracts with a week’s notice, with five minutes’ notice while I had an experiment running in the lab, and at 7 pm on a friday with “don’t go back monday. No, actually do, you have to turn in your badge, but nobody’s going to let you in to rescue your emergency cardigan from your cube.”

    2. Wheee!*

      Yeah, this is what I’ve seen as well. I think the value is that your network can easily see that you’re looking. If my company is hiring, I’ll usually take a quick look through my network on LinkedIn and it’s helpful to know who is openly looking. If I know that old coworker is now between jobs, I’ll be much more likely to contact them about the opening.

      I can’t say I’d suggest it if you’re trying to look while employed. A lot of folks that I know have multiple positions that run concurrently, like consulting, so it’s not always immediately clear if they’re employed or between jobs.

  18. Ana Gram*

    How does a company not give raises? I started at my company in 2004 and made $33K. Would I still be making that much now?? It’s barely liveable. Heck, it was barely liveable back then and I had an unauthorized side job!

    1. Thankful for AAM*

      Spouse works at a university, I work for a city government. We are both limited to only COLA raises (no merit raises) and both of us have had 5 year or more stretches with no COLA raises. So there are places with limited or no raises.

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Not necessarily … but I can guarantee it’s in areas with high turnover “because there’s no worker loyalty anymore.”
          My company has the appalling-to-me practice of giving a % to each department and to give one person a higher % than normal, someone else has to get less.
          Like a bell curve all over again.

      1. Ana Gram*

        I work for county government so we’ve definitely had those years long stretches of no raises but I also make nearly 3x my starting salary. I can’t fathom the idea of literally no raises.

    2. Machiamellie*

      Mine does not :( I’ve been here 3 years and generally I love it. Last year I asked my boss about a raise and I was told that they only give raises to “high performers” i.e. “rock stars.” I’m great but I’m not a rock star and I’m fine with that – IMO every company needs worker monkeys to do the day-to-day stuff and I’m happy being one. But I also think they should do cost-of-living raises too.

      We do a profit sharing thing in the busy period of the year based on metrics of how the team is doing. I don’t know if they figure that’s in place of an annual raise. Personally I don’t like any additional money I receive being based on how others perform.

      1. jcarnall*

        Well, Machiamellie, I worked for a Company X in the UK that didn’t do cost-of-living raises. They made a big deal about how they were such a fantastic place to work (they weren’t) that it was only natural people would want to work there even if their wages gradually fell and fell below market rate.

        One particular case I heard about first-hand: a systems analyst who had worked for them three years and had a job offer elsewhere with a lot better pay. He offered them a polite two months’ notice because he knew they’d find it difficult to replace him. This much was publicly known. He left the meeting where his notice was being negotiated, said he was leaving today and starting at company Y in a couple of weeks, have a nice life, goodbye, and – walked out. Apparently they instructed him that he had to work out six months notice with much talk of how ungrateful he was – and he pointed out he could move up his start date at company Y, and didn’t even have to give them a month’s notice because what were they going to do, sue him?

        I left within the year – to a job paying about ten grand more than the job I had accepted four years earlier, and the relief to my finances was huge. It’s amazing how you can slowly get dragged down into a morass of low pay by a company who doesn’t do cost-of-living raises to your pay.

        1. Machiamellie*

          Yeah I’d love to have that kind of power, but I’m disabled and work remotely as a reasonable accommodation. So I try not to rock the boat.

    3. irene adler*

      At my company, I went without a raise for nearly a decade (2008-2017). In fact, they cut pay by 10% for some of those years (later restored). AND, they took away the retirement pension.

      Upper management often makes comments about employees are not owed a raise.

      And yes, things got very tight financially.

    4. Anonymous because corporate policy*

      My company gave rsises. We were bought by a Fortune 500 company and now raises are a joke. We’re diversified… and so far that means if the teapots division isn’t doing well, the groomer’s tools division doesn’t get raises. Even if the lama groomers are buying our brand new tool in numbers we can barely keep up with and throwing our competitor’s product off rooftops. (OK not really.)
      People leave for 3 years to get back on industry standard. Used to be people stayed 20, 30 years, and nope I don’t see that anymore.
      Marketing raises may be better because they seem to stay & move up in corporate. Or maybe they just change job titles often enough to make up for it.
      It’s enough to make me worry about the retirement plan I’ve invested in company stock and they’re losing so much industry expertise every year.

    5. merp*

      These types of questions are kind of sad for me to read, because like some others, I’ve worked mainly for state universities or government, and have never once had regular raises, even cost-of-living. It’s just… not a thing at any place I’ve worked. No bonuses either! Seeing Alison say that’s completely out-of-sync is another reminder that I’ve made this situation for myself, lol. I like my job, but dang it would be nice for that to be different.

