my employee got vaccinated ahead of high-risk people, my boss says you can’t negotiate salary, and more

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

1. Is it true you can’t negotiate your salary when you’re promoted?

My boss insists that trying to negotiate a higher salary increase than what is offered with a promotion is just not a thing that people do. This recently came up with a coworker, advocating to our shared boss for one of her reports, but it also happened to me in the past and I’d like to clock whether I’m right in feeling that my boss’s reaction was wrong.

He flew off the handle at my coworker when she brought her report’s request for more money as part of the report’s well-deserved promotion (to be clear, a small increase in the raise she would already be getting as part of her promotion.) Hearing it from my coworker triggered my own memory. When I received a promotion three years ago, he did the same to me when I tried to negotiate a higher raise and bonus percentage, and when I tried to get a better title. He also flew off the handle when he offered me my first position with the company, after seven months of contracting, when I tried to negotiate a higher starting salary. When I say “flew off the handle,” I now realize what I’m talking about is abuse. He becomes unreasonably angry, threatens my job, tells me if I’m not happy to just leave, and “you should be grateful that I gave you a promotion at all.”

I know that his behavior is not normal. But is his recent sentiment, that you can’t negotiate your salary as part of a promotion, is that a thing?

No! It’s entirely normal to negotiate the raise you’ll receive with a promotion, or any raise, or the salary offered for a new job. Your boss clearly would like it not to be a thing because he doesn’t want to pay people more money, but too bad for him — it is very much a thing. A normal thing, even an expected thing.

He is out to lunch on this. I would like his phone number so I can leave him an irate voicemail.

2. I’m angry my employee got vaccinated ahead of high-risk people

My spouse is extreme high-risk when it comes to Covid due to heart failure (plus several more risk factors). We have been waiting weeks for a vaccine appointment but he doesn’t quality yet because he isn’t old enough. So we wait. My direct report, Jay, who is ineligible for the vaccine based on our state guidelines, has somehow managed to get a vaccine appointment. And told me about it. And how guilty he feels. I’m so angry. Jay is in perfect health, in his 50s, and “knows a guy.” It’s not affecting Jay’s work but it is affecting MY attitude. How can I get over this? I’m envious, disgusted, and pissed off. Not a good way to be when trying to manage him.

The vaccine distribution process is a mess. That’s not Jay’s fault. Many public health experts are telling people to get the vaccine if they’re offered it and not to feel guilty (assuming they’re not deliberately trying to game the system), because the system is so chaotic and getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible helps everyone by slowing community spread. And if Jay had turned down the vaccine, it doesn’t mean someone like your husband definitely would have received it instead — it could mean that dose got wasted, as has been reported happening.

This is a really good piece from the New York Times that might shift your thinking.

3. My husband is applying for a job with my company

I work in a very quickly growing startup in a semi-niche market, when I was hired a year ago we had fewer than 30 employees and now we are over 110 and growing. I have very specialized knowledge, education, and experience and as we restructured I stayed towards the top of the org chart reporting to the co-founders. Hiring was initially a little haphazard but we have hired a wonderful HR director. A position is being opened up that my husband is mostly qualified for — not reporting to me in any capacity. (It is a fantastic place to work, often remotely, great benefits, significant charitable giving, and my husband is on a sinking ship and has been looking for more meaningful work for a while). My boss asked if I knew anyone who could be a fit and I did tell him my husband. We have several couples within the organization (none of the founders) so it seems there is not a no-fraternization policy. When I talked with my boss about it, we spoke briefly about navigating it and he said in each case every hire is individual and it’s up to everyone to decide if it will work for their family. I don’t think my husband and I will have trouble working together, I get more concerned with perceptions of nepotism — which are likely larger in my mind than reality.

My husband sent his resume to my boss and they had a nice exchange and my boss sent it on to the HR director with my husband copied. My plan is to stay completely out if (aside from sharing my boss’s email with my husband). Now that his resume has been passed on to HR, I don’t know if I should mention it to HR directly or just let the review and possible interview process take place? I just want to be honest and clear about everything.

Additionally, my husband knows the position will likely be a pay cut — which we are okay with and he wants to be able to make sure he doesn’t get eliminated automatically because that is probably clear from his resume.

How do we navigate this smoothly? Am I just overthinking it?

Yep, stay out of it completely. It’s up to him to communicate anything he wants to communicate about pay; let him handle this on his own just as you would anywhere else he were applying. And of course, don’t be weird with anyone if they don’t interview or hire him.

One other caution: It can be risky to have both partners working for the same place because if the company does layoffs, you risk both of you losing your source of income at the same time. You might be comfortable with that risk, but make sure you’re giving it some thought.

4. Responding to a board member’s apology

I work as a program manager for a small nonprofit. The main focus of my job is managing a multi-million dollar government contract, but since it’s a tiny organization, I also assist with board meetings by taking minutes.

One of the members of the board is a volatile man who manages to turn every discussion into a shouting match. At the last board meeting, his ire was targeted at the amount my organization retains as an admin fee for the contract we have (a standard percentage set by the government). I rarely speak during these meetings as it is not my place, but since I am the manager of this contract, I tried to provide some clarity about what the administrative part of the contract entails (such as collecting data from about 75 different nonprofits six times a year, composing quarterly, semiannual, and annual reports, providing one-on-one support to sites that are new or facing challenges, and overseeing multiple grant cycles per year. It’s a ton of work, and a laughably small percentage of the admin fee goes to my actual salary; the majority is spent on program fees).

This man spoke over me, stating his unequivocal opinion that the contract requires very little work on our part and that it is unethical to pay a staff member for (what he perceives as) minimal labor. I was humiliated, and didn’t bother speaking for the rest of the meeting.

My boss called this board member after the meeting and told him never to speak to me like that again. To my surprise, he sent me an apology email. While he acknowledged that his words hurt me, he insisted that he was speaking about a hypothetical role that does not exist on the staff, a position dedicated to managing this contract. I appreciate the fact that he apologized, but I’m frankly still furious that he doesn’t realize that he was talking about my very real job — a job I work extremely hard at and do very well. Do I owe him a response? His board term is nearly over and my boss has graciously offered to have someone else take minutes until his term ends. I don’t want to be the target of his anger again, but I think he should know that this “hypothetical” role is far from imaginary, and it’s not exactly a walk in the park.

Board politics can be extremely tricky, with bigger consequences than people sometimes realize. I wouldn’t do anything potentially sensitive with a board member without consulting your boss first. Ignoring the email is probably fine, responding “thanks, I appreciate it” is probably fine, but if you’re contemplating trying to set him straight, get your boss in the loop before you do it. There may be political considerations (or even funding considerations if your board members are major donors, as is often the case) that you don’t know about.

That’s not to say that’s fair, but it’s the reality of many/most boards.

5. My interview panel included another candidate for the job

I just finished interviewing for a job and came across a weird situation. I was told the employer was very interested in me, but they dragged their feet about setting up an interview. Eventually I had the interview. It was with three people from the company and it was going well. Towards the end of it, they mentioned that they had “a strong internal candidate.” Not great news, but not unexpected. But then they told me that the candidate was one of the people interviewing me. I really didn’t know what to say? Is this at all typical? The person was probably the most qualified to explain the details of the position, but was it weird to have her interview me? Or if it wasn’t, was it strange that they told me? Or maybe I should applaud their honesty?

I am assuming that I don’t really have any chance at this position and that this was a pro forma interview. But if I am wrong, is this a red flag? Is this a company that I should work for? I was just a little puzzled by it all and wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy for thinking it was weird.

Yeah, as a general rule your competition shouldn’t be on your interview panel — and definitely shouldn’t be giving input about your candidacy, if in fact she was. That’s not to say that no one can do that impartially — some people really could, and maybe she’s one of them — but at a minimum it’s going to set the candidate up to feel they didn’t get a fair shake.

That said, if they offer you the job, I wouldn’t turn it down over this, especially since the offer would indicate that the internal candidate’s presence didn’t prevent them from selecting the best person for the job. But I’d ask about what the dynamics with her are likely to be if you take the role.

{ 594 comments… read them below }

  1. RG*

    Honestly Jay, this is one of those things you should probably keep to yourself. The vaccination efforts have been such a mess that if you’ve gotten it, people will assume one of two options. For the first one, they’ll you’re at high risk and wonder why they or loved ones also at high risk haven’t gotten theirs. And for the second one, they’ll assume you did game the system and have some negative feelings.

    Avoid it all by being quiet and working out your emotions in a journal.

    1. MK*

      I am confused by Alison’s reply. Jay got an appointment because he knows someone, so he did in fact game the system and should feel guilty about it, and the OP has a right to feel angry. It’s not as if he got randomly selected for the vaccine by mistake.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Getting an appointment because you know someone can be a call saying “we have to trash a dose in an hour, no one on our list has called us back/can be here in time, you can have it if you’re here before then or it’s getting thrown out.” This has been happening all over the place, and a number of public health experts (and at least one medical ethics person) have said to accept the dose if it’s offered in that scenario.

        The OP has a right to feel angry, but it should be directed at the mess of a system.

        1. crookedfinger*

          One of my coworkers got her vaccine that way – one of her neighbors is a nurse and when folks don’t show up for their vaccination appointments, they have to do something with the vaccines that need to be used that day. Her whole street is vaccinated now.

          1. allathian*

            Yeah, it’s definitely better to get the vaccine in any honest way you can, even if you just get lucky, than to waste doses. If you get lucky and know someone in healthcare who can get you vaccinated at short notice because a dose would otherwise be wasted, and feel guilty about it, please don’t make things worse by voicing that guilt to others who may be high-risk themselves or have high-risk people in their family who haven’t yet been able to get the vaccine.

            A lot of unpleasantness could have been avoided if Jay had just kept his mouth shut.

            1. Myrin*

              A lot of unpleasantness in general could be avoided if people just kept their mouths shut – the older I get, the more obvious that seems to me, but I also somehow seem to encounter a growing number of people who must have everyone and their mother partake in their every… well, everything, really, often with extremely unpleasant results.

              1. Temperance*

                I agree. One of my acquaintances in the local beer scene, who is admittedly elderly BUT has been out at bars, restaurants, etc. has already been vaccinated whereas I’ve been on lockdown more or less completely since March of last year. I’m salty AF about it, honestly, because I think the doses should go to people doing the right thing.

                And if he didn’t share what he’s been doing AND that he got the vaccination, I could just enjoy his company at some distant time in the future, lol. But now I know that he sucks.

                1. The Rules are Made Up*

                  Yup that’s another 100 points for Jay keeping his mouth shut. In reality, vaccines aren’t given out based on who we feel “deserves” it because well…. everyone thinks they deserve it. And more importantly, as many people as possible need to be vaccinated at this point. Because truthfully, the catastrophic government failure of this pandemic has made “right and wrong” choices (day to day ones, not like international trips then going to kiss your grandma) mostly irrelevant. Someone could go to a bar 6 days a week then get the virus when they went to Trader Joes the 7th day. Someone could never leave their house then get the virus when they go to pick up a package or run out to get toothpaste. It’s random and that annoys us because our impulse is to believe in good things happening to “good” people and bad things happening to “bad people” but that’s not the way it works in real life.

                2. Brad Fitt*

                  On an ethical level, I agree with you completely that the people who’ve been acting like selfish children should be left to fend for themselves while the people who’ve been following expert health recommendations should be prioritized in the vaccine line (after healthcare and front line essential workers).

                  On a practical level, the people who’ve been acting like selfish children aren’t going to stop that behavior and on the off-chance that they haven’t already gotten the virus, it makes sense to prioritize them in the vaccine line to prevent them from infecting others who have no choice about interacting with them. They’re not so much missing stairs as stairs littered with broken glass and raiser-wire.

                  (I’ve also been locked down since March. My roommate is a non-healthcare essential worker and is exposed to people who won’t wear a mask every day. I hate everything about this entire situation, especially the part where the anti-mask crowd is cutting in line to get vaxxed and I have to recognize that’s an overall positive outcome.)

              2. Allypopx*

                I agree with the general premise of what you’re saying, but I think it’s important for people to share information about the realities of the vaccine rollout. It’s a public health issue and sharing this information is how people who face this situation in the future find out that they should say yes and what happens practically when all the logistics of distribution/discarding/appointment f*ckery get twisted. More sharing is preferable in this case.

                1. Myrin*

                  Oh, for sure. I really just meant that in a general sense and as a somewhat off-topic tangent, not related to this situation in particular.

            2. Observer*

              Well, sure Jay should have kept his mouth shut, at least at work.

              But it’s also important to understand that it is not necessarily the case that Jay gamed the system.

              1. Phideaux*

                Yes, keep your mouth shut about such things, especially during a time when people are very divided on a subject and have very strong feelings about it.

                My company is trying to arrange vaccines for employees who fall into certain categories, of which I am one of. The problem is that I don’t want it and have no intention of getting it. I will be laying low and keeping my mouth shut as to my intentions. While they haven’t said it’s a condition of employment, it has been strongly suggested that we should take advantage of the situation. Why cause trouble for myself by openly expressing my objections?

          2. pretzelgirl*

            I also know someone that got a vaccine this way. They have a friend who is a nurse. The place distributing the vaccines apparently encourages those administering them to contact people if they have left overs. So they contacted this person and her significant other and they received the vaccine this way. If they did’nt take it, the does would have been trashed.

            1. MCMonkeybean*

              Yeah, my husband’s sister works in a medical office and has basically let him know to be ready for the possibility that she may reach out saying “we’ve got doses we can’t get to people today so come here now and it’s yours.”

              I have my fingers crossed because he is a teacher and in my state they were going to be included in the current group and then the guidelines were suddenly changed to be only age-based.

          3. Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss*

            Vaccinated or half-vaccinated? It’s a two-dose vaccine.

            Jay might have obtained an appointment for the 1st shot but there’s no guarantee he’ll get an appointment within 21-28 days for the 2nd shot, if he’s so ineligible.

            Someone gamed the system in BC (Canada) by flying to the Yukon, lied about their eligibility and got caught and outed. I’m thinking they’ll be waiting a long time for their 2nd dose.

            1. Natalie*

              No, once you get the first dose you can schedule the second one, regardless of how your first dose ended up being scheduled.

              1. Aquawoman*

                This is not true everywhere–I’ve heard people hear say that they’re told that they can’t schedule the second dose now but they will get a phone call about it. It’s a mess.

                1. Anna Karenina*

                  Yes, once you are in the system they will contact you, so you don’t go ahead and have to set it up.

              2. Tirv*

                No. In this case the couple have been told they will not be scheduled for their second dose until the time that they would normally have been scheduled-which, based on their ages will be the fall. By then it will be outsidd the window for 2nd dose and they’ll basically have to start over. As the couple earned over 11 million last year, I have no doubt they’ll just charter a flight somewhere else and get their 2nd dose.

            2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

              That’d be a waste of a first dose though.

              When I got my Shingrix shot (that was also in high demand and had a waitlist miles long), I had to wait a long time for my first, but, once I got it, I was automatically getting my second in another X weeks.

            3. Nishipip*

              I want to add here that the community they stole the vaccine from was an Indigenous community of about 100 people. As if we didn’t steal enough from these people, now we have people stealing their vaccines. Its absolutely disgusting and they should have been severely punished.

              1. Observer*

                You mean if he had done this to a community in Appalachia it would somehow have been ok?

                Sometimes you get something that’s so egregious that all these other issues are just almost not relevant. Sure, if you said “Well normally this would be a $1m fine, but because you did this to an indigenous community that has been so abused in the past, we’re also going to require that you give $500k to the local health clinic”, I’d be on board. But this needs to be severely punished, regardless of the community he stole from.

                To be honest, this person is just a piece of trash. He wants what he wants when he wants it and it makes no difference who he has to step on to get it.

                1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

                  I read this story in the news and it is really outrageous. From the first article that came up for me when I searched now, “Canadian media outlets have identified the couple as casino executive Rodney Baker, 55, and his wife, Ekaterina Baker, a 32-year-old actress whose recent credits include the 2020 films “Fatman” and “Chick Fight.”

                  “Investor disclosures show that Baker earned more than $10.6 million in 2019 as CEO and president of the Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which owns more than 20 casinos across Canada and is the subject of a separate money laundering probe. He resigned Sunday after charges were filed”

                  “Authorities say the Bakers flew to Whitehorse early last week, and promised to spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine in a local hotel. Instead, they chartered a private plane to take them to Beaver Creek on Thursday. There, they were easily able to get their first shots of the Moderna vaccine. Many people who work in rural Yukon come from other parts of Canada, so proof of residency hasn’t been required at traveling vaccination clinics, Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

                  The couple claimed to be new hires at a nearby motel, but raised suspicions when they asked for a ride to the airport shortly after getting their shots, Streicker said. “People were like, ‘Well, why would you be going to the airport?’” he told the CBC.”

                  and so on and so on. This just makes me want to see them in jail and for them to stay in jail for the rest of my lifetime.

                  And, to your question, in an Appalachian community where everyone knows each other, they probably would’ve gotten laughed out of the community. They specifically chose one for their con job where they knew residency would not be checked.

                2. Observer*

                  Yes, totally gross and deserving of having the book thrown hard enough to flatten their heads.

                  And, to your question, in an Appalachian community where everyone knows each other, they probably would’ve gotten laughed out of the community. They specifically chose one for their con job where they knew residency would not be checked.

                  That’s not the point. I know that in most Appalachian communities, they would not have been able to get away with this. In fact, the same is almost certainly true of most indigenous communities. The key here was that they carefully chose a very exceptional situation where the clinic had a need to not check for residency.

                  But that doesn’t change the fundamental question, which is, if this had happened in Appalachia, would is have been somehow OK. Or, to put it another way, if we had something like this for migrants would it have been ok? Would it have been ok if the migrants were Americans (as happened in the 1930 Great Depression)?

                3. pancakes*

                  The idea that things like this don’t or won’t happen in Appalachia because “everyone knows each other” is odd and unfounded in itself, and even more so when it’s meant to be contrasted with a similarly small indigenous community in the Yukon. One of the first instances of vaccine favoritism I became aware of happened in an Appalachian community, where a car full of people bragged to a reporter about having used their “connections” to cut ahead of people who’d been waiting for hours. You can read about it on WBIR dot com, in a Jan. 1st article titled, “Chattanooga COVID-19 vaccine administrators gave doses to close contacts hours after qualified citizens were turned away.”

                4. Autistic AF*

                  The community they went to (Beaver Creek) is quite far north, almost a 300 mile drive from the nearest city (Whitehorse) – it’s not necessarily drivable in the winter, of course… I’d guess a 30 minute flight to the nearest hospital, weather dependent. There’s a small community hospital in Dawson City, which is closer by flight but there’s no direct road.

                  Housing also tends to be limited in remote north communities, so overcrowding is especially an issue in COVID times. The entire Yukon Territory had 15 ventilators as of last April, so while their population may be low, there is a lot more concern about a COVID outbreak because of isolation and limited health care resources.

                  There are also cultural issues around removing people from their cultures for health care – this has been a longstanding issue with tuberculosis, which was brought by European settlers and is still a problem in northern First Nations. A class action lawsuit was brought against the Canadian government last year regarding neglectful and abusive conditions at racially segregated tuberculosis facilities in the mid-20th century.

                5. Aquawoman*

                  There’s nothing in Nishipip’s comment that suggests that it would have been okay to do to another community.

                6. kt*

                  This is some weird whataboutism that doesn’t contribute to the conversation, in my opinion. Chartering a plane to anywhere to lie about your status and cut in front of old people deliberately is not ok. Accepting a dose that will be trashed if they don’t find an arm in the next 20 minutes is fine.

                  I’m glad that my state is trying to coordinate an effort to get the might-be-trashed doses into the arms of teachers, in particular, but if I was the nearest arm in the scenario I’d take it. Our US disaster stemming from non-existent federal coordination of delivery needs to be dealt with as well as we can, and we need to keep up the pressure and support for the new administration to do better.

                7. TootsNYC*

                  You mean if he had done this to a community in Appalachia it would somehow have been ok?

                  That’s a straw man.

                  There’s bad, and there’s extra bad.

                8. Observer*

                  I’m replying to a couple different comments together to simplify stuff:

                  January 28, 2021 at 12:13 pm

                  There’s nothing in Nishipip’s comment that suggests that it would have been okay to do to another community.

                  I have to disagree. It may not be what they meant, but that is pretty much what they said I want to add here that the community they stole the vaccine from was an Indigenous community of about 100 people. As if we didn’t steal enough from these people, now we have people stealing their vaccines. Its absolutely disgusting and they should have been severely punished.

                  January 28, 2021 at 12:46 pm

                  This is some weird whataboutism that doesn’t contribute to the conversation, in my opinion.

                  No whataboutism here (in the comment you were apparently responding to) – I was not trying to defend or even minimize this because someone else might have done something to another group. I was making the point that these people are a pair of flaming trash piles regardless of who they did it to. The fact that they chose to do this to a community that has been heavily abused does make it worse.

                  Chartering a plane to anywhere to lie about your status and cut in front of old people deliberately is not ok. Accepting a dose that will be trashed if they don’t find an arm in the next 20 minutes is fine.

                  Agreed. 100%

          4. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            That sounds like a fair and great way to go about it. Jay made it sound like he had some, I don’t know, mafia friend lean on an 85-year-old to get her to give her vaccine to Jay. “I know a guy” is not something that ever sounds right. He made it sound sinister when it likely wasn’t.

            1. ThatGirl*

              I have to laugh because in Chicagoland “I know a guy” is usually just shorthand for “during the course of my work and/or life I have made contacts with someone who might be able to help”. It *can* be shady, but it doesn’t need to be. My FIL owns a small business, is very gregarious, and knows a guy for darn near everything. But certainly it can have sinister overtones depending on context.

              In this case I would assume Jay just got lucky as per some of the scenarios described above and below. While it sucks that the distribution is so haphazard, getting as many people vaccinated as possible is still a worthy goal and we don’t want doses going to waste.

              1. Tired of Covid-and People*

                Luck should have nothing to do with getting a lifesaving vaccine. All of this really sucks.

                1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

                  Luck will always be a factor to some degree – does someone trip and fall while carrying doses to or from storage? Do you get caught in a traffic jam while trying to get to the vaccination site, and don’t arrive before they close? There’s really no way to insulate a logistics problem from luck entirely.

                  But none of that changes the fact that the logistics system for this deployment is absolutely horrendous, and there needs to be a drastic overhaul with long term systems put in place, and lessons learned and documented for the next time something like this happens.

                2. Lightning*

                  Though while supply is still short of demand, there’s inevitably going to be some degree of luck. My (very deserving) father in law got his first shot this week mostly because he happened to check his email during the 15 minute time period when some appointments became available.

                  I know it’s not the same situation, but there’s really no logistical way for luck to have nothing to do with it.

              2. OP2 Jays Boss*

                “Know a guy” was supposed to convey exactly that sinister vibe. I didn’t realize it was a regional (Chicago-ish) thing. Thought everyone knew what it meant! Jay definitely secured the appointment not my normal channels.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  Ugh. I hate typing sneakily. So many mistakes. He did not get the appointment BY normal channels.

              3. Teapot Tía*

                yeah, around here (metro NYC) “I know a guy” is a half-jokey way to talk about your brothers best friend back in high schools’ sister-in-law’s neighbor who’s in the business, whichever business it happens to be.

                1. Teapot Tía*

                  But (got interrupted & didn’t realize that’d posted) it’s also a jokey way to talk about perfectly normal open-to-everyone connections- “the guy” you know might be (thinking about the medical arena) your doctor, or the pharmacist, or even the local news that told you about the relevant website.

                  I probably wouldn’t use that joke re: vaccination appointments, but someone who had a legit connection & reason (like a stigmatized health condition) which they didn’t want to talk about might.

              4. Who Am I*

                Yes! I’m not in Chicagoland – you could say Chicagoland-adjacent – and knowing a guy is hardly weird or sinister. Everyone knows a guy or 2 or 10. Your cousin the paralegal who you call when you need a lawyer and need to know who’s good – that’s your guy. Great Aunt Matilda, the nurse, who you call when you need a new doctor and want to know who to avoid? Also your guy. Your friend from high school who can still hook you up with the best pazcki in town because her grandma makes them but doesn’t sell them in a bakery? Another guy! We all know a guy. Apparently people in other parts of the country phrase it differently. I wonder how – maybe “I know someone”? Does knowing someone rather than knowing a guy make it different?

              5. Galloping Gargoyles*

                I totally agree with you having grown up in Chicagoland. I love my family members that “know a guy” for just about everything. :-) This scenario and the failures on the vaccine rollout are awful but if the scenario is as many suspect that is was administer the dose or toss the dose, I think he made the right choice. It doesn’t change the fact that the vaccine dissemination has been royally messed up. The gambling CEO deserves to have the book thrown at him as does his wife; it doesn’t matter what films she’s been in what she did was ethically and legally wrong. Some days you just want to say “ugh, people”…

          5. Tired of Covid-and People*

            As a 65 year old heart patient and diabetic who gets nothing but “all appointments have been scheduled” when trying to setup a first-dose appointment, I can’t help but resent these types of scenarios. It’s almost Hunger Games like. There should be a centralized waiting list, as this give doses to whoever is around methodology of distribution makes a mockery of the so-called priority categories. I hope I don’t get infected before I get vaccinated because if I do I am likely a goner. My world has contracted to a very small area and is mostly me alone in my house for days on end. I’m so tired.

            1. Colette*

              From a logistical point of view, a centralized waiting list would almost certainly result in doses getting tossed. You’d have to know how many extra doses you have and then call people who can get there in X minutes and hope they answer the phone.

              It’s also important to remember that “low risk” is not the same as “no risk”. There are people who, on paper, are high risk who got the virus and were fine; there are people who were low risk who died or developed life-long health problems.

              1. Bee*

                Also, plenty of people have conditions that make them high-risk but don’t know it. Bodies are weird! You never know what’s quietly gone wrong!

              2. Global Cat Herder*

                A friend is in a county that has a centralized wait list. At 5:30 every day they send out a text “we’ve had 2 no-shows today, which means 2 doses thawed, the first 2 people who get here before we close at 6 get them.” (Or however many that day – she did say the numbers of no-shows are going down.) On her sixth try she got a shot.

              3. JM60*

                Plus, people who are low risk can still spread COVID. So if the vaccine prevents or lessens the spread, high risk people benefit from the low-risk people around them getting vaccinated. Making sure every shot available is used gets us to herd immunity a little faster.

            2. Artemesia*

              your health care provider should be contacting you and they should be able to prioritize people with conditions like yours. Ours is theoretically doing this but we haven’t been contacted yet.

              1. pancakes*

                And people who don’t have healthcare providers should just wait until everyone else has been vaccinated to even try to get it themselves? I don’t at all agree that vaccine rollout should intentionally be as inequitable as that.

              2. Who Am I*

                My healthcare provider system (not just the clinic I attend but the entire system) doesn’t even have vaccines for patients. When you ask about vaccination, they refer you to the state website (which is completely useless with no real information, rarely updated). I signed up with a regional chain big box store (similar to Target), where I get my prescriptions filled. I haven’t a clue when they’ll actually get vaccines but at least I’m registered somewhere. My spouse is a vet – 69 and with multiple risk factors – but the VA can’t help them yet, not even register them, because our state isn’t vaccinating anyone under 70 yet except people in certain jobs and even though the VA is federal apparently they follow state guidelines for such things.

              3. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

                It does not work this way everywhere. Our health care provider has no access to covid vaccine and no idea when they will. From what I can tell, vaccine distribution is being coordinated by county health departments in my state and the shots are actually being administered at pharmacies.

                In the US (I have no knowledge about other countries), it’s not safe to assume ANYTHING about how the covid vaccine is being handled outside of one’s own area. There is no uniformity. The previous administration left everything up to the individual states, and each state has scrambled to figure out its own “system.” The result, predictably enough, has been chaos.The new administration plans to straighten things out, but it’s only been 3 weeks, so they haven’t had time yet. A lot of infuriating things will no doubt continue to happen in the meantime.

                As Alison says, anger is not inappropriate, but those who happen to get lucky in the vaccine “lottery” are the wrong targets for our anger. We have every right to be angry at the system and at those who deliberately try to game it, but it’s not fair to assume everyone who gets vaccinated despite being (presumably) low risk has done so dishonestly.

            3. Ann O'Nemity*

              I think a lot of people are getting resentful. I’m in a state that is hoping to finish its first phase rollout to healthcare personnel sometime next month. I have no idea what criteria they’re using to decide who gets vaccinated. I know a delivery nurse at a hospital who still hasn’t received her first vaccine, and she’s pregnant herself and diabetic. There still isn’t a process for people in the next phase (elderly, certain underlying conditions) to even sign up. I’d say the system is broken, but that would imply a system was even created in the first place.

          6. Quill*

            Yep, if they have a dose waiting to spoil they will stick it in any willing arm! Once you thaw them you can’t go back.

          7. Rachel in NYC*

            and that’s the question. Jay’s wording was odd here- by saying ‘Jay got an appointment’- it makes it sounds like it wasn’t something like extra doses at the end of the day or getting vaccinated because they volunteered to help with vaccinations.

            but that could have been how OP heard Jay’s comment.

            1. BigTenProfessor*

              In my area, these appointments don’t actually mean you will get a vaccine. You are more or less on the list for an end-of-day cattle call where you get a text saying they have leftovers and you can go stand in line if you want.

          8. nikkole82*

            Working in healthcare- yep random people have been offered vaccines on the spot for being in the ‘right place at the right time’ due to leftovers from people no showing appointments. Better to get shots in arms than in the trash and tbh… I wouldn’t feel guilty about a thing I would keep it to myself though or if I did get it I would tell people I qualified. They don’t know if you have some sort of medical condition that makes it dangerous to contract covid

          9. ...*

            Perhaps Jay can give OP’s contact information to his “guy”; it’s a real pity if he didn’t consider that route.

