most popular posts of 2020

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

Most read posts of 2020:

10. Our boss told us to camp in tents when we travel for business

9. The Leap Day employee finally gets her birthday off this year

8. My employee keeps getting deadnamed by a coworker

7. My boss sent a friend to spy on me at my house

6. My boss tapes people’s mouths shut during meetings

5. My employee was upset when I told him drive, not fly, to a conference five hours away

4. My coworker told everyone we’re married … we’re not even dating

3. My coworker told me to stop flirting with a student employee

2. What’s reasonable for managers to expect of parents working from home?

1. My company plans to absorb any government stimulus checks that employees receive for themselves

Most commented on posts of 2020

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

10. Can I wear a collar on video calls, correcting clients who call me “Mrs.” and more

9. Asking an employee to use a different name, telling candidates about our drinking culture, and more

8. I wrote an awful story about a coworker, and it’s following me around years later

7. My boss asked me to reflect on my conflicts with coworkers and I don’t want to

6. What’s reasonable for managers to expect of parents working from home?

5. I’m in trouble for leaving for a business trip without a late coworker

4. Can I put running my household on my resume?

3. You’re exhausted and burned out because work is terrible

2. My coworker told me to stop flirting with a student employee

1. I ask candidates their salary expectations and don’t feel bad about it

{ 51 comments… read them below }

  1. HerdingCatsWouldBeEasier*

    OMG the camping on business letter- I’d forgotten about that one. OP, if you’re out there, here’s hoping your boss came to their senses- and if not, that COVID put an end to business travel long enough for you to find a new job!

    1. Working Hypothesis*

      I was actually thinking that if I had been told in August that I had to go on a business trip at all, I might’ve *insisted* on camping. Admittedly, I might expect to go via RV like the director apparently did, and not in a tent… but private RV travel got a heck of a lot more appealing compared to flights and hotel travel once Covid became the dominant factor in everyone’s lives.

        1. Working Hypothesis*

          Okay, you have a point. Although rented RVs often just charge for cleaning out the toilet tank on return of the vehicle and don’t make you do it yourself.

        1. pleaset cheap rolls*

          Also, this exchange I had with someone trying to defend the camping makes me laugh again.

          pleaset AKA cheap rolls*
          January 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm
          “At the very least, there could be bad PR from being outed for staying at a hotel while marketing the importance of nature conservation”

          This makes no sense.

          Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*
          January 21, 2020 at 10:10 pm
          I love how non-constructive and belittling this comment is. I’ve noticed you have a pattern as such.

    2. LifeBeforeCorona*

      It’s been such a strange year that I thought a few of these letters were from several years ago. Our sense of time is really warped right now. Right now it’s New Year’s Eve?! Really?

  2. Jen in Oregon*

    I’m reeeeeeeeeaaaaally hoping there’s an update from the LW whose coworker lied and told everyone that they are married!

    1. old curmudgeon*

      Same – I reread the post and the comments, and it looked like she was going to go to HR to make a formal complaint based on feedback from others, but there weren’t any further updates. Fingers crossed for a good-news update at some future time!

    2. Working Hypothesis*

      Oh yeah, I really want to find out what happened there! Fingers crossed the LW got a reasonable resolution. That was awful.

    3. Happy It Isn't Monday*

      Yes, I wish for an update too. I really hope the company realized how weird and disturbing this coworker’s behavior was!

  3. C in the Hood*

    I want to know whatever happened to the person who was obviously flirting with her student employee!

    1. MissGirl*

      Hopefully fired! That one took such a bizarre turn. I thought at first it was a new college graduate needing some guidance on what was appropriate. Then each sentence got more gross. The clueless LWs hardly ever write back in so sure they are in their rightness. That she wanted advice on how to shut her colleague down still baffles me.

    2. Boof*

      It was so redic I want to think it was fake but fake or real, may it serve as a cautionary tale. Although I suspect for anyone who actually is delusional enough to write that letter, no cautionary tale will suffice to dissuade them.