    6. That Girl from Quinn's House*

      I briefly worked for a company that did not give raises. Their policy was that you would keep the salary at which you were hired, and if your branch office met its profit goals for the year, you would get your 2% COLA raise in the form of a bonus. Which is still not a raise, because raises compound and bonuses do not!

      The only way you could get an actual raise, was if you changed jobs within the company. So if you stayed in your role for 10 years like some of my coworkers at that place did, you got the same annual pay rate for 10 years. It was bananas.

  19. Scc@rlettNZ*

    OP #1 my workplace recently went through a massive reorganisation and the new director of my division has decreed that every team must have a daily standup meeting. We all stand around in a circle and have to say what our priority for the day is, what our roadblock is, and what our daily win is. I always say that my roadblock is the daily standup meeting.

    1. Aria*

      I think daily standups get a bad rap. We do these at work and its very helpful. Someone may have a suggestion the person hasn’t thought of yet or have some input. They may be able to clear those blockers. It is very friendly, very short, and not at all adversarial.

      1. Metadata minion*

        I think it probably depends on your industry and job. At my job, that would just get really annoying because a lot of my work is on long-term projects and the road blocks are usually things we all know about and which are outside of our immediate ability to fix.

      2. 2horseygirls*

        Stand-ups are only helpful when everyone follows the rules. We used to do them weekly at a previous job, but there was always one person who read her entire list of 23 (give or take) press releases she was working on. I have no idea why our boss did not corral her better on that particular item, because it was at least 10 minutes of the 20 minute meeting – and never useful or collaborative. #higheredsilos for the win.

      3. Sc@rlettNZ*

        I’ve worked in teams before where they were really helpful. These are just a complete waste of time. There isn’t time to have a constructive conversation about anything. Our jobs are such that we all have exactly the same projects and deadlines so 11 people just stand around in a circle and repeat what the person before them said.

        Back in the good old sensible days, we used to have a weekly 30 minute team meeting which was actually useful – if someone was having an issue or had a question about how to do something, there was time to discuss it.

        Now this just wastes 9 working day of my time.

    2. apples or oranges*

      Wow. Are stand-ups really that onerous you have to throw a tantrum over it every day?

  20. TimeTravl_R*

    OP3 – I am stuck on OP creating the development plans for her team. Shouldn’t that be on the employee, certainly with discussions and input from the supervisors, to develop their own plans? Am I out of sync on that?

    1. Washi*

      The OP says ” I’ve been working with each of these folks all year…developing plans” so it sounds like a collaborative process she’s doing with the employee. But I’ve been at organizations where every single employee had an official development plan with goals and stuff, where the employee obviously had lots of input, but that the manager had to sign off on and submit, and then review and revise each year, again, together with the employee. So yes, it’s “on the employee” to make sure that their development goals are things they actually want to work on, but it’s on the manager to make sure the goals are aligned with the organization’s priorities/resources and do the paperwork part.

      1. TimeTravl_R*

        OK, that makes sense. I didn’t read it the same but your perspective does make it clear to me that was likely the intent.

  21. Mannheim Steamroller*

    My “words of essence” would be: What the EFF is the business purpose of this BS?”

  22. Mt*

    Op5

    If it’s your jobsite then its your responsibility for the safety of everyone who has access to the site. It’s your responsibility that the work site is free from safety risks.

  23. Jam Today*

    Unless its like a signing bonus or something, your bonus is for work you already did. That is money you earned for your time and your labor that you already put in. Its yours. Keep it. You don’t owe your company anything beyond your job description, and you certainly don’t own them access to your bank account.

  24. Workerbee*

    OP #1 So tempted to change it up in the middle of this ridiculous exercise.

    “Today my essence is more that of a ripe strawberry, ready to be picked and eaten.” Then say nothing more.

    I would love to bet that at least one of your hapless colleagues also loathes this practice. We have a couple forced-interactive-deep-pondering gatherings that go on here. Surreptitious questioning revealed that just about everybody—we minions, that is—hated it. But leadership seemingly adores it, or also has to pretend to because the Uber Leader (who never participates!) thinks it’s the best idea ever, so right now at least we’ve got the secret knowledge that we’re not alone in our ire.

  25. Damn it, Hardison!*

    OP#4, my companies gives bonuses every year, as they are part of our compensation package. There is always a rush of people leaving right afterwards. We joke about how many folks in our division will leave right after bonuses. You’re underpaid, and a one time bonus is not going to make up for that. Loyalty to a company that can’t pay you fairly doesn’t make sense.