        2. NRG*

          A bunch of us at work as signed up to be alternate vaccine recipients on the case that there are doses that might go to waste. Each time there’s a batch going out, they call up a bunch of us, and it’s whoever is can be there at the right time. So far people have been called and showed up to wait, but they’ve used up all the doses on the higher priority people. It’s like being on standby at the airport.

          1. Dust Bunny*

            This is how a couple of my friends got vaccinated. They work for health organizations but not in patient-facing roles, so their employers are priority recipients of the vaccine but not all of the employees are. But they got them when there were missed appointments or leftover doses.

        3. Mainely Professional*

          I disagree. That he secured an appointment, not a vaccine, indicates he got a scheduled time to get the vaccine. He gamed the system. It wasn’t offered to him in any sense except by a bad actor within that system. He didn’t say to his friend “You probably shouldn’t be offering the vaccine to your friends.”

          My sister’s MIL and FIL also cut in line this way, both years younger than the state’s 65+ and neither in a profession that would make them eligible. They didn’t get a dose that would otherwise go to waste. They got an appointment. They took a dose of potentially life-saving vaccine from someone else. As did the person in the letter.

          And despite the ethics article, “Should you take a dose if it is offered? Yes” is not the same thing as “Should you take a dose from someone else when it is absolutely not your turn, and a bad actor has offered it to you.”

          1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

            That’s what occurred to me too – he “knows a guy” and perhaps circumvented the official process for getting an appointment.
            Perhaps more scrutiny of Jay might be in order in case he is circumventing things in other ways too.

          2. doreen*

            I agree that he secured an appointment means he had a pre-scheduled time, not that he got a call saying “can you be here in an hour?”. But it’s also possible that Jay is indeed eligible and the LW doesn’t know it – she wouldn’t necessarily know if he works part-time in a supermarket or volunteers as an EMT or lives in a homeless shelter.( any of which would make you eligible in my state) Or even if he really is perfectly healthy – I have medical issues that are not obvious and no one at my job knows about.

            1. ThatGirl*

              My mom and her husband both got their shots thanks to something of a glitch. She is an occasional volunteer at a hospital and hospice, and apparently this put her on the list, and then they briefly were offering appointments to spouses as well. While she’s not an essential or frontline worker, she is 70 and a cancer survivor and her husband is older and has a bunch of preexisting conditions. So while they may have jumped the line a little, they were definitely still higher on the priority list than I would be.

            2. Quill*

              Yeah, it could be from a very common risk factor that OP doesn’t know about. It could be somebody ducked up the paperwork and put him in the wrong bracket. Overall unless he paid to jump the line I would attribute this to accident rather than malice.

            3. Brad Fitt*

              Why would he feel guilty about getting an appointment that he qualified for tho? He told OP he feels guilty about having an appointment because he knows a guy, that’s different than what you’re saying.

          3. platypus*

            I’m torn on this issue. I work in drug research and while we’re not frontline workers in any sense, we’re close enough to the healthcare field that my company was able to get us on the list even though we’re on the lab side of things. I’m in my mid 20s and relatively healthy, and I’d argue it’s probably better that a man in his 50s get the vaccine ahead of me. That being said, the real issue with who’s getting the vaccine is how black and latino populations are getting it at much lower numbers compared to white communities.

            1. Works for healthcare, not in healthcare*

              I felt briefly guilty for a moment. Then it was pointed out to me that a lot of our nurses were not getting the vaccine, and that by opening it up to the non patient facing staff, the vaccine administrators were also hoping to incentivize them to jump on the bandwagon.

              There’s also the fact that apparently we are considered healthcare workers in terms of statistics collecting, and if we turn our dose down instead of accepting it, it adds to the narrative that “healthcare workers aren’t getting vaccinated, they’re declining at appalling rates” which is misleading when your reason for declining is “but I’m able to work from home and haven’t been out in public for months”, and spreads fear that there’s something about the vaccine we “know”.

              I also agree though that this doesn’t sound like someone who was called at the last minute, unless their definition of “appointment” is “appointment to show up at closing and try to get a leftover dose”

              1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

                I did not realize that those sorts of roles were considered healthcare! This would explain why a high school classmate’s employer (local research hospital, has the ultra-cold storage for our region) is making the vaccine available to all their employees, regardless of role. (Classmate posted a picture of her sticker on LinkedIn with a thank you to her employer for making the vaccine available.)

                1. RussianInTexas*

                  Friend of mine is a technical editor for a medical journal. She has nothing to do with the patients, does not even go in through the same entrance.
                  But her entire hospital was being vaccinated, so was she.

                2. Works for healthcare, not in healthcare*

                  Yeah, it is confusing, and when I was trying to reach out to friends to let them know what the side effects I was experiencing were, so they and their family could be prepared, one of them really went off on me for getting vaccinated when doses for the elderly haven’t gone out yet. But apparently I’m actually in 1a, and if you’re in 1a, and decline the vaccine, you’re feeding the fear that something is wrong. It also does not help that there is ONE “I decline the vaccine because a, b, c, or d” button, and no way to filter out people who are declining because they recently recovered from COVID and are inelligible, so they are also feeding the it’s not safe narrative.

                3. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

                  @RussianInTexas–And to me it does make sense to try to get the WHOLE hospital vaccinated. Even if the person isn’t going to have any patient contact, maybe they still cross paths with nurses, or maybe the same janitorial staff cleans both administrative and patient parts of the hospital. If you can create mini-herd immunity within that space, all the better!

                4. Don't Care Bear*

                  Im in Australia and work in a clinic for a Mental Health service.
                  I am NOT a doctor or nurse or in the medical field at all, but when the vaccines are approved, I will be amongst the first to get vaccinated, whether I like it or not.

              2. Archaeopteryx*

                The wording of “appointment “could be ambiguous. They put an appointment in the system in order to record that you got the shot even if you just showed up last minute.

                We’ve been sending out emails with “we have one spare dose that is expiring in x time, first come first served” etc. a few times now. They would try to prioritize it for staff who still haven’t gotten dose one, but as the clock wound down I’m sure they would just go for anyone.

                Any wasted doses get recorded and if it’s too high a percentage of the doses your healthcare facility was given, you lose the ability to distribute COVID vaccines anymore.

            2. OP3 Jays Boss*

              Jay is white and wealthy….my spouse is a minority. I didn’t include that but maybe I should have.
              I like the guy – know him personally and professionally. I can’t control what he does but I need to change my attitude. I’m so upset with him. But I guess I have to let it go.

              1. Anononon*

                It sounds like he’s become the target for your (perfectly reasonable and understandable) anger at the total cluster you know what of a vaccine rollout. However, it’s really not reasonable for you to direct your anger at him. HE is not preventing your husband from getting a vaccine. The inefficient and ineffective system is. Because the system sucks so hard, there are going to be tons of Jays, no matter what, getting it.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  I just wish he wouldn’t have told me. I know it’s my problem – just needed a way to reframe is so I can move past it. I also don’t think reflects well on him (gaming the system). If you’re gonna do that, don’t tell people!! I think that’s why it got under my skin. It was like a humble-brag, stuck in the eye, whatever.

                2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

                  I agree with you, OP. I have no idea why he decided to tell you. He shouldn’t have.

                3. logicbutton*

                  @OP2 Jays Boss, that makes sense. I was also thinking it might have bothered you less if he hadn’t told you he felt guilty about it, because, like, what were you supposed to say to that? “Good, you should feel guilty”?

                4. Observer*

                  Yeah, he should NOT have told you. He could be a saint and have done this in the most appropriate way possible, but he should not have told you. Because he gets to “feel guilty”, but you get to worry about your spouse’s life.

                  That’s just tone deaf as all get out, at best.

              2. Arctic*

                You are his boss. Your employee should be able to share this with you without you taking it personally.

                1. Kim*

                  I disagree. It’s not relevant to doing his job, so this is sharing information that is not relevant. Especially because Jay does seem to understand that he ‘should’ feel guilty. Being someone’s boss doesn’t preclude you from having feelings about the person. OP is clearly trying to work her way through her feelings in a conducive manner, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to have feelings about something that is so fraught with emotions like a vaccine to a deadly disease.

                2. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  Absolutely agree IF he hadn’t told me he only got the appointment because he “knew a guy”. This wasn’t a “hey, extra dose going to waste” kinda thing. He secured an appointment not by proper channels.

                3. Observer*

                  Why? The employee did something out of work that seems shady, is legitimately stressful to the OP, and does not have any bearing on his ability to do his job.

                  Sure, the OP needs to let this pass, but it is totally fair to expect John to have kept his mouth shut.

                4. Not his fault*

                  I told my boss because I had mild side effects. I took a day off and needed him to know it wasn’t actually COVID.

                5. Arctic*

                  It absolutely is relevant to his job that he will receive a vaccine.

                  We all know OP would be writing in “my employee is taking unnecessary risks even though they I have a husband with preexisting conditions. We’re WFH but it enrages me” if he was caught out at a restaurant or something.

                6. Works for healthcare, not in healthcare*

                  Ah, yeah, there is the possibility that what he meant was he had an appointment for a SECOND dose. As there will almost certainly be side effects, often weird side effects, letting your manager know you’re getting your second dose is kind of important. If he got the first shot because he was on the contact list of someone who was frantically looking for more people to take extra doses, he would’ve automatically been given an appointment for dose 2.

                  Fyi, if that appointment is the day before a work day and he gets the same side effects as me, the random sleeping spells are not intentional. One minute I was wide awake and the next I was waking up from wherever I nodded off, and it lasted for a day.

                7. Observer*

                  We all know OP would be writing in “my employee is taking unnecessary risks even though they I have a husband with preexisting conditions. We’re WFH but it enrages me” if he was caught out at a restaurant or something.

                  We actually do NOT know that, and it’s incredibly unhelpful to try to paint them as someone who simply cannot let someone else live their life.

                  Beyond that, Jay does actually need to continue to be careful at this point because while we do know that the vaccine is quite effective at preventing illness, it is NOT fool proof, even against the variant it was developed for. Furthermore, we don’t know how well it acts to prevent infection, and initial data seems to indicate that it might be a lot less effective in that respect.

                8. Brad Fitt*

                  Why? If Jay develops a side effect and needs to take time off, he can mention the details then. It sounds like Jay wanted OP to tell him not to feel guilty, even though that’s not on OP to do and Jay needs to work through his feeling on his own or with a therapist—not with his boss.

                  If Jay was shoplifting for thrills on the weekend or liked to berate customer service until they gave him freebies to go away and he felt guilty about it, sharing that guilt and asking forgiveness from his boss is pretty much the least appropriate thing he could do. It has nothing to do with his work and the fact that he’s asking OP to do emotional labor so he doesn’t have to shows spectacularly poor judgement.

              3. Secretly Ill*

                Are you absolutely sure that Jay does not have a qualifying health condition? I will be receiving my vaccination soon and I cannot tell anyone because I will be the victim of these kinds of assumptions. No one knows my health situation because it isn’t anyone’s business. I could let my boss know when I’m fully vaccinated because I could safely work in the office again, but I could be labeled a monster for “jumping in line.”
                Please let it go. Don’t judge me for having health problems, taking care of myself, and being a private person.

                1. Tequila & Oxford Commas*

                  That was my thought too — he may indeed have a pre-existing condition that he would prefer not to share with his employer. And yes, it seems weird that he’d tell you he got the vaccine but wouldn’t tell you why he indeed was qualified to get it in this tier, but you never know.

                  I totally understand your frustration and empathize with your fear for your spouse and their health. This is such a scary time, and it’s weirdly getting both more and less scary as variants and vaccines surge. It might help to ease your frustration (which would feel better for you, I’m guessing, since you actually like this guy and have to work with him) if you can open yourself up to the possibility that there is a non-nefarious, non-jerky explanation here.

              4. JO*

                I’m not sure why you would include that. There is no vaccine priority guidelines in widespread practices right now that include race or income as a criteria. Nor should there be.

                1. platypus*

                  Just because there’s no guideline doesn’t mean it isn’t happening? There’s no official guideline for arresting black people more than white people either, and yet here we are. There are many articles you can find online about COVID death rates between racial groups as well as vaccine distribution.

                2. JO*

                  I never said there were or weren’t any racially disparate issues with COVID and vaccinations. The OP seemed to be questioning if he should have inserted race in to the equation. I am just affirming that his initial instincts to not include it are probably right because it’s just not really that relevant. Quite frankly, it seems to be adding another layer of resentment that isn’t very healthy for the OP.

              5. pope suburban*

                Would it help you in any way to focus on the fact that once Jay is fully vaccinated, he is one less person who might transmit the virus to high-risk people? Treating him as part of a group of people who are lowering the risk for all might be a way to frame it that allows for less resentment. Not that I feel you are in any way wrong for feeling the way you do, and frankly I hate that the burden here is on you to figure out how to live with a crappy data point in a shockingly inefficient and harmful bodged-together distribution system. But sometimes we tell ourselves things in order to get through the day, and there is no shame in that. I hope the vaccine arrives in your household sooner than later, and I wish you the best of luck in all of this.

                1. AisforA*

                  This was my thought too. If OP needs to be around Jay at all, wouldn’t they be thankful that Jay was vaccinated? Less chance of passing on Covid, which could then get to OP’s husband.

                  I’m so confused by all of the people saying he shouldn’t have told her. I WISH I could know everyone around me that was vaccinated fully so that I would know who I would be at less risk with.

              6. Brad*

                One point I haven’t seen yet- Jay getting vaccinated reduces your risk, because he will no longer be a possible source of infection for you. far better than a dose going to waste.

            3. Temperance*

              Don’t feel guilty. Plenty of states set vax priorities according to their voter base and not public health (looking at you, Florida and Texas). So if you can get it, get it.

          4. Smithy*

            I don’t know more about your family’s process – but I do know that for my brother, he got an appointment through his job despite being younger and having no pre-existing conditions. He works in IT, and can do his job 100% remotely – however he also happens to work for a hospital. While it was via an appointment, it was also truly through the mess of a system where it would have gone to waste.

            At the time, it really did create hurt feelings amongst my mother and myself – particularly that my mother who’s over 65 and also works for a hospital and sees patients still hadn’t qualified. So I entirely relate to being hurt and angry, however now my mom knows my brother’s full vaccine schedule and can make more informed and smarter choices about her own risks/exposure around him based off of that. While it certainly causes hurt feelings that Jay is getting this sooner, it also means that the OP and thus her family will have less risk if she still has to work with Jay in person.

            Feel hurt, feel angry. But it’s the system to be mad at, not the individuals. And ultimately it does make the larger community safer.

            1. OP3 Jays Boss*

              Thank you for your words – they really do remind me that it’s okay to be hurt/angry but ultimately recognize that he would have gotten a vaccine shot at some point. He should have just kept it to himself as he knows how long I’ve been trying to get a dose for my spouse. Felt like a total disregard for my situation. But hey – that’s MY problem. Can’t have feelings at work!! I know better but it just stung!

              1. Smithy*

                Oh! For about a week, all I wanted to do was call my brother and scream “How you could you get vaccinated instead of mom!!!!”

                In addition to those being my feelings and disregarding the reality that they work for different hospitals, and that my brother being vaccinated does help my mother….those were still my feelings. Had I worked with my brother, I’m not even going to pretend how much more that anger would have impacted me because of just being at work 5 days a week and being less able to escape it.

                So let yourself feel angry, but also try to find an outlet that you feel helps the anger truly dissipate and not linger. Whatever that may be to you. Because when it comes to this vaccine distribution process….there’s a lot of anger to go around.

              2. PT*

                Public health wants people sharing that they’ve been vaccinated, to normalize vaccination, given that there have been so many anti-vaxxers.

                Policing people for getting vaccinated “out of order” has a chilling effect on vaccination, which leads to fewer people getting vaccinated…just like anti-vax sentiment.

                1. hello*

                  This is the right attitude. ANYONE getting vaccinated is a good thing. Shots in arms, don’t punish people for getting shots in arms!

                2. Sk*

                  I agree with this. People who are vaccinated need to normalize vaccinated. People who hear that others are vaccinated need to normalize being supportive.

                3. Elsajeni*

                  I mean, I think it’s one thing to share that you’ve been vaccinated or have a vaccine appointment; sharing details like “yeah, I got my appointment outside the system because I know a guy” or “gosh, boss, I feel real guilty about jumping the vaccine line” does not seem like it’s helping to normalize vaccination, and there’s no way it’s relevant information to your workplace (where “I’m vaccinated” could be). That’s the stuff Jay could stand to keep his mouth shut about.

              3. EventPlannerGal*

                You’re allowed to have feelings at work, you just can’t let them affect how you manage others. It sounds to me like you have a long-standing relationship with Jay and that maybe the lines between personal and professional are a bit blurred, if he’s coming to you to talk about feelings of guilt and you apparently know the details of his medical health. Perhaps this is a sign to retreat to the purely professional for a while.

            2. Observer*

              particularly that my mother who’s over 65 and also works for a hospital and sees patients still hadn’t qualified.

              Talk about a mess of a system!

              This brings to mind the mess at Stanford. A lot of people were blaming the AI, and there were a lot of articles highlighting issues in how the ai was programmed etc. But what was studiously ignored was that this actually had nothing to do with the AI – not even in how it was programmed. The real problem was the kind of thought process that leads to the sentence I highlighted. Decisions are NOT being made in appropriate ways, AT ALL.

          5. Dust Bunny*

            I wondered what “knows a guy” actually means. Is this Bob’s wording, and is he serious or was he being funny? Like, I (long story here) spent a summer in Norway many years ago and could get French’s mustard–Norway seemed to only have sweet mustard at the time–because I “knew a guy”, but the guy was a family who regularly visited relatives in the UK and could bring back things like that. It was a joke.

            Or is this the LW’s wording, colored by resentment?

            1. anonymous for this*

              I don’t live in America and I’m not sure how vaccination distribution works there, but my read on it was that he was related to, close friends with, or the godson of a doctor who was able to get him vaccinated. I live somewhere with a public healthcare system where wait times are long, but doctors can often get a bit of line-jumping–doctors will do favours for doctors. I had a friend who was a cardiologist. His best friend had a young daughter who needed to speak with a paediatric neurologist. Ordinarily, you’d be assigned one randomly and the wait time was a few months (unless the problem needed to be investigated very rapidly), but my cardiologist friend called someone he knew up at the children’s hospital and was able to get the kid an appointment a couple weeks later with the neurologist he considered the best one in the area. I’ve known of similar cases of people professional-courtesying their godchildren, nieces, etc. into faster treatment for a variety of issues.

              I’m certain that some doctors have been able to get the vaccine to their friends or relatives. I’m terribly unethical I suppose, but while I don’t think it’s ideal, I also don’t know that I have an enormous problem with it. Everyone’s had a bad year, but doctors and other healthcare professionals have truly had a rough fucking year. I can’t blame people who’ve personally been in the room through hundreds of COVID-19 deaths for doing some sketchy stuff to make sure the people closest to them wouldn’t suffer the same fate. If easing that worry a bit prevents some of the burnout and large scale quitting that’s become a huge issue this year–it’s not GREAT, but like, I find it very forgivable.

          6. Momma Bear*

            If Jay is feeling guilt and hasn’t yet had the vaccine, is there an option for him to decline until his proper place in line?

          7. BigTenProfessor*

            In my area, plenty of low-priority people are getting cancellation notices an hour before their appointments. This may be more of a stand-by list.

        4. MK*

          Ok, but it can also be “I called my buddy at the distribution center and he put my name on the list”. Is there a reason to assume it’s one and not the other?

          1. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

            I mean, that’s not for OP to manage. The head of the clinic should follow-up on that — but the OP has neither the tools nor the power (nor, indeed, the right) to that information.

            For example, what if Jay actually *is* in a high-risk situation but prefers not to disclose? Or would this set a precedent where the whole office felt it was acceptable to interrogate people about how they got their vaccines and when?

            Whether Jay is corrupt or not, OP leaning into this anger isn’t likely to lead to any good outcomes.

          2. hbc*

            Lots of reasons.
            1) There’s no harm in not trash-talking or punishing Jay even if it turns out he’s a jerk, while lots of damage could be done if he came by his appointment in a legal and/or ethical way.
            2) It is never a good look to be the person who jumps to the worst possible conclusion without evidence, even when you end up being right.
            3) I’m pretty sure the OP would want to be given the benefit of the doubt if she explained something badly.
            4) It lowers the blood pressure.

            1. OP3 Jays Boss*

              Sorry – I guess I did explain it poorly. I know Jay very well. I didn’t want to list all of the details because it might cause recognition. It’s hard to ask for specific advice when you have to make the details unspecific because the internet is wild, y’all. So you will just have to trust me that I know 100% he does not qualify.

              1. voyager1*

                Honestly LW, this is starting to feel like you wanted a validating answer for your anger from Alison, and didn’t get it. Now you are looking for that answer from commenters, and some are not giving it to you.

                Alison gave a very good reasonable answer and it is up to you to accept or not. And yes Alison and other frequent commenters know on here that I have no qualms calling Alison out on answers she gets wrong in my opinion. But this isn’t one of those times.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  Not at all! I think Alison’s advice is good and if you re-read my query to her – I say I’m envious, disgusted and pissed off and it’s ALL my problem! I can’t control Jay’s actions. I know that. I just wanted help reframing my feelings. I also wanted to keep it vague enough so that no one could be identified. It’s difficult especially when details matter (which I hadn’t given thought to and in retrospect would have phrased my question differently). My responses have just been to comments and trying to offer more insight. I think people got hung up on the first part of my query and didn’t read the last line. Regardless of what happened, I don’t want to feel that way about it – but I can’t move past it. Again – it’s MY issue.

              2. Arvolin*

                To be honest, I don’t think you know 100% that he doesn’t qualify. There are things I don’t talk about with friends (and other things I talk about only with specific friends). I doubt more than one person at work knew about my vertebral arteries, for example, although I couldn’t hide some of the overall effect (not when my neurologist told me flat-out to not even think about work for most of a week). There’s a couple of health conditions I haven’t discussed with anyone other than my wife and my health care professionals. There’s a few things that come with public stigmas (like depression), and I’ve been open about those except at work.

              3. Madeline Ashton*

                No – you don’t know 100%. You are not Jay. Only Jay knows 100% of his own medical information.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  I’ve said this several times – he told me he didn’t qualify but got an appointment under false pretenses. And then felt guilty about it.

                2. Working Hypothesis*

                  That still may mean that he *feels* as if his reason for qualification is inadequate. I have personally heard people say “I’m not eligible” when what they meant was “I don’t feel that I should be.”

                  LW, you’re *probably* correct about Jay, but you will never know 100% because it’s not possible to know 100%. It’ll probably be easier on you if you accept this and lean into the benefit of whatever small doubt there may be.

              4. curiousLemur*

                On the plus side, this greatly reduces the likelihood that he might infect you and your spouse. Sorry, that’s the only positive I can think of.

          3. Archaeopteryx*

            Besides not being someone who jumps to the worst conclusions, there’s the fact that people that distribution centers being shady and gratuitously hooking up their friends and family are extremely high risk of being exposed, fired, and publicly shamed for doing so. Whereas the “we have a dose expiring” situation is extremely common. Not to say that some people aren’t genuinely that scarless, but the repercussions are both likely and bad enough that not that many people are likely to try it.

        5. OP 2 Jay’s Boss*

          He did game the system. I thinks that’s why I’m so angry. We live in a state that’s at the bottom the vaccine rollout – it is chaos. I do want him to be vaccinated – absolutely. I just don’t think getting an appointment via the back door shows good character/integrity. I could be wrong – that’s why I wrote in.

          1. Roscoe*

            Either way, I don’t know that this is your concern. While I (somewhat) get your “character” argument, the fact is this is a medical issue. You shouldn’t judge people based on their medical issues outside of work

          2. Foreign perspective*

            Can you report him to the public health office for potential corruption? I really believe that these are illegal practices and should be vigorously fought against. As I said in my post, as a line manager, I would be EXTREMELY concerned about Jay’s ethics, propensity for corruption and engaging in corrupt practices. I would do the same way if Jay admits giving bribes or other favors to obtain benefits.

            1. SomebodyElse*


              OP, don’t do this. Just walk away from it and silently seethe from the corner if you want to. But honestly, your best bet is to let this go.

              First off… you don’t know his exact circumstances, you don’t know for sure there’s a good reason for him to be getting it. All you know is what he chooses to tell you. It may be better for him to ‘admit’ to back door appointments than to tell you he has a medical condition or someone very close to him does that he wants to protect.

              He could be telling the truth that ‘he knows a guy’. If that’s the case then rage against that guy and throw imaginary darts at his imaginary picture.

              At the end of the day… the more people vaccinated the better to get this shit show over and to get everyone back to work, school, and living. Just let it go and let it happen in it’s imperfect way.

              1. Rayray*

                +1 – everything you said.

                It’s fair to be a little frustrated, but stewing about it or trying to get him in trouble won’t help anything. He will still be vaccinated and your spouse won’t be. Spite is a dangerous thing.

                There’s so many possible factors here, but at the end of the day, let’s just try to be optimistic that we can finally see the light at the end of all of this.

              2. KRM*

                Also, “I know a guy” could mean he was called by said guy who said “hey we have 24 vaccine appointments tomorrow and nobody is signing up for them, I can give you one if you can be here”. Is it the best? No. Does it get more people vaccinated? Yes it does.
                OP, you have to let it go. Shitty vaccine rollout is not the fault of individual people who are giving/getting vaccinations, and if Jay’s buddy is just trying to get as many people the shot as possible, try to see that as a good thing, even if you’re frustrated by your personal situation.

                1. Le Sigh*

                  Yeah, I know a guy who always seems to “know a guy.” A guy who can get you into a game. A guy who can get you a great rate on a car. I realize the stakes are higher because this is a pandemic, but that’s such a broad term that I’m not sure it means all that much.

          3. Chilipepper*

            I agree, its morally icky. My grandboss announced yesterday to a couple of us that she is getting the vaccination later this week. Our state’s vaccine system is a complete mess and part of our job is to direct ppl to vaccine info and that is short on the ground so I asked her how she got the appointment. She said bc she is high risk medically. I clarified that I meant how as in logistics, not justification. Her doctor got the appointment for her. I don’t know how that process worked but the thing is, in our state, high risk ppl are not supposed to get the vaccine yet, only ppl over 65. I have neighbors who are seniors and have a secondary reason they are high risk and they cannot get the vaccine bc all official appointments are booked within minutes of posting online AND my neighbors are seniors who dont have computers or the savvy to book their appointments. Its survival of the fittest and I vary between judging ppl for getting the vaccine outside official methods and being glad they are helping test the vaccine before I get it.

            1. Malarkey01*

              But, if her doctor secured it for her, it could also mean she’s going through her medical provider and not county health department. That’s a legitimate thing since vaccine distribution is going through multiple channels and hospital/medical groups are also coordinating rollout.

              The whole thing is a cluster, but it’s really unproductive to play the is this fair or more in need game.

              1. Chilipepper*

                Thats the thing, Malarkey01, there is one channel here and it is not doctors. Most people’s doctors have no idea how to get a vaccine appointment and it is all supposed to go through the county. In my county, all vaccines are through grocery stores!

                And yes, Temperance, the whole thing is unethical as hell as the gov is doing this to get the elder vote – police and fire are not supposed to get vaccinated yet, just people over 65.

                I am personally happy to see more people get vaccinated for all the reasons, AND I hate having to tell non-computer savvy seniors who ask for help that I cannot help them.

            2. Temperance*

              Frankly, your state’s priorities are set to pander to a certain voter base and not in reality, so I have no problem with people who are actually at risk instead of over a certain age jumping on it.

              The “official methods” aren’t ethical, they’re just pandering to a voter base that is anti-mask and over a certain age, so if you can get a vax, get it.

          4. Seeking Second Childhood*

            Ouch. Jay needs a retake of Ethics 101 or whatever in house training your organization offers on bribery&corruption & appearance of impropriety.
            And if he were my employee I’d also be telling him to report his “guy” to the authorities and to his employer.
            (Reporting an obseeved ethics violation is required under my employer’s ethics policy, reinforced on each regularly scheduled training.)

            1. Researcher*

              No. This is overkill. Nothing here suggests that Jay took part in bribery and corruption. Or Jay’s “guy” for that matter. We simply don’t have all of the context.

              Is the process unfair? It can be. Are there bad apples? Yes, but fortunately they seem to be few and far between. I have to believe that 99.9% of folks administering the vaccines are doing the very best that they can, while putting themselves at risk (!), in order to get these vaccines in arms.

              This is a herculean effort, taking place in the midst of an anti-vax campaign that is organized, very well-funded, and sadly effective. Unless I’m seeing evidence of a massive loophole being systematically exploited, my time is better spent getting the first vaccine that is offered to me, and paying it forward by convincing my community to get on board, and making sure the vulnerable get in line, however long it is.

            2. Anticorruption*

              100% agree with Seeking Second Childhood. Ethical violations are taken VERY seriously in my business because of the nature of the business. OP did not mention her business but clearly said Jay did not get the vaccine via the proper procedure. Even if this eventually helps herd immunity, it puts his integrity into question. If Jay is happy to game this system, he might compromise other systems as well

          5. Le Sigh*

            I cannot, for the life of me, get my parents vaccinated. They’re in a state with poor rollout measures that frankly are rather ableist — so despite the fact that they’re more than eligible and one of them has a medical procedure coming up, I can’t seem to make it happen.

            And yet, I’m not angry at the Jays of the world. I’m angry at federal and state officials who have created a Hunger Games-like set up for a public health crisis that should have been managed months ago. Based on the info provided in the letter, I don’t see enough evidence to suggest Jay is corrupt or morally suspect, and I don’t think there’s anything productive that comes from LW, as their manager, directing their anger at Jay.

            1. Roscoe*

              Thank you!

              This is a “don’t hate the player, hate the game”.

              People are getting mad at their friends, neighbors, and coworkers, for taking something that is potentially life saving that was offered to them. Instead of getting mad at the people in charge who have made this whole thing a cluster. Bringing it back to a work analogy, its like when management guilts people into not taking their days off by making it much harder on coworkers. If you have coworkers angry at each other, they aren’t mad at management for not having enough staff.