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

      I agree. Leap year birthday was this year?! I would have sworn under oath it’s been at least 2 years. WTH

  4. perstreperous*

    The employee being scammed out of 3 days’ holiday every 4 years through been born on 29 February then her boss writing a long justification in bland corporate style (where no individual actually did anything, said anything or thought anything and the policy somehow just happened) wins here …

    1. Working Hypothesis*

      There was an update in the comments that indicated the LW got an explanation from their company that made it look not quite so terrible, so they weren’t willing to out the company. Basically, the idea was that the company was trying hard not to leave anybody without an adequate income, so they were basing furloughs on whom they knew had an outside source of income in the form of the stimulus checks and could therefore afford to be off work for a while, rather than furlough somebody who has no such backup resource.

        1. Working Hypothesis*

          I should add that I still voted for them as worst boss, not finding the explanation particularly compelling. Even if they were supposedly trying to do the right thing, 1) the stimulus checks are supposed to be spent in order to jump-start the economy, not save companies money, and 2) they were a huge interstate chain that could have afforded to take the financial hit for a while rather than balance the books on the backs of their employees. Even if they were balancing them relatively humanely so that nobody actually goes underwater, the fact is that they could have balanced it on their OWN back instead and been fine by the time things got easier again… they’ve got the backup money, while their line workers don’t.

          But I did want to give you the OP’s explanation, even if I don’t really agree with it.

        2. Working Hypothesis*

          I’ve tried to post the update link twice already. It’s not going through but I’m afraid if I try again they’ll all show up at once so I’m going to wait and see if there earlier attempts ever clear. It’s not in the comments, though… I was wrong about that. It’s in an actual post.

  5. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    The camping one spurred an old memory.

    We were required to go to New York City for training …and we had such a ridiculously low per diem – and we were making close to poverty wages as well – one absurdly tightwad manager suggested – the AutoMat , or, there were some commissaries that cater to the unemployed. He was proud of the fact that he and his wife ate at the unemployed actors’ commissary and suggested that we do so, too.

    This was not a non-profit. This was a major business, and we were supposed to act like we were poor.

  6. Disco Janet*

    Many of these posts speak to the rich tapestry that is human life. The leap year one will go down as one of the most, let’s say unique, posts in AAM history. I just so wish the leap day birthday person would write in.

    1. Chilipepper*

      I’d love to hear from the leap year bday person and the “boss did not give graduation day off to the best employee” person.

      The two of them could meet and be friends enough to tell everyone they met bc their very bad bosses wrote to AAM.

    1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

      “It is MANDATORY, and NOBODY has a problem with the policy.”
      Yes, dear, you seem so receptive. I’m sure you’ve got your finger on the pulse of what people agree and disagree with.

  7. nancy*

    Alison, you did something similar to this last year, any chance of linking to it at the top? And if this is going to be an annual tradition could they have their own category?

  8. SAS*

    Omg I totally forgot about the sex story about a colleague! Off to revisit that wild one.

    Thank you for all your work Alison, these compilations always show what a rich tapestry you weave on this site.

  9. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

    Yesss! That’s the one update I keep looking for now that we have an update on the dead name letter.

    1. Cody's Dad*

      First, I was so glad when the update came out, John was being treated with respect. Second, it was hilarious that he started calling her Elizabeth Maiden Name, “out of respect for her mother”! I’m not doing anything wrong! Smirk smirk. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. How could YOU possibly complain Elizabeth??!!

      1. Keymaster of Gozer*

        Yeah, that one was handled very well! :)

        I still wonder about the internal head workings of the person intent on deadnaming John. Strongly suspect it was ‘drat, I need to find a PC way of saying ‘I find trans people aberrant and I refuse to acknowledge them’

  10. Jessica*

    The question about whether or not it was okay to ask an employee to use a different name reminds me of when I worked at a theme park a few years ago that employed a lot of people from Asian countries and they ALL had to change their names to something ridiculous for their name tags – two that I remember were Megatron and Bubbles. I’m assuming they did this to avoid people messing up their real names, and back then I thought it was weird but didn’t think much of it. Now I realize how awful it was and I don’t know how that park gets away with it. They only did it to the Asian employees and I’d bet anything that they still keep it up.

    1. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

      Oh god that is so awkward and terrible and dehumanizing? Was the ridiculousness mandated? How much choice did they have? Did nametag names get vetoed by the employers ever?

      Your real-person name is too hard, you must use a nonhuman name. what the hell.

  11. LogicalOne*

    I’d like to know which restaurant chain was going to absorb staff’s stimulus checks and if that ever ended up happening?

Comments are closed.