    1. EPLawyer*

      Loyalty goes both ways. This company has shown you — OP — that they will underpay you AND not give raises or COLA. You owe them your good work while they are paying you, nothing more.

    2. JustaTech*

      Came here to say this: at several big tech companies I know, who generally pay very well, almost everyone times their exit to be right after bonuses are paid out (like literally the next day).

      It’s your money, you’ve more than earned it, take the money and run!

    3. TeapotNinja*

      People leaving after receiving their bonus payments is so well understood that recruiters working in industries where bonuses are standard practice know when bonuses are paid at companies they track and will target people at those companies for open roles at competitors. The finance industry is notorious for this.

  26. Bookworm*

    #4: The place might snark on you after you’ve left but what you described (all of it) is not uncommon at all. In college I had a TA who wasn’t being paid (I can’t quite recall the reason why) due to some administrative thing and demanded she be compensated fairly for her work. The head of the division “stood on his head” (my instructor explaining why I had a new TA) and then promptly quit once she was paid. My instructor was pissed but the head was not–while students were left in a lurch I suspect she had cause.

    At a truly awful job I was in I learned one of my predecessors hit her 6 months, took her 2 week vacation (paid), came back and said she was quitting. My coworkers were pissed but again, it really was that terrible.

    My point? Don’t feel guilty. Take the money and go.

    1. That Girl from Quinn's House*

      This is super common at universities, unfortunately! It happened to my husband when he was a grad student and getting paid as a research assistant/TA/postdoc, and it happens to his research assistant/TAs now that he is a professor.

      The HR/admin bureaucracy that is responsible for processing the paperwork is hugely disorganized, and on the back end, people whose appointments change every semester have to redo their paperwork three times a year. Inevitably, HR gets overwhelmed and loses paperwork/starts rejecting paperwork and refusing to say why over tiny mistakes/has staff go on vacation or turn over and there ends up a huge backlog that no one else is authorized to help with. Next thing you know, some poor 24 year old who’s getting paid $18K a year to live in a high COL city isn’t getting paid for two months and now can’t afford groceries or rent.

      It is RIDICULOUS but it happened to my husband 7 of the 10 summers before he got hired to be a professor, and now his U pulls this crap on his students every year and he has to beg and plead and send angry emails to get them their pay so they don’t get evicted or starve. It is garbage.

  27. Msgnomer*

    The words of essence and discussing personality types every meeting would drive me mad. I would suggest some fun (“fun”) new ice breaking games to the CEO to “help keep people engaged and kick the meeting off.”

    1. le beef*

      This is a great idea, and much less likely to endanger OP1’s standing in the office than all of these suggestions of giving snarky answers to the CEO. Best of all, it could even actually work!

  28. Canadian Yankee*

    OP #4 – I have told my direct reports that our company offered three types of monetary compensation: bonuses in recognition of past accomplishments; salary increases in recognition of current employee value; and RSUs (stock grants that vest in upcoming years) in expectation of future employee contributions.

    Even if you were to resign five minutes after receiving the bonus, your resignation does not erase any of your past accomplishments, so you deserve to keep that bonus. And, if they’re not giving you any raises at all, then they’re showing that they’re not really valuing you as an employee and that’s every reason to leave!

  29. Jennifer*

    #5 I agree with Alison. Less this isn’t my job and more how can I help this person. This dog may not have been dangerous, but if it was, how would you feel if someone was seriously injured or worse while you were trying to figure this out?

    As I’ve gotten older, I have far less of a problem leaving a situation that I don’t feel is safe and sorting out the details afterward. I don’t have a problem advising others to do the same.

  30. Khatul Madame*

    LW#2 – I beg to differ. The #OPENTOWORK frame can be very useful if one counts on their network to find work.
    Since the green frame was introduced, I have reached out to multiple connections who’d used it and posted that they were looking for new jobs. As a result, one person has secured a new position, another is scheduling an interview – fingers crossed.
    I agree though that for someone who is employed use of the green @OPENTOWORK frame can be a risky move.

    LW#5 – talk to your company’s legal to find out what your employer is liable for, and go from there. Unfortunately, any extra actions from you may result in more liability for the company, so you shouldn’t be too proactive.

    1. Filosofickle*

      I haven’t used it, but this is how I think it will be helpful. Can’t count the number of times in my life someone has said “Oh, I would have sent that lead to you but didn’t know you were looking for new clients/projects/work” and I think…duh, I’m always looking. People often don’t share without an explicit green light.