              The fact is this. Some people are going to get vaccines before others. Sometimes, in your mind, they don’t “deserve” it early. Hell, in my state, they just bumped up prisoners to get it before preexisting condition people. I don’t love that personally. But I’m not going to be upset that they got it. Nor am I upset with my friend who has a job that makes him eligible, but he is really working from home, but got it anyway. Everyone that gets vaccinated is one step closer to ending this. But we need to get past it. And if this OP is in the office (which I wasn’t clear on) well this likely means that this is one less person they are in contact with that has a lower chance of spreading it to them. That is GOOD

              1. Ali G*

                Yes! We were originally wary about my husband being classified 1C because of his employer, when he is 100% WFH for the foreseeable future, and even if he gets vaccinated, won’t be traveling to any of the sites that qualify him for the vaccine because I can’t get vaccinated any time soon. But, in the end, he’s going to register so we are at least one step closer, and he now he can visit his parents, who just got their first shots. Maybe I’ll finally get some alone time for the first time 9 months :)

            2. Smithy*

              Absolutely. I also think that while the US and many other countries are prioritizing the elderly, that’s not what every country is doing. Indonesia in particular is focusing initially on vaccinating those 60 and younger, the thinking, as I understand it, the vaccine they received wasn’t as well tested on the elderly and that young people were far more likely to encounter more people in a given day, still be working, and be more likely to spread the disease.

              Whether what Indonesia is doing is more ethical than the process to vaccinate the elderly first, I don’t know. But I do know that creating a system that is effective and functional is the most critical, and without a doubt, that’s where the US has really let all of us down.

          6. Person from the Resume*

            I would report Jay and his friend if you know his friend’s name and at least report Jay to the health department that he is talking/bragging about this openly. Might get more traction if you call it bragging.

            Frankly Jay is an idiot for blabbing about this. He’s deserves to feel guilty because he cheated the system and took an appointment from someone in a higher category. And then he’s telling people about his cheating of the system. His friend deserves to get caught, punished, and even more importantly STOPPED from continuing to help his friends jump the line.

            1. Le Sigh*

              Sincere question: What evidence of corruption is there to actually report? I may have missed something, but nothing in the comments so far from LW or in the original letter indicate there’s any actual corruption. Getting an appointment and “knowing a guy” isn’t a smoking gun from where I’m standing.

              I really do think people’s frustration and anger over lack of vaccine access is clouding these discussions.

              1. Person from the Resume*

                Simple answer: It’s not to stop Jay. It is to stop Jay’s friend who presumably offered multiple family and friends to jump ahead of the line and is probably continuing to do so. It is to stop the continued systematic cheating of the priority system by someone administering doses.

                The LW (OP 2 Jay’s Boss) did say that it was not a “there’s leftover doses we must use today” thing.

              2. Person from the Resume*

                Ha! I actually said it in my answer.

                His friend deserves to get caught, punished, and even more importantly STOPPED from continuing to help his friends jump the line.

                1. Le Sigh*

                  Right, but my question is, what is the actual clear evidence of that? Your answer gets at what you want to see happen, not clear evidence of it. Jay’s use of terms like “appointment” and “I know a guy” also open-ended and vague enough that I’m not seeing a smoking gun of anything to be stopped? I could see a few different scenarios going on here, not all of them being some concerted effort to get folks line hopping.

                  Maybe Jay’s friend is doing what you’re saying and it’s a wider problem! But the phrasing, as LW worded it, doesn’t seem that cut and dry to me.

              3. Anticorruption*

                Corruption is not just paying a bribe. It is exploiting a position of privilege or power for private gain. Jay admitted he gamed the system because he knows a guy. OP says this clearly in her comments. So both engaged in corrupt behaviour. I assume that in the USA, it is just taking a bribe and nepotism and similar practices are not included. In Scandinavia, this is corruption pure and simple.

            2. Rayray*

              What will be accomplished by reporting him? He can’t be unvaccinated at this point.

              It’s totally valid to be frustrated but being spiteful will not help anything.

              1. Person from the Resume*

                It’s not to stop Jay. It is to stop Jay’s friend who presumably offered multiple family and friends to jump ahead of the line and is probably continuing to do so. It is to stop the continued systematic cheating of the priority system by someone who is administering doses.

                1. Le Sigh*

                  I think an important word is “presumably” — we don’t have any actual evidence (and LW hasn’t offered any that I have spotted) of Jay’s friend offering all of these people the chance to line hop. The thing that bothers me about this thread is how quickly several people are to be like, “REPORT HIM! MAKE THE CORRUPTION STOP!” — but … LW hasn’t offered much evidence that it’s actually happening, neither with Jay or with a bunch of others.

            3. OP2 Jays Boss*

              I’m not THAT petty and it wouldn’t do any good. I think when it comes down to it – it was hurtful that he would brag about it TO ME. It caught me off guard. Like bragging about getting Christian Dior AF1s to someone who doesn’t have feet. I’m being silly about it because that’s the only way I know how to deal.

              1. Natalie*

                I don’t think you’re being silly to have that feeling! Feelings just are, you don’t need to judge yourself for them. This has been a terribly hard year for everyone and it’s totally reasonable that you would have a snap reaction in your head.

                But, as you seem to understand, the thing to do now is figure out how to move through that feeling, and do what you can to preserve your working relationship with Jay.

              2. Observer*

                You’re not being silly.

                You do need to find a way to deal, but I think that step #1 is to actually recognize that you have a legitimate gripe here.

              3. Le Sigh*

                Oh trust me, I feel you hard on this. I mentioned upthread I cannot get my parents vaccinated (they’re extremely eligible, but their state’s rollout is….poor). It’s natural. But I think it’s great and important that you’re gut-checking yourself, particularly because you manage this person.

              4. SimplyTheBest*

                I’m sorry, I’m confused. Did he come to you and tell you he felt guilty for something or was he bragging? Those two don’t seem like they can be the same thing.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  yes. He told me under the guise of feeling guilty (because of my spouse) but he was also definitely proud that he gamed the system. I view that as bragging but – in fairness – I was upset so that could cloud my judgment. How would you label it?

            4. Observer*

              Right. Waste everyone’s resources on an investigation that will accomplish nothing. Oh, and reduce the number of people who can actually get shots to people. Because it’s more important to keep a very small number of the wrong people from getting their shots early than to get the most people vaccinated as possible.

              By the way, NYS has had a TERRIBLE rollout experience, and one of the major reasons is that the Governor has to some extent taken that tack.

            5. NOK*

              What does that call sound like? “Hello, Health Department? My coworker got a vaccine against a deadly global pandemic and doesn’t feel guilty enough about it! Straight to vaccine jail for him and his dastardly accomplices!”

              1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                you have me cracking up. Maybe I just needed to vent to my therapist instead of emailing AAM. I definitely feel more light-hearted about it after reading all of the comments. The more I read, the more my frustration dissipates.

                1. EventPlannerGal*

                  I don’t know if you’re still reading but I think venting to a friend or your therapist probably will help! I might be off-base here but I am guessing that talking to your partner about it might feel weird or upsetting because he’s the one at risk? And you can’t really vent to people at work about someone at work? Try and find someone not directly involved in the situation (a friend, relative, therapist, whoever) who you can talk to in more specific detail than you can here. Just get it off your chest! Truly, bottling up emotion is the worst.

          7. SomebodyElse*

            Sorry one more thing to add here…

            “It’s not affecting Jay’s work but it is affecting MY attitude. How can I get over this? I’m envious, disgusted, and pissed off. Not a good way to be when trying to manage him.”

            This is an important thing to recognize, and good for you for seeing and admitting this. As a manager it sucks sometimes to have to separate personal feelings from the job. But you do have compartmentalize quite a bit to be effective as a manager.

            I don’t think this is an indicator one way or another about his integrity. Let’s put it this way… if it was really something to be ashamed of then I would guess most of the people vaccinated right now would be guilty of the same thing… I mean there is always going to be someone who needs it more than the next person, right?

            1. OP2 Jays Boss*

              Thank you, Somebody Else, for giving me a little credit :). I would never take anything out on Jay (I happen to really like the guy and his work is impeccable). I’m just looking for ways to move past how I’m feeling. Whether my feelings are valid or not – it’s how I feel. And I don’t WANT to feel that way.

              1. Quill*

                I suggest taking some of this out on bread dough, mostly because that’s some grandparental wisdom (wanna beat something up? make bread) that I’ve used a few times in different situations and felt better.

                If only we had enough space to process LITERALLY ANYTHING this past year…

                1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

                  “If only we had enough space to process LITERALLY ANYTHING this past year…”

                  Ain’t that the truth! [-_-]

                2. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  That’s a great idea!!! I’m going to give that a try this weekend. Knead through my feelings.

              2. M*

                I would! If he got an appointment because he knows someone (not just because he was at the pharmacy at the end of the day and was called up) it shows he has bad judgement. Full stop

              3. Velawciraptor*

                OP, would it be at all helpful in moving past it to remind yourself that Jay didn’t get vaccinated AT you and your spouse? Reminding yourself that as personal as this feels, Jay’s vaccination isn’t actually about you at all might be useful.

                I wish I had more to offer. The whole process is opaque and deeply frustrating. We have so little control over anything in this pandemic, we sometimes look to put a face on our frustration. It sounds like Jay has become that for you. If you try to remember that he’s actually just a guy and not personally responsible for the CF that is the pandemic response and vaccine rollout, it might be easier to move past any hurt feelings.

              4. Malarkey01*

                Another way to reframe it to help your feelings is that by Jay being vaccinated it’s more less person of risk in your immediate contact area and that is a benefit to you staying healthy and your spouse.

                It SUCKS, it really does and everyone is scared and trying to protect themselves, and somehow with the solution closer it’s harder to wait (like it was easier for me in Sept to have no idea when this ends than it is now that I’m waiting any day for my call), but it’s coming and your husband will get his soon, every person here vaccinated is a good thing for all of us.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  Something you said resonated with me – “we are all scared and trying to protect”. I think that is the center of moving past my anger. I am scared. And I am trying to protect. I can extend that same thought to Jay. He is scared. He wants to protect himself. Regardless of how he went about it, his reason is probably similar to mine.

            2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

              I don’t think this is an indicator one way or another about his integrity. Let’s put it this way… if it was really something to be ashamed of then I would guess most of the people vaccinated right now would be guilty of the same thing…

              He did something illicit and then bragged about having subverted the official system… I think that’s quite a big indicator about his (lack of) integrity!

          8. Barrington*

            This is going to come up more and more, and will emulate the masking/self isolation issues we have seen. Some people will play by the rules and some won’t. Unfortunately a lot of privilege will play out as expected.

            I think people in this position have to ask if they are upset that someone like Jay gamed the system, or are they upset that they themselves didn’t game the system? Is this an ethics complaint or a complaint that you don’t have the vaccine/you feel more deserving of the vaccine. Or both?

            All feelings are valid. But I do ask that because I’m in a field where I’m getting a ton of angry calls from (eligible)people unable to access the vaccine and asking for backdoor information to get it. I understand that people are anxious and frustrated, but I keep hearing how person A is more deserving than person B and how person A should get it first. That’s not for me (or Allison or anyone) to determine.

            Is the system unfair? Yes. Are people self-interested? Yes.

            1. OP2 Jays Boss*

              I would not game the system. I’m a rule follower by nature (it sucks!). I know it happens. After reading the comments, I think I’m so angry because he told me what he did. Felt like a disregard/kick to the face.

              1. Barrington*

                That’s a super valid feeling. Maybe then if you feel comfortable, an aside generalized conversation about discretion given people’s personal circumstances isn’t a bad idea, if the professional relationship and circumstances or conducive to that.

                It’s like people higher up the chain bragging about major vacations to unpaid interns or whatever (bad example I know). Reading the room is important for people in the workplace.

              2. Arctic*

                You keep saying this. You seriously are stating that you would prefer not to have relevant information about your employees because you can’t handle it in a professional manner?

              3. TallTeapot*

                No, he didn’t game the system–because when it comes to leftover doses–THERE IS NO SYSTEM!!! That is why Alison says the vaccine rollout is a mess. I guess if Jay had told you “I was offered a vaccine, but I chose instead to let them throw it away”, you’d find that less awful? How about thinking this way: “Great–one more person vaccinated–this helps stop the spread by 1 more person.”?
                And maybe ask Jay to get in touch with the person he knows and if that org is still doing vaccines, to call your husband if they have leftover doses??

                1. Guacamole Bob*

                  OP has clarified elsewhere that Jay has an appointment for the future when he shouldn’t be eligible, not that he received a leftover dose or similar situation. It sounds like OP wants to keep it vague, but that it’s more along the lines of “my college roommate checked the box that I have a qualifying medical condition when I don’t in order to allow the database to make the appointment for me” than “I was willing to race across town at the last minute.”

                  And that would make me super angry, too.

              4. Ginger*

                Totally normal reaction.

                One way to frame it in your head to help move forward might be to think, “the more people that are vaccinated, the safer my husband is”

                Obviously herd immunity is a long way off, obviously getting your husband vaccinated is safer BUT, the more people around you and therefore, around him, that are vaccinated, the safer your world is.

                1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                  This comment was very helpful: “the more people that are vaccinated, the safer my husband is”

                  Thank you!!

              5. curiousLemur*

                I know that sometimes being a rule follower is a pain, but as a rule follower myself, I think that in the long run, it tends to be a good thing, even something that will be to your advantage (not in this case but in general).

          9. Mockingjay*

            I do know that, in my state at least, getting an appointment doesn’t mean you are getting the shot. At the mass vaccine clinics set up, workers check credentials and eligibility before administering the shot. The lines are miles long, so if Jay isn’t eligible, the person in the car behind him certainly is and will get his dose.

            That said, if I was offered the shot, I absolutely would take it. I’m not in a high risk category, but I am in a state which has not taken this crisis seriously AT ALL. Vaccinating me would protect my family and create another small data point towards mass immunity. I took the last two days off to rest, I’ve been so stressed. My work wants me to travel next month (essential business under Federal guidelines) and I’m terrified, but I’m the last person available (two can’t go for medical reasons, one is too new and not fully trained, the other is being managed out but the company is reluctant to fire during a pandemic). I checked, going on travel for work does not elevate me in priority for the vaccine; instead I have to follow a complex set of rules before and after travel (essentially quarantining two weeks before and two weeks after).

            There are no easy answers.

          10. Momma Bear*

            At this point, he’s expressed feeling guilty and you’re justifiably angry. So maybe the way to move forward is to say, “Jay, you know you jumped the line ahead of people like my spouse who have x and y conditions. It is frustrating to me to hear you talk about this as if it doesn’t impact other people. What’s done is done, but I cannot be your sounding board and do not want updates on your next vaccination. Now about that llama grooming report….”

          11. Observer*

            We live in a state that’s at the bottom the vaccine rollout – it is chaos.

            Given that reality, I think you may want to figure out how YOU can game the system – Jumping the line for almost anything is generally a nasty thing to do when there is actually a line and the line is for the most part being held. When the line is more or less imaginary and the only people on the line are the people who are not used to advocating for yourself it becomes very, very hard to figure out what is legitimate self-advocacy and what is not legitimate line jumping.

            In your case, any way you find, officially sanctioned or not, to get you and your spouse vaccinated would be, in my very un-humble opinion, legitimate self advocacy.

            1. OP2 Jays Boss*

              Honestly, given what we’ve experienced with healthcare and disability, I know being honest doesn’t get you anywhere! But fear of Catholic nuns keeps me from being dishonest.

          12. Detective Amy Santiago*

            At the end of the day, the more people in your sphere who are vaccinated, the less risk for you and your high-risk spouse. I’ll trust your assessment that Jay used inappropriate methods, but your anger really should be directed at the screwed up system.

          13. anon here*

            Hey OP2, I was recently involved in some hiring decisions where I think someone was hired for fitting a cultural profile rather than actual qualifications. I was mad about it. I am mad about it.

            I’m also talking with a career coach, because I am new to corporate life, new to hanging out with upper- and upper-middle-class people at work, and new to thinking of myself as a person who can talk with executives as an equal, to be frank. I was venting to her about this experience, and (while she is a person of great sensitivity to injustice, which is why she’s working with women and particularly women of color in navigating these corporate spaces) she asked me to consider something paradoxical: what if it was perfectly right for this person to get this job? Just imagine that: how would my response be different? Would I let go of my anger?

            No, it doesn’t all make sense. As I said, paradox. But I did find the thought exercise useful. Part of her point is that in order to be effective and do our best work in the world, we need to find ways to let go of anger at things like this. On an individual level, sometimes we can do our best work for justice if we let go of anger at particular cases of injustice. We need to be free to keep our eyes on the big picture and not weighed down or made bitter by the injustices that occur around us. And that is paradoxical, right?

            I don’t know how to get at the heart of this. You’re right to be angry. As you’ve said yourself, you need to figure out how to manage your own anger at this. I feel you.

            So try the thought experiment for 60 seconds. You have nothing to lose except some comfort, haha. I felt pretty uncomfortable doing it, but it loosened up some of the knots in my thinking and heart. Who knows. Free thoughts from a rando on the internet, worth as much as you paid ;)

            1. OP2 Jays Boss*

              Better than a therapist visit!!
              It’s quite the conundrum. I am happy he will get vaccinated. But equally angered by the means. And envious. It’s a weird feeling to have and honestly – haven’t experienced anything like that in a work setting. Maybe that’s why it threw me for a loop. So I will clear my head and look at the bigger picture. Thank you for taking time to give me some feedback!

        6. Adultiest Adult*

          Thank you Alison for pointing this out. I can absolutely confirm that this is happening, and it’s not the fault of the individual being offered a dose that might otherwise be trashed. Additional information: the doses come in multiples of ten, at least in our area, and you need to collect 10 people if you belong to a smaller group which is eligible, in order to get a vaccine appointment. The small counseling practice I work for on the side was told, “Bring the janitor if you need to, you need to show up with 10 people for the vaccines.”

        7. Deejay*

          There was a case in the UK where a vaccination centre accidentally received several hundred extra doses in their delivery. Restrictions on moving the vaccine meant they couldn’t send it back so it was either “Give it to someone or it goes to waste”.

          The head of the centre vowed “We waste a single dose over my dead body” and the rest of the staff agreed. By working flat out over the weekend they managed to use all the extra doses.

          That’s the right thing to do. Every person vaccinated, even if lower down the list based on clinical need, is one person less likely to pass the virus on or take up a bed in intensive care. A wasted dose benefits nobody.

        8. Rayray*

          I’ve heard that this is actually happening at pharmacies. They’ll have doses that need to be used but either people with appointments were no shows or they had too many. They don’t want them to go to waste so they’ll flag down people who are there anyway and offer them a vaccination. I even saw a TikTok video where a couple waited around a pharmacy and got the vaccine because they had extras that had to be used.

          1. Artemesia*

            This is how I got my husband the shot. I had managed to get an appointment the first day the Walgreens appointment system went up but then we were never able to get in again to sign him up. The pharmacy I got had a waiting list and I put my husband on it — he was #10. The list closed that day with 100 on it. The next day he got the call when they had 4 no shows and 4 doses that needed to go out the door that day. We jumped in the car and drove 15 miles in the snow during rush hour to get him there. The pharmacist told us that he was the 10th person he called from the list and the first to pick up.

        9. RussianInTexas*

          Or in my case, a friend of mine (she got hers through work) been scouring the news for the weekend releases (they would come as a flash news and fill up in 30 minutes), and once she saw a post she will blast all friends with “try to sign up”.
          I would never see the option if not for her.

          1. Artemesia*

            my social circle of Olds did the same. I heard about Walgreens from a friend and managed an appointment when it first opened; never could get in after that. And we signed up on all other available lists and my husband tried to get an appointment through the VA which was offering it to all veterans over 65 — the VA line was literally never answered. The other systems didn’t work. Everyone I know is trying every avenue and some have succeeded one one or the other. In Chicago it turns out that one hospital system, Rush, seems to have lots of vaccine and everyone we know of who gets health care there who is 65 or over has gotten the vaccine. We use Northwestern and even though much older and with health conditions have not heard a. peep. The system does reward people who persist, who have computers, who are savy over people who are disadvantaged or don’t know how to make systems work. As usual rich white people do better.

            1. RussianInTexas*

              I am not rich lol. But I did have an advantage of being able to go online the second appointments sign up opened up.
              Beginning last week the area sites stopped doing the sign up this way (cattle call, first come, first chose) and started doing some other, randomized appointments as not to lock out the people who are not computer savvy. They now have everyone who signed up (and qualifies) and draw random names.

        10. Joielle*

          Yep, my dad and grandma just got vaccinated that way. A family friend runs a nursing home and had two doses left after vaccinating all of his employees and residents, and had to use them in two hours. So he called them, and they both rushed over and were able to get a dose in time. They are technically both in the eligible category in their state (over 65) but of course didn’t have to go through the long waiting/lottery/signup process so it was really lucky for them. They both felt a little bad about it but the more people vaccinated the better – wasted doses do no good for anyone.

        11. Tired of Covid-and People*

          Alison, the rational part of my brain agrees with you, the emotional does not. For a year now, all things Covid related have been a cluster, first with testing and now with vaccinations. We all know why. Yet, I don’t want to get sick and die because of inequities in the vaccine distribution system, so I am tempted to try and game it myself. Rule followers and people that don’t know anybody will end up at the back of the line and possible get sick and die in the interim. I hope the new administration makes correction of this abominable situation the highest priority.

        12. WendyRoo*

          My company is trying to get all WFH employees approved for the vaccine, even though we do not qualify under our state’s vaccination eligibility rules. Should I still take the vaccine if offered, even though I know I’m not eligible?

          1. Observer*

            Yes. If you get offered, TAKE IT.

            It’s more important to get people vaccinated than to get the highest priorities done. And not taking it when you are offered means more work in a system that’s already buckling, and a greater likelihood that the dose will get wasted. Or it will probably go to someone equally low on the list.

            I am NOT advocating gaming the system and trying to get an appointment that you are not eligible for. I AM advocating being realistic and pragmatic. Which means that if you are offered it, take it.

            But, to be honest, I would be very surprised if your employer got you on the list unless there is a lot more to the situation than you describe.

            1. WendyRoo*

              More detail: we are govt county contractor, so they are trying to push the request through internal county approval processes for employees. We are in no way eligible for 1B vaccination, but they are encouraging us to try to make appointments during the 1B phase. Right now my state is doing an exceptionally horrible job at rolling out vaccines (bottom 10 in the country) and appointments are being canceled for frontline essential workers. I very much hope that we will NOT be approved because I think the CEO is absolutely trying to game the system, but I will take a vaccine if offered. But I am struggling with how to respond to my boss pressuring me to try to get an appointment, and the ethics of our company trying to jump the line. I think this is a ploy to force us all back into the office for no good reason.

        13. M*

          People are getting them this way because people are signing up for multiple appointments. That should not be allowed. A friend of mine got an appointment in March but she’s trying to get another one sooner. You should only be able to get one appointment. If you miss it unless it’s an emergency you should have to wait again.

          I also don’t understand people who tell others when they got the vaccine early. Keep it to yourself! I went to my doctor a couple week ago (I had to for a follow up screening) and her aid still has not got the vaccine! But my friend who is a stay at home mom received the vaccine because she’s registered as a social worker even though she hasn’t worked in over 6 years. She actively made an appointment and took it from someone like my doctors aid who is front facing. I will never look at this friend the same way again.

          I also have a dozen friends close by who are doctors or nurses and none of them have called friends to get vaccinated. They all say it goes against their oath! They said if there is a no show they do try and get someone who is there but they all said there should be waitlists who are told they are on a list for that day/ week if people don’t show for the vaccine not just Joe Smith who is your boyfriends brother!

          And dumb move on Jay’s part if I was his manager as much as I tried this would cloud how I thought about him and his judgement and I would look way more closely on his work! Good job, Jay!

          1. Observer*

            I also have a dozen friends close by who are doctors or nurses and none of them have called friends to get vaccinated. They all say it goes against their oath! They said if there is a no show they do try and get someone who is there but they all said there should be waitlists who are told they are on a list for that day/ week if people don’t show for the vaccine not just Joe Smith who is your boyfriends brother!

            I’m not all that impressed. Sure, there should be a wait list. But there isn’t. If they have ever left a dose unused or out too long in order to not call someone they know, then THAT is against their oath. Calling someone you know to get that dose vs calling some RANDOM person? Not at all. (To be clear I am talking about someone random vs a waiting list set up for this purpose.)

        14. Anon for this*

          Yeah, I agree with your response. My husband is the lowest risk person in our family bubble with my older parents and my asthmatic self. He got the first dose yesterday because he works at a medical school (not in patient care, in an office) and they had enough doses for administrative staff to get them as well. He is just as salty as I am that my parents and I are waiting for our turn on the list to come up after registering with thousands of other people in our locality who fall into this phase. But at least it is one more person vaccinated. That does help everyone, regardless of how ridiculously unfair and badly run the system for giving out doses has been.

        15. DataSci*

          Yeah. A dose in any arm is better than a dose in the trash. People who deliberately game the system are annoying, but hospitals that deliberately trash doses because policy requires they only give them to staff? That’s downright criminal.

          1. Observer*

            but hospitals that deliberately trash doses because policy requires they only give them to staff? That’s downright criminal.

            That is exactly what was being required in NYS. I’m not kidding. To start with, the penalty for “wasting doses” is $100k. The penalty for giving a dose to someone who was not in a priority group is $1 MILLION. No exceptions for situations like this. The press has documented cases where vaccination sites have trashed doses on the direct instructions of State staff who told them to try to find someone in the priority group but to NOT give doses to anyone who is not in the group despite knowing that the doses could not be held till the next day and would therefore wind up in the garbage.

        16. OP2 Jays Boss*

          Also – I want to point out (even though it wasn’t part of the advice I was seeking) – even IF Jay has pre-existing conditions, he still isn’t eligible under current state guidelines. Our state has not opened that tier up yet.

      2. Trude*

        Eh, not necessarily? It reminds me of a commenter here iirc whose sister got the vaccine because she knows the nurses in a nearby clinic, and when they got leftover doses, called and offered them to the sister and her husband instead of some random person on the street.

        1. Nonny-nonny-non*

          I’m in the UK, and my cousin is a nurse. They had unused doses of the vaccine with an hour before the doses would have to be destroyed and the staff were asked if anyone knew any high-risk people that could get there within the hour.
          She called her father-in-law, he got there in time, and got vaccinated, earlier than he would have otherwise have been. To be clear, father-in-law is in his eighties, so would have got the vaccine anyway within a couple of weeks, but from other things my cousin has said, I think in worst cases they’d pull people off the streets rather than destroy a dose.

      3. Roscoe*

        I think “gaming” the system is a flawed way to look at it. Unless he literally paid to cut the line, most likely it was a situation where doses would’ve gone to waste, so someone was like “hey, can you come get this”

      4. Person from the Resume*

        I agree that I interpreted “knows a guy” as being schedule for an appointment that should have gone to someone else in a high risk category. If that’s the case then he SHOULD feel extremely guilty. If it was a case of we have some doses left and need to distribute ASAP today then he has no reason to feel guilty.

        But for the LW’s sake it is best that she assume the best because her anger only hurts her. I mean she could retaliate, but that damages her position and puts it at risk so best to #1, assume the best and #2 ask him not to talk to her about it.

        1. OP2 Jays Boss*

          You are spot on with your interpretation of “knows a guy”. I’m learning it’s a regional saying. Not everyone knows what it means!

          1. Myrin*

            For whatever it’s worth, I’m honestly surprised by that – English isn’t even my mothertongue and I understood exactly what you meant (maybe because it has the same connotations in my language?).

            1. Natalie*

              I don’t think people are misunderstanding the phrase, it’s more a question of how seriously you interpret it. A lot of people use phrases like that, or lines from The Godfather, or what have you, as a joke. They don’t literally mean they bribed anyone or leaned on a connection, they’re just poking fun at it.

              1. Myrin*

                Ah, see, that’s not really how you use it in my language – I guess you could say it jokingly, but you’d have to be pretty theatrical about it for that to come across. But generally, there is always a sinister air to it (or if not downright sinister, an air of “I’m circumventing regular processes”), which is probably why it read like that to me from the get-go.

    2. Annony*

      Yep. I got the vaccine. I did not game the system but I still feel guilty that I got it before my grandparents. I don’t hide that I got vaccinated but I also don’t offer that information unsolicited except to my parents. Tensions are high right now. Everyone is frustrated. I’m frustrated I can’t get appointments for family members who qualify (I got mine though work). I am already in the privileged position of getting the vaccine. The least I can do is not make others my unwilling therapists to talk about the guilt.

      1. Gingerblue*

        Same here. I got my first dose a few days ago as part of group 1b, and I’m both relieved to have it and guilty and furious that I got it and my mom hasn’t. I could isolate so easily and wait a few more months for mine if work would just let me, but no. Mixed feelings abound.

        1. Working Hypothesis*

          I’m in a pretty similar situation. I haven’t been vaccinated yet, but my husband and I (both high risk but in our 50s) have showed as qualified under our state’s current stage of the vaccination rollout, and have set up appointments to get our shots. My parents, who live in a different state which has not been getting its vaccines done as quickly as mine, are in their late 70s. They haven’t been offered the chance to be vaccinated yet.

          I wish with all my heart that I could give my chance to them instead, and wait for mine. But I can’t. Giving up the opportunity to be vaccinated in a state which has worked its way down to my group (or at least which thinks it will be there by the time my appointment time comes around next month) isn’t going to help my parents. It’s not even likely to help anybody who’s at a greater risk than me and happens to live here, since anybody in that category would either also qualify already in my state, or wouldn’t be given the vaccine I pass up if I were to do so.

          So I’ll take it, and try to be grateful, and hope they get around quickly to my parents and all the other people who are older and/or otherwise in greater danger than me. It’s all I can do. But it definitely makes me feel squeamish, and guilty, and frustrated on behalf of everyone who’s still in danger and still waiting.