      It does make me uncomfortable to explicitly ask for help. It feels a little like desperation to the insecure part of my brain. But that’s a “me” thing — it shouldn’t be a problem to ask your network for help and I know from experience it’s the only way I get leads.

  31. FutureLibrarianNoMore*

    OP #5, I work in health and safety.

    The utility worker should call their supervisor, not you. Their company should have protocols in place for handling these types of situations. Often it may mean coming back later or waiting for a supervisor to assess the situation.

    1. I work for a utility*

      The more I think about this, the more I think OP’s company needs to rethink how they put contact information on the ticket. If LW has to put her contact info on the ticket, she needs to be given instructions on what to do in various scenarios (dog in the yard, hostile homeowner, etc). If her company doesn’t want her being the one making those decisions, then someone else’s contact information should be on the ticket.

  32. MissDisplaced*

    Oh LOL! “word of essence” My word is “annoyedatyou” I do find Myers-Briggs and Tendencies interesting for team building exercises and overall better employee understanding, but not repeating it in this daily meeting capacity.

    Question: Does noting the types, actually GIVE the more introverted types space to speak up? Workplace meetings are typically so dominated by the extroverts.

  33. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

    #1 are you certain the the others are okay with this? Have you asked them? Sounds like some cult BS to me. My essence word would be annoyed. I have no poker face and even if I tried to pretend to participate, the CEO could read my true feelings all over my face.

  34. Jules the Goblin*

    Am I the only one who hears the word “essence” and always thinks of The Dark Crystal?

    :Skeksis voice: Eeeesssseeeeeeeence…

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Well I’m hearing it now!
      Here…have this shiny new internet. You’re today’s winner.

    2. Anonybus*

      Aw, you beat me to it! And now I’m picturing the CEO yelling “silence, animals!” At OP and their coworkers when they all start giving joke answers at one of these meetings…

  35. employment lawyah*

    5. What’s my safety obligation to third party vendors?
    None, at least not exactly.

    The homeowner’s job is to provide safe access.

    The worker’s job is to judge safe access.

    Your only job is to coordinate this.

    Now: If the worker leaves without doing the digsafe, all sorts of delays will happen and the whole project can be severely delayed as these things can stack. So your construction contract probably has an access clause, and you should find out, and get yourself empowered to use it.

  36. Aria*

    A question about the open to work frame – is there a way to mark yourself as open to new jobs without putting that frame up? I am open to new opportunities, my contract is ending soon so my employer knows too, but I don’t need it to be THAT out there!

    1. CDel*

      There is! If you go to your account settings, under the privacy header there is a section on the left site called “job seeking preferences. It allows you to mark your profile as open to being contacted by recruiters, but doesn’t place anything visible on your profile.

  37. Quill*

    It has now been 0 days since the last incidence of Meyer’s Briggs tomfoolery on this site, so congrats, OP1.

  38. PenicilliumIHardlyKnowEm*

    OP2, as someone who has used LinkedIn for recruiting I disagree with much of what Allison said. I’ve recruited for positions that tended to require specialty knowledge and areas where people don’t change jobs so often. It often means reaching out to employees of clients in addition to competitors, which is very delicate indeed.

    Yes, you can check the box that says you’re open to new opportunities but recruiters can only see that if they pay a very heafty subscription fee ($900+ monthly) and have their employer listed on their profile (complicated for contract recruiters) so employers can’t sniff out employees looking to leave. This is why recruiters end up casting a wide net. Sending out all those LinkedIn messages gets time consuming and they’re only able to send out a limited number every month, but it is still way more cost effective than the alternative. This frame is essentially an end run around that subscription in a time when many companies have hiring freezes and recruiters are getting laid of or not having contracts renewed.

  39. Important Moi*

    LW 5: “I didn’t feel like I had the authority to tell him he should leave if he felt unsafe.”

    This phrasing while honest, made me uncomfortable. You have the right to not feel like you did not have the authority to tell [the worker] that should leave if he felt unsafe. I think those are the exact words you should use when you talk to your superiors about who has the authority to tell them to leave, so in developing the plan to address this perspective is taken into approach.

    I would not hesitate to tell someone to leave any situation if they feel unsafe, but protocols need to be in place if everyone is not comfortable being so direct.

  40. Maj. Pothead, reporting for doobie*

    OP#4 Leaving after a bonus

    Don’t even worry about it. I’ve done this before and while my manager certainly didn’t like it, she was already furious at me for leaving anyway, so I don’t think it really made much difference. I’m planning to start job hunting again after the first of the year, but I don’t plan to accept anything (unless it’s amazing) until after our bonuses pay out in April.