          1. Rusty Shackelford*

            You probably couldn’t give them your appointment even if you wanted to. My state has a strict residency requirement – if you don’t live here, you won’t get your vaccine.

            1. Working Hypothesis*

              I know. Mine does too. On top of that, we’re literally on the other side of the continent; it would put my parents in dramatically more danger just to fly here to get their vaccination even if the state would allow it than it would be worth to them. They’re going to hang tight and stay bottled up indoors till they can get an appointment at home.

              I know all the reasons why it doesn’t make sense for me to pass up my own legitimate appointment because somebody else in what should be an earlier group can’t have one. It just *feels* all wrong. I’ll still go get my shot, though!

        2. Not Strong Like Bull*

          I got mine recently, and was so angry at first for being offered an appointment. Once I cooled off and looked at it again, I was shocked – I’ve been in the high risk group for several months, and that was why I got tagged for a vaccination. Since I’ve always seen myself as “strong like bull”, I’ve had it in my head that I would be last, May or June. That was the bigger blow. I’ve generally viewed the current free for all in my area as something to quickly start vaccinations as a plan is rolled out – and it appears that a cohesive plan is coming together/being implemented that will reach everyone, not just the tech savvy. Woohoo!

      2. Cat Tree*

        I’m eligible because of my pregnancy. I waffled about signing up because I can work from home indefinitely and I’m extremely careful about exposures, only leaving my house to get groceries (often curbside pick up) and doctor appointments. But I ultimately decided to register, although it will likely be weeks until I get an appointment.

        I try not to feel guilty, and mostly I don’t. I am explicitly eligible to register for the vaccine, not gaming the system. And if I get the vaccine before I go into labor (due in May) I will definitely feel safer about being in the hospital. I also feel like it’s a two-fer because hopefully I can pass some antibodies to my baby who won’t be eligible for direct vaccination.

      3. Coenobita*

        Same. I posted in the weekend open thread a few weeks ago about struggling with being eligible based on volunteering at a local vax clinic. My 94 year old grandma in assisted living still hasn’t gotten hers!!! I did take the vaccine, but I haven’t talked about it with anyone except folks at the clinic. What a mess.

      4. Anon for this one*

        I’ve had the vaccine, too, and felt conflicted about signing up – I work for a hospital that reserved doses for its entire workforce, including those of us who can work from home. Turning an appointment down wouldn’t have meant my dose went to someone at higher risk, but I feel guilty having it when people 65+ or with underlying health conditions are struggling to get appointments. I think I might try to assuage my guilt by doing some in-person volunteering I was afraid to do before.

      5. Dust Bunny*

        My brother and SIL are 1B and got it. My parents have not yet, but that’s at least partly on them for *not pursuing it*. Our county has a waitlist sign-up that will sort you into 1A and 1B or non-priority categories. I’m non-priority. My parents are 1B (over 65) but they haven’t contacted their doctor or anyone else about getting the vaccine. So if people who are technically lesser priority get the vaccine before my parents do, I don’t blame those other people. I’m gonna be plenty annoyed with my parents, though, if they sit around and wait for somebody to spoon-feed them this.

        1. Cat Tree*

          My mom, age 69, lives in the same state as me but a different county. In my county, it’s pretty easy to register through a generic form on the county website. But fur my mom, she will have to sign up for her doctor’s health portal with username and password, then figure out how to register from there. And my mom is uncomfortable with technology enough that she could handle a generic one-time form with creating and account, but she is overwhelmed with the process of using her health portal. This seems a bit short-sighted considering one of the main priority groups is people over 65. I’m sure my mom isn’t the only person with this problem. It also means that I can’t do anything to help because of course I don’t have access to her health portal account. She is planning to call her primary care office and hope they can help. If not, I don’t know what we’ll do to get her vaccinated.

          1. Dust Bunny*

            My mom could do it but won’t until somebody forces her. It’s a long story but there are situations in which she handles health issues by, well, not handling them.

            But even our generic county waitlist asks enough questions to slot her into the priority group, but when I sent them the link she immediately called me to ask a bunch of questions about the website, which is one of her avoidance tactics–to ask me or someone else who is not the proper contact and then to pretend she didn’t have enough information to act. Instead of calling the 1-800 number or, you know, reading the explanation on the page, which was plenty clear about what it was and how to use it if she weren’t freaked out and already determined not to absorb it.

            My dad signed up. He should be able to handle this for her if she won’t.

      6. Observer*

        The least I can do is not make others my unwilling therapists to talk about the guilt.

        That is an EXCELLENT point.

    3. LDF*

      Whenever anyone is vaccinated, we all benefit. Sure it’s best if at-risk people get them first but I bet the shot was meant for a no-show or was a “leftover” dose, and so it would have otherwise gone to waste. You still often need to “know a guy” to get those but better the guy that knows a guy than no one. Pretending this doesn’t happen or speaking badly of people whoget these shots is just gonna make other people turn down shots out of guilt. And then they’ll go to waste. I urge you to reconsider your views.

      1. Roscoe*

        Thank you. I”m glad someone said this. The more people that are vaccinated, the better for everyone. Period. We can get mad about it (and I’m definitely annoyed by how its going in my state), but its the truth. In fact, in my state, I’m not really annoyed by who is getting it, I’m annoyed at how slow the rollout is in general.

    4. Boof*

      Well, I think there is some benefit to advertising that one 1) got the vaccine and 2) feeling well, to try to combat vaccine “skepticism” (let me say there is justifiable skepticism and then the misinformation-driven skepticism; the vaccine looks awesome for both safety and efficacy at at least the 1 ear mark and we just don’t have 2 years data. However, reports about “patients in a high risk for mortality population have died (in some timeframe after receiving covid vaccine with no clear causality)” are misleading and I think, either negligent reporting to the point of possible questioning journalistic abilities to intentionally misleading

      1. Gamer Girl*

        Exactly–and I’m right there with you about negligent “all-sides” journalism about vaccines when they’re reporting statistics about “high-risk people who have died with no clear causality.” A lot of people clearly don’t have the know-how to interpret that statistic (or it will be used to willingly mislead others by the anti-vaxx crowd).

        When/if I’m lucky enough to get the vaccine, I will be shouting it from the rooftops. It’s an amazing effort from the scientific community that we even have three vaccines currently, with more candidates coming, it’s all about solidarity, and it’s all about fighting the anti-science crowd.

        But yes, keep “vaccine guilt” to yourself, and help others in the community find out how to get waitlisted as alternates, Bob!

    5. Allonge*

      I agree – there is nothing wrong with getting the vaccine unless you are gaming the system, but please process feelings of guilt about this outside of the workplace.

      It’s the same as winning the lottery*: good for you, but don’t complain to coworkers about how it makes you feel bad that you got all this money. That part is tacky.

      *Except it benefits us all. Which is why others should not resent you for getting the vaccine.

    6. Seeking Second Childhood*

      OP2, I don’t really have much to add except if you feel comfortable asking if his nose a guy meant he got called for a wasted dose. If the answer is yes, let it go and be glad that he is no longer a vector. But if he has actually received an appointment at the vaccination station ahead of schedule? Feel free to recommend he report that guy he knows to the health department.
      (Especially if you’re in or near Philadelphia — “Philly Fighting Covid” is being investigated, including allegations of distributing some vaccines to lower priority people ahead of elderly people turned away from their appointments.)

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        “Knows a guy” not “nose”
        (Let’s pretend that this speech-to-text glitch was a pun about someone wearing they’re mask under their nose.)

      2. Rayray*

        And hey, if Jay knows a guy, maybe he can pull a connection for OP’s spouse.

        I’m of the idea that Jay got a dose that would have otherwise gone to waste. I really do think that’s what happened.

          1. JessicaTate*

            Well… If he says the, “I feel guilty” thing, you could say, “Well, I can help with that feeling of guilt if you’d like. Call up your guy and have him switch you for my husband. As you know he’s [age] and [condition] and has been super-worried about not being able to get an appointment.” Not with an angry tone, but super matter-of-fact. Jay states a problem (guilt), I’m stating a solution (give your appointment to someone higher priority). I guess that’s complicated because you’re his boss and you wouldn’t want it to feel like a pressuring situation. I keep imagining him as a coworker, not a direct report.

            The other thing I would say is that you have every right to tell him as his boss is to stop talking about it. “Listen, Jay, you know it’s been hard for Husband to get an appointment and we’re frustrated. Congrats on getting your appointment in our messed up system; anything that gets more vaccine in the community is great. But I’m going to ask you don’t talk about it (or your guilt) any further because it’s tough for folks on our team – myself included – who are struggling to get an appointment. That’s not your fault, but I’m asking you to show some sensitivity to others’ situations when you’ve been fortunate to get an early dose.”

            1. Managing In*

              Your instinct is right, it would be staggeringly inappropriate and uncomfortable for a manager to suggest their employee give the appointment to the manager’s husband/etc. Your script about asking him to stop talking about his guilt is great – but I also see the argument for shouting your vaccination experience far and wide to promote public confidence in it.

              1. Observer*

                There is a time and place for everything. And this is not the time and place for Jay to talk about his experience. ESPECIALLY about how guilty he feels! That does NOTHING to normalize getting the vaccine which is the only reason to talk about it anyway.

            2. Susie Q*

              Honestly, you are too enmeshed in your employee’s life. You should not be this involved in his life. I think professional boundaries have been crossed too many times.

              You need to let this go and move on. Your husband’s high risk is not Jay’s responsibility. Nor should this impact your employee/manager relationship. I don’t think you’re handling this well as a manager. You have no idea what knows a guy means, etc in Jay’s situation.

              This is not Jay’s fault. This is a failure of the government. Your husband has survived this far. Keep quarantining and being safe.

              1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                To be clear – I didn’t ask him about any of this. He told me….under the premise of feeling guilty. I’m not too enmeshed and definitely keep a professional distance. My team in general has had discussions about the difficulties of securing a vaccine appointment (most of them are eligible and can’t get an appointment either). It’s not like I’m at his house watching soap operas and eating ice cream. If he’d just said “I got a vaccine appointment” – I would have cheered FOR him. But that’s not what happened, unfortunately.

                1. mayfly*

                  He’s looking for people to absolve him of the guilt he thoroughly earned and should acutely feel. I would give him no satisfaction, but probably wouldn’t say more than “you know that’s wrong, Jay” and end the conversation there.

          2. Chestnut Mare*

            This changes things a bit, IMO. An appointment is not a guarantee, as the vaccine supply chain is unreliable at best.

            1. Coenobita*

              Yep, at the clinic I support (which is a closed clinic for people getting shots based on employment), there is a lot more checking that goes on after you get the appointment, even if there are sufficient doses. The online registration form for our clinic isn’t a secret or anything, and people have been forwarding the link to friends and relatives – but folks who aren’t eligible get flagged by the humans behind the scenes and their appointments can and do get canceled (which sucks, but we need to reserve the doses for the frontline workers we’re charged with vaccinating).

    7. gsa*

      I’m over 50yo and appear to be in perfect health. BMI, BP other indicators well within range. Brief non-apparent medical history: fainting lead to a diagnosis of sleep apnea, a heart monitor, a pacemaker, and a lifelong prescription of a drug to combat potential a-fib.

      Will I tell people if/when I get vaccinated. Yes! Why, I will be one less person take can spread the disease.

      1. Urt*

        I don’t think it’s known yet whether it’ll prevent the spread of disease. So far the only thing known is that your body has a better chance to fight it off, so you won’t fall ill or will have a milder case than without.

          1. OP2 Jays Boss*

            You should let heads of state know because my state seems to think its not important or something. “Let’s shut down the state and then rollout the vaccine like it’s your creepy uncle Marvin wanting to give you a hug….” So frustrating.

          2. whatever #2*

            That’s not backed by evidence. A small (102 person) study in Israel showed that the antibody load was high after two doses – but after 4 weeks of immunizations, the case rate is completely unchanged. And there is strong evidence that the long-term immunity is T-cell mediated rather than through antibodies.


   (This is still very much being researched, so the T-cell thing certainly isn’t definitive.)

            That’s not a knock on the treatments – the biggest factor so far has been reducing or eliminating symptoms, and that’s obviously huge. It’s just not as simple as, like, the MMR vaccine or something.

            1. Observer*

              The good news, in terms of figuring out what’s going on is that Israel has been sharing most of their data with the vaccine makers directly (that was part of the deal which enabled them to get a lot of doses.) So we’re reaching a point where we’re going to have some significant and reasonably “clean” real world data.

              In terms of case rates, 4 weeks is too soon to see much of a drop, even with the relatively high vaccination rate they have, because you only get full immunity at a couple of weeks after the second dose (ie 5 – 6 weeks, depending in which vaccine.)

        1. Natalie*

          Anything that reduces symptoms will reduce spread, as symptomatic people spread more. What we don’t know is the exact level. And, while the vaccine is still hard to acquire, it’s better from a public health perspective to have everyone wear a mask, rather than expecting regular people to parse out who’s vaccinated, who’s not. But IMO it’s important not to undersell the vaccine either, we saw what happened when the benefits of masks were undersold.

        2. JO*

          The current guidance I have been given as an RN is to assume that you can transmit COVID even after receiving the vaccine and to continue wearing a mask and practice social distancing. I do have to say that this is the first time that I have heard concerns that a virus is still transmissible and precautions still need to be taken to avoid transmission even after inoculation. At least outside of the small window that the immune system needs to build antibodies. I anticipate that there is going to be a lot of confusion surrounding this once the vaccine becomes more widespread.

          1. Teapot Tía*

            I’m not a virologist, but I had graduate-level classes in virology & immunology and yes, some viruses may be transmissible even after inoculation- for a start, no vaccine is 100% effective, the person might get an asymptomatic infection which might allow for transmission, or an exposed person might transmit before the immune system goes to work (IIRC links don’t post here, but an article at fivethirtyeight titled “even after getting vaccinated, you could still infect others” explains it in slightly gross detail). You probably haven’t heard about it regarding vaccination in general because most things people get vaccinated for aren’t as transmissible and as deadly. They’re being extra careful, because covid.

      2. Student*

        Just please be aware that the vaccine mainly improves your own safety. It reduces the odds you transmit COVID to others significantly, but doesn’t eliminate this possibility entirely. You’re going to need to keep wearing a mask and minimize contact until a large part of the population is vaccinated.

    8. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Right. I have zero hard feelings about Jay (who is in my age and health group and I don’t know if I’ll even get one this year) getting vaccinated. This means one less person I have to worry about infecting me when I go out to run errands. But… like… your boss’s office is not a confessional. Now Jay gave his boss ammunition against him. I’m sure OP won’t use it, but a worse manager would’ve. Of all people to confide in, why your manager??? I don’t get it.

      1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

        (After reading the updates) well, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about unknowingly infecting Jay myself (which I suppose can happen even if everyone’s wearing a mask) when I’m out and about. Either way, the more people are vaccinated, the better.

      2. OP2 Jays Boss*

        I would never use it against Jay. I genuinely like the guy and his work is impeccable. I don’t know why he even told me – other than to alleviate his guilt. I wish he hadn’t!

    9. RCB*

      OP assumes that Jay is perfectly healthy, but she doesn’t actually know. I have several friends who are HIV+ and haven’t told many others, so it’s possible that they seem perfectly healthy, but really aren’t, and may be able to snag a vaccine through a medical contact that knows their status. If this were Jay, he doesn’t owe anyone the explanation that he has a medical condition just so his boss isn’t mad at him for getting the vaccine, and he’d like’y say “I know a guy” instead of “I have HIV so I was able to get vaccinated”.

      As Alison said, be mad at the messed up system, not the people getting vaccinated, because no one should be required to give their medical history to friends and coworkers to justify them receiving a lifesaving vaccination.

      1. OP2 Jays Boss*

        Except I do know he has no other health conditions. I can’t post all specifics and it’s hard to convey all the details without the specifics. I know him personally and professionally. And it’s not that I’m mad he will be vaccinated – it’s how he went about getting the appointment and that he told me how he did it….knowing the my spouse has been going to the ends of the earth to get an appointment.

        1. RCB*

          I get that you THINK you do know everything about him, but you have no way of actually knowing that. My aforementioned friends with HIV have often not told ANYONE but one or two of their closest friends, so not even a family member knows. I know of some friends who haven’t told their own spouses about health issues (not HIV, but other stuff), so there really is no way for you to know that you know everything, so I’m saying to keep that in mind, he may have a health issue that you know nothing about. Even if you were his medical provider, it’s possible you wouldn’t know all issues as some people have a separate doctor for something they want to keep secret, even though I can’t imagine how that’s easy to do (but I am one who can’t keep a secret).

          1. Venus*

            What if Jay said “I have no preexisting conditions, yet I managed to get a vaccine because of someone I know”? Does it seem likely that he’s lying in that case? Doubting the OP seems weird in this case, when it is quite likely that Jay has admitted to not being otherwise eligible for the vaccine.

          2. Myrin*

            This type of comment comes up a lot on AAM with regards to all kinds of things and I find it incredibly frustrating (and over the years, I’ve encountered many an OP who found it equally frustrating).
            It seems pretty clear to me – and OP’s subsequent comments support that hunch – that OP really does know that Jay doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions, most probably, if we follow a pattern that we’ve seen time and again when OP’s later provided more information, because he said to her something to the effect of “I don’t have any pre-existing conditions and yet got an appointment, I feel so guilty about it”.
            Of course you could then argue that people so all kinds of things that are untrue but if that’s the base we’re starting with, we might as well not read AAM at all because who knows if what an OP says is actually true?

            1. kt*

              Agree! For all we know, OP has been through the guy’s medical records. Just assume it’s true for the purposes of this discussion!

            2. OP2 Jays Boss*

              Louder for the people in the back!!! It’s so hard to write the scenario without being too specific but also give enough info for the problem to be addressed. I didn’t even think that people would question my knowledge of his eligibility or not. I wish I could revise my submission. And it’s not to turn people against Jay – just so people stay more on target with advice instead of debating whether I police my employees medical information or if I’m too close, etc. regardless – there was very helpful advice and comments but dang – people sure take it from 0-100 quickly!! My complaint wasn’t about Jay – rather about MY reaction to what he told me. It was a struggle to get my manager brain and my personal brain separated.

          3. Who Am I*

            I’ve had type 2 diabetes for years. My own relatives do not know and if it’s possible, I intend never to tell them. (There’s all kinds of family history why – I love them but they love their victim blaming and “I told you so’s”, so it’s a hard no go. I never get hypoglycemic and my bgs are very well-controlled, so they don’t need to know. Of course, they think I’m on a permanent low-carb diet. Which I am, because that’s how you control type 2 diabetes. But yes it’s true, you can absolutely believe you’re close enough to someone to know all about their risk factor or lack thereof and be entirely wrong.

          4. Observer*

            I get that you THINK you do know everything about him, but you have no way of actually knowing that.

            The thing is that in this case it’s not really relevant. The OP has reason to believe that Jay has no health conditions AND that Jay used connections to get an appointment – and that is based on WHAT JAY EXPLICITLY SAID. Expecting the OP to ignore what they have been told in favor of a more charitable interpretation is not really very reasonable.

            And that’s on top of the fact that the OP did not ask him about getting the vaccine. Rather he CHOSE to gratuitously share this level of detail and complain about how guilty he feels. He could have not mentioned that he has an appointment, or he could at least not shared that he jumped the line.

            If you choose to share something, you can’t complain when people have less than positive reactions.

            1. OP2 Jays Boss*

              Yes – that is exactly what happened!! I wouldn’t have thought twice if he had just said “finally snagged an appointment”.

        2. Elizabeth the Ginger*

          Telling you about it, and telling you “I feel guilty,” is really aggravating. It seems like he’s asking you to absolve him of his guilt and tell him “no, no, it’s okay” – for you to do the emotional labor of comforting him so he both gets the vaccine and doesn’t have to feel bad about it.

        3. ShortT*

          There are plenty of people who know me professionally and personally. That they do doesn’t mean that they’re aware of every single health condition I’ve had.

          1. OP2 Jays Boss*

            I’m just asking you to trust me that I know he doesn’t and he got his appointment under false pretenses. And really, that’s not the issue. It’s that he told me all about how he did it knowing that my high risk spouse has been trying for weeks to get an appointment. It was hurtful and I want to move past it but don’t know how.

            1. Not Jays Boss*

              Regardless of whether he got it under false pretenses, you have have got stop pretending that you 100% know FOR A FACT that he doesn’t have any medical conditions he’s never told you about. You will never 100% know because you are not Jay. Please stop perpetuating this.

              1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                What am I perpetuating? He TOLD me he didn’t have any medical conditions, told me got an appointment under false pretenses and feels guilty about it. So I should assume he’s lying? He didn’t need to tell me any of it.

        4. Susie Q*

          You probably don’t know everything about him. I have a medical condition that almost no one besides my immediate family knows about and that includes my friends.

          1. OP2 Jays Boss*

            I’m sorry I didn’t word it better. He got the appointment under false pretenses. And then told me all about it.

        5. Not Jays Boss*

          No… you don’t. Again… stop with this idea that you KNOW he has no other health conditions. YOU ARE NOT JAY.

          Yes, he may have gotten it under false pretenses, but that doesn’t change the fact that you can not and will not ever know 100%.


          1. Observer*

            It’s a lot more ridiculous for you to keep on insisting that the OP is wrong. And that not only are they wrong but that they may not use the information GIVEN TO THEM BY JAY. Because you, a random stranger MUST know better.

            1. OP2 Jays Boss*

              This is crazy. All I wanted was advice on how to manage my reaction. I’m trusting that what Jay told me is true. He isn’t eligible, got an appointment under false pretenses, and then told me because he felt guilty. Should I assume he made it up? He didn’t have to tell me any of this.

    10. Artemesia*

      I am 77 and have (although my friends don’t know it, have stage 3 kidney disease). I got the vaccine by getting a Wallgreens apt early when the on line apt system was not as overwhelmed; my husband could never through to the VA or the pharmacy and we haven’t heard from our health care provider. I only got him a shot because the pharmacy where I got mine has a waiting list and yesterday 4 people were no shows and he was the tenth person called from the list and first to pick up and we drove 15 miles in the snow last of the day to get him there and get one of the excess shots. AND we have a friend in a zoom group who is shaming us because minorities and those with serious conditions need those shots first — and essential workers. Don’t be that person.

      The system is a mess. I’d like to see teachers get priority because we need schools open to make it easier on parents who work. But when I had a process, in this case signing up with a pharmacy, to get the shot I took it.

    11. Not his fault*

      I agree. When I got my first dose, I only told those close to me. I did tell my boss though, in case I had side effects.

    12. Sparrow*

      I have a hunch he was looking for OP to absolve his guilt. If he knew OP’s husband was more deserving and felt guilty about that, he could’ve been looking to hear essentially what Alison said (this process is a chaotic mess and many public health experts say you should take the opportunity if it presents itself) so that he could feel better about it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine any other reason to share this with OP, knowing their circumstances.

    13. Brett*

      I strongly disagree with this. It is very important for people to know other people who received the vaccine, regardless of why they received it. This may be because I am coming from an ethnic community that has a lot of suspicion of the vaccine, but the more receiving a vaccine is normalized, the less people who will refuse to get it.

      1. Observer*

        There is a time and a place for everything. In some contexts, yes shout it from the roof tops. But, this is not one of those contexts. At minimum, Jay should have kept his mouth shut about how he got his appointment.

        1. Brett*

          I was responding to the initial post which suggested that one should never, under any context, share that they received the vaccine because it would be interpreted wrongly either way.

          1. RG*

            I didn’t say never tell anyone you got vaccinated, but understand how it’s going to be perceived by a lot of people. He just would have been better off keeping his mouth shut with his boss about feeling guilty.

    14. Dragon_Dreamer*

      I’m scheduled to get mine in the next month or so, and I’m well under 65. However. I’m diabetic, AND am having surgery soon. I can’t have the surgery until I get vaccinated, apparently. Thankfully in my state, this is not jumping the queue, I’m just in a higher tier than I would be if I was not diabetic and having a (hopefully short) hospital stay soon.

  2. Julia*

    #2 – thank you for that link; it did totally shift my thinking. I may have an opportunity to get the vaccine although I am low-risk, and I was going to turn it down so it could go to others who need it more. I think I’m going to take it if it pans out.

      1. The Rural Juror*

        If you’re able to do your part to make less people likely to contract the virus, then go get that vaccine!

    1. BubbleTea*

      Definitely take it. You will be potentially protecting others by being vaccinated, and adding to the data about possible adverse reactions which will help reassure people further down the line.

    2. Working Hypothesis*

      A friend sent me that same article and it persuaded me to accept the opportunity I was offered to make a vaccine appointment. I’m in the risk group that currently qualifies in my state, but it is still really hard not to feel like there’s something wrong with accepting when I know people who are higher risk who haven’t had the chance yet (even if they’re elsewhere and wouldn’t get my chance if I turned it down).

      There’s a lot of survivor guilt involved in this whole thing.

    3. Non "essential" lawyer*

      Same here. Lots of colleagues are truly essential workers and interact with high-risk groups, and we are in the next “group” that will be eligible in my state. I’ve been able to mainly work from home, so I was planning to opt out. This article was really illuminating.

    4. nonnynon*

      Listen, I’m a Jay. I’m in my mid-40s (though i do have underlying conditions) and I was offered one of those “get here in 5 minutes or we have to chuck it” doses. They called me as a shot in the dark because they couldn’t get anyone to the site in time and this was after calling a list of people. If you can get it, get it. You’ll probably feel guilty and don’t mention it to people but as it’s better than the dose being (figuratively) poured down the drain.

      1. mayfly*

        I think anyone who is offered a vaccine should take it, but appointments should be held for eligible people only. IMO, you are not a “Jay”

        1. pancakes*

          I agree, but would add that this isn’t merely an opinion – factually these two scenarios simply aren’t the same. The letter writer has explained in comments that Jay didn’t get one of those “can you get here right away?” calls.

    5. LGC*

      On the weekends, a couple of people have posted about this exact situation. So you’re definitely not alone in feeling this way.

      One more thing: the vaccine isn’t just for your protection. We don’t vaccinate kids against measles and chicken pox because the individual kids will get sick. We do it to protect the community, and every person helps. You might do okay with COVID-19, but someone you come in contact with might not.

    6. Artemesia*

      There is a difference between flying to a small Alaskan town and lying that you live there to scoop up a shot ahead of indigenous people for whom it is meant and ‘taking it when offered’. Don’t cheat, but also don’t pass up your legitimate chance to be vaccinated.

    7. Third or Nothing!*

      Please do. This Group 1B asthmatic supports vaccination of as many people as possible even if they don’t fall under the high risk status (I mean, as long as they’re not actually gaming the system cause that’s super crappy). Think of it this way: the more people get vaccinated, the quicker we reach herd immunity and therefore protect those who aren’t vaccinated yet or can’t get vaccinated for whatever reason. The sooner that happens, the sooner I can leave this damn house and get a hug from someone who isn’t my husband or child.

    8. Double A*

      I think we need to shift our mindset to be grateful to everyone who gets the vaccine. While it may be ideal that a higher-risk person get vaccinated first, we’ve seen that the perfect plan for triaging risk has actually delayed the process for everyone, putting all of us at extended risk.

      The vaccines are as much about group as about individual protection. And also, this virus has killed plenty of younger people who were in “perfect health,” so it’s not like Jay had NO risk and got it; he just had statistically less risk than some people. We are all at risk, and we should be grateful when any of us are able to reduce our risk while also contributing to our collective reduced risk.

      1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

        I love this line of thinking, and I think you are absolutely right. Thanks for providing some much-needed perspective on an issue that I know is bothering a lot of us right now!

  3. Julia*

    Actually is it possible to delete this comment? In retrospect I’m slightly concerned about getting piled on (which has happened to me a couple times recently).

    1. KoiFeeder*

      Look, as a high-risk (like, the rheumatologist was very clear that if I got COVID I would probably not survive it level of risk) person myself, I’m just happy the vaccine won’t go to waste and that someone will be safer than before. It seems like a better use of time to go give the politicians failing to handle vaccine distribution a piece of their minds instead of piling on you, at any rate.

    2. Monty & Millie's Mom*

      Sorry you’ve been piled on recently – that’s crummy! But honestly, you already have much support on the original comment, and I want to add mine to that. I’ve not been offered the vaccine, and I’m in a group that is WAY at the bottom of the list, but if someone randomly offered it to me, especially knowing it could otherwise go to waste, I’d get it. I wouldn’t talk about it, but that’s also partly because there are a distressingly large number of people in my friends/family group who don’t WANT it, for various reasons (many not good reasons, a couple somewhat-reasonable ones). But good for you for getting it, if you can!

      1. OP2 Jays Boss*

        You were offered the vaccine – that’s different. He finagled his way through false pretenses.

        1. Uranus Wars*

          This is way more information than you gave in the letter. If his false pretenses were forging a letter of risk from a doctor or lying to the department of health their might be more cause for being upset. But if his false pretenses were “I knew a guy” I don’t think that’s enough information to let it cloud your management of him. I’ve been reading your replies and understand you are upset but the reality is there are thousands of Jay’s out there, which means thousands of more vaccines not going wasted. If someone gets an appointment because a pharmacy can’t fill a roster with those eligible and reach out to their short list so they don’t waste, I am ok with that. Filling a roster with eligible populations isn’t always doable now, especially with same-day appointments.

          Have you called pharmacies to add your name to their short lists? Where I live there are people on multiple lists across multiple pharmacies.

          1. OP2 Jays Boss*

            I’ve learned that “Knows a guy” is apparently a Midwest Chicagoan?) thing so I apologize for the confusion. He got it under a false pretense…

            I think people are missing the point of my query. I want to move past my feelings. I feel myself bristle internally when I interact with him and I hate that. I genuinely like this guy. He’s a fantastic employee. I’m happy he’s getting a vaccine ultimately. But the way he went about it – wrong. The way he told me about – it sucks.