    Honestly, I’ve never once left a job where somebody wasn’t mad about something or some aspect of my leaving. I bust my butt to be a top performer in every job I have and, somehow, that seems to set people off even more than when a low performer leaves. There’s really nothing you can do about it and it isn’t your responsibility to manage their emotions around your leaving. Do what’s best for yourself because you know they certainly will.

  41. CDel*

    For #5, it seems like the on-site worker could have just knocked on the door, explained why he was there and asked the homeowner to bring their dog in.

    1. Emily*

      This assumes the worker is able to get to the door to knock it without putting themselves in danger.

  42. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    #1: My word of essence is always going to be “unproductive” as long as I’m stuck in a meeting with time-wasting woo like this.

  43. Jean*

    OP#1, that is just…. stunningly dumb. The meeting might as well start with a Gregorian chant every time, for how useful that crap is. I don’t understand how these people even got into leadership positions in the first place. Blackmail maybe? I would not be able to stop myself from interrupting and asking what the value of this exercise is. They should be able to answer that on the spot, and if they can’t, that should be enough indication that it’s time to stop doing it.

  44. AlNotTheOneandOnly*

    “My organization doesn’t give raises, nor cost of living adjustments, nor bonuses” – So you work for a place that pays you less year on year, why is anyone working for them is the question.

  45. Verde*

    OP2 – Using that on linkedin.com is one thing, but be wary of using it elsewhere and how you’re using it. I keep getting cover letters that consist solely of “Dear Hiring Manager, I have the skills to do the position you advertised. #opentowork #readytowork”. And that’s it. That’s not a cover letter!

  46. OP4*

    OP4 here. Thanks everyone for the advice! Now I’ll know what to do in the future. As an update, my boss took a pretty long time to actually act on the bonus so I put in my notice without waiting for it since I had an offer. My org panicked and ended giving me a 40% raise to keep me. I love my work so I took the raise to get my pay up to market rate, I’m looking forward to spending some of the social capital I seem to have to get COLA for the staff going forward. Funny because if they at least gave some salary adjustment yearly, people wouldn’t feel the need to leave. I work in a nonprofit under $1m, for the curious.

  47. AMar*

    OP#5 I used to work as for 811 in my state educating different entities about their responsibilities while excavating! I have done if for a few years, but the statutes where I’m from probably hasn’t changed much… I will say the person that can advise you on YOUR responsibilities here are 811 in your area. They can point you to your state statute governing it and a lot of times the utility companies will have safety workshops in the spring for contractors to attend in order to ask these types of questions and get a best practice type answer (by law a certain amount of dollars have to be spent on safety for billboards, the meetings, kids camps, fair booths, etc). I can say that in my state, if you are the one supervising the crews doing the excavation and the one that requested the ticket, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that all markings are visible and complete prior to excavation. It is the utility company’s responsibility to locate the lines by the provided start date of the work on the ticket so if unsafe conditions exist or they cannot gain access to the work area, their best practice would be to 1. Contact you to take care of it. 2. Come back another time. 3. Flag it in the system as unable to be marked due to present conditions. If that last thing happens you have to then make arrangements with the utility/locator to provide access when safe to do so. In the future, it may be a good idea to work with your sales reps to set up a system where the homeowners are informed that the ticket is submitted and for the next 2 days (usually) the dogs/chickens/llamas need to be put away AND that gates are left unlocked so that access to the property is available for the the locators. Otherwise once you’re onsite, your work will either be unsafe or delayed if the marks aren’t there. Again in my state, if the utility company marked that unsafe conditions for marking exist and you didn’t make arrangements for them to mark and you do strike a utility, it will be on you to cover the cost of the repair. Again, as I don’t know what state you’re in, you will need to reach out to your local 811 provider to be directed to the state statute that governs such things where you are, but I can’t imagine it will tons different than this.

  48. He's just this guy, you know?*

    Alison, I think your view of the #OPENTOWORK frame is a little narrow (which is okay! None of us can see things from every possible perspective). I am neither a recruiter nor someone who is looking for work at the moment, but that green frame is VERY visible when I’m scrolling through my feed, and a few times now I’ve been able to send a message to someone who was using it, letting them know about a job posting I had recently spotted.

    Did this little action on my part help them get the job? Who knows!

    Would they have found out about the job without my message? Maybe.

    Do some people find job searching to be an absolutely soul crushing experience that seems like it will never end, and one little message from someone that they might not otherwise have heard from helps to brighten their day just a little bit? HELL YES.

    Would I have appreciated a feature like that several years ago when I was bouncing from contract position to unemployment to a minimum wage job in an automotive plant, wondering all the while if my Masters degree in computer science would ever be of any use to me? You bet I would have!

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