            1. Anononon*

              Honestly, there’s not much more an advice column/comment section can do to help you move past your feelings. That’s only something you can work on. There’s been a number of people talking about how the more people get the vaccine, the better over all it is. There’s been people (including me) talking about how Jays are just the effects of a terrible rollout system. There’s not much more to say. You think he messed up. Are you going to move past it or will you no longer be able to manage him?

              (Really, it seems like you’re very close to him, from your comments, that I’m wondering if you should be managing him at all…)

              1. OP2 Jays Boss*

                To keep it vague and concise for publishing purposes, I can’t list every detail. I should have worded my query differently. I should have just said from the get go: employee confessed that he obtained a vaccine appointment under false pretenses and then told me about it.

                You can bet I’ve learned my lesson on submitting questions. I was too vague and assumed people would accept me at my word. I’m sorry you don’t feel my question needed advice but I appreciate your feedback. And actually, chatting with commenters has actually made me feel better! I realize I’m not alone in the chaos and that reshaping how I view Jays action will help me move on.

                1. Anononon*

                  I think you’re misconstruing my response. I’m not saying that you didn’t need advice – I meant that advice on how to reshape your thinking was given both by Alison and the commenters, but that your replies were still saying “I’m not sure how to get over this.” And ultimately, I don’t think the advice differs much if you had said initially that he got it under false pretenses. You can still only try to get over it or take some kind of action against him.

                2. Anononon*

                  Just to add to my above comment, I’m glad that the further discussion helped. It’s been absolutely chaotic in how the vaccine rollout is going, and I can only hope in the next month or so things start to get better as we get more of a federal response.

                  (My parents are in a higher risk category, but they’ve basically decided not to look for vaccine appointments daily until at least March when hopefully things are better. They’re also extremely fortunate in that they can almost 100% quarantine.)

                3. Come On Eileen*

                  OP2 — it’s hard to change our own thinking! My brain comes up with 100 ludicrous thoughts every single day that I can’t control. Same with feelings – I can’t control them much, so what I can do is acknowledge them and let them pass. I focus on controlling what I can – my own behavior. Sometimes that’s just getting outside and moving my body (the whole move a muscle, change a thought mentality). Sometimes that means focusing on looking into solutions – I had to research several vaccine options for my elderly parents before I found one that would work. But the research alone helped me realize I was doing SOMETHING, and that made me feel better. Anyway, not sure if any of that helps, but I sympathize, I have been there, and I hope you find ways that work for you to tackle this.

                4. Allonge*

                  Look, based on this, Jay did an ethically bad thing. And then outsourced his emotional regulation about it. It’s always bad when we learn that people close to us can behave like this.

                  I suspect that once you and yours get the vaccine, and some time passes, this will feel less… intense? I am not sure.

                  You as his manager / acquaintance definitely can tell him to shut up about the whole thign if he mentions it already. He gets to do whatever he wants in his private life. You don’t have to be his friend and actually you don’t have to have him work for you either – you don’t owe him his job. If you keep him on, you can monitor him for ethical breaches.

                5. dawbs*

                  Well, some of it is also that you can’t control where a question goes–and a question that’s not about ME is somewhat academic. Regardless of vaugeness, we’ll always add some
                  “Huh, that’s interesting. How would that play out in an urban setting differently than a rural one”. “well, if it was me, I’d do X because it would trigger Y, because I live in Fillory and it’s red monkey month” “I wonder if my dad is going to be an idiot and turn down an offered vaccine in order not to be Jay”
                  It’s impossible to make it specific enough. ANd impossible to make it vauge enough. Readers bring things to the table and things spiral into subconversations that often have diddly and squat to do with the OP but are still ‘on topic’

                6. Autistic AF*

                  As someone who thrives with clear rules and structure, I really feel for you. It’s also a fine line between giving enough context and sharing Jay’s personal information inappropriately. This would be a great time to talk things out with a therapist – if your company doesn’t have an Employee Assistance Program, lots of free virtual counseling has popped up during the pandemic.

            2. Claire*

              “Knows a guy” is a very common expression used all over the country and can mean different things depending on the context. That’s probably why so many commentators are questioning that piece of the original letter.

          2. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

            “Have you called pharmacies to add your name to their short lists? Where I live there are people on multiple lists across multiple pharmacie

            It’s great that you can do that, but like virtually everything related to the covid vaccine, it doesn’t work that way everywhere (assuming you’re in the US). With no coordination from the federal government, each state has had to invent its own wheel, and some of those wheels are missing a few spokes. It’s not safe to assume anything about how the vaccine distribution is being handled in areas other than one’s own, and any advice needs to be taken (and given) with a grain of salt. What you suggest may work for some, but it won’t work for others (like myself–it’s being coordinated through local health departments in my state).

            Your intentions are much appreciated. Unfortunately, the current chaotic situation means there is no “one size fits all” solution to how to get vaccinated for covid.

        2. Anticorruption*

          I think this is a crucial issue here – he cheated the way into the system. I understand that you do not want any action taken against this and are seeking info on how to deal with your anger. However, this type of behaviour does show a lack of integrity. So it really matters in what profession you are. I noted elsewhere that where I am based, there is a strict system of fairness and oversight over the vaccine rollout. I understand the US is total chaos but you state clearly that people like Jay are exploiting this chaos and “gaming it”. At my company, we have company values of integrity and accountability and this applies to conduct outside of the work (e.g engaging in behaviour that is “legal” but unethical, and comes to attention of the company, is not in line with company values and marked in performance). Again, if this was e.g. public administration or other business where integrity of the staff is very important, I would immediately raise this with HR.

  4. phira*

    LW 2: I agree with Alison. Right now, vaccination is an absolute mess, and a lot of people are only able to get a vaccination through these “I know a guy” routes. And as Alison said, a lot of doses are going to get trashed if they’re not used, to the point where several organizations and local governments are actually *requiring* that, if vaccine would otherwise go to waste, it needs to be given to anyone, even if they’re not in a prioritized group. My own grandmother had to go this route to get her vaccine; she’s eligible very soon according to our state guidelines, but I’m glad she didn’t wait when she had the opportunity to get it earlier.

    Basically, in a lot (not all, but a lot) of cases, people like Jay are not actually cutting in line, and their doses would be thrown out otherwise. Better that Jay and others get vaccinated!

    LW 4: Ahhhhh I would suggest ignoring it, but my goodness, I would be so angry!

    1. EPLawyer*

      God is it a mess. For the over 75 crowd — not all of whom are computer savvy it is insane. In the county where I work (where I live its worse I can’t even figure out if I will ever be eligible), if you want to go to a county clinic, its one sign up. If you go to a hospital or pharmacy you literally have to visit EVERY SINGLE SITE to see if they have an available slot. No centralization at all.

      A group of the kids of the over the 75 crowd have started organizing to hunt down available slots for the older folks. They are calling themselves the Vaccine Hunters. they are contacting hospitals trying to get spots reserved each day for the over 75 crowd. The other goal is being willing to hunt down available spots for those who might find navigating the system difficult for whatever reason.

      Just likes masks, its the community who will come through on this — not the government.

      1. Artemesia*

        At least our hospital/health care system is not doing sign ups — they are calling people using their own criteria (I understand it is based on zip code and age/condition). We haven’t been called but it seems a fairer system than expecting elderly people with serious conditions to have to hover over the computer every evening when the appointment day tolls. Any system that requires elderly people, perhaps without computers or computer savvy to fight for appointments is deeply flawed.

    2. Hg*

      My family member is a nurse in an icu unit. When they went for their shot, they were informed that their medicine allergy prevented them from it. To not waste the dossage and the time alloted, shots are scheduled due to monitoring thats needed, they grabbed the janitor who was outside collecting the trash instead.

  5. SBH*

    Lw5 : weird, but also common in small-team tech. If they’re trying to fill say, 3 positions all using skills Alex has, and he’s interviewing for all three, it’s not completely nuts to include them on panel, especially if they’re looking to evaluate Alex for strategic insight (the business needs to do 4 things with three resources; plan & triage) it’s unusual, but not crazy *by itself*

    1. Jane Plough*

      This was my thought – that they may be opening a second position and want to find someone to work alongside this internal candidate. Why they wouldn’t tell the external candidate that in the first place I have no idea, but that’s the only silver lining I can see to this (especially since they already told the OP that they had a strong internal candidate that was sitting right in front of them?!? Way to mess with someone’s head in an interview situation!)

      1. OP LW#5*

        It’s unclear what they were looking to do exactly. I think they want this new position to work alongside a current position. I just think it was really weird they told me. But the current person is doing many of the duties that would fall under the purview of the new position. And you’re right. This is a brand new position.

        1. Retired Lady*

          My first thought was that maybe this person didn’t really want the job but was willing to accept it if no one better was found in external interviews.

  6. Anonymouse*

    #4. You have power over this board member.
    You takes the minutes of the board meetings.
    Accurately quote him in the minutes.
    If he complains, ask him if he wants you to inaccurately report the minutes for a government funded program.
    If he tries to take away the job of you taking the minutes, see previous response.

    1. BuildMeUp*

      I’m not sure if you’re being facetious, but this runs the same risks Alison mentions, while also being pretty passive-aggressive.

      1. Mae Fuller*

        There is a way to record the conversation though that actually might help: “BM expressed concern about the management fee associated with X funding. LW clarified that this percentage is determined centrally by the government, and outlined the required tasks which it pays for.”

    2. Forrest*

      I don’t think I’d do this, but it would have been glorious if he’d gone off on his rant and you’d just said, “Sorry, can I check whether you want me to minute this?”

    3. pleaset cheap rolls*

      “You takes the minutes of the board meetings.
      Accurately quote him in the minutes.
      If he complains, ask him if he wants you to inaccurately report the minutes for a government funded program.
      If he tries to take away the job of you taking the minutes, see previous response.”

      This is terrible advice.

      1. Myrin*

        It honestly seems more naïve and idealistic to me (which results in the same outcome but in an ideal world, OP could indeed leverage her “power” in that way).

    4. Ana Gram*

      I haven’t been in the LW’s position but I have served on a board of directors and I don’t see this tactic going well. It’s pretty adversarial and more likely result in discipline for the LW than anything else.

      1. The Other Dawn*

        I agree. I’ve been a regular part of board meetings in the past and as much as it sucks, you just can’t do or say certain things when it comes to board members without consequences. As far as accurately quoting a board member, or anyone else, in the minutes, that’s not up to the person saying it–it’s generally up to the chairman of the board, which is usually the president or CEO.

    5. Amtelope*

      Setting yourself up in opposition to a board member is a good way to get fired. #4, your boss supported you and pushed back against a board member to protect you AND has offered to let you out of taking board minutes so you don’t have to deal with a jerk on the board. It does not get much better than that in nonprofit-land!

      Your boss is stuck with this board member, who very likely has the power to make life difficult for your boss. Don’t make his life harder. Either send a neutral “Thanks, I’m sure it was all a misunderstanding” email in response to the apology, or ask your boss how (and whether) he wants you to reply.

      1. Artemesia*

        This. Been there, had to bite my tongue. Irrational board members and rich donors can absolutely get you. fired. I have seen it happen. Few people are valued enough for the organization to fight back for you if VIPs no matter how awful decide to target you. I watched someone lose his job after a casual remark of the Chairman of the Board caused underlings to go after him. (underlings who take seriously every casual remark of the King are rife in organizations)

    6. Koalafied*

      I think you’re misunderstanding the situation. Taking minutes does not give her and power worth speaking of over the board member, especially because based on what the LW has written, I don’t at all get the read that he’s embarrassed to have his comments recorded in the minutes. He’s only apologizing because he was asked to but clearly doesn’t think he did anything wrong and she just misunderstood (even though I’m reality, he’s the one who doesn’t understand). Her boss offering to let someone else record the minutes until the grump’s term ends soon is not meant as a punishment but as a way to spare her having to deal with the jerk again since he’s on his way out.

    7. Barking Mad in the US*

      LW#5-I am sorry you’ve had to deal with an obnoxious board member. As a former ED for a government agency(and now in a senior level role in a larger gov’t agency) and having dealt with board members for 99.99% of my career through working for public agencies, you have to be super-careful when dealing with board members.

      Board members are on boards for a variety of reasons and many times, it’s not for the purpose of doing good deeds. It’s to show “power” or to pad their political resume. You won’t win a battle with a board member and can risk insubordination issues.

      Your ED did the right thing and confronted them. You do not work for the board. The board only has 1 employee and it’s the ED. You work for the ED. And, having said this, I’ve been subjected to down-right horrible (and, more importantly, hostile) treatment from board members who do not know their role. Many times, board members are just given a brief overview of the agency’s goals/objectives but do not have board and commission traiining. They are not told that their role is not to micro-manage staff or question the administration of federal/state/non-profit grants that have very defined roles and responsibilities.

      Tread carefully and it sounds like your ED has your back. I would hope that your agency has a term-limit on the board members’ terms (again, many do not and hence, another issue that hamstrings boards from doing the right thing–the same old people sitting on a board for eons). Also, the ED can go to the Chair and ask that the Chair step in and ask for respect for staff. Also, many non-profits in cities have specific board training which
      is either free or fairly inexpensive and that might be a suggestion for the board. No matter how long they’ve been on the board, a refresher course on what their role(s) is/are is always a good thing.

    8. CatPerson*

      Board minutes are not intended to contain detailed accounting of conversations, including quotes, and taking your advice could put the non-profit in legal peril.

      1. ...*

        In addition, if the minute-taker did include quotes, it could devolve into “minute-taker lied about what I said”. Unless the meeting is being recorded, what I type is not considered proof.

    9. OyHiOh*

      There are a few styles for taking minutes. My board prefers “matter, not chatter” which for them (and me, as the Minutes person) means a brief paragraph summarizing the agenda item, recording who made motions/seconds, and vote outcome. We’re subject to public records requests and anything I write in my meeting notes or the approved minutes could be requested. Snark, or malicious compliance, would come back on me and the organization, not the board member.

      In this case, I would be in line with Alison. Acknowledge the apology as briefly as possible, and take up the boss’s offer to have someone else record minutes for the rest of this board member’s term.

    10. Anona*

      I recorded a supervisor’s instructions to me accurately once.
      It got me three months of hell and then fired with a whole lot of made up crap. So this may not be LW4’s best option…

  7. nnn*

    #2: If I were advising Jay, I’d say he could mitigate his feeling of guilt by putting higher-risk people in touch with his “guy” so they can get vaccines too.

    Whether LW could carry this off depends enormously on context and personalities. Given that LW is Jay’s boss, the optics might not be good. (Which I know is totally unfair because Jay totally brought it up in the first place, but unfortunately that’s where we are)

  8. Elizabeth McDonald*

    #2 – has Jay already gotten a vaccine, or just been able to schedule an appointment? In my area, a number of people have gotten appointments but then not actually gotten vaccinated. In some cases it was due to confusion/poor communication: the neighboring county is vaccinating teachers while my county isn’t; my coworker who lives in the neighboring county was able to make an appointment online no problem but only when she got there was she told that she’s not eligible because she doesn’t *teach* in that county. In other cases it was due to lack of vaccines: people over 75 are eligible for the vaccine in my city, but over the weekend a lot of them had their appointments canceled because the organization giving them out hadn’t received as many vaccines as they had anticipated, which is heartbreaking.

    So it’s possible that Jay’s “guy” was able to get him a time and place to go, but when he goes there, he might get turned away for not actually being eligible yet.

    1. Working Hypothesis*

      My sister’s appointment was cancelled because her county didn’t have enough vaccine — they were ordered by the state to send all of theirs suddenly over to a neighboring county after the appointment was already made. I’m really hoping she can get it rescheduled soon; she’s in the “if she gets this virus she will definitely not survive it” level of risk and has been 100% isolated except for her husband for a year now in order to stay safe.

      I’m trying hard to believe that the state had a good reason to demand that the vaccine supply be given to the county next door instead. Maybe they did — I can certainly imagine reasons which would be valid. But this whole vaccine process has been such a mess (and our state’s is going quickly by comparison to a lot of them!) that I can’t really convince myself very well.

      1. gsa*

        “My “In-laws’” appointment was cancelled because “their” county didn’t have enough vaccine…”

        That happened in Guilford Co NC. They found another appointment in an adjacent county. They are both 75+.

        More people vaccinated = less people to spread it.

        1. Working Hypothesis*

          Yes, and I am honestly pleased for every dose of vaccine that finds its way into a human body, regardless of the details. I’m just also really worried about my sister and hoping that her county will get more vaccine soon, since they had to give theirs away.

    2. Guacamole Bob*

      I was coming here to say this. In my area, the state is saying they’re vaccinating groups 1A,B, and C, but the county vaccination program hasn’t received anywhere near enough so they’re only doing 1A and B. Which is causing a ton of confusion as people in group 1C sign up for appointments and then have them cancelled or show up and can’t get a vaccine.

      And to make it even more confusing, I think the retail clinics like CVS are managing it differently and vaccinating anyone eligible at the state level, first-come, first-serve. But they have many fewer doses to give out than the county. Hospital systems that have their own dedicated supply are also managing it themselves. And I could be wrong about any of these details because I won’t be eligible for months, I’m just going off of what I’m reading.

    3. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

      This happened to me with just the regular flu shot. I got a letter from the NHS telling me to make an appointment, and then as I was literally walking up to the door for that appointment they called me to say that I couldn’t get it after all because I was too young, even though I’m considered to be at higher risk. I don’t know how things are in my home state but given the stories I’ve heard I wouldn’t be that surprised if Jay is turned away on the day.

  9. Boof*

    I am a healthcare worker so; low personal risk, but relatively risk of spreading* and also live with someone who is higher risk (but still waiting to get the vaccine since I was among the very first outside of vaccine trials).
    I do think it’s worth telling everyone I have the vaccine and how it felt.
    NGL it was ok but I would try to take the day off for a day or two after if you can. I was SO TIRED. Typical inflammatory symptoms.

    *I mean, my family and I have been SO CAREFUL (and so, so isolated) both at work and privately so, maybe the risk isn’t high due the precautions but I deal with a lot of high risk patients so any way to lower risk further is good. I mean we homeschooled as soon as any COVID cases were reported in our area, we’ve had no family holiday gatherings (right after getting a big house and planning to host at least 3 initially), barely seen my dad from out of state (usually see him 4x a year I saw him once when his state was relatively low risk) etc etc. I think we’ve seen 3 people in the last year in our home total without masks 100% of the time; our nanny who isolates also, my dad x1, and 1 other friend who is careful
    Bonus I haven’t been sick with anything in a year but y’know, the isolation really sucks

    1. Xenia*

      Oof, yes. I have a close family member in healthcare who also recently got the vaccine. They were and are pretty worried, as they already have a form of arthritis and of course it causes an inflammatory response. I felt super bad for them, it was not a fun day.

      1. Working Hypothesis*

        My brother just got his first shot. He said he had about a day of really bad muscle aches and headache, but that it was starting to get better after a day (two days after his shot; the first 24 hours didn’t show much in the way of side effects). It wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t horrific either.

        1. Boof*

          Not horrific! I just scheduled stuff the next am and really wished i could have slept in. It’s possible to power through and some people don’t get those effects but if you can arrange to take it easy 12-36 after i’d recommend it.

      2. Environmental Compliance*

        My parents got the vaccine (both doses) as they are in healthcare.

        My mom was fine, a little achy, but not too bad. It absolutely knocked my dad out for *both* doses. I’m talking fever, chills, took off work for 3 days and still wasn’t right. However, he also reacts a lot more to the flu vaccine.

        Definitely, 100000% get the vaccine – but also plan for being off the next day if you can, and if you know you react to the flu shot, maybe 2 days off (or schedule for a Thursday/Friday).

        1. Natalie*

          Our health centers are staggering the dosing schedule for basically this exact reason – just in case a large number of clinical staff have a rough go, we don’t want them all out sick the same day.

          1. Working Hypothesis*

            My family chose to stagger our own for the same reason. We don’t want all of the adults in the household down with fatigue and muscle aches at the same time, even if it’s no worse than that; it makes it harder to keep things running around here. So my 19-year-old (who gets an early vaccine because they work on an ambulance as an EMT) will go first and my husband’s appointment is three days later and mine is five days after that.

  10. Xenia*

    #4: all my sympathies! This is a maddening situation. I agree with Alison regarding correcting him. Instead, I would try and scope out the other board members. If he shouts and rants often, how do they feel about it? Do they listen to him, or are there eye-rolls when he started up again? And most importantly, do they agree with him on the function of your job? My concern would be less with him, as he has already shown himself to be a lost cause, and more about the thoughts of your manager and the other board members. If they have misgivings about admin, your manager may have some ideas on how to build you a solid support base among sensible people. If they approve of your work, agree it’s a necessary job, and think you are doing well at it, then you’ll be able to counter the ravings of one foolish person against the good sense of several other people.

    1. OP#4*

      OP 4 here! There have been several attempts to remove this board member in the past– he submitted a FOIA request because he thought the CEO was withholding information about our contract (she was just really busy and didn’t answer the email within a few hours when he asked for a document). The state was making Covid funding cuts at the time and his actions nearly got us on the chopping block. He’s also reached out to our contacts at the state and tried to make changes to the contract behind our back.

      Tldr: everyone else on the board can’t stand him. The board president called me to thank me for standing up to him and to tell him I do a great job. A couple other board members (who supervise the sites I work with) emailed my boss to express their support of me. Thankfully, this very angry man is an outlier and he’s determined to kick and scream his way out the door until his very last meeting.

      1. Myrin*

        This guy sounds like a royal pain in the behind but yay for you for standing up, OP, and yay for the many people who seem to be having your back!

      2. Sleepy*

        Holy crap! I have no advice but just have to say I feel your pain. I was serving as Interim ED for our nonprofit at one point and a board member (who hadn’t even been present for several meetings) told me off in front of the rest of the board for “not caring” about the organization and “not taking the board’s suggestions”. This while I was literally doing my old job, the Interim ED job, the Comms job (as our comma person unexpectedly quit) and the board’s job since they did absolutely nothing and wouldn’t even manage the ED search. Anyway, I cried for the rest of the day. But I couldn’t ever say anything because this guy was rich. I will never take a position where I work with a board again.

  11. WoodswomanWrites*

    #4, I can see why you are outraged at how the board member treated you. I’m glad your manager has gone to bat for you, getting an apology from him to you as well as making sure you won’t be a target again for an individual who is soon cycling off the board. Responding to the insulting board member is not going to change his mind, and will only escalate the difficulties for you with a person cycling off the board soon. Your manager has your back. While you don’t need to personally excuse the board member’s lousy behavior, I hope you can consider the situation wrapped up with celebrating his departure from your board.

  12. Edwina*

    #4: My sister ran a very high profile non profit for many years, and the absolute trickiest part of her job was managing the board and managing the high-level donors. It is a VERY slippery and difficult and delicate job, which is why they hire very experienced, high level people who are expected to manage them. It requires really top-level skills of diplomacy, a sense of when to just let someone rant (i.e. if there’s no consequences), how to gently re direct, how to respond without offending someone who may be about to write a million-dollar check. The good works of the organization need money to survive, and enduring someone’s ultimately ineffective rant is part of the work of making sure you raise enough money to be able to DO the good work.

    You’re there entirely to take minutes. You’re not the person who was hired for your diplomacy skills, or who knows these people inside and out and knows that Ranty McRanterson just likes to hear the sound of his voice, let him rant, because afterwards there’s a huge check coming, and maybe he’ll host that little party where people literally write million-dollar checks.

    It’s great that your boss told him off on your behalf. It’s great that Ranty apologized. What that tells you is that your BOSS recognizes the good work you do. It’s not necessary for Ranty to recognize it, he’s not your direct boss.

    But you know what? If your boss had to choose between Ranty and YOU, he’d choose Ranty. Because no matter how good a job you do, you’re replaceable, and Ranty’s contacts and connections and millions aren’t.

    Next time, please don’t speak up. You have no idea what you’re stepping into or what reverberations there could be. You have no idea why Ranty’s on the board, who he brings with him, how delicate it may have been to get him on the board. You have no idea what effects this may or may not have down the line.

    Please don’t do anything more. And please stay out of these things next time, until you get that promotion to the job where you ARE expected to handle it (and you will be a lot more privy to what’s going on).

    1. Forrest*

      This is *such* a terrible system. “Ah, you have acquired capital. Have some power over other human beings and a captive audience and also lots of flattery!”

      1. Asenath*

        It’s not just capital. The same sort of thing can happen anywhere that someone has a highly valued and difficult to replace skill, but also bad interpersonal skills. Or in a family where retaining a connection with a person outweighs the difficulties of dealing with them.

      1. OP#4*

        OP 4 here! Some clarification: the board at my job has several seats set aside for directors of the sites we work with. The man I referenced previously was one of these directors, but he has since retired. I realize that the situation Edwina describes is likely true for larger nonprofits, but I checked with a colleague in development this board member has not donated once during his tenure nor introduced any donors to her or the director. He’s hardly Warren Buffett. The board has tried to remove this board member multiple times for his destructive behavior, but there’s no official way they can do so in accordance with the bylaws, so they’re just letting the clock run out.

        And I gotta say it otherwise it will bug me: both my manager (the CEO) and the board president took me aside to thank me for speaking up to this bullying board member. I am very glad that the workplace Edwina describes doesn’t remotely resemble mine and that I am not treated as if I’m disposable.

        1. Guacamole Bob*

          Solidarity on having board members appointed by others who you can’t control. My organization is large enough that I don’t deal with the board directly, but our board is mostly appointed by the leadership of the municipalities we serve. One member resigned in an ethics scandal that involved an FBI raid on his office, we’ve had board members who don’t really believe in our mission, and due to the political nature of it there’s a ton of turnover.

          It sucks.

    2. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Why do you assume OP is “there entirely to take minutes…not the person … hired for … diplomacy skills” ? OP says minute-taking is only one part of their role and the organization is in the process of bringing them on board as permanent staff.
      I disagree with your assessment –and apparently OP’s manager does too, because the board member apologized.

      1. Koalafied*

        Agree with this. I worked at a small org once as a department director. All department directors attended board meetings to report on our department’s work, answer questions, and seek the board’s specialized advice on new ideas we were considering.

        As a small org we had no dedicated admin staff, so it was also part of my job to plan the board meeting (hotel bookings for the members, room reservations for the meeting, catering for breakfast and lunch, dinner reservations in the evening) and to take minutes. I didn’t have a huge speaking role at the meeting but was certainly expected to speak to whenever it was relevant to my work.

        1. OP4*

          OP 4 here! I am realizing now how much about tiny nonprofits is counterintuitive to those who don’t work at one. I take minutes for board meetings and I’m the second most senior staff member (under the CEO). Part of the reason I was asked to do so is that I need to be in the meetings anyways (questions about my program come up a lot and my boss, the CEO, is less familiar with the ins and outs of it) and we’re too small to spare half of our staff every time the board meets. I probably contributed to this confusion by saying that I usually don’t speak at meetings as it’s not my place– by that, I was referring to speaking up when the board is having an active discussion. I am regularly asked to provide information during discussions, I just usually take the back seat while the board deliberates.

          1. Momma Bear*

            I also took minutes as part of my role in a past job but the minutes were just a small part of my duties. Sometimes it is also “need to know” and if someone already in the know is taking the minutes, you aren’t vetting anyone else just for that. At any rate, I might continue to take the minutes (because I’m stubborn that way) but also keep an eye out for anyone else who feels similarly to this outgoing guy or if this outgoing guy will have any lingering influence. If further clarity is needed, that might be good to come from your boss to the board.

  13. Bob*

    LW1: Your boss thinks that abuse (bullying) will keep everyone in line so that they won’t get raises on his watch. And of course he feels empowered by his abuse.
    I highly recommend either reporting the abuse (with documentation) if possible or making plans to leave ASAP.

    1. LW1*

      LW1 here. I am planning to leave–funnily enough, it was hearing that he gives the same abuse to my coworker that finally made me realize this. I don’t know how to report or document this sort of thing without blowing up my relationship with boss and losing him as a reference, and I need the reference.

      1. disconnect*

        This is the sort of thing that I like reading about on glassdoor. Maybe you can’t post anything now, but once you’re safely in your next job, that’s something to keep in mind.

    2. Name goes here*

      And it is possible your company does not negotiate internal offers. Some companies have a no negotiation policy and have strict guidelines in place on promotional increases. The problem is how your manager reacts when asked about a raise or an attempt to negotiate. You are fully allowed to ask and expecting you not to ask is ridiculous. And frankly, he is an arse.

  14. Coverage Associate*

    I am glad I read the “game the system” link. Around here, there’s so many “systems,” it’s hard to know what “gaming” would look like. Like, each of 4 major hospital systems in the county has its own vaccination system. Belonging to or working for or both belonging and working puts you in different “lines,” so you can be in several lines honestly.

    And we’re a suburb, and the neighboring cities are setting up their own “lines.” And the state just set up a second notification system. So there’s lots of “lines” you can sign up for, all honestly, and each moves at a different pace. For example, vaccines are distributed based on number of people a system has to care for, but the HMOs have proportionately fewer older people, so they will vaccinate younger people sooner.

  15. singlemaltgirl*

    re:#1 – there’s nothing to stop you from trying to negotiate a higher salary at any time really. and while abuse is never ok, i do think management absolutely has a right to say ‘this is non negotiable’ or there’s ‘no negotiating room here’ if it’s brought up. and when someone negotiates, i do change my thinking about a person depending on what they’re asking for.

    when i’ve done raises, promotions, and things like that, i’ve set the expectation that i’m going to offer my best and not try to see if i can get you to work for cheaper. i’m also in the non profit world so we often fund salaries with grants and other funding sources that have specific line items they will fund and what those maximums are – for instance, salaries and benefits. there is no point leaving money on the table in those instances b/c we just have to give the money back if we don’t spend it. and when i apply and when i hire, i make sure all my staff make at min. a living wage. and i check in with salary surveys for the industry and check what range we’re in and work towards meeting at least mid range and high range if i have high performers. i know not all npo’s work this way (some do try to work off the backs of people who work for a cause and take advantage of that) and i’ve often cited it as a shitty way of doing biz.

    but i am one of those managers who doesn’t negotiate b/c i usually have no room to negotiate when i make an offer or i’m putting the best offer i want to make for that position. and if i lose a qualified person or if someone expects a compensation level that we can never deliver, i figure they shouldn’t work for me b/c they’re never going to be happy with the comp and succession planning becomes a higher priority for the position that person’s in (if they tip their hand during a raise/promotion discussion).

    i’ve also found, that when people negotiate for higher after understanding how i approach with my best offer, they’re not listening. that’s a problem. or when people negotiate for something that’s way off base against industry norms and/or they’re no where near a star performer which they would know from regular performance management discussions…then that begins to reek of entitlement. it does create an overall picture for me of that employee, their commitment to the org, and their level of satisfaction with the role.

    1. Forrest*

      I was with you up to the last paragraph. I think if you want people to extend you good faith (knowing that many employers will say many of the same things that you say about fairness, comparable roles, the highest they can go etc, and then offer the bottom of the range), you’ve got to extend it to the candidate. I think you’ve got to make space for an employee to respond to your offer with negotiation— like pretty much *every* employment advice tells you to, including Alison! —without attributing nefarious motives or sentiments to it. Even if *your* salaries are scrupulously fair, your employees will go on to work for other people and if you make them feel bad for negotiating, you’re setting them up to accept lower salaries than they deserve at future employers with all the inequity that that brings.

      1. singlemaltgirl*

        oh i wouldn’t make them feel bad for negotiating. there’s plenty of things we take into account that we never say out loud, right? i didn’t mention that i coach many people, particularly women and poc’s (b/c i am one) and i know we tend to be undervalued and not know our worth. i actually have coached them on negotiations and i’ve helped them understand where to find industry salary ranges and compensatory packages. i try to foster an openness with my employees so that we can help them work towards career goals (even if it’s not with us b/c most of the time, i have limited options for advancement) and so on.

        there’s also a time and place. and what judgements i make, in my org, with the culture i’ve helped foster, is something that will impact how i look at employees and what they ask for and more importantly, how they ask.

    2. LW1*

      Wow, you really lost me there. If you truly tell your team members, up front, that you don’t negotiate salaries then I suppose that’s on you. But “that begins to reek of entitlement” for your employee to try to get the salary they think they deserve and shows that they aren’t committed to the org or satisfied with their role, that’s plain bullshit.

      1. Nonprofiteer*

        Seems like the manager/org would have a whiff of entitlement to think they can just tell people their new salary and expect nothing but lifelong gratitude.

    3. consultinerd*

      I appreciate your approach of “I’m going to give my best offer up front” and agree that you’re fully in your rights to say “this is off the table.” But if some staff are still pushing for things you can’t give them (or only can justify/afford for higher performers), consider that while you’re being up-front on your constraints, they may reasonably wonder if you’re being honest with them or if there’s more wiggle room than you’re letting on.

      If they’ve been in environments where managers might say “our grant only allows us to pay you $X” but there was a side pot of money that the highest performers (or managers’ favorites, or the squeakiest wheels) could get topped up from, then they might very reasonably wonder if there’s some wiggle room where none exists. It’s worth considering if people asking for compensation you can’t give them are in fact uncommitted or dissatisfied, or if they are rationally thinking “well, there’s no harm in asking.”

    4. Jennifer Thneed*

      Could you *please* use capital letters to start sentences? It aids in reading comprehension SO much.

  16. Jane Plough*

    OP 1: my company has a policy that all internal promotions must start at the bottom of the salary band. I don’t think it’s a great policy, since unless they joined straight from college, people often have experience from other roles and companies that they bring to bear on the new role (it’s not like they emerge newborn into the higher role, especially if they’ve joined the company in a more junior role than they were qualified for) which is totally ignored by the policy (although I’m sure they do make exceptions as overall they’re pretty reasonable). But its intent is to promote pay equity among people doing the same role, and our salaries are pretty competitive for the work and the area so I can live with it. We are also a nonprofit so we have certain restrictions in salaries (for example having fixed salary bands).
    All that is to say that it’s not unheard of and it can be done for good reasons, but the main issue is that your boss flies off the handle at you for even suggesting a raise. That’s not ok!

    1. Chilipepper*

      My employer does the same, everyone starts at the bottom of the salary band and it makes it hard to hire for most roles above part time assistants. We lose the top 2 or 3 candidates all the time and have to restart the process. Even new college grads with internships/experience expect to be able to negotiate a little above the bottom.

    2. LW1*

      If that is communicated, then I suppose that’s fair. But if you weren’t telling people that they had to start at the bottom of the band and that you’re offering them that salary and it isn’t negotiable, wouldn’t you expect them to negotiate? And you have to make that “no negotiating salary” a hard rule for everyone.

  17. Foreign perspective*

    I think the response to the vaccine question will depend on the country where OP is located. Where I am based, it is illegal to jump the queue for the vaccine and the vaccination centres must keep list of back up people to administer remaining vaccines to prevent them from getting wasted. There are obviously people trying to game the system and sneak in, including various influencers and family members of health care workers. But vaccinating someone who does not qualify for it at this stage is a form of corruption and is prosecuted and various institutions, including employers,also have to report anyone who violates the rules. I agree that the system in the USA is a mess but ppl like Jay are simply selfish and immoral as if offered vaccine, they should pretty much tell their guys to identify and offer vaccine to those who are priority at present. As a line manager, I would certainly consider this a violation of our company values and Jay as someone who deserves to be publically ostracized. I am surprise that Alison (who recommends to ostracize those who refuse to wear mask and follow Covid rules), says this is ok

    1. We all should fight corruption*

      Agree. Yes, the system is a mess but the claim that desperate health care workers are desperately trying to locate an eligible person to give the vaccine to but cannot find anyone so glad to save the vaccine by giving it to their friends, is never the case. It is people who are abusing the gaps in the system. Basically, Jay admitted engaging in corruption that Transparency international defines as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Clearly the case here. Corruption will be eliminated if we all take action to expose it and hold the corrupt to account. Depending on the nature of OP’s business, I would be very concern that Jay is prone to engage in corrupt behaviour, very serious if one works e.g. in public service or financial services, and would definitely report him to HR. All in all, I would not limit this to anger towards the system.

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

        Yeah I alluded to this in a comment above and agree with you.
        From the wording I took it that Jay had skipped the line in some kind of ‘illicit’ way, rather than simply that the vaccination people got to the end of their cohort for that day, had some doses left over so went looking for additional people to receive them. From what OP said Jay said, I didn’t get the impression that that was the case. Although I am not sure what Jay’s motivation is in expressing that he feels guilty about it.

      2. Brett*

        “the claim that desperate health care workers are desperately trying to locate an eligible person to give the vaccine to but cannot find anyone so glad to save the vaccine by giving it to their friends, is never the case”

        You are absolutely wrong here. I used to work for the emergency management agency for a major metro county. They are responsible for logistics of the vaccine doses being offered by the county. Their facebook is a stream of having to desperately drum up people because of missed vaccine appointments, extra doses arriving etc. They are not supposed to be vaccinated yet, nor people in the other agencies in their division, but many of them are because those are the people they can grab right away to get vaccinated.

        This is a daily issue, and it is a real issue, and it is not corruption.

    2. Corruption not ok*

      Also surprised that Alison does not see this as form of corruption. What would you do if Jay told you he “know a guy” to get some other advantages, such as financial or personal? If he is walking on the street and a vaccine is offered him randomly, fair enough. But here, Alison is suggesting that it is ok to tolerate corruption and even take part in it for personal gain, simply because I know a guy…

      1. Forrest*

        I think it’s more likely that “knew a guy” means Jay was contacted by someone saying, “hey, we have X doses that need using up today, can you get down to the community centre in the next hour or so?” rather than he deliberately sought out someone in order to jump the queue and then — felt so guilty he boasted about it at work? That just seems like a implausible set of events.

        1. Corruption not ok*

          Still, it is corruption as I would question why they are not contacting local social care homes or policemen or firemen and etc. Calling someone you know and giving them the advantage to access certain services would not be ok in most countries. Maybe it is ok in the USA but it is corruption, pure and simple. Again, Alison says that those who refuse to comply with covid-19 restrictions, such as wearing masks or social distancing, should be facing consequences, why to give free rein for this kind of behavior. One can be angry with the system but actively participating in gaming the system will only further foster the negative behavior and enable preferential treatment for friends and family rather than those who are supposed to receive it. it

          1. hbc*

            Because right now, the most important thing is that not a single dose gets wasted, not that the person vaccinated today is demonstrably higher-risk than the person who is vaccinated next week. It isn’t ideal, but practically speaking, I’m betting it’s a lot easier for a facility to get slots filled with people text-blasting their contacts rather than working the phone bank through places that then have to go through their rolls to find out who is unvaccinated and available.

            Or Jay and his buddy are slimeballs, but it’s better right now to vaccinate a few slimeballs than to erect barriers that make it difficult for everyone (including the highest risk set) to get the shot.

            1. Foreign perspective*

              I cannot agree with this. If we allow slimeballs to operate this way and fill the slots with their buddies, when will vaccines reach the most in need/high risk/vulnerable? It will only support their dodgy attitudes and preferential treatment and benefits to their friends. Where I am based, there is no evidence that adherence to strict government criteria on vaccine distribution resulted in chaos and vaccine doses getting wasted. Quite the contrary, it led to a far more transparent and equitable system. Still, people try to game it (including a scandal with a retired sports champion), but since there are strict controls, vaccination centers plan better and are more efficient. Those who enabled vaccinations outside of the list had to resign or were fired, including directors of hospitals. Otherwise, why have a system at all? Maybe it is because people in the US have a much higher tolerance for corruption and dodgy practices… If I was OP, I would contact public health authorities and report Jay and his guy and request investigation for possible corruption.

              1. Guacamole Bob*

                If we had a coherent national health care system so it was easy to identify eligibility, if there weren’t huge problems with people being hesitant to get the vaccine (with many more vulnerable people being more hesitant), if we’d had competent federal leadership managing distribution before a week ago, if vaccination programs and signup and eligibility determination weren’t being run separately by every state and county and hospital, then I’d totally agree that we should be hard on slimeballs.

                But we’re all stuck working within the circumstances we’ve got, and the priority for the many hardworking public health folks is getting shots into arms, not ensuring that there’s 100% compliance with the rules of eligibility.

              2. Forrest*

                You may be somewhere with a better-funded health system and data management strategy and more centralisation. If you’re starting from the point where everyone is registered with a local healthcare provider, healthcare providers weren’t overloaded or underfunded pre-Covid, everyone’s health data is up-to-date and held in the same place, and you have strong local teams in place, getting accurate lists of the highly vulnerable and contacting them to give them appointments is pretty straight-forward. If you have a huge country where lots of highly vulnerable people are poor, find it hard to travel, are less likely to be registered with healthcare providers and you have a very fractured system where people’s data is held in lots of different places, doing people in strict order of vulnerability is going to enormously delay the rollout.

                1. Washi*

                  Yeah, these systems are totally decentralized and it’s a mess. One of my vaccine-eligible patients has “pre-registered” in 3 different places for a vaccine. But at the same time, she’s elderly, doesn’t drive, and can’t magically appear at a hospital within 30-60 minutes even if a place with extra doses was able to contact her.

                2. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

                  I’m not sure I WANT everyone’s health data held in a central location. Actually, it sounds like a really bad idea. There would be sure to be security issues and it would probably get stolen.

                  Also, giving the government my info without a really good reason, even without security concerns, gives me the heebie-jeebies. And no, expediting the vaccine rollout is not a good reason, especially because it doesn’t benefit me personally. I’m at the back of the line, and rightfully so, but I shouldn’t have to give up my privacy to be there.

                3. Forrest*

                  Elspeth, there are periodically big conversations about whether NHS data should be held centrally or locally, and these are exactly the issues, plus whether it can be used for research purposes, and if so whether that includes private commercial research or just government-funded health research. And yeah, the balance between privacy, security and ease of management of things like vaccine rollout in the (very unlikely! but unfortunately not impossible!) global pandemic are exactly the trade-offs people talk about.

                4. Forrest*

                  Heather, do you know where has centralised health records? As far as I know in the UK everything is held at trust/ GP level— I know they repeatedly talk about having a centralised data system, but I don’t think it’s been done. Everything I can find about my health record says it’s held by my GP and that they’re the data controller.

              3. Natalie*

                Our healthcare system is not organized the same way yours clearly is. It’s like trying to untie a dozen threads tangled together, every move you make pulls 3 threads around that you didn’t even know were connected. Maybe it will get more organized, but that was definitely never ever ever ever going to happen during a presidential administration that was opposed to facts, expertise, and government on principle.

                It’s nice to say extra doses shouldn’t be discarded or given to the first person who shows up. But that’s what’s happening right now, and until there’s an actually different system in place, eschewing it because it makes you feel morally superior is stupid.

              4. A Teacher*

                Whoa. Maybe check yourself a little, nothing in the origial post suggest that Jay is a “slimeball.” He got a vaccine sooner than someone else. My sister is in healthcare and they have been told to submit family member’s names so that if someone no shows for a dose it isn’t wasted. I’m going to bet that’s how Jay got it. A local Hyvee is also offering 96 vaccines a day–regardless of where you fall on the list. You have to vigilant about watching the page to get on the list for that day.

                Public ostracism? That’s way over the top and would make it hard to work for someone that does that.

              5. Double A*

                It sounds like you’re not in the US, but you do sound like US conservatives who have the attitude that it’s better that 10 children be denied food benefits than one able-bodied adult get help that they don’t “deserve.” Then they set up complex, underfunded, stingy, and overly bureaucratic systems to “prevent cheating,” but all it really does is mean more people don’t get what they need to be healthy. Hungry kids don’t help anyone. A slower vaccine roll out doesn’t help anyone.

                Honestly your attitude is infuriating and unrealistic in the real world. It will prolong this pandemic and lead to more death. We’re already having issues with people refusing to get the vaccine; we don’t need to set up additional barriers and scare people that they could be prosecuted for getting vaccinated a few months before maybe they “should.”

                Large-scale corruption; theft of vaccine; people who engage in harassment or active cheating to cut the line, fine. But people who get into our messy system at maybe the less than hypothetical time? No. Frankly I’m grateful they’re getting vaccinated.

                1. Anticorruption*

                  I am based in a large/major EU country in Scandinavia. My point is that the system here is far from overly bureaucratic and complex. There is a clear system of who can be vaccinated and when, the hospitals/vaccination centres are severely fined and face serious consequences if they do not follow this system to the letter. There have been people trying to game the system (under the pretense of “preventing vaccines to get spoilt”) but in all cases, it was actually other employers of vaccination centres that leaked the info about this to the press. So ppl like the guy who Jay knows are fully aware that they would be fired and the hospital getting over 10k fine, they will make sure to have other back up options than their friends. Again, it is about the problem of the system but in the same way, we prosecute not only those who take bribes or take advantage of their position, but also those who offer bribes or benefit. No wonder the USA is such a mess if people do not understand these basics.

            2. Southern academic*

              This is really the key thing. If we design the system tight enough that no slimeballs, no one undeserving, can get the vaccine, then we’ve also designed the system so tight that a lot of deserving people will struggle to get an appointment or be unable to. Make the system loose enough that a few slimeballs get thru, and it will be easier for everyone to get an appointment.

              1. Southern academic*

                I’ll also say that the distribution schedules right now are screwed up in ways that cut off people who need doses. Many of my colleagues in higher ed are required to teach F2F but almost no states include college educators in the schedule, only K12 (who should of course also be eligible). Others are only lining up people by age and ignoring preexisting conditions, which is ableist. The system sucks in that it often results in people NOT getting vaccines as getting them. Whether Jay is a slimeball or not, anybody getting a vaccine brings us one step closer to the end of this.

                1. Elizabeth*

                  Including preexisting conditions would prioritize people with enough health access to have easily documented conditions. It would be a less fair policy overall IMO (in the context of the US with its patchwork and unequal medical system).

              2. Cat Tree*

                Exactly! I’ve heard suggestions that people giving vaccines should verify eligibility for everyone, which sounds nice on paper. But I’m eligible due to pregnancy, without looking pregnant yet (or rather, my body shape always looks a little pregnant and I don’t look any more pregnant than I usually do). I’m not sure I could conclusively prove it. Sure, I have ultrasound pictures but they aren’t date-stamped and could be from years ago. Maybe I could log onto my doctor’s patient portal and show them my scheduled OB appointments. I guess I could get a signed note from my doctor, but going to an additional place where I could potentially be exposed just to pick up a note seems counter productive.

                And the thing about slimeballs is that they get critical medical care just like everyone else (as they should). So that slimeball jumping the line at least won’t be taking up a ventilator in the ICU later. The reality is that many hospitals are currently at capacity, so at least that vaccinated slimeball won’t be crammed in there too.

              3. judyjudyjudy*

                I agree with you, Southern academic. An analogous situation is the application for SNAP benefits (for non-US citizens, that is a debit card for buying food for low income people). The application is very long and asks an absurd level of detail about your finances, because the government agency running the program is concerned about the applicant proving they are actually poor enough to qualify — they want to deny benefits to fakers but it is so complicated to apply that they are very likely denying service to people who need SNAP benefits, to feed themselves and their families.
                I hope in 2021 we can all find more compassion, and as many people as possible can be vaccinated against COVID-19. No doses should go to waste, just to spite a few line jumpers.

              4. Another European*

                I also agree with Anticorruption and Foreign Perspective and find the attitudes of ppl in the USA to this issue extremely problematic and supportive of corrupt and dodgy practices. I am also based in the EU country and the system is VERY strict but unlike what is alleged here, it actually works very well and provides far more equitable results for everyone. The Covid-19 measures are not designed to protect the lives of selected few who “know the guy” but for the benefit of the community and not to overwhelm the health care system. The reason why high risk and higher age groups are vaccinated first is for this very reason – because the likelihood of severe Covid-19 symptoms is higher. There was a case like Jay when a famous tennis player and her husband were vaccinated. The person who vaccinated them got fired, the deputy health minister in charge of vaccination had to resign, the tennis player (also famous influencer) was dropped by all advertisers immediately… Nobody would dream to associate her with their products now. There is ZERO evidence that “lots of deserving people struggle to get an appointment or are unable to”. The EXACT opposite, the scandal led to improved transparency of the vaccination system and vaccine distribution. Same in the neighboring country – one vaccine center director allowed vaccination for friends and families of employers, immediately fired. Honestly, I still cannot get my head around that Jay case was not a major scandal. Here, it would be all over the news.
                Moreover, Jay will need the second jab in due course, so surely, he is registered in some system so there should definitely be an oversight over it.
                If I were the LW, I would
                1. Start campaigning for a better and more equitable system – write about this chaos and lack of integrity on the system on social media, write to your city and state reps, join some campaign for the improvement of the system
                2. Try getting more publicity about these dodgy practices, e.g. to the media or similar. More light is shed on this chaos, better. Trust me, it worked here in a major way.
                3. Re Jay: be concerned about his lack of integrity and if there is any integrity issue in the office, mark this as a pattern.

          2. Forrest*

            I don’t get what you think the system is! If the system is, “we want highest priority people to get the vaccine; where that’s not logistically possible, we want to make sure *someone* gets the vaccine, regardless of where they are in the line”, then Jay isn’t “gaming the system”, he’s doing exactly what the system says should happen.

            If Jay lied, misrepresented himself, paid someone off or did something else unethical to get the vaccine, then yeah, that’s corruption. But if all he did is turn up when someone with the authority to make the decision said, “Right, everyone ring your mates and tell them we’ve doses going spare if they can get here before 6pm”, that’s not corruption. It’s a sensible response to a failure mode that ensures vaccine doses don’t get wasted.

          3. Washi*

            In my county, hospitals with extra doses are doing both. I work in healthcare and have the recipient of several desperate emails sent out at like 4:30 pm saying “we have extra doses but you have to come before 5:30!” There will often be situations where you don’t have enough people who can drop everything and come at that exact moment (especially if you’re talking about firefighters, or the very elderly!) and I’m glad that at least the vaccine isn’t just being thrown in the garbage. I wouldn’t call it corruption so much as a side effect of a messy system + some privilege and chance. Corruption to me implies some kind of conspiracy, and I don’t think that’s what’s happening for the most part.

          4. Student*

            In your ethical calculus, you have given more weight to the “cutting in line” part if the equation than the ” prevent unneccesary deaths” part of the equation.

            I respectfully disagree with your values. I don’t like it when someone hops the line. I think it’s much more important to prevent unnecessary deaths than to prevent a mild amount of line-hopping.

            You’re making a lot of assumptions about how “easy” it is to get people who are closer to the front of the line to use up the vaccine doses that may otherwise get trashed. It’s a logistics nightmare. Do you really think most first responder jobs let then just dash away, with no notice, for an hour, because there’s a vaccine dose about to go to waste on the other side of town? My job wouldn’t tolerate that, and I’m just a paper-pusher rather than the person responsible for keeping homes from burning down.

        2. The Other Dawn*

          OP said in her post, and also commented, that he got appointment, which to me means it’s not a case of a potentially wasted dose.

        3. Chilipepper*

          Thats not what OP described. Jay got an appointment ahead of time, he did not get a last minute call for a vaccine that would otherwise go unused.

          1. Forrest*

            I don’t think that’s clear? “Jay managed to get a vaccine appointment” is interchangeable with “Jay managed to get a vaccine slot” in my dialect. It doesn’t necessarily mean it was ahead of time or that there was anything underhand about it.

    3. Forrest*

      The scandal here in the UK is that medical professionals have been told to bin unused vaccines at the end of the day rather than give it to people who aren’t officially “next in line”. The virus has an incredibly short shelf-life, and it’s not logistically possible to have the perfect amount of vaccines for the number of people who turn up, so there will be a mismatch. Your options are a) have a system which can identify vulnerable and elderly people who are next-in-line, nearby, and able to come at short notice; b) vaccinate people who are nearby and able to come at short notice regardless of where they are in “the line”; or c) bin the vaccine.

      A) would obviously be the ideal, but it’s not feasible for all sorts of reasons: at this stage, the people who are most likely to benefit are very likely to to be the people who can’t come on short notice or turn up on the off-chance there *might* be a spare does available. So it makes way more sense to me to go with B). Immunity is a community effort, not an individual one. The more people who are immune, the less likely the most vulnerable are to encounter the virus. So if the vaccine can go to someone who is abled, can travel easily and who is out and about, that’s *way* better than it going in the bin.

      1. Buni*

        I got mine through a combination of A&B – yes I got a phone call from someone I knew who happened to be volunteering at a local clinic, but I did still have to turn up clutching my ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ letter from the NHS to prove I was worthy.

        As it turned out I skipped the line by 36hrs – I got the jab last thing Sunday evening, in the last hour of the clinic’s 4-day run when presumably they were looking at leftovers, and then I got my ‘official’ invitation first thing Tuesday morning. I agree that the vulnerable should be prioritised (which…I am, though I rarely think of myself as such) but I’m also a huge believer in Herd Immunity, which is what we’re ultimately aiming for.

    4. Roscoe*

      I just don’t see it as selfish and immoral. The more people who are vaccinated, the better. That is kind of how it works. I don’t think people should feel bad unless they got it actually illegally. But this distribution system in the US is such a mess, that I just see it as “if you are offered it, take it”.

      I’m in pretty good health and not high risk. I’m not going to feel one bit of guilt if I’m somehow offered it early and I take it.

    5. anonarama*

      In a messy public health system like the one the US has, a person vaccinated now means there is one less person our public health system needs to figure out how to vaccinate later. It is a net good. Vaccines are being thrown away because of punitive regulation put in place so no one cuts in line. Well that vaccine is more valuable in some randos arm than it is in the garbage. Save your scorn for anti-vaxxers

  18. Anonymous4this*

    I think jay is at a good age for the vaccine in his 50’s. I received my vaccines (2 dose) at work because I qualified under health care and I work with Covid and have been exposed all year and I’m 26. I think Jay can definitely benefit from this vaccine. Vaccines are coming and they are coming soon. Who knows maybe immune compromised will be a new category soon. They want to vaccinate people as soon as possible and as soon as there are plenty doses. Help is coming.

    1. londonedit*

      Yes, in the UK they’re vaccinating over-80s first, and then the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ group (mainly immune-compromised or people with health conditions that put them at higher risk of death from Covid) is in the same group as the over-70s, so they’re high up the list and are already starting to be vaccinated in areas where the over-80s and over-75s have already been done. I can see how it would be frustrating to see younger/healthier people receive a vaccine when you have loved ones who are more vulnerable who haven’t been vaccinated, but in the grand scheme of things the more people who can be vaccinated, the more immunity there will be in the community and with any luck the quicker we can start to see the back of this thing.

    2. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

      It’s also plausible that Jay has some conditions that would render him more vulnerable, but he’s chosen not to share those with his employer.

      1. Myrin*

        Why would he (out of the blue, it seems) call attention to the fact that he got an appointment at all, then, and especially the fact that he feels guilty about it?

        1. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

          I don’t know — neither of us know. I’ve already gotten a quick email from someone letting me know they had to miss a meeting b/c they were offered a last-minute COVID slot. That didn’t feel out of the blue.

          I’ve had the first dose of the vaccine — I am high-risk AND I work within the NHS, so not gaming the system at all — but I still feel a bit guilty. It’s been a taxing year and the vaccination rollout feels emotionally fraught.

          To be clear: I’m not saying people are wrong to doubt Jay, but I still agree with Alison’s advice….there’s no meaningful action that OP can take here.

          1. A pinch of salt*

            OP #3: My husband and I met at work and were both there until October this year. My mom has reminded me of the “you could both be laid off” for yyeeeaaarssss but never listened. In January last year our company started layoffs unrelated to COVID and then had a couple more rounds due to COVID. We both luckily kept our jobs (I left for something better in October 2020), but let me tell you…it was terrifying to think about. Not saying “don’t do it” but definitely saying “make sure you account for the possibility in your savings”.

            1. Guacamole Bob*

              Especially since it’s a startup! If you’re in totally unrelated departments of a company with thousands of employees, that’s one thing, but in the same company of 110 people the risk is much higher.

            2. Colette*

              Yeah, I once worked at a very large company that started doing layoffs (as they spiraled into bankruptcy) and there were definitely couples who both got laid off. A lot of people had their retirement accounts in company stock, too, so that made it even worse.

            3. OP#3*

              OP here. My husband (and I) are generally very risk averse but all the specific details here make this a manageable situation—and actually preferable to his current situation. It’s also a long shot that he will even be hired so it’s probably all for naught.

          2. OP2 Jays Boss*

            Thank you for all the comments. I didn’t want any action taken against Jay. I just wanted a constructive way to work through my anger towards what happened. He didn’t need to tell me any of the information. But he did and here I am.

        2. Colette*

          If I got an appointment tomorrow, I’d feel guilty, even if I were eligible for it, because I work from home and don’t have to leave the house often. It may be that he gamed the system – but it may be that he feels guilty even though he did nothing wrong.

        3. Chilipepper*

          My grandboss did exactly that! She told a couple of us out of the blue when she stopped by to check on some new equipment. She wanted to tell us she was nervous about getting it. She also told us she got it through her doctor (doc is in our city, appt is at a clinic in another city) bc she is high risk. But high risk ppl are not eligible in our area, just ppl over a certain age.

        4. A Teacher*

          Because people are excited to have a life saving vaccine? That is why my friends have posted it all over social media.

          1. Myrin*

            It doesn’t come across from the OP that he talked to her about this excitedly but rather like he confessed to something because he felt guilty about it.

            1. A Teacher*

              That’s not clear to me–I will tell you that at my work people have been talking about how they are so glad they have it. A lot. But we are adults that don’t feel vitriol toward someone getting a vaccine that may save a life

  19. General von Klinkerhoffen*

    People’s spot in the vaccine line (place in the queue) often depends on medical status they aren’t obliged to disclose. I didn’t realise a friend had had a total splenectomy until he said that was why he’d had the vaccine – he’s otherwise 30 years too young to qualify.

    It could well be that LW2 knows Jay well enough to know he has no relevant conditions, but for every Jay there’s someone who doesn’t owe you their full medical history and would say “I know a guy” to avoid the detail that explains that “the guy” is their cardiologist.

    Also I want as many people vaccinated as possible, and not a drop of vaccine wasted, so this doesn’t bother me particularly.

    1. Not Australian*

      “there’s someone who doesn’t owe you their full medical history and would say “I know a guy” to avoid the detail that explains that “the guy” is their cardiologist”

      A very humane and sensible point to make, and thank you for making it. Unfortunately any situation like this brings out a lot of finger-pointing and unwarranted policing of other people’s lives, when IMHO *every* person who gets the vaccine is another little victory over the darned infection – and what we should really be considering is that every individual vaccinated adds to the growing percentage of the population who will be much less at risk in the future. Yes, the aim is to be 100% safe – but does it really matter how we get there?

      1. Roscoe*

        Your last sentence hits it for me.

        In some of these cases, we are letting perfect be the enemy of good. In an ideal world, yes, the most vulnerable would be first and it would be great. In reality, just getting as many does out as fast as possible is best case scenario right now. Especially with every state doing it differently. Some place, like Florida, its a free for all. Other places, its just a mess.

      2. Cat Tree*

        Yes, and at the very least, every person who gets that vaccine (well, 95% of them) means one less person in a hospital ICU using a ventilator due to COVID. That means a little breathing room for healthcare practitioners and more hospital capacity for everything else.

        Contagious diseases don’t care about morality or line jumping. Every vaccine benefits everyone in society.

      3. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

        Definitely agree with your last line. You could even make an argument that it’s better to get people who are more prone to shirking the rules vaccinated ASAP, because they are more likely to take risky actions that can spread the virus more widely, assuming that vaccination at least reduces transmission.

        1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

          Very good point. If they bend COVID rule A, how many other COVID rules are they happy bending?

    2. londonedit*

      Yes, absolutely. My sister is in her mid-30s, and to all intents and purposes looks like a perfectly healthy woman living a perfectly normal life. However she has a serious chronic health condition, takes an immune-suppressant drug to manage that condition, and is on the NHS ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ list, which means she was shielding for most of last year and is now shielding again during the current lockdown. Without a vaccine it’s extremely unadvisable for her to leave the house. I’d hate to think people would be angry if they saw her queuing up to be vaccinated along with all the 70-year-olds (but sadly I think some people would be – there’s plenty of ‘well what’s wrong with HER? She doesn’t look ill’ sentiment about at the best of times).

      1. UKDancer*

        Yes one of my colleagues looks like a young man in his twenties, healthy and a marathon runner who works out a lot. He had a kidney transplant 3 years earlier so he’s now having to take immuno-suppressant medication all his life and has been shielding during lockdown. Fortunately he’s due to get the vaccine shortly.

        You don’t know what medical reasons people might have for getting the vaccine even when they look healthy. It’s important not to judge people on appearances.

    3. Harper the Other One*

      Yes, my boss is in the same exact same place – and because of the condition that cost her spleen, she’s at very high risk for COVID and has had an absolutely awful year because she has to be so, so careful. But if you didn’t know that, you’d see an apparently healthy 40-year-old whose social media used to be full of details from her long distance runs, bikes, and cross country skis, getting the vaccine before “at risk” people.

    4. Guacamole Bob*

      Yes, in my father’s case “the guy” is “the vaccination program manager at the VA” because the VA got to my father’s category before the general population signup in their state. (He’s 74 and seriously immune compromised and the general program was only vaccinating 75+, so it’s not the kind of “line jumping” that will raise a lot of eyebrows).

      It’s good to keep in mind that people might be being vague or private and not actually skipping the line.

    5. Clisby*

      Agreed. And I don’t know how LW can be 100% sure Jay has no underlying conditions. I retired at 62, and never in my life had a boss who could plausibly claim to be 100% sure about my medical history.

    6. anonymousalligator*

      This was the point I was going to make. I am outwardly very healthy, in my 30s, and seemingly low risk for COVID, but I have an underlying health condition and take an immunosuppressing medication that will bump me up to the “people with comorbidities tier.” (Which hasn’t opened up yet in my state, but should open in the next few months). I also live with a front line health care worker who treats COVID patients (who is now vaccinated but tbd on whether he can transmit it).

      This means I’ll end up going ahead of a lot of my bosses. I’m not planning on telling anyone when I do get the vaccine, unless it becomes directly relevant to my work, because I don’t want to have to justify my spot in line.

  20. JC*

    I am going to provide a different perspective on Jay. LW#2 can’t know that Jay is in “perfect health.”

    I have a serious chronic disease that I do not disclose to my colleagues because it comes with a stigma that would affect my career. In fact, I have joked along with colleagues when it comes up that we’re last on the list since we are healthy adults. The reality is that I am in the next batch to be vaccinated in my state and it should happen within a few weeks.

    Regardless, Jay should have kept his mouth shut that he got the vaccine (as I will), but I wanted to provide another perspective on what may be happening with him because he may not deserve vitriol.

    1. A Teacher*

      Most of my friends, albeit a lot are in Healthcare or our teachers, we are posting our stickers and our card showing that we got it because we’re excited about it. It is never anybody else’s job to manage your emotions. This vaccine is a lifesaver and I’m sure a lot of people are talking about it because they know the importance of the vaccine. The fact that someone has such a vitriol for somebody that took a life-saving vaccine says a lot to me but it’s not her employee’s job to manage her emotions.

      1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

        A high school classmate of mine posted her sticker on LinkedIn. She works in the finance department of the local hospital system that has the ultra-cold freezer for our area, and the hospital system is making the vaccine available to all its employees, no matter what their role is.

        On the one hand, this means she got her vaccine ahead of my parents (in their early 70’s). On the other hand, she’s one less person to potentially overload an already overloaded healthcare system if she gets exposed. And tangentially, it’s entirely possible that the hospital system has decided that they’ll offer the vaccinations to their non-patient-facing employees as a way of ensuring that none of the doses go to waste. (Basically, using their own employees as the call-list for extra doses as mentioned by other posters.) I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s an overall positive decision, no matter how weird I may have felt when I first saw her sticker.

        1. Forrest*

          There’s also almost inevitably some health-professional / admin-profession interface, even if it’s just catching the same bus to work.

      2. OP2 Jays Boss*

        What?! Vitriol? My word. I am angry for the that he shared the non-pertinent info. Getting a slot under false pretenses and telling me about it while knowing my situation is what upset me. I’m not mad that he will get the vaccine. I like this guy! Sheesh.

      3. EchoGirl*

        My brother actually posted a picture of himself getting the vaccine. Apparently enough people are doing this that the nurses “know the drill” (his words, not mine). In his case it’s above-board because he’s a teacher, but there are some people out there who still think teachers shouldn’t get vaccinated if schools aren’t reopening (never mind that it’s not fully effective until after the second dose, and the schools have no way to know now what they’re going to be doing in six weeks), so…

    2. Laura H.*

      Another angle to consider: Jay may have no clue where he fell in the process and assumed he’d be in the last tier. The roll-out feels cat-herdy, and when not absolutely certain, it’s less stressful to assume you’re at the bottom of the list versus the top- and a pleasant surprise if “hey you actually can get it now”.

      I’m 30, in good general health for me- so I assume I’ll be in that last tier, but if I have a chance given me, I’m taking that vaccine. No guilt, no shame, but I also will likely not broadcast it.

      OP, be gentle with yourself, be courteous to Jay, and find a healthy way to keep your frustration in check, and from greatly affecting others.

      1. Sylvan*

        The roll-out where I live is continuously changing, too. Some people are being bumped closer to the front of the line who, a few weeks ago, looked like they would be waiting for months. Things are going faster than expected. If someone gets a chance to be vaccinated earlier than expected, good for them.

    3. Sylvan*

      +1 for Jay’s situation. Maybe he has a reason to get the vaccine early.

      I’m last on the list and pretty happy for anyone to be vaccinated. :)

    4. Dust Bunny*

      I am well under 65 and have no preexisting conditions but I live with my parents, who qualify on both counts. If I get a chance to get the vaccine sooner rather than later–I work in a healthcare-adjacent field so this would be unlikely but not impossible–you’d better believe I’m going to take it.

    5. OP2 Jays Boss*

      my issues isn’t that he’s getting a vaccine. It’s that he did it under a false pretense and then told me all about it. And my query to Alison was how to move past my feelings (not police his medical info, report him, etc). I genuinely LIKE this guy. I’m just wrestling with these conflicting feelings. I should have been more clear in my original question – I’m learning that!

      1. Double A*

        Did he say he actually did it under false pretenses? Like, he lied about something do it? What does “know a guy” even mean? Your post sort of hand-waved over the “how,” but maybe there were details you left out.

        If you can reframe it to be grateful that he is contributing to our journey towards herd immunity, maybe you can feel better about it. Imagine if he had told you he WOULDN’T be getting the vaccine period because he doesn’t trust it or whatever? How would you feel about that?

        1. OP2 Jays Boss*

          I didn’t want to go into specifics (worried about saying too much but then that doesn’t give a clear view of the situation. I should have taken more time to write it out).

          I wouldn’t say he lied but he definitely used a personal (non medical connection) favor to get in the vaccine door and then didn’t correct a false assumption made by a 3rd party.

          I think it comes down to: I have to treat it like anything else – assess the damage (none – only my brain going bonkers) and realize that people don’t make great decisions even if you hold them in high regard. This pandemic is making us all a little crazy and I should just be happy that a fantastic employee gets vaccinated.

          1. MCMonkeybean*

            I think you should look at it as even more than just “not harmful” to you–if you interact with Jay at work than it is actively helpful to you! It is highly unlikely that whatever dose Jay ends up getting would have otherwise gone to your husband, and if Jay gets vaccinated that will likely decrease the chance of him getting sick and infecting you who would then take it home to your husband. The more people around you that are vaccinated the better!

            I get that it’s frustrating, but this whole thing is going to be frustrating for pretty much everyone when we have millions of people who need it ASAP and a supply that just cannot possibly keep up. Of course you would prefer that your husband get the vaccine, but truly every additional person that gets vaccinated helps and even more so if they are people you have to deal with in person.

        2. MCMonkeybean*

          Yeah, my boss mentioned offhand in a meeting yesterday that she doesn’t plan to get the vaccine and I was extra glad to be working from home in that moment so she couldn’t see the face I made.

  21. I'm just here for the cats*

    I understand the feeling of guilt for the vaccine. I work for a counseling center in a university as front desk. We were considered part of the 1a group and I was able to get my vaccines. The counselors only come in once per week and have little to no client contact while the front desk is there all week and have more people contact. I was super glad that I was able to get my vaccine but feel guilty because there are others in my family who need it more.

  22. Anona*

    As Alison mentioned I’d be really leery of both me and my spouse working for the same company, especially a startup. People do it, but you mentioned that it’s a semi niche field- if you both lost your jobs, do you think you’d both be able to find new ones in this field?

    I’m pretty risk averse, so this may not bother you as much! But it’s the first place my mind went.

    1. Anona*

      And full disclosure, my husband works in a field that’s pretty dependent on economic development. In the 2008 recession there were dramatic layoffs. I have a public sector job, partly to mitigate our risk if that happens again.
      We do have a few sets of friends who work at the same company as their spouses, and we’ve occasionally talked about how we don’t think it’s a good idea, layoff wise.

      1. OP#3*

        OP here. My husband is very risk averse and the details of this situation make it a reasonable situation. I manage regulatory affairs in a highly regulated market (I certainly could be laid off but I would be near the end of it and probably see it coming—employees have a shared ownership stake and management is very transparent with how things are financially). The position would allow my husband to transfer into a position he’s more interested in and that isn’t industry specific so it would be valuable experience for him. There is also a huge work life balance/cost-benefit we have to consider. But—it’s unlikely he will be hired so it probably won’t matter much anyway.

        1. OP#3*

          Also I should clarify it’s a niche product in a very large field—which is where my expertise are. I also still consult for a previous employer and would likely to be able to find work within my field in the event I needed to.

  23. IndustriousLabRat*

    LW#5: It is possible that the competitor/interviewer (competiviewer?) situation is the company clumsily trying to fill two positions in a reshuffling of the org chart that they themselves haven’t quite planned out entirely yet? For example, there’s the position you’re applying for. Maybe the previous person had too much on their plate and the organization realized that the position needs to be split, and the competiviewer would be the natural choice for half of that job, and they’re simply working out which half. That would be the kindest explanation…

    That being said, it’s a bit of a red flag about their organizational practices if they’re going about it in such a throw-some-spaghetti-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks manner. If the above scenario is true, their approach is really poorly planned.

    If the scenario is NOT true, it makes the situation even weirder- one would hope that they would at LEAST explain the context of why the competiviewer needs to be there! Or, quite pointedly, NOT: If that person HAD to be on the interview panel (if you get the job, you’ll be working closely with them as they do their work in their current job), why in the fluff would they TELL you “oh, your competition has some questions for you!” That seems unnecessarily head-games-y to me.

    Super weird… keep an eye out for other oddities of process! But either way, good luck in the job search process and I hope you find something great, and minimally (or at least harmlessly) weird! ;)

  24. LGC*

    LW4: …he certainly sent you an email. I don’t know if I’d call it an apology, though! Maybe I’m extremely cranky, but it sounds like a “sorry that you were offended” message.

    I think another factor is…exactly how much longer does his term last, and is it likely to be renewed? From what little you’ve said, he seems like the kind of guy that won’t change unless he suffers severe consequences (read: way more than a sternly worded email from a program manager setting him straight), so even if you get the green light, all that’ll probably happen is that you get the satisfaction of telling him off.

    1. LGC*

      But to add on, especially if he’s leaving the board soon, I’d just wait him out.

      Finally, like…I’m a bit unclear, did he direct his rant at you? Initially, I read your letter as if he had, but looking at it again, it seems like he was ranting about your project. It might be helpful to consider him a thoughtless jerk rather than a malicious jerk. Especially if the rest of the board doesn’t share his view.

  25. ShortT*

    Jumping JC on a pogo stick, since the vaccine rollout is a hot mess, how does gaming the system even look?

    I’m a teacher in MA. I still waiting to be vaccinated. An acquaintance of mine, who wouldn’t have been vaccinated until phase three, if the rollout were such a craptastic performance, also got vaccinated because he “knows a guy.” That “guy” called my acquaintance and said that several doses would have to be tossed at the end of that day and asked him if he’d be willing to take one, so that it wouldn’t be wasted, and set up an “appointment” for that afternoon. There was no gaming of any system. He just happened to know someone I don’t. Do I wish that I were vaccinated? Sure. Do I wish that my almost-eighty-year-old mother were vaccinated? Absolutely! Do I resent the man? Absolutely not. His having an opportunity that I don’t has nothing to do with me. I’m happy that he took advantage of an opportunity and didn’t allow a misguided sense of guilt to take hold.

    Don’t get angry at your employee for being vaccinated when neither you nor your spouse has received a vaccine. He wasn’t taking anything away from either of you.

    This kind of attitude reminds me way too much of a commenter a few years ago who had a client who resented her having having several “Kate Spade” bags and appearing to make a lot of money.

    1. MMMMmmmmmmmMMM*

      As I posted below, the same happened with my stepfather! I do wish hospitals would have a “will call” list set up. I’d absolutely leave in the middle of my shift if it meant doses weren’t wasted.

    2. LGC*

      I mean, I get it. A lot of people are (rightfully) mad that – to be US-specific – people and places that have sacrificed a lot are still being asked to sacrifice while others just go around like we’re not in the middle of a crisis we haven’t faced for a century. At times, I’m mad myself.

      So I have compassion for LW3’s anger. It’s just misplaced, to a degree. (Like, Jay could be one of those vaccine shoppers. Or he could have just gotten a spare dose, as noted.)

    3. Lucky*

      I live in the Seattle area. A local not-for-profit hospital offered vaccine spots to individuals who had donated $10K or more in their last fundraising campaign. Another non-profit hospital’s senior leadership is alleged to have given appointment codes out to their friends and relatives. That’s gaming the system.

      I’m at fairly high risk of dying if I get the virus. If I were offered a spot in line now, a month or two before the vaccine will be available to people in my age and risk group, I would take it in a hot second. But unlike Jay I would keep my mouth shut.

  26. Lyudie*

    “I would like his phone number so I can leave him an irate voicemail.”

    Can I just say I needed this laugh first thing this morning. Also the boss in #1 is horrible and a tongue lashing from Alison is the least of what he needs.

    1. No Sleep Till Hippo*

      Fully agree! My day has already been very much improved just by imagining the kind of irate voicemail Alison might leave. She truly has a gift with words :)

  27. Lilyofthefield*

    No one is the health care police, why do we think that suddenly that is an acceptable thing? All we have is what few details the OP gave, and even they only know what Jay told them. I agree Jay probably should have kept quiet about his vaccination, but he should not have to do so. It’s a very sad commentary that this should even be necessary. How people manage their healthcare is no one else’s business. I remember a number of years ago, there was a dearth of flu vaccines, because whoever makes the decision on the best guess on which flu mutation would be prevalent that year guessed wrong, so there were not enough flu vaccines available, and no one was angry at people who did manage to get the flu vaccine that year. I think if anyone manages to get a vaccine of any kind, then good for them! They are helping to stop the spread of disease. No one died and elected any one of us the healthcare police.

    1. OP2 Jays Boss*

      I’m not policing his healthcare! He literally told me how he got his appointment (and it was under false pretenses) and then felt bad (because of people like my spouse) so he confessed what he did to me. It made me angry and I’m looking for ways to get past it. That is why I wrote in for advice. I should have worded it more succinctly. I just wanted help on moving past what I’m feeling – not a pick-apart of what Jay’s medical condition is or isn’t….

      1. Guacamole Bob*

        OP2 I’d have a really hard time getting past this, too. Someone straight-up lying (that’s what “false pretenses” means, right?) about something like this would make me question their overall judgment.

      2. Myrin*

        For what it’s worth, OP, I think you worded your letter plenty succinctly – if anything, it might’ve been too succinct because people on this board like details and regularly bring up details that haven’t been provided from the get-go in the form of “But what if X?” (and that is for better or worse, really – sometimes it turns out that X was a huge factor and having it brought up helped an OP see things from a totally different angle, sometimes X wasn’t relevant at all and an OP was left with frustatedly reading 200 comments which aren’t relevant to their situation). I don’t know if you’re a regular reader/commenter and already know all that but if not, that might be some helpful little background information on AAM’s “atmosphere”.

        But really, don’t beat yourself up over your wording. You literally said “How can I get over this? I’m envious, disgusted, and pissed off. Not a good way to be when trying to manage him.” – I personally think that made it plenty clear that you’re looking for ways to get past these feelings.

        As far as an answer for that goes, I have some vague ideas which might be helpful for you:

        I think that first and foremost, it’s important for you to internalise that you’re allowed to be angry and disugsted and upset. This is in your head and you’re allowed to have thoughts in your head which you wouldn’t necessarily air to everyone around you. It’s just important that you don’t let yourself act on those thoughts towards Jay, but I have a feeling you’ve got that down already.

        You may simply need to give it time. As in, you might just have to stew in these feelings for a while and once enough time has passed, they will go away on their own (you might know if this is something that tends to work for you or if you’re more someone for whom more time actually makes it worse).

        Or maybe the thought of his guilt may actually help you. If he feels genuinely guilty, that means he knows he did something wrong and hopefully learned from it. He might come out of this a more integer person which might be positive in both your personal and professional relationship.

        Or maybe it helps to imagine that he was scared and panicked and acted out of those feelings. Doesn’t matter if that’s actually true (although that would of course be more authentic!) but it might help morph your feelings into ones of sympathy instead of rage.

        I would also suggest talking through all of this with your spouse if you haven’t already. Apart from just having someone who knows you to talk to, maybe he doesn’t view this as that big of a deal and that might in turn help you move forward?

        Lastly, I think you need to be very honest with yourself if you find that after a certain amount of time, you still can’t find it in yourself to see past this issue whenever you interact with Jay. In that case, I’d suggest looking into if it’s possible to have him transferred into another chain of command/report to a different manager. Thinking about it, that might – simply by way of more distance – help you deal with your feelings anyway, but of course I don’t know how your workplace is structured and whether that would be at all feasible.

        I wish you and your spouse all the best, OP, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he, too, will soon receive his vaccine!

        1. OP2 Jays Boss*

          I don’t know how I missed your comments earlier. Thank you for being kind. I was feeling a little beat up at first (from the comments) but realized people were focusing on the non-issue (whether or not Jay had a medical condition) and trying to make it an issue. Our state isn’t vaccinating people with medical issues anyway so it doesn’t really matter. My spouse qualifies because he attends a daycare program – not because of his pre-existing conditions.

          The comment that I saw a few times was why would he tell me? Part of the false pretense involves using our company name (along the lines of letting someone assume he’s on the frontlines everyday when he’s really in the basement or WFH in the next state over). I think he’s worried that is going to get back to the company somehow….or he genuinely just feels bad. Or both.

          After working through it all day – I think I’m over it (though here I am replying to comments 12 hours later!). I’m going to chalk it up to he just made a bad decision, realized it but couldn’t walk it back so he told me about it. It’s very out of character for him and that’s probably why it hit me so hard.

          Thanks again for your advice and perspective. Means a lot that perfect strangers take time out to give some assistance to those that are struggling.

          1. Myrin*

            Hi OP, I’m very glad that my perspective was helpful to you.

            I also want to add that throughout all of this (the comments, I mean), you’ve reacted with a lot of dignity and grace without becoming either downtrodden or ragey, which takes a lot of strength and is something I admire a great deal!

            I also read your comment below where you gave the exact details of how the conversation and his actions happened and it’s basically exactly how I imagined the whole thing went down so really, it was possible to glean all that from your letter alone, so please don’t beat yourself up over what you “should” have written. I don’t think you should’ve had to share those details – I understand why you wanted to keep them private – but I think it’s ultimately helpful that you did because if anything, this comment section serves as a very nice case study for the behaviour on internet advice columns. ;)

            I’m extremely glad that you’re already feeling better about the whole ordeal and really, if you’re not too put-off after all of this, I would absolutely love to get an update from you in a few months or so when hopefully your spouse got his vaccine, too, because I’m very interested in how things with Jay evolved. Totally understandable if you don’t ever feel like doing that, though.

            I wish you all the best!

      3. J.B.*

        I’m sorry, that would be infuriating. And I’m not scrolling back up to read just at the moment but I seem to remember he *keeps* apologizing, which is often someone trying to transfer their guilt onto you. Which duh he should feel guilty but it would be much better to stop talking.

  28. Delta Delta*

    #2 – I’m acquainted with a healthy mid-20s person who happens to be of a certain native tribe and as a result qualified for a vaccination appointment through his tribe. Should he not have gotten it because OP’s husband didn’t? Nope. He should, and so should anyone else who’s able to get it. Get it when you can. That’s it.

    #4 – I’d ignore the board member.

    1. Delta Delta*

      I also want to add that I just read a news story in my region that a certain vax site had to cancel a bunch of appointments because their vials were inadvertently stored about 1 degree warmer than the cutoff for storage. It’s unclear whether those should get binned or not. But if not, and if they’re still okay, and if they are able to make those available to genpop, they should. Better to use as much as possible (as long as it works) than use none at all.

  29. Middle Manager*

    #2 Not sure if you see Jay in person at work or you’re teleworking, but if you’re in person, one way I’d reframe it is that Jay being protected is protecting you and then you are bringing less exposure home to your spouse.

    As a government employee, although not one in this area of government, I’m deeply embarrassed by this pathetic = roll out. It’s a disaster. I desperately want to get my parents vaccinated before me, but the reality is, I’ll probably have a chance first because of where I live vs. where they live. I felt guilty about even trying to get it before them. But I’ve come around to it that virtually anyone who gets it is protecting anyone.

    (sorry if I’m repeating anything in the article linked, have to check that out later on my personal device with my log in).

  30. MMMMmmmmmmmMMM*

    #2: I’ll say this– my mother works in healthcare and the other day when people failed to show up for their scheduled appointment, the staff asked around if anybody had people at home that wanted to be vaccinated. My stepfather was able to get the vaccine because of this. I’d rather anyone got vaccinated rather than nobody because they didn’t fit the current criteria.

    I understand you’re upset, but I’d let this one go. It could be a similar case.

  31. Oh Snap!*

    #1 This is heavily dependent on the company. In my company you absolutely can’t negotiate a promotion. You can not take it, but you can’t negotiate it.

  32. Not his fault*

    It’s not Jay’s fault.

    I know the lady that runs our health department. I have Crohn’s Disease, but was having trouble getting an appointment in my state because of my age (I’m 39). She knows I have Crohn’s.

    Out of the blue last week, at 4:35 p.m., she called me and said she’d had a no show to an appointment. She said “I have to get this dose in an arm by 5 p.m., can you come now?” I dropped what I was doing and went immediately. When I got there, she told me she called the first person she could think of that was high risk.

    I feel lucky and fortunate, but not guilty.

  33. RussianInTexas*

    Vaccine: me, and my partner both got it. My city would release 5000 spots on Friday for the upcoming weekend and everyone in group 1A and 1B could sign up as long as they had slots open.
    Both of us qualified by our BMI. Nether has other health risks or work with public.
    I do not feel guilty. I have disclosed why I signing up, I did not lie anywhere on the application, and if the Health Department thought I did not qualify, I would not get a spot, and it would be OK.
    Slightly OT: this was the first dose only and neither of us had any reaction except a sore spot on the shoulder. Moderna version.

    1. fhqwhgads*

      That’s interesting. When the tiers were originally announced, I was in 1B due to an underlying health condition (three actually), but they’ve since reshuffled the tiers here and I’m now in 1C, which isn’t vaccinating yet. I went from second group (out of six, but not numbered that way) when they announced “the plan” in December, to the fifth group by the first week of January.
      Basically, originally “high risk due to health” were second after medical personnel and the elderly, but then it changed to first medical personnel and the elderly, then teachers, grocery workers, public utility workers, bus drivers, anyone who works anywhere in the food supply chain, people in prison, nursing homes, any other congregate living.
      In other words, the priority order shifted from “people most likely to die/have a severe case if they get infected” to “people most likely to get infected”.

    2. Liza*

      I also qualify by BMI even though I’m in perfectly good health. It’s the only time medical fatphobia has done anything good for me, tbh.

      If I can get an appointment I’m going to get it. Everyone who is eligible should get it as soon as they can! The more people who get it the sooner we can get this under control.

  34. Uranus Wars*

    #4 I just want to say I am sorry this board member said this to you! I think your boss having someone else take the minutes will help you in the long run.

    I just got a project dumped on me from one of our executives and I am thrilled to have the project…even though it means about a month or more of 60+ hour weeks to make sure it goes off. And then she said “I figured you had a lot of capacity”…which I do if I work 60 hours a week.

    I think sometimes people have a perception of a job and have no idea what goes into it. Kind of like someone saying to a corporate event planner that an all day off-site conference is “just a meeting.” Doesn’t make it easier, I just think it can be common.

  35. blackcatlady*

    For LW#1: Your boss is a bully and you are in a toxic work place. Please write in and update us when you leave. If you do get another job be prepared! It is highly likely he will just tell you to leave that day you give notice. Make sure you can remove all personal items from your work area that day. Have a cushion of 2-4 weeks living expenses. Know if your state requires vacation time be paid out and know how much time you have. Does your company have an HR? Leave all files as organized as possible and don’t be sucked into endless phone calls/emails asking you to help out.

    1. Delta Delta*

      I’d start removing personal items bit by bit now. I slowly removed all my stuff from a job about 2 months prior to giving notice so in case I was told to go immediately I could grab my keys and get out. I found the trick was to do it slowly so it wasn’t noticeable. A picture on the wall – I wanted to put it in my bathroom at home. A lamp – the darn shade broke so I took it home to fix. The sweaters I keep in case I get cold – I’m going to do a big hand-washing project this weekend and do all my sweaters in the tub.

      1. Sea Hawk ADVENTURE*

        My dad did that for an ENTIRE YEAR. He slowly, quietly emptied out his office and nobody noticed. Then he met with HR and acted “surprised” when they offered him early retirement, when he was planning on asking for it very soon.
        Remembering his strategy, I started that process when I got burned out at work in 2019. I didn’t leave my job but I DID have all my favorite odds and ends at home when the pandemic forced us to suddenly work from home!

    2. LW1*

      Literally just finished an interview call. I am actively looking to get out, though I know I will have a bit of survivor’s guilt about leaving my team behind. Luckily I am senior to all of them so can provide a reference if their relationship with boss is blown up. I agree that there is a chance that he will fire me the day I give notice. That’s fine with me; I am highly compensated and would welcome a few weeks off. Firing me would only shoot him and the rest of my team (and my internal clients) in the foot. Foots. Feet.

  36. foolofgrace*

    If I got a “get here in an hour” calls, I would take a pass — I would worry that the dose was actually no longer effective, having been out for more than the hour or whatever; I don’t know who’s keeping time on this and how accurate they’re being. I’ll wait and get a fresh dose rather than believe I was covered when in fact the dose had been out for too long and was ineffective.

    1. Anononon*

      That’s a little ridiculous. They’re making these calls SO they don’t get to the ineffective stage. It’s okay if you personally choose to wait, but this is bordering on putting out false information/encouraging others to not get vaccinated when they are able to to so at the soonest opportunity.

    2. JO*

      RN here. How long the vaccine can stay out of subzero temps is also dependent on which vaccine it is. The Moderna one I believe is a bit more forgiving and you wouldn’t have any way of knowing which one it is. The site administrators shouldn’t be giving out any doses that have expired. They track that so that’s one additional safeguard in place. If you get a call, I would still show up. Once you are there ask them about cold storage and if they say anything concerning then you can still always decline it at the time. I would still advise showing up for it.

    3. Detective Amy Santiago*

      Do you think that if someone missed a 10am appointment, they would leave that dose of the vaccine untouched until 3 or 4 in the afternoon?

      1. JO*

        I wouldn’t think so if what you mean is the physical dose of the vaccine that they have out for their 10 A.M. appointments. That specific dose would just go to the next person in line. Whatever doses left over at the end of the day would likely be the ones most recently removed from cold storage.

        1. Detective Amy Santiago*

          That’s what I’d assume as well which is why foolofgrace’s comment made no sense to me.

  37. I'm A Little Teapot*

    My take on the vaccine rollout is it’s a mess – it’s inconsistent, disorganized, and I frankly just want as many people as possible to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. If there’s doses that might otherwise be thrown out, use them to get someone, anyone, vaccinated. Should it be better? Yes! But it’s not. If you’re going to be angry, be angry at the governments who should have been planning this last year and failed miserably. Don’t blame the people who are just doing their best right now.

    1. JO*

      I know right… The government has had several months to prepare for this and still it was an epic disaster of a rollout.

      1. ele4phant*

        I won’t say I’d give the government credit, there have definitely been a lot of mistakes at all levels.

        But…I will say I have amount of sympathy that they’ve had to walk and chew at the same time, and it’s inevitable that the rollout isn’t going to go flawlessly.

        Even with months to plan, they are under-resourced from years of cuts and the same people that are responsible for the rollout are also responsible for managing the on-the ground surges, making sure people can get tested and treated right now while also thinking about getting people vaccinated. All while very little help from the Federal government, until the last week or so.

        I can only imagine it’s been…a lot.

        1. Uranus Wars*

          I can say for certain that this is what is going on in our community. Combination of not receiving expected doses and a lack of people to administer them. I do live in an underpopulated state, so those qualified to administer the shots are the healthcare workers already balancing high workloads or working the testing sites. They are working on it. Some if a lack of advanced planning but some is just a plain lack of resources.

        2. Tired of Covid-and People*

          The excrement has rolled downhill. Disorganization and inadequacy at the federal level resulted in the same at the state and local level. Why does the vaccine have to go through the feds anyway? PPE was left up to the states, as was testing. I hope I live long enough to see this mess get sorted out.

  38. anony32839*

    2. I’m angry my employee got vaccinated ahead of high-risk people

    Understand the OP’s emotional response, however, OP needs to understand that at an effort to vaccinate such a large scale of people (billions, the entire world!), the important thing is that people regardless of whether high-risk or not are getting vaccinated. Doesn’t matter if it is now or 6 months from now, we need to get everyone who wants it vaccinated!

    1. Tired of Covid-and People*

      It does matter if you are in a very high risk group like me, six months from now I could be dead. I agree that everyone who wants it should get vaccinated, but why have priority groups if they are meaningless?

      1. MCMonkeybean*

        The fact that *some* people who are not in the priority groups are getting vaccinated doesn’t translate to the groups being “meaningless.”

  39. Tired of Covid-and People*

    #2: Covid vaccine dosages should have been manufactured in single use syringes to avoid all this leftover nonsense. It’s so ridiculous. Priority groupings have no meaning at all. I’m disgusted. They had a big dog and pony show this week about opening a mass vaccination site near my home, but there’s no vaccine to supply it with. All the high up political people got their shots, I guess politician is a priority group. Government is not looking out for me. It’s every person for themselves at this point.

    1. Cat Tree*

      I work in vaccine manufacturing (but not for a COVID vaccine). Single dose vials would be much less efficient. The filling line would run slower in terms of doses filled per hour, and due to the required overfill so an entire dose can be withdrawn there would fewer saleable doses per tank of bulk vaccine.

  40. Arctic*

    1) Vaccine doses are literally being thrown out for being spoiled. You have no reason to think Jay’s dose would not be in the trash otherwise.
    2) The more people in your circle who are vaccinated the better for you.
    3) Lots of officials are encouraging people to let folks in their circle know when vaccine doses become available.

    Your attitude is contrary to public health.

  41. RulingWalnut*

    #2: There’s a lot to get mad about during these COVID times. The way the vaccine rollout has gone so far is one of them! But you really really really have to check yourself if you’re getting mad that someone else is vaccinated and you aren’t. Them being vaccinated helps you! It helps your loved ones! And it’s not like this guy is some fit dude in his 20s, he’s in his 50s which is already close to the age barrier that a lot of states have set out.

  42. Apocalypse How*

    I listen to a podcast where they discuss applying Jewish laws to modern problems. Their most recent episode discusses the ethics of getting a vaccine when you feel like someone else deserves it more. I don’t know how interesting it would be to listen to if you aren’t knowledgeable about Jewish law, but I think it makes a lot of great points. There are a lot of ways that we can rank who should get first priority, but ultimately, this is something that everyone will need to get. The more people who get it right now, the better it is for the public good.

    1. mayfly*

      I’m not Jewish, but sometimes I’m absolutely convinced that the world would be a better place* if everyone adhered to Jewish law
      *except for the lack of bacon

  43. MsChanandlerBong*

    Re: #2

    You have no idea if Jay is perfectly healthy. I find it interesting that when people post about their invisible illnesses, a lot of posters are extremely sympathetic and angry on their behalf, noting (correctly) that you can’t tell if someone is sick just by looking at them. But in this case, some people are upset that Jay got a vaccine simply on the say-so of OP, who is not his doctor and not a close family member and wouldn’t know anything past what he chose to share at work.

    The vaccine plan has been a total mess, and that’s worth discussing. But the solution is not to get mad at people who managed to get the vaccine.

  44. Wendy City*

    #4, I don’t have anything constructive to say about what you should or shouldn’t do – but just to say that my blood is BOILING on your behalf! Being ignorant is one thing, and being a jerk is another, but ignorant jerks stomp on every last one of my buttons. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this!

  45. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*


    If I was in your shoes, I’d tell Jay, “either use that appointment or don’t, but find someone else to talk to about it. Don’t ask me to soothe your guilty feelings about something that you’re going to do anyway.”

    Even if “made an appointment” means he’s already been vaccinated, he shouldn’t be expecting people who are still waiting for the vaccine to listen to him feeling guilty about having gotten something they also need and are waiting for.

    1. udon the day away*

      THIS! As per OP2s recent comments, it sounds like Jay is using her as a dumping ground for his guilty feelings over providing fraudulent info in order to jump the queue.

      OP2: Call him out on that behaviour because it is unacceptable, recognize that the vaccine roll-out is a chaotic mess overall, and try to see a vaccinated Jay as a barrier between infection and you/your spouse.

  46. First comment*

    One other possibility: could he be part of a trial? My husband and I volunteered for the moderna trial this summer. Last week we had a follow up appointment and were unmasked. We found out he received the vaccine and I got the placebo. I was able to get my vaccine that day as a participant to continue to study the effectiveness of the vaccine, which means over the next year or so we’ll continue to have blood work and COVID tests done occasionally. I haven’t really gotten into in with people because a few people thought we were crazy to do the trial.

    1. Clisby*

      Since he said something like “I know a guy” that seems unlikely.

      I’m in the AstraZeneca trial, and if it turns out I got the placebo I also would qualify for a vaccine, probably ahead of higher-risk people. (AstraZeneca’s vaccine hasn’t been approved in the US yet, although it’s being given in the UK.)

      I wouldn’t feel even one iota of guilt. I think those of us who signed up for vaccine trials should go to the front of the line.

      1. First Comment*

        See we had to go in and have an appointment to be unblinded and get our first dose if we were in the placebo group, so I could see referring to it as an appointment.

        And we felt no guilt. It was a relief to know hubby had been vaccinated since August, and I will be fully next month.

    2. sofar*

      Also in the Moderna trial! I was unblinded (was on Team Placebo) and got my first dose last week. I was pretty sure I had been placebo’d the whole time anyway, so not a surprise. And I’m grateful to be getting vaccinated. It’s such a weird feeling because I am in my 30s and healthy and a lot of my older loved ones haven’t even gotten it yet.

      If LW’s employee is indeed in a trial, I’d say he went about talking about his vaccination in an unprofessional way. My boss knows I got it because I’ve been keeping her apprised of the trial (because I have to miss work and continue to do so for all those fun blood draws, but also don’t want her thinking I have a serious health issue that’s causing me to have all those appointments). I may have to tell other coworkers if I accidentally casually refer to being vaccinated and then have to quickly follow up with, “But it’s because I’m in the trial!” because I don’t want anyone thinking I jumped in line. I suppose LW’s employee could be suuuper awkward, but it’s hard for me to wrap my head around anyone saying they’ve been vaccinated early and not justify it with being in a trial (if they were).

      Also, high-five, fellow trial participant!

  47. middle manager*

    Is salary negotiation always expected? Curious because I’m a manager at a company where, whenever anyone tries to negotiate, we’re told there’s nothing we can do–the offer is the offer. What do you recommend doing in that case?

    1. Ash*

      And that’s fine, the problem is that the boss keeps “flying off the handle.” You can absolutely tell someone that you can’t go any higher on the salary, but you can’t be rude or abusive to them about it. Negotiating is a completely normal thing to do.

      1. Clisby*

        +1. There’s nothing at all wrong with saying, “This is the pay. There’s no room to negotiate.”

      2. LW1*

        Exactly this — if my company had an actual policy to not negotiate salaries, then they need to say that. I know that they do not. If my boss is going to have his own policy, then he needs to state it and clear it with HR. If he doesn’t clear it with HR, he’s creating the potential for wide salary gaps between people in comparable positions (it does not help that we are an all-woman team). If he doesn’t state it clearly, then he can’t get butthurt when people do a thing that is perfectly normal (which is why I confirmed with Alison that this is perfectly normal.)

        1. blue*

          The only decent way do have a no negotiation policy that makes any sense is if all salaries are equal and public. (Which I am ALL for.) But I’m going to guess that your company has no plans to do that.

    2. Cat Tree*

      In that case, just be honest. I once got an offer from a third party recruiter that was lower than I expected, and he actually told me that it’s unprofessional to negotiate offers. That just seemed really manipulative and it gave a bad reputation to both him and the company. That is a place I will never work for unless I’m desperate. If he had just been honest and said that’s the offer and in this particular case there’s no room to negotiate, I would respect that. I still would have turned down the offer, but I wouldn’t have this lingering negative view of the company. But trying to turn it around on the candidate and say it’s unprofessional or just not done, and especially getting mad about it is a different matter. We’re all adults here. Just explain the situation and let the candidate make an informed decision.

  48. Jennifer*

    #2 I am not high risk but if I had the opportunity to get vaccinated now I’d take it. I think most people would. It’s kind of like telling people not to eat because there is someone who needs the food more. I would much rather a human receive the vaccine than it ending up in the trash. He didn’t literally push a sick elderly person out of the way to get the shot. Your anger is understandable but very much displaced.

  49. Nikki*

    I agree with Allison that anyone who is offered the shot should take it, regardless of their health or risk status.

    Still, I think it’s fair to be frustrated with how the vaccine rollout is being handled.

    I’m high-risk due to a rare disorder. We’re pretty sure if I catch COVID I’ll either die or be permanently disabled, so we’re taking extreme precautions. I haven’t been anywhere except medical appointments in 10 months. I haven’t seen my family. I’ve had to hold my ground and say no to countless social events. I do feel very fortunate to be able to work from home.

    It’s extremely frustrating to see my partner’s entire family get vaccinated before me, for one reason or another. Don’t get me wrong — I’m thrilled that they got vaccinated! But I’ve been watching them gather indoors, travel, and celebrate holidays while my partner and I had to say no. Because of how cautious we’ve been, everyone keeps asking me when I’ll get the vaccine. But the reality is, it’ll be months!

    It’s difficult to reconcile my logical position of “shots in arms” with my knowledge that many high-risk people, like me, are getting left behind. I think it’s only human to have these feelings. I’m doing my best to process my emotions and let them go. Everyone is trying their best right now, including the people who are coordinating the vaccine, and I’m trying to remember that.

  50. yala*

    The podcast Sawbones had a good episode (well, several) on the Covid vaccine, and one of the more dumbed down ways Justin came up with for talking about it was by comparing them to Wendy’s frosties. If you’ve got a hundred frosties and you’re supposed to give them out to, say, kids 10 and under, cool. But what if you’ve already handed one to every kid around and you’ve still got thirty left? They’ll melt soon, you can’t refreeze them, so you just start handing them out to anyone around, because it’s either that, or thirty frosties go to no one.

    Jay “knew a guy.” Which basically means at some point, they had more vaccines available than they had people around to take the vaccine, and what was left was essentially calling anyone they could think of and saying, “Hey, if you can get here NOW, I can get you the vaccine.”

    It’s nobody(on the ground level)’s fault. And at the end of the day, it’s still better for Jay to be vaccinated (one less disease vector) than for it to go to waste.

  51. Compliance Chica*

    I recently got a job at a hospital system. I have absolutely no patient contact and am working from home. I received my first COVID shot yesterday because it was available to me so, why not.

    I feel guilty because my elderly inlaws in New Jersey are trying in vain to find appointments but haven’t been successful so far. If I could have, I would have given my vaccine to one of them in a minute but the system (and I agree with Alison, the system is a mess) doesn’t allow for that.

    However, “knowing a guy” should never, ever come into play for something like this.

    1. judyjudyjudy*

      As mentioned in serveral comments above, “knowing a guy” can mean a lot of things here. A possible scenario is that a friend or relative of Jay’s works in health care and this person starting calling people in their contact list when there was a no-show for a vaccination appointment. The clock is ticking on that vaccine once it is thawed, so it might as well be used by someone.

  52. ArtK*

    LW2: Yes, the vaccine distribution is a mess. I mentioned this in a previous comment but I’ll repeat it here. My younger son (23yo) got a vaccination last week. How? The LA County Health Department posted a notice that at one of their sites they had some unused doses that would have to be thrown out at the end of the day. They asked for anyone, first-come-first-served basis so that the doses didn’t go to waste. He didn’t cheat, he took advantage of an opportunity and really *helped* with the distribution because nothing went to waste.

  53. ele4phant*

    You know, this vaccine rollout has been such a cluster.

    But, it’s kind of huge and complicated and hard to know exactly where to lay the blame. I mean, our last President clearly gets a huge amount, but he’s not the only one at fault here.

    But because it’s that big amorphous cluster, it’s hard to know where to assign blame. So we put our anger on individuals, in a way that is disproportionate to the magnitude of their individual behavior.

    John is not the cause of this huge huge blunder of a rollout. It sucks, yes, that he was able to get the shot ahead of people that are far more at risk, but it’s not his fault. And, at the end of the day, the more shots we get in arms, any arms, is going to get us all back to normal faster. We all benefit the more quickly people get the vaccine.

    Your anger is deserved, but he is not the right target for it.

  54. RS*

    Re #5: Revealing to you that one of the interview panel members was also a candidate might be the hiring manager’s attempt at transparency; misguided in my opinion (because what are you supposed to make of that?), but sincere. I agree with Alison that if you’re offered the position you’ll want to ask the hiring manager about if/how you’ll be working with the internal candidate you beat out for the job. IMHO including a candidate on an interview panel and allowing them to weigh in on the merits of other applicants is a very odd choice, and I do think it’s indicative of questionable judgement on the part of the hiring manager. If you get to discuss this with the hiring manager you might find out that there were particular circumstances that warranted the unusual set-up, which might allay concerns about the hiring manager’s judgement. Or not.

    In my recent experience, when one of the interview panel members is angling for the job themselves, other candidates are probably not being taken seriously. If this is a job you want, I hope that’s not the case in your situation!

  55. HailRobonia*

    When I got my first promotion at my current place of work I wish I had negotiated for more pay. I switched from hourly/non-exempt to salaried/exempt and therefore lost out on a significant amount of overtime pay (we have super busy season that often has me working 50+ hours per week in the summer).

  56. No Name Yet*

    #2 – reading through your comments, it sounds like a big piece is you looking for ways to manage your anger. I understand your anger, it’s a terrible situation and his decision to confide his guilt to you also isn’t great. One idea: write him a letter about how angry you are, get the vitriol out – and then destroy the letter. Sometimes just getting it off your chest (and in a space where you’re not feeling the need to defend yourself) can make a big difference.

    1. OP2 Jays Boss*

      That’s a good idea. Journaling and then burning the pages! I am surprised by the amount of people who are focusing on the non-issue instead of what I needed the advice on….and it did make me feel defensive. I thought everyone just took the situation presented as factual. Plus, I have to alter the situation a little bit so as not to make it totally identifiable in case The Jay is an AAM reader. Wasn’t prepared for people accusing me of policing Jays medical history! I might have to journal about this experience.

  57. boop the first*

    2. This was the part of pandemic I was most curious about when lockdown started! This weird stage where half the population will be vaccinated, and the other half will not. Will half of us be confined while the other half walks freely? How do people regulate their emotions about it?

    In this case, you now have one person in the workplace who will be a safe person to work next to. That has to count for something good.
    Jay is probably going to get stuck with a lot of tedious gopher tasks for a while, since he’ll then be The Person who can safely deliver/pickup, meet/interview, whatever people can’t be doing right now.

  58. TootsNYC*

    One other caution: It can be risky to have both partners working for the same place because if the company does layoffs, you risk both of you losing your source of income at the same time. You might be comfortable with that risk, but make sure you’re giving it some thought.


    Add to it that BOTH spouses retirement savings in the form of stock in the company.

  59. Kjgfdhy*

    “knows a guy” could mean anything from knows a guy who has an illegal/immoral hookup to knows someone who is around a vaccine site regularly and who will call his pals when there are extra spots

    1. Teapot Tía*

      to “knows a guy” who happens to be the guy whose job it is to do the thing, in this case probably call around to find extra arms in case they have extra vaccine. (I’m finding I’m having FEELINGS about people assuming it means illegal/immoral connections, when the way it’s most commonly used in my experience is either the guy who really does know everybody, legit, and is pro-active about connecting people (you need a plumber? I know a guy), or the guy who wants everyone to think that they know everybody, or most often, making a joke of it because “the guy” they know is the guy that if you thought about it a minute you’d know too because you also see commercials and have google.)

      1. Kjgfdhy*

        Interesting! I’ve most often heard this used in a more ~under the table~ sense (like you need a plumber who will look the other away about some code violations? I know a guy. Or you need a garage to fix ur car post accident on the DL? I know a guy). I’ve not heard it used so much in the casual referral sense for completely above board purposes. Good to know though!

  60. Long torso*

    Just coming off a bad experience here myself, but I HATE nonprofit boards. A highly-trusted mentor used to say that boards are typically 1/3 helpful, 1/3 disengaged, and 1/3 toxic/harmful. I would argue that the helpful percentage is even lower. In no other industry is a group of inexperienced volunteers expected to oversee and provide strategic/fiscal oversight for an organization. Corporate board members generally have experience in the industry or legal/financial expertise to offer. Nonprofit board members qualifications often begin and end with “has a lot of money and an interest in (mission).”

    The last board I worked with, most of them didn’t even understand what organization they were on the board for. We were a “Friends of the Library/Museum” org and they thought they were on the Library/Museum board. Nope! Separate 501c3, charter, budget, mission, staff, physical locations etc. We had to go over the difference between the organizations at every board meeting. My boss and I had 30+ years of fundraising experience combined and no one on the development committee would listen to to a word we said. One board member became really excited about t-shirts and would take up the whole meeting talking about his ideas. Another was obsessed with raising money through video game streaming (entirely irrelevant to our mission). A third was insistent that if only we could introduce (insert very wealthy A+ list celebrity here) to the Library, we would get that million dollar check. Why were we wasting time on five-figure donors? If you know the first thing about fundraising, you know that very wealthy celebrities are surrounded by gatekeepers, and also we don’t have any connection to this person, and how are we going to tour the Library when it’s closed due to COVID? Also, you’re not on the board of the Library!!!!!!!!!!

    OP4, I am sorry that this dude was a jerk. Honestly it sounds like your ED handled this really well. Send a brief acknowledgement to the board member for his “apology,” and be thankful that your ED has spared you further communication with this entitled, uninformed screaming infant. Executive Directors do not get paid enough to deal with this sh*t!

    1. blue*

      I really hope that the whole system of non-profit boards keeps changing. It’s pretty terrible as it is, for all the reasons you’ve stated. If you haven’t read Nonprofitaf’s views on how boards need to change (you prob have) I super recommend looking it up!

  61. A in the Stacks*

    There is a clear line between making an appointment to get a vaccine by cutting the line because you feel entitled and people who got the vaccine because they couldn’t let it go to waste (and the health officials didn’t have anyone in the phase the state they were in to give it away). If Jay got the vaccine because his friend at the hospital had no shows and the vaccine was going to go in the trash, more power to him. If Jay got the vaccine because his friend could sneak him onto the vaccine schedule that is entitled and medically unethical. Honestly I am no longer friends with someone because they did line jump on purpose. I can’t be a part of people who jump the line and game the system on purpose. Health departments don’t have time to check if people are in the right phase (ie are they are nurse in a private practice, a first responder, a caregiver in phase 1).

  62. GS*

    LW2: I see you say you’re sure of the details. Regardless of details, a method I use when I’m trying not to be angry at someone is to think: what would my life have to have been like for me to make the same decision they did? What in my past or my present situation would lead me to that place?

    I hope you find a way to some peace about this.

  63. Hedgehog O'Brien*

    I may have a slightly different perspective on sitting on the interview panel for a job you’re applying for. A couple of years ago, I interviewed for an internal role and ended up sitting on the interview panel for the final round of interviews. I was a Director, and my boss (our VP) left the organization and both he and our CEO encouraged me to apply for my boss’s job. Because of the nature of the role, my candidacy was very confidential outside of the hiring committee. For final round interviews for senior leadership roles, the candidate would usually interview with members of the team they would be managing as well as the with the hiring committee. While the CEO saw me as a strong candidate, he obviously also acknowledged that I might not get the role and that it would be really unfortunate if the decision were made without my input, because we would be working so closely together and they would be be my direct manager. I provided my feedback on the other two finalists via email, and was not part of the final decision-making conversation or any other conversations with the hiring committee.

    I did not end up getting the promotion, but I really, really liked the person they hired – when we interviewed her I thought “If I don’t get this job, I would be happy to work for her.” So that actually made it easier to receive the news, when I learned that I didn’t get the role, but that she had gotten the offer.

    It was definitely a little awkward, but I do think it was probably the best way to handle it given the circumstances.

    1. Hedgehog O'Brien*

      I should also add – I interviewed first so that I didn’t hear anyone else’s interview before I went in for my own.

  64. RB*

    Hey Alison, re your offer to leave an irate voice mail. Could you also leave one for the guy who was commenting on women’s pants, and the one who was having the admin do the personal errands? And when you’re done with those, I have a few others for you. :) Ha ha!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      This article too says to direct your anger toward the system, not the people getting vaccines. The author writes, “I don’t blame the lucky recipients; after all, hospitals would just offer the unused vaccine to the next person on the list. But I do blame whoever it was in the hospital hierarchy or the health clinic who decided to distribute and redeploy vaccines this way.”

      1. OP2 Jays Boss*

        I really wish I could revise my submission to state clearly that Jay did not make an appointment through the proper channels. The truth: he used our company name to get in the non-medical door because “he knows a guy” (who is on the frontlines) and then did not correct a 3rd party (scheduler) who assumed he qualified for the vaccine because of Jay’s connection to this “guy”. I didn’t mention the machinations because it doesn’t matter how he got the appointment – he isn’t eligible (his medical history doesn’t matter because our state isn’t even vaccinating those with pre-existing conditions. It’s essential workers and those over 65). But he got an appointment. And then told me all of the details as to how: basically, he let the scheduler believe he worked the frontlines of a sector for an essential business when the only thing that is true: he works for the business (but in a different branch that is nowhere near the frontlines. No public contact ever). It would be like saying you’re an EMT when you really only make the patch that says “EMT” on the uniform. Not a crime but not a good reflection on him. Very out of character by the way. And I can’t say it enough – I like Jay. I want him vaccinated. I just wish he hadn’t told me. But most importantly – I wanted advice how to get over it and I got it – thank you!! And as many readers pointed out, it’s just an appointment. When vaccination day arrives, it could be they do a final check and he loses his spot because he doesn’t truly qualify. Part of me hopes the system works that way but the other part hopes he gets a vaccine. Several commenters made a valid point: one more vaccinated person is really a win for everyone.

        I don’t know if anyone will read this but I hope so. I don’t want to go through another minute of having people think I police my employees medical history!! Hahaha.

        1. Guacamole Bob*

          Hi OP2,

          I think a lot of people are facing situations like this. I work for an agency where front-line workers will be vaccinated as essential employees but those of us who can work from home will have to go through regular public channels. One of my colleagues who has been working from home since March is on the essential employee list because of some training he did – he got front-line-worker safety training for the occasional field visit pre-pandemic so our database seems to have pulled his name too. I don’t know what he’s doing about it (and he’s across state lines from me in our metro area so it doesn’t affect me one bit so I can let it go pretty easily), but at large organizations I’m guessing it’s pretty common to have issues like that in the list of who qualifies.

          It sounds like Jay was a bit more active in trying to circumvent the rules, which would make me angrier in your shoes (and, as you say, not a good reflection on his character). But remaining fixated on it won’t do anyone any good, as you recognize.

          If you were worried about these details being identifying, I think you can relax – there are thousands upon thousands of back-office employees of essential businesses navigating questions of who qualifies and who doesn’t. Jay isn’t going to be the only one to try to get a vaccine sooner in this way.

          1. Op2 Jays Boss*

            Thank you. I know what he did wasn’t right but it’s not my problem. I just wanted help in fixing the things I could control. I’m not sure how it got so off-course. I go back to one of my early comments: the internet is wild, y’all.

            So much negativity. I don’t mind if you don’t agree but to accuse me of “vitriol”, “too enmeshed in his life”, “shouldn’t be managing him”, “seeking validation” – sheesh! All of that from “I need a better way to move past my anger/feelings towards a direct report”.

      2. Another European*

        The article also says that “people are not really being “offered” the vaccine; in some cases, they are grabbing it through position, influence or deceit. They are, in the abstract, taking it from someone perhaps more in-need — a subway worker, a high-risk patient, maybe even their own mother.” The very case of Jay. So a problem of integrity for everyone involved

  65. blue*

    Also that board member clearly doesn’t understand how grants work as no business giving is uneducated opinion about it and probably shouldn’t be serving on a board at all. WHAT A JERK.

  66. Health care worker*

    #2. At the clinic I work at, if there are extra doses, they go around shortly before closing grabbing patients who happen to be in the building. They ask for people 75 and over first and if they can’t find enough, they start going down in age. They even “stole” one of my patients last Friday who I finally saw today (almost a week later!) but with what I’m doing, I’d have told him to get the vaccine and see me a different day, anyway. I hate the thought of wasting any vaccines. So my patient got his shot early because he was in the waiting room when they had extra doses. But I’m glad it went to someone. Him saying no would have meant the dose got tossed.

    I’m face to face with elderly patients in a tiny room all day. My job involves touching patients. I still felt a little guilty for getting my vaccine when I did, but me not getting it wasn’t going to magically make it available to someone I thought was more in need.

    The phones have been blowing up where I work. I don’t even know how many patients have just shown up with no appointment. It’s pouring down rain so the drive up clinic got moved indoors and us employees got kicked out of the break room so they could vaccinate in there. The poor people at the screening table and front desk are overwhelmed. I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve fielded about vaccines despite me having nothing to do with administering vaccines. I know things are messy right now. I know so many people desperate to get the vaccine. My mom is over 75 and can’t get any info on when she might be able to get it. I know people are frustrated. Heck – I’m frustrated with the roll out, but try to remember to be polite to the health care worker you’re speaking with. It’s probably not their fault that you haven’t gotten your shot yet. It’s probably not their fault you got stuck on hold. And it’s probably not their fault someone you feel is “less” deserving than you got their shot already. And no, you can’t come to the clinic where I work and hang around at the end of the day just in case there are extra doses. (I get asked this several times a day since we started vaccinating.)

    Lastly – Jay should keep his dang mouth shut, but people don’t always think things through.

    1. OP2 Jays Boss*

      But you are exactly the person that should be vaccinated first! You should not feel guilty at all. If anything – from a personal standpoint – I’m ecstatic that your vaccinated. My husband does a ton of OT/PT and I’m so grateful every person at that facility is vaccinated!!

      1. Health care worker*

        I knew I needed the vaccine as soon as it was offered. Because I was in the first group offered it at work, I was told not to say anything to staff outside of my department since most everyone else had to wait. There’s a tiny part of me that says that I’m not a front line worker, my patients have gone through a screening process, and have ALL health care workers who do deal with potential Covid patients actually gotten their opportunity to get vaccinated? I don’t know. But I get my second shot next week and I feel such a sense or relief knowing that myself, my patients, coworkers, and my family are all better protected because I did.

        I just want a fair system where people can easily sign up and get in line without all this Hunger Games pushing and shoving and scrambling. My mom has in house tech support to help her get signed up when shots are available through her provider, but if she didn’t, she wouldn’t be getting a shot ever because she wouldn’t be able to figure out how to sign up.

        That being said, my husband is also an essential worker dealing with people all day and one of his coworkers is probably getting fired, in part because she won’t keep her freaking mask on while inside. Yeah – I know. If he was offered a dose through nefarious means or if we “knew a guy,” it would be so hard for me to tell him not to. Husband won’t be eligible for a vaccine for months, most likely.

        On a happy note! I got an email at work this morning about the notification being sent to all our eligible patients telling them how to clearly, concisely, and easily make an vaccine appointment. And all patients are receiving information about what group they are in. We started doing vaccines one week ago and it’s been a bit of a hot mess, but I’m embracing the chaos and cheering for each and every one of the 100 to 150 shots provided a day. I’m thrilled to see that the process is being streamlined and I found out that we got the shots a week earlier than originally planned for which is accounting for some of the issues, but they didn’t want to wait, so we hit the ground running as soon as we got them.

        I know it’s hard to be patient, especially when others aren’t. But hang in there. We will get through this and the situation where I work is giving me a glimmer of hope that the vaccination process will smooth out as time goes on.

    2. OP2 Jays Boss*

      But you are exactly the person that should be vaccinated first! You should not feel guilty at all. If anything – from a personal standpoint – I’m ecstatic that you’re vaccinated. My husband does a ton of OT/PT and I’m so grateful every person at that facility is vaccinated!!

  67. RebelwithMouseyHair*

    ah Alison, if only you could speak French to leave a voicemail with my former boss, who actually put, at the top of the file sent out to help employees prepare for their annual review, that “the annual review is not an appropriate time to discuss pay”.
    I only ever saw my manager at the annual review, and from afar at the annual meeting.
    At each annual review, he asked whether I’d like to bump up my hours to full-time. Each time I said “I’m sorry we can’t discuss this”. He’d ask why, and I’d say that I would only consider going full-time if I got a pay rise. He’d assure me that of course I’d be paid for the extra hours. I’d remind him that as a part-time worker, I wasn’t paid the same as full-time workers, so I’d have to have my hourly rate raised. And given that I was more productive on all counts than my colleagues, I deserved to be paid more than them. He’d go red and say “OK” and I wouldn’t hear any more about it. I basically didn’t get a pay rise for over 17 years. Yes, I should have left before then. I’m in a much better place now as a freelancer.

  68. BigRedGum*

    I got my vaccine because I happened to log on to my health app to look something up, and there was an alert saying pick an appointment time & get down to the hospital because they had extra doses. I showed up, got vaccinated, came back for my 2nd dose.

    It seems like some commenters think that this is very unfair and the vaccine should be… wasted? The roll out super sucks, but maybe we could be more angry at places like Mississippi for putting SMOKERS on their lists of people who qualify. A friend of mine packed up her family in the car and drove them across their state line to mississippi and said they were all heavy smokers. they all got vaccinated & have dates for their second vaccine.

    It’s the system, not the people.

  69. Liza*

    #2 — Vaccines don’t only benefit the person who gets them. Jay being vaccinated means he’s not going to spread it to someone who is immunocompromised.

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